By Damon Martin – Editor/Lead Writer
Follow on Twitter @DamonMartin
Throughout the history of True Blood the show has always had two cornerstones—vampires and sex.
Maybe it’s cruel to boil down some great performances by Anna Paquin, Alexander Skarsgard and others during this show’s nearly six season run, but if we stop kidding ourselves, that’s ultimately what the producers behind True Blood were really trying to accomplish. They’ve lost sight of that focus in a large way over the last couple of seasons, but in a grand attempt to salvage an otherwise awful effort, True Blood ended up with one of the best episodes on Sunday night titled “In The Evening”.
At the tail end of last week’s episode we saw sad-sack Terry Bellefleur’s marred and tragic life finally come to an end after a Marine friend shot him dead by his own request. This came just hours after his wife Arlene finally came to the brilliant realization that a vampire could glamour away all of the horrific deeds he did while in war overseas.
Terry’s storyline jumped the shark last season when a black cloud of smoke was killing his Marine buddies (in Lost it worked, in True Blood not so much) and he was consumed with guilt ever since he finished off his former commanding officer Patrick. I said last week that putting Terry down was almost a mercy killing because the character was dead about 8 episodes ago in terms of viable storyline, but this week they managed to remind everyone why he was a beloved resident of Bon Temps for the biggest part of this show’s run.
Arlene heads to the cemetery to cry on Terry’s grave, and it’s in that moment that Sookie (who is still wrapped up in naked bliss with Warlow) hears her friend’s tormented cries. She flashes Star Trek style into the graveyard to comfort Arlene and take her home where she now has to tell her kids yet another father figure is gone (don’t forget Renee from season 1).
It’s at the Bellefleur house that Arlene runs into Lafayette, who has the key to Terry’s safe deposit box, and she immediately unleashes all of her rage and anger at him for holding onto her fallen husband’s final secret. Andy and Arlene saunter off to tell her kids the bad news, while Lafayette and Sookie head to the bank to see what exactly Terry left behind for his family.
It’s at the bank where they realize the gravity of the situation—inside the box was a lone envelope with Arlene’s name etched in ink with an insurance policy in Terry’s name for $2 million dollars taken out just three days earlier. It’s then that Lafayette and Sookie realize that Terry had his death planned all along, and this was his final goodbye present to his wife and kids to make sure they were taken care of even in his absence.
Terry being killed was a necessary evil to a show that has always moved forward with a massive body count, but the way he said goodbye was almost the perfect passing and end to an otherwise flawed and ridiculous storyline.
Eric Pledges Loyalty to Billith
When Eric Northman’s blonde locks first appeared during True Blood season 1, he was already appealing to the female masses (and certainly a number of men as well) for his smoldering good looks, and sweltering sexuality. But over the course of the last few seasons, the character of Eric has outgrown the detached, vile, lustful character that once tortured Lafayette in the basement of his bar to a deeper, more emotional version.
Now some might say that Eric became a weeping willow the moment he met his maker in season 2, but only in small moments did he ever let the blood flow from his eyes. It was in season 4 when Eric’s memory was stripped and the shell that remained had only boyish charm wrapped in an over 6 foot Nordic package that viewers fell in love with over and over again.
This season, Eric is at battle to try to keep those he loves safe at all times, but also constantly conflicted with every person (vampire or human) that he keeps close. He’s stood face to face with his progeny Pam in a death circle confronted with the reality that he’s now sired another vampire without her knowledge. He’s watched his sister Nora, who he’s been with for the better part of 500 years, get injected with a deadly Hep-V virus as she slowly melts away from the inside out. Eric is also faced with the ultimate extinction of his race as the wicked Governor of Louisiana has set out to poison all vampires with tainted True Blood laced with the same virus that’s currently eating his sister alive.
With Nora literally falling apart from the effects of Hep-V, Eric turns to the one person he hopes can save her and the one person he probably never wanted to ask for help—Billith. He arrives at Bill’s mansion begging for his help, and in return he will pledge his loyalty in whatever battle he’s about to unleash on humanity. The sad truth is, however, even Bill’s powerful blood can’t save poor Nora.
Bill’s only hope is to draw from Warlow the same blood that’s now allowing him to walk in the light, and try to save Nora. So he heads over to the Bellefleur mansion to find Sookie, and it’s there that he offers his condolences to Andy for the loss of his three daughters (the ones his daughter Jessica had for a snack pack).
Once he meets with Sookie, he implores her to turn over Warlow to allow him to draw blood from the ancient vampire/fairy to help save Nora and the other vampires that he saw in his vision meeting the sun. Unfortunately, Sookie and Warlow don’t arrive in time and Bill isn’t able to save Nora.
As Eric flashes back to the 1600’s where he first met his sister when she was the favorite bedmate of King Charles II, he remembers her in a similar situation as she was now. At the time, Nora was stricken with the black plague and dying a horrible death. It was then that Eric was able to offer her the ultimate gift of immortality, and took her to his maker Godrick to turn her into a vampire.
