True Blood: “Karma” Review

The final season of True Blood is now in the downswing, with Sunday’s episode marking the sixth of ten episodes. “Karma” reminded me, much like “Death is Not the End,” of why I’ve spent 7 years watching True Blood. There was a heady mixture of dark humor, heartfelt moments, and plot twists that worked.

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At episode’s opening, Eric is still tearing through the Yakuza who showed up at the fundraiser in last week’s “Lost Cause.” It’s only a moment, though, before a group of Yakuza round the corner with a captured Pam covered in silver chains. Eric stops fighting, of course. If we’ve learned one thing in all our years of watching the show, it’s that Eric loves Pam and will do damn near anything to save her. It’s a bit annoying, though, to see a strong character like Pam get caught twice in one season by Yakuza henchmen…She’s tougher than that. Pam and Eric are ushered to the Yakomono Corporations Dallas headquarters (in 3 tricked-out street-racers, no less—hi, racial stereotyping), where they are put in a room with windows open.

But I digress. We cut to Bill, who is still shocked about his Hep-V positive status and trying to cope with the knowledge that death is not far away. He picks up the phone and calls what seems to be a lawyer. We can only hear his side of the conversation, but he’s asking about getting his affairs in order. Jessica, who is walking up the stairs, overhears Bill’s conversation, including his admission that he is Hep-V positive. When he’s off the phone, though, he acts as nonchalantly as possible, and though Jessica is aware of what has happened, she pretends not to be.

Meanwhile, Lafayette and Lettie May have returned from the party and are at Lafayette’s home. He refuses to let her out of his sight because of her attack on Willa. Lettie May maintains that this is not about addiction but about saving Tara. The conversation is interrupted by the appearance of James, who has somehow let himself into Lafayette’s home and is waiting inside. He asks for a place to stay, and Lafayette agrees that he can stay there. Lettie May is warned not to try anything, but James, upon hearing her story about contacting Tara, convinces Lafayette that Lettie might not be as off-base as she seems. Before going to rest for the day, James offers Lettie May and Lafayette drops of his blood so that they can try and contact Tara together.

Across town, Jason has come home. Violet, who left the party after hearing Jason and Jessica together, has lit candles and sprinkled rose petals all over the house. She steps into the room in lingerie, talking to Jason about how they belong together, apologizing for how forceful she can be, explaining that she is from a different time. This is all getting very dangerous. I don’t trust that vampire.

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Bill has arrived at the lawyer’s office, and it is absolutely full of vampires with protruding, dark Hep V veins. The clerk explains that the wait will be 5 to 7 hours. Bill is concerned, and annoyed, but there’s nothing to do besides wait. He takes a number and a seat. Bill (and another vampire sitting next to him) notices that his Hep V veins are spreading incredibly fast. I’m not sure what the impetus for Bill’s sickness spreading so quickly is unless it’s either Sookie’s fairy blood (which up until tonight I thought might be the Hep V cure) or something to do with the fact that just a season or two ago he was Billith. Having a god inside you and then not-inside-you has to wreak havoc on one’s immune system.

In Dallas, Yakomono operatives, including the North American president of the company, Gus Jr., surround Pam and Eric. A digital clock is counting down the minutes to sunrise. Pam and Eric have about 3 minutes before they burst into flames, and the Yakomono want information about Sarah Newlin before they’ll pull down the shades. Pam agrees to tell them everything they know in exchange for freedom, but Eric wants to go a step further. He adds to the conditions that he will be the one to kill Sarah Newlin, but the Yakomono Corporation can have the body after she is dead. Just as Pam and Eric are really beginning to sizzle, the corporation president accepts their offer and lowers the shade, saving Pam and Eric from a fiery true death.

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Elsewhere in Dallas, Sarah Newlin is on the run. She breaks into her sister’s house. Amber almost kills her, but the Hep V has so weakened her that she passes out before she can truly damage Sarah.

Back in Bon Temps, Andy finds Adilyn and Wade having sex, and he chases Wade out of the house. Holly and Arlene are awakened by the noise, and when Holly realizes what has happened, she is furious with Andy for his treatment of Wade.

Jessica calls Jason and asks him to pick up Sookie and come to Bill’s house. Jason is visibly torn, but he heads off to pick up Sookie. Downstairs, Violet has overheard everything, and in a fit of anger begins destroying the bedroom. I’m wondering at what point all of this is going to bite Jason in the ass, and I’m just hoping that the bite doesn’t come in the form of Violet killing him. That’d be a terrible ending for both characters, as Violet’s anger is justified and as Jason is an integral character.

About this time, Jason arrives at Sookie’s house. He hasn’t been able to get her to answer the phone (which I think might still be in the woods anyway). Sookie is curled up in Alcide’s jacket, sleeping away the day. She has a hangover, and Jason has a difficult time rousing her from the bed. But when she hears that Jessica has news she cannot and will not say over the phone, she knows something must be seriously wrong, and she leaves with Jason for Bill’s home. It’s nice to have some Sookie and Jason time again, as in recent season the two haven’t had the type of relationship that was so endearing in the first two seasons of the show.

