New season, same old story problems.
Greetings fang bangers and hate watchers! Welcome back to Bon Temps for True Blood’s final season. Last season ended with an inexplicable six month leap forward partway through the finale. Time jumps are often a cheap way to quickly rearrange the ensemble and gloss over some narrative shortcomings without all that pesky character development and story planning. True Blood delivered that in droves (Sam’s the mayor! Arlene now manages Merlotte’s! Sookie and Alcide are together in spite of a general lack of chemistry!) and seemed poised to use this freshly reset board game against a new big bad.
Even though the pieces have been rearranged, it’s still playing the exact same game by wasting any potential character growth
That would be roaming packs of
Walking Dead zombies Hep V-infected vampires (aka H Vamps, because V Vamps is awkward and Hep Vamps must be too long). Instead, True Blood returns in media res immediately after last season’s finale and, even though the game pieces have been rearranged, it’s still playing the exact same game by wasting any potential character growth during the leap forward and dividing the ensemble into separate narratives. Pour yourself some sweet tea, and let’s break down what happened with our main characters.
Tara: TARA’S FINALLY DEAD, Y’ALL! Just kidding, a noble offscreen death would be the nicest thing True Blood has done to Tara in a long time, maybe ever. In spite of being the most unreliable narrator in all of Bon Temps (no easy feat), everyone believes Lettie Mae, sobbing over a pool of vamp goo. Even if Tara met the true death, True Blood will probably trot out her spirit or ghost just to continue treating her poorly.
Arlene, Holly, Nicole: These three ladies were kidnapped from the mixer at Merlotte’s and are being held hostage in the Fangtasia basement (sets are expensive, y’all!). It’s unclear why the H Vamps are hoarding food given how weakened Hep V should make them (based on Nora’s experience) and why they would take their food all the way to Shreveport.
Jessica: Jessica, still feeling guilty for killing Andy’s faery daughters (1, 2, and 3), hangs out around the Bellefleur house offering protection Andy doesn’t want. When Andy leaves to search for Holly, she stays to protect Adylin (formerly 4). Adylin opens a window and starts talking to Jessica about her dead sisters and cute boys, but her super amazing fairy smell catches the attention of a passing H Vamp. Jessica stands her ground even as the sun begins to rise and her skin starts smoking. Adylin feels sorry for her and invites her inside to escape the sun, leaving the H Vamp to burn.
Pam: Pam’s still a quippy HBIC and playing competitive vampire Russian roulette in Morocco (which is now in a similar time zone as Bon Temps). Rather than being suicidal, Pam is just looking for information on Eric. It’s disappointing that Pam is so very far from the main narrative.
Bill/Andy and Sam: All looking for the missing townspeople. Yawn.
Jason: Annoyed by Violet frequently emasculating him, so he asserts himself and they have rough sex on the hood of a car.
Lafayette/James: James (now played by Nathan Parsons) is assigned as Lafayette’s protection. Lafayette is numb about Tara’s death and the two bond over a bong, stories of dead loved ones, and a bite.
Sookie/Alcide: After the attack, Sookie hears everyone’s (even Alcide’s) slut shaming thoughts blaming her for literally every supernatural problem in Bon Temps. She walks home, alone, and she and Alcide have a fight and blah, blah, blah, no one cares. At the town meeting the following day, Lettie Mae tells her off and there’s more telepathic slut shaming. Sookie delivers a strange apology/”let me be a hero” monologue like she’s suddenly Buffy Summers or something. Wrong season seven, Sook. And awkward fade to black.
– Lafayette/James is totally going to happen. They’re good together! And it frees up Jessica to get back with Jason (which is going to happen because they aren’t even trying to make Violet a viable romantic option).
– Violet is just a pushy bottom who wanted Jason to assert his masculinity. Why is she even here?
– Jessica gave Adylin her blood to form a blood bond so she’ll always know where Adylin is in order to protect her, which seems amazingly unimportant given the current threat. This must be relevant later in the season and is already boring.
– Adylin points Jessica upstairs because the Bellefleur’s must have a light-proof room on the second floor for no relevant reason.
– How many F Bombs were squeezed into one episode?
All images: HBO