Lots going on in this week’s episode of HBO’s vampire-romance television show, including answers on Eric’s whereabouts, more info on the infected, zombie-like Hep-V vampires, and a whole bunch of callbacks to the first season of the show.
If you missed last week’s recap, head on over and read up on the first episode of the seventh and final season of this HBO cult-hit, or read our massive recap of the first six seasons to catch up on the whole story, loosely based on Charlaine Harris’ bestselling novels, so far.
Be warned – there be spoilers ahead, so if you don’t want to know what’s going on in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, keep moving, folks.
We open the show with an external shot of a beautiful European villa. There’s a mysterious figure walking through the halls who looks a lot like Eric. He untucks his shirt, unbuttons it, and stares out the window.
It IS Eric. Another figure enters the room, Eric says, “You found me.” Surprisingly, it’s Jason Stackhouse: “How’s that working out for you?” he says.
Jason confronts Eric, tells him to stop being all isolated, tragic, and vampiric. Says there is something between them that Eric is denying. Eric asks about Violet, Jason’s vampire girlfriend Jason confirms that he’s “crazy about her,” but still still wants Eric. Jason attacks the taller vampire, saying, “I can’t get you out of my head.”
Jason attacks Eric, their shirts come off, and they have gloriously lit man-sex, with the camera lingering on every kiss and hot, smoldering look. It’s as lingering and heavy-breathing as every heterosexual sex scene we’ve seen on this show, and a nice start towards evening out the sexual-orientation balance of the typical True Blood show.
Suddenly, Jason wakes up in the back pew of Reverend Daniels’ church — it was only a dream. Nooooo! Jason is taken aback, and does his typical wow-aren’t-I confused look, glances down at his crotch, and we cut to the intro credits.
“I Found You”
Written by: Kate Barnow
Directed by: Howard Deutch
We’re back in front of the church, with Sam Merlotte, new Mayor, and Andy Bellefleur, less-bumbling Sheriff, arguing over how to best figure out what’s going on with all these infected zombie vampires, the Hepatitis-V strain. Sookie, hearing the townsfolk’s crappy opinions of her in her head, says that oh, hey, she saw a dead girl in the woods last night, so maybe that’s a clue. No one seems upset that a) she was wandering the woods by herself or b) that she waited until know to report a dead girl, but no matter. Her plan seems sound, so all the main characters, including Sam, Alcide, Jason, Andy, head off to see the dead girl in the woods. Andy assigns deputy Kenya to watch the home office.
Reverend Daniels pleads with Mayor Sam to tell the shocked residents what to do for the day, since all the reverend can offer is prayer and counseling at the church. Sam climbs to the steps, and does another one of his pep-talks, saying that maybe being of service to Arlene (who’s still missing) and cleaning up the bar that she now owns — seems like the bar named after Sam is now named after Arlene and the late Terry Bellefleur — would be a great way of doing that. Also, a great way of gathering together a ton of redshirts in one place, too.
Tara’s momma tells her husband, the reverend, that she needs to check in on her nephew, LaFayette. I still can’t believe anything she says.
Andy tries to take his daughter, innocent fairy Adilyn, home for safety, but she talks her way out of going home in order to spend more time with Holly’s cute sons. Typical 2-week old, right?
The scary H-Vamp who ate sheriff Mayberry last week is getting scolded for not sharing by the infected boss vamp, who has a rather colorful British accent and vocabulary. Seems as if the sick bloodsuckers are nested up at Fangtasia, previously Eric and Pam’s vampire bar in Shreveport. They’ve got Arlene, Holly and Sam’s pregnant girlfriend in the underground dungeon, along with a couple other semi-regular bar patrons as well. They’re not actually wearing red shirts, but they should be.
The infected aren’t all one solid camp, though, and a few of the vampires, most notably women, aren’t super down with hunting and killing humans. The boy vamps, however, are just f-ing hungry, so they want to keep the fresh meat coming in. Sure, they’re all going to die from their sickness, but even H-Vamps want to live as long as possible.
