‘Jesus Gonna Be Here’ raises the stakes for True Blood‘s final season


This is the end, my only friend, the end.
This is the end, my only friend, the end.

Sookie, Bill, Jason, LaFayette, Sam, and Jessica are back in the final season of True Blood, HBO’s killer vampire drama that’s in its seventh and final season.

We’re here to watch the writers and actors raise the stakes for the residents of Bon Temps as they try to make sense of a world terrorized by infected Hepatitis V vampires and the human bigotry of the small southern town in the series inspired by Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries novels.

If you missed the first six seasons, be warned: there’s a ton of spoilers here. If you want to catch up on the basics, though, head over to our monstrous six-season recap and then come on back, y’all, hear?

Season Seven, Episode One: “Jesus Gonna Be Here”
Written by Angela Robinson, Directed by Stephen Moyer

Pictured:  Rutina Wesley Photo:   Tony Rivetti/HBO
Pictured: Rutina Wesley
Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO

The show opens after the iconic HBO television static with a chaos of images from the town-wide BBQ being held to introduce Bon Temps humans to the uninfected “good” vampires who will be their protection.

Sookie takes a big breath as the camera pans through the violence: Bill fights off infected vampires, Jason saves one human only to be attacked by an evil fanger, Jason’s lover vampire Violet flies through the air in slow motion to stake her lover’s attacker with a wooden stake.

A bad vamp stops mid-attack to ask Sookie, “What *are* you,” only to fall prey to Sookie’s new boyfriend Alcide, in full wolf form.

Sam gathers up scared humans but then sees his pregnant girlfriend carried off by H-Vamps. He shifts into a collie and rushes off in pursuit, wolf-Alcide close behind.

Suddenly, the attack ends, the camera pans past Sookie to Bill, staring at her. Jason and LaFayette hear a crying woman, and all four of the main characters find out that it’s Tara’s recently reconciled mom, covered in the remains of a dead vampire.

“They killed my Tara, they killed my baby girl”

And then boom, it’s the twangy guitar of Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” for the credits. True Blood is back.

Post credits, we’re watching Jason call Andy about the bloodbath, and Sheriff Andy has to go, because his girlfriend Holly is one of the missing. He’s got to leave his fairy daughter Adilyn at home, though, and baby vamp Jessica promises to stay and protect her, not to eat her, even though she smells. so. good. Andy can’t help taunting Jessica with “they killed your friend Tara” and telling Adilyn to “do not let her in, you understand me, no matter what.”

Pictured:  Anna Paquin Credit:  Tony Rivetti/HBO
Pictured: Anna Paquin
Credit: Tony Rivetti/HBO

Sookie listens to all the inside voices of the shocked residents of Bon Temps, who all apparently think she’s a slut who’s responsible for everything bad that’s just happened, especially the failed mayor, who sees current mayor, Sam Merlotte, change from dog to naked human.

Tara’s mom gets some vampire blood to heal her, while Merlotte and Andy almost come to blows because Andy blames Sam for the crummy “every human needs a vampire” plan and Sam gets pissy because his woman and unborn child are among the taken.

Bill tells everyone the Hep-V vamps will be nesting in abandoned buildings, so two teams take off to find the captured humans. Bill and Andy head one direction while Jason and his new vampire girlfriend head another.

Sookie hears Alcide think disparaging thoughts about her, and leaves in a huff. It’s a nice callback to the first season where Sookie has a hard time filtering everything out.

Jessica calls her new vampire boyfriend who she met in the vampire detention center/sun chamber and checks in on his well-being. Such a nice girlfriend. Jessica tells him where she is, and that she’s protecting Adilyn Bellefleur. He points out that she hasn’t fed in a long time, and that she has to eat. Jessica knows this, as she ate both of Adilyn’s sisters last season.

Pictured:  Sam Trammell Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO
Pictured: Sam Trammell
Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO

Sam’s mayoral opponent calls him out as a “motherfucking dog,” and Sam convinces the suit to not mention it to anyone else. Sam plays his mayor card and he and Bill tell all the vamps to take their humans back home and let them feed.

Bill assigns Jessica’s vampire boyfriend to a seriously shaken LaFayette, and the two men head home. Sam gets his own vamp, though as he’s not human, who knows if that’s useful.

Sookie wanders down a dark road for some reason. Because she’s crazy, apparently. Alcide calls her and leaves a useless message. She gets out her phone, skips the call, and then throws her phone into the woods. Striding away, she trips over a dead body that looks surprisingly like Sookie herself. Of course, she tells no one.

Cut to Pam, Eric’s recently released progeny, engaging in some weird vampire Deerhunter-style game of Russian roulette in modern day Morocco. In one corner is vampire Rashim, and in the other is Pam, fabulously pissy and smart-ass as always. After some trigger pulling with no result and some god-talk (“I’ll be in hell having a three way with the devil,” says Pam), Rashim tells Pam he can see her pain. Luckily, fate intervenes and he explodes in a big mooshy pile of guts and blood.

Pam wins the contest and gets the name of someone she needs to see who has info on where Eric has gotten to. Pam doesn’t know he’s burnt to a crisp, as Eric released her from their vampire bond a season or two ago.

Pictured:  Deborah Ann Woll Photo:  Tony Rivetti/HBO
Pictured: Deborah Ann Woll
Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO

Adilyn feels bad for Jessica, and opens the window to talk to her vampire counterpart. The two girls bond over their hot, sexy boyfriends and the shared tragedy of when Jessica ate both of Adilyn’s other sisters. “I should hate you,” says Adilyn, “but I don’t.”

Jessica continues to be the heart of this show.

The girls are interrupted by a scary Hep-V vampire who calls out, “what is she?” as he’s attracted by the smell of the delicious fairy.

