By Jay Kirell
This week’s episode of True Blood had a lot going on. Sookie tried to get Warlow to help Bill free all of her friends. Alcide stood up to a challenge from Rickie and also bonded with Sam. Jessica bonds with hippie/pacifist vampire James. Jason got turned into a blood-and-sex vending machine by a midevil vampire named Violet, who isn’t threatened by Pam or Tara.
All of that was in the plot of the show last, taking up about 20-25 minutes of screen time, and it was dead weight to what’s clearly become the main storyline of the show: the re-birth of the Viking inside Eric Northman.
Last weeks’ episode of True Blood ended with Eric holding Nora, his vampire sister, as she quickly succumbed to the effects of “Hep-V” and, in one of the more emotional scenes in the show’s history, melted into a bloody goopy mess in Eric’s arms as he screams for his sister’s life.
We pick up this week (before the theme song) with Bill, fresh from his failure to find Warlow and use his blood to help Nora, staring at the gory scene, looking helpless and confused. Despite the fact that he just lost his sister, Bill tells Eric he’s gotta get up and move to go help the others kidnapped by the governor’s men before the sun rises on them.
Eric, having lost his maker, released his progeny, and now just watched his sister disintegrate into goo – stands up to his longtime rival-turned-prophet and mocks him. Bill, having lost all patience with anything not directly related to his objectives, lifts Eric in the air.
Eric hilariously mocks that too, “Mom, look mom, I can fly! I can fly!” he laughs, testing Bill’s patience and willingness to just suck all the blood out his body like he did that donor-human a few episodes back.
Bill finally slams him on the floor instead of killing him, telling him to leave.
Eric: “I’m already gone.”
And then the credits started and we have to slog through 35 minutes of side stories that we don’t care about much because there doesn’t seem to be any real impending doom.
The one exception was an absurd-but-enjoyable scene with Steve Newlin and his ex-wife Sarah, who has now taken control of the vampire torture facility in lieu of the Governor’s (still unknown to everyone somehow) decapitation.
Steve, who learned from the hippie that the True Blood the prisoners are being given is tainted, refuses to drink. Sarah takes him aside, puts him in a giant hamster wheel and makes him run – which he does, comically-slow.
“It’s scientifically impossible for you to be this slow. You’re a vampire!” – Sarah shouts. “Tell me why you haven’t been drinking your True Blood.”
“I can’t,” Steve snivels back, flailing his arms while he tries to shuffle his feet. It seems like he’s been tortured for hours.
“Lights!” Sarah shouts up at the ceiling.
“No, no,” Steve cries, “I’ll tell you.”
Which he does, as he rats out the hippie and everyone else who hasn’t been drinking their ration. As Sarah listens she turns to leave the room she looks back at Steve.
“Oh, by the way, there are no lights in this room.”
I almost rolled off the couch laughing, I loved that scene so much.
After that we get a minor swerve when we watch a True Blood executive find the secret vampire camp and threaten to reveal it, only to be thwarted by Sarah with a stiletto to the head and a face-mashing on an open grate that left the executive’s blood dripping down to the prisoners below, who lapped it up like dogs.
Another solid segment with Sarah, for those keeping score at home.
This ultimately ends with Steve’s betrayal causing him, the hippie, Pam, Jessica and Tara all brought into the room that was in Bill’s vision a few episodes back.
And here is the point where I should recap the Sookie segment with Warlow, but I honestly couldn’t care less about this, as Sookie hasn’t been a main focal point on this show in two years.
Suffice to say, she moves Eric’s storyline along when she leaves Warlow chained up in fairyland, pops back into the real world not 20 feet from where Eric is (conveniently) standing. Eric notices this, remembers the invisible fairly party camp from last season, tries to enter it, but knows he needs fairy blood to do so.
Luckily he finds one in Sheriff Andy’s daughter, who ran off because the story needed her to. He drinks from her, but doesn’t drain her.
And that’s effectively where this episode leaves off. But in the 30-second teaser for next week, which is the 9th of the season and penultimate, we essentially figure out how the story ends.
I mean, really HBO, you give away the whole end to next week? You already pissed me off enough by virtually ignoring Lafayette.
We’re lead to believe Eric used the fairy blood to enter fairyland and confront Warlow. He drinks Warlow’s blood and now has the ability to walk in daylight. He storms the camp, leaving a trail of dead humans in his wake. Bill gets there after him, finds the bodies, and is shocked.
Or, at least, that’s what they want us to believe. It could very well have been Warlow who storms the camp, but I doubt it.
Eric, without family and friends, is back to where he was when he was made into a vampire 2000 years ago. A warrior. And now that he can walk in daylight (and who knows what other powers he has now) he might be a challenge for Bill if they decide to square those two off.
If the HBO formula of putting shocking twists and saving the best action for the second-to-last episodes of seasons holds true, we’re in for a ride next week, folks.
I just hope it’s not as predictable as the teaser made it appear to be.