“Lost Cause” finally gave True Blood fans what we’ve been wanting for years from this show, but most particularly, were hoping to get from this season. After the promise of a return to the calmer side of things, True Blood did almost anything but that in its first few episodes back. And even in those few moments when it did slow down, it went all wrong: extended time spent with characters we didn’t know was dull, while favorites were killed off unceremoniously and without much comment. “Lost Cause” did a lot to right that, making it one of the best episodes the show has had in a very long time.
True Blood has always been campy and filled with gore and blood spatters, but at its heart it was character-driven (at least, for a little while). “Lost Cause” returned the show to that, and was an hour mostly filled with character moments with people we’ve grown to know and care about over seven seasons (more or less).
To start, the party at the Stackhouse House was a great, if not entirely unexpected series of events. Sookie mourned for Alcide (finally, although, the last five episodes have taken place in about a day), but is still attracted to Bill. Still, the episode gave some time to Alcide, from his father’s toast, to Sookie’s discussion with Arlene, to her curling up in his coat on the bed. Even Tara got a few mentions from Sookie as well as LaFayette and Lettie Mae, with a particularly moving send-off from the latter.
Jessica and Jason were also finally reunited, after James had a tryst with LaFayette in the bushes. James has been little more than a yawn-inducing pawn to force Jessica and Jason back together, but other than his dullness, it was great to have scenes filled with actual emotional honesty and intimacy, like when LaFayette confronted Jessica, and when Jason spoke so sweetly about his grandmother’s ring and the plans he had had for his life. Andy’s proposal to Holly was also a lovely culmination to that storyline, and yet it was still peppered with plenty of True Blood-style humor (from Violet scoffing at the ring to Jason warning Holly and Andy’s kids, “if y’all are fucking, that ends tonight“).
All of these moments were earned, and a nice break from the random blood and guts and chaotic plotting of most of the series. It made True Blood feel like a small-town drama, which at its heart it is. As Sam’s girlfriend Nicole doesn’t seem to understand, this isn’t a normal town. People throw a party about living because this town has known almost nothing but dying. Things that happen there don’t happen anywhere else. Bon Temps is a vortex for the supernatural, but be that as it may, it’s no excuse for a lack of character development.
Even Sarah Newlin’s plot had some justification for existence thanks to the turns it took in “Lost Cause.” Sarah is a character who is really best served in small doses — her return last season with the prison camp, and again this year as a yoga-loving brunette, seemed ill-considered. And yet, in “Lost Cause” it provided for some great Eric and Pam moments (so happy to have that duo back together), as well as an epic moment of jaw-removing gore that, again, was perfectly earned within the larger narrative (it also gave us the word “Republicunt”).
Pam is struggling with the implication of Eric’s infection, but the episode’s greatest reveal was Bill’s. As he reflected on his pre-vampire past and the mistakes he may have made (and the home he could never go back to), it seems that his immortality is in question now. But this being True Blood, there must be an antidote out there somewhere … right? Who knows. What is known is that “Lost Cause” was the antidote to a season that seemed lost. Let’s see this thing out.
Episode Rating: A+
— Truly, within True Blood‘s canon, this was one of its better hours in longer than I can recall.
— Sarah having a sister vampire who no one knew about was ridiculous but, whatever, Pam liked her so I guess she’s cool.
— Loved that Sarah wanted her mother to call Laura Bush for her.
— “Oh. My. God. I’m a Republicunt” – Pam. Loved Eric’s outfit, too.
— “We can be assholes” – Eric.
— When LaFayette said they invited the whole town, I assumed he meant just the half who wasn’t trying to kill them. Where are the vigilantes, anyway?
— Arlene flirting with a vampire … pigs have flown.
— Jason: “Well, you did meet in a prison camp.” Jessica: “People in glass houses …”
— “Fuck you to death and hello to life!” – Lala.
— What was going on with Alcide’s dad creeping around eavesdropping with Sookie? I assume he’ll come into play when she starts giving her attentions to Bill.
— I mostly find Violet irritating, but she does have some good lines.
— Gone with the Wind fans, wasn’t that scene Bill remembered when he opposed the war essentially the exact scene from Twelve Oaks when Ashley Wilkes stands up and opposes the war? Seriously, it seemed like it was verbatim.
— “I’m moving forwards, but I’m gonna need your help to do that” – Andy.
— The show did a nice job of having Sookie hear only good thoughts from people at the party. Again, not ignoring her powers.
— “Thank you for seeing me the way I can’t see myself sometimes” – Sookie.