True Blood – This Recap Bloody Sucks! “Life Matters”

KURT: Okay, I know everyone wants to jump right to talking about Eric’s rampage and all the badass shit that happened after it… but as the man says, if you don’t eat your meat, how can you have any pudding? So let’s start with the boring crap: Sookie and Warlow in their goofball fantasy land. Sookie decides that the best way to cure Warlow is to just bite the shit out of her wrist. Sookie, lady, you DON’T have super sharp vampire teeth. You just have the regular kind… and I bet that hurt like BALLS. Then she gets pissed at Bill and kicks him out of the Whateververse and heads off to Terry’s funeral (more on that later).

So… raise your hand if you still give a shit what happens to Warlow, I guess? For someone who was set up as the big bad of the season multiple years ahead of time, they sure have (no pun intended) defanged him. At this point, I hope he just marries Sookie and they have immortal vamp-babies and then it becomes Warlow And Sookie Plus Eight (Eight Vampires, That Is).

JIM: *Sits with hands resting by his side*…I feel like there has to be more to this Warlow and Niall thing. You don’t bring in Rutger Fucking Hauer to do absolutely nothing with him. And you’re right, they spent so long building up bad guy Warlow that this can’t be all there is to him. I think they had Sookie remembering Warlow in his spirit form in her bathroom a couple weeks back for a reason – he’s got some evil in him…he killed an entire colony of faeries this season…he’s a bad dude and my guess is we see that again sooner, rather than later.

LACEY: I care what happens to Warlow, but that probably has to do more with the actor’s general handsomeness than the character. If the show goes anywhere in the direction the book did with Niall, it isn’t the last we’ve seen of ol’ gramps. He’ll be back, he’ll be pissed and he won’t be alone.  Yeah, Warlow isn’t all sunshine and roses, there’s something lurking there, I have a feeling we’ll see it next season. And, Sookie, biting her wrist, WTF, dude? Aren’t there any sharp sticks in the faerie graveyard? Has to hurt less than gnawing at your self like a damned rat (who at least have sharp teeth), I’ve been a repeat offender on biting the inside of my mouth and if biting into your wrist is anything like that, no thanks. Sharp sticks for me.

Never count me out, bitches.

KURT: Meanwhile, back in the real world, Eric is pissed off and high as a kite on fairy blood goofballs. He makes his way over to the vamp-camp and quite literally eviscerates a bunch of guards, then heads inside and rips off that creepy doctor’s balls, leaving him to bleed out on the floor… until Bill comes along and stomps on his head. Well, goddamn! THIS is the sort of thing I watch True Blood for, not all that awkward necking in a parallel boringverse. More headstomping! More blood! More carnage! How refreshing was it to see Eric back to his old body-parts-ripping self again?

JIM: What made me laugh about Eric’s probably non-sanitary castration was the director’s insistence that we get to see the Doc collapse in pain while his junk smacked up against the wall….and then in case you couldn’t tell what just happened, see him bleeding from his crotch…and then JUST IN CASE you couldn’t tell, we got a shot of his dismembered twig & berries at the end of the scene. That, my friends, is subtle storytelling. And you know what? I wouldn’t have my True Blood any other way.

LACEY: Ah, yes, the subtlety of a bloody wang, swathed in cheap dress pants shot as if you were eye-to-eye with the darn thing. Nothing really says “True Blood” like that shot said it. I’m actually kind of surprised we didn’t get a close up of the stomped, bloody head. You know what else doesn’t have a lot of subtlety? A viking on a rampage, which, lest you forget, it what Eric Northman truly is, so it all works. I also enjoyed Eric’s style of letting the doctor that killed his sister die painfully, while Bill was all like, “You hurt my progeny? STOMP!” It’s the patience that comes with living for thousands of years that really makes the difference there.

KURT: Back in Bon Temps, the funeral of Terry Bellefleur proceeds as expected. Sookie, Alcide, and basically every major and minor character from the town shows up. In keeping with Nora’s death, True Blood uses Terry’s death to go back and fill in some of his backstory, showing us how he first got hired at Merlotte’s and coped with his traumatic experiences immediately after coming home. There’s even a touching, Tom Sawyer-like moment with a catfish and every-life-being-sacred.

For all that I bash on True Blood, I found this whole sequence – even up to and including Big John’s song – quite nice. I could’ve done with fewer jokes about Miss Bellefleur being a wacky old coot, but aside from that, I thought this was a pretty nice send-off for a character that I actually gave a damn about.

 JIM: It was pretty well done, and oddly moving for a character I was pretty sure I didn’t care much about. I will admit I did say “who the fuck was that” when Andy’s sister Portia got up to speak. She’s a character nobody cares about and her story was way lame. Also, welcome back Tara’s Mom, I guess? Doesn’t she have an episode of The Newsroom in which to be even more inconsequential? One side note: I’m calling it: as of this episode of True Blood, it’s time we retire the “Wincing Family Members During 21 Gun Salute” trope from TV & movies.

LACEY: It was really lovely, wasn’t it? It was also interesting to me to see how far Terry had come from hiding out in the woods, only to see that he couldn’t escape the pain of his past. No matter how happy Arlene and the kids made him, the war was really just too much for a soul as gentle as his. *Sigh* Also, did you guys know that Big John is pretty much always in the background during the restaurant kitchen scenes? That’s what the Internet alleges and I tend to believe them. Wasn’t there someone more awesome who played Mrs. Bellefleur back when Bill was finding out they were his kin? Why do I feel like it was the sexy grandma from Who’s the Boss? It was, wasn’t it? She was awesome. Is this a different elderly Bellefleur lady? Regardless, I could have gone without her too. It just took away from the emotional impact of the funeral, which was pretty great for me.