This time around, there was no saving Nora.
As Eric wept while clutching onto his sister in her final moments, she literally burst from the inside as the Hep-V took hold and finished her once and for all. It’s safe to say the majority of True Blood fans didn’t have much use for Nora, and she definitely wasn’t a very popular character, but the anguish and rage behind Eric’s eyes while watching his sister liquefy before him told all the story anyone needed to know about what she meant to him, and what hell he was about to unleash on those that murdered her.
The character of Jason was never meant to be the most intelligent, well thought out or problem solving person in Bon Temps, but he always served a purpose. This season, Jason has gone through more changes than Kanye West has over his last few albums. He went from a vampire hate-monger to a sympathetic brother out to protect his sister to a righteous sex machine sent by God to save Sarah Newlin’s private parts and now a soldier hell bent on saving his best girl Jessica from the wicked fate that will befall her in vampire prison.
Jason is able to get some private time with Jessica, but she wants no part of his salvation. Jessica is still reeling over her massacre of three baby fairies, so she believes this is her necessary punishment. Instead of submitting to Jason’s escape plan, she instead asks to see James—the vampire who last week took ultraviolet shots of light burning his body over forcing himself on Jessica during one of the camp’s sexual experiments.
With Jason just outside the door, Jessica invites James to share a little bit of his vampire unlawful carnal knowledge with her. If she’s going to die soon, she wants to die knowing what a vampire feels like in the sack, and judging by the brief scenes they showed, Jessica enjoyed it!
Back in the therapist’s room, Pam shows up for another session with her psychiatrist but when he offers her up a bloody treat, she turns it down. She’s got other insatiable needs that have to be fulfilled. Pam in turn offers up her body in exchange for a transfer into the general population of the vampire prison camp. The doctor agrees and he’s tossed on the couch where he will get a little Pam loving.
Meanwhile back in general population, Willa has managed to sneak in at the behest of Eric and warn Pam, Jessica and Tara not to drink the newly tainted True Blood supply no matter how hungry they are.
They will soon have a new guest for dinner however….
Sarah Newlin is in Charge and This is a Whole New Regime
It doesn’t take long for Sarah to discover the newly beheaded Governor Burrell in his courtyard, but her reaction is only sorrowful for a matter of minutes. She quickly springs into action and calls the state senator (remember the one that had an affair with Lafayette back in season 1?) and says that they can’t let anyone know that the Governor is dead.
Instead they will run things while pretending that the Governor is hidden away at a secret location after he was attacked by vampires. It turns out that Sarah is a quite capable woman (whenever God isn’t sending her personal messages to go out and have sex with Jason that is).
Her plan is to unleash the virus laced True Blood to the vampire masses and once they are dead, then she can reveal that the Governor is no longer alive. She even turns the key on Jason after discovering him at the vampire camp, and breaks the news that his leverage to blackmail her by telling the Governor about their affair, is now dead in the water. To finish Jason off, she cuts his wrist as the blood starts to flow and tosses him into the female general population.
As the lady vamps all start to circle dinner, Tara intercedes and protects Jason. That is until one lone vampire stands out from the crowd, and proclaims that Jason is going to be hers.
Alcide Isn’t Safe and Sam Isn’t Far Behind
Last week after a tumultuous storyline about Sam, Emma and Alcide’s new pack finally came to an end, all three looked for closure and a restart this episode.
Alcide dropped off his dad back at his trailer, where the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) tried to get his son to stay while telling him that pack life just wasn’t meant for them. Alcide doesn’t listen and heads back to his pack of wolves.
As for Sam, despite the warnings that a return to Bon Temps would mean his death, he gets the call that Terry is dead and he knows he has to go back. He spends one more hot, steamy shower with Nicole before sending her off with her mother where they plan to leave town immediately. Sam then begins his trek back to Merlotte’s and a kitchen that just lost its most beloved cook.
Alcide heads back to his pack where he tells them all that Emma is with Martha, and they have disappeared for good. He also says this all came at the expense of Sam and Nicole, who he killed for trying to reveal to the world that werewolves exist. The only problem is Ricci (Alcide’s main wolf woman) captured Nicole and her mother as they were splitting town. The whole pack shouts ‘liar’ at their packmaster as he is now surrounded by a hungry and vengeful bunch of wolves.
Epilogue: I’ve made no bones that the last 13 or 14 episodes of True Blood have been in my opinion just this side of abysmal. The show went from supernatural to down right sci-fi to something that I’d expect to be made as a joke for a SyFy movie (Vampire-nado maybe?). While my faith isn’t totally restored (far from it actually), this was an enjoyable episode overall. It’s peaked my interest for the final three episodes that kick off next Sunday night at least.
What say you True Blood fans? Did “In The Evening” capture your attention like it did mine? Leave your comments below and come back next week for more True Blood