Okay, I’m a slow-poke when it came to writing this review for “Fresh Blood.” In fact, I thought the finale was supposed to air Labor Day weekend (don’t always believe what you read on IMDB) and was content at just writing a review of both episodes. Because truthfully, “Fresh Blood” feels like the first half of a two-parter. Even though True Blood episodes always string together narratively anyway.
It seems as though having hot sex with two hot vampires is not enough these days, and Yvette is out for some petty revenge on Eric and Pam. However, instead of making a beeline to the cash register or Eric’s vault where I’m sure the code is Godric’s birthday divided by the minutes it took Eric’s father to die from werewolf bites, Yvette runs downstairs to unchain Sookie. Don’t say no one every did anything nice for you, Sookie. Then sadly, Yvette and Sookie interrupt Pam macing Bill (silver mace). Poor Pam gets tied up with silver chains (again) and threatened with mace.
Since True Blood rarely touches on social issues, except that vampires = the gays, I’m not surprised that Yvette’s throw away line about being a cardiologist in her native country is played off as funny. Instead of a look at how many talented and skilled immigrants the US has, whose degrees aren’t recognized, and rather than saving people’s lives in an operating room, are poll dancing for vampires. (Okay, I’d take my liberal arts degree off my resume to poll dance for Eric and Pam too.)
Back at Lafayette’s place, the honeymoon has already worn off. As the men come down from their V-induced trip, Lafayette has a flash where Jesus’ face turns into a pretty freaky demon. Instead of talking about what he saw, Lafayette asks Jesus to leave and says they won’t be doing V for a while. So many potential problems could be solved if the two guys just talked about their problems. Of course, talking about your problems and working them out before they become Issues just doesn’t make good TV.
In other social issues Ball doesn’t talk about, but likes to judge, Crystal tells Jason more about werepanther life. Specifically the poor white trash culture of HotShot. Where she has to marry her half-brother and breed with him until she’s old and dead. Okay, you know what, Ball, I get that you hate white trash people. I really do. I even understand it. I’m an out bisexual woman who grew up in rural Central Oregon, and a lot of my family just might be rednecks. But really? Not every white trash person marries their half-siblings, beats their wives, and make/sell/do crystal meth. Not every redneck is inbred, can’t pay rent, and can’t tell their truck from their asshole. I also get that Charlaine Harris sets up Hotshot as an inbred culture, because in the books, only the first child born of two full-blooded shifters or were-creatures is a shifter or were-creature. This is obviously not the case in the show as both Sam and Tommy can shift and Jo Lee can’t. At least in the books, Harris has Calvin Norris as a respectable (if odd) man, who’s good enough to attempt to date Sookie. Not a daughter-beating, temper loosing, crystal meth-selling redneck, who calls Jesus and Lafayette the f-word. (And no, I don’t mean ‘fuck.’)
Finally, Hoyt and Jessica go back to being their adorable, hot selves. Good for you, Hoyt, for realizing that Jessica is 100% better than Summer. Even if she does drink your blood, sleep all day, and you can’t get married.
And in perhaps my favorite scene of “Fresh Blood,” we find out that Hoyt’s mom, Maxine sent Summer after him. I’m sure Summer was a good little girl, a mini-Maxine, that Maxine met at church or something. But these two are hilarious, plotting Hoyt’s return to his momma’s bosom. I love that Summer’s virginity was the biggest thing she could give him. Makes me want buy some tacking clothing and be Summer for Halloween, saying things like, “I baked for him! I opened up my heart to him. I showed him my best underwear. There’s nothing else I can do!” Oh, little stalker in the making.
What I’ve found most interesting about Russell’s storyline is how alone he’s been since Talbot’s death. It’s not only that he’s crazy, gone against the American Vampire League, and without Talbot, but that in every scene, he’s by himself. There are no werewolves there begging for his blood or doing daytime or beneath him legwork. (You can’t tell me that Debbie would care about pissing off vampires or that drug addicts won’t do anything for a fix.) There are no other vampire minions allied with him. Though Talbot, Franklin, and Lorena were the only vampires from his nest that we got to know, and they’re all dead. It’s quite literally Russell versus the World, and well, even for a 3,000-year-old vampire, that’s not good odds.
I thought the writers did an excellent job in Eric’s confrontation of Russell. Mostly because they broke up the overly tense and dramatic scene by having Pam call. Eric’s tone was very much “What do you want? I’m busy speechifying to my greatest enemy here, and you just broke the dramatic tension.” Of course, the only thing that’s going to interest Russell is the ability to become a day-walker. And while I can see why Russell was intrigued by this, I don’t see why he didn’t kill Eric and just go after Sookie himself. Except that Eric is pretty and needs to be on my TV more.
I’m completely over Sam’s meltdown. Drinking makes you do horrible things, but I can’t help but think this is Ball saying drinking makes Sam go back to his white trash roots. It doesn’t surprise me that Tara and Sam hooked back up (called it) or that Tommy took the opportunity to cut the alarm wires and steal from Sam’s safe.
Bill and Sookie’s dream-life talk made me want to vomit on my shoes. Could they be any more boring? Take those shipper glasses off your face, Ball. I was really glad when Russell and Eric’s arrival shut them up.
I didn’t see anything too horrible with Holly’s Wiccan ritual to get rid of Arelene’s baby, if it wasn’t meant to be. Minus drinking the yucky stuff and talking about a demon pregnancy, it was pretty similar to a lot of rituals I’ve been too. Or even ones I’ve led. And while the non-pagan person might not notice, the layer of having the ritual not be about “getting rid of the baby” or “purging the spawn if it’s hellspawn” but instead “determining if the child was meant to be” is very Wiccan and balanced. It doesn’t surprise me that Arlene didn’t lose the baby. Also, wow, she looked like 15 years younger in her dream sequence.
The final showdown of walking in the sun with Sookie’s blood didn’t impress me. I knew Eric would hesitate at biting into Sookie, but Russell would not. And I knew Pam would be very upset about Eric walking into the sun to his death. I did love the moment where Eric told her likes her better when she’s “cold and heartless” and kisses her on the forehead. Awe.
I’m still betting that Russell (and Eric) survive their time in the sun roasting. (If this happened in the books, Sookie would take time to explain about her love of tanning and how she likes to roast in the sun, but not like fried chicken.) Bill also just doesn’t understand why Pam’s so upset because he didn’t have a good maker. He keeps yelling at her to do something. Oh, yeah, Sookie needs blood if she’s going to live after being drained by two vampires.