True Blood: Lost Cause

"Nothing's gonna help heal this pain you're feeling but time. And tequila."

This was the second exceptional episode in a row.

There's a reason why people have wakes. There have been too many deaths, and the entire cast town desperately needed a little drinking, a little carousing, a little catharsis, as they tried to find a way to move on. And because this is True Blood, the wake included hook-ups and break-ups, a stabbing, and even a marriage proposal.

A guy going down on one knee with a ring in his hand usually doesn't get to me, but this one did. It might have helped that Andy forgave Jessica first, and proposed to Holly with Gran's ring. I was even affected by Sookie glancing over at Bill at that moment, once again signaling that the True Blood end game will most likely go in a Sookie/Bill sort of way.

Poor Sookie. Home alone again after losing two more people that she loved, waking up with no Alcide in the bed beside her, she needed to get drunk more than anyone. It was perhaps a little bit pat that she walked through the party listening to everyone thinking nice thoughts about her, but I especially liked Sookie and Arlene in the bedroom talking about loss, about Arlene wrapping Terry's coat around her so that she could imagine being in his arms again. Especially when Jackson overheard and was kind enough to leave Alcide's coat on the bed for Sookie. That was the most emotion I've ever felt about the Sookie/Alcide romance. Nicely done.

I was a bit less on board with the Bill flashbacks to the start of the Civil War, probably because I've always seen Bill's human existence as that of a simple soldier and family man. Instead, he was smart enough to see the end of the war coming before it started (there's a scene much like this early in Gone With the Wind, where Rhett Butler tells the men who are all excited about going to war that the Yankees have much better resources and the South will lose). Bill and his family tried to refugee, but failed. Nice to hear, but it felt like retcon. Plus his hair was really bad.

At least we know now why we're getting Bill flashbacks; he has Hep V, too. That means I'm positive they'll find a cure before the end of the season. We can't lose Bill and Eric, or the fans of the show will implode.

One of the highlights of this episode for me was the big honey realignment. James wanted to take Jessica away for a romantic moment, and she called him a wet blanket? Has she actually looked at this guy? I love Jessica, but I was so with Lafayette when he told her off; Jessica never loved James. But she did love Jason, and in five minutes they were back together again. I get the impression Violet won't take this lying down. Even though it was her own fault for talking about how hard it was to lose the first few of her hundred boyfriends in front of Jason. There is such a thing as tact, Violet.

I am developing a thing for Nathan Parsons as James. He has this gentle sexy sweetness to him. Lafayette has always been a favorite of mine, and I really want a happily-ever-after for him. Maybe James could turn Lafayette and they could spend eternity getting stoned, making love, and doing nice things for their friends.

The Eric/Pam trip to Dallas felt much like it was tacked on to the episode in order to provide some action and True Blood trademark gore. Actually, I was sad we didn't get Eric and Pam at Sookie's party. But setting the showdown slash massacre at the Bush Presidential Library gala for Ted Cruz made me laugh out loud, since I am so not a Republican.

The Sarah-coming-around-the-corner-in-slomo was right out of Terminator 2, with Eric as the Terminator. (And I just this moment remembered that the T-1000, Robert Patrick, was in this episode as Jackson Herveaux. Was that a little nod of acknowledgement to him?) Eric got to do some Yakuza face-ripping while wearing a cowboy hat. Good times.

But Sarah Newlin is still alive, isn't she? Hep V is still fatal, and Eric is in stage two. And I am very unhappy that Eric keeps telling Pam he's going to die. That scene where she was dabbing him with make-up while he brushed away her tears was upsetting. We just can't lose Eric this way.

Bits and pieces:

-- Bill told Sookie during their romantic hugging scene outside that she had succeeded in bringing humans and vampires together, and that mainstreaming was finally happening.

-- Eric sitting on his "throne" one last time before releasing Willa made me sad, but Ginger screaming for us as Eric's coffin was loaded into the limo made me laugh.

