True Blood: Jesus Gonna Be Here

"For every human a vampire. For every vampire a human."

Why so serious? True Blood usually isn't this serious.

Apocalyptic even, since small towns are being wiped out by marauding infected vampires. Is the battle for existence of Bon Temps the center of their final season? Appropriate, I suppose, but seriously, it was too serious for me. I didn't laugh once, and True Blood always makes me laugh. Plus there was a lack of the trademark True Blood outrageousness.

Every season seems to start with death at Merlotte's, which is now Bellefleur's. Is Tara really dead? If she is, that makes me glad that the touching scene in last season's finale between Tara and Lettie Mae was genuine, but wow. There was a strong suggestion that Lettie Mae was seeing Tara -- are there ghosts in Bon Temps again? And if they're killing off main characters, what hope is there for Arlene, Holly, the very pregnant Nicole and Jane Bodehouse, who are currently locked up in Eric's "prison" in the Fangtasia basement?

Most of this episode centered quite effectively around the Bellefleurs, father and daughter, and the Comptons, father and daughter, which was also all about the human/vampire survival pairing thing. Bill is the old Bill, like Billith never happened, and he even offered to sacrifice himself for Andy, despite Andy's completely understandable lack of forgiveness.

But Jessica was the real story. She was so determined to keep Adilyn alive that she nearly burst into flames in the Bellefleur front yard, ready to redeem herself with death. I thought it was lovely that Adilyn finally let Jessica into the house to save her, and even drank a little of Jessica's blood so that Jessica would always know where Adilyn was. I'm sure that little plot set-up will return later in the season.

My second favorite scene in this episode was the pairing of Jessica's laidback vampire honey James and the emotionally exhausted and numb Lafayette, who just lost his cousin Tara. It was so sweet the way that Lafayette and James connected, and James telling Lafayette how he became a vampire was surprisingly moving. I barely noticed that there was a new actor playing James, probably because he plays Jackson on The Originals so it felt like he belonged on a vampire show. The resemblance is strong, too (Luke Grimes as James from last season on the left, Nathan Parsons as James now, on the right.)

(Okay, so Nathan Parsons plays a werewolf in The Originals. It's still a vampire show, isn't it?)

In other news, Sookie and Alcide have been together six months, although I keep feeling that the relationship is temporary and I've been wondering about the mind-reading thing. Wasn't that why Sookie couldn't date humans? In the books, it's made pretty clear that weres and shifters are much harder to mind read than humans, but I don't think that's ever been discussed in this series. And what's with Alcide? Everyone was blaming Sookie for the vampire apocalypse, and Alcide was thinking it, too?

At least they had make-up sex before the episode ended, with lots of sexy True Blood nudity. (But all I could think of was that since Stephen Moyer directed this episode, Anna Paquin's husband was directing her having sex with another guy.) The Jason/Violet coupling was even more graphic and a bit more fun. I guess Violet was just waiting for Jason to demand instead of ask. But she made him wait six months? Really? Clearly, vampires don't see time the way humans do.

While the episode moved quickly and I liked it, I was most disappointed with the extreme lack of Eric Northman. At least his devoted Pam is looking for him in Marrakesh, and I loved the Indiana Jones Deer Hunter Russian roulette scene with the two vampires standing in big buckets for easy clean-up. I hope she finds him soon. It's not True Blood for me without Eric.

Bits and pieces:

-- Skarsgard is no longer in the cast, and wow, does that make me unhappy. Rutina Wesley was, though. Is Tara really dead?

-- As mentioned above, this episode was directed by Stephen Moyer. He did a good job.

-- Bellefleur's has a fleur-de-lis logo. That worked out so well for the French royal family.

-- I really liked that Willa stayed with the Rev and Lettie Mae. Even though it wasn't stated out loud, Willa was Tara's vampire sister. And now she has a home in the church basement.

-- Kevin the deputy was a continuing character in the books, and it looks like he just bit the dust, too.

-- James was a Vietnam draft dodger and pacifist, and after his best friend was killed, his friend's father beat James to death with a baseball bat. That was heavy.

-- Vince, who was Sam's opponent in the race for mayor, saw Sam as a dog turning into his human form. And wow, Vince did not like it, and there are definitely vigilante vibes going on there.


James: "I like your place."
Lafayette: "Yeah. It's got a certain ghetto je ne sais quoi."

