Tuesday, July 15, 2014

True Blood, Season Seven, Episode Four: Death Is Not the End

This episode begins with Sookie calling Jackson Herveaux to inform him of Alcide's death.  Jackson of course takes the time to reveal that though he and Alcide weren't close, the one thing he knew for sure is that Alcide loved him some Sookie.  We're less than two minutes in and I am already ready to scream we get it already. In the meantime, Jason is on the phone informing Hoyt that his mother is gone.  Hoyt is so filled with pain and guilt and so Jason tries to comfort him like a best friend should but this causes confusion because of course, Hoyt has had his memory erased. Jason is rightfully upset about the call but can his sister take two minutes to comfort him? Why of course not. If Sookie is not crying, then no one is allowed to cry. This isn't about Sookie after all, so it cannot possibly be important. Instead, Sookie reminds him that Andy is at home with Holly and that the people of the town are looking to Jason because he now represents the law.  I don't know about you, but if I were a citizen of Bon Temps, Jason Stackhouse being in charge would not comfort me one bit. I'd be sure my goose was cooked.

Eric and Pam are on a plane and the stewardess, who also functions as the in-flight meal for Eric, informs him that they are headed for Baton Rouge Louisiana. It seems that Pam believes that if Sarah, (oh great embracer of religion) might reach out to senator Finch. Eric however orders the plane to land in Shreveport to connect with Willa.  Pam points out that Eric abandoned her and he and that she probably hates Eric like Tara hated her. Eric however will not be deterred from reaching out to his progeny. Eric then callously informs the flight attendant Victoria that she is now a carrier of the Hep V virus.  Victoria understandably gets upset because Eric knowingly infected her and now she can no longer perform her job.  Eric being Eric doesn't give a shit though.

Then it's time for a flashback; the device the writers seem to be overly found of this season.  Here we learn that Pam and Eric end up in Shrevport as part of a  punishment issued by the magistrate of the Authority. This is before humans are aware that vampires actually exist, so they end up running video rental store. Obviously, Pam and Eric are not pleased by this turn of events but because of their actions and identity, the Authority has decided that they need watching.  This is how Eric becomes a sheriff.

Sookie, Jason and Sam all arrive at Andy's house and Sookie takes the time to talk to Colby and Lisa, who are Arlene's kids.  Both kids are obviously worried about their mother and tired of being treated like they don't understand what is going on.  Sookie rides in on her white horse and decides to promise these two that she will bring Arlene back safe and sound. This is where Sookie decides that she is going to help Holly get her memory back.

Jason and Sam argue with Andy about questioning Holly, when Sookie barges in claiming that she can make Holly remember. Andy argues to protect Holly but Sookie is on the it's all about me train and tells Andy that he is not going to stop her from delivering on her promise. With Andy out of the way, Sookie starts to question Holly, even though Holly does not want to recover her memories.  What's a little more added trauma right?  Sookie leads Holly backward and she begins to get images of the things that she has seen and lived through. Holly pulls back in horror saying that she cannot do this but Sookie is insistent and forces her to remember. From Holly's descriptions they learn that Kevin didn't make it and that everyone is being held at Fangtasia.  Holly is distraught, so Sookie briefly apologises and tells Andy to hold Holly. Sookie decides that it is time for her to head to Bill's to formulate a plan. Gee I hope it's as brilliant as her least big plan to save the people of Bon Temps.

Sam and Jason are driving and Jason tells a worried Sam that he is sure that Nicole and the baby are okay. Sam points out that because they have not actually seen Nicole, there is no way to be sure that she is actually safe. Sam turns the car viciously towards Fangtasia but Jason is adamant that they need to head to Rosie's on official business and reminds Sam of his responsibilities as mayor of Bon Temps. Sam refuses to turn around, so Jason pulls out his gun and points it at Sam saying that he is protecting both Sam and his family. Sam slams on the breaks and tells Jason to drive because he doesn't want to be the one driving away from his family.

Jessica is lying in bed whimpering from the pain of her wounds which aren't healing. James tells Jessica that she is being ridiculous and has to eat.  When Jessica refuses, James hops out of bed to get Bill. That's right, go get daddy. James tells Bill that Jessica hasn't eaten in ten weeks.  Bill is concerned that this is about Jessica eating Adalind's sisters but Jessica assures Bill that she has a good relationship with Adalind now and has even been invited into the home. Bill learns that even though Jessica is providing protection, she is not being fed.

