To recap last season: Bill became ‘Bilith’ and had the powers of a god for like, seven episodes. Warlow showed up, was a bad guy then an okay guy then a bad guy again. We found out that fairy/vampire hybrids can daywalk, and that drinking fairypire blood allows other vampires to walk in the day as well. Bill gives a whole bunch of vampires fairypire blood and everyone daywalks for a little, and then he kills Warlow for trying to make Sookie into his fairypire bride and the daywalking ability goes away. This is unfortunate for Eric Northman, who had been using this daywalking ability to read, buck naked, in the Alps. Eric begins to burn up in a haze of full-frontal glory, and we’re not 100% sure if he’s dead or not. We are, however, 100% certain that Alexander Skarsgård’s full frontal nudity was the best part of season six.
Also, Andy’s half fairy babies grew up into young women in a matter of a week, went to go party with Jessica, and then Jessica drank from all four of them and killed three.
Then we had a six month time skip, and season six left off at the vampire/human mixer being hosted at Merlotte’s (I know it’s Bellfleur’s now but it’s been Merlotte’s for six effing seasons and it’s going to stay that way.) The mixer was thought up by Bill and Sam, now “Mayor Merlotte” to defend humans from feral vampires and help normal vampires get a steady source of food. “A human for every vampire and a vampire for every human,” was the slogan. In the last moments of season six, Sookie, now dating Alcide, has a moment of awkwardness with Bill, until both Bill and Alcide sense that a pack of feral vampires is on it’s way. “Radioactive” plays. End season six.
Season seven opens with the second worst party Bon Temps has ever seen, the first of course being Maryanne’s weird-ass Bacchian sex party in season two. And that’s only the worst because there was a lot of spoiled food and flies hovering around, and that grosses me out. Also, Dionysus never actually showed up, which was kind of a let down. Anyway.
Tara has just reconciled with her mom, who has given up her drinking to be a preacher’s wife. Last season, she begged Tara for forgiveness and asked Tara to feed on her, so that she could finally nourish her daughter after neglecting to do so for all of Tara’s life. Now, a stray feral vampire comes after Lettie-Mae and Tara leaps to defend her mother. We cut back to the party, where the vampires make off with Arlene, Holly, and Sam’s pregnant girlfriend, Nicole. Sam and Alcide both phase into canines to track the sent, and off they go to leave the rest of the group to clean up. We hear wailing in the distance. Sookie finds Lettie-Mae covered in blood, and Lettie-Mae cries that her baby girl is dead. However, we also don’t see any signs of the vampire that Tara was fighting, and if he did kill Tara, wouldn’t it make sense for him to take off with Lettie-Mae to feed on? I’m just saying that I’m in very deep denial about Tara’s ‘death.’ Sookie sheds a few tears, but is understandably kind of numb to the death all around her at this point. OPENING CREDITS.
We’re at the Bellfleur place, where Jessica has set up camp outside and declared that she is going to protect Andy and half-fairy Adilyn, as penance for draining Adilyn’s sisters last season. Andy has to go off to find the missing people and clean up the mess at Merlotte’s, but not before telling Adylin that she is under no circumstances allowed to invite Jessica in. Andy tells Jessica that Tara is dead, and Jessica begins to cry.
Back at Merlotte’s, Sookie is having a hard time not hearing what everyone and their dog is thinking about her. As always, it’s the normal “fangbanger” and “vampire slut” shit that she always gets, until she overhears Alcide thinking that this is her fault. Which, I’m just going to ask: how? I really fail to understand the town mindset that Sookie is to blame for every time something goes wrong. And things in Bon Temps go wrong a lot. I feel like True Blood is trying to comment on slut-shaming, here, and how Sookie being a victim in all this goes completely unnoticed by the townspeople, who have instead made her a scapegoat because she was the first person in town to have a public relationship with a vampire. We should also take a moment to think about True Blood’s underlying queer narrative and how they have fallen short of properly representing it, again: Sookie’s dating of vampires could be seen as her dating women, and being shunned by an ignorant small town for being gay, but all of her vampire relationships have been up and down heteronormative. So if True Blood is trying to both show the faults with slut-shaming and with bullying queer individuals, they are only conveying the former, and not too terribly well.
