Let’s just say that after this episode, I’ll be happy to dance on True Blood’s grave.
This season started off sloppily, picked up in the middle, and is now careening towards something that looks like an ending, but is more just a crash against misdirected fan service and muddled writing. What’s missing is any kind of emotional resonance. But I could overlook a lot of that in the spirit of recognizing that this show is a shadow of its former self and a weird determination to see how characters I once liked ride off into the sunset.
And then True Blood went from being so-bad-it’s-good to legitimately offensive.
Glossing over the disappointment I felt watching Lafayette spending some of his last scenes ever digging holes in someone’s yard, the culmination of his and Lettie Mae’s nonsensical shared visions of Tara was just insulting. So Tara’s ghost or whatever was hanging around to apologize to her abuser for making her so abusive? Why was it necessary to the overall scope of True Blood’s final season that Lettie Mae gets painted as more than the shitty, manipulative monster she’s been for the past seven seasons? And Tara gets… killed offscreen. And I still don’t believe Lettie Mae has changed because even this whole journey was more about relieving her guilt than truly confronting her own ugliness.
Worse, it doesn’t even tie into the main plot, typical of True Blood’s treatment of B-characters. Hell, Tara really hadn’t been best friends with Sookie in about four seasons. Of all the stories they could have given Tara to make her strong, relevant, someone who has turned a life of victimization into something positive, they instead turn her into a specter compelled to relive her traumas and forgive her tormentor. Is this supposed to be closure to a character who once had so much spark? And a giant chip on her shoulder? Because to me it just felt like Tara never got a voice in life on this show, so this was a cheap way to try and give Tara a more friendly makeover, diaphanous white dress and beatific smile and all.
Jason (and Violet) and Jessica (and Hoyt)
Violet shows her true colors to Jason, coming up with a revenge plan worthy of a lesser, but more sadistic, Bond villain. That was some impressive Glenn Close-levels of hamming it up as the scorned psychotic woman. I like how she picked Jason because basically he was dumb. And he is.
Because letting Bridget come along to an active crime scene with his homicidal ex was completely ludicrous. Just so we can get to see Jessica react to this new Alpha-Hoyt. But I will say that Hoyt not knowing Jessica is so sad. I kept wondering if Hoyt’s memory spell wore off the moment he saw Jessica, but he was trying to hide it for his own peace of mind. (It was handled in a similar, understated, way on Angel to great tear-jerking effect.) It looks like the memory spell might not matter. People are compelled to make bad decisions when love confuses them. “You’ll be in my thoughts” and Jess’ happy spin were too precious for words.
What are the odds that Jessica will end up back with Hoyt and Jason gets a consolation prize in Bridget? Because I wouldn’t be surprised if True Blood tied things up too neatly. It’d be a shame to see Jason go out without one last big showdown. Or sex scene. Knowing Jason, it’ll have to be one or the other.
Didn’t miss him.
Pam and Eric
Loved Eric’s maniacal “AhhahaHAAAAAA!” when he was cured of his disease by Sarah’s blood. Knew it! Glad at least one of Sookie’s undead exes might be around at series’ end. I caught the way Sookie was not exactly recoiling from Eric’s flirtations. Could they have one more go if Bill really does die? Sookie also did a great job playing an empty-headed Eric groupie.
What I didn’t love—and yes, there was a lot of it in this episode—was Mr. Gus leaving his prized and wily cure in the care of Eric and Pam. Whom he admitted he didn’t trust. This guy may have some smart business deals, but his execution is awful. Almost worse than his fake accent. Is this lame businessman going to be the last Big Bad of True Blood? Him? Really? He’s the Ann Veal of villains. But I’m guessing you don’t hire Will Yun Lee to not have him bust out some sick martial arts moves at some point.
Sookie spent most of the episode counting Bill’s veins. Sexy. Of course when someone shows up with something she wants, like a cure for her boyfriend’s disease, she demands it at any cost. At least this episode is making a point of Sookie being slightly less stupid, like keeping Sarah gagged. I guess Sarah’s blood only works when drunk straight from the source? But then how come they can synthesize it? It just seems like a syringe would’ve been easier than bringing Bill all the way to Shreveport.
Bill’s last dream showed Sookie as the mother of darkness. It seems that made him hesitant to take his medicine. Or maybe he’s tired of living as a vampire. Or seeing Sookie’s ugly cry-face week after week. Only time—and next week’s episode—will tell.
Next week: The penultimate episode! I’ll be shining my tap-dancing shoes.
True Blood airs Sunday nights at 9 PM E/PT on HBO.
Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com, covering TV and gaming news. She’s also a guest on the latest episode of Wired.com’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast discussing Game of Thrones. And the resident Hannibal fannibal at Boing Boing. Follow her on Twitter @tdelucci