Tuesday, July 8, 2014

True Blood Season Seven, Episode Three: Fire in the Hole

For some reason this episode opens at what looks to be a yoga retreat.  How it relates to what is going on at this point is beyond me beyond letting us know where Sarah Newlin ended up.

A crying Pam confronts Eric about his illness and he admits that he has known since last month. Pam tells Eric that Tara met the true death and that she felt it.  Well it's nice of the writers to finally getting around to filling that little plot hole though I must admit that Tara's character deserved better than this. When Eric does not respond to the news, this worries Pam because apparently it is out of character for him.

Cue flashback time: Rhone Valley, France 1986 in a beautiful vineyard. Eric seduces Sylvie in a vineyard and they have sex until interrupted by Nan Flanagan. Well I wonder what other cameos we will see in the swan song of True Blood.  Nan later meets with Eric and Pam to share the authority's displeasure that neither registered with the local sheriff or paid their taxes. Nan goes on to tell them the Authority's plans to have vampires mainstream and in classic Northman style is told to go fuck herself.  A concerned Pam believes they need to leave the area immediately despite the fact that she is a fan of French vagina but an infatuated Eric makes it clear that they are not leaving France.

Now out of the shower, Alcide discovers that Sookie is missing. He follows her scent to Bills but the two are already long gone. Bill explains that because he was drained dry in the camp not only can he no longer sense Sookie but he is a completely different vampire now.  Bill does, however admit that he has to live with all of the terrible things he did to Ms. Sookie. Bill offers Sookie his blood so that he can help her on what half hatched plan she has cooked up.  When Sookie begins to drink, Bill has a sexual reaction which causes Sookie to remind him that she does have a boyfriend.

Wade and Adilyn are still locked up in the local jail. Wade is all concerned about whether or not they are going to live or die and Adilyn decides that this is the perfect time to tell him that he has been glamoured out of remembering that they once made out. They start to kiss and Jessica and Andy burst in and free them. Adilyn tells Jessica and Andy about the mob.

A very disturbed Sam sits in the church with Reverend Daniels to discuss what he saw in Saint Alice.  Reverend Daniels tries to encourage Sam to have faith but Sam is not convinced.  Finally, the Reverend says that death is a dark and blinding motherfucker whether you see it coming or not.  Willa bursts in with a freaked out Lettie Mae on her heels.  Willa admits to giving Lettie Mae more blood as Lettie Mae rants about Tara. Daniels grabs Lettie Mae and asks everyone to leave.

Sam drives with Matt, his vampire guard, who is incredibly flamboyant. They are forced to stop driving when they run into a wall of armed townspeople with Maxine taking the center spot. Vince says that they are taking their town back and when someone howls, Sam realises that his secret is out.  When Kenya adds that she knew something was off about him, Sam reasonably points out that he is her mayor and she is a cop. Of course Karen takes the opportunity to bring up race and translates that Sam really means that he is White and Kenya is Black.  Thanks for that True Blood.  For seven seasons this show has avoided the racial implications of its own storylines but suddenly it's fine to throw around angry black woman syndrome and racism.  They claim to be safer than having a "fag vampire" around.  Matt is quickly killed off when he begins to object to the slur.  If you're counting that makes two GLBT characters killed off and it's only episode three. Vince declares himself the mayor and advises Sam to leave Bon Temps for good.  Sam says that he belongs here and quickly shifts into a bird and takes off, as the towns people shoot at him.

Back at home with Violet, Jason proposes that they adopt a child because a man isn't a man without a family. Violet accuses him of turning into a girl because of his reaction to what happened in Saint Alice. Violet suggests that in her day men didn't think anything of coming across a town of dead women and children because they were warriors and didn't think or feel.  Jason pipes up and says that he is a modern man. The fight is interrupted by the arrival of Andy, Adilyn, Wade and Jessica.  They inform Jason about the mob and the potential threat to Sookie.  Andy gets Jason's permission for Wade and Adilyn to wait there and then warns them both not to let anyone in.  Violet and Jessica come to a truce until they can save Sookie.

