True Blood: Life (and Death) Matters

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It was difficult for me to get to this week’s episode of True Blood because I have discovered Orange is the New Black. Folks weren’t joking when they said it’s a fun ride. Which reminds me: have you guys seen Orphan Black? Holy moly, it’s grand.

The episode opens with Warlowe in grave danger after Bill’s attack. Sookie chews through her skin to give Warlowe her blood. I know I haven’t been too kind to Sookie this season, but I give the girl props here. I tried to bite my own wrist to see what kind of stamina she had, and she beat me: I only succeeded in giving myself a minor hickey before I had to concede defeat to Miss Stackhouse.

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(Check out tv.com for more hilarious images like this one; they’re spot on.)

Flash along with Sookie (she literally pops out of thin air––a.k.a. fairyland––into the cemetery, as she’s been doing) to Terry’s funeral, which is interspersed with images of Eric wreaking havoc on the Vamp Camp. These scenes are a weird juxtaposition, or possibly a clever one: life and death, all at once. True Blood, are you being intentional in constructing these episodes, now? More on the Eric scenes later in this post.

Terry’s funeral sees the triumphant return of Arlene’s children. At least, I think the young woman and grown boy are her kids, but it’s been so long since we’ve seen them, I can’t be sure. They might be new actors.

Alcide is in attendance at the funeral (did they even know one another? Did Alcide ever meet Arlene?) and Sookie thanks him for being there (why?!?! Sookie, you’re not in charge of EVERYTHING––you didn’t even help Arlene with the plans! Alcide shouldn’t be there for YOU). Sam brings Nicole, too. When Sam gets serious, he gets serious fast.

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Andy, Sam, Lafayette, Terry’s cousin (the girl who was on Dexter…Belle?), Sookie (of course, Sookie would have to get up there), and Arlene share memories of Terry at the service, and then we get a flashback to a time when each speaker interacted with Terry. These might have been touching scenes, but I did not enjoy them. It’s my own personal bias, but when shows invent flashbacks that did not occur during the course of the show, I think that is poor storytelling (look at Breaking Bad––the flashbacks we see refer only to events that occurred during the show. The flashbacks during the first season happened before the events of the show started, but they were used for the purpose of establishing part of the characters’ history early on.) These recollections are followed by some dude singing…I agree with Old Lady Bellefleur: “I really don’t see what was the point of that.” This funeral felt like a sendoff for not just Terry, but for True Blood, as well.

So, what’s happening at Vamp Camp during this funeral? Well, we finally see some frontal male nudity on the show, but unfortunately this moment is a result of Eric having separated a doctor at Vamp Camp from aforementioned male nudity. It seems Eric has freed the vampires singlehandedly, but during the day, which is poor planning, in my mind, for all vampires not in the “white room,” who are set to meet the sun anyway. Crazy Blonde Lady somehow escapes the vengeance of these released vampires, and is driven to go to the roof of the “white room,” where she manually opens the roof to expose the handful of vampires within to the sun. Fortunately, Bill has made it there first (smashing in the head of doctor whose parts were removed by Eric), and as the vampires hold him aloft and drink his blood (so that they become immune to the sun), Blonde Lady looks on in horror.

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Jason goes after Blonde Lady, and is ready to kill her, but can’t do it, letting her escape yet again. I’m betting this has repercussions in the next episode.

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The vampires dance in the sun.

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Despite the fact that Terry’s funeral drove this episode, the most affecting moment occurred in the final two minutes, when Pam sees Eric from afar, and they stare wordlessly at one another, an unspoken exchange. Pam tells him not to leave her, but Eric shoots toward the sky as Pam looks on in tears. True Blood, why are you separating the two characters with the strongest bond on the show (other than Bill and Jessica, which is a relationship I like a good deal, I have to admit.) WHY?! When Pam and Eric are separated, everyone is sad. Hopefully they’ll be reunited in the final episode this Sunday.

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