I wanna SPOIL bad things for you!
After the abrupt and pointless deaths of Tara (finally confirmed beyond reasonable doubt by Pam’s line about felling her passing) and Alcide, and seeing Bon Temp devolve into a feeding Frenzy and human mob justice, the most recent episode of the final season of True Blood was a much welcome elevation.
This episode got back to the better aspects of the series; exploring interesting parts of the characters histories that we hadn’t seen before, important character moments and plenty of suspense and bloody supernatural action.
It didn’t necessarily start out on the best foot. Sookie calling Alcide’s father was an appreciably somber moment, but, honestly, did anybody care that Maxine Fortenberry bit it? Seriously, she had just shot Jessica and got taken out by Violet. But I suppose that scene was more about Jason forgetting that Hoyt had been glamoured and trying to connect with his old friend again.
Almost as though the show remembered what fans loved about it, right after the opening credits we got back to the very pressing conflict threatening Bon Temp, the H-Vamps. Sookie is showing some remarkable resolution in urging Jason to keep up appearances in his position of authority. She’s also empathetic to Coby and Lisa, having been on the receiving end of being treated like she’s too dumb to know what’s going on.
With two of her closest loved ones dead and more disappearing all the time, Sookie wastes no time in coming up with a plan to find her captive friends. After recovering Holly from the skirmish with the H-Vamps last episode, Sookie tries to be as patient as possible with the glamoured Holly. She uses her telepathic powers to make her relive the horrible events of her captivity, even though it’s extra traumatizing for her and Holly rightly guesses that Sookie is hurting something fierce on the inside.
Big surprise! The H-Vamps’ nest is at Fangtasia. The home of vampire hijinks and skullduggery for the whole show. I suppose that’s what you get when you make the self-centered, hedonist Eric and his progeny the Sheriff of Area Nine and put them in charge of the biggest vanilla and adult video store in North Louisiana.
Speaking of, Eric and Pam are taking a light tight jet home to the states, but not to Baton Rouge, as Pam suggest, but to Shreveport, at Eric’s urging. Pam is shocked. Eric insists, saying that he is sorry about Tara, but that Willa is still alive and still his progeny. Besides, Eric says, think of all the fantastic memories! Pam isn’t impressed, but in spite of herself she does actually start to relive some of the more important moments.
Continuing the flashback sequence form the previous episodes where we learned that Pam and Eric were “recruited” by the Vampire authority to the mainstreaming cause, we see the old Magister Jorge Alonso, remember him? Eric and Pam are pretty shocked to learn that besides appointing Eric as sheriff, they are also putting the two of them in charge of….a video store?
Wait, really? WHERE’S FANGTASIA? Wait wait, take a breath, this place has the same exact layout and even the same dungeon, and a secret back door, so somehow this place has to turn into Fangtasia. In the next flashback we see the introduction of Eric’s number 1 groupie, Ginger! First seen as a shy vampire cinema nerd, complete with plain brown bangs and thick glasses. Pam is at first impressed with her taste in vampire flicks and then Eric walks in, with some seriously slicked back hair. Cue the swooning. “Are you hiring?”
Flash forward (back) a few years and Pam is still sick of running a video store, no matter how legendary and popular its porn section is. Lo and Behold, the zealous fangbanging Ginger, now proudly flaunting her more revealing getup, walks right up to Pam with a brilliant idea, possible now with the Great Revelation. Turn the store into vampire nightclub. Have a whole wall lined with liquor behind a big bar, buy out the store next door and turn it into a lounge, have Eric sitting upon a throne and a dais, make the middle a dance floor with tables and pole dancers and call it…FANGTASIA.
“If you don’t like the name we can change it to whatever your want.”
“Actually, Ginger, It’s perfect, just the way it is.”
“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”
“Ginger, this idea of yours, I’m going to tell Eric it was mine.”
“Of course it was.”
Flash forward to the plane ride and Pam is finally admitting all of this to Eric.
“You bitch.” He says, grinning at her profusely.
Back in Bon Temp, Sam is not taking the news that his pregnant wife is being held captive in a dungeon and possibly being fed on by infected vampires. While one their tour of conciliation calls for the growing list of the dead, Sam has about it passing along bad news while his loved one is still in danger. Jason has to pull his gun on him from the passenger seat of their truck to get him to come to his senses and wait for night fall when their vampire allies can assist. Sam switch seats with Jason, saying he’s not going to be the one to drive away from Nicole.
