True Blood season 7 episode 9 review: Love Is To Die

Are happy endings really possible in Bon Temps? Here's Emma's review of True Blood's penultimate episode...

This review contains spoilers.

7.9 Love Is To Die

We’re exactly one episode away from True Blood’s denouement, and while Love Is To Die might not have provided an explosive run-up to the finale, it did produce a classic slice of soapy, Bon Temps-style melodrama. With confessions, admissions and reunions aplenty, there’s literally no one in town that hasn’t unburdened themselves to great effect this week, except maybe Jason ‘I like Pink’ Stackhouse. Not sure we’ll ever see him in quite the same way again…

The big news of the week is that Bill’s badly misplaced sense of nobility has become something of a suicide mission. Refusing to drink from the vile Ex Mrs Rev Newlin as way to permanently remove himself from Sookie’s life seems, from where we’re sitting, like the most extreme form of the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ break-up conversation ever conceived. Surely there’s a simpler solution? America is a big place – even Wisconsin is preferable to death, no? Not that it really matters anyway, as Bill’s fate has apparently already been sealed regardless of the badly misplaced nobility. Given that a very angry Mr Gus is about to besiege the Stackhouse property with several just as angry gangsters, and that Bill is no state to protect anyone, the Southern Gentleman may just get his death-wish a tad earlier than planned. The coming siege raises the interesting question of exactly how one Eric Northman will explain how angry Yakuzas with automatic weapons have any idea where Sookie lives.

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Of course, exactly how the angry Yakuzas know anything at all about Sookie is also an interesting question. And it’s a good bet that the vile Sarah Newlin is the sickening answer. Clearly, removing the gag was a massively dumbass move on Pam’s part – there was no way Sarah was going to keep quiet with all that Messiah-ing to be done – and now Pam’s desire to go back to being the oldest pimp on the block has put the whole keep-Eric-alive extravaganza in danger. If only Bill had taken the opportunity to save himself when it was free – if he does rediscover the will to live, he’s clearly going have trouble affording the highest-paid trollop in history. Let’s hope that, being a (slightly psychotic) businessman, Mr Gus will see the sense in Pam’s proposition, and remove the stake from just above her chest, if for no other reason than the continued and fantastic use of the word trollop – you just don’t hear that on TV enough these days. Having said that, the trollop plan, while hilarious, does leave the vile Ex Mrs Rev disappointingly alive which is, frankly, unacceptable. There is a small chance that Eric is just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself, but with one episode left, he’s running out of time.

Elsewhere, Bon Temps lost one of its most popular residents, only to gain one just as popular, albeit with no idea how or why he’s popular. Yes, the mayor has resigned and snuck off without having to look anyone in the eye, and Hoyt has decided that Jess, and therefore Bon Temps, is where he should be. Could it be that happy endings are possible in Bon Temps? Admittedly it’s a bit of a cheat that Sam’s happy ending involves leaving town, but Hoyt’s happy ending appears to be just that. You’ve got to feel for Jason though – he got his best friend back for a day, only to be punished all over again. Those Stackhouses really don’t have much luck, do they?

So, with one episode to go, it would seem that – the unlikely return of the H-Vamps not withstanding – we’re pretty much done. With everyone where they’re supposed to be, the dinner at Bellefleur’s was something of a last supper – all at the table, with the exception of Ms Stackhouse, are set and safe. The cure is found and on its way to mass production. Eric is, for the time being, alive and even better than his old self, giving out relationship advice and finally throwing Ginger a bone. Breaking the slightly disappointing run of the last few episodes, Love Is To Die was nicely summed up by the always apt Ms De Beaufort – it was compelling character drama, laced with moments of comedy, courtesy of Jason Stackhouse.  It’s a relief that the show has gone back to its soap-infused roots and while the episode was low-key, on balance, it wasn’t downbeat. It’s not just Jess and Hoyt with the happy almost-ending – Arlene, Andy, Holly, Laf… And for Bon Temps, that’s an astonishingly high happy ratio. And yet, because it’s Bon Temps, there’s a good chance it won’t last. Even with one instalment left, nothing is certain, and Mr Gus is nothing if not unpredictable. We won’t know anyone’s fate for sure until the finale rolls around, and until then, your guess is as good as ours…

Read Emma’s review of the previous episode, Almost Home, here.

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