Maybe it’s just because so much of it has been so damn good, but this season of ‘True Blood’ really seemed to fly by. When the preview trailer at the end of this week’s episode announced that the next new episode will be the season finale, I could hardly believe it. Part of that, however, may be that ‘Fresh Blood’ really doesn’t feel like the penultimate entry in the season’s arc. It’s crammed with storylines, many of which feel like they’re barely getting warmed up. It’s a good episode, all in all, but not one of this season’s best.
With that said, the “In Memoriam” tribute clip that HBO ran beforehand (opposite the Emmy Awards on another network) was pretty hilarious. Here, take a look.
Let’s break down the rest of the episode by characters again.
Bill & Sookie
After Eric chained Sookie up in the Fangtasia basement/dungeon, Bill comes a-runnin’. He warns Pam that he’s older and stronger than she is, so she better move out of his way, but his macho act falls apart when she pulls out a spray bottle and maces him the face with colloidal silver. That leaves him blinded and pretty useless in their ensuing fight. However, while the two vamps are distracted, Eric’s bitter Polish whore frees Sookie, and they help Bill get the upper hand again.
Bill and Sookie flee. On a car ride out of town, they fantasize about having normal lives free of supernatural drama. Unfortunately, that’s just not to be, because…
Eric & Russell
Eric pays a visit to Russell, who is quite surprised by his audacity. They have a little chat where Eric explains about the slaughter of his Viking family, and suggests that Talbot’s death makes them even. Russell is unmoved. Before Russell can strike, Eric offers him the greatest prize that all vampires have dreamed of throughout the ages – daywalking, the ability to survive in the sunlight. Russell doesn’t believe the myth, but is intrigued enough to give Eric an extra day to prove his claims. Such a power would make him unstoppable.
Together, they intercept Bill and Sookie (in a neat stunt, Russell nearly upends their speeding car), and drag them back to Fangtasia. Eric stages a fight with Bill in the parking lot. After Russell grows bored and leaves them be, Eric informs Bill that he has a plan. But we’ll get to all that in a minute.
Sam & Tara
Sam’s been having an especially bad streak since we saw last week’s flashbacks and learned of his dark past. He shows up at work drunk and surly. He fires Tommy, and throws everyone out of the restaurant, except Tara, who won’t leave.
Just prior to that, I should mention, Tara turned up at Merlotte’s (on a night she doesn’t work) to confront Andy with what she knows about Jason killing Eggs. She arrived in a mood expecting triumphant retribution, but his seemingly genuine remorse leaves her unexpectedly deflated.
After Sam throws everyone out, she’s drawn to his darkness. (Tara really has lousy taste in men, doesn’t she?) They drink some more, and go back to his trailer for another hook-up.
Jason & Crystal
Jason has two prominent storylines this episode, both of which seem to be heating up awfully late in the season. Crystal explains that she’s a were-panther, and that her fiancé Felton is also her half-brother. Her marriage was arranged since childhood, and she’s expected to breed a bunch of panther cubs with him to keep the bloodline pure.
All of this leaves Jason awfully weirded out. He leaves Crystal in the house while he goes out to think (not his strong suit). This leads him to the high school football field, where he sees cocky douchebag Kitch Maynard practicing. By the unnatural power in his arms, Jason can tell that he’s hopped up on V.
Jason confronts Kitch, and declares that he’s going to tell the kid’s coach and parents. Kitch laughs off the threats. His coach gave him the V, and his parents use it themselves. He smugly boasts that he’s going to shatter all of Jason’s old football records. Jason moans about how that’s not fair, to which Kitch responds, “Tell it to the papers.”
No, I know that Jason’s not exactly a bright guy, but even he should be smart enough to realize that this is exactly what he should do. Kitch’s coach and parents may not care, but the press and public surely will.
Anyway, Jason returns home to tell Crystal that he’s OK with her being supernatural. “So you turn into a panther. Well, you know, that ain’t so bad.” In the world of ‘True Blood’, perhaps it’s not.
Crystal is happy, but now needs him to return to Hotshot with her to rescue all those kids that she keeps whining about.
Lafayette & Jesus
In the afterglow of their V trip, Jesus goes a little V crazy and begs for more. He thinks that it will lead him to some great revelation. Just one taste, and he’s already an addict. Lafayette resists at first, but is about to give in when he has a scary V “aftershock” where he sees Jesus turn into a demon. Jesus asks him what’s wrong. Lafayette tries to brush it off, but asks him to go home. Later, he has another drug flashback where all of his creepy knickknacks talk to him.
Hoyt & Jessica
All healed up after his dog attack (with help from Jessica’s blood), Hoyt is happy to be back together. But Jessica decides that she needs to come clean with him. She tells him about the dead trucker, and tells him that she won’t stop drinking human blood. This is what he’s in for if he wants to be in a relationship with her. After a brief hesitation, Hoyt offers her his own blood, and they have a very sexy moment where she drinks from him.
Distraught from their breakup, rebound fling Summer goes crying to Hoyt’s mother, and we learn that their whole relationship was a set-up.
Arlene & Terry
Still terrified of her evil baby, Arlene goes to Holly for a Wiccan abortion. Holly makes her stand in a prayer circle in the woods and gives her a witchy concoction that she must take several times a day, but cautions that if the baby wants to be born, it’s going to be born.
Arlene has a lovely dream that night about her mother, but wakes up to Terry totally freaking out. She’s lying in a pool of blood. She’s totally calm and relaxed (and secretly happy), but agrees to go to the hospital. She disingenuously consoles Terry that this baby just wasn’t meant to be, until the doctor tells her that the baby’s actually fine. That damn demon seed isn’t giving up without a fight.
Back at Fangtasia, Eric explains to Russell that Sookie is a fairy, and that the myths are true about fairy blood making vampires impervious to sunlight. Russell is incredulous, but even Bill plays along. He offers Sookie up to Russell, with the caution that if he drains her dry, he’ll lose his only source of fairy blood. Sookie is pissed, even when Bill tries to reason with her that it’s the only way to ensure that she lives.
Russell is more intrigued than ever, but demands a demonstration first. Eric gladly agrees. Both he and Russell feed from Sookie, leaving her near death. Bill begs Pam to unchain him so that he can feed her his blood, but she just ignores him.
Eric walks outside into the sunlight, and parades in front of the security cameras that all is well. Russell is ecstatic and goes outside as well. Little does he know that Eric has actually started burning and has been hiding it. While Russell is basking in the sun, Eric slips on a pair of silver handcuffs and chains Russell to him. They’re both going to die together. DAA DAAA DAAAAAAAA…..
It’s an effective cliffhanger, but there’s no way that this show is killing off Eric. Realizing that can’t help but deflate some of the suspense. Also, as I mentioned earlier, many of the storylines in this episode don’t feel like they’re in a position to be wrapped up with just one more episode.
The show is taking a break next week, and won’t be back for the finale until September 12th. That timing really stinks, because I’ll be out of the country that week. So you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t get a finale recap written in a timely fashion. I promise that I’ll get to it after I return home.
And Finally, Finally
Last thought: After ‘Fresh Blood’, HBO ran one of its “Post Mortem” promotional videos. This one was all about fairies. Executive producer Alan Ball tries to justify them as not really being as lame as they seem. Sorry, Alan, even after your explanations, they’re still pretty lame.