True Blood Season 7.08 Review: Almost Home
August 10, 2014 – HBO
In case you haven’t heard, this is True Blood’s final season. But if you had been living under a rock, watching “Almost Home” might have given you a clue that the end was coming near. Throughout the hour, storylines were coming to a close faster than you can say, “She is mine,” in an over-exaggerated Southern accent. And in some ways, this was a good thing, as with only two episodes remaining ever, I want the time to pay attention to what is really important, so those minor storylines better wrap up quick. For better or for worse, it’s a day of closure on True Blood. Here’s the good and the bad of it.
Let’s talk about one of those storylines that quickly ended in “Almost Home.” Tara was dispatched in the first episode of this season with little fanfare. To offset the sudden departure, she stayed onscreen in a bizarre otherworldly way in which she communicated with her mother from the afterlife. Everything comes to a head when Lettie Mae has to decide whether or not to continue seeing Tara so her message can come across or give up on her daughter and follow her husband’s advice.
Lettie Mae succeeded last week in getting Lafayette on her side. Together, they start digging in the front yard of a home that no longer belongs to them in order to find something Tara is guiding them to. When Reverend Daniels shows up after being called by the concerned family, he has a choice to make as well. Together, the three of them take a hit off of James’ blood and see one final vision from Tara.
What do we learn? This entire, drawn out story is a lead up to the moment that changed everything in their mother-daughter relationship. At one of Tara’s birthday party’s, her father comes home and starts arguing with Lettie Mae. A young Sookie and Lafayette leave, and Tara goes to get a gun. The little girl cannot take the shot, so she runs outside to bury the gun instead. But it doesn’t matter anyway, because that is the day her father leaves them both. In the present, Tara apologizes to her mother for not standing up for her that day and all the days before. She also claims that Lettie Mae was a good mother.
So we went through all of that just so Tara and her mother could reconcile? Really? I guess it’s a good closer given that Tara was killed so quickly, but we sure wasted a lot of time getting here. At the very least, we could have skipped the whole speaking in tongues while tied to a cross thing. In addition, it seems that a lot of awfulness is being glossed over for the sake of closure. Yes Lettie Mae did the best she could, but Tara also had to do a lot on her own because Lettie Mae was physically incapable of doing anything while drunk. And I think we have forgotten that Tara and Sookie were once more than best friends; they were family. Because Tara had no one else to turn to. This mother-daughter reconciliation is sweet but completely inconsistent with everything we have learned and seen in the course of the series.
Violet’s Torture Chamber
The next storyline to receive the wrap-up treatment is Violet’s. A scorned vampire out for revenge, she interrupts Jason’s powwow with Bridget and Hoyt with a few text messages, complete with pictures of her captives. Jason quickly rushes over to her mansion, but he brings Bridget, who is upset over Hoyt’s refusal to consider having children. No matter how angry you are at your boyfriend, you should never decide to camp out in a cop car that is on its way to an active crime scene. That is the stupidest thing you could do. So maybe she and Jason are made for each other.
When Jason gets to the mansion (after getting Bridget to wait in the car), Violet immediately captures him and adds him to her list of victims awaiting their fate. Her planned order of torture:
As soon as the Hep V vampires were dispatched, there needed to be a more present threat than the slow (or faster than normal) spread of the disease. Violet conveniently filled that role. But the whole story seemed like unnecessary filler nonetheless. So it should be no surprise how quickly Violet meets her end. With a single bullet from behind, she explodes in that familiar splatter of blood. What is a surprise is who holds the gun: Hoyt. My favorite returned character plays the hero and ends everyone’s suffering.
Finally we get the silver lining of this whole torture debacle. Hoyt and Jessica get to reunite, if only for a moment. And though I loved Jessica and Jason together and have entertained the idea of them getting back together, I had completely forgotten how perfectly Jessica and Hoyt fit. Even with having been glamoured within an inch of his life, something within Hoyt is still drawn to his vampire ex. When he meets up with Jason at Bellefleur’s the next day, he confesses he was thinking of Jessica. Jason essentially gives him the all clear but expresses that she is in a bad place with the impending death of her maker.
This talk leads to Hoyt’s visit to Bill’s during the day. In scenes reminiscent of their early courtship, he tries to leave a message at the door. Jessica invites him in, and I fall in love with this couple all over again. Deborah Ann Woll, my VIP of the night, completely inhabits the roll of a young girl falling in love all over again. Now I am desperately hoping that Jason does the wrong thing and lures Bridget astray, because that would open the door for Jess and Hoyt to become something again. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help myself.
Seeking a Cure
Now on to the topic on everyone’s mind: Sarah Newlin and the cure. When the Yakuza catch up with her at the Light of Day Institute, she is ready for death. As a recently reformed Buddha, she is ready to be reborn as peace. Eric is almost ready to give her her wish, but Pam steps in to quickly remind him of their goal. So instead of killing her, Eric drinks from her and is healed. Once that is confirmed, they all head to Fangtasia, where they can talk business and have a handy storage dungeon for their prisoner. Apparently Sarah’s blood was synthesized moments after her capture. The cure will not be distributed that quickly, however. “The shorter the half-life, the greater the profit,” Eric observes. They need to manufacture a cure that will work but not work forever so that profits can keep flowing.
This waiting does not bode well for Sookie, who is determined to find a cure for Bill. So when Eric shows up at Bill’s to let Sookie know that he will be okay, she instantly wants to know his secret. A secret which Eric cannot divulge right away. Of course Sookie does not take well to waiting and takes things into her own hands. A quick trip to Fangtasia later, she is able to read in Gus’ mind. I love how Sookie just puts herself in danger so willingly. She doesn’t necessarily expect to be rescued, although that is how it always ends up. In this case, Eric has to pretend to glamour this fangbanger with connections to the local sheriff to leave. She goes willingly and then circles back to investigate the basement. There she finds Sarah and her answer.
Later that night, Eric and Pam find Sookie back in the basement with Jessica and Bill in tow. Even Pam is practically speechless when she sees how progressed Bill’s disease is. Of course, when Bill looks Sarah in the face, he decides he doesn’t want her blood. Surely his decision has something to do with his dream earlier in which he sees Sookie holding a baby that is just a blackhole. Bill the martyr is a familiar character, and given all of the soul searching he has been doing since he contracted the disease, this is a logical place to go with his story.
There are only two episodes of True Blood left. Surely Bill couldn’t be healed this quickly. But will those episodes hold his final moments? If they do, I will need to stock up on tissues because I will be crying enough to end the drought in California. At this point I really do not care who she ends up with (as long as it’s not Sam) if it means that both of these sexy vampires can live.
A final wish: I know that Bill will be a major focus of the final episodes, but I hope that Eric will not be forgotten now that he is healed. Eric needs to interact with more with Sookie and Bill, because that always leads to some of my favorite moments on the show.
Quotes of the Night
Not too many quotable moments tonight as Pam and Lafayette were relatively silent. Here’s hoping there will be more memorable quotes in the final episodes. That said, here’s a few very small, Sookie-related highlights:
“You are a very brave girl. Brave, but stupid.” – Random Yakuza thug.
“So I’ve been told.” – Sookie
“ I knew no good would come from you talking.” – Sookie to Sarah
“Even as the cure, you’re still the fucking problem.” – Sookie to Sarah, again.