One week on from True Blood’s shockingly good new episode, the wheels have fallen off again.
It certainly didn’t take long for True Blood to get back in its own way. What could have been a moving episode framed around a party to celebrate life and the recently departed turned out to be an aimless mess of illogical moments strung together with clunky, self-righteous progressivism, irrelevant flashbacks, lengthy scenes for extraneous characters, and maybe one minute devoted to eulogising the dead. So basically we’re back to where we were before last week.
The episode was an aimless mess of illogical moments strung together with clunky, self-righteous progressivism
Sookie wakes up to learn that the whole town is coming over to her house to celebrate life rather than mourn those who have recently died. She doesn’t want to party, but is easily convinced to go with it. The party is an overstuffed mess, in part because a significant amount of time is devoted to Andy telling Jessica he wants to move on from the past (she did help save Holly and his remaining daughter), asking her for a ring (what?), Jason and Sookie giving him their grandmother’s ring (why?!), and Andy finally proposing to Holly.
Sookie tears up so Arlene suggests they sneak upstairs for a bit. Arlene comforts Sookie and talks about how she coped with Terry’s death. It’s a welcome change for True Blood to acknowledge the toll of death beyond the initial shock and subsequent funeral. It’s also nice that Arlene says that only time will heal her pain…and tequila.
Jessica doesn’t want to go home with James for sexy times and his confiding in Lafayette results in them finally kissing. It wouldn’t be True Blood if they didn’t immediately have sex in the backseat of a car for Jessica to discover them, so Jason could comfort her. Lafayette gets in a good speech about how he, the queen who keeps them entertained, actually deserves happiness, too, so Jessica should end it with James if she doesn’t love him. Jessica realises Lafayette is right (clearly) and admits this to Jason, who then realises he feels the same about his relationship with Violet (duh), so they kiss and have sex in Sookie’s bedroom (in a chair, thankfully). Violet of course overhears them and makes crazy eyes, and everything is going more or less as expected.
The misadventures of Eric and Pam are consistently good distractions, but even this week they play as an overt attempt to ruffle some real life conservative feathers. Eric needs Willa’s help tracking down Sarah Newlan and, in exchange for Eric releasing her, Willa points them toward Sarah’s vampire sister in Dallas, Amber, who in turn points them toward a gala for Ted Cruz at the Bush Library (so topical!) their parents are attending. Eric and Pam put on some Texas Republican drag and crash the gala.
Eric and Pam are consistently good distractions, but even this week they play as an attempt to ruffle some conservative feathers
So do the Yakuza (because, of course, it’s actually the Yakuza after Sarah), which results in a bunch of foreigners shooting up a conservative political event. It’s a cheap, tacky way of giving social conservatives the finger because the Yakuza would not be nearly that indiscreet in trying to kill Sarah. They kill Sarah’s parents and Sarah runs into Eric’s hand with her throat as she tries to flee. Eric takes out the Yakuza on Sarah’s tail, including ripping off one guy’s jaw, and Sarah survives until next week, at least. So there’s that.
This week’s obligatory flashbacks are about human Bill being a Yankee sympathiser at the start of the Civil War and literally trying to sneak black people to safety. Add this to Bill’s attributing the party’s success (an instance of genuine ‘mainstreaming’) and there’s a weird conflation of vampirism as stand-in for racial and sexual minorities, plus the White Heterosexual Hero figure that’s even more awkward that it sounds. We also learn that Bill is also infected with Hep V. Yawn.
- It seems like everyone in Bon Temps is always thinking about Sookie (which actually sort of explains why she makes everything about herself). Is she like Tinkerbell? If she listens to everyone’s thoughts and no one is thinking about her, will she simply wink out of existence?
- Sarah was involved in developing Hep V, so chances are she’ll pull a cure out of nowhere to save her life/because she’s Buddhist now/because nearly all of the series regular vamps won’t die at the end of the series.
- Bill’s involvement with the Underground Railroad calls back to the hidden tunnel at Fangtasia. Surprise! There could be more tragically inept/laughably terrible allegory ahead!
- Lettie Mae is still after some V for more Tara-visions.
- Nicole spoke the truth about the entire town being crazy and inconsistent, but it was probably because she was the only one still sober.
- Insert trite joke about True Blood being a lost cause.
Read more: Last week’s True Blood recap
All images: HBO