Monday, August 12, 2013

True Blood, Season 6, Episode 9: Life Matters

Warlow is near dead from blood loss and Bill wants the rest of it. Sookie is not amused by this – Eric has ruined their deal and since Billith is the “god of all vampires” it’s time he dealt with his vampire. She feeds Warlow her blood (also OW, drawing blood on your arm with blunt human teeth gotta hurt) and slaps Billith down AGAIN for getting all fangy about it. Bill grabs Warlow as he begins to recover but Sookie tells Billith where to go and points out Eric currently has more of Warlow’s blood than Warlow does. And she zap Billith out of faerie land with her light.

I quite like this season’s Sookie. A good deal less spunky, a good deal more edgy.

At Terry’s funeral, Arlene got her way on the reverend, but it looks like Caroline got her way with the military honours. Sookie checks on Warlow and he seems to be all better. She reiterates that she’s willing to be with him, she promised – and then she sets off for Terry’s funeral (where one of the elderly guests calls her a weirdo) meeting with Arlene, Alcide and random other Bon Temps residents. The reverend makes a beautiful speech followed by Andy making a speech about how the war cost Terry and how Terry disappeared into the woods after coming home and Andy went to convince him to come back. Followed by Sam talking about Terry as a friend and employee (after Andy got Terry a job with him) with more flashbacks of Terry fishing – but unable to kill what he catches.

Lafayette gets up next (to nasty commentary from the elderly prejudiced woman – doesn’t every family have one? ), nervously to add to Terry’s back story and Lafayette taking Terry under his wing. He’s followed by Portia. With her finished and no-one else to speak, the Rev invites Arlene up to speak but Sookie hears her thoughts and realises Arlene isn’t ready, she can’t do it. Sookie speaks up to step forward to give Arlene more time. Arlene mentally asks if Sookie was listening to her thoughts and Sookie nods; they smile at each other. At the podium, Sookie reveals what most of the town already knows – she’s a telepath – and tells Arlene what Terry was thinking when he first saw her – how pretty he thought she was and Sookie tells Arlene that Terry loved her from the very first second they met.

Arlene’s turn and she talks about Terry comforting her insecurities – after everyone else talked about how they propped up Terry.

Next to speak up is Big John Dixon (cue awful, elderly confused woman to say something terrible). He also works at Merlotte’s with Terry – and, not being good with words, he sings for Terry.

The soldiers have their salute – Arlene jerking with every shot – but Arlene’s thoughts reveal she was ok with the military aspect, it wasn’t as bad as she feared.

While the funeral is going on, a lot of action happens at the vampire prison

Full of Warlow blood Eric goes for a daytime jaunt to the vampire prison. Fangs out. They’re not expecting a day walking 1,000 year old vampire and he slices and dices them merrily.  Billith arrives in the very very very messy aftermath. Eric’s inside, using severed arms to bypass security and rips off the nasty sadistic doctor’s genitals. Literally.

From there, Eric releases the general male vampire population – who all run. They blur out the room and we hear screaming suggesting they’ve found some more of the guards or operators of the prison. Except one kid who won’t leave without his maker – who is in one of the bed/drawers infected with Hep V and dying. Eric tells the kid his maker will die a horrible death and it’s his choice if he wants to watch – but he’s free to go.

Billith follows in Eric’s wake and finds the agonised doctor – and stomps on his head after hearing he hurt Jessica. He moves through the prison where vampires are killing and torturing their tormentors – forcing them to endure what they inflicted.

Eric moves on to female gen-pop and lets them out as well – more blurs, leaving Jason behind and he tells Eric that Willa, Jessica, Tara and Pam have all been taken away. Eric isn’t the biggest fan of Jason given the hateful anti-vamp rhetoric he has spouted lately, but he heals him to be a useful guide. Jason doesn’t seem bothered by the massacred guards, but hiding under the piles of bodies is Sarah Newlin, still not dead.

Eric finds the doctor who tries to aggravate Eric by revealing he had sex with Pam so Pam would be released from solitary confinement. Eric is outraged – but doesn’t kill him and drags him along so Pam can do it.

And they find Ginger – Eric recognises her scream. Poor Ginger.

