Tuesday, July 29, 2014

True Blood Season Seven, Episode Six: Karma

Eric staggers through the hallways of the Bush library and though his vision isn't clear, he manages to hold his own in a fight against several Yakuza, that is until Pam calls out his name. That's right, you guessed it, Pam has once more been over powered and Eric is forced to stop fighting in order to save Pam from certain death.  I for one am sick of this shit because it turns Pam into a liability rather than a strength. Is someone ever going to get around to explaining how it is that humans manage to always get the upper hand on a vampire who is over 100 years old? The two are draped in silver and dragged into the corporation, where a clock counts down the time until dawn. Eric snarks that this is his first sunrise with Pam.

After discovering his positive status, a shocked Bill sits on the bed. He stands, makes his way to a computer and looks up the number of a lawyer's office.  As he about stresses the urgency of getting his affairs in order, Jessica returns home and overhears the entire conversation. Bill learns that the office is so busy that he  has to come in and wait for his turn.  Bill rushes downstairs to grab his things and Jessica makes her presence known.  Jessica is clearly sad but says nothing about the elephant in the room because Bill asks her about her relationship with James.  Jessica explains that she broke up with James and Bill offers his condolences, adding that he cannot stay but that he is sure that things will be fine.

Lafayette brings Lettie Mae back to his place though she tries to say that she has to get home because her husband will be waiting. Lafayette is not buying this because he knows that Lettie Mae drugged the Reverend and so he will be asleep for a good time to come. When they enter the house, they find James waiting for Lafayette.  James asks to stay and Lafayette says, "sure thing".  Lafayette introduces Lettie Mae to James and warns Lettie Mae not to take a cleaver to James in the middle of the day. Lettie Mae again says that this is not her disease talking and that she knows Tara is trying to communicate with her.  James is instantly sympathetic and offers his blood.  Lafayette agrees to take the trip with Lettie Mae so that he can get to the bottom of this himself, though he believes that this is nothing more that Lettie Mae's addiction talking. Lafayette and Lettie Mae stagger to the couch and James heads off to the cellar, telling them to enjoy the ride.

A nervous Jason sits in his car which is parked in front of his house.  He checks the mirror for traces of makeup on his face. Shouldn't he have been worried about Violet before he slept with Jessica? When Jason walks in, he finds petals strewn across the floor, the room is lit by candlelight and smooth jazz  playing in the background.  Violet appears wearing sexy lingerie and Jason brings up the fact that Violet left without him. Violet claims that she wanted to surprise Jason and Jason wonders if Violet is feeling okay. Violet explains that she is aggressive because she comes from a time when that approach to life was necessary; however, now she is in this time and she wants to show Jason that though he belongs to her, she belongs to him as well. What better way is there for a woman to show how submissive she is by getting on her knees and fellating her partner. Yes, that's snark.

Bill pulls into the parking lot for the lawyers office and when he enters, Bill finds the office full of infected vampires in need of legal advice. The secretary is so disinterested that he reads a book and tells Bill to take a number. When Bill asks how long his expected wait is, he is told seven hours. Bill rightfully points out that it will be daylight then but is told that there will be cabs waiting to ferry him home.

The clock is ticking down and Pam and Eric are still draped in silver. Pam being Pam is not impressed and snarks about meeting the sun in a room with wall to wall carpet. Mr. Gus enters the room and explains that he is the North American president of the corporation which makes True Blood. Mr. Gus is an Asian man with a ten gallon hat and a strong Texas accent.  Mr. Gus wants revenge for the annihilation of his corporation and of course, wants Sarah Newlin. When Mr. Gus asks for information on where Sarah is, Eric and Pam both refuse to comply, under the understanding that when they gives up this information, Mr. Gus has no reason to keep either of them alive.  Pam demands that Mr. Gus give them his word on his honour, (since honour seems to be his motivating factor) that after they give him information on Sarah, they will be allowed to live. Eric adds the right to kill Sarah as part of the deal but Mr. Gus says no.  Eric and Mr. Gus talk about the various ways in which she has harmed them.  Pam tells both men to stop the pissing contest and make a deal.  Finally, they agree that Eric can kill Sarah and Mr. Gus can have the body. Pam reveals that Sarah has a vampire sister in Dallas and with her parents dead, Sarah will have no place to run.  Eric agrees to give the address at night fall so that they can go together.

