Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton in True Blood Season 7 Episode 8

True Blood Season 7, Episode 8 Review: “Almost Home”

OH MY #%[email protected] GOD I HAVE EPIC TRUBIE RAGE!!!

I really, really, really hope that the final two episodes of True Blood manage to tie all the characters off in at least a somewhat cohesive, comprehensive whole. So far, it seems as though the final season could possibly shake out as coming across like just another season’s installment in the lives of these characters, but it also just happens to be the last one. Partially, it feels that way because (especially in the second half in the season) a lot of secondary characters were trotted out. Niall, and Doctor Ludwig appeared in episode 7 and I feel like the show didn’t have to show us Hoyt being told about Maxine’s death.

So the phantom of Jason Stackhouse in Sarah’s head convinces her to surrender herself to the Yakonomo/Yakuza agents and Eric and Pam. As soon as she steps out the doors of the ruined Light of Day institute with her arms outstretched, Eric has her by the throat. Pam has to take one of the guns out of the Yakonomo’s hands and point it at her chest to convince Eric not to kill Sarah and to simply drink her blood. He does so, reluctantly, hurling Sarah aside. It truly is a fist pumping moment of awesome as we behold Eric Northman restored and revitalized, shouting with relief and exhilaration, seeing his swollen veins clear around his arms and neck.

Unfortunately, Yakonomo is first and foremost a corporation, driven by profit. Back at their temporary hide out of Fangtasia (of course), Mr. Gus explains that it’s a brilliant trade secret of profitability that you don’t provide cures, you provide healthy habits. So now that they have Sarah Newlin, they have to develop a product that will require their valued customers to continue buying “New Blood”. Pam and Eric each give their sly capitalist smiles. Pretty dark commentary that a company with access to a cure for imminent death for millions of people would withhold it until they could sell it repeatedly. Then again, True Blood’s never pulled its punches with commentary.

This episode seems to have wrapped up two big subplots pretty neatly. Lafayette and Lettie Mae have followed visions of Tara to the front yard of their old house, which is now occupied by one extremely bemused family. Reverend Daniels arrives desperately trying to keep everybody calm and dissuade Lettie Mae and Lafayette of their search. Lafayette insists that there is something buried here Tara wants us to find. Lettie Mae says that sometimes you have to go on a blind journey and that Reverend should go with them. Against his better judgment it seems, he drinks from James along with Lafayette and Lettie Mae.

Sure enough, Tara appears in her angelic white gown and leads them into the house, where a memory of one of Tara’s early birthdays is playing out before them. It all seems family friendly and good between young Lafayette, Sookie and Tara, but then Tara’s father comes home. Before long he’s screaming about how he wasn’t invited and that all the cake and party favors were bought with his money and he wants his gun. Tara tells Sookie and Lafayette to go. While her parents are fighting violently, Tara retrieves her father’s revolver, hidden in a drawer. It looks as though she just might go through with shooting him while he’s looking the other way, but instead she takes the gun outside and buries it. Tara’s father storms away in his car for good. The three blood trippers rush outside immediate and exhume the faded revolver. Tara appears. Lettie Mae and Tara each exchange tearful apologies and admittances that they could have done better, since that fateful day. Finally, Tara says, no more blame, you’ve got to let me go and keep on living. Mother and Daughter hug one last time while Reverend and Lafayette look on, then Tara leaves, dissolving into mist. I was pretty upset by Tara’s unceremonious axing, but I have to say, that final reveal of how messed up the Thornton home life was and the final reconciliation between Tara and her mother was well done. I’m satisfied.

We pick up with Jason and Hoyt and Brigitte, what the hell is this girl’s deal anyway? Is she here for any other reason than to make a love quadrangle with Jess, Jason and Hoyt? I can’t tell if she recognizes Jason from somewhere or if she’s just another small town belle hopelessly enchanted by Jason’s simple charms. Brigitte makes some offhand remark about their children one day and Hoyt is none too pleased with discussing it now while dealing with his mother’s death. While Brigitte is doing indignant damage control and Hoyt gets more distant, Violet texts Jason pictures of Adylin and Jessica bound and gagged. Jason leaves immediately, and despite Jason’s warnings, Brigitte demands to go with him, feeling that Hoyt is too upset to be around. Seriously? You have no idea what official police business he’s going to deal with! Violet’s mansion is a horror scene right out the classical vampire seductress films and movies. Everything from the dungeon to the taxidermy animals casting ominous shadows on the walls gives Jason the fright. Violet is in her most luxurious lingerie. Jason is easily subdued by the centuries old Violet and sped into the dungeon with Wade, Adylin and Jessica. It’s a wonderfully hammy moment for Violet, moaning that all Jason had to do was be his knuckleheaded self and he could have had a temptress surpassing Cleopatra and Helen of Troy. Instead, she’s going to squeeze Wade’s skull in a vice until it breaks, rip Adylin’s breasts off with a pincer and permanently fix Jessica’s regenerating hymen by penetrating her with a dildo shaped, scalding poker. EESH! But in swings Hoyt to save the day! He explodes Violet all over her dungeon with a wooden bullet. Everybody is freed. Andy and Holly are reunited with their children promising no more yelling or running away. And then the awkward train begins. Instead of their primary loved ones, Jason and Brigitte end up talking and Hoyt and Jessica end up talking. Jessica is falling for Hoyt’s sincere heroics again, especially since he’s freed from his repugnant mother’s influence. Later on we see Hoyt talking with Jason at Mer-(#@$%) Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill about how he’s not one to cheat but he just can’t get Jessica out of his head. Jeez glamouring has a horrible half life, doesn’t it?

