As the body count rises thick and fast in the final season of True Blood, it was inevitable that, faced with their own mortality, the show’s characters (and indirectly the show’s writers) would have to contemplate loss. As Season 7 begins to gain momentum and get its teeth into the final hurrah, a more sombre episode allows for a consideration of the relationships that define the show, and what might happen to them in a few short months’ time.
Loss is a theme that has laced through the veins of the show since it began – inevitably with a cast of so many immortals, who have been known to get meta about their relationships. A series of flashbacks in Episode 3 to a prolonged sequence in Eric and Pam’s past and a fleeting one in Bill’s shows the sliding scale of how they value humans, set against the modern backdrop of the crumbling relationships within Bon Temps.
Sam’s beloved hometown is slipping from his grasp as his shape-shifting secret spreads, and with the kidnap of his fiancée and future baby-mama Nicole, he and his power seem very alone in the world. (Let’s hope that this loneliness prompts him to start sampling the shapes of a few more members of the animal kingdom; his star turn as the raging bull in Season 2 was a long time ago and there’s a whole lot more forms that would suit him better than Mayor of Bon Temps.)
So it’s a good job that loneliness seems to be a common theme amongst our heroes: Jason contemplates his legacy (again, set nicely against the backdrop of Bill’s family); Willa’s noble purpose is taken from her; Lafayette and James bond over… well, aside from drugs, no one is quite sure (which is a shame, as Lafayette is one of the show’s best yet often most poorly handled characters); and Sookie considers the nature of her love for Alcide. As the small town’s population gets smaller, characters will become bonded more tightly against the town that has turned on them.
But, thankfully, the shrinking size of Bon Temps has allowed for stirrings of discord outside the city. Away from our heroes, the plot begins to thicken, with the return of the infamous Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), last seen being let go by former lover Jason, after her attempted genocide of vampires in Season 6’s “vamp camps” – the same camps that originated the Hep V virus, currently causing all kinds of trouble in the South. Now that Eric is back on the scene, the collision course between the two could be unavoidable; if he was mad when she was part of an anti-vampire church (back in Season 2), her hand in the murder of his beloved sister Nora is sure to get his (infected) blood pumping.