True Blood recap: Fire in the Hole

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As HBO’s fantasy horror progresses, we amble down an unsatisfying and familiar path.

True Blood’s final season continues to clunk along in an attempt to bring closure to every story arc ever and create a back-to-basics (aka season one) feel to a series that ran off the rails long, long ago. In True Blood fashion, the basics involve a lot of superfluous flashbacks, painfully obvious exposition, and a body count. Unfortunately, the series hasn’t been able to shake a lot of its ongoing problems, which include too many characters and a general lack of interest and chemistry in Sookie’s love life. These tendencies are in constant friction, which is sure to be an issue for the rest of the season.

This week’s open re-introduces Sarah Newlin at a yoga retreat in LA, now a brunette going by the name Noomi, because she would start a new life by calling herself New Me. Anna Camp injects her scenes with an infectious, manic energy, so it’s nice to have her back.

The show’s been unable to shake ongoing problems, which include too many characters and a general lack of interest in Sookie’s love life

A series of 1980s France flashbacks introduces a basic French art history major, Sylvie, that Eric was banging for a few days, and tries to pass her off as significant enough for him to offer his own life in exchange for Pam and Sylvie’s safety. Pre-Sookie, Eric never cared about anyone except Godric and Pam (let’s pretend Nora never happened), nor would choosing between Pam and a human have been a difficult decision. Sylvie dies and the whole thing is mostly a waste of time, save for Pam’s 80s hair and a vaguely Rhythm Nation-esque Nan.

Sookie’s got a stupid plan to use herself as bait to locate the kidnapped townspeople, because Bill called her vampire bait once in season one. We get it, True Blood. After being drained while Billith, Bill can’t sense Sookie anymore (blood bonds are super literal), so she throws out her freedom to re-establish the bond. While waiting for the Hep V vamps, Sookie overshares about Alcide loving her more than she loves him and WE GET IT, TRUE BLOOD.

true blood fire in the hole inset

Lafayette and James remain the only romantic couple to have any chemistry at all this season (Pam and Eric have platonic chemistry). James drops by for some weed, but Lafayette is out. Vampires can’t swallow pills, so Lafayette takes an assortment of pills so James will experience it. It also gives Lafayette a reason to say, “I’ll do the swallowing.” They have a grand high time and, after both pass out, James worries Lafayette OD’d. Lafayette asks James if he’s grooving on him, which James is, but it’s complicated because Jessica and probably heteronormativity, so James sort of apologises for being a tease and leaves. Don’t be that guy, James. No one likes that guy.

Lettie Mae is still crazy/high from the vamp blood she ingested last week (which prompted visions of Tara on a cross, because why let Tara rest in peace?). The reverend and Willa have an entirely too long conversation for minor new characters, and he makes Willa leave. Lettie Mae seems likely to be an unlikely hero at some point this season, which is…UGH.

The Bon Temps mob is extra stupid this week, first confronting Sam, then Jason, Andy, Jessica and Violet

The Bon Temps mob is extra stupid this week, first confronting Sam (and killing red shirt sassy gay vamp Matt), then Jason, Andy, Jessica and Violet, which leaves Jessica shot and Mama Fortenberry dead (Violet, heart, bare hands). They scatter, but a few of them show up just as the Hep V vamps are lured by Sookie, who ends up being saved by Alcide and Jason (and the gang). The mob members shoot at everyone and Alcide is hit twice, once in the head. Sookie won’t let them turn him into a vamp.

Eric is content to die, until Pam tells him that Sarah Newlin is alive. Meanwhile, Sarah is grabbing a bottle of post-coital wine in the guru’s wine cellar (authoritative douchebags are her type, apparently), when a goon squad from the Yokonomo corporation (maybe the same that killed Eric’s French chick) comes looking for her and kills the guru.

 

Sidebar:

– Pam always has the best lines: “I am as big a fan of the French vagina as you are, Eric, but come back to Earth.”

– It would be nice to see Hoyt again, even if it’s just him being boring in Alaska or wherever.

– True Blood has always made a clumsy analogue of vampirism and homosexuality (“God Hates Fangs”, vampires coming out of the closet, etc) and Hep V continues to be a clumsy AIDS analogue, most explicitly articulated when Pam tries to convince Eric to want to live. At this point, it’s just embarrassing.

 

Read more: Last week’s True Blood recap

 

All images: HBO

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