True Blood recap: 'Life Matters'
Terry’s funeral is a tearjerker, while Eric and Bill have different priorities at Vamp Camp
This episode was a surprise, wasn’t it? Who knew Terry Bellefleur would have his best episode after he died? That Steve Newlin would die but Sarah Newlin would live? That it would take a man that long to bleed out after having his penis torn off, and that we would get to see it multiple times? Let’s dig in.
So the way Sookie took drained Warlow in her arms and told him to come back to her made me think she really does care about him — on some level. Bill, however, didn’t care if Warlow was near empty; he and Sookie had a deal for Warlow to accompany him to Vamp Camp. “Eric took our deal and f—ed it in the ass,” she told Bill. “You’re the god of all vampires, deal with your vampire.” Sookie biting her own wrist to feed Warlow? Gross. But worth it for this line to Bill: “Seriously, I’m gnawing at my own arm, and you’re gonna drop fang on me?” Warlow drank, and Bill grabbed him. Sookie pointed out that Eric has more of Warlow’s blood in his veins than Warlow does at the moment, so Bill should use him to feed the vamps in the room awaiting the sun. Warlow told Sookie to use her light to send Bill back to our dimension, and she did. Then she let him continue to feed on her.
Eric showed up at Vamp Camp rocking major heavage and his fangs. We cut to the cemetery, where Arlene was sporting major cleavage of her own for Terry’s funeral. I’d forgotten Tara’s mother was with the preacher. She, of course, was a little too excited to be there. Sookie told Warlow that she was still prepared to be his — after she went to Terry’s funeral. He believed her and let her go. Did you?
Sookie sat near Hoyt’s mother, who said Hoyt has a girlfriend who isn’t a redheaded vampire. Alcide cleaned up nicely, right? He was going to sit next to Sookie but she was saving the seat for Jason, who we knew would never show. Alcide was a hit with the ladies: “Now he smells like a man.” Was the reminder of Alcide’s hotness enough to make Sookie question eternity with Warlow? Maybe it wasn’t just Sam whom she always felt she could end up with…
NEXT: Eric is brutal
When Bill arrived at Vamp Camp, he saw the carnage Eric had left in his wake. Eric, whose face and neck were blood-soaked (still hot!), had taken body parts with him to work his way through the secure compound. When he got to Dr. Overlark, he grabbed him by the crotch and, as previously mentioned, tore off his penis and tossed it to the ground. That’s right up there with Eric ripping a heart out and drinking from it like a Capri Sun. Eric said he’d be back in 10 minutes to make sure he bled out. Overlark just had to lie there, in an ever-growing puddle of blood, and stare at his manhood.
Eric freed male gen pop, so they could take care of their human captors. One vampire wouldn’t leave. He said his maker was in the drawer. It was the guy who’d tried to steal Steve Newlin’s Tru Blood. Eric saw the signs of the Hep V on him and told the vampire that his maker was going to die a horrible death. He could stay and watch or leave, because he was free.
After we listened to the preacher talk about Terry’s love for his family at the funeral, we went back to Vamp Camp, where Overlark told Bill that Northman had done this to him. He begged Bill to kill him, and Bill obliged after Overlark said he had hurt Jessica. Bill stomped on his head. Again, gross. But also awesome.
It’s when Andy spoke at Terry’s funeral that we started to see how reverently the show’s writers were treating this exit. Andy talked about Terry coming back from the war and telling him “War’s not a game.” Like everyone listening to Andy, I started to tear up. We flashed back to Terry living at Fort Bellefleur, and Andy saying he’d keep coming there until Terry wanted to talk. He needed to know which beer Terry liked, because he was mixing and matching, which was driving the folks at the liquor store crazy. Terry spoke: He liked the beer he’d had in the service, Raging Bitch. He told Andy he might have to special order it, which Andy was willing to do because what Terry had done for our country was special. “You have no idea what I did for this country,” Terry said.
