Sometimes when watching particularly bananas/bad episodes of True Blood I pause and consider what the plot must seem like to viewers who haven’t watched before and aren’t indoctrinated in the show’s weirdness. Last night I caught myself asking that a lot.
The episode opened with Sarah still hiding from the Yakuza at the Fellowship of the Sun camp. Dream-Jason speaks to her and inspires Sarah to step outside, arms outstretched, and wait to be made a martyr. Fearing the antidote will be destroyed in her maker’s fury, Pam threatens to shoot herself unless Eric lets Sarah go. The Former Mrs. Reverend Newlin doesn’t really read the group’s mood well, and says that even if she dies she will return as a messiah, a princess of peace. Eric drinks from her and his veins recede as Pam looks on tearfully. Eric, his teeth covered in Sarah’s blood, laughs at the moon in triumph like a sexy Nordic shark.
The picture of health.
Back in Bon Temps, Sookie and Bill are cuddling awkwardly post-nookie. Sookie asks Bill about some of the stranger stuff that happened between them while they were broken up (considering her ex-boyfriend was temporarily a God, I think we can forgive Sooks for being a little confused about the past). Bill says he didn’t bring Sookie to Queen Sophie-Anne because Sookie reminded him of what it felt like to be human (Bill would be a little more credible if he hadn’t gleefully stabbed a clerk with a pencil several episodes ago), and Sookie says that even if loving her didn’t make up for his crimes, Bill gave her something she’d never felt before. They share a tender kiss.
Meanwhile, Lettie Mae and Lafayette are digging in the yard of the house Tara grew up in while the new occupants watch (I would like an alternate episode that is just these characters worrying aloud about who’s going to pay for new landscaping). The Reverend arrives and Lafayette insists they aren’t being influenced by V, but are instead sensing energy from Tara. James zooms into the yard (James has two speeds: zooming and smoldering. Sometimes they both happen at once), saying “I came as soon as I got your text.” What did the text say? Also, did the writers really think an audience who can suspend enough disbelief to sit through a True Blood episode weekly would question how James and his magical vampire blood knew to arrive? Guys, we stuck it out through Billith. There’s no need to explain how magical beings can get from Point A to Point B.
Regardless, Lettie Mae tells the Reverend “sometimes you gotta take a journey, even if it’s a blind one.” Lafayette and Lettie Mae drink James’ blood as the poor homeowners look on. As Lafayette and Lettie Mae start tripping, the Reverend also sips from James and Special Effects Tara leads them inside the house. And, flashback! It’s Tara’s birthday and Lafayette and Sookie Jr. are over to celebrate. Tara’s father arrives home drunk and discovers Lettie Mae hid his own daughter’s birthday party from him, and Tiny Tara watches as her mother is beaten and her father starts searching for his gun. (True Blood is typically a violent show, but this episode especially showed more brutality towards women than it typically does.)
Meanwhile, Brigette is looking at pictures of Hoyt in the yearbook and picks a very poor time to make an offhand comment about what their future children might look like. Jason is there, for reasons, I guess. Hoyt says he doesn’t want to think about the future while he’s busy sorting through his dead mother’s belongings. Brigette is lovely, Hoyt is uncharacteristically terrible, and then Jason receives pictures on his phone of Violet and Adilyn tied up. (Why is True Blood suddenly so insistent that the people of Bon Temps know how to text?) Violet, an ancient vampire who likely remembers when the printing press was still a big deal, has messaged Jason “U might want 2 hurry :).” Brigette decides to go with Jason to Violet’s, because, hey, new characters should get a lot of screentime in the final three episodes of a series, and also because Hoyt is being cartoonishly jerky. Jason calls Andy to tell him where the kids are, and simultaneously tries to convince Brigette to get out of the car. Did everyone except for me know that Violet had an ancient haunted mansion in the neighborhood? Why did she ever spend time at Jason’s bachelor lair when she has an entire hallway devoted to taxidermied bears?
Meanwhile, Gus and Eric are chillaxing on pleather couches at Fangatsia. Gus tells Eric and Pam that although Sarah’s blood has already been synthesized the Yakinomo Corporation won’t produce New Blood for at least a year–the shorter the half life, the greater the profit. Eric and Pam agree to keep the cure a secret, in case you thought they were joking about the whole “we can be assholes” thing.
Jason pulls up to Violet’s creepy mansion and leaves Brigette alone in the car with a loaded gun. The ratio of my interest in Bridget versus her screentime means she is officially the new Nicole. Jason sneaks down the hallway and I think it’s officially clear now that whoever ‘s responsible for True Blood’s soundtrack has an excellent sense for the absurd. VIOLET HAS DECORATED HER HOME WITH STUFFED ZEBRAS. Violet pins Jason down and delivers an impassioned speech about all the men throughout history she’s brought to their knees. Jason is bound and gagged and led into the sex parlor, where Adilyn, Wade and Jessica are tied to instruments of torture. Violet promises to kill them all, then approaches Jessica with–dear God, that can’t be what I think it is. It’s a molten-hot iron dildo. Oh, world, I’m sorry. Violet says that since Jessica was turned as a virgin and “heals up” every time after she has sex, she will torture Jessica daily so the baby vamp will share in Violet’s pain. The ancient vamp says all she ever wanted was for Jason to worship her like the perfect creature she is, and bam! Hoyt arrives and shoots her in the chest. THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE, BUBBA! Violet melts horrifyingly and the prisoners are all released. Brigette runs in just as Jessica realizes her savior was Hoyt.
