In last week’s episode, Pam gave Eric a reason to keep going by telling him that Sarah Newlin is still alive — though given the many people out for her blood, that may not be the case for much longer. And Sookie posed as bait for the H-vamps, resulting in Holly’s rescue and Alcide’s death.

In this week’s episode, “Death is Not the End,” the characters deal with the aftermath of last week’s deaths, Bill and Sookie organize a rescue mission to save the hostages, and Pam remembers how Fangtasia came to be. Read on to find out if the fourth episode of True Blood season 7 delivers the sex, blood and insanity we have come to expect.

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Familiar Faces Return

The episode begins with Sookie and Jason making death notifications to Alcide and Maxine’s families. Sookie calls Alcide’s father to let him know that Alcide is dead, and Alcide’s father tells Sookie that Alcide loved her. Meanwhile, Jason calls Hoyt to tell him about his mother’s death. Poor Hoyt still does not remember Jason, so their conversation is pretty one-sided. Both Hoyt and Jackson are headed to Bon Temps so we might see them again later in the season.

A Rescue Mission is Underway

After promising Arlene’s kids that she will bring their mother home, Sookie pays a visit to Holly. Holly does not remember anything before arriving at the creek, so Sookie has to force the memories on her. Holly finally reveals that the hostages are being held at Fangtasia, and the audience breathes a sigh of relief that this storyline might finally be over.

Sam wants to go to Fangtasia that very moment, but Jason manages to convince him to wait, as they have no shot at saving the hostages without help from the vampires. Bill sends out a call for help to all the healthy vampires in the area, but the only ones who show up are the usual suspects and two guys from James’ band. The rest of the rescue party consists of Sookie, Sam and Jason, as Andy sits this one out to stay with Holly.

The Origins of Fangtasia

Before the drama kicks off, Pam and Eric have flashbacks of their arrival in Shreveport back in 1986. After they disobeyed the Authority in the Rhone Valley, part of their punishment was exile in Shreveport. The Magister tasks them with running a small business — a video rental place with a basement for the adult section. Pam and Eric are horrified.

Enter Ginger — who arrives at the store looking for good vampire cinema. She is immediately entranced by Eric and asks for an application to work in the store. We flashforward to 2006, after the vampires have come out of the coffin. Ginger has a proposal for Pam. She comes up with the idea for Fangtasia, right down to the floor plan and the name. Pam loves it, but glamours Ginger into forgetting that it was her idea. 

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Eric and Pam Go Home

Pam tells Eric that they are headed to Baton Rouge to track down someone Sarah might have gone to for help. But Eric orders their plane to Shreveport, as he plans to see Willa one last time before he dies. Pam is not amused.

Upon returning to Louisiana, Eric and Pam head to Bill’s, where Eric reunites with Sookie. Sookie is devastated that Eric has contracted Hep-V, but Eric just wants to chat like nothing is wrong. Eric tells Sookie about his travels and asks what kind of trouble she has gotten herself into this time.

After a brief reunion with Willa — who has to be commanded into agreeing to postpone their argument — Eric and Pam join the rescue mission, as no one knows Fangtasia as well as they do.

All’s Well That Ends Well

The rescue mission begins as Sam enters the Fangtasia basement in rat-form to tell the hostages that they need to trust the vampires coming to their aid. Sam and Nicole have a brief reunion before Sam ducks back out. But before Bill and Pam can go in, Arlene is taken by the H-vamps.

Once the vampires get Jane and Nicole to safety, Eric knocks on the door to provide a distraction. The H-vamps let him in because he has brought his own human. The H-vamps are very interested in Sookie’s blood, so much so that they stop drinking from Arlene.

But the rescue mission hits a snag when Vince and his vigilantes arrive at Fangtasia. They are taken care of easily enough and the healthy vampires do a thorough job of dispatching the H-vamps. But Arlene is not doing well and all of the healthy vampires are distracted by the fight.

Sookie urges Arlene to keep fighting as she begins having hallucinations of Terry. Finally, one of the vampires in James’ band shows up to feed Arlene his blood. After saying goodbye to Terry, Arlene comes back to the land of the living and meets Keith, the vampire who saved her and her new love interest. 

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Progress, At Last

This week’s episode is the first of the season that has had any forward momentum. Eric and Pam returned to town, the hostages were finally rescued, and the H-vamps and the vigilantes were seemingly taken out in one fell swoop. But while I am pleased to put those storylines behind us, I wonder if it is too little, too late.

After a few less-than-stellar seasons, I hoped True Blood would be able to right itself for this final season. Yet we are almost at the halfway mark, and it feels like very little has happened. Aside from a few deaths and a few reunions, nothing has been wrapped up. We have gotten a few nice character moments, but we also had to sit through multiple scenes with new characters or minor characters we care nothing about. I wanted the show to go out on a high-note, but that seems almost impossible now.

With the vigilantes and this group of H-vamps seemingly taken care of, I also wonder what the big threat will be for the rest of the season. Will another pack of H-vamps arrive in Bon Temps? Will the rest of the humans rise up against Bon Temps’ supernatural population? Or will the men chasing Sarah Newlin be the next big threat?

Other Happenings

— James stages an intervention for Jessica, as it has been months since the last time she fed. Though Bill tries to get through to her, it takes some tough love from Sookie and some wise words from Lafayette before Jessica will feed. When she does, she feeds from Lafayette.

— Bill also has not fed in a while and Sookie offers up her blood.

— Sam and Jason inform Rosie of Kevin’s death. They also tell her that the hostages are being kept at Fangtasia and she passes along that information to the vigilantes.

— Sam shape-shifts in front of Arlene and her reaction is priceless. Sam says they will talk about it later, and that is a conversation I am looking forward to, assuming Arlene remembers it after being almost drained to death by the H-vamps.

— After the rescue mission, Sookie and Eric have what is meant to be a goodbye. The look they share is charged, but it does not feel like enough closure for two people who have left so many things unsaid.

What did you think of this week’s episode of True Blood? Will Sookie and Eric see one another again or was that look the last time we will see them together? Who were you more excited to see — Hoyt or vision-Terry? Did you appreciate Lafayette’s brief shout-out to Jesus? Now that the H-vamps and the vigilantes are apparently taken care of, what will become the big threat for the remainder of the season? 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