-- Jackson and Lettie Mae gave toasts to Alcide and Tara, and Jackson was incredibly kind to Sookie in his hour of grief. But is Lettie Mae an addict again, or just desperate to save Tara? We still don't know.

-- Jason actually dropped a cushion on the floor in front of Holly so that Andy would have something to kneel on. And he gave Andy Gran's ring. That's a friend.

-- Pam liked Sarah's sister, Amber Mills. So did I. I even remember Sarah talking about her sister taken by vamps in a much earlier season.

-- Keith the vampire is hot for Arlene, but he can wait and dial down his sexy. I bet we're going to get a happily ever after for Arlene. I'd like that.

-- In Bill's flashback, "Mr. Bodehouse" was the bartender. Again, nice touch and a reminder that we're still in Bon Temps, even in the past.

-- Gold acting stars for Chris Bauer, Carrie Preston and Nelsan Ellis in particular for this episode, even though everyone was terrific.


Eric: "As your maker, I release you." (Willa gasps)
Pam: "Like being kicked in the cooch by a wallaby, isn't it?"

Ginger: "I have been your sex slave for fifteen years, Eric Northman, and we ain't never had sex!"
Poor Ginger. Couldn't Eric oblige her just once?

Pam: "I like you."
Amber: "Is it all right if I haven't made up my mind about you yet?"
Pam: "Yeah, I really like her."

Amber: "Security's going to be tight and they only invited assholes."
Eric: "You don't know us, sweetheart. We can be assholes."
Loved the cowboy hat. I've always loved Eric under cover.

James: "She gives me just enough love and just enough affection to keep me hooked."
Lafayette: "That is just like paying the minimum on your credit card bill each month just to keep that fucker from getting canceled."

Pam: "Oh. My. God. I'm a Republi-cunt."
Laugh. Out. Loud.

Arlene: "I have to go make tinkle because you know, I am a human."

Jason: "You mean with all that sensitive musician shit, it never occurred to you that he might be gay?"

Pam: (in the Bush Library) "Of all the horrible things I've seen in the last hundred years, this could be the most disturbing."

Wonderful episode. Four out of four leather jackets,

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


Ellie said...

I thought Republi-cunt was the best insult from Pam all season (so far) and an excellent little snark at those internet trolls who call everyone who doesn't agree with their views a lib-tard.

That aside I'm loving this season, it is truly a hoot I, just hoping for a happy-ish ending for all our old faves - especially Eric and Bill.

Anonymous said...

I didn't like this episode, especially Lafayette basically telling Jessica it was her fault that James cheated on her. Plus, it stretches realism that anyone would cheat on Deborah Ann Woll (although making James suddenly turn super-gay just to give Lafayette something/someone to do is one way). Jason and Jessica have never made sense together and it didn't make sense for Jason to cheat on Violet either.

Plus, both couples were acting like chimps with developmental problems. They cheat on their significant others at a party that their significant others are attending. Good job.

I think the sudden influx of deaths just isn't affecting me because True Blood had always played it safe in that regard, so it's hard to take the deaths seriously and it seems like a transparent writing choice. True Blood never killed off main characters who weren't villains before: hell, they spent an entire episode fellating Terry's corpse last season while Tara and Alcide get next to nothing (in Tara's case, not even a death scene).

And I just don't care. I don't care about Hep-V, I don't care that we're meant to feel sorry for Eric. Sure, he's a fun character and I enjoy him, but considering he's spent the better part of three thousand years killing indiscriminately I can't help but feel that a slow, painful death is the kind of what he signed up for.

True Blood has never really fulfilled it's potential; it's been a fun but confused series that didn't really know where to turn and any attempt at the vampires = homosexuality metaphor ultimately fell flat. I'll still watch the last episode, probably, just to see what happens. But this is just another episode of a series that's been dying for a pretty long time.

