In the 4th episode of True Blood's seventh and final season, things get more and more depressing... until they finally start to get a little better.
The episode opens up in Jackson, Mississippi at Jackson Herveaux's trailer. (Jackson lives in Jackson? Really?) Sookie has called to let him know that Alcide is dead. Jackson tells Sookie he will be there when he can and she warns him not to try to come at night. Before they hang up her tells her that Alcide "loved the fuck out of [her]" and he had never heard him sound happier.
In Anchorage, Alaska, Hoyt gets a similar call from "Deputy Stackhouse" to let him know that his mother, Maxine Fortenberry, was killed by a vampire.
Hoyt: She said if I left, she was gonna die. And she did.This is really sad, Jason having to break this news to his former best friend... despite Hoyt having no memory of him. In case you forgot, Jessica glamoured him to forget both her and Jason, at his request, so he could move on to Alaska at peace. Jason cries to Sookie and she tells him to pull himself together. Even though they both want to cry, they have to "man up" and look strong to be an example for the rest of the town.
Jason: You listen to me Bubba, you left cause you had to. And I have to believe deep down Big Max knew that.
Hoyt: Do I know you?
Jason: No... you don't.
In the middle of the air somewhere, Pam and Eric are on a plane to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Nice to see that Eric is looking healthier - now that he's feeding again. Pam suggests they start with Senator Finch on their quest to find Sarah Newlin but Eric wants to go to Shreveport instead to look for Willa. Pam reminds him that there is nothing left for them there and he abandoned Willa so she probably hates him as much as Tara hated her. He decides he needs to see his progeny before he dies. Just then the woman he has been feeding off of realizes that he said he's dying and is shocked. He tells her that she is now a proud carrier of the Hepatitis V virus. She's upset, because now she's going to lose her job because of him... her job is a feeder I guess? I thought she was a flight attendant. So now I'm really confused. The virus is spread to vampires through blood that they drink; but it is transmitted to humans through vampire bites as well? Huh? I just don't get it.
Pam tells Eric that she hates Shreveport and then the scene flashes back to Shreveport 1986 so we can learn why. Eric and Pam meet the Magister of the Authority. (Remember him? Love all these cameos from dead characters of past seasons!) The Magister tells them that they are to run a small business here in Shreveport because Eric broke the rules. They enter the building and it's a video store. Pam's shock and disgust is almost comical and I feel ya sister. Downstairs is an adult shop with XXX-videos.
Eric: Leave it to humans to make sex this depressing.The idea of Eric and Pam running a low-rent Blockbuster is the funniest thing ever. The Magister makes Eric a sheriff, because he doesn't trust him and this way they can keep him close. They are being watched, both by the Authority and the Yokonomo Corp.'s yakuza buddies so they best behave.
Modern day Bon Temps: Jason and Sookie go to the Bellefleur house to get info from Holly and see how Arlene's kids Coby and Lisa are holding up. I was wondering who the hell is taking care of them while their mom is trapped in the basement of a vampire bar. And where is baby Mikey? Where is the baby!?
Sookie: Come on, sit down, I won't bite.Nice Sookie. You know the town is overrun by vampires right? So insensitive. She tells them that she knows they know what's going on and she won't pretend that it isn't scary. But she and Arlene were friends for a long time and she knows she's tough as hell and loves them. That means that wherever she is, she's fighting as hard as she can to get back to them. So they need to do their jobs, to get her back. Holly knows where she is and Sookie just has to help her remember. She promises she will get her back, which based on how many major characters have already been killed, is a ballsy promise. For all she knows Arlene is already dead.
Upstairs, Andy protests to Jason and Sam that Holly doesn't know anything and they need to lay off her. She doesn't want to remember what happened even if she could, but Sookie isn't going to let that shit fly. She goes into the bedroom with Holly and uses her fairy powers of telepathy to poke around in her head and see what the Hep-V vampires glamoured her to forget. She takes her step-by-step backwards from the last memory of being at the creek with Sookie and everyone last episode. Holly's visions are shown in reverse, as scary flashes - the vampires feeding on her, her begging them to stop, them taking her "outside," being at a bar, being locked in a dungeon. They determine that they were being kept in the basement of Fangatasia. Arlene and Nicole are still alive, but Kevin didn't make it. Holly sobs as Sookie rushes off to tell Bill and Andy just holds her as she cries. This season is fucking depressing.
