True Blood season 7 episode 3 review: Fire In The Hole

Review Emma Matthews 7 Jul 2014 - 12:28

Bon Temps has never been more dangerous than in True Blood's latest episode. Here's Emma's review of Fire In The Hole...

This review contains spoilers.

7.3 Fire In The Hole

Ding dong the witch is dead! No, we haven’t lost the Divine Miss Holly, but this week, True Blood made good on its cast-cull promises, and ripped the ass, sorry heart, out of Dame ‘Unhealthy Obsession with Her Son’ Fortenberry. It seems there is a TV God after all. It wasn’t all good news though – this is the True Blood-verse, and every fantastic event has to be paid for with at least two horrific events and a very large dose of misery. The TV God giveth, and once again, the TV God taketh away...

Yes, in order for us to so thoroughly enjoy the sight of Dame Fortenberry’s still-beating heart glistening on the asphalt, we had to endure the surprisingly sad and completely unexpected sight of Alcide’s naked corpse glistening on the grass. Clearly, Sookie’s vampire-bait plan didn’t go quite as well as she might have hoped, resulting as it did in her current beau taking a bullet to the brain. The word plan is used in the loosest possible context here, as it implies that she gave the whole scheme something approaching half a frickin thought. Relying on Bill to keep her safe? What was she thinking? Even in his season one heyday, he could barely protect her from a thing, and in his present incarnation is apparently so wrapped up in nostalgia as to be completely deaf to the approach of the world’s loudest, smelliest, sickest vampires. Has Sookie learned her 'don’t trust Bill' lesson? Probably not. And while Miss Holly is now safe, albeit not quite herself, Sookie’s failed plan leaves three women and a baby chained up in Fangtasia, and fair game for anything that can smell/hear them. And with Alcide dead, Bon Temps has lost one of its best, if not brightest, lines of defence.

There is a vampire with a far better record of Stackhouse/Bon Temps rescue, but as he’s infected with the Hep-V virus, is in no fit state to be rescuing anybody. Eric Northman is however, in a fit state for killing people apparently, revenge being the only thing that could rouse him from his self-indulgent moping. Maybe self-indulgent is a little strong – given that we now know that the very corporation responsible for True Blood – and therefore indirectly responsible for his impending death – is also responsible for the death of his girlfriend. Nope, self-indulgent is exactly right. Thank God Pam knows exactly which Eric buttons to press – we can only hope that Sarah Newlin’s death will rekindle his taste for oysters.

Those Eighties flashbacks threw up two very interesting questions: one: Why the hell did Eric bend over and take the Sheriff job from a bunch of vamps that basically murdered his girlfriend? And two: Why is the Corporation after the ex-Mrs Rev Newlin? We all know why Eric wants her dead, but given that’s she’s a total hippy now, and not a danger to anything that isn’t the contents of the wine cellar – something the Corporation probably already knows –  what are they after?  It’s possible they’re just finishing the good work Bill and Eric started last season, but it’s equally possible that something altogether more nefarious is going down. There’s also a tantalising Eric/Evil Corporation deal with the devil in the offing here. Will Eric bend over once again to get what he wants? Probably. And you never know, he might even get a cure out of it... or at least some good pharmaceuticals.

At which point, he’ll probably get a visit from Laf, who has spent the entire season so far locked in his house off his tits. It’s probably safe to assume that he’ll only leave the house for the really good drugs. For the most part, the vamp/human two-handers have had interesting, funny, and in the case of Willa and the Reverend, touching moments. The Laf/faux-Jim Morrison scenes remain oddly disjointed, but given that they’re happening through a drug-fuelled haze, that’s perhaps intentional. Having said that, unless we’re witnessing the slowest, druggiest courtship in the history of television, these scenes are a criminal under-use of the genius that is Nelsan Ellis. He needs some action – of any kind – and soon.

Fire In The Hole is, without doubt, the soapiest episode so far this season. Covering everything from faith to racism, stuffed to the gills with death and despair and with shocks aplenty, this episode sees True Blood getting nicely up to speed. Melodrama abounds, and the ‘back to basics’ approach promised by Team TB for this season is definitely paying off. Sultry, sexy and topped off with a fabulous Miami Vice Mullet – Don Johnson wishes he’d looked that good – Fire has opened some fantastic dramatic doors. Vince’s merry band of bigots has proved as death-happy as it is dumb; Alcide’s exit in particular was swift and shocking. Bon Temps has never been more dangerous, and as Alcide knows all too well, it’s getting more dangerous by the second. Without wishing to sound too bloodthirsty, long may it continue... 

Read Emma's review of the previous episode, I Found You, here.

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