True Blood Season 7, Episode 9: “Love is to Die”

Tonight’s episode of True Blood was the second to last. And I’m not just talking about Ginger.

I’ll be here all week, folks. Until next week, when it is the coffin of this mouldering show is lowered into the ground, never to rise again. We hope. The best I can say is that this week’s episode wasn’t outright offensive like last week’s and that it focused more on the romance than the plot. I like character moments, especially if the character is Jessica, but really, this hour was a whole lot of rehashing things that were already spelled out for us two seasons ago.

So while Jason and Eric suffered through some blue balls, True Blood itself couldn’t even tease us with anything truly fun for the finale.

Spoilers and a supernatural deathpools after the cut…

Bill

We opened with a slap-happy Sookie not believing that Bill would let himself die. Silly Sookie, there’s still one episode left in which Bill can sacrifice himself to save your sniveling butt from the clutches of danger. I thought he’d offer more of an explanation for his sudden nihilism beyond a selfless act of love for Sookie. But I guess, despite several seasons of asshole-ery, Bill is the cuddly vampire he pretended to be back in season one, after all.

Finale survival rate: 10%

 

Sookie

Slap, slap, slap. Cry. Bore. At least she admitted she was pretty awful to keep stringing Alcide along as she never got over Bill. I liked her overall conversation with Arlene. (More Keith, please.) Still, I wish the finale wasn’t looking like it’d be centered on the yakuza coming to threaten Sookie or whatever. Yakuza are ruining this last season. Where’s the apocalyptic Hep V infected showdown? Where’s anything relating more to what True Blood’s original mission statement was about—sex and vampire equal rights and friendship and Southern small town camaraderie? We got a glimpse of that at Bellefleur’s, probably for the last time, and I wish we had gotten more this final season.

Finale survival rate: 1o0% Duh.

 

Sam

Why do I feel like Sam can’t run far enough to escape Bon Temps and its drama? Throw in the impending baby, and I have a feeling there’s going to be some sad circle of life knowledge to impart in the name of dramatic irony or something.

Finale survival rate: 50%

 

True Blood Love is to Die

Jason

The slightly more oversexed Stackhouse sibling was my biggest gripe about tonight’s episode. And a good chunk of this season in general. Poor Jason, he really got the short straw. When he gets a bigger slice of story, it’s about terrible werepanther rape. But this season he gets… chronic blue balls from Hoyt’s discarded girlfriend? That’s his big hero’s journey from jocular playboy to awful deputy to… will he sleep with a girl that was introduced at the eleventh hour and have lots of babies? That’s it? What a waste of a good actor. And a character who had so much potential to grow.

Finale survival rate: 85% If they can kill Sookie’s best friend offscreen, what’s protecting the brother she rarely confides in?

 

Jessica

This, too, was lame. I really enjoyed Jessica’s “dark” period in season five, when she was getting her babyvamp wings and admitting to herself that a quiet domestic life of monogamy with Hoyt wasn’t what she wanted at the time. But just a few months later, she’s all grown up and ready to commit? Her long (hopefully) life is still just beginning! I wish Hoyt and his girlfriend never returned. Way to kill a nuanced story with metaphors as subtle as anvils. I never thought Hoyt and Jessica were a perfect couple I hoped would reunite, like Sookie and Bill. Or, for that matter, couples on better written vampire shows. I’m getting distinct Whedonian shades here. Can’t any woman on this show maybe just stay single for awhile, like Pam? Be more like Pam, Jessica.

Finale survival rate: 60%

 

True Blood Love is to Die

Lafayette

This was about all we saw of Lala this week and I made the same face. But the less we see him, the less likely he is to have something fucking tragic happen to him. So there’s that. He also doesn’t have a dog in this finale fight, so I’m hopeful he’ll show up in the last scene to dispense some New Age-y wisdom with a side of sass because, sadly, Lala is an unfortunate caricature with brief flashes of beautiful depth. But, goddamn, I will miss him the most.

Finale survival rate: 100% or else, hookers.

 

Pam

I think I missed something along the way. Why take Sarah back to blonde? Does it matter what “the highest paid trollop in history”’s hair looks like? It’s like Pam had no purpose other than to get threatened with the true death by the yakuza so Eric would cooperate with Mr. Gus. Oh. I see. I really, really thought she’d die tonight.

Finale survival rate: 40% Because it’d give Twitter someone better than Bill to mourn.

 

True Blood Love is to Die

Eric

Finally, a vampire I still love to watch. Blah, blah, yakuza stuff. Whatever. I loved his “Goodnight, Miss Stackhouse” and his general empathy for Bill and Sookie. And Ginger. Oh god, that was so, so hilarious and uncomfortable and just ridiculous. To have Mazzy Star as the soundtrack to her long-awaited lovemaking with Eric was a perfect callback to Ginger’s amazing 90s-era Lisa Loeb look during that first meeting with Eric. Funny as it was, I can’t help but feel cheated that we didn’t get to see Alexander Skarsgård naked on True Blood one last time. If you’re going to go for fan service, you can do much better.

Finale survival rate: 95% Sookie’s got to cry in someone’s arms, right?

 

Next week: The end is nigh! On a scale of Six Feet Under to Dexter, where will True Blood land in the series finale hall of fame?

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

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