Alcide comes home to Sookie’s house and tells her it’s unfair for her to hold him responsible for his thoughts, no matter how they would sound being spoken aloud. Sookie continues to push him away for his thinking. Again, a great callback to Sookie’s telepathy.

Jason drives down the street with the vampire who claimed him last season. They’re both pretty upset by the whole massacre, and Jason reminisces about Tara coming over as a young girl to visit Sookie. When they arrive at the abandoned building, they find the same mayoral candidate that called Sam out as a canine holed up with a bunch of other scared townsfolk who are standing around with stakes and wooden bullets to kill all vampires.

Vampire Violet steps up and gets all threatening, not defusing the situation by insulting all the scared humans and insulting their dick size. Not a negotiator, for sure. Jason gets pissed off and tells Violet she blew it. He gets out of the car after they start down the road, and calls Violet out for being confrontational. Jason reminds Violet that she won’t let him have sex with her, though he can give her plenty of oral sex. He resolves all of this by telling her that she WILL fuck him. She says, “finally,” and they do it right there on the hood of the police car. More boobs and boy butts. Jason barely gets his pants down before he’s deep inside of her as she laughs and laughs.

LaFayette and Jessica’s hippie boyfriend get to LaFayette’s house. LaLa smokes out, saying, “Give me a sec while I get altered, and then I’ll give you lunch.” The pacifist vampire from the Vietnam era partakes of the bong, and then shows his nihilistic side, telling LaFayette that ultimately, nothing really matters, even the death of LaFayette’s cousin, Tara. New guy gives good backstory, talking about how his best friend’s father had beaten him to death with a bat when the military came to tell of his best friend’s death in ‘Nam.

“So, if you ask me, there is zero point in feeling pain, or fear, grief, or regret,” he says.

Boyfriend kneels down and feeds on LaLa. Best foley sounds ever as he sucks the blood right out of LaFayette’s forearm.

Jessica continues to guard the house from the gravelly voiced Hep-V vampire, who taunts Jessica and moves toward the house. Adilyn fears for her new friend. Jessica gives Adilyn her vampire blood, which lets Jessica know where Adilyn is all the time, and if she’s in danger. Hep-V vamp knows he’s dying and has nothing left to lose. “I’m gonna taste that girl before I die.”

Tara’s mom, back at reverend’s house, is hallucinating that she hears her daughter Tara, likely due to the vampire blood she drank to heal herself. The vampire protecting the human couple (the previous mayor’s turned daughter) tells the rev that she’s got nowhere to go, and he offers his “lost sheep” a light-tight garage to stay in, acting like a concerned father figure. It’s a nice human touch.

Cut to Morocco again, and Pam refuses to feed on an offered child. “Only clean blood in North Africa is child blood,” says the girl’s mother. Pam gives Najat, the girl’s father, a huge wad of cash in exchange for some information about where Eric is. He gives her some sort of map of the Rhone area. Pam’s surprised, saying, “he would never…” and then leaves the area when he insists his information is good.

Pictured:  Joe Manganiello Photo:    Tony Rivetti/HBO
Pictured: Joe Manganiello
Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO

Next we see Sookie crawl into bed behind Alcide’s heavily muscled back to apologize in a scene that seems more designed to show off her naked breasts than anything else. Alcide says it’s ok, and that he loves her. Sookie loves her werewolf, too. Kissing and more nudity happens.

Andy and Bill show up at another abandoned building and find evidence of the nesting H-Vamps, along with some gross rotting bodies that have been hung up side of beef-style in a side room. More vigilante humans show up (with the same damn mayoral candidate apparently) and Andy talks them down in order to save Bill, after Bill selflessly offers himself up to save Andy. Awww, bros.

The nesting vamps in Fangtasia are eating the hell out of some humans, and Deputy Mayberry is chained up in the basement along with Holly, Arlene and Sam’s pregnant girlfriend. A scary H-Vamp comes down to threaten and choose his next meal. As he grabs poor Mayberry and buries his vampy fangs into the deputy’s neck, the three women scream like high school girls watching a b-grade horror movie. Snerk.

Later, in the car, Bill tries to thank Andy for saving his undead life, but Andy rebuffs him, saying he simply needs Bill to find Holly: “We will never be good. Ain’t nothing in this world can make right what you did to me and my family, so save your thanks.”

For some reason, Bill has a short flashback to leaving his family to fight in the Civil War in his pre-vampire life.

Jessica is still protecting Adilyn as the sun is about to come up. She’s gonna burn up if she doesn’t get inside, so Adilyn invites her in against Jessica’s protests. Jessica swoops in, looking like she’s gonna eat the poor fairy girl after all, but lets her go and heads up to the attic to go to ground for the night. The H-Vamp bangs on the door as the sun rises, burning him to an infected crisp.

Church the next day, and the Reverend begs the town to stick to the plan. Sookie comes into church, and puts her hand on Tara’s mom’s shoulder, who shakes it off and tells Sookie to go to hell. Sookie gets up to leave and hears all the nasty, blaming thoughts of the townfolk. Sookie halts her retreat to tell the congregation that yeah, she had a part in the tragedy, but she’s here to help. She wants to help. Just let her help. Because Sookie knows vampires like no one else. Probably because she’s slept with a few of them. Go Sookie!

End song: Jesus Gonna Be Here, by Tom Waits

Missing threads: no mention of poor dead Terry, no sight of Eric, Hoyt’s still in AK, apparently.

Highlights: Andy is growing up; he’s much less of a bumbling idiot now that he’s got a daughter to protect. Jason steps up and gets laid. Jessica fights her base instincts and saves an innocent girl. Vampires are scary again, thanks to the infected zombie-like Hep-V vampires roaming the countryside. Tara is dead. Again.

All images courtesy HBO.