Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen True Blood Season 7, Ep. 3 –“Fire in the Hole.”
“Saint Fucking Petersburg, Eric? You know how I hate the Russian people.” — Pam
“Fire in the Hole” fell into an all too familiar pattern of True Blood episodes; for fifty minutes barely anything happened, and then the last ten minutes came along and flipped the story for the rest of the season.
True Blood certainly isn’t wasting any time narrowing down its characters. One of the chief complaints of the latter seasons has been the overabundance of characters and plotlines crowding the narratives. Well the writers aren’t letting that complaint get lodged at its final season. And to prevent that they have implemented a new rule: a (somewhat) major character dies every other episode.
So rest in peace Alcide, though your storylines bored me to tears I shall miss your misadventures in remaining clothed.
The other “holy shit” moment of the last ten minutes came courtesy of the all but forgotten Sarah Newlin. The former preacher’s wife turned Hep-V co-creator has reinvented herself as a new age, guru-screwing yogi. But the past isn’t as easy to wash away as hair color. TruBlood’s parent company henchmen tracked her to the guru’s bedroom and sliced his head off as warning to her. Too bad they aren’t adept at a little thing called “searching the premises.”
But Asian Henchmen should be the least of Sarah’s worries. Eric and Pam are also out to exact revenge for introducing Hep-V into the world.
Ah, Eric. We didn’t get an explanation as to how he survived after bursting into flames and I doubt we ever will. There is no way to explain that so it will not be discussed. Fine, got it. Instead we got the first of the night’s unnecessary flashbacks to unfortunate haircuts.
This flashback took us back to 1986 when Eric and Pam were just two young vampires hanging out in France and falling in love. Well, not with each other. Eric was in love with a French human, Sylvie, and decided to ignore the Authority’s decrees of discretion in favor of continuing to screw his lady love against super sexy French tractors.
So the 1986 version of the henchmen (which may very well be the same exact henchmen) showed up and made Eric choose between saving Sylvie or Pam. Clearly he chose Pam, so now, in the last days of his life he returned to the place where he had known and lost love to wallow in his own misery some more.
So that’s fun.
Clearly the only point of this particular flashback was to set up the reintroduction of the henchmen and perhaps to set up a series of flashbacks explaining how Eric went from anti-Authority to big-town sheriff. But here’s a thought, we could have had an entire season of Eric and Pam flashbacks which would ensure a final season complete with the main reason a third of the viewers tune in without having to bring someone back from the dead without an explanation. Just a thought.
Meanwhile, back in the main plotline, the people of Bon Temps continued to be insane. The angry mob stopped Sam and Vampire Matt, killed Vampire Matt and forced Sam to fly off as an owl. Later, they also attempted to stop Andy, Jason, Violet and Jessica, but that didn’t work out so well. Hoyt’s mom shot Jessica (who still isn’t healing) and then got her own heart ripped out by Violet. Then the mob ran off like the scared little kids they are.
Oh, and Sookie continued to be the worst.
It turns out her grand plan was to use herself as vampire bait. Because that was ever going to turn out well. Actually, it turned into everyone rushing to save her suicidal ass (again) and Alcide getting killed for his trouble. Yep, sounds like an average Sookie plan. But they did manage to kill the band of H-Vamps so a rescue of the hostages at Fangtasia should be imminent.
Or maybe not, it’s the final season of True Blood. All periphery characters have been warned.
It felt like this episode got a little too high on its soapbox. From the “they’re after anything that’s different from them” line and the sudden racial tensions of Bon Temps, the usual metaphors were unusually heavy handed. True Blood has never pretended it wasn’t an allegory for all kinds of civil liberty infringements, but it’s always been able to make those parallels in smart, clever way.
As much as I find Lettie Mae’s continued inclusion to the show, the moment between the reverend and Willa was really beautiful. Like season one level beautiful.
Also lovely was the burgeoning relationship between Lafayette and James. If this final season is all about giving the people what they want then giving Lafayette a happy ending is right at the top of the list. Besides, James needs to get out of the way so Jessica can end up with Jason… right?
1986 was much kinder to Pam’s hair than to Eric’s. And 1862 wasn’t kind to anybody.
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