“Whatever this is. Whatever you’re doin. You don’t get to hide behind the word fate.”
Friends, friends. I started recapping True Blood here back in 2011, with the previous seasons while waiting for season 4 to start up on HBO and book 11, Dead Reckoning, to be released. (You can read my first review of S1E1 here.) The years haven’t been particularly kind to the show. The first few seasons were a delightful mix of horror and soap opera, but like many great shows, TB got too far up its own ass, abandoning logic, characterization, and internal consistency as it pinballed its way through the Southern Vampire universe. This last season seems to be making a stab at coming back to what made the show work in its infancy, with both literal callouts to previous scenes (Pam’s highlight job on Sarah/NewMe anyone?) and returning to the Big Love SookieNBill4vr romantic subplot. Does it matter that there is no reasonable explanation for Sookie deciding that her abusive and cruel ex is the love of her life, when Alcide had much better abs and Sookie and Eric basically drip chemistry every time they’re on screen together? No. But this is where the show started out and that seemed to work for them, plus romantic doomed love or some such crap, etc, etc., and here we are, one episode from the end. As much as I bitch about True Blood, I still tuned in every week, pirated legally acquired episodes when I moved overseas, and still kept writing these recaps. It did its job. It kept me coming back. And now TB is the first show I’ve written about from its beginning until its bitter end.
So, a short and incomprehensive list of everything I’ve loved about the show so far, and no whining about what I hated: Eric. Pam. Lala. Petulant newly turned Baby Vamp Jessica. That one time Pam and Jessica had a conversation about a hypothetical dead body and the need to buy a theoretical chainsaw. That time Franklin typed “motherfucker” really fast into his cellphone. Ensign Ro as a maenad running around in the Louisiana swamps. Pretty much every time Ginger was on screen. That time Jason got called “dumber than a bag of hair”. That other time he overdosed on V and his penis swelled up the size of an eggplant and he had to have it drained in the hospital. The season Anna Paquin was pregnant in real life so the writers had to give Sookie a plot that didn’t revolve around her taking off her clothes. That time Eric seduced a vampire into explicit on screen gay sex so he could stake him. Russell Fucking Edington, but especially the time he did this:
Pileofmonkeys hates these meta-introductions, by the way, but I’m making her indulge me as we preemptively pour one out for the loss of ASkars’ handsome face on our screens.
“Love is to Die”
The last couple of weeks has been all about the show wrapping up the various secondary character’s subplots so that the last episode can resolve the show’s central romantic plot: Eric-Sookie-Bill. This week ties a couple of bows on a few more favorites and demonstrates that the writers seem to think that the only satisfying ending for everyone is making sure all the characters are romantically paired up. Because, god forbid, a sex addict like Jason Stackhouse never learns that being alone is ok, and can be a fulfilling ending. Basically the only person the show who is a main plot character and is not in a romatic relationship at this point is Pam, and let’s not count out some sort of bizzaro twist next week in which a heretofore unmentioned woman is introduced as Pam’s life partner and/or she and Eric get back together in a pelvic sense. In fact, you guys put bets on this in the comments. We’ll get angry about it next week together.
Jessica, Hoyt, Jason, and this person we literally just met but gets more screentime than Tara did all season, Bridget
Bridget is a scientist, as has been mentioned several times, so of course she totally realizes that Hoyt is being a tremendous douchbag to her since they showed up in his hometown. She also notices that that there seems to have been some sort of connection between Jessica and Hoyt back at Violet’s sex dungeon, and would like her boyfriend to explain what’s going on. Just as Hoyt is insisting that he’s never met Jessica before, and that donating your blood to vampires you don’t know is just the neighborly thing to do in this town, Jessica shows up on their doorstep.
Everyone who likes Hoyt and Jessica together – which includes me, for the record – sort of has to hand wave over how bad their relationship was together at the end, and that Hoyt joined a weird anti vampire militia who kidnapped and tortured Jessica. I mean, ultimately he didn’t kill and torture Jessica when presented with the opportunity, so that counts in his favor. But I’m pretty sure when Jessica tells him their story, she kind of leaves out that part, since she says their breakup was all her fault (and maybe Jason’s a little too).
Bridget called Jason, that delightful idiot, to come pick her up when Hoyt basically dumps her. Jason shows up to be punched in the face by Hoyt, providing a reason for Bridget to “rescue” him, and be alone with him in his house.
Hoyt and Jessica reconnect in the soulful sense, because they are soulmates and do a lot of intense eye contact, and then have super romantic sex together. Tah dah, done, tie a bow on two more characters.