Betty, a former teacher from Bon Temps, is appointed as the vampire who has to bring up the chained humans from Fangtasia’s basement, since she apparently has a lot of self control, unlike the young man who ate the sheriff. She wants everyone to stop acting like savages, which is great for Arlene and Holly downstairs — Mrs. Betty Harris (any relation to Charlaine?) was their kids’ fourth-grade teacher back in the day, which is probably why the teacher didn’t grab Arlene as a snack her first trip down to the dungeon.
Arlene is energized by this fact, and promises the rest of the women chained up that she will save them all by trying to persuade Mrs. Harris to let them go. “I did not survive four lousy husbands,” she says, “a serial killer boyfriend, and the sorta-suicide of my love, Terry, to die in a basement of a fucking vampire bar!”
The Scooby Gang gets to where Sookie saw the dead girl the night before. The fingerprints on the body have been eaten off by animals overnight (shoulda reported it earlier, hey, Sookie?), but Jason brags about how his simple mindedness is an asset as he finds the woman’s wallet and hands Sheriff Andy a card. Turns out, it’s her Starbuck’s card, but whatever, the idea’s still good.
Mary Beth Grant, 25 years old, is from Saint Alice (pronounced, “Elise,” because Louisiana), which is luckily only two towns over. Andy calls the Saint Alice sheriff’s office, but it just rings and rings. Sookie gets all existential and quotes a gravestone from town that refers to the brutal indifference of life. Life (or death, in this case) doesn’t care who you are or how you live; it’s gonna kill you anyway. This echoes Jessica’s boyfriend from last week who said essentially the same thing.
The gang lets Sookie convince them that they need to take a roadtrip to the town poor dead Mary Beth is from.
Lettie Mae shows up at LaFayette’s house, at first all sugary sweet and telling LaLa that she’s just there to check up on him, and that she and Tara had made peace before Tara (allegedly) exploded into a dead mooshy pile of vampire guts in Lettie Mae’s lap. See, Tara’s mom wants some hallucinogenic vampire blood, called “V,” from LaFayette, a known dealer many seasons ago. She wants to see Tara again, and believes that she’ll see her daughter again via the substance. He refuses with some fabulous rhetoric about playing checkers with Ghandi in the bathtub while under the influence of V, and she storms out. See, Lettie Mae is not one to be trusted. Also, she says, “Lordie” a lot.
Sending everyone to Bellefleur’s bar is also a great way of gathering together a ton of redshirts in one place, too.
Back at Bellefleur’s bar, the townsfolk are mopping and wiping up all the dead vampire moosh from the floor, counters and tabletops. Adilyn and Holly’s son, Wade, are reassuring each other over a pile of guts, when Vincent, the mayoral candidate that lost to Sam and then saw Sam turn into a dog, shows up with his rabble-rousing buddies to stir the crowd up into a vampire-killing mob. The good-hearted locals refuse at first, but a scream from Hoyt’s larger-than-life momma when she finds a bunch of dead people in the freezer as snacks for later convinces them all (except for Wade and Adilyn) to start breaking up the furniture for stake wood. Fairy Adilyn hears one young woman remembering that the Sheriff’s office has a lot of guns in it. Conveniently, only one deputy is there to keep them safe. Wade and Adilyn run off to warn Kenya that an angry mob is comin’ for them guns.
Wannabe-mayor Vincent speaks for the whole audience when he says, “There’s a bigger picture here y’all are missin’,” he says, floridly. “This town’s full of vampires, has a dog for a mayor, and is bein’ preached at by a telepath.” That’s pronounced VAMPers, MAYuh, and, well, TELepath. That’s two for the meta-exposition fans in the room.
Mrs. Harris comes down the stairs for the reaping, and Arlene takes this opportunity to convince her to save them. While the two chained-up women seem to be more interested in saving their own skin instead of getting the vamps to release everyone in the dungeon — they’re series regulars, right? — Arlene’s ploy works as Mrs. Harris takes over staying awake during the Hep-V naptime upstairs and then runs down to save the ladies. Unfortunately, she devolves into a mooshy pile of vampire mess right after feeding on Arlene’s femoral artery, which is located in Arlene’s upper thigh. Bummer.