That said, there are still some good things. Chris Bauer and Deborah Ann Woll are consistent bright spots.

Paul Kelly said...

Eric: "Ginger, I'm diseased."
Ginger: "So the fuck am I!"

Pam's face was an absolute picture. Some really funny lines this episode. I like the balance they're creating between humour, gloom, and the various burgeoning romances.

And if Bill's infected, and we can't lose Bill, then maybe Eric isn't as doomed as we think. It's going to be a real pisser if Eric dies just hours before they find the cure.

mazephoenix said...

The turnaround with Jessica and James switching partners was abrupt..
James is possibly bisexual-that is a thing. He did tell Lafayette he'd had a thing with his friend after all.
But yeah-typical last season pairing of the last people standing. That said I enjoyed this episode, wonderful farewell to Alcide and Tara.
What is Lettie Mae's deal?
Pam and Eric as undercover republicans was fun. Eric had better live. And Bill too.

Billie Doux said...

Apparently, The Daily Beast asked Ted Cruz for comment about the episode. :)

TheShadowKnows said...

Ted Cruz probably thought "True Blood" was a white supremacist group.

MrsB said...

I'm up in the air on this one. They made Jessica blow off James just so he could hook up with Lafayette. Violet hasn't been the warmest character but they abruptly turned her into a jerk so Jason could hook up with Jessica. I'm all for the hookups but having people suddenly act different for convenience bugs me.

I loved every minute of Ginger being on screen, she is such a hoot. The diseased comment had me rolling.

Not so much enjoying the whole anti-Republican comradery the comments section is having. Kinda disrespectful.

Juliette said...

It seems unlikely that Bill will die before a cure is found, but if Eric is stage 2 and Bill only stage 1 that makes me fear even more for Eric...

I've never really understood Jason and Violet, which has always seemed like a really bad case of Stockholm Syndrome more than anything else, and I'm happy for him to be with Jessica, but a bit worried about what exactly Violet is going to do to them now...

Luce said...

This episode showcased, to me, exactly why I'm so frustrated with the final season. Everything's pretty aimless plotwise (outside of Pam and Eric's mission to kill Sarah). It'd be great to have a villain or some kind of overarching goal for the characters to focus on.

OTOH, some characters (Lafayette, Pam, Ginger, Arlene, Andy) had good (if not great) scenes. Like when Lafayette threw down the gauntlet with Jessica. It was a great performance from both of them.

Meanwhile, other characters (Violet, Sookie, Sam, and Bill) had the kind of scenes that made me inwardly eyeroll like whoa.

And, I didn't feel like the scenes meshed well. Others felt tremendously unnecessary.

For example, Bill's endless flashbacks. I'm trying v. hard to hold on to the idea that all of his trips down memory lane this season have some kind of deeper meaning that will knock everyone off their seats when the series comes to an end. At this point, the fact that he too got infected with Hep V is not making him more likeable to me.

Will Eric die? I'm hoping that won't happen (despite the show pushing super hard for a Bill/Sookie endgame).

Seeing how we're at the halfway point of the season, I'll keep watching. Mostly out of curiosity to see how it all ends.

Heather said...

I realize this may sound lame but I can see and for the most part agree with pretty much what everyone's said here (even when it's contradictory which is something this show perhaps unwittingly fosters).
Billie, a great review.
I thought to add that something else this show has done exceptionally well through the seasons is to suggest that the way we're all formed falls first in the arena of family and good ole genes. There's been great moments of this between maker& progeny (is it surprising Bill can profile as manipulative, charming and awful without breaking a sweat with Lorena as his maker? And Eric and Pam's bond? An absolute direct result of Godric's honest, deep and abiding lineage.) There have been clumsier but still measured results within the human legacies shown through the generations in Bon Temps, too. I think this episode made an effort to honor this TB tradition... Jane Bodehouse, Sookie and Jason, Alcide's dad, Lettie Mae and Lafayette.