So after the episode aired, my father said to me: “that was a wasted episode.”
I decided to lead with this because my dad is very much a casual fan of the show. Casual fans are really the core of any show’s audience: they may not get as emotionally invested, but because of that you really get a sense of what does and doesn’t work in any given episode. So when a casual fan says that an episode was waste, you have a problem. That problem is further compounded when he asked what the deal with the diary was (which I’ll get to in a bit). I also was asked what the deal with Jason/Eric was. When a casual fan can’t figure out why a given scene happened, your problem has blossomed into a huge problem.
Do I agree?
Let’s break it down and take a look.
Jason/Eric – Viewed as a standalone scene, I absolutely loved it. Ryan and Alex gave this their all. For the touches of humor, the scene actually managed to be rather (and surprisingly) sexy scene, capped off by excellent use of “vampire love” (which if memory served first played when Bill and Sookie were together). It also worked better as an “I Found You” scene than Pam finding Eric at the end of the episode (which I’ll get to later). That said. This scene shouldn’t exist. It makes no sense in the timeline. If it had happened before the leap six months forward, it’d make sense. If there had been no time skip at all, it’d made sense. But happening over six months later? It just doesn’t work. Not only would the blood have been well out of his system, he’d probably had so much of Violet’s blood that if he was have sex dreams of anyone, it probably should have been Violet. Bottom line: this scene was pure fan service. Fantastic fan service, but fan service. And when you only have 10 episodes to wrap up a series, and when you waste an episode and a half on characters that fans don’t care about, the last thing you really need is fan service.
Lettie Mae/Lafayette/Willa – To quote my dad “Why did they feel they need to keep writing stories about her?” That’s pretty much my opinion. I like how Lafayette stood up to her. I rolled my eyes when Willa rolled over and gave her blood after Lettie Mae deliberately burned herself (and for the record, her burn should have been much severe). The question becomes how long will it take Willa to figure out she’s being used. In general though, who cares? Adina Porter is a wonderful actress, but I much rather Tara be alive than Lettie Mae. Sorry.
Obnoxious humans – Too much time spent on them. Don’t give a fuck about them. Waiting for those gun happy idiots to accidentally shoot each other. Such a waste of time. Also: Kenya, I’m disappointed in you. Writers: Race card shit. Really? Really? Ugh. And since we’re talking about nameless humans: St. Alice humans how would FEMA would have helped you? National guard yes. The people who give you trailers and loans not so much. Writers again: Stop it with the social parallel nonsense. You haven’t done it well for years.
Hep-V vamps – On the one hand, it is nice seeing this from their perspective. On the other hand, when combined with the humans it meant the vast majority of the episode was spent with people we don’t care about. And we should be well past this point already. I think I’d appreciated more had we not spent so much time with the humans.
Sookie and the diary – As @scribeninja said – “Mark this as the beginning of Bill’s rehabilitation” and that’s about it. Sookie remembered the good times. And that’s about it. On a side note: that the flashbacks served as the bulk of Bill’s screen time? So not amused. His other scene was so small, I don’t see much point in even recapping it.
Alcide – I did not hate him. He did said smart shit and his suggestion to get out of dodge was actually good. Color me shocked.
Arlene – Whoops. Almost forgot about her. Shame, because I liked the Arlene we saw in this episode. Too bad we didn’t see this side of her much earlier.
Andy and Sam – They were in this episode. It’s sad that the best detective work was Jason’s “pizza forensics.” Also, clearly Sookie wears the pants in this town since neither man said anything and just did what she said.
Pam – She was in this too. And she found a sick Eric. Can I say I wish Jason had found him instead? It’d been more emotional. Sorry Paric shippers.
So…yeah. I pretty much 100% agree with my parents on this one. Almost nothing of note happened here. The majority of the episode was wasted on people we don’t are about and we had almost zero screen time for Bill or even Eric (outside that fanservice). I thought it moved a bit faster than last week, but it’s faint praise at best.
Verdict: D+ (saved from a total fail by the fan service. A waste of time, but an enjoyable one)