Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Review of True Blood's 7x01: "Jesus Gonna Be Here"

Written by Angela Robinson
Directed by Stephen Moyer

Lettie Mae: “They killed my Tara. They killed my baby girl.”

Tara Thornton. It’s been nice knowing you. You had your moments, both as a human and vampire and as for your true death – you deserved far better than what you got here.

Opening a final season with the death of a prominent character that has been around from the very start should’ve been a great way to get the ball rolling but why in this case did Tara’s death lack that? It’s simple – we don’t see it happen onscreen, it’s too rushed and despite her lack of touchy feely tendencies, even Pam didn’t notice it.

Killing off Tara should’ve made more of an impact in this opening episode than it actually did so the fact that it didn’t surprised me a lot with this opening episode to the show’s seventh year. The only person to genuine show any weight to Tara’s passing was Lettie Mae – first with the hysteria over hearing Tara’s voice and then secondly with the shunning of Sookie in the church the next day.

Which leads me to another thing – this blaming Sookie for vampires going all psycho is both annoying and massively contradicting. I know the folks of Bon Temps aren’t the brightest of sparks but even they can’t really justify placing all the blame on Sookie for what seems like an upcoming vampire apocalypse along with the mass kidnappings that also took place as well in this episode.

Sookie in a lot of ways did prove to be a far better person than I would be in this situation. Despite all the unjustified bile being aimed in her direction, she did offer to try and help resolve a situation that a) will take more than one person – supernatural or otherwise to fix and b) isn’t even her fault to begin with but whether or not the knee jerk townsfolk will actually accept her offer of help is another thing though. Personally I’d be more tempted to get the hell out of dodge myself and let them defend themselves.

I’m not entirely sure if this Walking Dead style Hep V infected vampire plot is the best way of seeing the show out, though I guess it is early days but without a Russell or Salome/Authority type of figurehead, it does run the risk of becoming very directionless very fast. Hopefully a visible baddie is on the horizon and fairly soon and I don’t mean that rival of Sam’s – Vince, who is little more than a humourless version of Burrell from last season.

As for the kidnapped folk of the episode – Arlene, Holly, Nicole and Jane Bodehouse are all being held hostage in Fangtasia with some random extras waiting to be picked off one by one from some hungry vampires. At a push, I think they might kill Jane but I have a feeling that the rest probably won’t meet their demises in their current captive state though I could be wrong.

One of the better aspects about this opener however was the pairing of certain characters. I liked that Bill put his neck on the line to save Andy from Vince’s band of vigilantes and I also liked that while Andy returned the favour, he wasn’t prepared to forgive Bill just yet either though.

However while Andy couldn’t forgive Bill, Adylin seemed to be able to forgive Jessica just in time to stop herself from getting eaten by a Hep V vampire and Jessica managed to even fight her urge to drink from Adylin as well. Rapport wise, those two were pretty great in their scenes together as were a newly recast James and Lafayette as we learned a bit more about the former while the latter found himself too numbed to grieve over his cousin’s death.

Of course for fans of a certain blond vampire, this episode must have been a disappointment. Pam might have spent time in Marrakesh playing vampire Russian roulette and turning down children to drink from but while she wasn’t sensing her progeny’s death, she also wasn’t making great progress in actually finding her maker either. Given that we already know that Eric is actually alive, I do hope the show doesn’t drag his disappearance out any longer than necessary.

Also in “Jesus Gonna Be Here”

Added to the cast this season are Adina Porter (Lettie Mae), Amelia Rose Blair (Willa), Karolina Wydra (Violet), Nathan Parsons (James), Bailey Noble (Adylin), Greg Daniel (Reverend Daniels), Aaron Christian Howles (Wade) and Noah Matthews (Rocky).

Bill (to Andy): “It’s not safe. Every human needs a vampire.”

Sookie and Alice argued in this episode and then had make up sex. It’s obvious that Bill is going to end up causing a bigger rift between the two of them.

Vampire: “What’s your name?”
Pam: “Go fuck yourself.”
Vampire: “The lady ‘go fuck yourself’.”

Adylin (to Jessica): “I should hate you but I don’t.”

It seems that all Jason needed to do to get Violet to have sex with him was to embrace his inner Neanderthal. She should’ve hooked up with him back in the show’s beginnings then.

Sookie (to Alcide): “You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know because newsflash, I can read your fucking thoughts. Don’t you get it?”

James: “I like your place.”
Lafayette: “Yeah, it’s got a certain ghetto je ne sais quoi.”

Vince saw Sam turn back from a dog, only children have clean blood and James was beaten to death by the father of his dead best friend for being a draft dodger.

Pam (to contacts): “While your daughter looks delicious, I’ll pass.”

Standout music: Tom Waits “Jesus Gonna Be Here” at the end of the episode.

Jessica: “Stay inside. Do not invite me in.”
Adylin: “I trust you.”
Jessica: “You shouldn’t.”

Chronology: From where “Radioactive” left off.

For an opening episode to what needs to be one hell of a final season, “Jesus Gonna Be Here” was strangely off. It lacked the usual sparkle and craziness of previous season and while there were some nice character moments (Willa taking care of Lettie Mae/Reverend Daniels for example), this was something of an underwhelming hour. Hopefully the remaining nine won’t be though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

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