Then we have a brief moment of Sam and Nicole. They’re at home, and Nicole has just gotten off of the phone. She tells Sam that she’s leaving, going back home, and that he can either come with her or stay in Bon Temps. She asks him to think about it. At this point, I think Sam would be better off going with her as a way to tie up his character. In the past few seasons he’s been little more than comic relief, and the strength of character established in the first few seasons has been wasted.

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In the meantime, the vampire blood that Lettie May and Lafayette ingested has taken effect. They see Tara on a cross, a snake around her neck, just as in Lettie May’s original vision. She’s talking, but she can’t really be heard. Lettie May manages to help Tara off the cross, but when she cradles Tara, she realizes that Tara is gone. She’s running through the woods, and Lettie May and Lafayette follow.

Sookie and Jason have arrived at Bill’s house, and Jessica tells them what she overheard. Jason tries to rationalize the conversation, suggesting that Bill might have been exaggerating because he wanted to get his affairs in order in the event of being infected. But Sookie remembers the fight with the infected vampires and the open wound that she had. She suspects that she was infected when the Hep V vampires exploded on her, and she asks Jason to take her to the clinic to be tested.

In Bellefleur’s, Arlene is trying to mediate between Andy and Holly, who are still fighting about how to handle the kids. Holly blames the occurrence on Adilyn’s fairy nature and is angry that Andy blames most of it on Wade. Arlene is a pretty good mediator, and the whole scene serves as a commentary on parenting, double standards, and slut-shaming. (Holly: I’m sorry I called her a slut.  I don’t even…Believe in that word.) They return home only to find that Adilyn and Wade have run off to the fort/tree-house together.

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And across town, Sookie is in a health clinic. Blood is drawn, a label attached to it, and then all that’s left to do is wait. Jason is about to take Sookie home, but she doesn’t want to be at home. I’m not sure I blame her. Again, this leads to some wonderful Jason-and-Sookie moments that we haven’t seen since the first few seasons. It’s also a stark commentary on transmittable diseases and the nothing-to-do-but wait when you are almost positive that you’re sick in a way that cannot be fixed.

Lettie May and Lafayette, meanwhile, are still on the V, still chasing Tara through the woods. She leads them to their old home, and she’s digging in the yard for something. But before she can finish, before Lettie May and Lafayette can figure out what is going on, the Reverend arrives and interrupts their vision. Both Lettie May and Lafayette are annoyed by this intrusion. When the Reverend gives Lettie May an ultimatum—the V or me—Lettie May stands firm, saying that this is something she has to do, with or without him.

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Jason and Sookie are dealing with different sorts of relationship crises. They sit in the back of a truck, waiting for the phone call from the clinic. Jason and Sookie talk about Violet. He admits that he’s afraid of her. This is as close to admitting that Jason is in an abusive relationship as I’ve seen the show come, but I’d really like it to acknowledge that in a bigger way somehow. And then the phone call comes—Sookie is Hep V positive.

In the law office, Bill’s number is finally called. He wants to pass his estate to Jessica, but due to complications with the law, he cannot do so. He becomes frustrated by the legalese (the law doesn’t recognize progeny or posthumous wills) and the extortion that is attempted ($10 mil buys a front-of-the-line spot), and he stabs the lawyer in the throat and kills another vampire on his way out. Aside from showing his frustration, I’m not sure what the purpose of that tirade was—it’s very out of character.

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Back in Dallas, Amber wakes up after having passed out earlier. Sarah is waiting there for her, relieved that Amber isn’t dead. Sarah tries to tell Amber that she’s a new person, Noomi (“new me”?), grounded in Buddhist teachings and fully enlightened in a way that she wasn’t before. Amber is infuriated by her sister’s attempt to absolve herself of her past crimes. But then we get a major twister—Sarah drank the antidote to Hep V when the lab was attacked, and she is now the walking antidote to the disease. She can heal everyone. Karma indeed.

In Bon Temps, Sookie tells Jessica that she gave Bill Hep V, and Jason returns home, prepared to break up with Violet. But she’s left him with a note and lots of broken furniture in the bedroom. Jason seems relieved, but it’s a bit too early for that. Violet arrives at Fort B and convinces Adilyn and Wade to come with her. I can only assume that she’s up to something very, very bad.

In Dallas again, Eric and Pam lead the Yakomon Corporation to Amber’s house. She opens the door, and the first thing that Eric notices is that she’s cured. Cue everyone’s surprise and “how did you do that.” We cut back briefly to Bill’s house. He opens the door and sees Jessica and Sookie sitting on the staircase, tears running down their faces. He knows they know. The door closes, and the episode ends.

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Next week we’re set to see more of Amber, who appears to have shifted to protecting her sister. I hope we’ll also see more of why Violet chose Adilyn and Wade, of all the Bon Temps residents, to go after, though I suspect that Adilyn’s fairy blood has something to do with that.

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About Diana

I’m a monster. Sometimes. I’m also a reader, writer, and observer, a lover of strange and impossible things, a feminist, and a pop culture nerd. I lived most of my life in a small Mississippi town, and I have a master’s degree in literature. Currently, I live in New Orleans with my my husband Sam, who is an independent filmmaker; my son, a precocious seven year old who I refer to on the blog as Little Jedi; and our rescue pup, a rambunctious terrier aptly called Tank.

One thought on “True Blood: “Karma” Review

  1. Pingback: True Blood Review: “May Be the Last Time” and “Almost Home” Review | Sourcerer

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