“True Blood”: “Morning is Coming”

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Well hello there, Jane Bodehouse! It’s been a piece. Glad to have you back along with the rest of the Bon Temps crew. Well, most of them, anyway – but more on that later.

Yes, supernatural sexy-time True Blood is back with more romance, carnage, and disposable minor characters than you can shake a stake at. As this is the last season, all bets are off except the guarantee that there will be fake blood and modestly socks galore.

Let’s dig in!

Vamp attack! A bunch of people get whisked away by the Hep-V vamps – Kevin? Arlene? Tara (Rutina Wesley) fights a big vamp to protect Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) and suddenly someone whistles and the marauder vamps vanish. Everyone turns to see Lettie Mae covered in gore.

Tara is dead.

Again.

OPENING TITLES

Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) tells his last remaining faerie daughter to stay inside after he gets a frantic call from Jason (Ryan Kwanten) alerting him of the slaughter. Jess (Deborah Ann Woll), still trying to pay Andy back for eating his other kids, offers free babysitting.

Back at Bellefleur’s, some scrawny dude witnesses Sam (Sam Trammell) change back from a dog (he had shifted to run after the vamp who took Nicole) and he’s all, “Well I NEVER!” Turns out it’s Sam’s former opponent in the mayoral race, Vince. He oozes smarm. The vamps get paired off with the humans, and Lala (Nelsan Ellis) and his bottle of Jack get stuck with Jessica’s emo boyfriend, who has been recast this season (he’s now played by Nathan Parsons). Huh. Wonder what that’s all about.

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Sookie (Anna Paquin), meanwhile, gets tired of hearing people psychically slut-shame her, and when Alcide (Joe Manganiello) piles on, she storms out. She then throws away her cell phone while walking alone in the dark with crazy vampires everywhere. Same old Sook! She stumbles upon a corpse of a woman in the brush, shrugs, and continues on. Must be Thursday.

Pam (Kristen Bauer Von Straten), meanwhile, is standing in a bucket in Morocco playing Russian Roulette with another vampire. She wins, and as payment gets some intel on the whereabouts of Eric.

Back at Andy’s, Jess and Adilyn (Bailey Noble) talk about boys through the window. It’s kinda cute, until some mystery dude starts yelling from the property line about how good the girl smells. It’s her Designer Imposters! Also: Uh-oh.

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Sookie and Alcide fight and she sends him to bed with no kibble.

Jason and Violet (Karolina Wydra) discuss Tara, briefly, as they search for the Hep V vamp nest, but they’re interrupted by a band of vigilantes led by Vince. Violet scares them off, much to Jason’s chagrin. Later, he pulls over the car to complain about the terminal case of blueballs that she’s given him, and they finally do it, on the hood of the cop car, in what looks to be a quiet, residential area. Bon Temps’ finest! (Ass, that is.)

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Lala smokes up Jess’s boyfriend whose name I still can’t remember (it’s James?) and learns that he was a Vietnam protester who was beaten nearly to death by his “best friend’s” father and saved by a kindly neighborhood vamp who found him dying in the street. I think he also was gay at this point. Lala says he can’t even get upset about Tara’s death because he grieved her once already, and besides the show never had any idea what to do with her so it’s probably for the best. He gives the vamp his blood. Is it just me or is there romance in the air with these two?

Jess, meanwhile, guards Adilyn from the vamp and she makes the girl drink her blood so that she can always know where she is. The girl is reluctant – maybe because Jess’s timing is so godawful – but she does.

At Lettie Mae’s house, she freaks out because she thinks she can hear Tara. Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) is at a loss for what to do now that she’s all alone, so the Reverend lets her sleep in the church basement.

At a bazaar, Pam is offered a child for lunch but she declines, instead demanding info on Eric from her contact, who produces a hilarious hand-drawn map that looks like something from The Goonies. She says it’s bullshit because “Eric would never,” but the guy says it’s legit. First of all, I don’t think “Eric would never” are words that have ever been spoken in relation to anything. Also: Huh?

Sookie and Alcide have make-up sex. Ironically, it’s not doggie-style.

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Andy and Bill (Stephen Moyer) check out an abandoned building and find evidence of nesting, including a half-dozen “empties” hanging in the meat locker. Andy barfs and they run into the vigilantes. Vince has a gun on Beel but Andy tricks him into giving it to him. He stands down Lou, another character I’m not terribly interesting in getting to know. After, Bill thanks Andy, but Andy assures him, “We are not good. We will never be good.” Dropped off on his doorstep like a girl after a bad prom, Bill flashes back to leaving for the war. Again: Huh?

The Hep vamps kill someone in Fangtasia, where we learn that Holly (Lauren Bowles), Arlene (Carrie Preston), Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Jane Bodehouse and Kevin are being held. A vamp sniffs around and picks Kevin for lunch, and eats him on the stairs. The ladies scream. God I miss Ginger!

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Jess keeps her guard up as the sun rises, and Adilyn invites her in so that she won’t burn up. Jess carries Adilyn across the threshhold and embraces her like a lover – okay then! Adilyn directs Jess to the attic and listens as the Hep vamp goes up in flames at the front door.

In his sermon, the Rev insists, “Morning is coming.” If it’s anything like “Winter”, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Sookie comes in and puts her hand on Lettie Mae’s shoulder, but she turns and reads Sookie FOR FILTH in the middle of the service. Sookie hears everyone thinking nasty thoughts about her again on her way out, and she stops and calls them on it. She admits to being part of the problem but says that she loves this town and she wants to help.

SCENE

Notably Dead: Tara, Kevin, dozens of vamps and humans

Notably Absent: Eric

Well that was… something? More new characters, unexpected alliances, and the mystery of who is leading up the bad vamps were the major takeaways for me. Is there a chance that Tara isn’t actually dead? Or that the circumstances of her death are not what they seem? Something just feels a bit off about the whole thing.

Also, I’m I correct in thinking that I heard Adilyn say that she has a thing for Holly’s son? Isn’t he essentially her step-brother? HBO, we have officially reached saturation point on sibling incest, thank you very much.

One of my ongoing problems with the show is that what started out as a small-town mystery has gradually edged into post-apocalyptic territory, and by this point the stakes (no pun intended) have been constantly sky-high for several years now. After a point that becomes not just ridiculous, but also a bit numbing. Hopefully clearing away the faeries and most of the weres and witches (and the Authoritaay, thank God) will bring the show back to its roots and deliver something special for its longtime fans. I do understand that the writers for this season have a lot of course-correction to do (they had to pick up literally in the middle of last season’s finale), but for me spending so much time on new or very minor characters (the Reverend seems lovely, but honestly…) was not exactly the way to go about it.

I’d give it barely three out of five WTFs, mostly for Ryan Kwanten’s sun-kissed contributions to the genre:

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So what’d you folks think? Will Season 7 be a victory lap for the groundbreaking show? Or just the “true death”?

Writer-filmmaker Brian Juergens launched CampBlood.org, the world's first website devoted to horror films from a gay perspective, in 2003.