No TV show says summer to us more than True Blood, its Southern Gothic atmosphere and pulpy pleasures providing the perfect complement to sweaty evenings spent drinking mint juleps at home after another exhausting day in the hot sun. The show alternately drives us crazy and enthralls us, and its final season is as silly as ever. This week: Bill goes to the DMV, and finds vampire Walter Jr.!
At this point, True Blood is teasing us more than anything. It seems like every episode starts and ends with Pam and Eric, and strings us along for the intervening 50 minutes with every other narrative, most of which exist mainly for the purpose of stringing out episodes to their allotted running time. First, then, those other plots: Sam and whatsername! She wants to go home! Good! One less annoying semi-character to worry about! Andy’s daughter fucking Holly’s son! Tara running around in a flowing white dress, mumbling in some sort of tongues! Maybe Lettie Mae’s not entirely batshit crazy after all! And so on.
The main narrative of this episode, however, concerns Bill’s struggle with the Hep V virus. It turns out he got it from Sookie, which (as the song that plays over the credits points out none too subtly) is some sort of cosmic karma. Having learned that he’s going to die, Bill goes to the see a lawyer to amend his will, an experience that requires a DMV-style five-hour wait and an equally DMV-style brush-off at the end of hit from an entirely unpleasant attorney.
Clearly someone should have told the attorney in question that pissing off vampires is bad for one’s health, because Bill at least gets to fulfill the fantasy of pretty much anyone who’s spent hours in a queue waiting for some sort of bureaucratic asshole — he murders the person who’s been keeping him waiting, largely because she tries to extort him for a whole bunch of money. It’s cold consolation, though, because he seems to have a particularly virulent and nasty case of Hep V — it’s more like vampire ebola than anything else. The best part of the scene, however, is a brief glimpse of someone who looks awfully like RJ Mitte, best known as Breaking Bad‘s Walter Jr., sitting in the clinic. He only gets one line, a forlorn confession that he’s hungry. Still, at least he can walk, eh?
But wait! Maybe not everything is lost after all, because it turns out that apart from being one of its best characters, Sarah Newlin is the key to this last season — because she (and she alone, apparently) has the antidote to Hep V in her blood. She explains to her sister Amber that there was precisely one vial of Hep V antidote, and she drank it all. Well, then. As if having both the yakuza and a very angry Eric Northman on her tail, she’s now gonna have every vampire on the whole damn planet wanting to drink her blood.
It doesn’t seem to bother her, though, mainly because she’s found her role on this earth: she’s a healing bodhisattva! Anna Camp seems to be having a ball playing her character as the most objectionable sort of pumpkin spice Whole Foods yoga Buddhist imaginable, and she gets the best lines in this episode, especially in her long conversation with her skeptical vampire sister: “You can’t just dye your hair,” snarls Amber, “blow a guru and absolve yourself of all the terrible shit you’ve done in your life.”
Sarah smiles beatifically: “That’s where you’re wrong!”
And she’s right, because it turns out that again, she’s got all the power. It’ll be amusing to watch this play out — will we find Bill and Eric and every other alpha vampire on their knees, begging for her mercy? How are the yakuza going to respond to the fact that the woman they want dead may hold the salvation to their defunct True Blood business? Tune in next week to find out!
The other significant event in this episode is the resolution to the whole tiresome Jason/Violet romance. This entire Violet subplot has never really resonated, mainly because Violet has no character beyond being ancient and kinda weird. It’s never really been explained why she likes Jason, nor why she’s obsessed with him, and to be honest it’s hard to care. Anyway, Jason finally decides enough weirdness is enough and resolves to dump her. Before he can do so, however, it turns out that she’s shot through already.
Except that she hasn’t, because she turns up right at the end of the episode, apparently abducting star-cross’d lovers Adeline and Wade to use for her own nefarious purposes. Are we going to see Violet going full evil now? At least that might be somewhat interesting. Until next week!