Sookie of course barges right in because when it comes to her ringing the door bell or knocking, are only suggestions. Jessica calls out to Sookie that she is getting an intervention and talks about killing Adalind's sister. Sookie offers herself for food but Jessica points out that Sookie is a fairy.  Finally, Sookie asks James and Bill to leave the room because apparently, she has the answer to soothe Jessica and convince her to eat. At this moment, you might think that Sookie is actually going to listen to someone and make the situation about someone else's feelings but you would be wrong.  This is after all Sookie Stackhouse we are talking about. Sookie tells Jessica that she doesn't give a shit why she isn't eating and that Andy's dead daughters are just the tip of the iceburg. Sookie lists a few of the dead and she includes  Jessica on the list and follows that up by saying, "I just don't give a fuck about you or your problems." Wow, don't you wish that you had a friend as loving as that? Sookie demands that Jessica help because she has been good to her. A cowed Jessica agrees and says that she won't drink Sookie's blood.  Sookie barges out of the room and orders James to call Lafayette and after hearing James's thoughts, suggests that he to needs to have a conversation with Jessica.

It's flashback time and this time we see Ginger entering the video store to rent vampire videos for a paper she is writing for university.  It seems that in her class, the vampire is being set up as the "other". Is that True Blood's way subtly explaining to the viewer what has been obvious since the early episodes of the first season? Eric makes his entrance and Ginger gasps and practically drools.  Ginger notices the help wanted sign and immediately asks for an application.

Jason and Sam arrive at Rosie's house and Rosie immediately questions whether or not she is under arrest due to the little uprising the townsfolk staged.  Sam assures Rosie that this is not going to happen and even adds that they plan on letting it go.  Instead of being magnanimous, Rosie calls Sam a freak and asks why he is being so nice. Jason then informs Rosie that Kevin is dead. Sam and Jason tell Rosie that Bill is going to martial all of the vampires and that together, Kevin will be avenged.

Bill and Sookie chat and he informs her that he will call on as many vampires as he can but they will still be badly outnumbered.  Bill reminds Sookie that the vampires participating tonight have nothing to gain from it and that he is only going along for the ride because he owes Sookie everything. Does your head hurt? I am for one am tired of being hit over the head with whole Bill and Sookie belong together for evah and evah already. Sookie then offers her neck for Bill to feed and when he questions her choice, she informs him that it's just lunch.

Lafayette makes his grand appearance and you cut the tension between James and Jessica with a knife. Jessica is still angsting, so Lafayette asks James to step aside. It seems that Jessica has reached the stage in vampire development where it is necessary to be self loathing because of the need of human blood to survive. Lafayette takes the time to identify with Jessica citing that he killed the man he loved and still has not forgiven himself.  Lafayette admits that he has a fear of death and Jessica assures him that death does indeed suck. After a little more reassurance, Jessica starts to feed.

It's flashback time and this time we watch as Ginger brings in Eric's famous throne from were he surveyed his kingdom at Fangtasia, into the video store, as Pam loads True Blood into the fridge. Ginger suggests that now that it has become common knowledge that vampires exist that Pam and Eric turn the video store into a vampire bar.  Ginger suggests that Eric's sex appeal will make the club popular. In fact, it's Ginger who comes up with the name Fangtasia. Pam then glamours Ginger to forget that this was her idea and then tells Eric it was hers.

At Bill's, the troops are looking just as thin as Bill predicted, with only two responding to his call for help. Jason stands to rally the troops and invokes Normandy but is surprised when no one rises yelling with a battle lust.  Bill is forced to explain to Jason that Normandy was an absolute disaster which culminated in a mass loss of life. They are interrupted by Pam and Eric and both  Bill and Sookie express surprise to see that Eric is now one of the infected. Pam reminds Eric that they have a christian to kill and that they are only in town for Willa, when Eric's gaze begins to linger on Sookie. Willa is busy feeding when she hears Eric's call and says that she hates him but is forced to answer.

