For me, last night’s funeral episode of True Blood very well could have been a memorial service for the show that I used to love, with its repeated flashbacks to a time before fairies and and ifrits and Authoritaays when the show was about a small town of mostly good people trying to get by despite the darkness around and among them. But a parallel storyline about the bloodsuckers (and Jason and Ginger) escaping the Concentration Vamp was actually so much fun that it added an entirely different and essential layer. The stark contrast between the somber human drama at Terry Bellefleur‘s service and the blood-soaked, batshit crazy goings-on at the facility was exactly the dichotomy that drew me to love this show in the first place. I don’t know how deliberate it was, but showcasing the series’ twin strengths through two wildly different storylines instead of the usual eight or ten ongoing cuckoofests actually did a great deal to pull back this show from the brink.
Let’s dig in.
Sookie (Anna Paquin) won’t let Billith (Stephen Moyer) at Barlow (Rob Kazinsky): “Eric took our deal and f*cked it in the ass!” Well I at least hope he bought it dinner first. Sookie uses her light to blast Billith back to Bon Temps and she gives Barlow her blood so he can heal, and he returns the favor and sends her off to the funeral.
Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) returns to the corn silos where they are keeping the vamps. This should be fun.
Not quite as fun: Arlene (Carrie Preston) arrives for Terry’s funeral, decked out in mourning gear and looking very much like real-life redhead Elvira if she went out to an appearance and forgot to put her wig on. Lettie Mae Thornton (BLESS) and the Reverend show up – did Arlene get her wish to have the reverend from “the black church” conduct the service?
Sookie zaps into the funeral and no one notices. HA! She scores a seat next to Maxine Fortenberry – hey, gurl! – and Jane Bodehouse – atta girl! – and saves a seat for Jason, even when Alcide (Joe Manganiello) arrives and asks if he can sit with her. The reverend begins by saying that Terry was into “Family, family, family.”
Eric slaughters everyone – EVERYONE!! – and gets inside the facility to find that rather queeny asshole scientist (the one who dosed Nora with Hep V) in his lab. Eric literally rips the man’s dick off and leaves him to bleed to death. Literally. Eric frees the manvamps and meets a sad young fella whose maker drank the Tru Blood. Sucks to be him! Billith arrives, finds the dickless doc writing in a pool of his own blood, and stomps his face in. Again: LITERALLY.
Andy (Chris Bauer) gives a eulogy for Terry about how the Bellefleurs give back, and we flash back to a scene of Andy visiting a very shell-shocked Terry (Todd Lowe) at Fort Bellefleur. It ends with Andy offering to find Terry a job.
Back at the CV, Billith asks a rather hilariously bitchy freed vamp where Eric is, and he replies, “So many hallways – who knows?!” Eric, meanwhile, frees the ladies – and finds exhausted Jason (Ryan Kwanten), shirt torn open and bloody, lying on a bench like an abandoned Golden Corral buffet line. Eric coos, “Lookin’ good, my friend!” The judges would concur. He asks Jason if he has ever healed him before and Jason says no. Eric promises, “You’re in for a treat.”
Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), meanwhile, is hiding under corpses. Literally.