True Blood Season 6, Ep. 9 review: “Life Matters”

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have True Blood. Life matters, you see, even the life of a minor character whose mind-numbingly fun-sucking C-plots dragged down the last three seasons of a show. So of course taking a full half hour to bury him is the best way to create an exciting climax. Right? Right?

I’m just going to let Old Racist Grandma speak for me. “I don’t really see the point of that.”

But aside from that, the rest of the episode was fast n’ fun as we rocket towards the season finale.

SOOKIE

I guess some telepaths think it’s okay to eavesdrop on the thoughts of a widow at her husband’s grave? I thought Southerners were supposed to be polite. Arlene, not usually a fan of Sookie’s mind-reading, was cool with this. It made sense when Arlene was so obviously losing her nerve to give a eulogy and Sookie could give her the help she needed. But after that, it was just bad form. Some things should be private.

Sookie’s wedding to Warlow was put on hold so she could go to the most important funeral in Bon Temps history. Should she have let Warlow bleed out in fairyland? It would’ve solved her problems if Warlow had died. If he’s capable of the true death via draining, which is doubtful.

Besides, if Warlow died, what would Sookie have to cry about in the finale?

BILL

Bill fulfilled his destiny, kinda. If you count saving a handful of vampire friends as saving all of vampirekind. I don’t think that’s a feat quite as worthy of the totally anvil-licious Jesus Christ imagery, even right down to the bad ass Catholic Violet holding his body like La Pieta. Eric saved more vampires’ lives than Bill and his mighty Lilith blood. Is it all downhill for him from here? What could be his purpose now? Will he synthesize his blood and make all vampires able to walk in the sun? Will he stop being such a buzzkill?

True Blood Eric Steve

ERIC

The real hero of the season, so far, is Eric. He’s always been a vampire of action—even wildly stupid, poorly planned action. This season is no different. I enjoyed his scenes of enacting extremely gross revenge upon the human captors and destroying the tainted blood supply. And freeing Ginger! “I know that scream.” Dear Lord, that actress must be exhausted after a day on set. But let’s not forget that Eric has now killed two of the most awesome vampires in Louisiana. So I’ll be mad at him for that. While Reverend Steve was no Russell Edgington, I always loved the sniveling humor he brought to the table. After all of his warped heroics, I was hoping that Eric would stick around and rebuild his relationship with Pam. But nope… off into the sun he flew, like The Rocketeer. (Hey, it’s less tired than Jesus parallels, at least.) Where did he go? To mourn boring Nora some more instead of focusing his living progeny?

JASON

Looking gooood, Jason. And that’s about it. While I’m happy that we won’t get a season of Jason being haunted by the murder of Sarah Newlin—happy and horny Jason is so much more entertaining—this is a character in need of a better story. I don’t think we’ll ever get an explanation for his hallucinations earlier this season. Or a reunion with Niall. Maybe Niall will show up at Sookie’s wedding. Nothing brings people together like weddings and funerals. But if I had to pick a Newlin to survive, it wouldn’t have been Sarah. She (and Anna Camp) are wonderful, but I’m dreading what new evils she’ll have in store for Jason when she inevitably returns.

And I hope when Jason dreams of Eric, it’s actually nice and not an excuse for Jason to be all immature and homophobic about it.

True Blood Arlene

THE BELLEFLEURS

By the time Portia delivered a eulogy, it took all of my will not to change channels and sneak a peek at Breaking Bad. You’ve got carnage and vampires cutting to soft-focus flashbacks of Terry with his friends and family. It was really uncomfortable and so, so boring. Sure, I liked Lafayette-style frying and seeing Tara’s mom and getting a Hoyt update from his momma, but overall, it was like the longest, most boring funeral ever. No one watching this show cares about Terry enough to warrant such a long goodbye. Manufacturing memories for story filler should be a crime this close to a season finale. In TV-viewers’ time, Terry’s been dead and moldering for three weeks. I’m glad he’s finally been laid to rest. I was hoping there would be more thematic crossover between the funeral and the Dreadfort, but aside from a well-sung montage and lip service about family, it dragged the hour down.

The editors get props for the quick cut to Sookie looking down when Sam admired how Terry “never missed a day of work.” That was pretty great. Almost as great as Lafayette’s funeral eyelashes. Can you believe Nelsan Ellis will be playing Martin Luther King, Jr. in the upcoming movie The Butler? That should be really interesting. He’s a good actor and a recent interview suggests that Lafayette will get more screentime next year.

ALCIDE

Smells like a man.

True Blood Bill Jessica

EVERYONE ELSE

Lazy of me, eh? But none of the other vampires had much to do beyond kill all humans and frolic in the sunshine. I thought it was sweet that Eric saved the creepster shrink for Pam to eat. And Jessica’s hottie boyfriend got to meet her father, in a really messed up kind of way. And Tara… um… yeah. I got nothing.

 

Next on True Blood: A wedding, perhaps? It can’t go any worse than the weddings over on Game of Thrones, so Sookie should be grateful.

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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