What the frak are you doing, True Blood writers? The second to the last episode of the season and you squander it with this horrible, boring hour? This should have been a spine-tingling, hang-on-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, sex and blood filled thrill ride, not a snore-fest. Arlene, Jason, sobbing Tara and mad Sam? Nobody gives a frakking shit. I already gave you a pass on the last episode, chalking it up to a pair of exceptionally bad writers - but this time there is no excuse. Fresh Blood was a near-complete letdown, a major disappointment and a serious misstep that leaves me questioning the show’s future. Alan Ball, I know you’re busy with your new series, but clearly you need to save some focus and give your older child a bit more attention. If you keep spitting out limp episodes with nothing but a little jerk off at the very end, your audience is going to peter out. Whatever happens, Eric needs to survive. Because if we are left with only the ragtag gang of sorry ass characters you kept on display most of this hour, True Blood ought to be flushed down a commode.
I did, however, enjoy the In Memoriam nod to the rival Emmy telecast; ‘twas a fun little rundown of the characters we lost over the seasons. True Blood is nothing if not tongue in cheek.
Bill bursts into Fangtasia looking for Sookie. Pam heads him off at the pass, reminding the “infatuated tween” that everything isn’t about his relationship. Bill threatens to kill Pam if she tries to keep him from Sookie and he goes after her, throwing Pam away from the basement door. Pam easily tricks Bill, asking if he wants the key but instead spraying him in the eyes with colloidal silver. She kindly advises the incapacitated dolt that the vampire weapon is readily available at the neighborhood health food store.
Sookie hears Yvetta’s thoughts as Eric’s bitter lover comes downstairs to set Sookie free. Bill and Pam continue to fight; Sookie runs upstairs and throws a silver chain around a distracted Pam’s neck. While Yvetta holds the chain tightly, Sookie asks Pam why Eric took her and Pam is forced to answer under the threat of her own silver spray - she tells Sookie that the half-fairy was intended to be gifted to Russell.
Hoyt and Jessica make out. Hoyt professes his love for Jessica despite her protestations and cold-blooded killing confessions and offers up himself to satisfy Jessica’s human blood needs.
Pretty Jesus is still tripping over his V trip. Lafayette warns Jesus that the blood can lie but Jesus is so excited about having visited his relatives, he wants to go back right away. The boys snuggle and despite LaLa’s warnings about the unpredictability of V, Jesus begs for more. As Lafayette is about to respond, he “hallucinates” Jesus with a not-so-pretty demonic mask/alterna-head, lunging at him. Clearly frightened, Lafayette plays it off as a head rush but seems to wisely have taken the illusion as a warning sign. He sends Jesus home, telling pretty boy he needs some rest. Later on, Lafayette hears voices and follows them to find his inanimate knickknacks animated and talking, lending mild credence to his aftershock theory.
Admiring one of Talbot’s favorite paintings at a museum, Russell feels Eric’s presence behind him and asks why he killed Talbot. Eric reminds Russell that long ago the King brought in weres who mercilessly killed Eric’s family; Russell mocks Eric for committing such a deed because he misses his parents. Russell is about to strike in retaliation for Talbot’s death when Eric catches his attention with the lure of a walk in the sun. Eric recites his fairy tale of recent advances in daywalking and plays to Russell’s desire for power and to his ego. They’re interrupted by Eric’s phone ringing to the tune of Ain’t We Got Fun (more suited to Russell, no?) - it’s Pam, calling to let Eric know that Sookie and Bill escaped and Yvetta stole the club cash.
The More Bad:
Jason tries to understand Crystal’s shifting and the two discuss whether or not Jason can deal with the reality. When Crystal mentions having to marry and breed with her half-brother, Jason comes to his senses saying he needs to go speak to his own sister.
Summer cries to Hoyt’s mother, who apparently sent Summer to steal Hoyt away. In between admonishing the girl for breaking God’s word, Mama Hoyt tells Summer not to give up.
The Really Awful:
As they drive, a jealous Bill asks why Sookie went to Eric. Duh - have you not seen him, Bill? Sookie defends herself by first saying she’s drawn to Eric because she drank his blood but even dumb Bill knows that’s a lie. Bill asks if when everything is over, they can start their relationship over again. I ask that we have to suffer these fools no longer.
Holly and Arlene discuss getting rid of Rene’s child; they plan to meet after work. Sam crashes into Merlotte’s drunk and angry, looking for more booze. Terry tries to calm him down but Sam keeps on his asshole hat. Holly and Arlene leave.
Tara visits Eggs’ grave and cries some more, because we haven’t seen that shit enough already. Just kill the poor girl already. Afterward, she returns to Merlotte’s where Sam waits tables alone. She spies Andy in a booth and sits down to have a pointless word with him. She stares at Andy a while to make him nervous and then announces she knows about Eggs and calls Andy a dirty cop. Andy tells Tara the true story and apologizes. Tara, do not wake me up before you go-go.
