True Blood Recap: “Fire in the Hole”

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Spoilers, darling. Ye be warned. Also, ranty moments. 

Writing is like playing chess. Once the pieces are in place, it’s a dance of strategy and timing. A good writer keeps their moves “close to the chest,” because just like in chess, you don’t want your opponent (or viewer/reader) to know what’s going on. You can’t let them see what your next move will be because giving away too much too soon will throw the game.

Those of us who write and/or read can recognize the moves in popular writing. We understand plot, pacing, characterization, and story structure. We know that romance novels almost always have an erotic scene around page 150, that drama films should have tear-inducing film scores, and that action movies have a stereotypically hot girlfriend (see: Megan Fox in Transformers). Sometimes, however, the writers give away the story so obviously that we all, whether we write or not, wonder why we bother to continue following the story.

This is how I felt about last night’s True Blood. In particular, this is how I felt about the Sookie/Bill storyline. Now I have loved and do love TB, but the past two seasons have been somewhat…bizarre…in terms of storyline. When it was announced that season 7 would be its final one, it was unsurprising. I only hoped that the writers would pull themselves off the crazy train and put together a cohesive story. 

The first two episodes gave me hope. The death of Tara was shocking, as was Eric’s hep-V infection, but the vigilante humans v. rogue vampires was a refreshing plot. It reminded me much of the early seasons of TB, when political tension from the vampires “coming out” mirrored current events. Human beings are scared of what they don’t understand, and the mob mentality is a dangerous one. I think this is a potential powerhouse of drama for the season, and it’s one that I hope the writers fully explore.

fire in the hole 2As of “Fire in the Hole,” the vigilantes have been scattered, thanks to Jason’s vampy girlfriend, violet, ripping out Mrs. Fortenberry’s heart. However, even though the group has diminished, they refuse to be forgotten. We sense the building tension and we know that shit will imminently be hitting the fan.

Last night, it hit Alcide in the shape of a bullet to the brain.

RIP, sexy werewolf man.
RIP, sexy werewolf man.

And this is where I have a stake to pick with the writers of True Blood. Now I understand that death is nonsensical and unexpected at times, especially when involved in war, BUT when you’re a writer, every death should serve a purpose. What purpose did Alcide’s death serve in the world of Bon Temps?

It didn’t.

What Alcide’s death DID do is smooth the road to one reunion between a fairy waitress and her vampire neighbor. Didn’t see that coming? Well, let’s look at the facts:

Sookie has had four love interests throughout the series: Bill Compton, Sam Merlotte, Eric Northman, and Alcide Herveux. Status of Sam? Engaged with a baby on the way (AKA unavailable). Status of Eric? Dying in France. Status of Alcide? Dead. So who does that leave for our leading lady to ride off into the sunset with?

One Vampire Bill on a fucking horse, coming right up.

This deprives Sookie of her ability to choose for herself. The Bill/Sookie pairing has been in place since season 1, and now it is more likely than ever that she will end the series with Bill Compton because 1) a traditional series ending demands that for every leading lady there shall be a ‘first love’ that she lives happily ever after with and 2) the writers are killing off Vampire Bill’s competition. I respect the authorial and creative choice to have Sookie end the show with her first love, but was the shoehorning of their relationship necessary? Their relationship effectively died a few seasons ago, and if the writers were going to put them back together, why give her a 3-episode relationship with Alcide? What’s the point?

Oh wait, I just remembered, I stopped caring about Sookie’s love life 3 seasons ago. Right around the time this happened.

You know what I would like to see? I would like a Sookie who sticks to what she says at the end of season 4 and stays on her own for a while. I want a Sookie who is not defined by [insert hot man’s name here] who is trying to own her. I want a Sookie who takes a cue from her dead BFF and tells the world to f**k off because she ain’t buying the crap they’re selling.

But enough about Sookie (Oh I guess I should mention that it’s her plan to be vampire bait that gets her werewolf boyfriend killed?)

"Guess I'll just wait here for the menfolk to fight over me...again."
“Guess I’ll just wait here for the menfolk to fight over me…again.”

 

In other Bon Temps News…

  • Sarah Newlin is alive and does yoga.
  • Jason Stackhouse wants to adopt a baby with his vampire girlfriend.
  • Sam saves Sookie but not his pregnant fiancee (perhaps Bill still has competition after all)
  • Tara’s momma be cray cray
  • LaFayette is having adorable crushy moments with vampire what’s-his-name

And, most importantly…

fire in the hole 5

Pam reminds her maker that there is something to live for: killing Sarah Newlin. Finally a storyline I can care about.

Eric Northman’s not the only one who wants to sink his fangs into Newlin’s neck. The Japanese corporation who created Tru Blood are set on hunting her down. Probably because she destroyed the market for their most popular product. Something tells me that the bottle-dyed brunette hair won’t hide her for long.

Until next week, rest in peace, Truebies.

-The Collectress

 

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