No TV show says summer to us more than True Blood, its Southern Gothic atmosphere and pulpy pleasures providing the perfect complement to sweaty evenings spent drinking mint juleps at home after another exhausting day in the hot sun. The show alternately drives us crazy and enthralls us, and its final season is as silly as ever. This week: Sookie and Bill get it on again, at last, and, um, that’s pretty much it.
Ever since they stopped being TV’s premier interspecies love affair circa the end of season three, there’s been an underlying implication that sooner or later, Sookie and Bill would get back together and get it on again. The only question has been when, and the answer is: season seven, episode seven! Yes, Bill’s rapidly escalating illness has brought him and his former lover back together (notwithstanding the fact that, like, he got the disease from her in the first place.) To be honest, the scene is rather underwhelming, a) because somehow despite being married in real life, Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin still just don’t have a whole lot of chemistry and b) because Bill looks kinda gross with nasty Hep V veins all over him.
Still, the resolution of this particular question shows that as it wheezes its way toward the finish line, True Blood is finally starting to tie up various loose ends. But then again, with still four episodes left, there are still threads fraying off the main narrative. There’s the entirely nondescript vampire who appears to have fallen for Arlene, a plot that appears to be heading nowhere, and there’s another twist this week: the return of Hoyt to Bon Temps, with gorgeous girl in tow, raising the question of whether, dear god, is Jason going to fuck his girlfriend again? There’s also Violet apparently kidnapping Adeline and Wade, apparently to use as her own personal sex slaves, which means that yay, there’s finally something interesting happening involving Violet, a character who’s been of precisely zero interest up until now.
Elsewhere, there’s are finally signs that Eric is pulling out of his Godric-style death trip — it appears that the prospect of getting his hands on Sarah Newlin and a cure for Hep V and a shitload of cash has shaken him out of his reverie. Sadly, we have to wait until next week (presumably) the see how the whole Sarah situation pans out — this episode cuts to the credits just as Bill, Pam and a bunch of angry yakuza are descending on the Fellowship of the Sun building, where Sarah’s been hiding out. (As an aside, apparently the Japanese government’s spy technology puts the NSA to shame.)
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the show’s last season has been the genuine emotional impact of the idea of a terrifying and apparently cureless disease killing randomly and indiscriminately. There are certainly parallels to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, an allusion reinforced by the bloodborne nature of Hep V and the way it kills slowly but inexorably. (This idea also provides a throwback to one of the earliest interpretations of True Blood, that of the out-of-the-coffin vampires as an analogy for the LGBT community.)
This week sees the return of Sookie’s fairy godfather, who proves as useless as ever, but also serves to demonstrate the naïvete of Sookie’s insistence that if we all just believe hard enough, everything will be OK. The world doesn’t work like that, something that her godfather seems at pains to point out (in an unnecessarily roundabout manner, but still.) It’s a harsh lesson, but one that does rather provide a welcome counterpoint to the general importance-of-blind-belief narratives that turn up again and again in American scripts. There are no miracle cures.
Except, wait, there is a miracle cure. It’s unclear whether things are going to work as neatly as planned — it seems like the idea of synthesizing Sarah’s blood, thus acquiring a cure for Hep V and still allowing Eric to liberate Sarah’s head from the rest of her body, is rather too good to be true. With another four hours of TV to fill, I’m gonna guess: no. But hey, the finish line is in sight.