In the meantime, it's time for Sookie and Eric to have some alone time. Sookie admits that she is not doing well because Alcide is dead and Eric points out that getting together with a werewolf was not what he intended when he returned her house. The two embrace, as Eric tells Sookie about his travels.  Outside, the troops are preparing to leave and Pam declares it a suicide mission.  Willa arrives and aggressively interrupts Eric and Sookie's moment. An angry Willa reminds Eric that he left her when she was barely two weeks old. Eric promises that they will deal with it later because right now, Sookie the precious needs help.  When Willa insists that she doesn't give a shit what Sookie needs, Eric compels Willa to follow orders and put aside her feelings about her abandonment. Eric heads outside and tells Bill that he knows another way into Fangtasia and unimpressed Pam calls Sookie a "fucking fungus that won't go away."  That by the way is absolutely the line of the night.

In rat form, Sam sneaks his way through the tunnel under Fangtasia and surprises the captives.  Sam's ability to shift is a shock to Arlene. Sam informs the women of the plans to storm Fangtasia and Arlene is uncomfortable trusting her vampire rescue crew, blaming vampires for putting her in this position to begin with..  Sam assures Nicole that everything is going to be okay before shifting back into a rat to give the rescue team information on the set up.  A weakened Eric tries to punch his way through a wall and Bill is forced to take over, knocking out the wall with just one punch. The rescue team breaches Fangtasia and Pam tells Eric to stay behind and save his strength.  When Bill and Pam make it to the human holding area, they find Arelen gone.  Upstairs, Arlene begs the vampires, as she is forced to the ground for them to feed. Bill orders Pam to take the rest of the women out and Pam warns Bill that he should avoid taking on the role of hero tonight because he is not going to get Sookie back.

Bill makes his way upstairs and bangs on the wall loudly to distract them.  Eric calls out that he used to be the sheriff in the area and is need of shelter. When they refuse, Eric calls out that he has brought his own human.  When the infected smell Sookie, they decide to open the door. Bill continues to lay in wait in the shadows as Eric and Sookie make their way in.

In the meantime, the rebelling humans are locked and loaded and are on their way to Fangtasia for justice.

The vampires all fixate on Sookie and so she declares herself Eric's and Eric promises to share if they treat Sookie with the respect she deserves. It's a good thing that those vampires don't know Sookie well because treating her how she deserves would end up being painful for the mighty fairy. Before Bill et al can act, the humans arrive and throw a malatov cocktail, setting a battle in motion.  Sookie makes her way to Arlene and begs her not to die. When Bill walks in, Sookie begs him to give Arlene his blood but he is called away by a silvered Jessica. Arlene is struggling for breath, so Sookie begs Eric to find her a healthy vampire. Sookie listens into Jessica's thought and hears her talking to Terry. Ghost Terry makes an appearance in the doorway and Arlene says that she is coming. Jason arrives with a healthy vampire and Arlene continues to talk to Terry about the kids. Terry tells Arlene that she should stay and they both declare their love for each other. That was meant to make you saw aww folks.

Outside, the parking lot is a rotting mess of dead vampire when Pam notices that Eric is missing. Pam approaches a van and finds Eric feeding off of one of the human vigilantes. A now recovered Arelene thanks Sookie as Eric makes his way back into the bar. Eric and Sookie share a look before he turns and leaves.

Finally the people have been rescued.  I know it only took four episodes but to me it felt like ten.  Why didn't anyone think to check out Fangtasia in the first place? Oh, I know, it would have made too much damn sense.  Instead what we got was long drawn out drama with angst thrown in for seasoning.

Sookie continues to be incredibly unlikeable and I am so glad that we had Pam to tell the truth.  Why are all of the people of Bon Temps following her lead, especially given how her plans have worked out in the past? It is further complicated by the fact that Sookie continues to be an awful person.  Why would Jessica help Sookie after Sookie said that she didn't five a fuck about Jessica's problems.  Sookie running around basically calling people self indulgent totally ignores what the town has been with.  It's arrogance on her part to suggest that everyone needs to deal with things the same way she does.

Watching this episode I found myself wondering who else they plan on bringing in for a swan song?  This episdoe we had Terry pop in for his big goodbye.  If we have to bring back a cast member why can't it be Tara whose death was dealt with terribly or someone interesting like Russel.  I know that a lot of series finales take this approach but for it to work, viewers have to have been emotionally invested in the returned character to begin with.

Well folks, that's four episodes down and six to go.  I never thought the day would come when I would actually be celebrating the end of  a season of True Blood. At this point I think that True Blood out stayed it's welcome and ability to be different.  It's officially the last girl in the bar at closing time and no matter how much you drink, there's no making lipstick on a hog attractive.