KURT: Of course, while all that funeral business is going on, Jason and Eric are running wild around the vamp-camp. Jason kinda-sorta apologizes for being a huge anti-vamper to Eric, and he winds up leading Eric around the facility as it descends into chaos around them. There’s vampire Voight-Kampff tests, naked scientists running on treadmills, and all sorts of other goofy stuff. And Ginger! Poor, stupid Ginger locked up in a closet with the other blood bags!

Of course, this sequence isn’t all fun and games, as it turns out that Sarah Newlin has survived the chaos by hiding under a pile of dead bodies. Can anything kill Sarah Newlin? Apparently not!

LACEY: Well, Jason Stackhouse sure can’t. But I digress. Jason is, as always, awesome on V. He should keep a low-level V buzz going at all times. High-fiving corpses, drumming on the heads of creepy mental health professionals, his delivery of both “Fucking gross” and “You did not just go there!” all amazing. A plus work from Ryan Kwanten, the wonder from down under. His chilly Scandanavian pal also did some pretty awesome things, like recognizing Ginger’s scream, saving the psychiatrist kill for Pam and “Hello, vampires.” Sarah Newlin is the cockroach of televangelists with political aspirations, 100 million years from now, she’ll be hawking her revised version of the Bible on whatever QVC is then.

JIM: You’d think since Jason requires a fairly blank look at all times that it would be difficult to nail an even goofier blank look when hopped up on the V, but Lacey’s Aussie husband pulls it off perfectly. The pure joy & fun Eric was obviously having while eviscerating and emancipating was hilarious. I’m glad Sarah Newlin lives to judge and scheme another day, but I still feel her destiny is as a self-loathing vampire.

 

KURT: And speaking of Sarah Newlin, she decides to get her final revenge by opening the roof of the ominous white room and incinerating all the vamps. Turns out that while Eric was busy getting down to Eric-business, Bill actually got into the room and shared his pilfered fairy blood with all the vamps locked in the room. So when the roof opens, all that happens is Sarah Newlin gets to see a really creepy scene of people feeding off Bill, plus her ex-husband declare his undying love of Jason Stackhouse and then explode!

 I really can’t overstate how awesome this all was, although I felt a little bad for the Reverend.

LACEY: As much as I love VSN, he’s essentially either been a walking, talking plot device or monkey wrench this season. He’s pretty much been Chunk in the Fratelli’s basement, spilling his guts so his ex-wife won’t stick his hand in a blender and balling his eyes out. Too bad for him that he ran afoul of a fucking Viking warrior while doing so. Also, what a nice last kick in the face to his ex-wife. You know he saw her, so just one last twist of the knife, and he drops the mic. By drops the mic, I mean bursts into flame. There was so much weird shit going on in that white room, it was amazing. So, I guess Eric was just too filled with righteous rage to get hopped up on FaeV like the rest of the kids? Whatever, Pam waltzing with her oozy, but productive shrink was pretty great, right?

JIM: I’ve gotta say, the Great Jason Stackhouse Love Proclamation of 2013 was, by far, the biggest surprise laugh I ever got from True Blood. If Sookie’s reaction the first time Sam shifted in her presence is the bar, Newlin’s scream and Jason’s facial expression shattered that bar completely. I loved everything about the last 10 seconds of Steve Newlin’s undead life.

KURT: And last but not least, all the vampires run out into the sunlight and go frolicking around, la-de-dah… completely forgetting about Bill, who is dying on the floor of the white room, almost completely drained of blood. Jess and her new beau come to his aid, however, chasing off the Naked Handmaidens of Lilith and bringing him back from the brink.

But while all that’s going on, Jason realizes that Sarah’s getting away. He chases her down, gives her a nice lecture on religion, and then almost blows her (and his?) head off… before deciding to let her go. What the hell, Jason! I was hoping that he’d pop a cap there. And then, as the episode ends, Eric bids a tearful goodbye to Pam and flies off into the sky like Neo does at the end of The Matrix.

LACEY: Yeah, nice memory vampires, good job almost leaving your lord and savior on the floor to die. Good thing Jesus Jones was around to save Billith. I really hope we never have to see the Bloody Handmaidens again, but I’ve got a feeling Lilith is pissed and she isn’t a lady you want to tussle with.

On to Jason, he’s really just kind of a hooker with a heart of gold, isn’t he? He’s not a killer, he knew it and Sarah Newlin knew it. I just wish Eric had emerged from the white room in time to do what needed to be done, killing wise. Or turning wise, I hope he finds her and makes her worst nightmare come true, vampy time! I think Eric’s got a history of this disappearing schtick, he’ll be back before the end of next episode, or Sookie doesn’t have a magic faerie vagina.

Jeez, I’m kinda speechless here, guys. I think this may be both the best and worst episode of True Blood ever.

JIM: I love that Jason Stackhouse characterization, Lacey….totally spot on. You knew he wasn’t going to kill her, it seems like it would have been satisfying if he had. However, I think the vampers are going to have more of a say in her ultimate fate and that’s probably the way it should be. Unlike Lacey, I am hoping for a Bloody Handmaiden spinoff. I wonder what turned Eric so melancholy at the end? I initially thought it was simply the loss of yet another family member, and figured he would seek some comfort in Pam. But then he up & Neo’d that shit, as only our favorite Northman could. We just needed a little Rage Against the Machine to go with it and it would have been perfect.

 

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