True Blood Season 7

True Blood Season 7 Episode 6 Review: “Karma”

I wanna SPOIL bad things for you!

This episode of the final season of True Blood brought us quite the slew of revelations. But first it gives us another nice helping of Eric versus Yakuza hit men. Throughout the whole fight, Eric is still carrying the ripped-out jaw of the lieutenant he mutilated at the end of the last episode. It also does a great job of demonstrating how powerful Eric is even under the drain of his Hep-V infection. After nimbly dispatching several black-clad thugs, Eric is forced to surrender himself when they apprehend Pam with a silver chain around her throat.

Restrained, Eric and Pam are taken to a room at a Yakanomo office building with an east facing window. A digital timer with 7 hours on it, indicating the time until dawn, sits on the table in front of them, then they are left alone in a guarded room. “Our first sunrise together,” Eric remarks. Opening Credits.

This episode played out in numerous different arcs in different places, almost like Game of Thrones. Easiest way to review it, seems to me, is to discuss one arc at a time. Here we go! Let’s see how well I can manage the intersections.

After the small blow up at the Stackhouse party, Nicole isn’t feeling any less worried about Bon Temps. She’s especially worried about raising her and Sam’s child in this bat-sh*t crazy town while everything is going to hell. Nicole asks her to go with him, but Sam doesn’t want to leave his home. She thinks Sam is too blinded to objectively decide what’s best for their family. But she gives him and ultimatum, she’s leaving with her mother tomorrow, with or without Sam.

This whole Nicole/Sam ship has always felt a bit, gratuitous, I suppose. Especially with Sam and Nicole marrying so quickly after she became pregnant, it felt a bit too obvious that the writers were giving Sam another love interest to care about for the end of the show. Though I am curious what Sam and Nicole will decide to do and what will undoubtedly get in their way.

Lafayette returns from the Stackhouse party with the frustrated Lettie Mae in tow to find his new vampire lover James has let himself in, asking if he could stay the night. “James is a Vampire, Lettie, so don’t go getting any idea about pulling a kitchen knife on him.” However, when Lettie explains what she’s trying to do, James says he’ll let her drink his blood, despite Lafayette’s insistence that Lettie Mae is a lying addict. Lafayette agrees to take James blood with her to investigate the validity of her claims.

Lo and behold, when their trip begins, Lafayette and Lettie Mae start seeing the exact same image of Tara we’ve seen before. Held up on a cross by a yellow python, in a thin white dress in the middle of a hazy swamp. She eventually leads them to the visage of Tara’s old house where she’s frantically digging in the front yard for something.

Then Reverend Daniels steps in, jogging the two of them out of the trip. Lafayette is right there with Lettie Mae this time, saying that Tara is trying to tell them something, but the Reverend has been through this too many times to buy it. He says that if Lettie Mae doesn’t give this up, he’s leaving her. It obviously shakes her up to say it, but she has to do it for her baby Tara.

Seems like nobody is coming home to a completely happy place, another downside of big parties. Jason is anxious about coming back home to Violet. When he opens the door he find the whole place covered with scented candles and rose pedals and soft music playing from, somewhere. Then in struts Violet, completely decked out is black lace semi-transparent lingerie. Violet tells him that she wants to surprise him, and he sure is surprised, and the she wants Jason to know that he is hers and she is his. So she sets him down on his reclining seat and goes down on him. Violet seems like she’s satisfied, but then Jason gets a call from Jessica, which we’ll discuss later. Violet, with her superhuman hearing capacity overhears Jason make his discrete exit and in a fit of jealous rage, wrecks the girly sex dungeon that Jason built for them.

Jason later discovers the ruin along with a note form Violet saying that she’s ending it. Jason had decided that he was going to try and do just that, so he’s flippantly relieved that Violet beat him to it.

If only it were so simple. Violet, with her own inscrutable schemes in mind, tracks down Wade and Adilyn with her fairie blood. Seeing the two of them so desperate to be alone, she invites them to stay at a place and of course they are all too happy to accept. What are you up to Violet?

Adilyn and Wade ended up being just as awkward as we feared.

Rewind a bit and we find Andy catching Wade and his daughter making the beast with two backs under his own roof. With self-righteous rage Andy chases Wade out of the house, with Adilyn and Holly and Arlene all protesting and asking what’s going on. Holly is furious with Andy for chasing her son out of the house, but Andy refuses to apologize, feeling he’s well within his rights as Adilyn’s father. Holly and Wade leave in a huff and Andy doesn’t want to hear anything form Adilyn, saying he’ll deal with her later.

Later at Merlotte’s, sorry, Bellefluer’s, Arlene and Holly are cleaning up when Andy storms in. Both of these betrothed parents are blaming the other’s child for what’s going on between them. Holly even implies that Adilyn’s fairie nature might be encouraging their promiscuity, somewhat understandable given what happened with Andy and Marella. Surprisingly, Arlene continues her determined streak and keeps her level head, urging Andy and Holly to reconcile. Holly apologizes for calling Adilyn a slut and Andy reluctantly apologizes for chasing Wade out of the house. They try to find their children together, but of course, Violet finds them first.

Back to our main characters.

With just five minutes to go on their countdown until dawn, the North American president of the Yakanomo Corporation, an eye popping pan pacific Japanese American complete with an overcompensating black cowboy hat and a heavy southern drawl, walks in. He says the wound to his company’s honor Sarah Newlin inflicted by soiling their foremost product is unacceptable, and if Eric and Pam can give them any information that will lead to Sarah Newlin, they will close the curtains and let them live.

Eric is uncooperative at first, but Pam speaks up. “If your honor is so damn important to you,” she says, “give us your word, on your honor, that you won’t kill us if we tell you what we want to know.”

