True Blood
True Blood Review: The Beginning of the End

Heather Barefoot | 23 Jun 2014 12:00
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jessica and adilyn

Back at the Bellefleur house, the nameless H-vamp continues to try and reason with Jessica for a taste of Adilyn. In order to keep Adilyn safe, Jessica convinces her to drink her blood so that she will always know where the half-faerie is. Meanwhile, Willa has returned home with Lettie Mae, who drank some of the vampire's blood earlier to deal with an injury and is now having a bad reaction. Thanks to the stress of losing her daughter and the addictive quality of vampire blood bringing out the worst in Lettie Mae, she begins running around the house in search of her dead daughter. Reverend Daniels manages to calm his wife and while Lettie Mae is sleeping, he offers Willa a safe place to stay in the church's basement.

Back in Morocco, Pam continues her search for Eric by following her clues to Najat, a salesman in a marketplace. He offers her the blood of his daughter, as children's blood is the only clean blood in the area, but Pam refuses and instead focuses on information on Eric's whereabouts. She's given a map depicting France and the Rhône river, and leaves to pursue her search.

Andy and Bill head to another abandoned building in search of the vampire nests, but what they find is definitely not what Andy bargained for. Five unfortunate humans have been strung upside-down and drained of their blood, which is a sight Andy can't seem to stomach. He leaves the room and comes face to face with Vince's gang, all of who are now pointing their weapons at Bill. Bill uses his smooth-talking skills to convince the group that Andy sides with them in protest of the vampire-human agreement. Andy, piggybacking on Bill's work, tells Vince that he should be the one to kill Bill, as they have a bad history together. With gun in hand, Andy turns on the group. He convinces the group to leave, thus saving Bill from the anti-vampire group for now.

At Fangtasia, a group of familiar townspeople are chained to a familiar torture device down in the basement. Arlene, Holly, Nicole Wright, Jane Bodehouse, and Deputy Kevin Ellis are all chained to the rotating metal spikes used in earlier seasons by Eric Northman to detain humans accused of buying or selling "V". It's not long before poor Kevin is attacked and drained by an infected vampire, right in front of the captive women.

Outside of Adilyn's house, Jessica and the infected vampire's showdown continues despite the oncoming dawn. Both vampires refuse to leave but as dawn approaches, Adilyn makes the decision to invite Jessica inside. Jessica narrowly prevents herself from biting Adilyn the moment she sets foot inside her house, and instead locks herself up in the attic while the infected vampire burns to a crisp in the sun.

bon temps at church

Sookie heads to Reverend Daniels' church with the rest of the town the next morning, where she is promptly told off by Lettie Mae for even showing up. The rest of the town says nothing, but proceeds to think awful thoughts about Sookie's responsibility for turning Bon Temps into a vampire playground, and finally Sookie addresses the town front and center. She pleads with the townfolk to allow her to use her extensive knowledge of vampires to help search out the infected vampires and make things right in Bon Temps again.

The episode ends in usual True Blood cliffhanger style with Sookie left staring at the church, waiting for a reaction to her plea. Episode one had all the makings of a successful True Blood episode, but never quite seemed to peak. I believe this episode would have benefited from more refreshers, even though that's not necessarily the style of this series. There were attempts to remind us of each newer character like Willa and Violet in natural ways, including conversation between characters, but with an ensemble cast like this, more of an overview could have been helpful.

At the very least, a stronger explanation Jessica and James' relationship would have helped. His entire first episode was spent away from Jessica, who is the only connection we have to James in the first place. With a new actor portraying James, a stronger refresher of his relationship with Jessica would have really cemented James as a strong character in this season.

This episode had everything going for it but in the end, it just felt forced. Even the sex scenes, which True Blood is known for, felt obligatory. Jason and Violet's scene, which should have ranked up there in True Blood history as one of the best considering their backstory, and Alcide and Sookie's both felt extremely tame for what I've come to expect from this series.

Despite the lack of the steamy scenes, the real issue I have is with the depiction of Tara's death. We experienced the death of one major character and almost no one seemed phased by it. We've all seen Sookie scream her lungs out for things that warranted much less, but Tara's death barely seemed to register for anyone other than Lettie Mae. The nonchalance felt like a slap to Tara's character and overall just unbelievable for many reactions from the townsfolk in Bon Temps. I'm still holding out hope that True Blood's final season will accelerate and give the show the send-off it deserves, but this episode didn't really instill a lot of faith for a stellar season.

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