True Blood Review: We Didn’t See That One Coming

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The threads of season 7 are wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean True Blood doesn’t have any more surprises in store.

Last week on True Blood:

  • Violet’s offer of sanctuary for Adilyn and Wade turned sour.
  • Eric and Pam kept trying to track down Sarah Newlin.
  • Bill and Sookie reunited thanks to his now limited lifespan.

The game of cat-and-mouse is finally over for Pam, Eric, and Sarah. Meanwhile, Jason’s attempt to destroy Violet backfires as a new savior shows up for the rescue.

There’s only two episodes left in the farewell season. Watch True Blood Sundays at 9 PM ET on HBO GO.

Now let’s dive in to episode eight: Almost Home.

Closure for The Thorntons.
After last week’s disappointing episode, I’m relieved to see more of the Lettie Mae/Tara storyline. At Tara’s childhood home, Lafayette and Lettie Mae are still digging up the yard in search of Tara’s mystery item. Reasonably, the new owners are none-too-pleased with the destruction of their property. They call Reverend Daniels to come claim his addict wife, but Lettie Mae instead convinces him to join them on their journey to discover Tara’s message. The trio drinks from James then follows Tara into the house and straight into a flashback of Tara’s childhood birthday party.

It seems quaint at first, a birthday party where Tara is happily surrounded by her friends and loving, caring mother, but that perfection doesn’t last long. Tara’s abusive father shows up and the tone of the flashback gets heavy really quickly. In the midst of physically abusing his wife, he goes on a rampage looking for his gun. Little does he know that Tara has his gun and intends to shoot her father. She comes close, but she’s extremely young and obviously frightened so she opts for plan B: burying the gun in the yard.

The flashback ends and Tara’s message is finally clear. After a round of heart-breaking apologies for all the pain they’ve caused each other, Tara makes her mother promise to forgive herself and move on with her life. With that, Tara is gone but she leaves behind a stronger, more complete family. Lettie Mae now has permission to forgive herself and live her life happily and without suffering. It’s one hell of an emotional scene, but it’s so rewarding to see that closure for Lettie Mae and the Thornton family. I’m just thankful Tara’s story was resolved with as happy an ending as possible, since her death in episode one was so unceremonious.

violet and wade

A New Hero.
Jason has a certain skill for getting himself in the most awkward situations possible. This time he’s in the middle of an argument between Hoyt and his girlfriend Brigette when he receives essentially two ransom texts form Violet showing a tortured Adilyn and Jessica. He and Brigette, who stubbornly quarantines herself in Jason’s car, head to Violet’s manor on a rescue mission.

Once at the manor, Jason leaves Brigette in his car, armed with a gun with wooden bullets, and heads inside to find his friends. Of course, it’s not long before Violet finds him and has him strapped up to one of her many torture devices, just like Wade, Adilyn and Jessica. Violet goes on a lengthy rant about the order and manner of who dies first, including some extremely cringe-worthy plans for Adilyn and Jessica, but before she can truly harm anyone, she’s shot in the heart by…Hoyt.

I was not expecting Hoyt to be the one to come to the rescue. I was assuming that the group would have to endure some torture at the hands of this batshit-crazy vampire until Andy and Holly arrived, but Hoyt’s arrival is a nice surprise. Generally I’d play devil’s advocate and ask why Brigette, armed with a gun full of wooden bullets, couldn’t have shot Violet the same way Hoyt did, but I don’t feel a need to this time for two reasons. One, Brigette lives in Alaska where she admits they don’t have a vampire problem because of the convenient daylight situation. She’s likely never had to deal with vampires and wouldn’t feel a need to put her life in danger for a group of people she’s never met before. Two, and most importantly, Hoyt has been a part of the Bon Temps family since the very beginning. Since he’s one of the only principle characters to leave the series without dying, it’s more poignant to see him swoop in and kick some ass than someone we’ve only just met.

After the rescue, Jason drives Jessica back to the Compton house where Jessica admits that she’s always taken Jason, as a person, seriously. As this validation is one of Jason’s major issues this season, it’s nice to see the residents of Bon Temps finally believing in Jason a little bit more.

The next day, Hoyt finds Jason at Bellefleur’s and admits he’s been thinking about Jessica nonstop since saving her the previous night. Hoyt then heads to Jessica’s house and gives her a bag of his own, clean blood for Bill’s dinner, which is basically the most thoughtful gift anyone can give in Bon Temps.

It’s not surprising that the Jessica/Hoyt relationship is in play again and the naïve part of me wants to believe that it’s possible they could be together happily, but logically I don’t think it would work out. Despite having the major obstacle of their relationship, Maxine Fortenberry, out of the way, Jessica has grown and changed exponentially since Hoyt’s departure. She’s not the starry-eyed girl Hoyt knew before and even though he might feel like a safety blanket for Jessica, I just don’t foresee them being able to pick up where they left off. Plus she glamoured him, which is probably hard to get over even though Hoyt asked for it.

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Eric, Pam and New Blood.
Finally Pam and Eric come face to face with Sarah Newlin. She babbles on about being the messiah for a while before Eric digs his teeth into her and drinks her blood, instantly curing him of Hep-V.

Back at Fangtasia, Mr. Gus informs Pam and Eric that the whole point of New Blood, the product they’re creating from Sarah Newlin’s antidote blood, is to be a “healthy habit, not a cure” for Hep-V. This will ensure long-lasting profitability for Yakonomo Corp, as all Hep-V vampires would have to continually purchase New Blood just to stay alive.

Despite an order to tell no one of the cure, Eric decides to seek out Sookie to let her know that he’s fully healed. She immediately pleads with Eric to provide the antidote for Bill and Eric promises to return the next night with something, but doesn’t explain what.

Not taking no for an answer is Sookie’s specialty. She drives straight to Fangtasia and finds herself surrounded by Yakuza. Eric tries to downplay Sookie’s significance to Mr. Gus by calling her a simple fangbanger, but he’s not buying it. Eric does manage to convince Mr. Gus to let him glamour Sookie instead of killing her on sight. While Sookie plays along, she picks up some interesting intel from Mr. Gus’ thoughts, which leads her right to Fangtasia’s basement and Sarah Newlin herself.

Using her faerie powers, Sookie probes Sarah’s mind and finds out that she’s face to face with the cure itself. Wasting no time, she gathers Bill and Jessica, taking them to Fangtasia where Pam and Eric have a similar plan to get Sarah Newlin’s blood to Bill. Unbeknownst to them, Bill has other ideas and the episode ends with him refusing to drink Sarah’s blood and cure himself of Hep-V.

It seems like Bill’s resigned to his mortality now and I don’t know if I can blame him. He’s been alive for a really, really long time and has seen his share of pain and suffering. I’m sure plenty of people would prefer to see him stay alive long enough to wait out Sookie’s lifespan, or even change her and live happily ever after in his giant manor, but I can see Bill’s perspective on this. Despite the fact that his extended lifespan has let him see much more than anyone could dream of, Bill never wanted to be a vampire and I can only assume he’s exhausted with the life he has now. He’s been through several wars and I don’t see him wanting to rebuild the ruins left over from the Hep-V battlefield.

In general, this episode was decent. It’s nice to see Hoyt play such a big role again and thankfully Lettie Mae got some closure, but otherwise the episode was just ok. The good news? We’re only two away from the end of the season, so hang in there for just a couple more Sundays.

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