Lafayette is busy getting his groove on and is interrupted by a knock on the door. It's James who is looking for weed.  Lafayette asks what James is escaping from and he says that he is not so sure Jessica really knows he's there despite the fact that they live together and occasionally have sex. They share some innuendo about swallowing as Lafayette pops some pills.

At Fangtasia, after counting up the humans left alive, the infected vampires realise that they are running out of food and make a plan to go and get more. To make sure no one goes hungry they decide to take a human along on the hunt.  In the basement, Holly leads some sort of prayer session, a spell, given her past witch history, asking spirits to watch over the women. Of course, Holly is the one selected to be the human trail mix by the infected vamps.

In the meantime, Ms. Sookie sits in the woods having decided to become vampire bait as Bill sits in a tree above her.  Sookie says that she is fulfilling her purpose. They discuss Sookie's relationship with Alcide and Sookie says that Alcide wants kids.  Bill questions if this is what Sookie wants and points out that when they were together, she wanted a family with him. Sookie finally admits to loving Alcide but worries that she doesn't love Alcide as much as he loves her. Poor Sookie doesn't know if she can take it because she can hear in Alcide's voice just how much he loves her. ANGST.

Jason, calls Sookie on the phone and of course gets the answering machine because Sookie wisely threw her cell phone away.  Andy stops driving when he comes across Sam's truck abandoned in the road.  They are quickly confronted by the armed townsfolk.  Jason demands that they get out of the way but the people have other idea.  Maxine sets her sights on Jessica and declares that it was Jessica who made Hoyt leave her. In a fit of rage, Maxine shoots Jessica in the shoulder and in revenge, Violet rips out her heart.  Yeah, I'm not going to miss that woman. The terrified townspeople wisely decide to scatter.  So much for guns protecting the American way of life.  Jason notices that Jessica is not healing.

A now high James after feeding on Lafayette's drug filled blood is grooving to music on the couch with Lafayette.

Sam comes across Alcide and the two join forces to look for Sookie.

A frustrated Sookie wonders where the vampires are. Sookie and Bill both agree that they are at war.  Cue flashback: Bill talking his daughter into posing for a picture so that he will have something to remember her by while he is away at war. While Bill is lost in his memories, Sookie slashes her arm open and calls for the vampires to come and get her.

The Reverend has finally gotten Lettie Mae to bed and Willa apologises for what happened.  The reverend offers his arm to Willa and while she feeds, he explains how he came to live in Bon Temps at the lowest point in his life and that Lettie Mae saved him.  The reverend then goes on to say that Lettie Mae has a disease and that to her, Willa looks like a bottle of Captain Morgan.  While being understanding of everything that Willa has been through, the reverend asks her to leave. When Willa asks who is going to protect them, the Reverend says that God will and then rescinds her invitation to the house.

James wakes from his drug stupor and panics at first when he cannot immediately wake Lafayette. As James uses his blood to heal Lafayette`s neck, the chemistry heightens between the two, causing Lafayette to questions if James is grooving on him. When James pauses, Lafayette asks if he got the signals wrong. James confirms Lafayette's suggestions but says that he is with Jessica right now.

Back to France 1986, and Pam is going down on some woman and we see a mass of people gather outside. Eric is busy having sex with Sylvie when they are interrupted by Pam.  When Eric turns he finds Hiroki and several Japanese men with swords who warns him that he is even more outnumbered than it appears. Hiroki demands that Sylvie be taken but when Eric tries to resist, Hiroki draws Eric's attention to a silvered Pam with a sword to her throat. Eric is informed that either Sylvie or Pam has to die and that if he does not choose, both will be killed. Eric tries to buy his way out of the situation but Hiroki informs him that despite his wealth, he is not as wealthy as a corporation and again orders him to choose. Eric offers himself but is informed that The Authority wants him alive.  Eric chooses Pam and watches as Sylvie is stabbed through the back.  Eric is then silvered and dragged away.