Jason and Sam drive to Rosie's house to let her know about Kevin's death. Jason can tell Sam is upset but he doesn't want to talk about it. He's worried about Nicole and the baby and he's pissed that they aren't there. Sam decides he's going to Fangtasia to rescue his woman. Jason pulls a gun on him and tells him to turn the car around or he'll shoot him. He needs to protect himself and his family. They can't do this without the vampires; they need to wait for sundown. Sam finally agrees, begrudgingly.
At the Compton house, Jess is crying in bed and James reminds her that she needs to feed. She isn't healing because she isn't eating (and it's true, that bullet wound on her shoulder is starting to look kind of gnarly). He decides to go get Bill because at least he can command her to eat. Two seconds later Bill demands to know how long this has been going on. James says 10 weeks which Jessica denies. Ten weeks!? Can you imagine not eating for 10 weeks? Bill thinks it is because of what Jessica did to Andy's daughters but she denies it. (Oh come on, it's obviously about that.) She says she and Adilyn are good, which leads Bill to infer that she has been protecting Adilyn, instead of someone who will actually nourish her like she needs. Just then Sookie enters downstairs and calls out to see who is there.
Jessica: We're up here if you wanna join my inter-fucking-vention.Bill tells Jessica she has to forgive herself and Sookie offers herself to feed her. She says she doesn't give a shit why Jess isn't eating, because in her eyes those three dead fairy girls are "just the tip of the fucking iceberg around here." She doesn't care if they're dead. Alcide, Tara and almost everyone else she's ever known or loved is dead, even Jessica is "dead", so she doesn't give a fuck about her or her problems. But she does care about her friends who are being held at Fangtasia and she's going to need a lot of help if she's going to be able to save them. That includes Jessica's help. Jessica agrees to eat but doesn't want Sookie's blood (being a fairy hybrid and all) so Sookie tells James to call his human, which just happens to be Lafayette.
Back to Pam and Eric's torturous video store flashback (now in 1996 and even fucking funnier). In walks 1996 Ginger looking all alternative in her flannel shirt and glasses. She asks Pam if she has a copy of "The Fearless Vampire Killers or Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck" from 1967, David Cronenberg's "Rabid" from 1977 and "Cronos". Pam compliments her on her excellent taste in vampire cinema. I love everything about this scene so hard I can't even handle it. Ginger tells Pam that she drove all the way there from Tulane based on her professor's recommendation for a paper she's writing for the class, "Monsters in our Midst." Of course she doesn't think vampires are real or anything. Just then Eric enters and Ginger can't even control herself on how hot he is (and he is looking hilariously '90s, but still as sexy as ever). Ginger sees the "Help Wanted" sign (they're hiring for the "day shift") and asks for an application. Seriously, this is the scene that keeps on giving. I would be okay if the show just stayed in 1996 for the rest of the season. Please HBO give us a True Blood prequel spin-off that's just Eric, Pam and Ginger working in a video store in the 1990s. Please please please!
Back in modern day Bon Temps, Jason and Sam have arrived at Rosie and Kevin's house (now just Rosie's house). She's worried that she's under arrest for what happened last night (seeing as she was part of the angry mob) but instead they tell her that Kevin is dead. They tell her that the vampires are holding everyone at Fangtasia and they're rounding up every vampire they can find to go rescue them. That seems like too much information to give this dumbass, considering that just last night she was part of a horde of crazy anti-vampire vigilantes, but okay.
At Bill's house, he and Sookie strategize. He says they're going to be way outnumbered. A lot of vampires are dead, some are still just scared... and some of them just don't give a shit. They're happy to protect the humans that feed them, but there is nothing in it for them to go take this risk tonight.
Sookie: Then why are you doing it?She offers to feed him because she needs him at his strongest tonight. Ugh, I really don't want them to end up together. Lafayette shows up to feed Jessica. But first a pep talk!
Bill: Because I owe you everything.
Lafayette: Now, I ain't gonna front and pretend that I understand everything that's been goings on, but between you and me it's real motherfucking simple. Redbone you has to eat and I'm here to feed you.Yes, I did feel the need to type out that entire conversation because it was just that good. Lafayette, always the voice of reason, was the first beacon of hope for this depressing season. I really hope he gets his happy ending. I'm thinking he will get it with James, because the whole time that he talked to Jess and then fed her, James looking on lovingly, but it seemed like he was looking at Lala, not Jess. Just sayin'. I'm not entirely sure why Lafayette totally blames himself for the death of his boyfriend Jesus (since it was Marnie is Lafayette's body that killed Jesus, not Lafayette himself) but I guess grief is grief. I think in a way, his pep talk to Jessica was really a pep talk to himself as well... and if he is one of the few characters to survive til the final episode, he will do so with James by his side. (That opens up the door for Jessica to be with Jason, where she belongs. I really dig Violet, but she's not the right match for Jason at all.)
