True Blood: “Love is to Die” Season 7 Episode 9 Review

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“As much as I appreciate a compelling character drama, the Yakuza are upstairs, so need I remind you to keep it the f*ck down?”

So says Pam along with her signature side-eye in the beginning of this week’s episode. She’s, of course, referring to Sarah Newlin’s loud screams in the basement of Fangstasia—a result of her confusion as to whether or not Bill is going to drink her blood. Everyone else is pretty confused too since, by not taking the cure, Bill has just signed his own death warrant.

I was initially curious as to what Bill had up his sleeve, but a later scene with Eric reveals his true intentions…and they just don’t add up. According to Bill, by accepting the True Death, he’s doing Sookie a favor. He’s caused her so much pain, and this seems to be the only way he can stop her from coming back to him. The whole thing is supposed to be some grand romantic gesture, but honestly, I call bullsh*t. If Bill really wants to help Sookie, why doesn’t he just try listening to what she wants? Additionally, if all he wants is to save her from himself, why doesn’t he just take the cure and then leave town? There’s no logical reason he has to die.

Whether or not he’ll go through with his plan is a mystery left for next week’s episode to solve. Still, it’s frustrating to see the show’s central relationship be reduced to a clichéd “I’m no good for you” narrative. When Sookie allowed Eric to fly her home, I was hoping they’d just keep going and forget about Bill altogether. Eric, for that matter, received the episode’s best line when he told Bill to get over himself. Seriously dude, you’re not being a martyr.

This plotline aside, “Love is to Die” was actually a very sweet penultimate episode. One thing True Blood has always excelled at is romance. This week, the focus was put on the various relationships in Bon Temps to show that, despite everything that’s happened, there’s still a whole lot of love in this town.

Hoyt’s return has finally allowed him to end up back in the arms of Jessica. It’s a little annoying that her time with both James and Jason seems to have just been a distraction until she could get to this point, but I appreciate the re-pairing of one of the show’s more earnest couples. I didn’t really care to see Jason’s growing relationship with Bridgette, but it was interesting for him to be used as a framing device for what’s going on with Hoyt and Jessica. Deborah Ann Woll delivered a heartfelt performance, making this once stale romance feel fresh and exciting again.

Even the show’s core friendships got put front-and -center this week. Sam’s departure felt rather abrupt at first, but his voice-over narration of the letter he wrote to Sookie—intercut with a scene of him and Nicole packing up—ended up being rather charming. Furthermore, Sookie was able to share yet another authentic moment with Arlene. Their relationship has been a subtle highlight of this season, thanks in no small part to Carrie Preston’s pleasant charisma.

Also, since I’m not sure where else to put this, I’d just like to say that Ginger finally slept with Eric and it was as hilarious as you’d expect.

Overall, this episode felt like the calm before the storm. I’m sure things are going to heat up next week as the Yakuza is now aware of Sookie’s involvement, and will likely come after her. This season has been pretty uneven, but I’m still excited to see how everything will end. One thing’s for sure. There will be copious amounts of blood. Grade: B

 

By Mike Papirmeister

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