TRUE BLOOD, Episode Six
Last night’s episode was a major game changer and a blow against the unrelenting pit of despair that this season has been so far.
Despite Eric’s awesome jaw ripping-off skills on display at the end of episode five, he and Pam are captured by the Yakuza working for the Yakanomo Corporation. They want Sarah Newlin, too, and are willing to kill Eric and Pam to get to her. But Eric doesn’t want to give up the information, because he doesn’t want to be deprived of the opportunity to kill her himself. Luckily, Pam talks sense into him and they and Yakanomo agree to do it together.
Meanwhile, Bill is a responsible vampire adult who decides to make a will in light of his Hep V status.That process goes entirely wrong at multiple turns; however, with Jessica overhearing the phone call to discover he’s ill, and an all-night wait for access to a lawyer.
As he waits, Bill’s Hep V makes rapid progress. It’s so frightening that other Hep V patients waiting to speak with the lawyer move away from him in the waiting room. They’ve never seen anything like it.
Back in Bon Temps, Sookie finds out from Jessica that Bill is infected and blames herself, realizing she accidentally became infected after the scuffle in the woods and before Bill bit her. Yes, Sookie is an “innocent victim” in this AIDS narrative. Meanwhile, we wonder if the rapid progress of Bill’s disease is the result of Sookie’s faerie blood having created a Hep V super-strain.
Bill’s problems – and the AIDS history allusions — don’t end there, however. When he finally meets with the lawyer he discovers that it’s impossible to amend his will since dead persons (that is, vampires) aren’t allowed to make such documents and the government is confiscating assets. He could adopt Jessica – since progeny are not recognized as children or other relatives — but that will take a year that Bill doesn’t have. The lawyer then tries to extort $10 million dollars from him to move him to the front of the line. He stabs her with a letter opener and dispatches her vampire guard with a well-aimed pencil.
The lawyer’s office scenes are some of the most harrowing True Blood has ever provided us. Everyone is dying and any sense that the show is making vague allusions to AIDS has now been jettisoned in favor of what is now an incredibly explicit early-80s AIDS narrative. When Sookie goes to get a Hep V test, we even notice a sticker on the wall that looks like the ACT-UP logo, except this one says “Silence=True Death.”
Is this exploitative and uncomfortable? Yes. Is it also arguably weirdly effective in conveying the horror of the initial wave of AIDS infections in the 1980s? Also yes. Of course, you could just go watch The Normal Heart instead. It’s hard to know what to do with this.
As a distraction from this quandary, True Blood offers us a lot more to be confused about. James shows up at Lafayette’s place since he has nowhere to crash in the wake of the fight with Jessica. Alas, that’s not going to be about sexy fun times since Lettie Mae is there too. Instead of taking Lafayette’s side, James convinces him that altered states can help free the consciousness to discover important things, so Lafayette and Lettie Mae drink his blood so they can have a vision of Tara.
Also from the department of “This is a Terrible Way to Solve Problems,” Violet puts on a sexy, submissive show for Jason to win him back after dalliance with Jessica that he doesn’t know she knows about. He’s confused by the whole thing, which leads to the most awkward oral sex ever and then Violet destroying their bedroom in a rage once Jason gets up in response to Jessica’s frantic call about Bill’s health.
The episode’s awkward, sex-related choices don’t end there. Adilyn and Wade get busted having naked times by Andy, which leads to a screaming match between Holly and Andy while Wade flees the house before he can even get his clothes on.
Over at the Merlotte residence, Sam’s girlfriend Nicole, points out the obvious. The whole town is crazy and Sam is “the mayor of crazy.” She says she’s leaving town and begs Sam to come with her, but Sam says this is the only place he feels at home. Can you say doomed love?
Meanwhile, in their shared vision of Tara, Lettie Mae and Lafayette help her down from the cross and chase her through a field until the find her digging frantically in the dirt at her old childhood home. We’d be excited about what this means, but Lettie Mae’s husband shows up at Lafayette’s apartment and interrupts the vision. He makes a scene about Lettie Mae’s addiction, professes his love, and makes it clear he can’t deal with her if she’s determined to get high. He leaves without her for some more doomed love action.
Back in Dallas, Sarah Newlin flees to her sister’s place. The sister wants nothing to do with her and makes it clear she’ll be happy if the Yakanomo Corporation kills her. Sarah begins to go on a long rant about her time in the ashram, how she’s a new person now, and how she is the “bodhisattva of the earth.” The whole thing just sounds like a con, until Sarah clarifies and the episode provides a handy flashback. Sarah drank the antidote for Hep V when she fled the compound. Her blood is the cure. She can cure everyone! Convenient of her not to mention that earlier.
By the time Eric, Pam, and the Yakanomo Corporation show up on the sister’s doorstep, she’s cured. Now it’s just a race against time. Can Bill and Eric be saved? Can all our One True Threesome dreams for Sookie, Bill, and Eric actually come true?
Who knows! Because there’s yet another crisis brewing in Louisiana. Violet stumbles on Adilyn and Wade making out in a tree house. She convinces them to leave their cell phones behind and come with her for a more private space to play in. Someone wants to eat some faerie. And this is going to end very, very, very badly.