Meanwhile, the other big group of regulars shows up in St. Alice. It’s like a scene out of AMC’s The Walking Dead, complete with lonely sheriff’s car traveling down an empty road and hand-painted signs warning off potential looters. Even the music goes full-on zombie-horror, full of lingering drone notes like a Bear McCreary score without the drums.
“Looted Everything Gone! Out Of Guns And Ammo. Leave Us In Peace” says one boarded-up storefront that Alcide seethes over to. Andy sees “Pray For Us Sinners Now And At The Hour Of Our Death Amen.” Sam has to climb to the top of a chainlink fence to see “FEMA Help Us” stenciled on the street, and “SOS” on the roof of a nearby building.” Shades of Hurricane Katrina here, of course, as well as The Walking Dead vibe. Jason lingers on a painted, “I am sleeping inside w/ 100 Lbs of SILVER and 2UV Guns,” sign – reading it aloud in case we missed the actual writing.
Sookie calls out to the group, and they all assemble to see what she’s found: a big-old hole in the ground filled with rotting corpses. The dissonant music ratchets up a notch, and Sookie says, “There’s no one left” as the camera cranes upward, leaving us wondering why there’s a ladder on the side of the pit. Maybe no one wanted to just chuck the bodies down into the hole? Or were the H-Vamps climbing out after feeding on the humans?
Adilyn and Wade convince a skeptical Deputy Kenya that a mob is coming for the guns, but even though she starts off protecting them, a reminder of her being a woman of color with less promotional ability than simple-minded Jason Stackhouse has her cuffing the two young people and giving the mob access to the gun room. The mob does what it does best, setting up targets inside the Sheriff’s office and teaching each other to shoot them in a butt-rock anthem-overlaid scene. That’s two mobs-cause-chaos scenes in one episode. Jessica, in the attic at Andy’s house, feels Adilyn’s danger and tries to call Sookie, who threw her phone out last week.
Sookie and friends make it to Mary Beth’s home, and use this opportunity to split up into groups that conveniently have hard emotional truths to speak to each other in this dead woman’s house. Jason figures out that it’s been two and a half days since the troubles by eating a leftover piece of pizza off the table. Sookie reads Mary Beth’s journal, which conveniently mirrors her own backstory, with Mary Beth falling for a mysterious vampire. We get a flashback to when Sookie and Bill arrange for a non-date to Fangtasia from the first season.
Andy sees wedding pics and vows to “make an honest woman of Holly” when he gets back. “A man ain’t nothin’ without a family,” he says, to Jason’s simple chagrin.
Tara’s mom burns herself in a pan, and realizes it’s her ticket to more vampire blood. She tricks houseguest vampire into feeding her some of Willa’s healing and hallucinatory blood, and sees Tara, on a cross, covered in a big snake, speaking in tongues. Weird.
Andy comes home to find Jessica there, and she finally tells him to get the heck over himself and let her protect him and Adilyn. She’s also got some weird vampire bites on her forearm that haven’t healed, which is not par for the course.
Sookie ditches Alcide at home and heads over to Bill’s house, I guess because she had that fun flashback earlier.
Final scene? We see the same villa as in the first scene, except this time it’s Pam that comes upon Eric, ailing and slouchy in a big wing-back upholstered chair. He says the same thing, though. “You found me.” He looks like he’s got Hep-V, too.
Roll credits and that’s a wrap for this week’s True Blood episode.
Highlights: We know now that True Blood is set in April, 2011, thanks to Sookie’s diary reading. The zombie-flick vibe is a lot of fun, especially for The Walking Dead fans. The self-referential meta-exposition is awesome.
Questions: Who is that new Tara stand-in with hopeful mayoral candidate Vincent? Why does the whole gang have to go to St. Alice? Why is Eric in France, and is he sick?