Meanwhile, I guess the flashback is still happening at Tara’s old house? That’s disorienting. Tara’s father is still searching for his gun, not knowing Tara has hidden it in her dresser. Tara watches her mother be beaten and ponders shooting her father, but can’t bring herself to pull the trigger. Instead Tara runs outside to bury the gun, just in time to see her father drive away and abandon Lettie Mae to raise their daughter on her own. Dream Tara tells Lettie Mae she’s sorry she didn’t pull the trigger, and for a rare moment, it’s easy to forgive Lettie Mae for every time she’s let down both her her daughter and the audience by being her tediously terrible. Tara tells Lettie Mae to forgive herself, then disappears in a gust of wind. The homeowners still look on.
Andy and Holly have found their way to Violet’s creephouse. Hoyt and Jason share a handshake and Jessica looks on, breaking my heart. Jessica introduces herself to Hoyt while Brigette talks to Jason. True Blood, you are allowed one more partner swap. One more. I will accept a Jason/Brigette and Hoyt/Jessica coupling because I very much want these crazy kids to be happy, but no more swinging after that.
Meanwhile, a healthy Eric arrives arrives at Bill’s (naturally he didn’t check at Gram’s first) to tell Sookie he’s not headed for the True Death anymore. Sookie tells Eric that she gave Bill Hep V, and begs the Viking to tell her how he was healed. Eric promises to return tomorrow night and Sookie runs outside in her robe just before Jess and Jason arrive at the house. The two discuss how safe and supported they make each other feel and decide they have a “beautiful friendship” (which Jessica then complicates by giving him a slightly-more-than-friendly kiss). Those two!
Sookie drives to Fangtasia to see Eric, who apparently spends his days sitting on a leather couch and staring at Gus Jr. instead of sleeping. Eric tells the Yakuza she’s just another fangbanger, and pretends to glamour Sookie so she can leave safely. Sookie listens in on Gus’ thoughts and discovers he wants to hide whatever’s in the basement. Sookie starts driving away but turns back, determined to discover what the Yakuza are hiding.
Jason is eating at Merlotte’s (aka Belfour’s) when a distressed Hoyt arrives. Hoyt orders 2 Miller Lites, although it is, what, all of 10 am? Jason is still eating eggs! Hoyt asks about Jessica, and says even though he “cares” for Brigette there’s something about the redhead vamp he just can’t shake. Glamouring is a weird thing, guys. Over his beer-eggs Jason tells Hoyt that Vampire Bill is dying, to which Bubba wisely replies “when a good thing get destroyed, that’s the definition of unfair.”
Meanwhile, Hoyt shows up at Bill’s with something for Jessica. (Poor, poor, microbiologist Bridget.) Hoyt went to the clinic to have himself tested and has brought healthy blood for Vampire Bill. Oh, God. My heart never could handle Hoyt and Jessica. Why did you have to fall for the Stackhouse charm, Jess? Hoyt tells Jessica he’ll be leaving town soon but that she’ll be in his thoughts.
Back in Shreveport, Sookie uses her fairy skills to bust into the Fangtasia basement (the Yakuza did a bang-up job of repairing the hole in the basement wall. Not). Sookie sees a chained-up Sarah who promises to “return them both to Eden” once she’s released, but Sookie reads her mind and discovers Sarah’s blood is the antidote.
Sookie arrives home, where Bill is having a civil war flashback. Thought: perhaps Hep V is just having flashbacks to the Civil War all the time? Sounds horrible. Bill dreams that his first wife Caroline transformed into Sookie. I don’t care what that symbolizes, Bill. Why can’t you dream about something interesting for once?
Back at Fangatsia, Gus has conveniently left on an overnight flight to Dallas. Pam and Eric head down to the basement, where Sookie and Jess are waiting with Bill. Bill appears to be wearing jim jams, or comfy pyjamas at the absolute least, and spends an unnecessarily long time staring at Sarah before announcing he does not want the antidote. UGH. UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH.
In many ways this episode redeemed the show’s treatment of Tara and Lettie Mae, and (at least for viewers who are familiar with the characters), there were some heartbreaking and beautiful moments. But let me be clear: I am not interested in martyr Bill. With the help of some crafty writing and acting I could be convinced to respect whatever bogus noble reasoning Bill has for not taking a gulp of Newlin, but I have to endure one more Civil War flashback to get there, I will be greatly displeased. If I wanted to watch a show all about Bill, I’d watch Antique Road Show (gotcha!), but now I’m more concerned about Lafayette, Hoyt, Jessica, Jason and the gang.
What do you think about the new developments? Just two episodes left!
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