Death Is Not the End (Spoiler Warning)

I would have to say this episode has been the best of the season so far and it’s also looking a bit like it used to be. I don’t know if it was because of the flashbacks and old faces we were treated to, but whatever the reason was fine by me. The first old face was that of good old Hoyt, who is now working on some offshore oil refinery. Because Hoyt’s mother–after joining up with Vince’s vigilante gang–was killed last week, Deputy Stackhouse had to phone his old pal and break the news. The upset Hoyt no longer remembers Jason thanks to Hoyt being glamoured a few seasons back by ex-girlfriend Jessica, so he could forget being dumped by her. Jason even slips up during their conversation (not exactly unexpected from Jason Stackhouse!) when Hoyt becomes upset at the news of his mother’s demise. To try and calm Hoyt down, Jason starts talking to him like an old buddy.

True Blood
Created by
Alan Ball
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Chris Bauer, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Nelsan Ellis, Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston
Episode Release Date
13 July 2014
Ed’s Grade: B+

This episode was reminiscent of the first few seasons of True Blood helped along by giving us flashbacks of how Fangtasia came to be. Eric and Pam are on a plane with Eric feeding on the flight attendant. After telling the woman he had just infected her with the Hep-V virus, Eric orders the upset attendant to inform the pilot they were to change course and now head for Shreveport.

Pam is not very happy about going to their old stomping ground, however I certainly was. It’s 1986 with Eric and Pam ordered to run a small video store in Shreveport that specializes in porn, that’s kept in the basement out of site (and is where Arlene and Nicole are being kept). Over the course of 20 years Pam hires a new assistant who’s crazy about vampires. When Ginger learns she is in fact working for vampires it is she who comes up with the idea of turning the video store into a vampire nightclub called Fangtasia. Pam glamors the girl then steals the idea, but now Pam finally confesses this to Eric, who actually finds it amusing. Anyway, I enjoyed seeing how the club got started and I suspect the writers will tie up more loose ends and answer other questions that have gone unanswered or unexplored.
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We also find out why Jessica’s wounds weren’t healing, but instead of it being Hep-V, it was because she hadn’t fed in quite a while. She is still feeling guilty about killing and feeding on Andy Bellefleur’s fae daughters, but Sookie persuades her to take blood so she can help them get back Nicole and Arlene. Sookie reads Holly’s mind to find out where she and the others were being kept. Eventually Sookie learns they’re at Fangtasia. Instead of heading to the club right away, they decide to wait for darkness, in the hope they’ll get more vampires to help them. To me this didn’t make much sense because I assumed they would’ve been safer during the day.

Before the outnumbered group leave for Fangtasia they get a big surprise when Bill opens the door to Eric and Pam. Eric is looking for Willa but after Sookie has yet another moment with another ex-lover, a weakened Eric offers to help them. Bill looks sad when he learns Eric is infected with Hep-V, but not as much as Sookie. It’s clear Eric still has a thing for Sookie and perhaps she feels the same in return, but it still looks like Bill could be the one who finally wins her affections … again.

When Bill’s group arrive at Fangtasia they come under attack from the infected vamps and Vince’s vigilantes. The vigilante’s are there to try to wipe out all the vamps, but their plan isn’t very good and things don’t go quite as expected for them. Arlene was almost entirely drained of blood before she was finally freed, and Sookie had a real fight to bring her back from death. Sookie started reading Arlene’s mind after she began calling to Terry. Through Sookie reading Arlene’s mind we can actually see Terry as we get another old face making a final season guest appearance.

I’m pleased with the way this episode was written and how it was handled overall, apart from Eric’s hair not keeping up during the 20 years. Seeing Terry and Hoyt might’ve been good enough for one episode but we were also given the Fangtasia backstory then told how Eric survived Sweden. If they can keep this up for six more episodes then it might wash away the bad taste of the previous two seasons.

by Ed Blackadder

Details of next week’s episode

Episode #75: “Lost Cause”

Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates: July 20 (11:30 p.m., 2:00 a.m.), 21 (10:30 p.m.), 22 (midnight), 23 (8:00 p.m., 12:30 a.m.) and 25 (midnight)
HBO2 playdates: July 21 (9:00 p.m.), 24 (2:00 a.m.), 26 (9:00 p.m.), 27 (8:00 p.m.) and 31 (4:00 a.m.)
Exhausted from her recent travails, Sookie finds herself the unwilling host of a festive mainstreaming party in Bon Temps. In search of an elusive adversary, Eric and Pam head to Dallas and attend a gala fundraiser. Andy (Chris Bauer) makes a life-changing decision; Jessica and James reach a crossroads; Bill loses himself in remembrance of human days.

Written by Craig Chester; directed by Howie Deutch.