True Blood Season 6, Ep. 8 review: “Dead Meat”

Previously on True Blood: While I was on booth duty at Comic Con and dancing with Mohawk Guy from NASA for four seconds (my big celebrity moment this summer), some juicy stuff went down in Louisiana. A bunch of people I didn’t really care for died, a new batch of Tru Blood was poisoned, Sam selflessly gave Emma back to her legal next of kin, Alcide stopped being a dick for five seconds, more zany flashback wigs, and Sookie got horizontal with Benlow in fairy limbo.

After all that excitement, this week was still exciting. Except for Sookie. Dammit, Sookie, you have officially plumbed the depths of just being the worst this week.

I didn’t care for Terry’s death. It’s not that I didn’t wish someone would take his storyline out back and shoot it, but it happened in such a mean faux-Whedonian way, I couldn’t really feel bad. However, last week’s episode was definitely one of the best of the season and I’m sorry I wasn’t here to recap it. While Arlene is one of my least favorite characters, Carrie Preston is really a great actress. She did a great job portraying Arlene’s drunken grief and the scene when Bill showed up at her house, in the daylight, to offer his condolences (and some not-so-thinly-veiled threats at Sheriff Bellefleur) was an excellent and too rare example of a bunch of characters in different storylines coming together and reacting to one another. Bonus points for brief appearances from Portia and Arlene’s red-headed little girl. And Eric’s fake split ends.

SOOKIE

I mean, just look at the face she’s making.

So as not to leave a lingering bad taste in a reader’s mouth, Sookie sucked and was boring this week. Okay, she very nicely told Bill to go fuck himself, but beyond that, it was all lame soliloquies n’ tears. That scene had more power than… Bill throwing a dish. Progress. But, yeah. We all know Sookie is genetically unable to be single for more than eight hours, but sniffing around Sam as some sort of backup option for her life choices was beyond messed. I really hate her for that. Honestly, if she’s going to be such a codependent wuss, she may as well be an all-powerful fairy princess vampire bride for eternity. Why would she balk at that? Maybe it is her destiny. Benlow is creepy and needy, too. They’re perfect for each other.

I’m glad she mentioned Niall. Please, please, please let Niall return at the eleventh hour and save everyone with his fearsome head of hair. Because I still can’t believe Rutger Hauer was wasted like that.

JASON

Once again, Jason finds himself the helpless prey of an obsessive woman. But at least it’s not in were-panther rapey territory. Yay? Where exactly did Violet come from? She’s kind of a thin Minor Bad, but I guess they need some more tension in the prison population. I’m feeling kind of meh about her and his story. True Blood is sort of the master of the story retread.

JESSICA

She’s cool and all, but I really wanted to just take a moment to appreciate the hotness of her not-rapey new lover, James. (Why does everyone in her storyline have a J-name? Variety is the spice of life.) Wow, he’s super hot. Please let him stick around and cause all kinds of sexy tension next season.

THE BELLEFLEURS

Andy’s always such a scene-stealer. He really does get some of the best lines. “I would seriously love for this conversation to end.” Not as good as “PIG!” but I’ll take it. Funny that the first scenes inside of a funeral home take place after Alan Ball has left the show. I kept expecting Nate Fisher to interject with some Rumi poetry to diffuse the situation. I’m glad Lala didn’t keep the real nature of Terry’s death to himself. With two million on the line, he couldn’t. Moreover, it’s good to see a character actually sharing crucial info with another.

Poor, ABCD (not typing her whole name out). Like it’s not hard enough keeping skeevy boys out of her pants, this girl will always be vampire bait, too. If Andy could get any balder, now would be the time. As we get closer to the end of the season, I wonder which characters will make the cut. I’m sure we’ve not seen the last of ABCD getting into trouble. Andy, to his credit, handled it remarkably well. I expected him to go into full on anti-vamp rage. Maybe after Terry’s funeral.

SAM

Sam has finally shifted into a man with some testicles. (Fertile ones at that.) Good on him for telling Sookie off. Again. There was a time, way back when, when I wanted Sam and Sookie together. Before he got all creepy about being Friend Zone’d and when Sookie was still likeable. Hilarious how Sookie finally showed up at work at the absolute worst, most awkward moment ever.

Nicole’s kinda dull, but I really like the actress playing her, so I guess I’ll follow where this is going. Sam’s kind of a dog for moving on from Luna in like, three days. Emma who?

ALCIDE

Just wanted a beer all along. Still a jerk. Not letting your (former) pack kill some humans still doesn’t get you off the hook for a season of jerk-ery.

THE NEWLINS

Holy shit. That was one of the best chase scenes this show has ever done. I mean, I was rooting for the True Blood lady because she’s got spunk and cunt-punted Sarah Newlin. This. Show. That was all kinds of ridiculous and awesome. And nicely creepy at the end. The kicker was Sarah’s relieved “Thank you, Jesus.” And the fact that all of this was after she had made her ex run on a giant hamster wheel. I’m so glad Governor Whathisname is dead so Sarah could step into the spotlight.

Steve, on the other… what an ugly cryface he has. It was like the perfect approximation of a Greek tragedy mask. Too funny. But I think I now hate Steve for cruisin’ James and getting him in trouble with the Dreadfort leaders.

PAM

Had “oozy but productive” sex with her creepster shrink. Her and Tara are kind of in a holding pattern this season. Tara has even less to do than her maker. I’m hoping Eric makes good on Nora’s dying wish that he takes care of his progeny. Pam needs more story. It was going well ’til she got incarcerated.

ERIC

Okay, so he drank an underage teenage half-fairy and Warlow. I think Warlow will live, right? So now what? Storm into the Dreadfort and kill them all in bloody Spartacus style, I hope. But he’s only one vamp.

BILL

Bill is a stone cold motherfucker. Kinda gotta admire his new Billith “Haters gonna hate” style of talking to people. It’s at least interesting. And good for a snicker because, come on. It’s Bill. He hasn’t done much besides hang around his mansion all season. His plan confuses me. So he gives his vampire friends Warlow’s blood so they can withstand the sun. Is that supposed to be permanent? And by the time he breaks into the Dreadfort to administer the blood, won’t he just be able to kill all the human captors anyway, thus making his plan pointless? Seems like a temporary solution to a much bigger problem.

The biggest problem with True Blood, renewed for a seventh season, is that there’s no announced end-game in sight. This season’s been pretty good, but unless the human-vampire war really plays out on a bigger stage, no one is playing for high stakes anymore.

 

Next on True Blood: Eric goes apeshit. Do we need more than that?

True Blood airs Sundays at 9P.M. E/PT on HBO.


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com, covering True Blood, Game of Thrones, and gaming news. Follow her on Twitter @tdelucci.

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