Wednesday, September 30, 2015

True Blood episode recap S6E9 "Life Matters"

Home stretch, y'all.  This episode, and then one more episode and then - eventually, I certainly don't want to rush into anything - one more season.  

Sookie feeds her own blood to Warlow, trying to save his life after Eric has all but drained him.  Bill's all, I need what blood he has left and we had a deal.  Sookie: Well, Eric just came and fucked our deal in the ass.  She points out that right now, Eric has more of Warlow's blood in him than Warlow does, so maybe Bill should just go deal with Eric directly.  Then she zaps him with her light, sending him out of the faerie realm.  He's annoyed but zooms off, back to the vamp camp.  At the vamp camp, meanwhile, it's full daylight and Eric, bursting at the seams with Warlow blood, surveys the armed guards.

Terry's funeral is just getting underway.  Sookie bids Warlow farewell (ah, so that's why she's all dressed up in a black dress) but before she goes, he asks her if she still intends to join with him.  She says that she always keeps her promises and leaves the faerie realm, re-materializing right in the cemetery where, amazingly, no one notices.  She takes a seat near Mrs. Fortenberry, saving a seat for Jason and a little dismayed when he never shows.  Alcide comes to pay his respects and she definitely takes notice of him.  Perhaps her promise will be tested.

Vamp camp.  By the time Bill gets there, Eric has gone underground after ripping dozens of the guards to shreds.  There are heads and severed limbs and viscera everywhere.  Downstairs, Eric finds a particularly sadistic doctor, the one who injected Nora with the Hep V, and casually rips his genitals right off his body.  GROSS.  Eric then continues to saunter through the compound, releasing the vampires in the Gen. Pop. pens, instructing them to go kill their captors.

Funeral.  After the preacher speaks - and he knew Terry pretty well, knowing that above all, Terry valued and believed in family - he invites others to speak as well.

Vamp camp.  Bill is tracking Eric but not catching him.  He finds the de-penised doctor, bleeding out on the floor.  The man begs for Bill to kill him.  Bill asks if he'd done anything to Jessica and the doctor whimpers yes, so Bill stomps on his head.  GROSS.  So far, just twelve minutes in, this episode is pretty much the bloodiest and nastiest episode I can recall in this whole series.

Funeral.  Andy speaks first, talking about how Terry disappeared into Fort Bellefleur - their childhood forest hideout - when he got back from the war.  We get a flashback and see the shell-shocked Terry, trying to make sense of his life back stateside, and Andy, trying to help his cousin, offering to find him a job.

Vamp camp.  As Bill stalks through the corridors, he sees vampires torturing humans in the same ways they had themselves been tortured.  When Eric releases some of the female vampires, he finds a woozy Jason who has been heavily fed upon.  Eric feeds Jason some of his blood, reviving him, so that Jason can guide him around the compound.  After the two of them walk by, Sarah Newlin drags herself out from under a pile of corpses where she has been hiding.  She runs quickly the other way.

Funeral.  Sam speaks, saying that Terry was one of the best employees and one of the best and most loyal friends he's ever had.  Flashback to Sam offering Terry a job as a cook, and the two of them and Andy going fishing together.  When Terry reels in a huge catfish, he tells Andy to throw it back, saying that every life matters.  And we have the episode title, woohoo!

Vamp camp.  Eric pauses long enough to catch up Pam's former therapist.  The man is ballsy enough to sneer that he will die a happy man since he "fucked [Eric's] progeny."  Eric immediately goes cold, snatching the protective contacts out of the therapist's eyes; thus glamoured, the therapist confirms that he traded sex with Pam for her release from solitary.  Eric relaxes a little and says that he's not going to kill him: he's going to bring him to Pam and let her kill him.  That scares the therapist somewhat.