“You have my word.”

“I will be the one to kill Sarah Newlin,” Eric intones.

“Out of the question, she defiled my product, she will reap my retribution.”

Eric makes a grandiose threat of seizing Newlin’s neck and snapping her little blonde bobble-head right off, to avenge his sister.

Pam’s had enough and the sun is starting to show over the Dallas skyline.

“Sarah Newlin is going to have the last laugh, strolling through shopping malls and getting manicures if you two don’t stop measuring each other’s dicks and make a deal.”

“I kill Sarah Newlin, you keep the body.”

“Deal.” And the curtains descend.

Speaking of, Sarah is now forced to seek refuge with the only family she has left, her vampire sister Amber. When she first arrives, Amber rushes her and makes to kill her, but she’s deterred by a coughing up of blood brought on by her advancing Hep-V infection. When she wakes, Sarah is still there, trying to convince Amber to let her stay, that she’s changed and that she’s here for a reason. Amber has had enough of shunning form her family and is in no mood to be charitable to her sister who infected the whole world. But Sarah actually has something useful. Before the vampires started taking over the concentration camp, Sarah drank the Hep-V antidote. She offers herself to her sister.

I was expecting Sarah would have the Hep-V cure, but I wasn’t expecting the cure to be tied so intrinsically to her life. It’s a pretty frustrating dilemma for Eric, suddenly being dependent on the survival of the one came out of hiding to kill.

The ONLY reason Sarah Newlin drank the Hep-V antidote was so that she might have a chance to keep herself alive when the vampires started revolting. She is and has always been a two faced, self-serving snake in the grass and by Lilith I hope she dies like one before the series is over! She has always has this impulsive need to sell people on her BS. If she was really so convinced that it was her mission to cure vampires she would have gone back to her sister right away and not preamble about how she was a whole new person now. She wouldn’t have gone into hiding until the Yakuza had come to kill her and she had to make allies again.

Later that night, Eric, Pam and the Yakanomo arrive at Amber’s door. She answers, and her skin is clear and healthy.

“What the #@$%?!” Pam shouts.

Eric seizes Amber by the throat. “Why are you healed?” Ah, she can’t really answer best while you’re choking her Eric.

Finally for this episode, Bill, seeing his rapidly deteriorating condition calls a legal office of Madeline Kapneck. (Pfft) Jessica overhears his phone conversation where he mentions that he’s Hep-V positive. As Bill prepares to leave, Jessica tries to ask him about what happened, Bill asks about the party and Jessica mentions that she and James had a bad fight. Bill gives his sympathies. Goddmanit I am so sick of Bill and other traditionally stoic male characters not discussing their very pressing problems with people, especially the women they are close to.

Perhaps more than any other episode in the season and maybe even the show, “Karma” has the most overt scenes as Vampire rights as Allegory for Gay rights and the Hep-V epidemic as the AIDS epidemic. Bill gets to Kapneck’s offices to find a 5 to six hour wait, with vampires of every age, gender, race and vocation, waiting for legal courtesies while they waste away, not wanting to turn into ravenous monsters. Kapneck even has a vampire bodyguard wearing a surgical mask.

When Bill finally does get to see her, that’s when the really heavy allusions come into play. The original will for Bill’s estate was drafted while he was still in the “coffin”? The state doesn’t recognize vampire progenies as a legal relation? His best legal recourse to tie Jessica to his estate would be adoption? It seems even more hopeless for Bill when Kapneck tells him that Louisiana has been harsher on Vampires since Governor Burrell was assassinated. (GEE, WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED THAT WOULD END UP BITING BILL IN THE ASS?). Kapneck says there is a way to expedite the 5-10 month process and get Bill’s files to the front of the queue, but it would come with a price tag of $10,000,000. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Why don’t you dig into some of those book returns, Kapneck suggests. Bill isn’t waiting that long, but his attempts to glamour her are deflected by her resistant contacts.

“You’re a vulture,” Bill hisses, “You’re no better than the thieves I saw looking the corpses of the dead in the civil war.”

Kapneck has her retort. “How many years has your kind had to feed on humans like livestock without consequence? Hundreds? Thousands? Forgive me if I’m looking to make a quick buck before you all die off.”

Bill takes the letter opener of Kapneck’s desk and shoves it into her throat, then he takes a pencil off her desk and stakes the vampire body guard when he enters.

Meanwhile, Jessica frantically called Jason to fetch Sookie when she didn’t answer her phone, she doesn’t want to say what she overheard on the phone. Jason finds Sookie still wrapped up in Alcide’s jacket and quite hung-over. When they get to the Compton residence, Jessica tells what she overheard and Sookie realizes. She got splashed with infected blood before Alcide was shot and then Bill drank from Sookie. ARGH! Sookie realizes she has to get tested again and the results confirm her theory. There’s plenty more AIDS allusions when Sookie gets tested, including a flyer in the testing center that says “Silence = True Death”.

Jason tries to comfort Sookie while she ponders about still being connected to Bill. By the time Bill gets home, apparently again getting away with murdering a public official, Jessica and Sookie are there waiting for him, knowingly crying on each other’s shoulder. Bill shuts the door in resignation and the camera draws back as the episode closes.

Now almost all the show’s most central characters’ survival rests with the show’s most despicable conniving human character.  It also seems like the secondary characters are branching off into their own story lines for the final four episodes. It’s getting hard to imagine who the show is going to tie it all together. Perhaps there may yet be another major development ahead of Sarah’s imbibed cure, but I don’t quite have an idea what it could be.

What the hell is Violet up to anyway? Has Amber really been won over by her sister to the point of hiding her from other Vampires who need her cure? I hope not. Sarah Newlin better get hers before all is said and done.

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