In the True Blood season 6 finale, Pam took off after Eric, leaving Tara and Willa to look after each other in their makers’ absence. Sookie’s loved ones worked together to defeat Warlow, whose presumed death took away the day-walking abilities given to many of our favorite vampires through Warlow’s blood. This loss of day-walking ability was particularly bad for Eric, who was last seen burning in the sun. A flash-forward 6 months into the future showed viewers a very different Bon Temps.

Merlotte’s was now Bellefleur’s and Arlene was now the owner. Sookie was now dating Alcide, while Bill became a famous author thanks to his book on being a vampire God. Sam became the mayor of Bon Temps, and with assistance from Vampire Bill, organized a plan to keep the residents of Bon Temps safe in the wake of the Hep-V outbreak. All healthy vampires would be matched with non-infected human donors, in exchange for the vampires’ protection. This blood-for-protection deal was necessary in a world now overrun with Hep-V-infected vamps, a horde of whom were seen headed toward Bellefleur’s in last season’s final moments.

In tonight’s seventh — and final — season premiere, “Jesus Gonna Be Here,” we lose a beloved Bon Temps resident during the attack on Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill, while several other citizens are taken hostage by the H-vamps. Read on to find out if the season premiere of True Blood delivers the sex, blood and insanity we have come to expect.

True Blood Composer Nathan Barr Describes Final Season as ‘Full of Twists and Turns’

True Death Bites

The season premiere picks up with the Hep-V-infected vamps attacking people gathered at Bellefleur’s for the human-vampire mixer. The attack results in several casualties, including someone who has been with the show since the pilot. Tara Thornton — bartender turned cage-fighter turned vampire — meets the true death within the first few minutes of tonight’s season premiere. Or does she?

We see Tara fighting off one of the H-vamps to protect her mother and we later see Lettie Mae cradling the bloody remains of a vampire she claims is Tara. But since we did not see Tara die on-screen, I am holding out hope that she is still alive. Perhaps she was infected by one of the H-vamps and decided to get far away from town rather than risk hurting the people she loves. Or she could have seen the H-vamps kidnap several Bon Temps citizens and she went after them, not realizing that her mother would tell everyone she died. Or maybe I am just in denial because I do not want Tara to be dead and an off-screen death would be just about the worst way the writers could have handled her demise.

We will have to wait for confirmation on Tara’s true death, but we do know of at least one Bon Temps regular who meets his end in tonight’s season opener. Kevin-the-cop is one of the people taken by the H-vamps and at the end of the episode, one of the H-vamps makes poor Kevin his dinner. But while Kevin may be gone, Holly, Arlene and Nicole are still being held hostage by the H-vamps. Will their friends and loved ones be able to find them before it’s too late? Or will Ginger come to their rescue? Since the H-vamps have taken up residence at Fangtasia, perhaps everyone’s favorite human scream-machine will save the day.

Vince and the Vigilantes

When Nicole is taken in the attack, Sam transforms into his favorite dog-form and chases after her. Though his search fails, one of the Bon Temps residents sees Sam turn back into his human self. Vince, a lovely fellow, confronts Sam about his transformation. Sam eventually admits that Vince saw what he saw, but he asks Vince to keep the information to himself for the time-being, as the people of Bon Temps have enough to deal with without learning that their mayor is a shifter.

While Vince stays mum on Sam’s true nature, he forms a new group with several angry Bon Temps citizens who want to take matters into their own hands. This vigilante group will clearly be a problem for our characters for the rest of the season.
Unlikely Alliances

After Holly and company are taken by the H-vamps, Andy reluctantly teams up with Vampire Bill to begin the search. Their search leads them to an abandoned warehouse where the H-vamps were once holed-up. Though the H-vamps have moved on to nicer nesting digs, Bill and Andy find the remains of their drained human victims, letting us know that a similar fate may await our kidnapped regulars.

During their search, Bill and Andy also run into Vince and his vigilante group. Though Andy has three very good reasons to want Bill dead — if you remember back to last season, Bill kidnapped Andy’s 4 faerie daughters and Jessica killed three of them in a feeding frenzy — he protects Bill from the vigilantes. But Andy lets Bill know that he only saved him because he needs Bill to help find Holly and the others. Though Bill was only partially responsible for what happened to Andy’s faerie daughters, it is nice to see him held accountable for at least one of his many misdeeds.

