True Blood Review: Vampires Aren’t the Only Ones Biding Time

hoyt jason and brigette sandwich

Unfortunately, one strong episode does not a good season make.

Here’s what we learned on last week’s True Blood:

  • Sookie, a carrier of Hep-V, infected Bill, whose illness is escalating rapidly.
  • Sarah Newlin drank the only existing antidote to Hep-V and is now the savior of the vampire race.

While Eric and Pam continue to hunt Sarah Newlin, Sookie searches for a miracle. Meanwhile, Adilyn and Wade learn a lesson in trust the hard way.

We’re getting close to the end here, folks. Check out the final season of True Blood Sundays at 9 PM ET on HBO or HBO GO.

Now, episode seven: May Be the Last Time.

The trouble with faeries.
Holly and Andy spend this episode on a mad hunt for their children, who’ve run away to rebel against their parents and bask in their love for one another. The two teens follow Violet, unsuspectingly, to the vampire’s giant manor home. Typical of Violet, the manor is stocked with exotic taxidermy and a plethora of erotic toys hidden away in a secret sex room (why am I not surprised?), which Violet lends to the hormone-ridden teens.

The couple forgoes any of the numerous aids, but Violet intends to show them how versatile her toys can be. After nightfall on the second night, Violet attacks the couple, shooing Wade away like a fly and handcuffing Adilyn to the bed. Logically Violet will probably plan to drink from Adilyn, if not drain her completely. As a faerie, Adilyn is nearly irresistible to vampires but with Violet on a warpath after her betrayal from Jason, it’s possible she has other plans.

Lessons in Awkwardness with Jason Stackhouse.
It’s a long way from Alaska to Louisiana but Hoyt Fortenberry finally manages to show up in his hometown. With a gorgeous girlfriend in tow, Hoyt arrives first at Bellefleur’s for breakfast, where he runs into Arlene. Everyone’s favorite busybody notices that Hoyt doesn’t seem to remember a single thing about his best friend Jason Stackhouse and decides to give the Deputy a call. Before long, Jason arrives and falls headfirst into his most awkward set of scenes yet. He joins the couple for breakfast, only after ogling Hoyt’s girlfriend, but the real kicker comes when Jason finds himself in a Hoyt/Brigette sandwich hug at the morgue. This is the result of Jason explaining to Hoyt the circumstances of his mother’s passing, which include Jason lying about Maxine’s involvement with the angry mob and about destroying Maxine’s murderer, Violet.

What is the most uncomfortable of all is the fact that these scenes had to be awkward in the first place. Any scene involving Hoyt would have been uncomfortable on Jason’s end since Hoyt’s memory of his best friend has been glamoured away, but tossing in the bombshell of a girlfriend for Jason to lose his cool over just feels insulting to Jason’s progress as a character throughout this season.

sookie and bill

The OTP is back.
At the Compton residence, Sookie and Jessica have sequestered themselves with an increasingly-ill Bill. Sookie latches on pretty quickly to the fact that not only did she infect Bill with Hep-V; it’s her faerie blood that’s making his infection spread so rapidly. Bill seems resigned to his death, but of course Sookie isn’t so accepting. Instead she’s intent on finding a miracle for Bill.

Yet again we spend a decent amount of time in Bill’s flashbacks, this time to 1855. Like Eric’s flashbacks earlier this season, these are pretty to watch with beautiful costumes, but unlike Eric’s, these aren’t necessary for the overall plot. They essentially feel like filler, which unfortunately is a sentiment for the episode, and the season, overall.

While Bill sleeps, Sookie decides to call on a blast from the past for help: Dr. Ludwig, who helped Sookie after she was attacked by Maryann the Maenad in season 2, is called in for assistance. The good doctor informs Sookie that she’s seen faerie blood escalate Hep-V before, but she’s never seen it work as quickly as it has on Bill. Come to find out, Sookie’s potent royal faerie blood is the cause of Bill’s escalating illness.