Funeral.  Lafayette is next, relating a story about his first day working with Terry.  Flashback in which Terry spaces out and ruins a batch of fries.  He straightens up, though, and tells Lafayette that he wants to be good at this job and asks for him.  Lafayette looks deep in his eyes and sees something there.  He drops some of his usual snark and teaches him how to use the Fryolator.  After him, Terry's cousin Portia talks about being kids with Terry.  The preacher is ready to call Arlene up at this point, but Sookie hears Arlene's panicky thoughts: "I can't do this, I'm not ready, I'm not ready to say goodbye!"  Sookie walks up to the podium, giving Arlene a slight reprieve.  Then she comes out to the assembled people, saying that she's a telepath and, as such, she has a slightly different insight into Terry.  She - and we get a flashback - tells Arlene about the first night both Terry and Arlene worked together: Sookie read Terry's thoughts and heard that he was in love with Arlene from the first time he met her and he never stopped.  "Not too many people can say that they were loved like that.  But you can, Arlene."

Vamp camp.  Bill still hasn't found Eric but he has found a guard who is still alive.  He forces the guard to take him to the white room.  Meanwhile, Sarah Newlin is climbing up to the top of the building, breathily chanting the Lord's Prayer as she turns the wheel that opens the window into the white room.  But when she looks down into the now sun-filled room, she is horrified to find Bill there, spreadeagled with all the captive vampires sucking his blood from his arms, legs and throat.  Except for Steve Newlin, who can't seem to get in there.  Eric, Jason and the therapist show up.  While Jason guards the therapist, Eric grabs Steve Newlin, snarling that he has been around when everyone he loves has died.  He holds Steve by the throat and thrusts him into the sunlight; before Steve bursts into flame, he throws his head back, sees Sarah peeking down at him and cries, "I loved you ... Jason Stackhouse!"  After all the vampires have consumed enough Bill-blood to be protected from the sun, they start to flit around, dizzy and high from the blood.  Eric tells Pam that he saved the therapist for her.  She grins, "You take such good care of me," before baring her fangs and burying them in the therapist.

Funeral.  It's Arlene's time at the podium and she says that part of why she and Terry worked so well was because they took turns freaking out and taking care of each other.  Flashback:  the night their baby was born, Mikey wouldn't latch onto her breast and, not having slept, Arlene was beside herself.  But Terry was calm, encouraging her to take slow breaths.  She calmed down, and then the baby calmed down, and then the baby began to feed, and all was well.

Vamp camp.  Pam, Tara, Jessica, Willa, Violet, James and all the other vampires, still high, wander out of the compound, leaving the drained Bill on the floor.  He looks bad.  Topside, Jason grabs Sarah Newlin before she can get away.  And this scene is a bit tonally off, not only because we all know Jason is never going to kill Sarah, but it's just awkward.  Anyway, after a bit, Jason lets her go and she drives away, half-hysterical.

Funeral.  Big John (another of the cooks at Merlotte's) sings a lovely old gospel song, "Life Matters."  Pretty much everyone is in tears by the time he finishes.

Vamp camp.  As all the other vampires frolick in the sun, Eric systematically destroys the pallets of contaminated Tru Blood.  The rest of them think that looks like fun and join in.  And across the world (I guess Eric has made some phone calls?) vampires attack the delivery trucks and destroy the tainted Tru Blood shipments.  Back at the compound, Lilith's bloody merkin minions have come for Bill.  But Jessica comes to herself enough to rush back down to where he is lying, James at her side.  She feeds him some of her blood, still coursing with residual Warlow-ness, enough to revive him.

Funeral.  The Marines give a 21-gun salute, play "Taps" and fold the flag draped over Terry's coffin, handing it to Arlene.  She is actually at peace with this, thinking that she thinks even Terry would have appreciated the ceremony.  Sookie hears her and smiles a little, glad for her friend.

Vamp camp.  Jessica and James bring Bill up into the sunlight and all the vampires walk off in slow motion, some applauding him and thanking him for saving them.  Violet scoops up Jason, to his slight dismay.  Pam looks for Eric and finds him, standing apart from everyone.  They stare into each other's eyes.  He looks sad.  She says, "Don't you dare leave me" but he flies away as she gasps with pain.

The A.V. Club has a good recap/review of this episode in which they talk about the juxtaposition of Terry's funeral, as an example of "true human frailty done right," with Eric's bloody, over the top rampage through the humans in the vamp camp.  I see their point, I do.  And on my second viewing of it, I appreciated the funeral part more.  But the shallow part of me just can't get past the fact that we just spent half an episode on the funeral of a very minor character in a show with a superfluity of characters.  Still, it was a lovely send-off for Terry.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

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