True Blood: Life Matters

Jason: "How dare you speak for God?"

This was the best episode of True Blood I've seen in years.

One of my constant complaints about this show is that they try to jam too many story threads into an episode, and end up giving full justice to none of them. Not this time. This episode centered on two and only two stories -- Terry Bellefleur's absolutely wonderful and deeply touching funeral, and the strange ascension of our favorite vampires into creatures of the light. Both storylines were about love, family and sacrifice, but in different ways.

Arlene gave her husband Terry the funeral he deserved. Lettie Mae's husband was the perfect minister, and every eulogy and flashback got to me -- Andy and Terry at Fort Bellefleur, Sam showing such kindness by hiring a strange man in camo who looked like maniac, Lafayette teaching Terry how to cook French fries.

I didn't think it could get more touching, but it did -- when Sookie "came out" as a telepath in front of everyone so that she could tell Arlene that Terry was crazy for her from the moment they met. All of these people helped Terry because he deserved help, and loved him because he was a lovable man. But I think I was touched the most by Arlene talking about how she and Terry took turns being strong for each other. That's what a good marriage is really all about.

The other half of the story was just as good -- so much so that I can't really choose which was the A plot. Bill became the vampire Jesus, sacrificing his body and blood for his people and saving them all (although not from sin). Is it permanent? Did Bill just create a whole new breed of daywalking vampires? Wouldn't it be awesome if he did? (I kept expecting them all to start smoking as they were drunk on the sunshine, but no.) And how lovely that James was the one who offered to save Bill. He certainly just endeared himself to Jessica forever.

And Eric, an old and powerful vampire in a state of complete rage, was awesome. He took terrible vengeance on the people who victimized the vampires, and it was practically biblical -- blood and body parts everywhere. The doctor who killed Nora suffered the most; tearing off his genitals and tossing them in front of the guy? OMFreakingG. I thought Eric would be the one to save his family. And then I thought Eric would be the one to save Bill. But no. Where did Eric go at the end of the episode? Come back, Eric!

One more highlight for me -- Jason was absolutely awesome. No malaprops, no comedy, he caught Sarah Newlin and told her exactly what he thought of her. I knew he wouldn't be able to kill her. For a moment, I thought she was going to find a way to kill him. Thankfully, no.

RIP, Steve Newlin. At least he had the last word. "I love you, Jason Stackhouse!"

Bits and pieces:

-- Sarah running up to the roof to expose the vamps to the sun reminded me of Godric's death, another excellent TB episode.

-- Maxine Fortenberry attended the funeral, and said that Hoyt had moved on to a human woman.

-- I kept thinking about the fact that Andy just lost three daughters. No funeral for them.

-- Does Lettie Mae even know that Tara is a vampire now? I honestly don't recall.

-- Lafayette's funeral outfit was glorious. Loved the fake eyelashes with the purple tie and hat band.

-- And finally, there was one more good thing about this episode. We only got about two minutes of Warlow.


Sookie: "Eric took our deal and fucked it in the ass."
Seriously, Sookie?

Eric: "You're free. Go forth and kill the humans."

Eric: "Help me remember. Have I ever healed you before?"
Jason: "I don't think so."
Eric: "Well, you are in for a treat. And when you dream of me, dream of nice things."
I want to see Jason having sex dreams about Eric. Does that make me a bad person?

Terry: "Every life matters. Throw it back."
What a gentle soul he was.

Finn: (to Eric) "I fucked your progeny."
Jason: "You did not just go there!"

Ginger: "Well, if it isn't my knight in shining armor."
Lovely. And if she screamed once, she screamed three times. Love Ginger.

Eric: (to Steve) "Every time I've lost someone I loved, you were there."

Eric: "I saved the therapist for you."
Pam: "You take such good care of me."

Sarah: "What'll become of your soul, Jason?"
Jason: "I don't know. But at least I got one."

So on the one hand, we had death. And on the other, we had death. Completely different, but both great. Four out of four catfish,

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for quite some time. More Billie Doux.


HellBlazerRaiser said...

By far the best episode this season and the strongest episode in a long time.

The way the funeral was handled was elegant, simple and all around beautiful, paying tribute to one of the noblest characters to ever grace HBO.

The funeral pulled out the best from all the characters who spoke about Terry.

It was awesome to Mrs. Fortenberry and Jane Bodehouse. When did we last see Ms. Bodehouse? When did we last see Lettie Mae for that matter?

Roman said...

Yes, Lettie Mae knows Tara is a vampire. She paid Tara a visit at Fangtasia last season, and said Tara is dead to her.

Morgan India said...

Gotta love Eric ripping Overlark's junk off. Most justified death this season, I reckon.

Is it bad to hope that we'll get even a tiny cameo by Godric at all in the finale? I doubt it will happen, but with Eric having somewhat lost it, it could happen.

Anna is looking very skinny this season, especially having given birth to twins.

Antoinette Grant said...

Hopefully Nora will be the one that does a cameo. I'm shocked that Eric took off and even more shocked he wasn't in the episode finale. I'm glad he isn't gone and understand that he possibly have a film commitment but I was really looking forward to him saving Sookie with our luck he tried and she said that little spiel about not being able to replace someone he lost. I hated Sookie's character this season

Antoinette Grant said...

Does anyone know why Warlow's drama is being carried over to season 7? Season 5 he came through mirrors, season 6 he stayed in the cemefairy. Eric Northman fans were built over six consecutive seasons of him actually doing something not having all these powers supposedly being the bad of the bad hiding behind Sookie allowing her to feel sorry for him, some man

Billie Doux said...

Antoinette, this is episode 9 and I'm pretty sure we're getting 10, so it's not the finale. I *HOPE* that the Warlow stuff will end in the next episode and (of course) that Eric isn't gone for the finale.