HOYT, BRIGITTE, BACK OFF! JASON/JESSICA ARE MY OTP! THEY ARE TOTALLY BFBFs! (You may check urban dictionary at your leisure.)

Fortunately, Jessica and Jason at least reaffirm their affection and friendship before Jason drops her off back at the Compton Mansion. Then Hoyt has to come in with a whole liter of donated clean blood after he heard that Bill is dying of Hep-V. Well isn’t that just so thoughtful. We pick up with Sookie and Bill cuddling with Sookie absentmindedly examining his veins. Bill rightly surmises that Sookie is lost in thought and eventually she asks two questions that are bugging her. Why did Queen Sophie Ann really want her and why didn’t Bill hand her over? Bill reveals, calmly, that he was supposed to determine if Sookie was Faye and bring her to the Queen for breeding. He also says that meeting Sookie had reawaken his long lost human conscience and made him feel more alive and more love than he had ever known as a vampire. Sookie gives him a tender kiss for that.

Eric pays a visit to Bill’s, now cured. Sookie answers the door in Bill’s robe, Eric notes, and sees that Eric is healthy again. She desperately tries to convince Eric to take Bill to the cure, but Eric insists that he can’t. Sookie is in no mood for Eric’s secretive tendencies, but he speeds away. As she certainly shown before, Sookie is willing to take matters into her owns hands when her friends are in danger. She takes her truck to Fangtasia during the day only to find the Yakonomo bodyguards posted outside. Despite the language barrier, she insists on seeing Eric. At first Mr. Gus wants to kill her, but Eric insists that she’s just some groveling fangbanger and that it will be less trouble for her to just glamour her. Eric fakes it. Sookie convincingly hangs on his every word, agreeing to leave, but she takes the opportunity to listen in on Gus’s thoughts and hears that something important is hidden in the cellar.

Sookie drives off but returns on foot through the basement she’s now familiar with and finds Sarah Newlin, chained and gagged.  Each of them are equally surprised to see the other, but only one is relieved. Sarah immediately launches into her pretentious routine about how she knew Sookie was a miracle the first time she saw her and that together the two of them are going to save the world. “Tell me what you know about the cure!” “First you must get me out of here.” Sookie’s got no time for that. She read’s Sarah’s mind and sees how Eric and the Yakonomo have been treating her and realizes the truth. Sookie stands, disgusted. “Even when you’re the solution, you’re still the problem.” She gags Sarah again and leaves her squealing. Serves her right.

Fortunately, Mr. Gus has to take a trip in the night, trusting Eric not to do anything stupid while he’s away. He leaves a few guards behind. They enter the basement at the same moment that Sookie Jessica and Bill arrive through the back door. “What part of ‘I will come to you’ did you not understand?” Eric says. Sookie doesn’t answer. Jessica is particularly angry with Sarah for coming between her and Jason and torturing her at the Vamp Camp. Pam is concerned at how fast Bill is deteriorating. Eric holds Sarah still waiting for Bill to feed. “No.” Credits. Ah, excuse me? BILL! GET OVER YOUR SORRY ASS!

Oh, I’m sorry, are we feeling sorry for ourselves? Are we haunted by some pseudo flashback vision of Sookie cradling a bundle of black cloud? Are we resigned to death as an escape from pain and loss and that 150 years is enough? Are we feeling like we out to be magnanimous even to a former enemy in our final hours? #$%@ THAT BULL$#%@!!! Besides being corruptible by power, misguided moralistic self-pity has always been Bill’s biggest flaw. I suppose it was really impossible for the series to end without that emotional obstacle coming into play. I don’t fear Bill dying so much as the show pulling a bait and switch where it seems like Bill will be the show’s final, biggest character death, but then a different character dies instead.

Oh boy oh boy. Final two episodes, True Blood. You can do it.

 

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