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'True Blood' recap, 'Life Matters'

True Blood (tv program)

Excepting the opening scene, "Life Matters" consisted of exactly two plot lines: The resolution of Billith's vision of the vampires meeting the sun and the vampires' subsequent takeover of vamp camp, and Terry Bellefleur's funeral.

This pared-down approach is a refreshing and welcomed change of pace, but the vampire storyline far outshines its human counterpart. Given the choice between blood-and-guts "True Blood" and mushy-gushy emo "True Blood," I'll always pick the former.

Brief encounters with hideous vampires

Last night's episode begins in faerie land. Warlow is not dead, but he is greatly weakened after Eric's attack. Bill isn't especially concerned for Warlow's health; he's far more worried about his friends' imminent true deaths.

Unfortunately for Bill, Sookie cares a whole lot about Warlow's well-being and doesn't think Warlow is up for a trip to vamp camp. She suggests that Bill use Eric to feed their friends, since he has more of Warlow's blood in him right now than Warlow does.

Between Bill "dropping fang" at the sight of Sookie gnawing on her arm to feed Warlow and insisting on taking the little blood Warlow has left, Sookie is fully disgusted with him and uses her magic light to expel Bill from the faerie dimension. Bill speeds off, presumably in search of Eric.

The few minutes before the theme song played were all we saw of Warlow this week, but it was enough time for Warlow to confirm that Sookie still intended to become his vampire-faerie bride. Really, Sook? I highly doubt that Sookie will actually be turned, but I'm surprised to see her remain committed to the idea.

A (very) fond farewell to Terry Bellefleur

I liked Terry well enough, but let's be honest -- he was a B player throughout his time on "True Blood," and I just can't get behind spending half an episode on his funeral.

Nevertheless, all of Bon Temps gathers to pay tribute to Terry. It's nice to see so many familiar faces, although I do wish they didn't all feel the need to share their memories of Terry. Tara's crazy mama is there, as is Hoyt's. Sookie zaps over from faerie land, and Alcide arrives looking better than he has all season (and don't think Sookie doesn't notice).

Andy, Sam and a long-lashed Lafayette get up and reminisce about when Terry first returned from the war, and the audience remembers along with them courtesy of (excessive, but touching) flashbacks. Sookie outs herself as a telepath, in case there was anyone left in Bon Temps who didn't know that secret, in order to tell Arlene that Terry loved her from the instant he met her. Finally, Arlene herself addresses the gathered mourners and then someone named Big John gets up to sing the song referenced in the episode's title.

Vamp Camp takeover begins

While the humans are lovingly burying their dead, the vampires are out for blood this week. Bill shows up outside of vamp camp to find it unprotected, the squadron of LAVTF guards now a dismembered pile of body parts. Apparently, Eric has already arrived.

Indeed, the next scene finds Eric inside the camp and face to face with Dr. Overlark and proves that the bloodshed outside the camp was just the beginning of Eric's revenge rampage. Eric, using only his hands, tears off the doctor's genitals and throws them against the wall. He leaves Overlark huddled on the floor, bleeding out and staring at his ON-SCREEN removed penis. But Overlark's nightmarish death isn't over until Bill finishes what Eric started -- upon learning that Overlark was cruel to Jessica, he calls him a cockroach and accordingly, squashes Overlark's face in with his shoe.

Meanwhile, Eric begins to set the vampires free, instructing them to kill their human captors as they exit the camp. He finds a fed-upon Jason having a rough go of it, and heals him ("When you dream of me, dream of nice things," Eric teases) so that Jason can help Eric find Pam, Tara and the rest of their friends.

They find Pam's shrink first, and he stupidly tells Eric that he'll die a happy man having slept with Pam. Eric decides that Pam should have the pleasure of offing the smarmy jerk, and drags the therapist along as he and Jason continue searching the camp. Bill is likewise searching, and as he moves through the facility we see that the vampires are torturing their former imprisoners in much the same manner as they have been tortured.

The white, circular room where vampires meet the sun

Hiding under a pile of dead bodies, wearing her white pants suit, Sarah Newlin spots Jason and Eric storming through the prison hallways. She goes outside, where she makes her way up a stairway leading to roof above the white, circular room. Determinedly praying like the Christian madwoman she is, she begins to turn the crank and the ceiling opens to reveal the vamps feeding on Bill, impervious to the daylight. Only her whiny ex-husband isn't offered a taste and meets the true death. His amazing last words? "I love Jason Stackhouse."

Speaking of Jason Stackhouse, he's the one who goes running after Sarah as she tries to make her escape. He grabs her before she can get into her car, and holds a gun to her head as she pleads for her life. Jason tells her that Jesus wants her dead, and oh, also, Jesus wants her to know that she's only an average lay. But he can't go through with shooting her, and lets her drive off. I'm not disappointed, because this means we haven't seen the last of Sarah Newlin.

And so Billith's vision has come to be, although not quite as he'd foreseen it. The vampires, now high on faerie blood, are frolicking in the sunlight when Pam reminds them that they have enemies left to kill. Right around the same time, Jess remembers that they've left her maker behind and stops dancing with James in order to go to him.

Bill, drained and seemingly dying, has begun to have hallucinations of Lilith. Lilith tells him that his time on earth is over, and Bill replies that he has no intention of leaving. Jess interrupts the hallucinations, literally walking through them to get to Bill, but it's James who saves the day. He suggests that Bill drink from him, in hopes that the faerie blood will work its magic one more time. It does -- Bill is revived and smiling, joins the rest of the vampires as they stroll out of the prison in broad daylight. PHEW! For a minute there, I really thought Bill was a goner.

Before I can get too relieved, Pam and Eric are exchanging meaningful glances and Eric is shooting off into the air as Pam says, "Don't you leave me!" and gets all teary-eyed. Where is Eric going, and more importantly, is he coming back?

I get that we were supposed to compare and contrast the humanity of Terry's funeral with the gory chaos of the vampire prison break. Point taken, but I found the vampire scenes riveting and the funeral scenes ... less so.

Next week's finale has a lot of wrapping up to do. As it stands, Sookie is planning to become a vampire and marry Warlow, Eric has gone AWOL, Sarah Newlin is on the run and the vampires are very high and very pissed off.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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