The episode title “Almost Home” speaks to the marathon that True Blood has felt like in this final season. Even though many of these later episodes have featured good character moments (even going so far as to right many past wrongs), the balance between chaotic and boring can seesaw a little too violently. Still, though the path True Blood is on with some characters may feel well-worn, there’s something — like the eggs Big John made for Jason — that is deliciously familiar. Hit the jump for why “even as the cure, you’re still the fucking problem.”
Certain choices that took place earlier in the season now (almost) make sense after “Almost Home” (which is one of the things that makes weekly recapping a little unfair — the story has to unfold to connect sometimes. But some shows are better at this than others …). Chaotic and sudden deaths like Tara’s and Maxine Fortenberry’s had a purpose, though they took the long way ’round to get there. Tara and her mother finally came to an understanding that allowed Lettie Mae to put her to rest (and hopefully start healing a brokenness in Lettie Mae). Is this something that could have happened while Tara was alive? Probably, but at least it gave her a calmer and more peaceful end than what kicked off the season.
Maxine’s death played out a lot more logically as a plot point: there wasn’t any other way Hoyt would have returned to Bon Temps, or had the perspective necessary for him to potentially rekindle (or as far as he knows, begin for the first time) a relationship with Jessica. The memories of his mother leave him both extremely compassionate (though he was always a nice guy), as well as unsure about passing that future along to children. Jason’s interest in Bridget, her fight with Hoyt, Jason and Jessica’s “aren’t we better as friends?” talk, and Hoyt and Jessica’s flirtations all seem to suggest some girlfriend swapping. While Jessica and Jason have had their moments, and seemed to break a mould with each other (and perhaps at least one bed), Jessica and Hoyt were always (until their crazy end) one of True Blood‘s better love stories. It feels right to return to that.
Similarly, Sookie and Bill reminisced about their own love story, and what made it so special and different. The two invoke the name of Sophie Ann as another nod to the fans, but also rehash the history behind their meeting for the first time. The relationship meant very different things to each of them, but it was something unique that has not been replicated with anyone else.
Bill’s decision (so far) to not drink from Sarah Newlin and be healed is something the show has been building towards all season. (Whether it follows through or not will be another matter). Bill’s flashbacks match up with his fever dream about Sookie and the shadow baby. What future does he offer her as a vampire while she is a human? It’s a question brought up in the very first season, and addressed here and there since then. Like the conversation between Jason and Jessica, do the dynamics of their relationship necessarily translate to marriage? (As was attempted once before?) Or like Tara’s flashback with Lettie Mae, does one death sometimes prevent a world of hurt? It’s something Bill is clearly wrestling with as he faces the choice to live or perish.
The rest of “Almost Home” was window dressing: Violet was killed off quickly and easily after having only inflicted minimal damage, but her house and her medieval torture devices were a fine diversion. The talks with the Japanese over the marketing of New Blood (which cannot work too effectively, of course — where’s the money in that?) was also just filler, and nothing that struck at the core of the story (it did provide many great Pam side-eyes and one-liners, though). Ultimately, things come down to what they always have: Bill and Sookie. Where things go from there could be brave. Or stupid. Or, heck, both.
Episode Rating: B+
— True Blood has always loved its fans, and this final season has been almost nothing but fan service. That’s a fine thing.
— Sarah Newlin is such a nut job, and I was so happy when Sookie put the gag back on her.
— Pam was especially salty in this episode.
— Japanese security: “You are very brave. And stupid.” Sookie: “So I’ve been told.”
— “Rumor has it Sophie Ann was a kind and caring vampire … In her early years … It was just a rumor” – Bill.
— “I just wantws a world without intellect or wit, where you worshipped me for the perfect creature I am!” – Violet. Everyone loves Jason for being simple, Lord love him.
— Jason and Hoyt eating at Bellefluer’s with Arlene there really did feel like old times.