In “Karma,” True Blood has kept its final season ship afloat — after it took on so much water to start things off — by keeping a balance between the supernatural and the homespun. Scores are settled by the Yakuza and the Hep V vamps, while back in Bon Temps, a family has to explain to their kids why they aren’t allowed to have sex with each other, even if they aren’t related by blood. So, you know, the best of both worlds. Hit the jump, after you go and buy some anti-glamour contacts from Walgreens, of course.
The twist of twists this season: Sarah Newlin is the cure! I failed to recognize her potential in this season besides being an irritant newly named Numi, but indeed, that cunning girl has found a way to, once again, survive. (She is True Blood‘s Gaius Baltar, which I am loathe to say but, there it is). She drank down the antidote to Hep V, thus becoming herself the antidote (or her blood, at least). It’s good news for Eric, but Bill and his particularly virulent strain of it will need attending to sooner rather than later.
The Hep V storyline was never much of a threat when it came to its personal effects on the leads — we knew an antidote would pop up somewhere, and Eric and Bill would be saved (and presumably, this notion will hold). But Hep V has been a catalyst to a number of other narrative launching points, including one of the series’ best and creepiest (the trip to St. Alice). It also has been a unifier: Pam is back with Eric, and Sookie has been drawn back to Bill. The most interesting thing about Bill having the Hep V in fact is that it was Sookie who probably infected him.
Like “Lost Cause,” “Karma” was a nice balance of the things that make True Blood what it is when it’s at its best. Pam and Eric’s story with the Yakuza is deliciously ridiculous, as are the diatribes Sarah Newlin makes to her sister about her new life as Numi. Amber’s reactions to Sarah’s story even rivaled Pam’s in terms of eye-rolls and complete disgust. It’s fluffy, and it’s fun. And so far, the same is true for Lafayette and his trip with Lettie Mae — he had some zinging one-liners for his Auntie, and then later for her husband, but their journey has apparently truly taken then somewhere where Tara is trying to show them something important.
In terms of character time, which True Blood has been the most uneven with this season, “Karma” was also on point with some really nice, Season One-esque moments between Sookie and Jason. From Jason giving her grief when she wouldn’t wake up because of her hangover, to him knowing exactly what kind of a break she needed so that she could open up about her feelings regarding Bill and her other loves (something Jason says he hasn’t really experienced outside of Jessica, and even that is tainted because of the association with Hoyt), it was quality time spent with both that felt, well, normal.
The same was true regarding Andy and Holly’s rude awakening the morning after the proposal. Adilyn and Wade’s attraction to each other feels exactly like something two stupid teenager would get involved in (despite Jason’s warning the night before), and Andy and Holly’s reaction to each other’s parenting (including slut-shaming — though Holly has good reason to be wary of fae) made a nice turn at the end when they teamed up to kick Rocky’s ass … or at least, get the info they needed by threatening to. Arlene as the mediator was also very fun, and again, felt natural as part of a family conversation in Bon Temps.
But as Nicole pointed out, Bon Temps is not a natural or normal place to be. And despite her former crusading for the acceptance of supernaturals, Bon Temps has put her crusade to the test and found her failing. It’s a snooze of a plot because: Sam (Seriously, when has the poor guy ever had anything interesting to do?), but it could have some bearing on the crazy that is sure to come. If Violet is in a kid-snatching mood, why stop with Adilyn and Wade? Why not pick up Nicole and her unborn shifter baby as well? (Or if Nicole just went packing, it would allow Sam to focus back on things in town).
The last two episodes of True Blood have done what the show needed to: they’ve taken the time to pause and reflect on where it’s been, and still find a way to move forward. As Arlene said, perhaps summing up the whole show at this point: “shit happens, Holly, you clean it up.”
Musings and Miscellanea:
— “I never thought I would die somewhere with wall-to-wall carpeting” – Pam.
— The interlude with Bill and the lawyer seemed like needless politicking about vampire rights, and Bill killing her seemed a thin excuse for gore. Still, it did show how desperate he is, and the lengths he’s willing to go.
— How did Bill get his hands on that old will? And how does the house still belong to him? Honestly I’ve just forgotten most of his personal history at this point, my apologies.
— Perfect use of James in this episode: look hot, then leave the room with minimal interruption to the plot.
— Oh Lettie Mae … but seems like she really is on to something.
— Adilyn (which I realized I was spelling wrong … but can I be blamed? That spelling is pure Bon Temps) really doesn’t have a lick of sense, does she? Although to be fair, she’s only like 2 weeks old.
— “I don’t think screwing your siblings is what they had in mind with ‘bad times'” – Andy.
— “Rocky, I love you, but I will gut you if I have to” – Holly.
— “Hush! Hush … hush!” – Arlene.