Also, on that subject: True Blood has established itself from the beginning as a show that represents LGBT struggles with living as a vampire. Or at least, that’s what it was trying to do in the first few seasons, and at this point I think they’ve given up. Since, you know, vampires actually ARE dangerous and bloodthirsty and capable of doing great bodily harm, and LGBT individuals are not (shh, don’t let them know.) And now, with this new disease that is killing off vampires and making them feral, I loathe to think that they’re trying to make an HIV/AIDS comparison here. Knowing True Blood, it’s probably not far off, but I feel like True Blood fails to recognize that during the AIDS crisis, a key factor was that the government and most of ‘civil society’ turned a blind eye to the disease that was ravaging the gay community. There is a mention on True Blood about how the government has only sent soldiers to defend against these feral vampires in the big cities, leaving small towns on their own to die out. Which, as you know, is the exact opposite of how the crisis actually occurred, if vampires are still supposed to represent LGBT individuals. True Blood’s metaphor has gone from interesting in the first few seasons to downright untrue and misrepresentative in the last.
Oh also, Jess calls her boyfriend who is now being played by a different actor, and this is not technically important right now but will be later, I promise.
Sam and Alcide return to Merlotte’s, and Sam morphs out of dog form into people form, and some guy who was apparently his opponent in the mayoral race not only sees Sam transform, but also gets a view of that body. Damn. Inside Merlotte’s, he confronts Sam, calling him a ‘dog.‘ Sam pulls him aside and tries to convince him at first that he’s crazy, and when that doesn’t work Sam tells him the sort-of truth and that “[he’ll] explain everything,” just not right this second. You know, instead of just scoffing and saying “yeah well no one will believe you” or just straight up knocking this guy unconscious and leaving him to die in the freezer. Sam Merlotte would not win the game of thrones.
Bill decides that it’s closing time, but instead of singing the song he tells all the vampires to get their humans home safely, and asks that the humans in return feed the vampires as payment for safe travels. Jessica’s boyfriend doesn’t have a human, so he’s assigned to Layfayette, who has been drinking out of the bottle since everyone clustered inside Merlotte’s to panic.
Sookie gets real sick and tired of all the slut shaming, and decides that since Alcide is also against her, here, that it would be best to walk home alone. Because fuck this town and fuck all these vampires, that’s why. Sookie is makes it home without any trouble, except she does stumble on a drained body at some point. She, understandably, just kind of goes “fuck it, it’s season seven and this is no longer surprising to me” and keeps walking.
We FINALLY cut to Pam, who is in Morocco playing Russian Roulette while standing in a bucket. And I’m all like, “why are they standing in buckets?” but then Pam’s opponent gets the wooden bullet and turns into a pile of goop, and I’m like “oh that’s why. That is really smart, actually.” Pam steps out of the bucket and demands information on Eric, and is handed a post-it note with a name or something on it. It’s not entirely clear. It is clear, however, that Pam is too good for this show, this world, all of us.
We go back to the Bellfleur place, for what I think is the most important subplot of the episode: the budding friendship (and probably something more) between Jessica and Adylin. Adylin opens the big window by the front door, where Jessica is standing, and begins to talk to Jess through the window about how she still has nightmares about Jessica draining her sisters. Jessica replies that she does as well, and I’m sitting on the couch going THEY ARE TALKING THROUGH A WINDOW ON A BALMY NIGHT ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
Jessica is also having a hard time, at first, coping with the way Adylin smells, but manages to overcome it. And I just want to say, True Blood, if you want to make vampires a metaphor for LGBT relationships, then having an plot where a non-vampire character discovers that she has romantic feelings for a female vampire would be the way to do it, as opposed to the heterosexual vampire relationships we have been bombared with for seven seasons, even after we’ve been told time and time again that vampires don’t really ‘believe in sexual orientation.’ Yeah, that’s great when 95% of your primary romantic relationships are heterosexual. Jessica/Adylin is giving me hope, and I am so afraid to hope with this show, I really am.
Alcide returns to Sookie’s house and chides her for walking home alone, to which she responds with “please Alcide, I’m the main character. I don’t expect you to know what that’s like.” But actually she just tells him that she heard what he thought, and that she can’t believe he feels that way about her, too. Alcide rightfully tells her that reading his thoughts like that isn’t fair, and in all truth I think we all have thoughts that are pretty terrible that don’t define our overall state of mind. Sookie tells Alcide she’d like to be alone, and Alcide goes up to bed.
Jason and Violet go to investigate one of the possible places the missing persons could be held, only to be confronted by the not-mayor and some other people holding stakes. And listen guys, I get it. You’re scared, the government isn’t protecting you, the law doesn’t seem to be helping, but you are not the main characters here. You are going to die if you keep this shit up. That’s not even a warning. That’s just foresight. Anyway, the trope of hicks with sticks (hey that’s clever) accost Jason and refuse to leave the property, until Violet threatens all of them and makes Jason all huffy by doing so. Sorry, Jason, but you’re just not as cool as Violet is.
