‘True Blood’ 7.01 Recap: “Every Human Needs a Vampire”

This weekend, HBO’s once super-hot vampire drama ‘True Blood’ started its seventh and reportedly final season. It’s no secret to fans that the show has been on the wane for a few years already. With an end game in sight, has the series bounced back with a creative rebound?

It’s too soon to say.

The premiere episode, ‘Jesus Gonna Be Here’, picks up right where last season’s finale left off. In a vaguely apocalyptic plot twist, the Hepatitis V virus infected a significant portion of the world’s vampire population, leaving roaming bands of sick vamps to wander from town to town, attacking humans and spreading their disease to other vampires. The state and federal governments have fallen into disarray. In a limp cliffhanger, a horde of “Hep Vamps” descended on Bon Temps, where new mayor Sam Merlotte had gathered together most of the town for a mixer event.

The attack on the mixer is violent and bloody, but staged very confusingly by star and episode director Stephen Moyer. After leaving a great deal of carnage, the vamps are mysteriously called off by a whistle in the distance. Who is leading them? A group of townspeople, including Holly and Arlene, are kidnapped. After about 30 seconds on screen and two lines of dialogue, Tara is killed.

At least, that’s what Tara’s mother says. We never actually see Tara die, which leads me to suspect that something else is going on. If she really is dead, this is a rather inglorious and disappointing exit for one of the show’s major characters.

Bill and Andy spend most of the episode searching for those who were kidnapped. (We later learn that they’re being held at Fangtasia in Shreveport.) Most of the town blame Sookie for attracting so many vampires to Bon Temps, and Sookie responds in kind by being a total bitch to everyone (including werewolf boyfriend Alcide, for no reason at all), because that’s what she does.

A rival politician named Vince spots Sam morphing from dog to human form. Sam begs him not to tell anyone, because it would just confuse the town’s already frightened population. Vince agrees, but goes vigilante and tries to search for the missing townsfolk himself. This is not a good idea. It looks like he’ll be a troublemaker for much of the season.

In the episode’s best storyline, Jessica takes it upon herself to protect the Bellefleur house – specifically Andy’s daughter Adilyn cowering inside. As you may recall, Jessica had killed all of Andy’s other daughters and left Adilyn near death after being overwhelmed by hunger for their fairy blood. She’s felt terribly guilty about that ever since. While Adilyn has forgiven her, Jess still doesn’t trust herself around the girl and instructs Adilyn not to invite her in. However, when a standoff with a sick vampire leads to dawn, Adilyn invites her in anyway to protect her from the daylight. Jess has a moment where she almost can’t control herself, but ultimately flees to the attic before she does anything she’ll regret.

Separated from all these events, we find Pam in Morocco on the trail of Eric, last seen bursting into flames on a mountaintop in Sweden. I take it that he survived, though that isn’t confirmed here.

‘True Blood’ is notorious for its weak premiere and finale episodes. While this one may not strike me as anything special, it’s solid enough overall, though I’m not entirely sold on the post-apocalypse setting. The episode has several worthwhile character moments. (The bit where Jason’s vampire girlfriend Violet finally lets him have sex with her is hilarious.)

I’ve stuck with the show this long. I’m not about to give up on it so close to the end.


  1. Tara’s not dead because she didn’t get the silent clock…oh wait, wrong series.

    I’m like you Josh, I’ve watched True Blood up until now, so I might as well watch it finish, even if it’s a pale comparison to what it was in the first couple of seasons. I read somewhere that there’s not going to be a ‘big bad’ this year, so those waiting for a lead villain aren’t going to find one.

    I’m not a fan of the whole vampire-zombie versus “good” vampire premise. Just an excuse for a whole lot of carnage, but not a very interesting storyline.

  2. Mr Apollo

    I tried to stick with watching this show but last season I just gave up and stopped caring. The thing that just upsets me so much is that there is pretty much only exposition and never and resolution. I can’t stand it! The show is just non-stop of it. NOTHING ever feels resolved. Almost every episode was felt like that since season 2. The only season I’ve ever liked is the 1st one. I’ll continue to follow what happens through the internet and friends but I’m done watching this show. It would be in extremely poor taste to just kill Tara off like that. I doubt she’s dead. Only being protected so later on in the show, the people who can’t figure it out will be “shocked” that she is indeed, still alive. The show has become completely dull and predictable. It’s sad because this show used to have a lot going for it. Oh well…

  3. Reading this recap was much more enjoyable and less time consuming than that episode. I’m more excited to not have to feel obligated to watch this show after this season than I am to watch it.

    Sookie’s temper tantrum in the woods almost immediately after killer vampires came from the woods was absolutely ridiculous. Her character arc just bent backwards and now she is season 1 Sookie again. Ugh…

  4. hal9thou

    Yes, reading recaps is all I will give this show anymore. Might not even do that after reading this one. It is a bad sign when once avid viewers just don’t care about your show anymore. Looks like it will be going out with a whimper.

  5. Bryan

    I’ve watched from day one, so I’m going to finish out the series. It definitely did drag for a couple of seasons, but I thought last year was an improvement. At least Tara is now gone. She was somewhat more tolerable as a vampire, but she’s always annoyed me. This new political rival for Sam is kind of annoying too … At least, in the final season there’s more at stake for the characters (pun intended) since they can kill people off and not worry about affecting any future storylines.

    • Yeah when Tara got shot in the head my wife and I cheered. When she was brought back I wanted to break my tv. Hopefully this time it is for good! I’m hoping the body count is high this season because so many characters are useless.

  6. I quit watching after I saw the season premiere where she ended up in Fairy land or whatever that was, horrible episode and the show just got really really stupid at that point for me. Wont ever bother finishing this one up

    • Josh Zyber

      That was definitely the worst episode of the show. It hasn’t sunken quite that low since, but it’s certainly not as good as it used to be during the first couple of seasons.

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