For the second week in a row, ‘True Blood’ spends the better part of an hour meandering through storylines with little urgency before climaxing in a last-minute action scene designed to keep viewers on the hook for more. While I felt that the ploy worked fairly well last week, this week’s episode feels mostly like a time-waster.
The main difference between the two is that last week’s episode spent the hour building up to the raid on Fangtasia, with a bunch of little storylines that supported that action. This week, the bulk of the episode has little to do with what happens at the end.
Sookie is sad. Her boyfriend Alcide is dead. Her BFF Tara is dead. Nobody likes her. Boo hoo, it’s hard to be Sookie. To cheer her up, Lafayette hatches the boneheaded plan to throw a party in her house so that everyone in town can get drunk and forget about their worries. Some of the things that happen at the party include:
- Andy forgives Jessica for killing his daughters. He then very sweetly proposes to Holly.
- A vampire named Keith flirts with Arlene. She really has questionable taste in men.
- Jessica walks in on her boyfriend James having sex with Lafayette. Before she can get too indignant about this, Lafayette gives her a good talking-to about how poorly she’s treated James, and she can’t deny it.
- Jessica and Jason make out and then have sex. Jason’s vampire girlfriend Violet overhears them from the hallway but decides not to interrupt.
- After drugging her husband with Benadryl so that she can go to the party, Lettie Mae stabs Willa to get some of her blood. (She doesn’t get any.)
- As just about the only person in Bon Temps with any sense, Sam’s girlfriend Nicole totally flips out about how ridiculous it is that they’d have a party when so much terrible stuff is still going on. “This shit doesn’t happen in other towns!” she yells.
Via flashbacks to his Civil War days, Bill reminisces about how he was forcibly enlisted into the Confederate Army. He and his family tried to sneak out of the South on the Underground Railroad, only to get caught by Bill’s secessionist friend, who forced him to return and serve his duty. This explains why Bill left his family and went off to war, but (as with Bill’s flashbacks in other recent episodes) the storyline has no connection to any current events. It’s a non sequitur designed to make viewers forget that Bill has been a total asshole for the last several seasons, so that perhaps we’ll feel a little sorry for him when it’s revealed that he has Hep-V.
Willa tells Eric that she has information to help him find Sarah Newlin. In exchange, she demands that he release her from him. (Her pissiness at Eric for abandoning her seems all out of proportion with what he actually did to her.) Willa sends Eric and Pam to meet Sarah’s sister Amber, an infected vampire with a big grudge against Sarah. Amber tells them that Sarah is certain to run to mommy and daddy, who will attend a Republican fundraiser for Ted Cruz at the George W. Bush Presidential Library. (Hoo-boy! I wonder what political leanings the show’s writers have!) Eric and Pam get gussied up to infiltrate the fundraiser. “We can be assholes,” Eric insists. “I’m a Republicunt!” Pam enthuses.
Sarah sneaks into the fundraiser and surreptitiously meets her mother in the ladies’ room. Sarah explains that the Yakuza are after her and that she needs help from powerful friends. She asks if Laura Bush is there. Her mother thinks Sarah is nuts, until the Yakuza invade the fundraiser and shoot the place up. They kill both of Sarah’s parents and chase her down a hallway, where Eric captures Sarah and then kills all of the Yakuza (including gruesomely ripping one guy’s face off).
This is a fun scene, but (as I said above) it feels like it was thrown into a random episode with little tie-in. I still don’t really buy Eric’s sudden need for revenge against Sarah. The scene also feels very reminiscent and derivative of the Festival of Tolerance episode back in Season 4. The show has already done stuff like this. We’ve seen it all before, and the writers have run out of new ideas to keep us interested.