PAM: Oh. My. God. I'm a Republicunt.It helps when a show references its own ridiculousness, but it doesn't always remove the stench of a bad idea. In the aptly-named "Lost Cause", Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) organised a party round Sookie's (Anna Paquin) house, days after her best-friend and boyfriend were murdered? The writing did its utmost to make you swallow this preposterous notion, with various characters commenting on how weird it was, but I couldn't go along with it. I remain baffled True Blood is doing such a terrible job with its final season, because even season 4-6 has a sense of conviction that just about kept them watchable.
Sookie's sorry-your-lover's-dead soirée did offer the chance for character-based storytelling, but True Blood has few characters and relationships I'm still interested in. Are we supposed to care that Lafayette has found love with smouldering vampire James (Nathan Parsons), considering he makes the moves on at least one hunk every season? Can we seriously expected to feel anything when Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) found James having sex with Lafayette in their car, considering her relationship is so new and we have no investment in it? This season may be taking place "six months later", but for viewers this pair have only been together very briefly. It's hardly a big romantic pairing.
I wasn't even moved when Sheriff Andy (Chris Bauer) proposed to girlfriend Holly (Lauren Bowles) during the party, and those characters have been together for a good few seasons. That's how poorly this show operates. I don't think it's actually had a truly emotive coupling since the days of Sookie and Bill (Stephen Moyer), unless you're counting Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård).
SOOKIE: How can I miss someone who I can't even believe is dead?
The second sub-plot was another tedious flashback for Bill, who was enjoying Sookie's house party so much he'd regularly "zone out" to reminisce about the time he was embroiled in the Civil War and made an enemy of Charles Dupont (Matthew Holmes). Ahhhh, memories. At the moment, it means absolutely nothing and just feels like a stupid time-filling tactic, but I'm assuming Bill's past is going to catch-up with him soon.
The episode ended on its best cliffhanger of the season—damning with faint praise, admittedly—with Bill noticing he's contracted Hepatitis-V after spotting a tell-tale vein in a mirror. The show is still nudging Sookie and Bill back together, no matter how awkward it feels given how raw Alcide's death should be, but my guess is their unavoidable reunion will have a sad, tragic ending. If that's true, at least it stands a chance of being emotional to behold, as I still give enough of a shit about the Bill-Sookie match-up. (Yeah, I know it's sentimental of me.)
SARAH: I'm not a monster, I'm a Buddhist!
Oh, and vampire Keith (Riley Smith), shoehorned into last week's episode, has the hots for waitress Arlene (Carrie Preston) after helping her back to health. It seems the season's doing its best to ensure most of the characters pair up before the big finale, but this particular union holds zero interest for me.
If you're enjoying this season, I don't even know what to say at this point. It's terrible, frankly, and this hour was the pits.
written by Craig Chester | directed by Howard Deutch | 20 July 2014 | HBO