“True Blood” recap (6.9): Soak up the sun

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As a perfect counterpoint to the action at Vamp Camp, we spend the other half of the episode at Terry’s funeral. It’s rare, especially in recent seasons, that True Blood slows down enough to see characters outside of crisis mode, but it makes for some of the show’s most rewarding scenes. There’s nothing rushed about the way the funeral plays out, and it not saccharine either. There’s the token “inappropriately enthusiastic mourner,” who of course is Tara’s mom, there’s the “mortifyingly bigoted old person,” and there’s the preacher whose Bible quotes don’t seem to have much to do with the person in the coffin. But then there is also so much meaning in the stories of the people who knew and loved him best.

The memories of Terry play out as flashbacks, starting with his return from Iraq. And as people recall the gentle, loving man that he was, it becomes clear at last why Terry Bellefleur was so important. Intercut with scenes of bloody chaos as Vamp Camp, we hear about a man so kind he couldn’t even stand to kill a catfish. Terry understood better than anyone that life matters. The painful contradiction is that he couldn’t believe that about his own life.

Sookie isn’t planning to speak at the funeral (apparently Lafayette’s crack about everything being about her hit home) but when she overhears Arlene’s panicked thoughts, she steps up. In telling the story of Terry, she experiences something important herself. She comes out as a telepath to the mourners, which is how she knows that Terry loved Arlene from the moment he saw her. That makes two times in as many minutes that Sookie sees her telepathy as a gift, rather than a burden, which is a big step for our girl.

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