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True Blood recap: Karma

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True Blood continues to walk a tightrope between schlocky entertainment and boring madness in episode six.

Bless Sarah Newlin. Not only did she manage to provide an easy out for the main conflict facing the rest of the season, she brought some much needed humour to a largely downer episode. Karma also lacked superfluous flashbacks and kept the extraneous characters mostly out the picture. In many ways, things are looking up for the rest of the season, but there are still a few plotlines that could cause trouble.

In many ways, with Karma, things are looking up for the rest of the season, but there are still a few plotlines that could cause trouble

Karma opens where last week’s episode left off, with Eric still clutching the jawbone he tore from a Yakuza’s face and Sarah nowhere in sight. Dazed from the exertion in his weakened condition, Eric and Pam are captured by the Yakuza and taken to the Yakonomo headquarters in candy-coloured street racing cars (in formation, no less), in case we forgot they are Japanese stereotypes. They have until sunrise to make a deal with Gus Jr, North American President of Yakonomo Corp. Eric and Gus Jr quibble over who gets to kill Sarah, while Pam is the voice of reason (of course) and an agreement is made that they will pursue Sarah at her sister’s home that evening.

Meanwhile, Bill decides to be responsible and update his will now that he’s Hep V+, by contacting the first and only lawyer he finds on the internet. One would think that, as a best-selling author and former (?) King of Louisiana, he’d at least have a lawyer on retainer. True Blood temporarily remembered that vampires have super hearing, so Jessica overhears him on the phone as she returns from the party. The lawyer’s waiting room is packed with Hep V+ vamps, making this maybe the first time True Blood has managed to successfully depict the broader vampire community. As Bill waits, the diseased veins spread to his arms. He ends up killing the lawyer because she’s fleecing the Hep V vamps.

true blood karma inset

Jessica calls Jason and asks him to bring Sookie over, and she informs them of Bill’s Hep V status. Sookie thinks back to the night Alcide died, when she cut open her arm to lure the vampires and was sprayed with blood when one was killed. Realising she was likely the source of infection, she asks Jason to drive her to the clinic for testing. Sookie tests positive and gets to shoulder the burden of knowing that one night of her choices resulted in death sentences for two of the men she loves. This is pretty much the most effective Sookie has ever been at anything.

Sookie gets to shoulder the burden of knowing she resulted in death sentences for two of the men she loves. This is pretty much the most effective Sookie has been at anything

Like a cockroach, Sarah managed to escape the gala and breaks into Amber’s house for shelter. Amber, not keen on seeing her sister alive, tries to kill Sarah but collapses from Hep V fatigue. When she comes to, Sarah tries to sell Amber her Noomi redemption story and reveals that she is the cure for Hep V (well, she drank the cure while fleeing the compound). Sarah is among True Blood’s best-realised characters, because her brand of zealotry, ambition, and self-delusion make it totally believable for her to switch from being anti-vamp to considering herself nearly a messiah figure. She cures Amber, which is a surprise when Eric, Pam, and the Yakuza show up that night.

Lafayette indulges Lettie Mae on a V trip (thanks to James’s blood) to show that she’s crazy, but they share a vision of Tara. There are snakes, crosses, and lots of slow motion running in a flowy white dress. She leads them to her childhood home before the Reverend interrupts their trip. Hopefully this story doesn’t link to a major plotline in any way.

Andy catches Adilyn and Wade having sex and he and Holly fight about it. It’s all a set up for Adilyn and Wade to run off, and a pissed off Violet to lead them away to use to get back at Jason and Jessica. This is boring already.

 

Sidebar:

  • Nicole and Sam are still around and completely forgettable. She speaks the truth though: “You, you’re the mayor of crazy town!”
  • Given True Blood’s track record, the appropriation of HIV/AIDS prevention materials in the clinic seems cheap and unearned. After all, it was only a few episodes ago that the Hep V vamps were wandering mobs of monsters, one of which the gang slaughtered just two days earlier.
  • Amber: “You can’t just dye your hair and blow a guru and absolve yourself of all the horrific shit you have done in your life.” Sarah: “See, that’s where you’re wrong!”

 

Read more: Last week’s True Blood recap

 

All images: HBO

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