Winding up to the season finale True Blood is dwindling down its cast. With seven of ten episodes down the show aims for a dramatic end to the season where few characters are safe. Spoilers below if you don't want to know the latest character(s) to be added to the series' obituary.
In last week's episode the series killed off two notable characters and now another this past Sunday. Six in the past three episodes. Death in the show is not new for True Blood (it's a show about the un-dead after all) but the high body count as of late is something to take notice of. The reasons for these deaths are still to be revealed but with two series regulars among the dead there is bound to be a purpose behind it.
Not much story-wise happens in this episode other than during its final few minutes. The episode acts more like a bridging or an in-between episode, getting things ready for the season's third act. Eric escapes the LAVTF vampire camp with Nora and goes to Bill for help to cure the Hep-V infection she is dying of. Eric leaves Willa behind at the prison to warn Pam, Jessica, and Tara about the laced Tru Blood. Arlene, Andy, and the rest of the Bellefleurs morn Terry's death. Sookie leaves Warlow behind to comfort Arlene, and while doing so Lafayette and her discover Terry planned his own death. And Alcide gets caught lying to his pack.
"In the Evening" is broken up into more little linking scenes than the show normally is. Just simply because of the size of the series' cast and characters there is no 'one' main story-line during a non-finale episode, yet there is usually one arc per episode that gets a larger focus. Here there isn't one for a change. Just a lot of mini scenes. The episode feels more book or comic book like in its transitions to and from settings or situations. That's not a bad thing, just more like get appetizers when you were expecting a meal. This might have just been because the show is saving the real big stuff for the final episodes or it might have something to do with renewal news from a couple of weeks ago. True Blood's renewal for a seventh season next summer might seem like good news now but with the show axing cast members left and right and them slowing down their stories the series might be directly related. More on that in a bit.
As far as the important stuff that happened in this episode what Bill did was the biggest deal. Sounds like nothing but having Stephen Moyer, as Bill Compton, walk around in the daytime was a real trip to see. Just from the reactions of the surrounding characters alone made the scene, yet seeing the real life husband and wife in Moyer and Anna Paquin share a scene during the day made it even cooler. If the warning Bill gave to Sookie works on her and he is able to use Warlow for his blood again this could change the direction and look for the whole series. Blade style day-walking vampires is what I'm getting at.
I can't forget to mention the biggest revelation of the episode, the true death of Eric's sister Nora. Even though Todd Lowe's character Terry had been with the show since the beginning, having Lucy Griffiths' character Nora exit the series after less than two seasons is the bigger loss for the show. Nora had a ton of potential for future stories, not to mention centuries of flash back material, to bring to the show. As of right now it looks like her death is to serve the purpose of showing how powerful the human's Hep-V virus is; as not even Bill/Lilith's blood would heal her. I was disappointed to see her character go, yet equally surprised that True Blood gave her a proper send off. I'm not sure what was more powerful, the emotion that Griffiths and Alexander Skarsgard's Eric expressed in the beautiful flashback of their first meeting many years ago, or the incredible visual effects during her true death. Either way Nora's death appears to have already impacted landscape of the show. But why kill her off now?
Television series that usually last this long all seem to have the common traits in their later seasons. Cast, writers, and crews' salaries tend to grow bigger so networks/studios normally cut the size of each of those departments to offset the large paychecks. True Blood has already cut their production budget by shortening their seasons' episode count from 12 to 10. With Nora and Terry gone the show will be saving some cash but it remains to be seen if will cost the show in other areas. Fingers and fangs crossed that these character deaths have a reason beyond the bottom line of a budget and other favourite characters can last till next summer.
One last thing before I go and that is the True Blood quote of the week. No shocker here as Ryan Kwanten's Jason Stackhouse butchers the English language once again in hilarious fashion. I had to rewind the scene between him and Jessica in the prison as he is trying to get her out because he was so subtle in his delivery.
"You don't have stockholders syndrome do you?" –Jason
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Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.