Sarah breaks into Amber's home and Amber jumps on Sarah's back, so Sarah calls out her identity believing that her sister is unaware of who she is attacking. Amber moves to bite Sarah but then starts coughing and brings up blood all over Sarah's back. When Amber stands, Sarah learns for the first time that he sister has Hep V, so Amber informs Sarah that she did this to her.

A concerned Jessica calls Jason saying that she needs him to bring Sookie over to Bill's. Jason at first believes that Jessica wants to talk about what happened between them but Jessica quickly says no and stresses how much she needs to see Sookie. Though Jessica won't explain why she needs to see Sookie, Jason quickly grabs his things and leaves.  The moment his car door slams, a very unhappy Violet sits up in bed, screams and starts wrecking shit.

Andy is about to head downstairs when he hears what appears to be crying coming from Adilyn's room. Instead of knocking, Andy barges in and finds Adilyn in bed with Wade. Andy immediately loses his shit and Wade smartly takes off running.  Andy chases Wade right out of the house and Holly and Arlene come running.  Holly is upset by the possibility that Andy might have hit Wade, while Arlene is concerned that all of this noise will wake the baby. Adilyn calls out to Wade that she loves him and Andy orders her upstairs promising to deal with her later.  For her part, Holly promises to deal with Andy later. Holly storms off with Wade and in the process, Lauren Bowles manages to cop a feel from Noah Matthews but who can blame her really.

Jason arrives at Sookie's place to find the place still messy from the party.  Jason makes his way upstairs to find Sookie asleep on the bed still wearing Alcide's jacket. Jason wakes Sookie saying that she hasn't been answering her phone and that the mail box is full. Sookie opens one eye long enough to tell Jason to go away. Sookie is clearly hung over and Jason reveals that Jessica has something that she needs to hear in person. Finally, Sookie crawls out of be complaining about a headache and Jason hands her clothing before heading downstairs to make coffee.

Lettie Mae and Lafayette are on their blood trip.  Lettie Mae leads Lafayette to Tara, who is still tied to the cross mumbling unintelligibly.  Lettie Mae and Lafayette both fall to their knees in front of Tara. Lafayette takes the snake off of Tara and Lettie Mae helps her get off the cross. Lettie Mae briefly holds Tara in her arms before Tara disappears. When they see Tara again, she is running and so Lettie Mae and Lafayette decide to follow.

Sam returns home with coffee and donuts for him and Nicole. Nicole gets off the phone with her mother and tells Sam that she is going home.  Sam thinks that it would be good for Nicole to have a visit but Nicole makes it clear that this is permanent because she does not belong there.  Sam tells Nicole that though he cannot understand what she has been through, they both belong in Bon Temps. In frustration, Nicole says that it wasn't until last night that she realized that the town is crazy, making Sam the mayor of crazy. Nicole asks Sam to come with her.  Sam replies that Bon Temps is the only place that he has ever felt safe but Nicole will not be deterred and replies that her mother is coming to get her tomorrow.

Jason, and Sookie show up at Bill's to meet with Jessica, who says that she overheard Bill tell a lawyer's office that he is Hep V positive. Jason suggests that maybe Bill just wanted to get his will done because of how crazy things are with the world. Jessica affirms what she heard, so then Jason turns to cheer up routine and suggests that because Bill is tough, if anyone is likely to beat Hep V it's Bill. Sookie gets a flashback to her ridiculous plan to act as bait in the woods and slash her arm.  Of course that ended up with Sookie being splashed with infected blood and Bill drinking from her to gear up for the fight at Fangtasia at her request. Sookie tells Jason that she has to go and get tested. Jason is shocked and tells Sookie that it's not her and Jessica points out that just a week ago, Sookie was negative.

Holly and Arlene pull up to the bar and Holly gets a call from Andy which she ignores.  Arlene advises Holly that they need to deal with what is going on, or their grandkids will be their step grandkids as well. Arlene points out that this is a case of the birds and the bees.  When the women get inside of the bar, they find it filled with flies buzzing around and a complete disaster.

Bill is still in a waiting room listening to vampires complain about hunger or running down the band of infected vampires attacking towns.  Suddenly, veins appear on Bill's arm, though he only noticed the symptoms  last night. The vampire sitting next to Bill gets up and leaves.

Sookie is in the testing room. When she looks around she sees two signs. One has a vampire with its arm wrapped around a human saying you are can prevent the truth death and the other is a pink triangle with the words silence = the true death. Sookie is told that she will be called later on today with the results, so she heads out to see Jason who offers to take her home. Sookie replies that she doesn't want to go home.