Billith still can’t find Eric but he remembers what Sookie said and realises that he, Billith, also has Warlow’s blood in his system. He heads to the white room

Sarah, having well and truly lost the plot, staggers to the top of the prison, praying feverishly. She starts to open the skylight over the white room. But in the White room, Billith is in the middle of the vampires – and they’re feeding on him. The sun doesn’t burn them. Except Steve Newlin who is dithering pathetically around the edge of the crowd. Eric, Jason and the doc arrive at the observation room and look in, seeing what’s happening. Eric leaves the doc with Jason and opens the door, catching Steve as he tries to run and forcing him back into the sunlight. Eric says every time he’s lose someone he’s loved, Steve has been there – and that he’s a turncoat.

Sarah looks down and sees no-one’s burning except Steve – his last words are “I love you – Jason Stackhouse” (causing the viewing Jason to recoil). Yes, even his death is a joke. He dies into a spatter of blood and Ginger (in the viewing room) screams – because it’s what she does.

The vampires have a party in the sunlight, revelling in it (Pam dances with the doctor’s body), adoring it. And Pam asks the important question “have we killed everyone who needs to be killed?” You can always rely on Pam to be practical like that. Jason says “all except one” and hurries out (Ginger, left behind, screams, as she does). Jason catches up with the running Sarah outside and tackles her (she’s “too slow” and “too evil”) and disarms her.

Inter-cut with Big John’s beautiful singing, Sarah invokes god and Jason not being a killer while Jason snarls at her for presuming to speak for god – and says he’s not killing her, Jesus is; after all, if she gets to use god to excuse her murders, why can’t he? She asks what will become of his soul – he says he doesn’t know, but at least he has one.

But he can’t do it. He says he doesn’t want any more blood on his hands, not even hers – and lets her go (personally I’d have fed her to the nearest peckish vampire).

The vampires frolic out into the sunlight, (with Ginger as well) using their super strength to destroy the tainted True Blood. This is cut with, in Honolulu, a True Blood delivery being ambushed by vampires and its stock stolen. To be destroyed or drunk?

Billith is so weakened he lays on the floor – and the three naked blood stained Lillith-emissaries appear and tell him to hush. They tell him his time on Earth is over; but he refuses to go anywhere and summons Jessica. Jessica and James arrive to find him arguing with his invisible hallucinations. James comes up with the idea of letting him drink from them, giving back some of the blood they took.

Billith come out into the sun with Jessica, everyone gathers round to thank him. Jessica says to take the party to their place (Ginger offers to feed them all – is it wrong to kinda like Ginger?) and Violet reminds Jason that he’s still hers. Pam pauses to see Eric, stood alone; she says, “don’t you dare leave me,” and Eric zooms up into the sky.

Where’s James? Did Billith kill him to be strong?

Eric is outraged over the doctor sleeping with Pam. While this can be interpreted as Eric being the outraged father figure, furious that a man had sex with his daughter; I don’t think that is what we’re seeing here. Pam is a prisoner in a facility were abuse, torture and killing vampires is common place. Any consent is dubious and outright rape and sexual assault are not uncommon – he’s furious because the implication is the doctor raped Pam. This is not an inaccurate interpretation of what happened either, given the power differentials and Pam actively seducing the doc to try and gain some power and control over the sessions in which she had none. This is backed up by Eric not killing the doc but deciding Pam has the right.

Steve’s death? I am glad he’s gone – he’s a walking offensive stereotype to be mocked and ridiculed and provide endless homophobic or borderline homophobic comic relief. He’s Talbot #2 and just as reprehensible; even his death was supposed to be comic. My only hope is they don’t dig up another trope laden gay caricature for laughs again.

Big John’s song and Jason’s confronting of Sarah may be one of the most powerful scenes we’ve ever had on True Blood.

I loved the epic destruction of the prison – the sheer destructive goriness of it and the visceral satisfaction of the vengeance was a joy to behold – and cut incredibly jarringly (in a good way) with the sombre, painful and moving funeral.

So what about Hep V? Has it all been destroyed? Did the vamps who drank the True Blood but didn’t catch it carry it? Did those vampires in Honolulu destroy the tainted blood or steal it? And where did Eric go? We got a few questions yet.