Desperate, Sookie calls upon her great-times-a-thousand grandfather Niall for help but per usual, he’s not very helpful. Instead of doing anything of worth, he decides to give Sookie a life lesson about magic. According to him, the ordinary things in life, including birth and death, are magical but apparently no magic can help Bill’s predicament. I’m not all that surprised by Niall’s parenting skills since he hasn’t really been a great mentor to the Stackhouse kids before, either.

But never fear, Bill and Sookie fans. Even though it doesn’t look good for Bill, you can finally get your fix of the OTP. Sookie throws on her best white sundress and bounces her way over to Bill’s house where she informs him that she’s sticking with him through his illness. Then they have sex for the first (and possibly last) time this season.

Eric and Pam Continue the Hunt.
Pam, Eric, and Mr. Gus Jr. find Sarah’s sister Amber at her Texas home, fully healed of Hep-V. Unfortunately for Amber, she refuses to give over any information on her sister’s location, In a fit of rage, Eric stakes Amber into a bloody mess, thus eliminating contact with the one person who had any information on Sarah’s whereabouts. Smooth move, Eric.

Ever the businessman, Mr. Gus Jr. offers Eric a new proposition. After the capture of Sarah Newlin, Yakonomo Corp. plans to synthesize her miracle blood and distribute it across the globe as New Blood. Naturally, he wants Eric to serve as the spokesperson for his miracle cure, and Eric reluctantly agrees. Although it’s a pretty obvious plot point, I can live with it as it will ultimately bring us closer to the end goal of Sarah Newlin’s capture.

eric and pam

The Fragile State of Sarah Newlin.
As Sarah continues to run for her life, she winds up at the Light of Day Institute. There we begin to see cracks in Sarah’s mind. She conjures up an image of Jason Stackhouse, who cautions her to be ready to die at Eric Northman’s hands. Meanwhile, the Yakuza have discovered Sarah’s location via satellite, but don’t ask me how as the logistics aren’t really explained. Instead they just seem to miraculously find her, which is ridiculous. Could we not have used some of Bill’s flashback time to explain how the Yakuza managed to hone in on Sarah Newlin instead of just relying on convenience and apathy?

While the anti-Sarah team makes its way to the Light of Day Institute, Sarah’s mental state becomes even more fragile. This time her breakdown features Jason, her ex-husband Steve Newlin, and her most recent lover, guru Sanbir. In light of her impending doom, Steve and Sanbir each try to persuade Sarah to choose their religions to ensure the safety of her soul. However, she refuses their advice and picks her own path as the modern-day messiah instead. Jason’s role is to inform her again that death is coming and his cautionary words are emphasized by the sound of the Yakuza’s speeding cars.

The scene with Sarah and her ex-lovers is the most interesting part of the episode to watch. She’s very obviously cracked and while it’s probably all in her head, I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t something in that Hep-V antidote that’s now screwing with her system. It’d be a fitting end to see Sarah Newlin driven insane by her own desires for greed and self-preservation, but I’d rather see what Eric has in store for her. Also Steve’s quick return as an intense evangelical preacher is definitely the most successful cameo this season.

Seven down, three to go.
Episode six had renewed my faith in this season. I naively thought that we might be in track for a powerful third act. Sadly, I was mistaken. Episode seven felt just as painfully slow and unnecessary as the majority of this season has, and it successfully dashed my remaining hopes that True Blood’s final season might come around to something worthwhile.

It feels like a season full of filler episodes and with only ten episodes total, that’s a real problem. I’d wager that everything important about this season could be wrapped up in five or six episodes total, which has left a lot of room for unnecessary flashbacks and an long game of cat-and-mouse between Sarah and Eric Northman. It’s hard to appreciate this fanfare when episode after episode continues to simply drag on. Although I am curious about Violet’s entrance into the villainy big leagues, my only real remaining hope lies with Lettie Mae and Lafayette. Through Tara’s guidance, I hope they discover something intriguing at her childhood home and redeem this season somewhat. Otherwise, the vampires aren’t the only ones biding their time in Bon Temps.

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