Jason gets super pissed at Violet because she apparently has caused all of Bon Temps to doubt Jason’s authority/manhood, and I’m just going to stop here and ask: is Jason Stackhouse actually under the impression that people take him seriously? It’s been seven seasons, Jason, and no one in this show has ever expected you to be a Rhodes Scholar. You take your shirt off, you have sex at the worst possible moments, and you’re kind of like a golden retriever that just humps random objects. I really don’t think Violet’s going to do anything to alter that general perception.
Oh, speaking of Jason having sex, apparently Violet is super into Jason asserting his masculinity, like maybe she’s been waiting for him to do this the whole time and that’s why she’s been denying him sex for the past six months? Because he’s been being too passive? I’m not sure that’s a healthy way to run a femdom/male sub relationship, but what am I, Dr. Phil? Anyway, Jason decides fuck the manhunt, I’m Jason Stackhouse, and he and Violet have sex on the hood of the police cruiser. Classic Jason.
At Lafayette's, Lafayette, who has perhaps the most important bit of perspective in this episode, says that he is almost relieved that Tara has passed. He tells James that he mourned Tara the first time she died, and that he knows she was never really okay with being a vampire. He hopes, in some unselfish way (despite the fact that he believes his relief to be selfish) that she will have a peace that she never had in life or undeath.
Then James tells Lafayette that all his friends are dead. Which, mondo bummer, dude. James was actually only turned into a vampire in the last sixties/early seventies, during the Vietnam War, but not actually in Vietnam, because between Bill Compton and Terry Bellfleur True Blood seems to think that we’ve had enough veteran story lines. Okay then, True Blood. James was a draft dodger, a ‘pacifist’ as he (and many others from that time) put it. Lafayette notes that he would be right there with James, which completely glosses over the idea of homosexuals in the military and the struggles they faced in a still very deeply anti-gay era, and then in the era of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and True Blood, didn’t you used to give a shit about this stuff? It’s kind of important. Speaking of homosexual subtext, James tells us that after his best friend (Danny) died, he went over to the Danny’s house to pay his respect, only to be beat to death in the middle of the road by his Danny’s father. He states, plainly, that Danny’s father called him a “hippie faggot,” yet there is no further mention that the assault on James could be viewed as an attack on him for being homosexual (though in James’ case it would be bisexual.) What’s more disturbing is that the way in which James is left to die, bleeding in the street following an assault with a baseball bat, alludes to several hate crimes against homosexuals in that era, continuing through the mid-to-late 90s. Yet True Blood doesn’t think it’s necessary to address that part of James’ character, or give us more about the trouble his sexual orientation might’ve caused in that time. James tells Lafayette that he was turned that night, but the message had already sunk in: life is pointless, etc, etc, I’m kind of pissed about them glossing over the very clear homosexual subtext in James’ backstory.
Anyway, back to the only plotline that seems to have any promise: Jessica and Adylin. Because she had been talking to Jess with the window open in what was definitely not a romantic context, and the scent of Adylin’s half-fairy blood drew the attention of a dying, sweaty, feral vampire. So now Jessica is standing on the front lawn, and declares “she is mine!” in reference to Adylin, and okay, you guys are really just going to Peebles and Marceline this, aren’t you? Aren’t you?!
Adylin, because she is worried about Jess and I am worried about my heart, opens the window even after Jessica told her not to. Jessica chides her for doing so, and Adylin reminds Jessica that she can’t be hurt if she doesn’t invite the vampire in, and Jessica says “I said he couldn’t come in I never said he couldn’t hurt you.” And my first thought was “well what is he going to do? Throw a rock at her?” But I guess he could glamor her, or something, and I already promised myself I wasn’t going to argue semantics with this show anymore so ANYWAY.
Jessica decides the best course of action is for Adylin to drink her blood, so that she’ll know whenever Adylin is in danger. Fun fact: remember how drinking a vampire’s blood creates attraction to that vampire as well as generate sex dreams? Well, now you remember. I guess Adylin drinking Jess’ blood means we’re going full speed ahead on the lesbian romance plot, to which I raise my chalice and yell “HUZZAH!”