Lettie Mae and Lafayette are still high on the V and following Tara. She leads them to where she used to live with Lettie Mae when she was a baby and starts digging in the garden.  The reverend appears and wakes Lettie Mae up. Lettie Mae, as you might expect, is distraught and screams that Tara was taking her home. The reverend is not impressed and says that Tara was taking her straight to hell. Lafayette explains that this is what he thought as well until he took the trip with Lettie Mae and confirms that Tara brought them to her old house in the south ward. Lettie Mae is insistent that this is where they have to go.  The reverend is not convinced and tells Lettie Mae that this is about the V and she needs to choose between doing this and him. Lettie Mae tries to say that it isn't about the V but the reverend is insistent.  Finally, Lettie Mae says that she is not going to ignore what Tara is trying to tell her and that this is something she has to do.  A very dejected reverend leaves the house.

Andy storms into the bar looking for Holly and Arlene, who once again is the voice of reason, suggests that Andy calm down.  Andy says that Wade was sticking it to his daughter underneath his own roof. Holly enters the room and tells Andy that he needs to change his tune. Arlene intervenes and says that they are almost a family now and that means in good times and bad times. Andy argues that screwing your sibling is not what was meant by bad times. Holly asks why this is Wade's fault and proceeds to slut shame Adilyn and Andy demands that Holly take it back. Arlene is forced to intervene again and suggests because the two kids involved are teenagers with hormones running wild, there is no point in placing blame. Arlene reminds both parents that they are dealing with good kids who think they are in love and that the bickering between Holly and Andy isn't going to solve anything. Holly apologizes for calling Adilyn a slut, saying that she doesn't even believe in that word because it is used to shame female sexuality. For his part, Andy says sorry for yelling at Wade but is insistent that any self respecting father would have chased Wade out of the house.

Sookie and Jason are sitting outside drinking beer from a paper bag and Sookie says that she can sense Bill when he is near by. Sookie says that Bill is in her blood.  Sookie then says that though she loved Alcide and Eric in her own way that there is something about the first. Jason admits that he has never felt anything like that except for maybe with Jessica but that was all confused with Hoyt.  Sookie brings up Violet and Jason is adamant that he doesn't feel that with Violet and in fact is scared all of the time.  Sookie tells Jason that love shouldn't make you feel like that and because life is short, you shouldn't spend it with someone you love. Jason resolves to tell Violet how he feels and end the relationship.  Sookie gets a call from the clinic and learns that she is positive. Sookie asks for a minute to process the news, when Jason reminds her of her promise to call Jessica.

Bill is in the waiting room bathroom and when he checks his chest, he discovers just how much the virus has spread.  Outside, his number his being called and Bill barely makes it back in time to take his turn. Madeline Kapneck is waiting for Bill in her office and she recognizes Bill as the author of a book on the Hep V crises. Bill says that he would like to amend his will to pass his estate onto his progeny but is told that the state does not recognize progeny as a legal distinction because they are not recognized as children or relatives.   With him, Bill has brought his will from 1894 and but unfortunately, he was made vampire in 1865, and therefore; his will is not valid because he had it made up while he was already legally dead.  Madeline explains that the vampire rights bill did not pass in congress, so this means that a citizen cannot posthumously execute a last will and testament. Bill is shocked to learn that he cannot pass anything over to Jessica. While Madeline explains that the law is moving its way through the courts because vampires are suing the state, the virus spreads its way down Bill's arms. Madeline points out that the government is looking for ways to take advantage and since there are lot's of dead vampires, the government is seizing assets. Bill asks about his options and is told that he could adopt Jessica but the process takes nearly a year. Bill says that he doesn't have that kind of time because he is dying but Madeline says that everybody is dying. Bill explains that in his case, the virus is accelerating faster than usual. Bill then asks about expediting the process and is told that the cost to move him to the front of the line is ten million dollars. Bill questions if he is being extorted and is told that it is a seller market and that he should dig into his book proceeds.  Bill tries to glamour Madeline but because she is wearing anti glamour contacts from Walgreens, she is not effected and demands her ten million dollars again. Bill gathers his things saying that he will take his business elsewhere but Madeline points out that the speed with which the virus is moving means that Bill does not have much time. Bill rightfully calls Madeline a vulture but she argues that she is tired of listening to vampires whine about the terrible hand that they have been dealt, though they have had hundreds of years to amass a fortune and spend eternity feasting on humanity. Madeline adds that she is using the little time she has left on the planet to make some money as the veins make its way down Bill's other arms.  In disgust, Bill picks up the letter opener and stabs Madeline and then grabs a pencil and stabs her vampire security before he leaves.

