VOD TV review: True Blood Season 7 Episode 7 (May Be The Last Time)
Memory lane trips7
Jo Bromilow | On 18, Aug 2014
This final season of True Blood may have a much shorter episode run, but is fast becoming more complex as we head towards the show’s conclusion.
As opposed to previous seasons, which take in events that reach far outside Bon Temps and across America, from historic vampire lore to modern-day vampire politics, this season has zeroed in on the small town our cast call home. Given the strength of the early seasons, which similarly focused so closely on Bon Temps itself, this is a wise move by the writers, as it allows for an unflinching examination of our cast and how they’ve changed. This also means that all the cans of worms sealed in previous seasons are now crawling out of the ground ahead of what will presumably be one heck of an ensemble finale.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. After a few slow episodes early in this series, the show appears to have settled nicely into its closing pace and the human characters have a chance to look back and take stock on what they’ve learned. As Bill’s death presumably approaches – his Hep V strain being particularly, so far inexplicably, potent – his mind is cast back to a beautiful sepia sequence showing his first meeting with his wife, while in the present day his one-time fiancée Sookie calls on a familiar face to help her save him (giving the show’s production team an opportunity to return to the midnight blue-tinted graveyard scenes that are somewhat of a Sookie trademark).
Bill, whose character has been the most fluid of the series (veering from calculating to politicking to downright devious) has been a vampire, a king and a god. Stephen Moyer has worked wonders with the part – the vampires in the show are often cast as cynical, witty yet one-dimensional caricatures (it took Eric having his memory wiped for Alexander Skasgard to have a chance to change up his performance) – and lends a softness to Bill in these final episodes. Bill’s been through a lot in both his human and vampire lives, and these experiences are etched visibly into his performance. But it is now, after returning to his humble roots as simply “Vampire Bill”, that his character has the most to lose. Surely, he cannot die like this? Might a happy ending be waiting for him and his true love, if Eric and the Yakamono Corporation succeed in utilizing Sarah Newlin’s gift?
Sarah, meanwhile, is intent on self-preservation, and her escape plan draws her back to familiar ground and, like Bill, back to her character’s roots (in Season 2). The odds are stacked against her and her indecision between religious goals is troubling, but will she be redeemed at the eleventh hour?
Alongside a familiar face from Sookie’s past, this episode sees the return of Hoyt Fortenberry, son of the odious, now-deceased Mrs Fortenberry (last seen having her heart ripped out by Violet). Like many of the returning cast members, he’s back to tie up loose ends. While Lettie Mae and Lafayette follow Tara’s cryptic message to its source to try and redeem the conflict between Tara and her mother, Jessica’s story arc cycles once more back round to being a saviour and a protector. Arlene, one of the show’s greatest sources of unconditional love, gets shown a little devotion of her own in a moment which is skilfully transformed from raunchy to tender. While across town, what might have been both a tender and raunchy moment for two lovers takes a sinister turn.
This being a short season, the pace change might give some historic fans of the show whiplash – veering from sweet to gory in a matter of minutes. But aside from a few dud moments – Sam Merlotte hasn’t had a good season since the second, and his role in the final showdown had better be a damn good one to make up for his poor treatment – the writers are seemingly building up to a redemptive endgame that will bring all the loose ends together. Who will be left standing?
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