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True Blood S07E04: "Sick of Goodbyes"

One of the benefits of having been on the air for seven years is that re-introducing characters really packs an emotional punch. True Blood's cast exists in space and time for me in a way that sort of mirrors how they exist for each other. There was something about Jason talking to Hoyt and calling him bubba, even though Hoyt didn’t remember who he was, that absolutely destroyed me. It brought back not just Hoyt’s entire, devastating storyline, but my own memories of watching that plot unfold at viewing parties with friends I don’t see as much anymore. It evoked my own more carefree five-to-six-years-ago self, and that was part of what made it by far the most touching moment this season.

“Sick of Goodbyes”, also called "Death Is Not the End" was long on action and, mercifully, short on goodbyes, but it was remarkable nonetheless. It was greatly improved by Sookie rolling up her sleeves and making some smart choices for once. She pulled the location of the hostages out of Holly’s brain, she insisted that Bill feed on her to prepare for a nighttime rescue at Fangtasia, she talked turkey with Jessica about laying her fairy issues to rest in the interest of a greater good, and she got Lafayette up to the house so Jessica could finally heal. She saved Arlene without getting an ab-ridden hunk killed. Sookie, you did it. You saved the day without acting like a shrill, self-obsessed, sulky brat. Maybe grief and oversized T-shirts have a stabilizing effect on you.

The fun this week came from the Fangtasia origin story. That the authority sentenced Pam and Eric to running a video store was genuinely hilarious; the contrast between the nasty little particle shelves and Pam and Eric, '80s gods standing under that fluorescent lighting, was really too wonderful. And then in the flashbacks we got to meet '90s Ginger, and seeing her evolve into a fang-banger was really a beautiful little gift to the fans. All of it just felt like a big hug from my TV.

And Eric and Sookie finally shared some screen time again. I’ve always been staggered by their chemistry, and while it seems very clear that True Bood is going to send her and Bill off into the sunset or melting into each other’s bloodbaths as its endgame, I hope Eric gives Bill a run for his money. Pam warning Eric off Bill and Sookie and Eric's long lingering glance over Arlene's shoulder set to stirring strings gave me a flutter where my heart used to be. Hopefully we see one last bright flash of my favorite love triangle, in its full glorious beauty, before things started getting all hammy and ludicrous circa Sookie’s red-negligee dream sequence.

I know that as a critic (? Photo-recapper? Person who owns a keyboard?) I am legally required to disparage love triangles onscreen, but eff that. I love a good love triangle, and I honestly believe that despite how trite they’ve become as a device, their frequency in media is still in no way an overrepresentation of how often they occur in real life. You probably know at least three love triangles going on in your personal circle of acquaintances right now. You are 60 percent likely to become involved in one yourself. It’s sort of how humans (and vampires, and werewolves) roll.

While we’re talking endgame, I’d already sort of decided that Violet was going to die (possibly at Sarah Newlin’s hands?!) and that Jessica and Jason would reunite, but with Hoyt back on the scene, who knows. It seems very clear she’s not going to end up with James, who is still just smoldering away across from Lafayette.

I do have to say that literally every week I wait for the other shoe to drop with Tara, and every week I’m shocked she hasn’t come up more or appeared as a ghost or manifested in a looking glass or something. I’m actually starting to think maybe Tara is just gone? How the hell could True Blood have an episode-long funeral for Terry, or Sookie staging an international vampire sting to free Arlene, but Tara was just blotted away with some Bounty paper towels from the grass behind Merlotte’s? Surely there will be some Tara closure. Tara, climb down off that cross and come get your limelight.


... Did this episode feel like something of a relief after all the recent roller coaster episodes?

... Eric and Sookie: #Nope or #HellYes?

...Was Terry's cameo a ringing endorsement for or against the existence of Heaven?

... Endgame theories: Who is ending up with whom? Jessica and Jason a sure bet? Bill and Sookie a done deal? Or should we expect the unexpected? Start placing your bets!

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/24/2014

Season 7 : Episode 10

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