In the present, Pam questions if Eric contracted the virus on purpose and Eric says no but admits to not being careful. Pam begs Eric not to give up saying that with enough blood vampires are living longer and longer with the disease and that they are working on a cure. Pam promises to keep him well and asks if he regrets the choice he made that night.  Eric says that he did what he had to do and Pam begs him not to force her to watch her die. Eric asks Pam to go and adds that he has lost his taste for life. Pam then tells Eric that Jason allowed Sarah Newlin to live and Eric rises to his feet and suggests that they go find her.  It seems that Pam's pleading was not enough to stir Eric but a little revenge is just what the doctor ordered.

Proving that Sarah just loves embracing religion, we find her riding Guru Sanbir Dutta for all she's worth.  Of course the orgasm causes her to say namaste. Sarah heads to the cellar to pick out a bottle of wine but has no idea that armed men are breaking into the house, the same Japanese men who once threatened Eric. When confronted with a picture of Sarah, Sanbir admits to knowing her but refuses to give her location. For his trouble, Sanbir is beheaded.  If you're keeping count that's two people of colour, two GLBT people and one angry White lady for the death toll. The men call out for Sarah and she hides. Perhaps it is a blessing that Sanbir was killed off quickly because I don't trust this show to deal fairly with Hinduism.

A bitten and addled Holly makes her way through the woods and comes across Sookie and Bill.  The infected suddenly appear and over power Bill and grab Sookie.  Before they can kill Bill, Sam and Alcide come to the rescue. Jason and Andy show up and start shooting. Alcide turns human and demands to know what Sookie was thinking. Violet takes Sookie to the river to wash off the vampire blood and Alcide and Bill get into the argument about the stupidity of their plan.  Alcide is suddenly shot in the head and the chest so Andy and Jason shoot into the bushes where the shots came from.  A distraught Sookie rushes to Alcide's side to find him barely breathing.  Jessica offers to turn Alcide into a vampire for Sookie says no and that she has been down that road before. Okay for the death count that makes, two people of colour, two members of the GLBT community, one pissed off White lady, and one testosterone bloated werewolf.

I suppose we should have seen that coming given that all Alcide wanted to do in episode two was run away from all of their problems.  Once again, one of Sookies brilliant plans backfires and of course someone else has to pay the price for her stupidity.  I cannot say that I am sorry that Alcide died because I was never overly found of his character and it really didn't make sense to me that he suddenly was in a relationship with Sookie.  I do think that it was fitting that the characters took a moment to mourn over his passing but it highlights just how little Tara got when she finally met the true death. Pam used Tara's death to try and motivate Eric and Sookie and Lafayette quickly wrote it off.

Speaking of Lafayette, it looks like things are heating up between him and James.  I hope that True Blood actually goes all out on this one because of how things ended between Lafayette and Jesus.  We did get to some graphic interaction between Pam and lover tonight but it is worth pointing out that once again it was short lived.  I was disgusted by the death of Matt.  Really True Blood?  Have Matt called a nasty slur and then killed.  It was callous and cruel.

I don't like the way that True Blood is linking AIDS to the disease that is killing vampires.  It is a very problematic analogy especially given the strong degree of serophobia which runs rampant.  A hungry vampire is actually a threat to humanity whereas someone who has AIDS is not given the right precautions.

True Blood once again failed when it comes to race.  I'm gonna need Karen to sit down and have a seat now. What has happened to Kenya over the years clearly is a reflection of her race and gender but I don't appreciate that it is not being used as a tool to defend stupidity. True Blood didn't care about race when they had Sookie calling Tara a racist for her anger and rightful fear of vampires. It certainly didn't care about race when they had Tara run away from Russell Edgington's plantation looking for all the world like a run away slave.  And finally, they certainly didn't care about race when it comes to all of the POC who have been on the show for the last seven years.  This is what makes it so offensive that they are now supposedly confronting race with Karen.

True Blood did however do an excellent job talking about addiction.  I liked the fact that Daniels made it clear that it can happen to anyone and that it is an illness.  It portrayed Lettie Mae in a sympathetic light for the very first time.  None of this excuses what she did to Tara during childhood but it does explain that people who do have issues with addiction should receive some sort of social support and sympathy.