In last week’s episode, Sookie and friends rescued the hostages from Fangtasia and killed the H-vamps, keeping them captive. Vince and his vigilantes tried to interfere in the rescue and were killed for their trouble. And in the aftermath of the rescue, Eric and Sookie shared what might have been their final moments together.

In this week’s episode, “Lost Cause,” Eric and Pam turn their attentions back to the search for Sarah Newlin, while Sookie hosts a celebration back in Bon Temps. Read on to find out if the fifth episode of True Blood season 7 delivers the sex, blood and insanity we have come to expect.

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More of the Same

After last week’s episode, I was hopeful that the writers were starting to turn things around in this final season, but this episode proves otherwise. Instead of giving the characters a chance to react to the emotional events of the past few weeks or even moving the plot forward by having them search for a cure for Hep-V, the writers use this episode to throw a party and deal with some romantic sub-plots. The episode does have a few good scenes — the conversation between Sookie and Arlene is excellent, and I enjoyed everything involving Andy — but for the most part, it is full of unnecessary nonsense masquerading as plot.

Everyone Loves Sookie — For the Moment

Sookie barely has a chance to recover from the season’s first few episodes before she comes downstairs to find that her friends have decided to throw a party for the entire town in her house. Sookie is not impressed, but gets roped in to playing hostess under the guise of celebrating life instead of mourning for the dead. Sorry, Alcide and Tara, but you still do not get the memorial services you deserve. Apparently, the show used all of that mourning time up with Terry’s funeral last season.

Now that Sookie has helped rescue the hostages, kill the H-vamps and host a booze-filled party, the people of Bon Temps are cool with her again. Sookie listens in as they think mostly nice things about her, instead of the hate-filled nonsense they were thinking just a few episodes earlier.

Life and Death Go Hand-in-Hand

The party is really just an excuse to check in with several of the show’s couples. The best example of this is Andy’s impromptu proposal to Holly. After getting Sookie and Jason’s permission to use their grandmother’s ring, Andy proposes to Holly and she is so excited that she says yes before he can even finish asking her. This also gives Jason a chance to tell Adilyn and Wade that they have to stop f***ing now, since their parents are about to get married.

The worst example of this is between Bill and Sookie. Alcide has been dead for about five minutes, and while no one expected Sookie to end up with him, it might have been nice if she could have taken an episode or two to mourn him without also flirting with her ex. Bill has no business being at the party and is only there to “look in” on Sookie. He spends all night having angsty flashbacks and ignoring the other party-goers. But I suppose we have to include some Bill-Sookie scenes, since the episode ends with Bill realizing that he has Hep-V. Is Sookie the one who infected him? Will she be the one to cure him? And does anyone really believe the show will kill off both Bill and Eric?

Romantic Entanglements

In the predictable department, we have James getting so tired of being ignored by his girlfriend that he winds up in Lafayette’s arms. Alas, their sexy times are interrupted by Jessica, who quickly dumps James by having Jason rescind his invitation into the Stackhouse home. Though James wants some time alone after the whole incident, Lafayette tells him that his home is open to James should he need it.

Lafayette pays Jessica a visit to explain that even though what happened was embarrassing, it was also a long time coming. In a speech that tries to address concerns many audience members have had for seasons now, Lafayette points out that he deserves happiness as much as every white, heterosexual person in town. Lafayette also points out that Jessica knows next to nothing about the guy she has been living with for months, whereas Lafayette knows most of James’ backstory after just a few conversations. Jessica is still upset, but she starts to realize that Lafayette might be on to something.

Jason is also doing some soul-searching about his relationship, as he was quite relieved when he let Andy have his Gran’s ring instead of giving it to Violet. Jason and Jessica reconnect, emotionally and in the biblical sense. Alas, Violet happens to overhear their enthusiastic acrobactics and she is not pleased. But the biggest question I have is why none of these people bothered to take their sexy times to a more private location. Did they really think no one would walk in on them?

Eric and Pam Go Gala-vanting

Eric’s desire to see Willa one last time turns out to have a purpose beyond saying goodbye to his progeny. Eric questions Willa on anything she might know about Sarah Newlin, since Sarah was shacked up with Willa’s father for quite a while. Willa agrees to give up the information, but only if Eric releases her. Since Tara was the one who raised Willa, she barely considers Eric her maker. Eric relents and releases Willa, so she tells him what he wants to know.

Remember all those times Sarah mentioned having a sister who was taken by vampires? It turns out her sister became a vampire, but is still alive. Eric and Pam track down Sarah’s sister, Amber, in Dallas. Amber is no fan of Sarah’s and agrees to help them as long as they plan to kill Sarah.

Amber tells Eric and Pam that Sarah will be trying to reach their parents at a gala that night. Eric and Pam get all dressed up and attend said gala. Sure enough, Sarah sneaks in to see her mother and beg for her help. But before Sarah’s mother can offer up any assistance, the Yakuza squad shows up. They kill Sarah’s parents and probably a few other random gala attendees. But Eric gets to Sarah before the Yakuza men can get their hands on her. Unfortunately, Eric forgoes killing Sarah to attack the Yakuza guys. He kills the leader by ripping off his face, partly for fun but also in revenge for what was done to Sylvie.

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Arlene is the Best One

Carrie Preston once again proves to be the best thing about this show. In her first stand-out scene, Arlene comforts Sookie over Alcide’s death by reminding her that the only thing that will help ease her pain is time — and tequila. While I still think the show has devoted way too much time to Terry’s passing — the only other character who has been mentioned as much since their demise is Gran — Carrie Preston has done a beautiful job in showing the stages of Arlene’s grief. She still misses Terry, but she just might be ready to move on.

And her second stand-out scene tells us that Keith — the guy who healed her in last week’s episode — might be the vampire to help her with that. Though Arlene is a bit flustered by Keith’s attention, she is clearly interested. And Preston plays drunk Arlene very well.

Other Happenings

— One of the best moments in this week’s episode comes courtesy of Andy. Andy finds Jessica standing watch outside of the party and tells her that life is too short to keep blaming herself for what happened. She has done a good job watching out for Adilyn and he is grateful for the part she played in bringing Holly home. Once they clear the air, Andy asks Jessica to help him find a ring for Holly. Andy, you have become one of my favorites. I hope you survive the rest of this season.

— Nicole gains some points in this episode by being the only person to show any real sense. After days of being held hostage in a dungeon, Nicole is not in the partying mood. And she is not sure why anyone else is, since even the people who were not kidnapped still experienced some real trauma thanks to the H-vamps’ attack. Nicole asks Sam to take her home, but what she is really asking is that he take her and their unborn child far away from Bon Temps.

— Lettie Mae shows up at the party looking for more V. She says a few nice words about Tara — that might have meant more coming from someone who did not abuse Tara most of her life — before stabbing Willa to get her fix. Lafayette drags Lettie Mae out of there before the other vampires can retaliate.

— Jackson comes to town to pick up Alcide’s things, but he leaves Alcide’s jacket behind for Sookie. I hope Hoyt gets the same amount of screen-time in an upcoming episode that Jackson got here.

What did you think of this week’s episode of True Blood? Were you surprised that Bill is now infected? Were you happy to see Ginger again? Do you think Eric and Pam should have let Ginger tag along on their Sarah Newlin hunt? Was Eric an idiot for letting Sarah go in order to go after the Yakuza guys? And does Lafayette’s speech mean anything if the show does not deliver on giving James and Lafayette some happiness? Or at least a longer, more romantic sex scene? 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