Every so often—not often enough, in my opinion—True Blood likes to remind us that in spite of its lowbrow sensibility, it’s a show made by fiercely intelligent people about Serious Issues. Last night’s episode was the most emotionally and intellectually sophisticated of the season, and possibly of the entire series. For one thing, there were two stories going on, as opposed to 12, which I would love if the writers kept up next season. But mostly, I loved the title and message of the episode: “Life Matters.”
When we left last week, Sookie was all geared up to enter into unholy matrimony with Warlow, in exchange for some of his precious blood. But upon arrival at the Instagram Cemetery and Chandelier Expo, Sookie and Bill found that Warlow had already been drained by Eric. Sookie rushes to her betrothed’s side and takes a bite out of her own arm to feed him, which: if you ever want to know how you feel about someone, ask yourself if you would do that for them. The sight of Sookie’s blood gives Bill an instant fang boner, because he is not just a villain, he is gross. Sookie expels him from Instagram with her fairy light, which she has to be nearly out of by now, right? Though she won’t give Warlow to Bill, she does give him a word of advice, which is: if you want Warlow’s blood, go get a contact high from Eric.
Eric, meanwhile, arrives at Vamp Camp like a blood-soaked Tasmanian Devil, just spreading carnage and disembodied limbs wherever he goes. Once inside the compound, his first victim is Doctor Overlark. In an act of deliberately (key word) nauseating violence, he rips off the doctor’s testicles and leaves him bleeding out on the floor.
He is shortly followed by Bill, who murders Overlark yet again, this time by stomping him with his boot. It’s violence of a type, or at least a tone, we’ve never seen on this show. Eric roams through the facility, freeing the vampires, who set to murdering their human captors. They pull out their teeth, make them run in the giant hamster wheel, and generally visit the same tortures upon them to which they were subjected. And even though we’re on the vampires’ side, there’s nothing satisfying about watching this riot.