Tuesday, July 1, 2014

True Blood, Season Seven, Episode Two: I Found You

This episode opens with Jason finally discovering the whereabouts of a now long lost Eric. Immediately. there is tension between the two men.  Jason confesses that he simply cannot get Eric out of his mind but for the thousand plus year old vampire, this is of course old hat.  Eric admits that only twice in a thousand years has he returned that feeling for another being.  Eric tries to walk away and Jason actually pushes him. Who decides that it's a good idea to push a thousand year old vampire?  This leads to a sort of tackling football style seduction and shortly the two men are in bed.  From the minute I saw this, I knew it had to be slashbait. There was a lot of heavy breathing, some caressing and the shortest kisses you have ever seen. At times, it felt as though both men were really reluctant to commit to this scene. I must admit that they did a much better job than Sam and Bill in the now infamous, "the water is hard in Arkansas scene." Just at the moment Eric begins to simulate fellatio, (all off screen of course), Jason startles awake and finds himself sitting in a church pew.

It seems now that the writers have remembered that Sookie can hear the thoughts of others, they are going to allow her to keep this little talent.  Sookie listens in as the towns folk express disbelief that she is going to save them, as Andy and Sam debate how best to track the vampires who attacked Bon Temps.  Sookie has a light bulb moment and shares that she couldn't identify the body she found on her little stomp home the night before, nor could she identify the vampires who attacked at the bbq. Andy realises that if they track the girl, they might be able to discover where the attacking vampires came from. Andy hands out assignments and of course, Kenya quickly gets benched. It seems that someone has to stay at the station and so logically, it should be the WOC character they really haven't bothered to develop in the last seven years.

Sam is pulled aside by the reverend, where he learns that the people are concerned and don't know what to do with themselves right now.  Sam puts on his mayoral hat and tells people that should just keep busy and be of service.  Sam suggests that when Arlene returns, she is not going to be pleased with the state of Bellefleur's and so it would be a nice gesture to clean it up. That's right folks, don't mourn over the people you lost, because cleaning up Arlene's place will rid you of the sadness and wipe your mind from the violence you experienced. Sam does however remind them to make sure that they are indoors by night fall unless they are accompanied by a vampire.

Lettie Mae decides that it is time to go and check in on Lafayette since he didn't make an appearance this morning and people on his side of the family "have a tendency to go dark." I suppose that this is a reference to the fact that Lafayette's mother had a mental illness. It seems that Lettie Mae has decided since that she and Lafayette are all the family each has, they have to stick together.  It's worth noting that Lettie Mae seems to have gotten over the death of Tara rather rapidly.  I hope that this is a sign that Tara isn't really dead.

Adilyn manages to cajole Andy into allowing her to stay with Rocky and Wade because family is supposed to stick together at a time like this.  Andy admonishes her to be home an hour before dark and not to let Jessica in the house, which Adilyn promises not to do.  I suppose it's not really a promise since Jessica already has an invite, at least until Adilyn gets smart enough to rescind it.

Move to Fangtasia where, a very pregnant Nicole, Arlene and Holly are chained up in the basement, while upstairs, the vampires bicker about their food resources.  It seems that when there isn't a lot of clean blood to be had, it's not a smart idea to just kill someone in a fit of hunger. Jerome announces that they are going to go out hunting again because not only did last night's hunt not bring in enough bodies, one was killed.  Betty is sent to get another person from the basement because being a teacher, it's assumed that she has self control.  When Betty and Arlene make eye contact, it's clear they know each other.  Betty is quick to select another woman and take her upstairs. Arlene and Holly discuss the reaper and between the two of them manage to figure out Betty's identity. Arlene points out that Betty spared her and suggests that Betty could be their way out of there. When her fellow captives express doubt, Arelene rallies the troops, declaring that she is not going to die in the basement of a vampire bar after all that she has been through.

Sookie leads Andy, Jason and Alcide to the location of the body.  After a quick search of the body, they discover her identity and learn she was Mary Beth Grant from the near by town of Saint Alice. After not getting an answer from the Saint Alice police station or mayor's office, Sookie declares that it's time for a road trip.