Meanwhile, Jessica is still healing her wound from being shot by Fortenberry. James is running out of patience with her, and Bill isn’t being very persuasive. Sookie arrives for Jessica’s “intervention”, telling the men to clear out, and that she needs to hear this from a woman. Jessica isn’t impressed, saying that she expects Sookie to tell her that she’s hurting everybody by not feeding. But this time around, Sookie’s got a bit tougher love up her sleeve. She says that she doesn’t care about whatever’s bothering Jessica right now but that she damn well better eat because they both know Sookie has been good to her and right now she needs her to get her friends back. Jessica submits, but protests that she still won’t feed on a Fairy.
So who do we throw into this mix next? Lafayette, whom James has been spending a bunch of time with without Jessica. Jessica finally blurts out her self-loathing and Lafayette confides that he killed Jesus back in season 4 and that he still hasn’t forgiven himself for it, but that he’s still fighting. Jessica finally feeds.
With that in mind, Sookie asks Bill if he’s fed, to which he says he hasn’t. Sookie offers herself. Bill is reluctant. “It’s just lunch.”
Later, Jason, Violet, Bill, Jessica, Sookie and Vampires Keith assemble to raid Fantasia. Just then, Eric and Pam arrive, Woohoo! Sookie and Eric catch up, and she finally breaks down a bit while Eric cradles her, telling him that she’s been shitty. Eric, seemly incapable of getting his groove back without being a dick, is dismissive when Sookie reveals that she’s been with Alcide, but apologizes when Sookie reveals that he’s just died that morning.
Eric also summons his progeny form the previous season, Willa, who’s quite pissed with him for leaving her when barely two weeks had passed since she was made. Willa wants to berate him for it, but as her maker, Eric commands her to fall in line for this raid.
Sam does some scouting while shifting into a rat, and manages to crawl into the dungeon and briefly reunite with Nicole, urging them to stay safe. Outside, Eric is having trouble bashing the brick wall down in his weakened state, but Bill takes up the slack and punches through the wall like a terminator. Before the rescue vamps can arrive, the H-horde snatches Arlene up to the main floor and prepares to feed on her. Downstairs, Pam and Bill descend and take them away. But Pam stops Bill, telling him that no matter what desperate heroics he’s thinking of, he might as well play it safe, because nothing he does is going to win back Sookie, Bill doesn’t let on much reaction. Perhaps Pam is scheme for Sookie to help save Eric in some way.
Also due at Fangtasia is a drive by squad of human vigilantes, preparing Molotov Cocktails and wooden bullet magazines. This is sure going to be a mess.
Bill and the Vamps are about to rush the hall of infect from the dungeon, when Eric and Sookie step in the front door. Eric declares that he’s the owner of the club and that he’s also infected, seeking shelter and bringing a human with him. The vamps swarm like flies around a dung heap, and Sookie tries to keep it together, seeing Arlene nearly drained and dying. She also comes face to face again with the vampire from the mixer raid who smelled her. Bill and his allies are about to rush, but just then, in comes the Molotov right in the middle of the floor.
Eric rushes Sookie into the back, and all the infected make for the front, but the humans are waiting for them. Infected goop after infected goop pools in the entrance. Pam gets the fire extinguisher, Sookie rushes to collect Arlene, but she’s delusional with near death visions of her late Husband Terry.
The with rather suspicious timing, the rest of the infected horde zip in from across the street and before you get a chance to squee, it’s a three way, True Blood 300 slo-mo brawl between the H-Vamps, the Allie vampires and the human vigilantes, all staking and throwing and shooting each other!
Sookie is crying for help, telepathically urging Arlene to stay with her, but the vision of Terry is too comforting. Just when it looks like we may have to endure the first, appropriately built up death of the show, Vampire Ex Machina Keith answers Sookie’s cry’s for a healthy vampire and feeds Arlene enough to rescue her from the jaws of death.
Phew. Almost feels like a 24 style act climax. It seems like the H-Vamps have been dealt with, at least in Bon Temps. Eric and Pam are Back, Sookie’s friends are rescued. Is the season really going to be maintained by Eric going on one last quest for vengeance against, Sarah, freaking Newlin, before dying? This episode left her hanging at the mercy of the agents of the True Blood’s developer corporation anyway. Will we eventually pick up with her right where we left off or some time later? And by the way, what was the point of having Eric infect that perfectly professional flight attendant? She’d done him a big favor. At Any rate, a thoroughly satisfying episode, even if I didn’t expect the H-Vamp situation to be wrapped up so quickly. We’ll have to wait until next week to see what kind of fire Sookie and her friends have leapt to from the H-Vamp frying pan.