The second part of the episode is kind of slow and unremarkable, plot-wise: Lettie-Mae stumbles through the house saying that Tara is talking to her, and while Reverend Daniels tells her that she’s just high on V, knowing True Blood it could be entirely possible that Tara is actually communicating with her mother. Willa, Eric’s progeny from last season, doesn’t want to go back to the home she shared with Tara, so the Reverend lets her sleep in the church basement.
In Morocco, Pam is looking a little drained, and when she goes to the source written down on that post-it note and gives him a rather sizable wad of bills, he offers Pam his young daughter’s blood, telling her that only children’s blood is free of the infection in this part of Africa. Pam seriously considers it, but ends up declining in the end. She just wants information about Eric, damn it. The man hands her a useless-looking map. Okay then.
FINALLY, we get back to Bill and Andy, who are in the abandoned warehouse district of Bon Temps. Ah, the abandoned warehouse district. I remember you fondly. Anyway, it’s dark and damp and full of blood and Bill is like, “vampires have been nesting here” and Andy is like “oh well maybe I should give you a fucking sheriff’s badge since you’re so good at detective work.”
Then they find a bunch of dead bodies hanging by their ankles, and Andy pukes and that’s grosser than the bodies, in my opinion. And on top of that hot mess, they run into our friends from earlier, the not-mayor and his merry band of poorly armed vigilantes. They yell at Andy about the mixer gone wrong, which is the kind of poor attitude that lost you the mayoral election, Mr. not-mayor. Bill Compton, unlikely voice of reason, tells the humans that Andy wasn’t at the mixer, it was his idea, blah blah blah, remember when Bill Compton was likable? I miss that. I miss quiet and disarming southern and polite and kind of sarcastic Bill Compton.
Anyway, Andy lets the not-mayor think he’s going to shoot Bill, then he turns the gun on the group and I don’t know, I kind of stopped caring after Tara died and I’ve just been caring again when Adylin and Jessica have scenes. Apparently, Andy only wants Bill alive to find Holly. And SPOILER: she and the other missing persons are being held in the torture-basement of Fangtasia, and why did no one think to check Fangtasia? Come on guys. Come on.
Morning’s coming. Andy drops Bill off at home, and Bill has a flashback for when he went to go fight in the Civil War. Remember how well that worked out? But seriously, this is a flashback we should’ve had at least three seasons ago, when the Civil War and the past and his family was still an important part of Bill’s character. Maybe the writers are trying to show us that it’s going to be important to him again, but it feels a little late in the game to be bringing this up again.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, Jessica is still outside the Bellfleur place, and Adylin refuses to let Jessica fry in the sun. So she invites her in, and when Jessica refuses to come into the house, Adylin steps out onto the porch, prompting Jessica to rush to get her inside, where she kneels, holding Adylin bridal-style until the two literally leap away from each other and sit pressed against opposing walls like “oh hell no I am not experimenting with my sexuality tonight.” Jessica goes up to the attic, and Adylin is definitely falling for her and my dreams are finally, finally coming true.
OH MY GOD WE’VE MADE IT TO THE END OF THE EPISODE. We’re in church, and Reverend Daniels is like “yeah last night totally sucked but let’s not give up hope, we’re only stuck in this show for nine more episodes we can do this, guys.” Sookie and Alcide show up late, which aside from the fact that Sookie is town pariah is also just kind of rude. Sookie tries to offer comfort to Lettie-Mae, who then yells at her, IN CHURCH, blames her for EVERYTHING, and tells Sookie that she is no longer welcome. Cue more thoughts about how Sookie is a slut etc, etc, and Jason is just kind of sitting there and you know, I’m glad they kept the sex thing consistent in his character because he flip flops on literally everything else. One second he only cares about Sookie, the next he’s letting her get slut shamed by the entire congregation.
Anyway, Sookie finally has a small meltdown and tells everyone that this might be her fault, but also that no one knows vampires better than she does. She says “let me help,” and we cut the episode before we can see the town reaction. I mean, the thing about Sookie’s character is that she is, by nature, passive. So while her breakdown was not the full out “I CAN HEAR ALL YOUR THOUGHTS AND NOW I AM GOING TO START LISTING YOUR SECRETS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER” kind of reaction that I, personally, would’ve had, I am also a lot more aggressive than Sookie and probably would’ve punched a lot more people in the course of this show. Or at least learned some witchcraft. That looked fun. But I digress. I don’t think it’s fair for Sookie to be blaming herself, here, and can someone fucking say something for her for once? Like, it really disgusts me how everyone is just completely content to call Sookie a slut and the people who don’t just kind of stand there and watch. Don’t worry, Sookie, I’m on my way!
NINE EPISODES LEFT.