Andy and Holly arrive home and call for Wade and Adilyn but they have both left.  Rocky says that he has been sworn to secrecy on the location of the two lovers and that lasts until he is threatened by his mother. Rocky quickly reveals that they are at the old fort where Andy and Terry used to play as kids.

Amber awakes to find Sarah waiting for her with a big smile on her face. Sarah explains that the Yakuza and a group of vampires are trying to kill her. Sarah asks to stay for a few days but Amber tells her to leave. Sarah explains that she is aware of Amber's anger but Amber is all she has left in the world because their parents are dead.  Amber points out that everyone turned their back on her and that Sarah makes her sick crawling back here.  Sarah says that it was a different Sarah who made everyone sick and that she is a different person now with a new name - newme.  Sarah then talks about finding the Buddhist ashram and there she learned that Sarah doesn't exist because the guru taught her that she was put on the planet to help people. Sarah adds that Christ is not the answer and that she was just parroting back a limiting notion of spirituality and is a Buddha now. Amber rightfully tells Sarah that she cannot just dye her hair, blow a guru and absolve herself of all of the horrific things that she has done.  Sarah explains that all of this happened for a reason and that it was meant to be because if she hadn't created Hep V then she wouldn't have the ability to heal her sister.  Sarah explains that she drank the antidote when the vampires in the facility revolted, making her the cure. Sarah says that this means everything has come full circle and that she is the antidote.

Sookie returns to see Jessica and reveals that her test was positive and apologizes for infecting Bill. The two women embrace each other and start to cry.

Jason sits in the car and practices telling Violet that their relationship is over. Finally, with his courage built up, Jason enters the house and finds it completely trashed.  In the basement he finds a note from Violet explaining that their relationship is not working and that it is over between the two of them. For his part, Jason simply says good riddance.

Violet finds Wade and Adilyn at the old fort and explains that this is not a safe place for Adilyn because she can smell her from a great distance.  Violet offers the young lovers a place to stay, away from angry adults and they comply, following her out into the woods.

Eric and Pam arrive at Amber's hose with the Yakuza in tow. When Amber opens the door, they are shocked to see that she has been healed.

Bill arrives home from his visit to the lawyer's office and finds Jessica and Sookie both crying and waiting for his return.

Wow...there's so much to process from this episode.  Let's start with the appropriation shall we?  For seven years, True Blood has made it its business to appropriate from the GLBT community.  This episode they dared to use the pink triangle which is the symbol the GLBT community were forced to wear in the concentration camps to talk about prevention of Hep V - a bloody made up disease. Clearly we are meant to Hep V like HIV/AIDS. This is extremely problematic as the vampires have routinely been juxtaposed to gays and lesbians and now we have a disease which is clearly meant to be read as HIV/AIDS.  We are meant to see what is going on and directly relate it to how the HIV/AIDS epidemic decimated the LGBT community in the eighties.  This is further complicated by the title of this episode - "karma" as well as the song, "Karma" by Lady which was playing at the closing scenes of this episode.  For vampires who have lived off of humanity as Madeline suggested in a predatory fashion for centuries, what is happening might very well be understood that way but when you link these same vampires to humans, or more specifically LGBT humans suggests that every thing that they have been through as a community is deserved because they are not straight and cisgender. It is literally fail upon fail in this case.

Then there's the issue with Sarah. I do like that Amber called out her conversion as self serving; however, it is still another example of True Blood mining another marginalized group for plot points.  You don't have to believe in Hinduism to see the absolute western imperalistic act that this is.

Though Pam is a strong female character in many ways, in recent seasons Pam has been easily over powered. In this season alone we have seen at least two instances in which Eric has been forced to comply to a situation against his will in order to save Pam's life. In each instance, Pam was over powered by humans, the very same humans Eric managed to fight a group of successfully.  I know that Eric is over one thousand years old but keep in mind that Bill and Pam are relatively the same age and yet we never ever see Bill in this situation. Clearly the issue is that Pam is female and Bill is male.

I very much like that Holly not only apologized for slut shaming Adilyn but explained that slut shaming was a way to control female sexuality. To be honest, that was a lot more than I have come to expect in True Blood. I do however think it is worth noting that while Adilyn has the body of a teenager, she is barely over a year old thanks to accelerated growth of fairies.  Why isn't this part of the issue of a relationship between Wade and Adilyn. Just because Adilyn had the body of a young woman does not meant that she has the maturity of one.