Jessica: Vampires, we call ourselves 'Immortal'. But we ain't immortal. Not if we need to feed on innocent people to survive.
Lafayette: Well, shit we all to the good then, cause I ain't motherfucking innocent.
Jessica: Hell of a lot better than me.
Lafayette: I have done some fucked up shit that have made me hate myself for it, but I don't.
Jessica: Have you killed people?
Lafayette: I killed the man I loved.
Jessica: How did you forgive yourself?
Lafayette: Still haven't. I accept the fact that I is a deeply flawed-ass motherfucker and one of those flaws being I'm a shaking in my boots scared as hell figuring out what death is like.
Jessica: You should be scared... because it sucks.
Lafayette: Trust and believe you can be a whole lot deader than what you is now and I think you knows it. So come on pretty girl, show me those baby fangs of those.
Shreveport Flashback is now in 2006. Ginger is looking very 2006-goth (it's like she raided a Hot Topic) as she drags a big chair into the video store. It is Eric's famous 'throne' chair that he would sit upon in Fangtasia - the first time we ever saw him in Season 1. Ginger suggests that they turn the place from a video store into a night club.
Ginger: Sex sells... and Eric Northman is nothing if he is not pure fucking sex on a throne. You're starting to see it right? There is nothing else like it. He sits up there, this thing you can see but cannot have, and so everyone just gets hornier and hornier until they just can't take it anymore and they start losing constrol... of how many drinks they're ordering. Poor things. Might as well just leave their wallets at the door. Because when the sun comes up on Fangtasia, there won't be anything left in them anyhow.Then she glamours Ginger into thinking that Fangtasia was her idea, so she can take credit for it with Eric. Gotta say, I love that Fangtasia was Ginger's idea and Pam stole it. (Where the hell is Ginger by the way? Is she dead?)
Ginger: Well if you and Eric don't like the name you could change it. I wouldn't mind.
Pam: Nope, Ginger. It is perfect just the way it is.
Ginger: Oh. Thanks, Pam. I think that might be the nicest thing you've ever said to me.
Pam: Ginger, I am so sorry for what I am about to do.
Modern day: They're still on the plane. Pam has just confessed that she stole the idea for Fangtasia from Ginger. Eric calls her such a bitch but says he still loves her, always. I love seeing Pam and Eric back together again, almost being sweet to each other. It's not quite as awesome as the video store, but I'll take it. I only wish there was a way to cure him of his Hep-V so they could stay together forever.
Meanwhile, at Bill's they've called every non-infected vampire in town and... two have shown up. Some dude named Michael and Keith (the drummer in James's band; "guitar and bass flaked out"). Dude. James has an all-vampire band. They haven't heard from Willa yet, so that makes a total of six vamps counting Violet, James, Jessica and Bill... plus Jason, Sam and Sookie. There's a knock at the door and it's Eric and Pam!
Eric: Pam tells me you wrote a book in which you claim not to be an asshole anymore. Is this true, Bill?Bill notices that Eric is sick but he says he's only about a month along and still in "Stage 1". (So there are stages now? What the fuck kind of disease is this? Can someone explain it to me?) Sookie comes to see who is at the door and rushes to hug Eric like an old friend. It's actually really sweet and makes me even more annoyed that they've decided to kill of Eric and Alcide, paving the way for her future with douchey Bill. Then she notices that he is sick, but he tells her he's "still here." Pam is obviously annoyed to see Sookie (and how much affection Eric still has for her) and reminds them that they have a Christian to kill (Sarah Newlin) and only came for Willa. Eric uses his maker-powers to call Willa to him, interrupting her as she feeds on some random dude.
Sookie tells Eric that he can't die on her. This is so bittersweet seeing them together. She tells him that her boyfriend (Alcide) died and he's annoyed that she was dating a werewolf, but she reminds him he died this morning so he apologizes and just holds her. He tells her where he has been - first home to Sweden where it was beautiful (although he triggered an avalanche that killed an entire ski village, oops), then South America, then Africa, then Spin and finally France. He wanted to see the world one last time. He wipes her tears and asks her what kind of trouble she is in. Just then Willa bursts in all pissed that he left her at only two weeks old! Seriously that is neglectful vampire-parenting. He says Sookie needs their help but she doesn't give a shit, "no offense" (Sookie's like "no I get it" which is funny). She wants to talk now but he commands her, as her maker, that they will talk later and help now. Pam is obviously also annoyed that they're joining in on the fight just because Eric is still all in love with Sookie.
