“True Blood” recap (7.5): It all sounds pretty gay to me

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In Dallas, Eric and Pam meet Amber Newlin, the feisty and tragically Hep-V infected sister of Sarah. She’s like, “I promise to help you find my sister but only if you promise to kill her.” And Pam purrs, “I like her. I really like her.”

(Side bar: Can you imagine if Pam said that she liked you? Her momentary approval could carry you through a lifetime of everyone else treating you like a leper. I’m interviewing Kristin Bauer von Straten today and what if she says she likes me? It would be almost as good.)

Anyway, Amber points them in the direction of the Dallas Big Hat/Little Brain Gala, where her parents, and possibly Sarah, will be tonight.

Oh gosh, y’all, the Lettie Mae storyline this week. Remember when we were afraid that she was going to get this big, undeserved redemption arc? Well, lay those fears to rest, because she is on the midnight train to Crazytown. First, she begs the Reverend to go to Alcide’s funeral party so she can make it about Tara, and he says that exposure to alcohol and vampire blood is probably not the best way to honor her memory. So then she drugs his gumbo and sneaks out of the house in her best pearls like a tiny, sociopathic church lady.

Back at the party, Arlene, Holly, and June Bodehouse do rounds of shots in celebration of their continued existence, while Nicole—who can’t drink due to her pregnancy—rolls her eyes.

For whatever reason, this throws Bill into a flashback of his mortal life, at the dawn of the Civil War. We learn that Bill was categorically opposed to the war, and also was BFFs with all the black people in town. This is is also meant to suggest that he didn’t own any slaves, despite living in a mansion. While this is unsurprising, since the white main characters of historical dramas are ALWAYS the non-racist exceptions to the rule, it is also total bullshit. Bill, even at his most charming, is at core a shrewd political operator, deft at riding the status quo like a bird on hot air currents. He is not, and never has been, a man of principle. To suddenly rewrite him as one in the name of getting him back in Sookie’s pants (because that’s where all this is going, right?) is an insult to viewers.

Anyway, let’s go back to the party. In a brief moment of solemnity, Mr. Herveau makes a toast Alcide, and Lettie Mae sneaks in to raise her glass to Tara. Outside, Andy and Jessica have a heart to heart. Andy, very nobly, tells Jessica that by continuing to torturre herself over the death of his daughters, she is a constant reminder of that pain for him. He also asks her to borrow a ring, because he’s finally ready to make an honest woman out of Holly.

He, Jessica, Violet, and the Stackhouses go upstairs to get Gran’s ring. Sookie is like “Technically, she left it to you, Jason, so if you want to give it to Vio-” and Jason is like, “NOPE THANKS I’M GOOD. YOU CAN HAVE IT, ANDY.” And then Andy proposes and Holly says yes and it is just the sweetest thing I have ever seen.

James tries to seize on the moment to get Jessica to have says with him, but Jess brushes him off like, “Not now, James, we’re gay at a party.” James goes and sits with Lafayette, who sweetly and tenderly puts the moves on him. And since no one was ever really attached to Jessica and James as a couple, we can all just be uncomplicatedly happy for Lafayette, who is long overdue for some love.

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Also getting her cross-species groove on is Arlene, who blushes like a teenager when confronted with Keith, her vampire rescuer of the most recent episode. She literally ducks and bobs around him, trying to play coy while simultaneously getting the best view of all his bits. I’m hardly the first person to say this, but Carrie Preston is the most versatile actor on this show. Like, you can just stick her in for comedy, or tears, or wisdom, and she always anchors her scenes in humanity.

Meanwhile, Jessica goes looking for James and finds him in a thoroughly compromised position with Lafayette, which just goes to show: you never can tell who is going to be a top or a bottom. She screams at him and runs inside, but you can kind of tell that she’s more putting on a show of heartbreak than actually heartbroken. Lafayette can kind of tell too, because he goes after Jessica and says this exact thing:

Lafayette: I know the way this shit went down is real embarrassing, but if you keep it 100 with yourself and honest, then you know this is not the man for you.

Jessica: Because he’s the man for you?

Lafayette: If he is, what’s so fucking unimaginable about that? Everybody else in this town is falling in love and getting engaged and having babies. Has it ever occurred to you that Lafayette–that queen that makes all you white, heterosexuals laugh and feel good about yourselves—has if fucking occurred to you that maybe I want a piece of happiness too?

Jessica and Jason’s faces dissolve into white, heterosexual guilt and Lafayette exits in triumph. Here’s the thing about this speech: addressing years of racism and homophobia in a show that is supposed to skewer both of those concepts doesn’t make it all better. Black and gay characters have never gotten the same treatment as straight white ones and talking about it doesn’t change that. But it is something, and that’s a hell of a lot better than nothing.

Afterwards, Jess and Jason admit that neither of them are really happy in their relationships, and Jessica can’t even remember why she cheated on Jason in the first place, so they have sex. I always liked them together so I’m pleased, but then Violet overhears them and she is OPPOSITE OF PLEASED. But whatever her plans for vengeance are, we’ll have to wait until next week to see them.

Downstairs, Sookie is pleasantly buzzed, telepathically listening in on all the nice things people are thinking about her (I forgot she loses her ability to fight it off when she’s tipsy) when she happens to overhear Lettie Mae thinking about “I NEED ME SOME WILLA BLOOD. DON’T CARE IF I HAVE TO STAB HER TO GET IT.” And sure enough, she does stab Willa, which nearly provokes a major human/vampire showdown. Sam successfully defuses it but this is the straw that finally breaks Nicole’s overtaxed back.

Nicole: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? It has been 48 fucking hours since we were all chained in a dungeon, and now you’re talking about getting matching chain tattoos! Sookie just lost her boyfriend and she’s already making eyes at Bill! I HAVE HAD SONGS IN MY HEAD FOR LONGER THAN IT TAKES YOU PEOPLE TO MOURN A MASS MURDER.

They all chuckle indulgently, since she is pregnant and new in town.

At the Dallas Gala (which, hilariously, is a fundraiser for Ted Cruz) Sarah Newlin reappears, begging her mother for protection from the Yakuza. Her mom asks if it’s true that Sarah is the monster who unleashed Hep-V on the world, and Sarah says you can’t be a monster if you’re a Buddhist, which is possibly the most Los Angeles thing I have ever heard anyone say.

Her mother never gets a chance to rescue her, because the Yakuza (the same ones that killed Sylvie) crash the party, killing various security guards and both Sarah’s parents. Eric is about to break Sarah’s neck, but killing the man who killed Sylvie takes priority, SO HE RIPS HIS FACE OFF. It is by far the best gore of the season thus far, but I didn’t watch it again for the recap, because once was really enough.

Back in Bon Temps, when the party ends, Sookie is left alone with her grief. So she wraps himself up in his leather jacket and touches the place where he used to lay on the pillow. It’s an unexpectedly tender moment, and I’m glad the show is giving Sookie some time and space to grieve.

Over at Bill’s house, ha has another pointless flashback (he only fought for the Confederacy because they maaaaade him). But far more significantly, he catches a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror and sees the first tell-tale signs of Hep-V.

So, do y’all think that Bill or Eric will die? Surely they can’t both die.

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