Lafayette opens the door to find Lettie Mae. Lettie Mae admits that though she lost Tara a long time ago, the Lord had the grace to allow her to make peace with Tara before she died.  This however, is not enough for Lettie Mae. Lafayette suggests that Lettie Mae let go of Tara but Lettie Mae is convinced that she was visited by Tara's spirit and that Tara needs her help before heading up to heaven. Lafayette is convinced that this is a side effect of the V and that Tara is gone. Lettie Mae storms out calling Lafayette a sinner and adding that he is going to hell.

The townfolk are cleaning up like Sam asked them to do when Vince walks into the bar with other ideas. Maxine finds that the freezer is full of bodies and Vince tells the people that the vampires are keeping the bodies fresh for when they return tonight. Vince reveals Sam's shifter nature to the townsfolk and it's not long before they are in a frenzy destroying furniture to make stakes.  Adilyn listens in on the thoughts of one of the women and learns where a stash of guns is hidden and so quickly grabs Wade and leaves.

Betty is back to reap another person and this time Holly and Arlene call out to her, reminding Betty that she knows them.  Betty says that she cannot be caught showing them mercy, or she will be killed and besides, she has no idea how to save them.  Arlene reminds Betty that as an infected vampire, she is going to die anyway. Arlene and Holly try flattery by pointing how good Betty was to their children and when that doesn't work, Arlene suggests that all Betty has left is her legacy. Arlene begs and this time Betty promises to help before dragging yet another person up the stairs.

The road trip crew arrives in St. Alice to find the streets absolutely deserted and written messages calling out for help.  Sookie stumbles across a mass grave which indicates that the vampires killed everyone.

Back in Bon Temps, Adilyn reports to Kenya that she sort of over heard Rosie talking about attacking the station.  Kenya is not quick to believe Adilyn, so Adilyn adds that there is a mob forming over at Bellefleur's. Adilyn is sure that the mob will come to the station because it is the only place that still has guns in town. Kenya rushes to the supply cupboard and grabs three rifles but before Adilyn, Wade and Kenya can leave, the mob rushes in demanding the guns. Vince suggests that if they had been armed last night, that no one would have died but Kenya calls this "NRA, hillbilly bullshit." Karen takes a different approach and points out that Kenya didn't get the promotion she was promised after Bud left and that Jason, who has half of her experience gets assigned the lion share of the work. This approach works and Kenya attempts to handcuff Adilyn, causing Adilyn to use her fairy burst of light, which in return wakes a sleeping Jessica. The townsfolk quickly surround and overpower Adilyn and Wade, while a frantic Jessica calls the police station only to not get an answer. Jessica then tries Sookie but of course, in a moment of typical Sookie style brilliance, Sookie threw her phone away the night before.

The townspeople are busy taking target practice and getting more and more excited. I do however wonder if any of them have thought about the fact that unless the bullets are at least silver, they stand no chance.  Furthermore, with the speed of a vampire, how exactly will people who have never even shot a gun  protect themselves.

The road trip crew arrives at Mary Beth Grant's home and after taking a bite of a slice of pizza found on the table, Jason says that the family was taken 2 1/2 days ago and that the vampires hit the town again, and again until all of the people were dead.  Wow, it's too bad the real cops cannot make such quick determinations at a crime scene but I suppose they don't yet know the power that a bite of pizza can contain. Well, it's time to search the house and an emotional Andy promises that though he has always been unable to form a plan and stick with it, if he gets Holly back, he plans on "making an honest woman of her."

Upstairs, Sookie reads Mary Beth's diary and learns that the dead woman not only was in a relationship with a vampire but also went to Fangtasia.  This of course causes Sookie to reminisce about the beginning of her relationship with Bill, as a clearly grumpy Alcide looks on. Sookie cries as she finally gets to the part in the diary about the vampire attacks.