Jessica Keeps Her Word

In the aftermath of the chaos at Bellefleur’s, Jessica continues to stand guard over Andy’s last living faerie daughter, Adilyn. While Jessica keeps watch outside, Adilyn decides it is time to clear the air with the woman who killed her sisters. Jessica explains to Adilyn that she and her sisters smell different to vampires thanks to their faerie blood. And though Jessica says she has no intention of killing Adilyn despite the still-intoxicating scent of her blood, Adilyn is still wary around the vampire. That is, until one of the Hep-V-infected vampires shows up on Andy’s property.

Jessica claims Adilyn as hers, but that does nothing to drive away the infected vampire. Eventually, Jessica gets Adilyn to drink her blood so Jessica will always know where Adilyn is and can better protect her. Jessica continues her bodyguard duty even as the sun starts to rise. And though Andy warned her not to invite Jessica in under any circumstance, Adilyn does just that to keep Jessica from meeting the true death via sun. The Hep-V-infected vamp is not so lucky. Once inside, Jessica is able to resist the scent of Adilyn’s blood, hopefully learning from the night she killed Adilyn’s sisters.

The Human-Vampire Protection Plan

Despite the devastation Bon Temps just experienced, Sam and Bill think it is best if they stick to the blood-for-protection deal in order to keep everyone safe. So James, Jessica’s recently-recast vampire boyfriend, takes Lafayette home while Willa helps Reverend Daniels get Lettie Mae to safety.

Lafayette decides to deal with Tara’s death by getting high and telling himself that he does not need to grieve for her now because he already grieved for her the first time she died. James and Lafayette bond after James tells Lafayette a bit about his past and how it influenced his current belief that grief and fear are wasted emotions. We also get the hint that their relationship could turn into something more than platonic down the line, creating a Jessica/James/Lafayette love triangle certain to add some much-needed spice to the show’s final season.

But James is not the only vampire to make a new friend in the wake of the Bellefleur’s tragedy. After Tara’s demise, Willa gives Lettie Mae her blood to heal her from wounds she sustained in the attack. Once Reverend Daniels gets a high-and-rambling Lettie Mae to sleep, Willa tells him that she has no place to go. She had been staying with Tara after Eric and Pam left town, but she cannot go back to Tara’s place now that Tara is gone. Reverend Daniels leads Willa to the light-tight basement of his church and tells her she can stay as long as she needs to.

Pam’s Mission

Throughout tonight’s premiere, we get several too-short glimpses of Pam’s search for Eric. We find her playing vampire Russian Roulette in Morocco in order to get the name of someone who can help in her search for her maker. When Pam finally has a meeting with this person, he gives her information she does not want to believe. All Pam says in response to said information is that “he would never,” so it will be at least another week until we learn anything substantial about Eric’s whereabouts.

Sookie Deals with the Haters

We all know Sookie has a hard time controlling her telepathic abilities in chaotic moments so she begins tonight’s premiere hearing all sorts of horrible things from everyone around her. It seems like everyone is blaming Sookie for the H-vamp attack, but Sookie manages to keep it together until she overhears Alcide’s thoughts. Sookie takes off into the night all on her own, but makes it home just fine. Alcide and Sookie have it out over Sookie accidentally peering into his thoughts and his blaming her for the attack. They make-up later in the episode via a naked make-out session.

The next day, Sookie goes to the town gathering at Reverend Daniels’ church and is once again confronted by everyone’s horrible opinions of her. But Sookie decides to speak her mind instead of letting her fellow townspeople run her off. Sookie tells her so-called friends and neighbors that she knows most of them hate her, but she still loves almost all of them and she loves her town. Sookie takes responsibility for whatever part she may have played in bringing about this latest tragedy, but since there are still several people missing and she knows vampires better than any other human in town, she begs them to let her help in any way she can. The episode ends with Sookie’s plea, but I think it is safe to say that Sookie will play a role in finding our missing characters, whether or not the people of Bon Temps want her help.

What did you think of the final season premiere of True Blood? Do you think Tara is really dead or was Kevin the major death of the episode? Are you looking forward to the new vampire-human connections being formed thanks to the blood-for-protection plan? If Tara really is dead, why did Pam not feel her progeny’s death? Is the timeline different in Pam’s scenes? Were you bummed that the only legitimate sex scene in the episode was between Violet and Jason? Do you think Jessica can keep her fangs off Adilyn or will Andy lose his last faerie daughter? And how many episodes will we have to wait to see what became of everyone’s favorite Viking? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

The final season of True Blood airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO.

(Image courtesy of HBO)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV