comScore HBO True Blood Season Premiere Recap Jesus Gonna Be Here | The Mary Sue
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True Blood Recap: Jesus Gonna Be Here

If by "Jesus" you mean "Joe Manganiello's weird new haircut," then yes. It's here.

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Considering the disappointing mess the show has become, I didn’t have high hopes for the final season of True Blood.  But, surprisingly, last night’s premiere reminded me of why I first fell in love with the series: atmosphere, intrigue, and characters who actually act like real people (or vampires. Or fairies. You know what I mean). Forget about Christopher Meloni and Lillith-merkins: this farewell season might have bite.

Yesterday’s premiere picked up exactly where Season 6 ended, with the mixer at Merlotte’s being rudely interrupted by a gang of Hep V infected vamps. It’s impossible to throw a party in Bon Temps without someone dying, and this time that person is Tara, who appears (more on that later) to meet the True Death at the hands of an infect vamp. During the carnage, Holly, Arlene, and a pregnant Nicole are also kidnapped by the baddie vamps. Yes, Nicole is still a character we’re supposed to be invested in. I’m not buying it.

Meanwhile, at Casa Bellefleur, Andy has his night at home with Adilyn interrupted by the arrival of a repentant Jessica. Andy gets the call (on his prehistoric flip phone) that Bon Temps is under attack and Tara has been killed. Jessica promises to guard Adilyn with the understanding that, no matter what, she will not be invited into the Bellefleur house.

Back at Merlotte’s, Jason is performing triage. Sam is caught shapeshifting, but honestly, he’s been so embroiled in werewolf drama for the past few seasons I forgot his shifter-status was supposed to be a secret. Poor Sookie reads the minds of the bereaved at the bar and discovers that, as always, her relationships with vampires is being blamed for the town’s troubles. Sookie accidentally listens in on Alcide’s thoughts and realizes even he thinks her preoccupation with “the dead” (i.e. ex boyfriend Billith Bill) is dangerous for Bon Temps.

Understandably upset by Tara’s death and her werewolf boyfriend’s betrayal, Sookie takes a very spooky walk home alone. She literally throws her phone away to spite Alcide and finds the body of a drained young girl in a ditch, but as far as “scenes in which Sookie takes unnecessary risks” go, it’s fairly uneventful. At home, Sookie tells Alcide she’s still frustrated by her powers of fairy telepathy, but didn’t she learn last season how to get rid of them? Am I forgetting something?

Meanwhile, in Morocco, Pam is winning a game of Russian Roulette. Considering how geographically scattered the past two seasons were, that isn’t as weird as it sounds. Pam bribes locals for information on Eric’s whereabouts, learning in the process that almost all North African adults are now Hep V carriers.

Back at the Bellefleur ranch, Jessica and Adilyn are bonding over boys when a huge infected vamp arrives for Adilyn’s sweet, sweet faery blood. Jessica convinces Adilyn to drink her blood so she can better protect her, and then the two vamps get in a very stressful standoff as they wait for morning. Adilyn eventually invites Jessica inside to save her from the sun (tempting Jess in the process) while the Hep V vamp is burned to death in satisfyingly gruesome fashion.

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Jason and Violet arrive home from Merlotte’s to find an angry mob waiting for them. Violet scares their unwanted visitors off, apparently emasculating Jason in the process.  Bon Temps is falling to pieces, but Jason is preoccupied with his blue balls (ugh. Hoyt would never). Violet seems to get turned on by his forcefulness and the two have sex on the hood of his cop car. I was not happy about it.

[Editor’s Note: HBO pulled a Daario 2.0 here replacing actor Luke Grimes with Nathan Parsons for the final season.] Meanwhile, in matters not related to Jason’s peen, Lafayette and James (who, be still my heart, looks like a baby Kit Harrington) have been paired together as part of Bill and Sam’s vampire buddy system. The two smoke and talk about Tara’s (second) death. James tells Lafayette about becoming a Vampire and the friends he lost in Vietnam.

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Meanwhile, Lettie Mae is hallucinating after drinking Willa’s blood for its healing powers. I feel horrible for Tara’s mom but since “delusional” is the state she’s been in for almost the past 7 seasons, it was hard to get too invested in her grief. Willa is sad that she has lost all of her vamp friends, so the Reverend invites her to stay in the church basement. That should end well for everyone.

Andy and Bill are out searching the town for Holly, Arlene (and Nicole. I guess). They check an abandoned slaughterhouse and find drained bodies as well as the vigilante group that Violet scared off earlier.  Andy tricks one of the village idiots into sparing Bill’s life, but that does not mean things are cool between them now, ok, Bill?

The infected vamps are in fact holed up somewhere so obvious, no one would think to look– Fangtasia! Thank God Pam can’t see it now. Arlene, Holly, and whatserpregnantface are chained up in the basement, and, unfortunately for the prisoners, these vamps seem way less weak than Nora was after contracting the disease.

The town gathers the next morning at church, where the reverend promises the congregation that “morning is coming.” Sookie attempts to comfort Lettie Mae and, predictably, is blamed for Tara’s death. The episode ends with a heartfelt plea from Sookie that the town use her vast knowledge of vampires to their advantage.

Phew. That was exhausting.

So what’s next for the beleaguered Bon Temps folks? My ideal final season would have Joe Manganiello shirtless (and alive! please!) a billion percent of the time, a romantic relationship between James and Lafayette, and the return of Tara. It’s not like Tara to be defeated so easily, so I have a hunch the goo covering Lettie Mae might have actually been from that brawny Hep V vamp instead. Pam certainly didn’t seem to sense that her progeny/lover was exploded at a barbecue, so I’m holding out hope that Tara will have a (3rd) chance at life.

Regardless, at least the show itself seems to still have a pulse. What did you folks think? Were you as pleasantly surprised as I was? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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(images via HBO)

Previously in Sookeh and Beel

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