The best part of this week’s new episode of ‘True Blood’ may have been the end credits listing for a character described as “Uppity Townswoman.” That should tell you a lot about the episode already.
‘I Found You’ is emblematic of a lot of problems the show has faced in recent seasons. The episode is all about plot-plot-plot and giving the characters something to do to keep them on screen, without ever accomplishing much of anything. In fact, in one storyline, Sam actually assigns a group of townspeople the busy-work of cleaning up Arlene’s restaurant to keep them occupied. This would be OK if the episode had a lot of good character development to balance that out, but it doesn’t even have much of that.
The episode opens with Jason finding Eric, who claims that he needed space to think. Within moments, Jason declares that he’s in love with Eric and the two strip off their clothes and start making out. If the gauzy soft-focus photography didn’t already give it away, it becomes obvious early on that the scene is a fantasy sequence, one of the symptoms of Jason having drank Eric’s blood. Nevertheless, the joke drags on interminably until Jason finally wakes up in church. Ha ha. What a dipshit. Other than a pointless potshot at Jason (and some fan service for female and gay viewers), the scene serves no narrative purpose other than to assure the audience that Alexander Skarsgard is still in the cast and the show hasn’t forgotten about him.
Desperate to find the townsfolk who were kidnapped by Hep Vamps, Andy has no leads and no idea where to look. Sookie suggests that the dead body she stumbled over in the woods might be a good starting point. The girl’s driver’s license identifies her as a resident of neighboring town St. Alice. Sookie, Andy, Jason, Sam and Alcide take a road trip – working under the theory that the Hep Vamps may have come from her town and dragged her along with them for food. When they get there, they find St. Alice a ghost town with a huge mass grave. The Hep Vamps wiped the place out. Never explained is how the Hep Vamps got into the residents’ houses without being invited.
For some reason, Sookie and the group find the dead girl’s house and decide to snoop around for a while, as if that could possibly lead to any useful information. Sookie discovers the girl’s diary, and the story she reads (about a young girl falling in love with a vampire) uncomfortably parallels her own. Basically, the girl was exactly like Sookie. Eventually, everyone decides that this trip was totally useless and accomplished nothing, so they leave to get home before dark.
Meanwhile, over in Shreveport, Arlene recognizes one of her kidnappers as a former schoolteacher who’d taught her kids. She formulates a plan to appeal to whatever is left of the woman’s humanity. Indeed, the woman (named Betty) feels guilty about what she’d done and agrees to set the prisoners free when the other vampires sleep. However, because she’s incredibly weak, she needs to feed from Arlene for strength. Arlene consents, but as Betty starts to drink from her, she dies and melts into goo right in Arlene’s lap. So much for that. Once again, this is a storyline that achieves nothing and resets back to Square One before the episode is over.
While Sam is away, asshole rival politician Vince tells the townsfolk at the restaurant about Sam being a shape-shifter, and rallies a mob to raid the police station for guns. Adilyn tries to warn Deputy Kenya to move the guns, but Kenya ultimately sides with the mob. While being pushed around, Adilyn inadvertently uses her fairy powers, exposing herself.
Back at Andy’s house, Jessica wakes up scared, but isn’t able to do anything to help Adilyn while the sun is still up. Andy comes home, and Jess reveals herself to him and begs for his help. That’s all we see of that.
After failing to get some V from Lafayette, Tara’s mother Lettie Mae intentionally burns her hand on a frying pan in order to fool Willa into giving her some blood. Drunk on the stuff, she has a vision of Tara on a cross speaking some gibberish that Lettie Mae can’t understand. I guess this means that Rutina Wesley hasn’t fully left the show, though the scene doesn’t offer her much to do. If the whole point of this storyline winds up being about nothing more than Lettie Mae’s drug addiction, I’m going to be very annoyed at how much time it wastes.
Finally, after spinning its wheels for about 55 minutes, the episode abruptly cuts to France, where Pam finds Eric alive… but not so well. He’s got the Hep V. Given that this is the show’s last season anyway, I’m sure he’ll hang around long enough to die in the finale.
As you can tell, I found this to be a very frustrating episode. While it isn’t overtly bad, it doesn’t offer much memorable other than a small handful of funny lines of dialogue (and an amusing sight gag where one of the boarded-up houses in St. Alice has “Thanks Obama!” graffiti spray-painted on it, because of course the vampire apocalypse must be the fault of the damn Liberals).
You could safely skip over the episode entirely and not miss anything critical that won’t appear in the 30-second “Previously on…” clip next week. The series simply doesn’t (or shouldn’t) have time for this much filler in the last stretch before closing down for good.