Tommy pisses off Sam yet again and gets himself fired.
In a wooded area, Holly performs some kind of baby killing spell and gives Arlene instructions about drinking tea and staying inside a circle of candles. Instead of praying, Arlene talks to her dead mother out loud, trying to ease her conscience. To complete the ritual, Holly slices Arlene’s finger to add a few drops of blood to the potion and Arlene drinks it. Holly tells her that all this nonsense might not work if the baby is meant to be born.
Jason sits in his truck, leaves a phone message for Sookie and then realizing he’s by the school field, goes to watch some football practice. He observes Kitch throwing several passes that seem beyond human ability. After Kitch’s teammates leave, Jason accuses Kitch of being on V; Kitch tells Jason his coach gives it to him and his parents pay for it. Jason tells Kitch he’s no athlete and never will be but Kitch has scouts, media and a performance hungry audience on his side. And thank you for that little lecture on performance enhancing drugs, True Blood - it’s just what I came for!
Sam and Tara drink and commiserate over being assholes. Sam is tired of people walking over him and taking advantage of his kindness. Tara has the opposite problem but they decide they’re more alike than different, so why not fuck? I mean really, we haven’t had enough fucking this season.
Back at Merlotte’s, Tommy messes with some wires and opens Sam’s safe. I know you’re just dying to know what this boy will be up to next.
Arlene dreams she’s fishing, Terry wakes her and they both see that she’s covered in blood. Arlene calmly tells Terry she’s fine and to take her to the hospital where she’s sure she suffered a miscarriage. But the doctor advises Arlene her baby is still fine and Terry rejoices.
Jason returns home and announces to Crystal he loves her and doesn’t care that she’s a panther. Crystal is so moved she immediately changes the subject to saving her Hotshot cousins and other assorted relations from being raided by the police.
The Parts Leading Up to and the Exceptionally Good Ending:
Sookie wonders who she and Bill would be if they were “normal”. (Still two dipshits riding in a car.) They’re driving along in fantasy-land when suddenly two figures are in front of them on the road. Russell stops the car with one hand and he and Eric escort the lovebirds back to Fangtasia. As they exit the vehicle, Russell talks to Sookie and Eric quietly tells Bill to hit him. The Viking and the Dork pretend fight as Russell escorts Sookie inside - then Eric tells Bill he has a plan.
Russell has a hard time believing that Sookie is a fairy since fairies are supposed to be extinct, but Eric explains Sookie is a fairy-human hybrid. Bill is forced to confess in front of a clueless Sookie that he has already walked in the sun and Sookie gets angry at once again having been left in the dark and lied to. Russell salivates at the opportunity to daywalk but insists Eric to go first.
In private, Pam tries to warn Eric off his plan; he consoles her and sweetly gives her forehead a kiss. Bill warns Eric and Russell not to drain Sookie, hers may be the last fairy blood there is. Russell and Eric take note and have a little Sookie buffet. The last scene is again a testament to the fine acting skills of Denis O’Hare, Alexander Skårsgard and Kristin Bauer. I feel chills as Eric cautiously steps out of Fangtasia and into the sunlight, feel his astonishment as the brightness and warmth hit his skin. Inside, everyone watches Eric on the security monitors and Russell cries tears of joy, exclaiming that he feels like a little child. Pam’s tears are for an entirely different reason, yet she keeps her composure. Eric quietly prays that no one will see him beginning to burn, Bill begs to feed Sookie so she won’t die, Pam gently urges Russell outside. The King walks into the light, proclaiming the sun glorious and sublime. Pam sobs in terror for what must be happening to Eric. Eric, now clearly burning, turns to face a shocked and mortified Russell; he quickly grabs Russell’s arm and cuffs the elder vampire to himself. As Russell calls Eric a madman and a traitor, the two vampires fall to their knees. Eric smiles and through gritted teeth commands Russell to be brave, they’ll die together.
I don’t want Eric to die and I don’t want Russell to die either - though I know Russell most certainly will. I just wish they’d keep O’Hare on to be more than the Monster of the Season. Even if he somehow escaped, disappeared a while and then came back a later season to wreak more havoc upon humanity and any vampire who dared stand against him, I’d be thrilled to see him again. But instead, they’re going to keep around poor actors and terrible characters (Alcide, Crystal). As for the season finale, Mr. Ball had better have an ace in Eric’s hand (or Pam’s or Sookie’s or even Bill’s) and find a way to keep that Breath-O-Scandinavia on hand for Season 4, or I predict a(n at least) three woman uprising, the likes of which HBO has never seen. Scary, huh? While I think it’s possible we’ll be left with a cliff-hanger in that regard, I think it is more likely that we’ll see Russell die, Eric be saved somehow and then Eric taking off with Sookie. If you are not spoiled (I am not), I’d love to hear your finale predictions.
Closing credits: Eels “Fresh Blood”
Cindy is no vampire (not that there’s anything wrong with them). You can reach Cindy here