True Blood S07 E01: Jesus Gonna Be Here

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The opening episode of the final season of HBO’s “True Blood” is here. We begin with a bang and a special episode directed by Vampire Bill Compton himself – Stephen Moyer. So if you’re ready, and have perused last season’s recaps, and read my show primer earlier this week, meet me after the jump for my review of “Jesus Gonna Be Here.”

The Battle of Bellefleur’s

We begin almost immediately after we left off last time. What begins as a celebration of the new status quo in Bon Temps, the mixer for vampires and humans who have been matched up for protection from the Hep-V vampires, ends in violence. The infected supernaturals attack Merlotte’s, now Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill, and chaos ensues, with the ‘good’ vampires fighting the ‘bad’ ones over the humans.

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Yelp warns of frequent vampire attacks…

New mayor Sam protects his girlfriend, just as Alcide protects Sookie, so everyone has a dog (please pardon the pun) in this fight. It’s bloody and brutal but eventually the Hep-Vamps are driven off, but not without casualties. Tara is killed and Sam’s baby girl is taken, as is waitress Arlene and Andy Bellefleur’s girlfriend Holly. And we hear through Sookie’s telepathy, that many of the humans blame her. That may be the biggest casualty of all.

Dogging Around

In the midst of the melee, Vince, the man ran against and lost to Sam for mayor, sees Sam change from dog to man. The first chance he gets, Vince calls him on it. Sam’s reaction shows him to be the better politician. Keep quiet so as not to cause a panic, and don’t say anything or you’ll look crazy. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to stop him.

"Dog?  I didn't see any dog..."
“Dog? I didn’t see any dog…”

Vince forms his own little hit squad to take out the H-Vamps. They run afoul of Jason and his new vampire owner. If nothing else, it leads the couple to finally consummate. It’s a bit dicey and uncomfortable, veering close to rape territory, but I guess this fills HBO’s quota of such scenes now that “Game of Thrones” is on hiatus. Hey someone has to pick up the slack. Meanwhile Vince and company continue to raise hell elsewhere.

Russian Roulette

We drop in on Pam as she is challenging a man to Russian roulette in a crowded Middle Eastern bar. After some religion, philosophy, and a couple turns, Pam wins against her thoughtful opponent. Bottom line, she was jumping through a hoop to find Eric. The question is – can it be that Pam is obsessed that she isn’t able to feel that Eric is gone, or is it just that she knows he isn’t?

"Children?  Could I order off the menu please?"
“Children? Could I order off the menu please?”

Pam’s hunt continues through Morocco where someone tries to sell her their child, saying children are the only source of clean blood in North Africa. Things are decidedly rough all over, not just in the United States obviously. When she gets the information she’s looking for, she doesn’t believe what she hears. If Eric is alive, where is he? Let’s hope we don’t have to wait long, Alexander Skarsgard’s Eric Northman is perhaps the most charismatic character/actor of the series – can’t wait to see him again.

Small Town America

Even in a time of national crisis, life keeps on keeping on, new bonds are made, and old relationships start to crumble. Sworn to protect Andy’s only remaining faerie daughter, Jessica makes friends with Adilyn, even though it’s forbidden. Sookie doesn’t trust Alcide any more because of random thoughts she picked up from him after the battle of Bellefleur’s. A little make-up sex settles that score though.

"Let's just be friends..."
“Let’s just be friends…”

Speaking of Jessica, her new man, James (recast as Nathan Parsons), shares memories and a bong hit or two with Lafayette. Tara is missed by everyone, having an effect on everyone’s life post-Bellefleur’s. Tara’s momma, a headcase from day one on this show – alcoholic, abusive, born again, crazy – keeps thinking she’s seeing her daughter. Life goes on.

The Enemy of My Enemy…

The world is at war and on notice, but it seems like things in the “True Blood” universe have taken a turn into the land of “The Walking Dead.” There are definitely monsters here, but unfortunately the real monsters are the regular people, turned theoretically evil by the circumstances. On the trail of the Hep-Vamps, Andy and Bill cross paths with Vince’s hit squad. We see some of the best of Andy Bellefleur in quite some time. His nobody-else-will-end-Bill-but-me speech has got to be one of actor Chris Bauer’s best moments, period.

"Vampire Bill is mine, all mine."
“Vampire Bill is mine, all mine.”

As the clock ticks down for those taken by the H-Vamps, the town of Bon Temps gathers in the church. Sookie arrives and tries to comfort Tara’s mom and is rebuffed. Sookie is bombarded with telepathic insults by the congregation. But the patron saint stupid girl of “True Blood” finally stands up for herself, and makes a declaration. Sookie wants to help, despite what everyone thinks about her, she knows more about vampires than anyone else in town. Now that’s an interesting turn of events – Sookie versus the vampires. This certainly will be an interesting final season.

"Yay!  Final season!"
“Yay! Final season!”

I’ll see you next week with more sex, blood, and madness. So, what did you think of tonight’s episode?

 

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