Lafayette: "You are one metaphysical fuck."

Pam: "While your daughter does look delicious, I'll pass."

So what did you think? I'm pretty much on board, although Pam had darned well find Eric soon,

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


Anonymous said...

Great review Billie! Am I the only one that got a "romantic" vibe when James and Lafayette were talking?

J.D. Balthazar said...

I got the same vibe, as well as a subtle one between Jessica and Adilyn. I wonder if that's where things are going this season? Tara's death wasn't so shocking as it was abrupt. She was just gone, no death scene, no goodbyes, just bloody goo. That's disappointing for a character that was in the pilot.

Anyway, I do like the tonal shift so far, and if that means we get a more somber and coherent final season than I'm on board. Great review Billie.

maru said...

As usual I enjoyed your review 'so' much. Thanks!
True Blood is not True without Eric... Me thinks.

Véro said...

I have a question for you True Blood watchers. I started reading the books after watching the first season a few years ago and after that, I only watched... half of season 2. I'm now reading book #10 (after taking a break to read some other stuff), and I love the books so much, so I'm wondering if I should ever go back to watching the series. I love Sookie from the books a whole lot and after reading that she was kind of pathetic in the series, it kind of made me not want to watch True Blood anymore. So yeah, should I ever finish season 2 (and I also have the DVDs for season 3 unopened, lol) and also the other seasons?

Panda said...

I thought this episode was very very good. I agree it was a tad dreary, but it felt fitting. I think the outrageousness got a little out of hand the past few seasons so it makes sense to tone it down.

We didn't see Tara die. That makes me wonder if she's really gone. It still stung to think it though, even if I didn't really care all that much about her.

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, we didn't see Tara die -- that's it, exactly. But Lettie Mae was covered with vampire goo and she said Tara was dead and she didn't sound like she was lying.

Vero, the books and the series have some parallels but they're really completely different animals. If you're into the books, you might want to read them all first (Harris has finished the series -- there are thirteen books and there won't be more). If at that point you want to try the TV series again, it would be less conflicting and confusing.

Véro said...

Thanks for the response Billie! I am definitely aware of your reviews of the books and always read them right away after finishing a book! I figured the books and the series were very different and I guess that's where my problem with the series lie. Though if they weren't different, I guess it would be pretty boring. Anyway, I'll finish the books and see if I still want to watch True Blood at that point.

Juliette said...

Loved the James/Lafayette stuff and yes, I got a romantic vibe too. But the whole endeavour is just pointless without Eric. He brings both the funny *and* the sexy, both kinda missing here (apart from James, who was pretty hot). (Neither Jason/Violet nor Sookie/Alcide interest me in the least).

Heather1 said...

Oh dear. I'll go with this because it is the last season after all, and the episode was well done. But it wasn't Bon Temps. Jason didn't say anything stupid, no malapropism. This is usually an extreme show... extremes of violence and extremes of ridiculousness. Where was that balance? I missed it. But that's not to say that I didn't enjoy it. I did. I guess I'm going to be in the minority because I didn't get any sexual attraction between Lafayette and James, nor between Jessica and Adilyn. I think we're just used to it going in that direction whenever two characters on True Blood are alone in the same room together for any length of time. And I will repeat what I usually do: to myself, here and on other forums... I do not want ANYTHING to happen to Andy.

mazephoenix said...

I got a romantic vibe between James and Lafayette too..

See various rumors like this one..

End spoilers.

Hmm..When does Eric come back? Like you said it's not True Blood without him. Nice that Pam is looking at least.
Nice review and yes it was unsually sombre for TB.

Billie Doux said...

Thanks for the link, Mazephoenix. That's really interesting. Hadn't heard about it, but it makes sense. And it makes me like Nathan Parsons more.

Heather said...

Count me in too as someone who missed Eric. And I had a twinge of fear that they were going to drag out Pam's search too long for all of our likings.
I agree, Billie, things are dire and the show is not as fun anymore (I think that tonal shift arrived when Alan Ball left the writing team). As we get close to the end, I will try to always love this show for its cocktail of outrageous dialogue, sex, storylines and violence. There were a few lines even amongst this grim episode that made me LOL.

As an aside, I'm so excited to watch this season with you guys! This show has a very special place in my heart that The Wires and the True Detectives of the world can't even begin to touch. :)