I sometimes wonder, in this vast and endless stream of space and time, if there somewhere exists a universe where the True Blood writers didn’t just give up. If there’s a season seven that’s actually satisfying, or maybe a universe where I’m more easily satisfied by bad TV. Maybe there’s a universe where True Blood ended after season three.
I wish the multiverse could help me, here. I really do.
We return to True Blood at the fundraiser for Ted Cruz. Eric has just killed one of the head yakuza hitmen by removing his jaw, and is now worn out from over-exerting himself. Pam has been chained, and Eric has no choice but to surrender. We are taken to Yakonomo corp, which is clearly in disarray because their neon sign is flickering, though everything else seems to be in working order. And their cars are quite nice. Eric and Pam are put in a corner office with large windows, and a clock is put in front of them. “Time until dawn,” they’re told, and Eric remarks to Pam “Our first sunrise together.” Pam looks like she’s considering strangling Eric. Not a bad idea at this point.
At Stately Compton Manor, Bill calls a lawyer’s office to make an appointment. He needs to get his last will and testament in order, since he’s, you know, dying. The office tells him he just has to come in and wait, and I guess we’re doing the health clinic allusion, then. Jessica overhears this, and tries to talk to Bill. He talks it off as if there’s nothing wrong. Jessica is not reassured.
Lafayette brings Lettie-Mae home, where she goes on about her visions and Tara. Lafayette wants to write it off as crazy talk, but then James shows up and is like “I was hiding under your porch because I love you,” but also mentions something about how substances open up the mind, or something. Because he’s a hippie, or whatever. Lafayette is like “well I do enjoy drugs I guess,” and agrees to go on a V-trip with Lettie-Mae, if only to prove her wrong. We all know, of course, that he’s not going to prove her wrong, but they both drink James’ blood anyway.
Jason arrives home, only to find that Violet has prepared a romantic sex kitten act for him. I kept expecting Violet to lash out, but she just tells Jason he’s important to her and performs oral sex on him. And honestly, I want to believe that this is some part of a bigger scheme for Violet, who was so wonderfully femdom when we first met her, but no. It seems like the True Blood writers have reduced Violet, after turning her from a dominant to an abuser, to this: desperate for Jason’s love and affection. When did this happen? When did fierce and fearsome Violet decide to be devoted to Jason “once got his dick caught in the fly of his pants” Stackhouse? Why did I ever believe that True Blood could give us a proper femdom relationship? Maybe this is my fault, for wishing. Maybe this is the fault of the multiverse, for giving us this True Blood instead of one that isn’t awful and gross. I just don’t know.
Bill arrives at the lawyer’s office, and I was spot on about the clinic metaphor. Bill is told to take a number, and that his wait will be somewhere between five and seven hours. He proceeds to sit between two other sick vampires, and fortunately nobody breaks into a round of “Will I?” from RENT, but this is True Blood and I wouldn’t put it past them.
We return to Eric and Pam. There’s just four minutes, fifty-nine seconds left before dawn. “This is bullshit,” Pam declares, because she “never imagined she’d meet the sun in some place with wall to wall carpet.” Fair enough. A man in a white suit with matching cowboy hat walks in, and introduces himself as “Mr. Gus, Jr.,” head of the American branch of the bankrupt Yakanomo corporation. He has a Texas drawl and an ambition that is very attractive to me, and he asks Eric and Pam for the location of Sarah Newlin. Eric, who apparently is just fine dying a stubborn son-of-a-bitch, refuses. It’s Pam, who has finally decided that Eric’s decisions are shitty ones, who says that she’ll give up Sarah in return for their lives. Of course, Eric and Mr. Gus have to argue about who gets to kill Sarah, even as Pam and Eric start to fry, at which point Pam yells, “Sarah Newlin’s gonna be having the fucking last laugh, shopping at Barney’s and having a manicure, if you two can’t stop measuring your dicks and make a fucking deal!” Eric concedes that he will kill Sarah, and in exchange Mr. Gus will get the body. The blinds are closed, and Pam and Eric live to see another sundown.
Sarah breaks into Amber’s house, and is attacked by her sister. Amber refuses to listen to Sarah, and it seems like she’s about to beat Eric and Yakanoma Corp. to the punch, but begins having a choking fit due to her illness. She passes out.
