Is there anything more perfectly satisfying than when storylines are organically driven by consistent characterization? What’s more like Lafayette than to be there when Sookie came home, ready to turn the hardest night of her life into a Mardi Gras of a wake? What’s more like Jessica than to devolve into an insecure mess when she gets cheated on and then turn around and do some hot-as-hell cheating of her own? What’s more amazing than Ginger screaming about being a sex slave without the sex and then screaming her way offscreen?
True Blood is paying off on characterization in ways that are making this season feel as though it's been planned since way back in Season 1. Obviously this is not the case; rationally, we know that the beautiful through-line going on this season, so evocative of what made True Blood a household name, has been painstakingly constructed by showrunner Brian Buckner & Co. after Alan Ball kicked down the door and pissed on the front lawn on his way out. But thanks to Buckner’s efforts, the show's lead characters are not only likable again, but formerly benched players Andy and Arlene are some of the biggest revelations in television acting for summer 2k14.
Arlene’s speech to Sookie, and her flirtatious evasion of a sexy vampire, were incredible . I really just have nothing but praise for everything she was doing this episode. Subtle, beautiful drama next to the most spot-on interpretation of a shy tipsy hot mom I’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile, Andy’s speech to Jessica about life being too short and his pursuant proposal to Holly were similarly just breathtaking. When did Andy become one of my favorite characters on this show?! Put him in every scene, please.
The whole party in Sookie’s house was just a gift.
It was a relief to shift away from “town-wide apocalypse” while getting to see our favorites be slightly drunk and real. Sookie floating around woozily and hearing snippets of approval for the first time in her life felt weirdly appropriate and sweet. Lafayette and James hooking up in James’ car felt commendably naturalistic: scandalous party drama that, aside from the fangs, could’ve been torn from real life. Lafayette telling Jessica off afterwards was beautifully harnessed writerly intention couched in dialogue that never became didactic. Even Lettie Mae putting her knife in Willa felt surprisingly plausible.
Elsewhere, Pam and Eric kept the humor and action coming this week. We met Sarah Newlin’s adorable sister. We saw Pam and Eric put on Wealthy Republican costumes. We saw Eric rip the face off a Yakuza.
As hilarious as Pam and Eric were as a visual, nothing was as amazing as Sarah Newlin’s conversation with her mom in the bathroom. Every line of that chat was a hard laugh, and Anna Camp knocked it out of the park. The woman’s comedic instincts are made of gold.
Okay yes, there are also some very minor convenient character turns in play. Bill’s gentlemanliness has been suspiciously ramped up lo these last few episodes, as he and Sookie get closer, but that’s only in contrast to the Tom Cruise-esque asshole Bill became in Season 5. Willa suddenly knew a whole lot of new information about Sarah Newlin, but even that was quite believable considering Sarah almost married Governor Burroughs. Guys, I got no complaints. I loved every moment of the episode except one:
What does it mean?! Is there going to be a miraculous, possibly fairy-based cure so we can imagine our favorite TV world spinning along without us offscreen, or is True Blood going to continue its season-long investigation of actual loss, and the suddenness and reality of death, by killing off both Eric and Bill? We’re halfway through the season and I’ve never been so simultaneously eager to know the ending and fearful of it finally getting here.
... Raucous “celebration of life” wake: yes yes yes or inappropriate?
... Have you ever cheated on or been cheated on by a significant other? Have you ever been walked in on or walked in on someone?
... Did that shit go down at a party?
... Cure or no cure?
AIRED ON 8/24/2014
Season 7 : Episode 10