Pam: She's like a fucking fungus that just won't go away.Over at Fangtasia, Arlene, Nicole and Jane Bodehouse scream as a rat runs into the dungeon and then scream again as the rat shifts into a naked Sam Merlotte. He tells them to be quiet because he is going to get them out of there. Arlene's all "I'm sorry, were you just a rat?" and Sam is like "we'll talk about everything when y'all are safe." They tell him that they are the only ones left. He lets them know that vampires are going to come through the same vent he just came through and they have to trust them because these vampires are "friends." Then he turns into a rat again (despite Arlene hoping he won't) and leaves.
Outside Eric is struggling to punch a hole through the wall to get them into Fangtasia. I assume he's doing it because he's the oldest (thereby technically the strongest) vamp of the group but he's also the only sick one so um, why isn't anyone helping? Bill offers to take over and breaks the wall down in one punch. I'm surprised Eric wasn't like "uh, I totally loosened it for you." Naked Sam emerges from the basement and lets them know that Arlene, Nicole and Jane are still alive. Pam offers to go in with Bill instead of Eric because he needs to save his strength.
Pam is pissed when she enters and sees that there are only two of them. She asks where the fuck the third is (the third being Arlene, who has been dragged upstairs to be fed on by the sick vampires). Pam warns Bill not to do anything too stupid, don't try to be too big a hero. She advises him that it's not going ot happen with Sookie, tonight or ever. Um, okay.
Outside the bar Eric knocks on the door trying to get in. He says he is Eric Northman and used to be sheriff of this area. He is diseased and needs to be let in. They're all like, we don't give a shit, but he says he brought his own human and would be happy to share her. It's Sookie, his delicious-smelling bait, so they let them in. Arlene is laying there half eaten and bloody but still alive (but just barely). They ask the same question that everyone has been asking Sookie since episode 1 of Season 1 "what are you?" but she says she is "his." This is a dangerous little game they're playing here.
Meanwhile, the dumbass vigilantes are driving to Fangtasia. Rosie has told them where to go (obviously that was going to happen). All I can do at this point is pray that someone kills Vince and Karen. I really don't care who. It can be a sick vampire, a healthy vampire, a human being, I really don't care. Just die already!
Eric says she is his so he will only share if they treat her with the respect she deserves. He tells them that she is quite special so they can't drink her blood, they can only sip it, like a nice glass of Barbaresco. Meanwhile the other vampires have helped Nicole and Jane to escape. They burst in to save the day but unfortunately so do the vigilantes. They bomb the place, drawing the sick vamps outside. There is a crazy brawl outside between the sick vamps, the healthy vamps, and the vigilantes. Ugh, just think of how much more successful this mission would've been if they'd worked together against the sick vampires. Seriously, what a bunch of fucking assholes. While the bar goes up in flames, Sookie and Eric try to get Arlene out. Bill rushes in to save them claiming that he's really isn't an asshole anymore. Pam uses a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and even such a simple move looks bad ass when she does it. Sookie says Arlene needs to feed on Bill's blood so she can heal enough to get out of there alive, and just as he's about to give it to her he senses Jessica outside about to be killed by Vince. Bill rushes to them and saves her by stabbing Vince in the head. YES! FINALLY! Meanwhile Arlene is fucking dying so Sookie begs Eric to find her a healthy vampire.
Sookie reads Arlene's mind and hears her talking to Terry - and Terry talking back to her! - but Sookie begs her not to believe it and to hold on a little longer. She reads her mind and sees what Arlene sees - a vision of Terry surrounded by light, entering in the doorway, calling for her to join him. One of the sick vampires enters, about to pounce on Sookie, but then he explodes. Way to go Jason, who shot him right in the heart with a wooden bullet. The vampire drummer Keith runs in to help them and drips his blood into Arlene's mouth. The vision of Terry tells her that she should stay and Arlene agrees. His final words to her are to "be happy". She finally comes to and where Terry's face was is now Keith's, who saved her. Hm... maybe she and Keith will be happy together. He is cute and we all know how sexy drummers are. I find it so interesting how this season they're introducing these characters who have never ever been seen before - both human and vampire - and we're supposed to just accept that they've always lived in Bon Temps all along.
Outside all the sick vampires are finally dead, but they can't find Eric and Pam is worried. Finally she finds him inside the car feeding on Rosie (yeah take that bitch). He did have to eat. Ha. Eric enters the bar to see Sookie hugging Arlene and they share a knowing, loving look. Cue the credits.
Next week, we find out whether Eric can still look hot wearing a cowboy hat! (Spoiler: He can.)
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