True Blood "Love Is to Die" Review: Slower'n Molasses
So I’m just going to be real here: This has been one of my favorite seasons of True Blood, and the writing has been on-point right up until this episode, but what the hell was "Love Is to Die”? I feel ashamed having promised y’all thrills and chills in the discussion post. There were no thrills. There were no chills. The only thing close to a rollick was Ginger’s brief ride on Eric’s lap, and I’m afraid the fun was all Ginger’s.
In our second-to-last episode of True Blood ever, Sam packed up and left, and that was nice, but otherwise the hour was spent treading water and breaking my heart. Jessica falling in love with Hoyt all over again was sweet, but I wish the writers had indicated at some point prior to this that she missed him, because honestly it kind of came out of nowhere. Similarly, Bridget teaching Jason about intimacy was theoretically a great character-building moment, but all I could think during their little pillow talk scene was “Wait... who the hell are you again, lady?”
Don’t get me wrong, this actress seems lovely and she has certainly done her professional duty as an actress by apparently having not eaten a carb in the last five years, but Jason is a major character on this show, and for him to suddenly get up close and personal with an aggrandized extra... like, I’d rather his endgame were Arlene. Or Lafayette. ANYONE viewers have an emotional attachment to. There was a je ne sais quoi about Jason and Jessica as a couple, the kind of good girl/bad boy thing with a twist, and it was derailed in two episodes by Jessica deciding she’s done growing as a person. I guess three years is enough time to get all the mayhem out of your system when you're an immortal vampire?! I don't know. I think she'll still feel constrained by Hoyt.
Also, Bill is full of bullshit. Billshit, at this point, I think we can call it.
So Bill's dying because he wants Sookie to get over him? Dude, you’re a millionaire vampire. If you really want to disappear from Sookie’s life, you can fake your death and wait her out; Sookie's is mortal, she’s going to be gone in another 50 years or so, and let’s be real, she’ll be hooked up with someone by the end of 48 hours if she thinks you’re a goner. Or if you really, truly want to die, Bill, why die of a slow, protracted, painful illness? Why not have a sip of Sara Newlin, get all better, really gauge how you feel about immortality, and if you're still convinced that you’re all dunzo with existence, then sit up and meet the sun? Bill’s angst just feels a little contrived, and all he did in "Love Is to Die" was pass a note to Sookie via Eric telling her she was the most over-attached girlfriend in history. I am so done with this high-school level billshit.
I am also furious at Pam. Did she misplace her bazooka? How did she mange to get trussed up by the Yakuza again?! Pam is a six-foot-tall ancient vampire. Why is she not a little more proactive about defending herself? Surely it took them at least five hours to put together that insanely elaborate three-rope staking device, so why didn’t she try to overpower them when they were taking a breather after a Home Depot run?
And that's on top of the fact that Eric has been manipulated by Pam being endangered so many times this season that it’s gotten a little tedious.
All in all, I feel a little cheated by this episode. There was just so much filler. Sure, some of it was fun—including Sarah Newlin getting highlights by force—but some of it was just a waste of airtime, like Andy going into the office to read Sam’s note while Sookie fretted about him not reading Sam’s note in public. The scene didn't yield any new information or character development, yet for some reason it took about three pages of dialogue. Meanwhile, so many promising story threads have been phased out, like where the hell are the Hep-V vampires who used to maraud through town, giving night scenes a thrilling edge?
I’m still optimistic about next week's series finale, which I guess is going to be a Yakuza showdown at Sookie’s house, but if "Love Is to Die" did just want to slow down and resolve character relationships, surely there were better character pairings that could have been explored: Jason and Hoyt could have talked for 30 seconds, for example. Ah, well. At least it was new.
... Are you satisfied with Bill’s explanation for why he's choosing to die, or does it seem contrived?
... What characters do you wish we’d spent more time with this week?
... Are you happy that Hoyt and Jessica are back together, or is it bumming you out?
... Where did this episode rank for you in the overall season?
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