NEXT: Eric wants us all to have good dreams
Eric made his way through Vamp Camp and saw vampires drinking from the staff, ripping their teeth out, making one female scientist run naked on a mouse wheel, and interrogating Dr. Finn. Eric freed the gen pop ladies, who’d had Jason pinned with his back on a bench feeding on him. Jason told Eric that Pam and the others had been taken, and since Eric needed Jason’s knowledge of the layout, he asked him if he’d ever healed him before. No. “Well, you are in for a treat,” Eric said. Exact quote from my notes: “OMG. YESSSSSS.” Before Eric gave Jason his wrist, he told him, “When you dream of me, dream of nice things.” I spoke to True Blood showrunner Brian Buckner for EW’s What to Watch section, and he said Eric has one “sexy and provocative” scene in the finale. “There’s definitely something for the ladies and the gay men,” he told me. “We might see a certain body part.” Praise Godric.
As Jason led Eric through the hallways, he taunted the dead humans on the ground. That was really just a way to surprise us with the fact that Sarah Newlin had managed to survive by burying herself among them. She got up with her white pantsuit splattered with blood and ran. She’s an impressive cockroach.
At the funeral, it was Sam’s turn to speak. He talked about how Andy had asked him to give Terry a chance in the kitchen and how Terry turned out to be one of the most dependable employees and loyal friends. (Cutaway shot to frequently absent Sookie.) That flashback hit me harder than I expected: We saw Andy bring Sam to Fort Bellefleur so they could drink, fish, and talk with Terry about Merlotte’s. Sam looked really, really good, right? His hair was great, and he was wearing a West Virginia sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off. Terry caught a catfish and watched it struggle to breathe out of the water. “Every life matters. Throw it back,” Terry told Andy, breaking down. Then he asked Sam, “What if it don’t work out?” Sam told him the job would. Terry said he’d just spilled his beer, and Sam said they’d get him another one. Terry looked up at Sam and said that he liked him. Sam told Terry that he liked him, too. In a show with so much deception and fast-talk, it was always refreshing to have someone as earnest and pure of heart as Terry. I teared up again.
As Eric and Jason continued through Vamp Camp, Eric spotted Finn with some vampires and asked for time alone with him. He told Finn that in all their sessions, Finn forgot to ask Eric one question — how he was going to die, so he could prepare for it mentally. Finn said it didn’t matter how he’d die, because he’d die a happy man because he’d f—ed his progeny. “Oh, you did not just go there. That’s gonna cost you, doc,” Jason said. Eric took out Finn’s contact lenses so he could glamour him to tell the truth. Finn told him about his deal with Pam– sex in return for her release from solitary. Eric said he wasn’t going to kill him. They were going to find Pam and then she was going to kill him. Ah, Eric.
NEXT: Lafayette taught Terry how to dip
Lafayette’s turn to speak. He wore a killer suit and hat with purple accents — along with heavy eyeshadow and gorgeous long lashes. “Is that a boy or a girl?” Grandma Bellefleur asked. He spoke of Terry’s first day in the kitchen. Lafayette knew Terry knew nothing about cooking and didn’t want anyone, let alone a soldier, leaning on him. (Shoutout to the marines in attendance.) But then as Terry burnt some french fries, Lafayette looked into his eyes and saw his troubled but good-hearted soul. “I want to be good at this job. Will you help me?” Terry asked. He said he didn’t want to f— this up and Lafayette said he wouldn’t let him. He taught him how to dip the fries with his entire body — how to “sexy the dip” and how to “cha-cha the dip.” AMAZING.
About this time at Vamp Camp, Eric heard a scream that he recognized. “Hello, Ginger,” he said, finding her and other humans in white robes. “Well, if it isn’t my knight in shining armor,” she said. It’s not as good as Eric having sex with her (finally), but it’s sweet that he saved her.
Portia’s story at the funeral revolved around Terry teaching her how to swing. It was nice, but clearly we’d reached the end of the speakers. The preacher said if no one else wanted to talk, it was Arlene’s turn. Sookie listened in to Arlene’s thoughts and heard that she wasn’t ready, so Sookie went up. It was another tissue moment. Sookie revealed to everyone there that she’s a telepath, which was brave and necessary if they were going to believe her when she told them what Terry’s first thoughts were about Arlene: that she was the prettiest woman he’d ever seen, that she could make him write music again, and that she made coming out of the woods not too scary. Sookie said that he’d loved Arlene since the second she’d walked into his life. Arlene teared up, and Sookie teared up, and everyone teared up, and I teared up. Arlene hugged Sookie and thanked her.