Jessica calls Jason, who is currently laying next to Violet. She asks if Jason can go get Sookie, because Bill is sick and Jessica wants to tell Sookie in person. Jason spares at a sleeping Violet a look before agreeing. He grabs some clothes but doesn’t find it necessary to put them on, and he goes off to get his sister. Violet, of course, wakes up as soon as he leaves, and proceeds to yell and smash some things. Relationships, the True Blood way.
At the Bellfleur residence, Andy catches Wade and Adylin having sex in Adylin’s room. He proceeds to run after Wade yelling all kinds of threats, which wakes up Holly. Holly proceeds to yell at Andy for yelling at Wade, who like Jason, has left the house without any clothes on. Adylin tells Wade she loves him from the front door, and I wonder why Adylin/Jessica didn’t get the same treatment as most of the other human/vampire relationships. In most cases, sharing blood is sexual and is treated as such, but apparently not in this instance, where I really, really wanted this ship to happen.
Okay. The plot is kind of just barreling ahead. The Stackhouse residence is still decorated from last night’s party, and Jason finds an extremely hung-over Sookie lying in bed. It takes a bit of prompting, but he gets her out of bed. Lafayette joins Lettie-Mae in her weirdly religious Tara vision. Nicole tells Sam she’s leaving Bon Temps and asks him to come with her. Sam doesn’t want to leave this town that just tried to murder him, and Nicole asks him to think about it. She’s leaving either with or without him, and Godspeed, Nicole. Don’t ever look back.
Sookie and Jason arrive at Stately Compton Manor, and Jessica gives them the news: Bill is Hep-V positive. Jason tries to console Jessica first by telling her she must’ve misheard, and then by saying that Bill was basically a god six months ago, and if anyone can beat Hep-V, it’s him. Sookie has the dawning realization that on the night Alcide died, she had cut her arm open to attract the pack of Hep-V vampires. One of them exploded on her and her open wound, and then later that day, she gave Bill her blood. And with that, True Blood has taken one the most detrimental events to strike the queer community in the past 50 years and made it a heterosexual issue. Sookie asks Jason to take her to go get tested.
In the waiting room of the lawyer’s office, Bill’s Hep-V seems to be spreading rapidly through is body, progressing faster than normal Hep-V should, possibly because Sookie’s fairy blood supercharged it, or, if Bill still has some of Lilith inside him, maybe it’s because of that. I’m not really sure what good speculating is going to do at this point, but here we are.
At an actual health clinic, Sookie gets her blood drawn. She looks over to the wall and sees a pink triangle, upon which “silence = true death” is written. I suppose True Blood thought that since they were so clever with their HIV/AIDS metaphor, that they’re now entitled to appropriating the pink triangle. I’m almost too angry for words at True Blood’s use of the pink triangle, here, that it’s hard to put into words, but I’ll try. Sookie is a heterosexual character, who has contracted a disease that for the longest time has been stigmatized as a “gay” disease. However, this disease isn’t going to kill her, because she’s not a vampire. And so the use of the pink triangle here has no impact when Sookie sees it, because she has never been a part of a group associated with that symbol. Sookie might be some kind of overarching queer metaphor, somehow, but that doesn’t actually make her a queer character, True Blood. Being a metaphor for homosexuality and being a homosexual are not the same thing. And making someone a metaphor for homosexuality while making sure the audience knows that their sexual orientation is 100% heterosexual-well, that’s the True Blood guarantee.
Meanwhile, in the shared hallucination of Lettie-Mae and Lafayette, Tara has led them to the front yard of the old house in New Orleans, where she and Lettie-Mae used to live. The two are awakened by Reverend Daniels before they can see what Tara is digging up, and they tell the Reverend that they have to go to the house and see what Tara is trying to tell them. The Reverend doesn’t believe them and gives Lettie-Mae an ultimatum, which she pretty much ignores before heading to New Orleans with Lafayette.
At Merlotte’s, Arlene and Holly clean up the mess that the townspeople were supposed to clean before they went all angry mob, and Arlene tries to council Holly on her spat with Andy. Andy shows up, they argue, insult each other’s kids, apologize, and go off to tell the kids that they really shouldn’t be screwing each other when they’re about to become step siblings. The same thing happened on Gossip Girl, though, although I’m not sure Dan and Serena were ever together when their parents were married. What I’m trying to say is: I don’t care about this subplot because it isn’t my ship. Moving on.
Sookie gets a call and find out she’s Hep-V positive, and she’s very upset about it, but again, this is a disease that is going to do absolutely nothing to her body except make her deadly to vampires. So I understand that she’s sad about Bill, but the show is very much treating it like this is Sookie’s illness, and it isn’t.