Lettie Mae is frying chicken when she burns her hand.  After noticing that the burn isn't that bad, she decides to pluck the chick out of the pan and place her hand in the pan.  Lettie Mae then heads downstairs and wakes a sleeping Willa. Yeah, waking a sleeping vampire after purposefully burning your hand seems like a brilliant plan.  When Lettie Mae shows Willa her hand and asks for blood, Willa makes it clear that Reverend Daniels said that Lettie Mae is not allowed to have any more blood. Lettie Mae falls to her knees claiming that the pain is too much, so Willa relents.  A now high Lettie Mae gets a vision of Tara tied to a cross with a snake slithering across her body.  Tara starts to speak but it is not in English and so a now distraught Lettie Mae calls out that she needs the answers.

On the way back to Bon Temps, Alcide takes the time to assure a very quiet Sookie that she is not responsible for what has happened with the vampires and that she fell hard for Bill because he was her first love. A teary Sookie says that she is worried about Bon Temps ending up like Saint Alice.  Alcide suggests running since he has a full tank of gas but Sookie nixes that idea.

Back at Fangtasia, the infected vampires have finally reached a blood stupor and so Betty takes this opportunity volunteer as the sleep monitor. Jerome quickly questions this but Betty says that she is the weakest one and that they are all waiting for her to die so that there is one less mouth to feed. Betty says that she doesn't trust anyone to wake her and so Jerome orders Betty to set the clock for 14 minutes.  A weakened Betty makes her way downstairs and says that she needs to feed before she can release them, so Arlene offers her blood.  Blood lust quickly overcomes Betty and she dies in between Arlene's legs.

Jessica is up and notices two bite marks on her arm, so she covers them with makeup.  Andy has arrived home and calls out for Adilyn. Jessica announces her presence and when Andy finds her in the attic, he immediately attacks. Jessica takes Andy down and once again says that she is not there to hurt Adilyn.  Jessica says that Adilyn is in trouble and asks Andy to help her find Adilyn.

Sookie and Alcide return home and after sending Alcide to have a shower, Sookie makes her way across the graveyard to see Bill. When Bill answers, Sookie asks if Bill would still sense her fear if she got into real trouble.

An unimpressed Pam has made her way to France where she finds a clearly infected Eric.

I do think that this episode was far more coherent than the first but it still had so many pit falls. It feels as though the writers are just dialing it in because they know that this is the last season.  I mean seriously, the ability to detect by eating a bite of pizza.  Jason is a ridiculous character as it is but this pushes even that boundary. In another moment of ridiculousness we have the mob deciding that guns are the thing they need. These people have known for seven years what it takes to kill a vampire but they still reach for guns over stakes or even running for their lives like sensible individuals.

We saw a lot more of the side characters this episode.  I almost forgot that Kenya was an officer of the law and I certainly couldn't be blamed for that given how under utilized her character has been. I very much like the way that Karen has pointed out how poorly Kenya has been treated by Andy but am I really to believe that this is reason enough for Kenya to decide to abandon her responsibilities.  I am however glad that the mistreatment and sidelining of Kenya has finally been recognized for what it is. Unfortunately, this in no way means that the writers are going to do anything about it, so don't get excited folks.

We saw a lot more of Lettie Mae who seems to be the only one concerned with Tara's death. My fingers are still crossed that Tara is going to come back. It doesn't make sense to me that we didn't see Pam reacting to the death of her only child.  If this is indeed the case it might help to redeem Lettie Mae from the neglectful, abusive, drug addict mother she was to Tara.  I don't need an entire season of Lettie Mae's addiction to V.

Finally, we get to Jason and Eric.  I must admit to watching this scene twice (don't you dare judge me).  After a second viewing, I can acknowledge that what we got was some close mouth kisses and though it was indeed sexy because of the men involved, it was certainly not as steamy as most of the sex scenes Sookie or even Alcide has had. It also amounted to a more sexual interaction than Lafayette and Jesus ever had; the only gay couple in the history of the show.  It seems that when it is a fantasy involving two straight men, True Blood is willing to loosen the reigns but with two actual gay characters absolutely not.  As visually appealing as the scene was, it really highlights the problem that True Blood has with it's gay characters. Since this is just a fantasy situation, True Blood does not have to spend time developing a real same sex relationship, or showing true inclusion and can remain happy with Lafayette, who is still nothing more than a caricature.