What we knew about the episode before it aired:
Episode #609, “Life Matters”
From HBO 7/30/13:
A desperate Bill (Stephen Moyer) tries to ferry Warlow (Rob Kazinsky) away from the faerie plain, but Sookie (Anna Paquin) is having none of it. Meanwhile, Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) arrives at vamp camp, looking to inflict serious human damage. In Bon Temps, friends and family take emotional turns remembering a fallen neighbor. Bill feels the pull of Lilith’s (Jessica Clark) sirens.
Written by Brian Buckner; directed by Romeo Tirone.
Airing August 11, 2013
From SpoilerTV, 4/30/13:
True Blood episode 6.09 will be called “Life Matters” and a few co-star roles are being cast, including a crazy vampire, a sickly vampire, and a male vampire who is the sickly vampire’s progeny.
From E!Online, 5/3/13:
Episode nine is when things start to get really wild on True Blood. We’re talking demented vampires running around, marines and party spirits just tearing stuff up. Trust us, it’s an episode you don’t want to miss.
My thoughts on the episode are below the Read More, in case you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to know!
They warned that there was “graphic violence” in this episode — and they weren’t kidding. Part way through, I realized that one purpose the funeral scenes served was to give the audience a break from the violent mayhem taking place at Vamp Camp. It was so intense that as a viewer, I came to appreciate the relative normalcy of the funeral and the memories of Terry to give me a break from the brutality of the vamps.
What I loved:
- At the risk of repeating myself from last week, what I loved (again) was Eric, Eric, Eric! So much to appreciate about our favorite Viking this episode! To start with, he’s hotter’n’hell in sunlight and I’m hoping that if it is a permanent state, we’ll get to see a lot of that in season 7. And then he goes all vamp heroic, freeing all the vamps from their cells and destroying all the contaminated TruBlood. So satisfying as an Eric fan.
- Eric healing Jason, when you know he could have killed him right away, and saying, “When you dream of me, dream of nice things.” I’m kind of looking forward to those dreams myself.
- Much as I’m not a fan of Bill, it was cool when he realized that he could offer his own blood to the vamps to save them from the sun. I’m bummed he didn’t end up making the ultimate sacrifice, but that the fact that he was a total bastard to Sookie makes up for that.
- Bill getting a fang boner when Sookie was biting her own arm. Yes, that’s the Bill we know — always about Sookie’s blood. And then threatening to kill Sookie! Oh, the Bill/Sookie ship seems not only to have sunk, but to be resting on the bottom of a metaphorical ocean. See me do the dance of joy (at least while I can.)
- Sookie showing up at the funeral in a ball of light — and no one even noticing.
- Sarah was pretty smart to play possum.
- Loved about half the flashbacks of Terry, including the ones with Lafayette, with the waitresses in Merlotte’s when Sookie tells the story of how Terry fell in love with Arlene the day they met, and then Terry helping Arlene convince Mikey to nurse. They did capture the best of Terry as a character. RIP, Terry, you will be missed.
- It was kind of Sookie to step up to give Arlene a chance to gather her thoughts, especially to do so by outing her ability in public.
- And while I didn’t have much use for Portia Bellefleur, I liked her funeral hat the best. Suh-WEET!
- Eric saying “I know that scream!” and then finding Ginger to rescue her. So funny!
- Eric holding Steve Newlin into the sunlight and then Steve’s last words being his proclamation of love for Jason. Goodbye, Steve, we will miss your smarm!
- Big John’s tribute was emotional and beautiful.
- I agree with Arlene: even if you don’t think the trappings of a military funeral, including the 21-gun salute, the flag and especially the taps will be meaningful, the ritual still holds a lot of power to console.
- The final song, “Why Did You Leave Me Now?” by Liz Rodriques was lovely.
What I had mixed feelings about:
- For all that I think Eric was justified in ripping Dr. Overlark’s balls off, that was just so gross! And Bill’s stomping on the doctor’s head just like a cockroach was just as disgusting. Graphic violence, indeed.
- Although Sookie has promised Warlow she will be his (gag!), he was starting to show signs of his impatience. It is about time that he starts to make his turn to the dark side, and I still believe that is coming.
- Arlene’s over-the-top black mourning with the veil was a bit much.
- And speaking of the funeral, while I can understand the need to give the audience a break from the carnage at Vamp Camp, some of the Terry flashbacks were a little on the dull side for me. YMMV.
- Wow, Grandma Caroline Bellefleur not only looks tremendously mean, but she says some nasty, nasty things in her ignorance.
- Sarah making her epic climb up the oil tank to open the roof on the sun while reciting the 23rd Psalm was kind of cheesy.
- The vamps high on Bill’s fae-loaded blood was disturbing to me because of the contrast between their ecstasy and the gore all around them. Very grotesque. And curiously, Eric was not high on Warlow’s blood. What was that about?
What I hated:
- Sookie fawning over Warlow and using so much “we” and “us” language. I still don’t get why she is so willing to be with him on such short acquaintance and without considering that he killed all her fae friends. WTF, Sookie?
- And if her relationship with Warlow wasn’t enough, Alcide is clearly positioning himself to move in on Sookie. Blech.
- The scene where Eric talks with the progeny of the sick vamp was a little odd in a way that made it seem potentially meaningful. Of course, it evoked Eric’s own feelings about makers and progeny, even though he was honest with the progeny. Does it give us some insight into where he is going at the end of the episode? Is he thinking of all the other vamps who will die due to the HepV contamination? He seems to be on some kind of mission when he blasts into the sky.
- Or — and this is my fear — is Eric still feeling vengeful after Nora’s death and will he seek to take it out on Sookie in his bitterness?
- What is going on in Honolulu, with vamps hijacking TruBlood trucks and stealing the product?
- The implication is that Eric also had sessions with Dr. Finn during his imprisonment. What did they talk about?
- When Lilith’s sirens called Bill, he refused to peacefully die and go with them. I suspect he is still going to pay for that in some way because Lilith doesn’t seem to like disobedience.
- So, how did the vamps who were not in the white room get fed the sun-proof blood? Can it be shared vamp to vamp directly?