This episode’s title might have interesting meaning after last week’s unceremonious death of Joe Manganiello’s Alcide, and then again it might not. The showrunners on HBO’s “True Blood” have promised at least one character death in each episode of its final season, and so far they’ve kept that promise, even if Alcide was shamefully and almost criminally underused before being escorted off to oblivion last week. What happens next? Check out my review of “Death Is Not The End,” after the jump.
We begin the episode spreading the bad news, specifically the news of characters who’ve passed. Sookie calls Alcide’s father, and Jason calls Hoyt, who doesn’t remember him (the boy got major glamored, remember?), and tells him about his mother. It’s sad and tragic and gives the brother and sister a moment they both need. It is an intriguing reversal of strength compared to how these two started the series.
Holly seems to lost her memory in the trauma of the last moments of last episode, so Bad Idea Drama Theater Sookie tries to joggle her memory back with her always precise and helpful telepathic powers. Sarcasm mode off. It’s the only way to find Arlene and Nicole. As it turns out, they’re at Fangtasia, and leads to a scene that proves Jason still has a set of balls.
I suppose as a bonus for the final season of “True Blood” we are getting a special ongoing secret origin story via flashback. As Eric and Pam make their way to Shreveport indirectly in search of Sarah Newlin, they remember the bad old days of 1986 when he had bad hair and she had worse hair, and shoulderpads. Not pretty.
Continuing from their capture by The Authority last episode they are taken to a video store in Shreveport, one that eventually would become Fangtasia when the Great Revelation finally happens. Apparently The Authority doesn’t trust Eric, so they keep him close, by making him sheriff of that region. Keep your enemies close indeed. An alliance between The Authority, the Yokahoma Corporation, and the Yakuza as well is intimated.
Meanwhile, as seen so far this season, Jessica hasn’t been healing. The reason isn’t as mysterious as one might think. She’s not healing because she’s not feeding. So Screwed-Up Sookie offers herself up, figuring rightly that faerie is Jessica’s favorite food. After her last experience with faerie food however Jessica turns her down. Bill takes a bite o’ that though. Just like old times.
Lafayette comes to the rescue. I guess it takes a cook to really serve up some food. As with most of this episode taking the road to “True Blood” nostalgia, we get to see Lafayette doing what he was doing back in the day, being a human party favor for vampires. Jessica digs in like the starving immortal she is.
Perhaps the best scene in the whole episode happens in the 1996 time warp video store as Ginger, an obsessed vampire cinema fan (with great taste – The Fearless Vampire Killers, David Cronenberg’s Rabid, and Cronos indeed!), is seduced by Eric to the tune of Garbage’s “#1 Crush.” They hire her at the store. Yep, more secret origin stuff, she’s Ginger the Fangtasia waitress we first saw a few seasons back. It’s this kind of fun nudge-nudge stuff that made “True Blood” so cool to begin with.
As we catch up with Ginger ten years later she’s delivering the chair that eventually becomes Eric’s throne to the sound of Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” All this darkwave and goth music makes me think that “True Blood” might have been better done as a period piece. In the ultimate piece of secret origin-ness, Ginger proposes the concept of Fangtasia. Niiice.
Speak of the devil, as Team Sookie prepares to launch their outnumbered assault on Fangtasia and the H-Vamps, Eric and Pam drop in. He and Sookie have some alone time in which we get a lame explanation of what Eric’s been up to since last season. This is soooo cockadoodie Rocketman serial from Misery, I can’t even breathe. Not happy.
As expected, Eric and Pam and Willa join the fight, and they sneak into the bar via the Underground Railroad entrance retroactively revealed earlier in the episode. In the midst of the fang bang between the good vampires and the bad ones, Arlene is fed upon and Team Vince attacks. Chaos reigns.
Death Is Not The End
Most of the baddies, Vince included (with hardly a line of dialogue this time out, one might say he’d been Alcided), get taken out at the end, as Arlene lies dying in Sookie’s arms. Yeah, I know, just the person who needs another life on her head, right? Arlene hallucinates the late Terry Bellefleur, once again if only momentarily played by Todd Lowe, as she drifts between life and death.
Her only chance at survival is vampire blood, or more precisely, healthy vampire blood, but Eric is the only one standing around. Sookie begs Bill to help her, but he bails to protect Jessica outside. I guess he’s made his bed as far as Sookie is concerned. Talk about eat and run, eh? Eventually Arlene gets what she needs and makes it back to the life zone. Cue Bob Dylan and the episode’s title song (nice to hear the original for a change). Who will die next week? And what will everyone do now that the H-Vamps are out of Bon Temps? See you next time, tru-bies.