True Blood stalled ever so much this week as the developments of several key arcs were delayed to make the audience wait until the final three episodes to see any real significant action. This is especially surprising given that the shortened order of ten episodes was supposed to serve as a way for the writers to streamline the plot threads rather than meandering away from the endgame which usually happened from episodes 7-10 in the earlier seasons (particularly 4 and 5).
With Sarah Newlin having escaped her sister refuses to give up her "savior's" location. They bind her in silver and with Junior watching Eric, supremely frustrated and hallucinating Amber as Sarah, stakes her before they can extract Sarah's location from her. Eric is chewed out (rightfully so) by Junior and Pam for having let him temper get the best of him as they also discover that Sarah is the cure and they now can't simply kill her as they wanted to. Junior proposes that once they capture Sarah they replicated the antidote and called it "Nu Blood" and have Eric be the vamp spokesperson, the company needing it after infecting more than half of the world's vampire population, and causing the company to gain its profits and reputation back. Eric initially refuses and while he and Pam are sleeping through a move of deus ex machina using Yakonomo's link to the Japaneses government, simply explained by Junior as "In Japan business and government work together" they find Sarah at the old Light of Day campsite in Dallas. When Eric and Pam awaken they find the Yakuza have packed up but when they go outside it was a total fake out and Junior awaits their awakening and he simply asks, "Ready to go make some money?" I knew he wouldn't leave them behind because as he stated himself, "My word is oak," meaning that there was no reason anyone should believe that he would back out of a deal like the one he proposed. They venture in their Tokyo Drift-esque cars (is it racist that the Japanese characters are driving what white people would think Japanese gangsters would drive in America? Just wondering because it comes off that way).
Sarah hallucinates in Joan of Arc fashion (sort of) of her past lovers, Jason, Steve, and the Guru guy who lived for one episode and how she is a failure of a Christian. This makes her look schizophrenic as she keeps hearing their voices and how after death she will be shunned by Jesus or that there will be no afterlife. Her whole arc is wholly uninteresting aside from her being the cure and wasting a good ten minutes of episode length to "develop" her and her messiah complex is wasteful and unnecessary. But at least they don't have to worry so much about tracking her down anymore as the Yakuza and Eric arrive at the abandoned camp to finally capture her (and hopefully kill).
Sookie gets a visit from Grandpa Nile (Rutger Hauer) in a wasted story where she tries to get him to use his magic to help Bill recover from Hep-V. He uses strained metaphors and clichs to try to convince her that Bill is already dead and that he can't help him. The only bit that was useful here was her being able to piggyback onto Bill's visions of his past, as Bill himself is sleeping and remembers the first time he met Caroline (his wife from the 1860s before he was turned and met Lorena) and the birth of his daughter being meant to serve as a "miracle" and that Sookie should appreciate those. She and Bill end up having sex, even though her were boyfriend was shot dead not three episodes (two days-ish in the show's timeline although longer with Hoyt driving down from Alaska) ago so it of course was going to come out somewhere. Sookie vowing to find a cure doesn't come off as productive and she should instead direct her energies at managing Bill's estate as he seems to have accepted that his time has come, much as he when Lorena was torturing him back in Season 3 at the Edgington Estate Bill does not fear death in a way but fears what he leaves behind with Jessica and Sookie left unattended to.
In Jason's much less interesting corner Hoyt returns to Bon Temps to claim his mother's body and brings an attractive blonde with him. Going to straight up looney tunes territory he can't keep his eyes off her (because will power isn't a thing right? Even in grief) and Hoyt's scenes with Jason and him telling how Mrs. Foytenberry died, and of course he can't remember him or Jessica or anything, could potentially have some depth but it comes off as shallow and a missed opportunity.
In the most boring and strenuous parts of the show (the Z plots if you will) Wade and Adilyn get to go to Violet's mansion (wherever it is and where she no doubt lived before shacking up with Jason last season) where her sex toy display is actually quite impressive so I give major points to the prop department for constructing a replica of one of the world's first strap-ons according to Violet. Although how old she is is not disclosed still, perhaps even as old as Eric but my guess is perhaps a little older. When Wade and Adilyn try to have sex his thoughts are read by her and he admits that he isn't interested in any of the stuff and is only interested in the plain vanilla heterosexual intercourse that she is more ok with also. When Violet comes to visit them at nightfall they thank her again and she says it is her turn and she will make use of the toys, throwing Wade against the wall and proceeding to bite Adilyn. What makes no sense is Andy and Holly going all the way out to Oklahoma, doesn't her ex have a phone number? It's like technology doesn't exist in this season of True Blood believing that all of these small towns are taken out by H-vamps when they could communicate with other areas and tell them what is going on at least. No matter how much you hate your ex Holly if your kid is in danger you should probably just swallow your pride and call him because he probably lives much closer than you do, and you just ASSUME they're there as if that's the only place two teenagers would go instead of staying relatively close to home. At least there was a little bit of payoff seeing that Andy trusts Jessica enough to call her and ask if she has "felt Adilyn" if anything was wrong which she says hasn't and they agree to call each other if/when they know anything else.
Also, Arlene has sex dreams about Keith and then actualizes those by having sex with Keith, what a waste of screen-time. But she has a drunken heart to heart with Sam about how whacky Bon Temps is. Either he leaves with Nicole or he doesn't, almost as if we've seen this present itself last season or something, weird.
True Blood wasted an hour of time exploring stories of the least interesting members of the ensemble playing to old habits and not moving any of the interesting A storylines forward in any meaningful way (Bill's Hep-V story, and Eric hunting Sarah Newlin), the show even managed to waste Rutger Hauer. I'm confident this is a midseason wheel spin on the writers part not knowing how to maintain all the material they have to fit into the back half of the season and sustaining the momentum for 10 whole episodes. This is the worst episode of True Blood in quite some time (and I'm usually one of the show's defenders because even amidst an awful episode there is usually a few moments of levity or camp that make the blood soaked Southern Gothic soap opera that it is worthwhile to an extent). Let's just hope the last three episodes ever (this is much less forgivable for a show in its final season, no doubt its last four episodes) are much better and bring home the show in a big way thematically.