Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen True Blood Season 7, Ep. 1 – “Jesus Gonna Be Here.”
“Tell you what. Your god and my god can go to a motel and have a circle jerk for all I care. I'll be in hell having a three way with the devil.” — Pam
In the spirit full disclosure, I want to start this recap by admitting I was not a huge fan of True Blood last season. It stumbled the way so many shows do after their fifth or sixth seasons when there are too many characters doing too many disparate things to create a cohesive story.
But I am happy to report that it appears True Blood is making a conscious effort to right those missteps.
For the time being, most of our major charters are rooted in Bon Temps attempting to fight off a pack of Hep-V Vamps. The season began right where the last left off and in case anyone was worried True Blood might get soft in its old age and dial down the blood spill, the first three minutes proved them very, very wrong. After the H-Vamps were called off (by an ominous whistle of an unseen leader perhaps?) and the dust cleared Holly, Arlene, Nicole and Kevin were kidnapped and Tara was dead.
As Rutina Wesley helpfully foreshadowed in the red carpet footage from the show’s premiere, just because a character is dead doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone and since her name is still in the opening credits I’ll take that to be literal. Of course the opening credits have been known to be misleading on that front (ahem, Christopher Meloni). Regardless, her true death was the perfect rallying for the many separate characters. Throughout the last six seasons of the show Tara has been a part of many characters lives and it stands to reason her death would serve as a moment of communal grief for the cast.
And since Sookie is Sookie, she reacted to the death of her best friend by walking home alone smelling like salvation itself for all the H-Vamps no doubt lurking in the forest. On her way home she also came across an undrained dead body, also know as a subplot.
But since the show is making the conscious effort to not overstuff itself, we didn’t get into that just yet. Instead we had time to really focus on the characters again. Jessica got a redemptive moment by protecting Adilyn and fighting her urge to drain her; James got to show off his shiny new casting change and share a tender moment with Lafayette (possible new love interest?? Jessica has the worst luck); and Sookie got to listen in on the entire town calling her slut.
Ok, maybe that last part wasn’t so much fun.
Honestly, I’m not sure why everyone in Bon Temps is holding Sookie personally responsible for the H-Vamp infestation. Yes, she has a predilection for vampires, but she didn’t infect them, she didn’t invite them to start feeding on her friends and neighbors. Hep-V is a global problem, Bon Temps problem is that it’s too small a town to warrant actual help so they’ve been left to fend for themselves. It’s a shitty situation and it’s understandable to want a scapegoat, but all the Sookie hate was uncalled for.
The subplot we did have a little time for was Pam’s search for Eric. Look, Eric is far wand way my favorite character on the show and his death was devastating. All the more devastating because of how poorly it was portrayed. But, if they want to bring him back for the final season (which I assume they do), they better have a damn good explanation for how he survived bursting into flames. And I highly doubt that good explanation can be found in Morocco. It’s a classic case of a show wanting a shocking ending without any actual commitment. I can only hope they don’t fall back on lazy writing to get themselves out of the corner they’ve written themselves into.
And even though we’ve already determined that the opening credits can be misleading, its worth pointing out that Alexander Skarsgard was not included.
All in all it was a satisfying season opener. Perhaps not as fast moving as we’ve come to expect, but after last season’s debacle I think that can only be looked at as a good thing. There was plenty of blood spilled, the Stackhouse siblings made sure we got our weekly-recommended dose of gratuitous nudity and there was enough mystery and intrigue to set up a summer of entertainment. I’d say the summer hit is back just it time to go out… well maybe not on top, but certainly not at the bottom.
- I know Pam is hell-bent on finding Eric, but wouldn’t she feel that Tara had died and have, I don’t know, some kind of reaction?
- Now that Tara is gone, is Lettie May still necessary?
- Who is controlling these H-Vamps and why are they using Fantasia as their new home base? That cannot signal anything good.
- Even without his pack to back him up Alcide remained deathly dull throughout the episode. He also remained mostly clothed. Perhaps those two things are related, perhaps not. I’m just pointing it out.
- As much as the action as been centralized to Bon Temps and the fight against the H-Vamps (and the constant fight against small town closed mindedness), there are still way too many characters. I may be heartless, but in this last season I really just want to follow the central characters. I couldn’t care less about Willa or Violet or even Alcide. Perhaps this war could take a few more casualties. Ok, yes, I’m heartless.
What about you, fellow Trubies? Was the season premiere a step in the right direction or was there not enough action to fulfill your summer TV quota? Either way, I know we’re all #TrueToTheEnd, lame hashtags and all.
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