“True Blood” Recap: “We’re Doin’ Something Stupid, Aren’t We?”

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True Blood returned last night with another chapter of its ongoing quest to outshit-the-bed the last season of Dexter. So far, so good! Seriously, at this point I feel less like a recapper and more like a hospice nurse.

Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) emerges from her compound hideout, proclaiming that she is “the Princess of Piece”. (Or maybe that’s “Peace”? I’d lean toward the former.) Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) is gonna kill her but Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) for some reason stops him (the script told her to) and instead he just nibbles on her and he’s cured, lickety-split.

Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) make pillow talk, and he actually says “penny for your thoughts?” He should ask for change.

Turns out Sophie Ann wanted to “breed” Sookie, and thank God we move right along. Bill looks like a home henna kit gone terribly wrong.

The Reverend (Gregg Daniel) finds Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) and Lala (Nelsan Ellis) scratching in a parishoner’s yard like a couple of cats in a litter box. James (Nathan Parsons) shows up and they all trip on V (including the Rev) and Tara walks them inside. There, they see young Tara have a birthday party (replete with Muppet Baby Lafayette and Sookie!) and Tara’s daddy come home drunk and angry and hitting Lettie and ruining a cake and asking for his gun.

More importantly: Hoyt’s baby photos! Yes, PlotPoint – sorry, is it Bridget? – is going through family albums with Jason (Ryan Kwanten), and Hoyt (Jim Parrack) is a bit of a dick when she mentions the possibility of having kids together. Jason gets texts from Violet that are photos of Adilyn (Bailey Chase) and Jess (Deborah Ann Woll) tied up and crying. PARTY! Okay, it’s actually a kind of funny moment, mostly because of Jason’s hysterical reaction. Bridget wants… to come with him? Sure, why not. All aboard the sinking ship! Jason calls Andy (Chris Bauer), who is still a state away chasing down kids who he thought somehow drove two hours without the use of their truck.

Shirtless, tattoed Yakuza! Now that I can get into. Gus is taking his time perfecting the Sarah Newlin Skinny Girl Blood-A-Rita because he doesn’t want this Nublood to work too well, because that would mean nobody would buy more than one bottle. That’s honestly the smartest thing I’ve heard anyone say on this show all season.

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Jason pulls up to a Chi-Chis that turns out to be Violet’s house. We can tell because of the choral chanting and the stuffed zebra. And because she texted him the address. Did they shoot this scene in Anne Rice’s basement?

Violet (Karolina Wydra) ties up Jason, and spends far too long telling the Scooby Gang just how badly she’s going to torture and rape them all to death with all sorts of medieval devices and red hot poker dildos. Thankfully, Hoyt arrives to shoot her and just like splat, she’s dead. Only about 10 episodes too late. Jess swoons over Hoyt’s timing.

Muppet Baby Tara points a gun at Daddy but doesn’t pull the trigger, and instead runs off to bury it… in the yard? Daddy leaves them because he can’t find his gun (?), and Lettie cries. GhosTara digs up the gun and apologizes for not killing him, and Lettie apologizes for being a drunk with a shitty wig. Tara counters, “Bad stuff happened to you…” … at the wig store. She tells her mama to forgive herself and live her life, and wafts off into eternity.

So wait, was all this Tara bullshit about redeeming Lettie Mae – a character everyone has hated since day one – after seven seasons? To quote patron saint Sookie Stackhouse, “How fucking lame.”

Okay, I will say that Hoyt looks damfino this episode. And Jason and Bridget talk, because she’s clearly a consolation prize. I mean, why else would they bother to have Hoyt come back with a girlfriend?

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Bill has bad dreams about Sookie having a baby that… isn’t there? Eric comes home all healthy, and Sookie tells him about Bill – but he won’t tell her how he got cured because he keeps his promises. He says he’ll be back tomorrow night and Sookie makes a big deal out of how that will be too late (spoiler alert: it’s not). Sookie runs off in a bathrobe. Jason brings Jess home and they make up, meaning that they admit that they are a terrible couple and kind of call it off, and she kisses him goodbye.

Sookie, meanwhile, goes to Fangtasia and chats with the Yakuza. admitting that she is “brave and stupid.” Your words, girl. Gus lets her in, and Eric pretends that she is just a fangbanger and fake glamours her, and she reads Gus’s mind and hears something about the basement.

Why is Arlene (Carrie Preston) wearing a goddamned red cocktail dress to sling scrambled eggs at a roadhouse? It’s not like she’s expecting her vampire crush to pop in for a rise-and-shine special.

Jason and Hoyt kind of chat like old times over their breakfast beers, though Hoyt would never know it. Hoyt asks about Jess, right on schedule. He then goes to Bill’s house to leave a note, but Jess is awake, even though the last six years of this show have drilled into us that vamps can NOT be awake just randomly during daylight hours. Whatever. Jess lets him in and he’s brought his clean blood for Bill, which is a very sweet hostess gift. Wait, didn’t Jess kill Maxine? Or was it Violet? Anyway, they have a moment and it is as cute as can be expected from one of the few romances on this show that has actually worked.

Sookie fae-blasts the Underground Railroad entrance to Fangtasia and finds Sarah Newlin in there. Sookie reads her memories and realizes that Sarah is the cure, but then she runs home… to tell Jess? Whah? And then she comes back that night with Bill, as Eric is leading Pam down the stairs after Gus left on “Yakuza business” (Pam has the presence of mind to ask, “We’re doin’ something stupid, aren’t we?”). Bill, for some reason, won’t drink Sarah’s blood. Okey-doke.

SCENE.

Notably Dead: Violet, thank GAWD

Notably Absent: Sam, Nicole, Willa, Keith, Ginger

So I gotta ask, what the hell is going on in this fool town? Is there still a vampire crisis? Are there still only 2 cops left? Did they ever get their guns back? Where is the mayor? Is Rusty still in the Navy?

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The Tara mess is incomprehensible. So Tara has been lingering because she felt guilty for not killing her daddy and hiding his gun, which led to his leaving them? And this is important for Lettie to know… why, exactly? So that she can stop being an addict because it was never her fault that her abusive husband walked out? Which it never was to begin with.? This show has never known what to do with Tara, but this was just weak – the only things saving the whole mess were young Tara and Lafayette and Adina Porter’s performance, which has always been better than it probably needs to be.

Violet’s final scene was like something out of an uncharacteristically rapey Austin Powers movie. At least she’s gone now and we can get back to giving Hoyt and Jessica a second chance at happiness (only because he will never remember how shitty Jess and Jason were to him – how romantic!) and throw Hoyt’s girlfriend at Jason like a Jerky Treat.

Now all that remains is for Bill to almost die next week so that Sookie can save him in the finale and there can be a big mass wedding (Bill and Sookie, Lala and James, Hoyt and Jess, Jason and Bridget, Holly and Andy, Arlene and Keith, Eric and himself) that will be attended by the only two people who aren’t allowed to bang anymore because they’re now siblings. And everyone else is dead, right? Right. Sounds like a plan!

I give it one WTF, only because I don’t have a graphic for zero:

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