Anonymous said...

Oh my this episode.

I was so not interested in the funeral. Especially not in it making 50% of the penultimate episode of this season. But I guess they didn't have a story for the non-vampires left.

I am really unhappy with Sookie right now. The way she gave up Eric to Bill and protected her precious Warlow is not making any sense to me. Why is she so stuck on a guy that she knows 5 minutes and is blackmailing her? Shouldn't she be glad to get rid of him? Why isn't she looking for Niall?

Bill's savior storyline is just too much and doesn't make any sense. Why did he have to feed the other vamps. They just had to walk out of the door after he opened it.

I also think it's time that Warlow's and Lillith's powers go away. Warlow in general has to go. He was nothing but pathetic this season, not coming close to the badass everybody was expecting.

Anonymous said...

This was the worst TB episode ever.

Anonymous said...

Eric recognising Ginger from her screaming was my highlight comedy moment.

Cannot wait to see how they line up season 7 in this last episode!

Iago said...

I loved the contrast between Terry's funeral and the vampire raid on the facility. The former was one of the sweetest, most moving bits of TV I've seen and the attack on the facility was one of the goriest I've ever seen.

True Blood generally doesn't make me cry but this episode did: it was Sookie outing herself as telepathic and telling the story of how Terry loved Arlene from the first meeting. Big John's song got to me too. It was beautifully normal.

Then there was Eric remembering his berserker days and wreaking bloody revenge and Billith doing his Jesus bit. Liked every second of it even if I was curled in the foetal position at a couple of points. Ginger was just gold, pure comedy gold and Pam was delightful as ever.

It still surprises me how much I like Jason: I don't blame Rev Newlin for making his final words a declaration of love, but I sometimes remember I used to hate Jason. The Jason/Eric sexy dream *has* to happen: come on HBO show us ladies and gay folk some love.

Samantha Gomes said...

When the season started, I honestly thought I wasn't going to watch it to its end, that TB had lost me. but it's episodes like this one that keeps us hooked up. It was beautiful and horrible; poetic all the way from the funeral to the raid. Epic. I just want to know where they're going int he season finale. I hope it lives up to this episode. And I truly hope Sookie getsback to her senses and ditches stupid Warlow. Or maybe I shouldn't have that high expectations, else I might get disappointed once again with the show. But this episode gave me hope, after all,they are even saving Alcide, who up to the episde before last was lost to the show in that stupid alpha wolf role.

MrJ said...

Was rewatching Angel episodes, mainly the Darla/Drusilla arc, from season 2, and it occurred to me that I haven't seen writing even remotely comparable to that in any season of True Blood.

The first season of True Blood was interesting mostly because it was all new. Since season 2, it has been just meh. Including the latest episode.

Yeah, we lost a long time cast member. But was he really such a presence that it required an eulogy as lengthy as this? I'm not sure. Anyway, the funeral part of the episode was at least watchable - rest made little sense.

Very poor writing from the True Blood Powers That Be, I'm not sure I can be bothered with the finale let alone next season.

Billie Doux said...

MrJ (and Anonymouseses) -- I haven't been all that happy with True Blood for awhile, so I get it, I really do. But I don't think the funeral was just about Terry. It was about most of our characters reconnecting because of their grief. As a character piece, I do think Terry's funeral was one of the best sequences they've ever done. Interestingly, two of the others that come to mind were Adele's death ("Cold Ground") and Godric meeting the sun ("I Will Rise Up").

MrJ said...

Ah, there was something in TB season 3. Russell Edgington was a cool villain. Back when Alcide's character made sense (or Bill's for that matter).

Don't misunderstand me, I think the funeral was the part of the episode that was actually done well. My only regret is, that assuming it was a means to reflect other characters' feelings rather than just to mourn a loss of a secondary character, it really leaves little space for other things to happen this late in a short season.

Luce said...

This was the episode I've waiting for all season long!

I've got to admit that I thought of fast-forwarding through Terry's funeral because I wasn't particularly sad about his passing. (For the record, writing that makes me feel like a horrible person. OTOH, he had set up the plan for his own death so...). Never in a million years would I think that I'd tear up (several times even!) whenever a character stood up and talked about their relationship with Terry. Even with the terrible racist comments by Grandma Bellefleur. Terry had always been a sort-of-background character (even when the show gave him an actual storyline). He was a damaged human being who tried his hardest to deal with his trauma. And he was also loved by many. That's what made the funeral scenes achingly bittersweet to watch.

Meanwhile, the vampire rebellion was absolutely thrilling. Not only because it was a really well-executed revenge plot, but also because it gave agency to all the vampires. They fought back and some became daywalkers and regained back a sprinkling of dignity (except Steve and his turncoat ways.)

In some ways, this episode was about communites: the vampire one (pushing back after being abused and terrorized by Sara and co) and the human one (gathering together to remember how they are connected.)

I wonder if the fact that there was very little Warlow AND werewolf/shifter drama is what got me to enjoy this episode so much.

In all honesty, I don't buy the Sookie/Warlow thing one little bit. Sookie acts totally out of character whenever the show puts a spotlight on her relationship with Warlow. Truthfully, watching those two together have led to some epic eyerolling from my part.

Will the season finale top this episode? I really don't know. But I'll most deffo tune in. :)

Juliette said...

For some reason I found the gore harder to take than usual in this episode, and felt distinctly nauseous. Given how much True Blood and Spartacus I've watched lately, I don't know where that came from!

Loved all the high vampires, but I wish the writers would decide whether Eric and Sookie care about each other or not. And you'd think she'd be more worried about Jason given he left her a message saying he's off to rescue Jessica and disappeared.