Alcide moved into the empty seat next to Sookie so she had a shoulder to cry on. I realized how much I miss Joe Manganiello’s long hair (he’s since cut it).
NEXT: Is Bill the hero?
Not being able to find Eric, Bill remembered that he has Warlow’s blood in him, too. I thought Sarah Newlin might be walking to the top of the facility to jump off it and commit suicide before the vamps caught her, but no, she was heading there to manually open the roof. As she did, we saw that Bill was lying on the ground and the vampires in that room were all feeding on him. Well, except for Steve Newlin, who was like the runt of the litter who couldn’t work his way to a nipple. (As @TrueBloodNet pointed out on Twitter: If Bill could get into the room, why couldn’t he just let the vamps out? Though it was daylight, so they wouldn’t have been able to leave the compound sans blood without a logistical nightmare.)
Eric got there and grabbed Steve by the throat. Bill said to let Steve have his blood, but Eric said Steve was a turncoat. Steve looked up and saw Sarah at the roof. “I love you… Jason Stackhouse!” he yelled. Ha. He burst into flames and then into a puddle of blood. After Ginger finished screaming, Eric told Pam he’d saved her Finn. “You take such good care of me,” she said.
Arlene’s memory of Terry was nice because it showed him calm and happy. They always worked as a couple because they took turns being the rock, which he was the night Mikey was born. She was nervous about raising another child, feeling guilty for thinking he could be evil, and she couldn’t get him to breastfeed. Terry got Arlene to breathe and Mikey ate. “I love this family. I love it so much,” Terry told Arlene. “We love you, too,” she said.
Back at Vamp Camp, all the vamps who’d fed on Bill were high and dancing around — including Pam, whose partner was Finn’s corpse. “Have we killed everyone who needs to be killed?” Pam asked. All except one, Jason said. The bloody Lilith trio appeared to Bill. Ugh. Can’t we get rid of them?
While Big John Dickerson sang “Life Matters” at Terry’s funeral, Jason ran down Sarah, who’d made it to her car and grabbed a gun. She said she was doing God’s work, and if Jason killed her, he’d be punished. Jason decided to play her game: If she can talk to God, then why can’t he talk to Jesus? “Big J” told him to tell Sarah she was “an average f—in’ lay.” He had the gun at her throat but decided he doesn’t want anymore blood on his hands, not even hers. He told her to leave. That represents growth for Jason, and Sarah is too fun a character to lose, but still, I’m guessing there’ll be some fans mad she didn’t meet her maker.
NEXT: Where do we go from here?
Outside Vamp Camp, Eric and the others started destroying the cases of contaminated Tru Blood. In Honolulu, we saw a Tru Blood delivery man killed as vampires took his load. Did they somehow get word even there that the blood was bad, and they were destroying it? Or, were they hungry vampires stealing it for themselves?
The bloody Lilith trio continued to haunt Bill. “Come, your time on earth is over,” they told him. “I’m not goin’ anywhere,” he said. He summoned Jessica. While Eric destroyed the room where Nora was infected, the bloody trio walked closer to Bill. James had come with Jessica and decided he would feed Bill — if Bill’s blood saved them, maybe returning some of it would save him.
We watched the gun salute for Terry and listened to “Taps” being played (again, everyone rightfully teared up). Sookie listened in to Arlene’s thoughts: She could’ve still have done without the guns, but she thought Terry would have really appreciated the rest of it. That’s as happy an ending as we could’ve hoped for.
Jessica and James emerged from Vamp Camp… followed by Bill. Everyone cheered him and thanked him. Jessica said they should take the party back to her and Bill’s house. Ginger was happy to feed everyone. Violet had caught up to Jason and reminded him that he’ll feed only her.
Everyone walked off — but Pam. She stopped and saw Eric standing alone in the distance. “Don’t you dare leave me,” she said. Up he flew. Noooooooooo. How did you read that? Has the pain of losing Nora made him not want to be close to anyone again, ever? Or is he just not ready to party with Bill, at the house where Nora died, but he’ll come back to Bon Temps eventually?
Other questions: How long does Warlow’s blood last in vampires’ systems? What’s going to happen to all those vampires infected with Hep V? Should Eric have killed them, or did he want them free to hurt humans outside the compound? And will Sookie keep her promise to Warlow?
Your turn. Theories for how the season finale plays out?