Jason and Bridget do not have sex, but lay platonically in bed together and connect on an emotional level. Tah dah, another bow. The only question mark in this relationship is if they move to Alaska or not, because obviously they’re supposed to be together, since they both want kids. (This is super lazy, TB.)
Hey, guys, remember Sam? He used to be a lead on this show! One time he was important to the plot. If I recall, earlier this season he eventually got around to rescuing Nicole from nasty Hep V vampires. (Hey, what happened to those guys?) Sam decides not to abandon his heavily pregnant wife because she would like to logically move to someplace less dangerous and moves to Chicago. We find all this out via letter reading flashback. Bye Sam. So long.
Bon Temps Survivors
Most of the rest of the cast has been dismissed for the season but this episode couldn’t be all Bill brooding, so we check in with a few other residents via dinner at Bellefluer’s. On account of roving packs of HepV vampires (no, seriously, what happened to those guys?), the bar is tanking. But in keeping with Arlene’s new found outlook on life, the bar is open for business, even if that business is just a bunch of friends eating all her food without paying for it.
Jessica gets to apologize to James for not asking about his life even though, let’s be clear about this, he cheated on her. She also wants to know how things are going with LaLa. Given that their relationship is approximately 20 hours old, things are awesome.
Sookie wet blankets her way through dinner while doing that dramatic sighing thing where you want attention but saying you want attention is too forward, so you lurk around until some softheart comes over to find out what’s wrong. The softheart in this case is Arlene, who gets to hear Sookie recap the plot for us, in case anyone was just tuning in.
Bill, Sookie, Eric
Last week, Bill dramatically choose the true death instead of the cure. This week he doubles down on it, refusing to heal himself even as Sookie points out the people who have to suffer from this choice are Jessica and Sookie. She gets a couple of slaps in a few seasons too late before Eric makes him leave. Also, despite having been released in season 3, which became inconvenient for plot reasons last year and so was ignored, Bill releases Jessica (again).
Because Eric loves Sookie, he attempts to counsel Bill through this trying period of stupidity. Bill reasons that he has done some terrible things to Sookie (he has!) but she’ll keep coming back to him because Fae and vampires are drawn to each other. Like Slayers and vampires, but with more boobs and worse writing. So, he’ll just shuffle off this mortal coil to free her and he makes sure to slip in a stab at Eric by saying that ‘they’ can only bring her death, so Eric doesn’t try to bone her after he’s gone.
But wait! Eric isn’t done playing matchmaker yet, giving Sookie a heart to heart and insisting that she allow Bill to explain his reasoning. Then he romantically flies her back to her house — remember the house he bought and fixed up for her while she was trapped in Fairie, while Bill just spent his own money on himself and why aren’t these two the end game couple again?
He has to console himself with meaningless sex with Ginger, a scene that will definitely get a Hall of Fame rating in this show’s afterlife. Twenty years of anticipation proves to be too much for poor Ginger, who climaxes and collapses before Mazzy Star finishes playing in the background. Eric’s concerned face and sex hair is worth the price of admission.
Back at Fangtasia, Pam gives Sarah/NewMe highlights and a lesson on prostitution, and the gets captured by the Yakuza. AGAIN. She’s not Viking Eric, but she’s not a lightweight, and her constant damseling to force Eric to do something is just insulting. In this case, she’s strapped down under a big Rube Goldberg stake contraption to force Eric to admit that he let Sookie know about the cure, which sets up whatever big action sequence the show will end on.
Next week is it, friends:
All images courtesy of HBO.
5 replies on “New Show Recap: True Blood, S7E9 — “Love is to Die””
He’s still not dead? OH COME ON.
I’ve also been irritated that Pam has been such a damsel in distress — so not her color, darlings. I think that the series will include a nod to Pam’s romantic future by showing her in pursuit of a short-term hookup with a beautiful woman, since that seems to be what Pam prefers above a relationship. I hope they do that because it will be true to character.
I guess you didn’t read the 13th book then. Without spoilers, the show has already done away with the ending of the book series in a very definitive way.
There’s great moments in this episode — everything with Pam in it, Ginger and Eric. Jessica and Hoyt’s reunion. But Pam and Eric carry this show more times than not and I just can’t give a hell if Bill dies or not.
It was indeed definitive. Sometimes it almost feels like the show is mocking the books. What with that, saying Sookie’s name is stupid, and some other little things I can’t recall right now. What do you think?
I was wondering if I should even finish this half-watched ep, but you had me at Ginger and Eric. They both deserve better than this POS shot at this point. I guess the TV show gave up just as the 12th book came out, which also took a giant, steaming shit on all the other ones.