Bill finally gets the chance to talk to the lawyer, and we find out that Bill hasn’t had his will updated since 1893. Which probably means that Lorena forced Bill to have a new will made so that she could inherit his money if he died, but Bill’s done flashbacking, I suppose. We get a bit about how Bill can’t make his will out to Jessica because the state doesn’t allow posthumous edits to the will, and Bill is technically dead. He could adopt her, but the process would take months. And thanks, True Blood, for denying me the chance to see Bill and Jessica try and navigate the adoption process, where hilarity would no doubt ensue.
Anyway, the lawyer is less than helpful, and offers Bill a spot at the front of the line for ten million dollars. Bill tries to glamour her, and when that doesn’t work, he stabs her in the throat with a letter opener. Because apparently, even when they’re trying to reform Bill Compton, True Blood will still reduce him to fits of rage and cold-blooded murder. Are we supposed to cheer for Bill, here? The lawyer wasn’t particularly kind to him, sure, but none of the points she made to him were invalid. True Blood seems to have tried to build itself on the idea of the “us vs. them” mentality, which factors into the whole ‘queer’ motif they failed to deliver on. And moments like this is one of the primary reasons the metaphor fails so spectacularly: because True Blood gives us ‘foes’ that have not actually done anything wrong. So what happens is our protagonists just look narcissistic and bloodthirsty, and nothing is accomplished in terms of representation.
Back in Dallas, Sarah tries to offer an olive branch to Amber, who is having none of it. Sarah goes on a spiel about how she found herself and is a Buddha and such, and True Blood is I think trying to be tongue in cheek about how deeply Sarah misunderstands Buddhism, so we’ll just kind of side eye her little speech like Amber does and keep going. Amber tries to kick Sarah out of the house, at which point Sarah drops a bombshell.
“I drank the cure,” Sarah tells her sister, and there are not enough Legos in the whole wide world for the writers of True Blood to step on. Honest-to-God, my hands are so completely tied here. If I yell about True Blood creating a cure to their equivalent of HIV/AIDS, does that mean I’ve accepted Hep-V as a metaphor? How do I properly put into words the idea of “just when I thought you couldn’t fuck this idea up further, you proved me completely, totally wrong?” Is there really a way to capture how completely, utterly insulting it is to the victims of HIV/AIDS that you slapped this metaphor onto your last season, just to create a cure for it? A cure, mind you, that is still unreachable in the modern age. What happened to you, True Blood? Where did you go so horribly wrong?
As Ezio Auditore de Firenze once yelled at the end of Assassin’s Creed 2: “I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.” And like Ezio, I am without any satisfying answers.
Where are we? Stately Compton Manor. Of course. Sookie has arrived to tell Jessica that she is Hep-V positive, a scene of forced pathos that seems completely pointless now that we know there’s a cure for Hep-V. Jessica and Sookie cry together, and I cry about True Blood making even their HIV/AIDS plotline heterosexual-oriented. True to the end, indeed.
Jason goes to break up with Violet, only to find that she’s left him a note and that he’s been dumped. Jason Stackhouse, who has never managed to think once in his life and is not going to start now, takes this as a positive. Meanwhile, at Fort Bellfleur (which is actually just a treehouse), Violet shows up and offers Adylin and Wade a place to hang out and do stuff because Violet’s not like a regular vampire, she’s a cool vampire. “Do you kids need anything?” Violet asks. “Snacks? A condom? Let me know.” Violet also points out that she can smell Adylin’s fairy blood from a mile away, which begs the question: why aren’t Wade and Adylin waist-deep in vampires right now? It’s nighttime, they’re unprotected, and we know for a fact that vampires can smell fairies. Maybe everyone’s decided to stay in tonight. We just don’t know.
Eric, Pam, and the yakuza show up at Amber’s, only to find her completely cured. Eric, making the sane choice, immediately grabs Amber by the throat. “How come you’re healed?” Eric asks, and I feel like it’s kind of hard for Amber to answer when you’re crushing her larynx. At Stately Compton Manor, a rapidly weakening Bill arrives home to see Sookie and Jessica crying on the staircase. Cheer up, girls! There’s a cure! Now it’s just a matter of who will get it: Bill or Eric. It would be far too difficult for Sookie if both of her remaining potential love interests were cured. This is True Blood, and we’re gonna wrap up our love triangle real nice-like by taking away the option of the female character making a choice.
Four episodes left.