“True Blood” recap (7.1): Beginning of the End

Hello, you loyal, true, or just plain stubborn readers who have stuck around for the last season of True Blood.  Let’s make a promise, shall we?  Let’s resign ourselves to the fact that this season is going to be a mess.  In some ways, True Blood has always been kind of a lovable disaster; from the opening credits onwards it leans into its own messiness.  That quality became less endearing and self-aware after Alan Ball’s departure last year, but there were still moments of the old spark to be enjoyed.  And (don’t kill me) I enjoyed this week’s premiere.  It had a lot more energy and focus than the season six finale, but it also had A Horrible Catastrophe, which I will address in due time.

So, previously on True Blood, Bill let his Messiah complex run away with him, burning his last few remaining bridges with Sookie, Bon Temps, and all other formerly staunch defenders of his character.  The anti-vampire crowd got crazy organized, and sought to implement a final solution by poisoning all the world’s Tru Blood, leaving roving bands of infected vampires to roam the countryside, killing humans at will.  Sookie had this whole thing with an ancient vampire named…fuck it who cares what his name was…but broke that off when he turned out to be even more controlling than the guys she usually goes for.  She settled instead for the hypermasculine, Bowflex-loving werewolf, Alcide.  Eric and his penis burst into flames on a mountaintop, Jason’s girlfriend was a total pillow princess, Jessica felt just awful about all those fairy girls she killed, Sam met, fell in love with, and impregnated a girl in less time than it takes to save fifteen percent on car insurance, and everyone was encouraged to get into a monogamous feeding relationship with a vampire.  Oh, and Pam and Tara were hit with a memory charm that made them both forget that once Tara broke into a prison to save her maker, and they kissed with such fervor and passion that even their cold blood was briefly warmed.

We pick up mere moments from where we left off, with the horde of infected vampires descending on Merlotte’s (I know it’s technically Bellefleur’s now, but it will always be Merlotte’s to me).  It is a bloodbath from the outset, with non-infected vampires overrun by the bloodthirsty Hep-vamps. Holly, Arlene, Kevin the mild-mannered cop, and that one constantly drunk lady are kidnapped to be midnight snacks for the vamps. Nicole, Sam’s pregnant, way-too-hot-for-him girlfriend is also carried off, and Sam chases after her as a dog, because Sam is a moron.

trueblood71.1COULD YOU NOT BE A HAWK OR A PANTHER OR ANYTHING BUT GODDAMN LASSIE.

The last time we see Tara, she is protecting her mother against a big, bald Hep-vamp, using her moves from back when she was a cage fighter for five minutes (guys, remember how she was just suddenly a lesbian cage fighter and it made no sense but we accepted it because it was amazing?).

trueblood71.2This is how I’ll always remember her.

Suddenly, at the sound of a whistle from an unseen leader, the horde disappears, leaving behind a bunch of gore and the sound of Tara’s mom sobbing.  Lettie Mae is crying, clutching viscera in her hands, and saying that it is all that remains of Tara.

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