True Blood: “Lost Cause” Season 7 Episode 5 Review

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At the halfway point in the season, True Blood takes a (deeply weird) breather before revving up its engines once again.

There have been several times during my viewings of True Blood‘s final season where I’ve been forced to ask myself, “Who’s writing the show here?” Is it the original writers that HBO hired to create the world of Bon Temps and all its interesting characters? Or, have they all been replaced by members of the series’ rabid fanbase—affectionately called Truebies—whose résumés include extensive work in ridiculous fanfiction.

I asked myself this during several scenes in “Lost Cause,” an episode that, while not entirely bad, seemed intent on derailing most of the good work that was done last week. Take, for example, the supremely strange opener that first sees Pam and Willa exchange a plethora of F-bombs, and then has Ginger wildly throw herself at Eric in an attempt to get him to sleep with her before he leaves. Um, okay. What?

The whole thing seemed to be a parody of itself. True Blood has always been known for being provocative, but this just felt like the writers were trying to squeeze in as many sexual come-ons and uses of the word “f*ck” as they could before the theme song started playing. Last week we learned that Ginger used to be an intelligent university student, and this week we see her proclaim to be a sex slave that never has sex, and then scream bloody murder as Eric and Pam get put into their travel coffins. It was one of those scenes you’d be embarrassed to watch if someone else walked into the room.

Luckily, the main plot of the night made a little more sense. But only a little. Now that the H-Vamps in Bon Temps have been defeated, Sookie can take time to grieve over the loss of her loved ones. Except, everyone else in the town thinks now is the perfect time for a party. I like the idea of celebrating life in the face of death, but part of me was a little disappointed at the quick sendoffs given to Alcide and Tara. One of the best things to come out of season 6 was “Life Matters,” which centered around a funeral for the recently departed Terry. The episode paid homage to one of the show’s minor characters, showing how sometimes people in the background can have a surprisingly profound impact on our lives. This week, however, two of the show’s main characters were given quick speeches, and then everyone did shots of tequila.

At several moments during the party, I felt like I was watching an episode of Gossip Girl or The OC or [insert name of CW Teen Drama here]. Sookie’s party ended up being very eventful. People hooked up, fought, and broke up (or, in Jessica’s case, all three in rapid succession). Also, Lettie Mae stabbed Willa. I get that the show has places it needs its characters to end up in by the finale, but it’s as if the writers have forgotten that the journey is just as important as the destination. It was clear that Lafayette and James were going to end up together, as was it that Jessica and Jason would be reunited. While I very much appreciated Lafayette’s speech about wanting a piece of happiness for himself, did all of that progression need to happen in the span of a few scenes? I don’t think so.

I get it. We’re halfway through and there’s a push to make things happen for the show’s final blaze of glory. Still, the beauty of a 10-episode season is that it’s easier to focus on moments that matter, and needless to bog the plot down with insignificant side stories. I still don’t know if there’s a point to Bill’s Civil War flashbacks, but if there isn’t then they seriously need to go away. Not only are they rather uninteresting—if I wanted to watch a period piece, I wouldn’t be watching True Blood—but they seem to serve no purpose other than to further enrich Bill’s backstory. But we already know so much about his past, so really, WHAT IS THE POINT?

I guess my main qualm with this week’s antics is the fact that I have no idea what will drive the story home in the episodes to come. Last week, I was excited by all the possibilities, but now I’m nervous about the all the uncertainty. The H-Vamps are gone, so who is the season’s main antagonist? Is it Sarah Newlin and the Yakuza agents after her head? Is it Bill’s newfound Hep V contraction? Is it a vengeful Violet coming after Jason and Jessica (please no)? There seems to be so much up in the air, but not an exciting what-will-happen-next sort of way. It’s much more of a I-really-hope-they-don’t-f*ck-things-up feeling.

To be fair, this week’s episode did have its moments. Andy proposing to Holly was adorably earnest, and Arlene’s comforting of Sookie reminded me of how great their friendship used to be. Meanwhile, Eric and Pam’s trip to Dallas allowed for a fun and gory action sequence, as well as an opportunity for Pam to sarcastically call herself a “Republic*nt.” It’s these small moments that give me a glimmer of hope for True Blood‘s final weeks ahead. I just hope that the show can pull itself together before it really does become a lost cause. Grade: C-


By Mike Papirmeister

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