If you like to cry… then this was the episode for you. We knew something big was going to go done this episode. I mean, it was originally called “The Funeral” before it was changed to “In the Evening”. So, I can’t say I watched this episode blind.
But if I had to use just 1 word to describe the 7th episode of season 6, I am going with desperation. Oh I am sure there are others I could choose, but I was totally feeling the desperation from all of the characters in “In the Evening”. Eric’s desperation to save Nora… he was willing to do anything. Willa’s desperation to warn everyone about the Hep V in the Tru Blood, but older sister Pam has a good reason why they shouldn’t. Jessica’s desperation for redemption. Arlene’s desperation in the wake of Terry’s death. Even Sarah’s desperation when she found the gov’s head and the possible ramifications. You get the picture.
You also may say “B drank the kool aide” because I think this was a strong episode for True Blood.. at least from the Eric perspective. Even with the multitude of story lines, I am starting to see where they are bringing it all back in one strand at a time before the final episode. Yes, there were glaring errors in this story line… like Nora being 200 years younger than they introduced her as in season 5. I am not excusing it, I am just overlooking it on the strength of Alex’s performance which is mind blowing in my opinion. What can I say… I’m a fan.
Before I can gush over him, (and start an Emmy campaign for Alex’s performance) let’s take a look at the rest of the episode.
The Rest of the episode:
The Northman’s Girls: After a few episodes, we finally have the much anticipated meeting between Pam and Willa as vampires. It was not the “cat” fight many folks thought, but you started to see the further shift of Pam into the elder of the group. She was very “thoughtful” and “calm” when she explained why they could not tell everyone not to drink the Hep V laced Tru Blood. You can’t tip the humans off. It’s a matter of survival. Of course both girls were a credit to their maker with how creative they were getting back into Gen Pop. Especially Pam’s manipulation of the shrink, like putty in her hands. As for Willa, Undead looks really good on her.
The Shifter/Were Storyline: I know I am not the only one not thrilled when our tv screen’s get furry. Though the shower scene between Sam and what’s her name made sort of sense. I mean, with all they have been through, sex is generally the reaffirmation you are still “alive”. Now with Terry’s death and Sam feeling like he is facing certain death from the wolf pack when he goes back for the funeral, it makes sense for one last hurrah. As for Alcide, I am calling it now… he is going to be a dead wolf before the season’s end.
The Human Grief process:
Death is always harder on the living, let me tell you. And while I do feel bad for Arlene, Andy is having a triple punch, between loosing 3 of his daughters and pretending that he is ok they are gone, to loosing his cousin and childhood friend and being the patriarch of the family. Then finally having to shake Bill’s hand and not trying to kill him for Jessica’s part in his daughters’ deaths. Arlene was able to escape her reality with a few (well deserved) drinks. Andy did not. Thankfully Holly has been a rock for him and Arlene has Sookie and LaLa supporting her as much as they can.
There is also something about funerals that brings people together. Whether as friends and family… or potential hooks ups (Adilyn and Holly’s eldest or youngest.. I can’t tell them apart). I expect we will see more “blasts from the pasts”… which is good … and bad since it’s drawing away from the vampires I am worried about. Though, there is no need to worry about Benlow, Sookie has him parked in “faemetery” or “faeyard” when she ran to give comfort to Arlene. (Yes, I am glossing over the naked time there too. And for the record, she is not a whore or slut).
While I didn’t feel this was a strong Sookie episode, there were small moments we might want to remember for the future. Like recognizing Terry’s death was probably planned, meeting Adilyn and recognizing her as a telepath. Her conversation with (daywalker) Bill, which I am calling a cat fight since he finally started sharing details on the burning vision and she started listening. Of course I may be reading to much into it, but the only name she reacted to negatively was Pam. And really started listening when Bill told her Eric escaped from the death camp. But he did not mention Nora being in trouble… which might have inspired a more active response to helping. Was it intentional or not? Writer or character choice? Just some food for thought.
The awkward “J”s: Ryan gave a stellar performance as Jason this episode with his simple sincerity to help Jessica to his desperation when he is tossed into Gen Pop as a human toy. James… it’s still to soon to tell, but I saw no flaws in your performance. Sadly, while I felt the desperation of Jessica,I saw DAW acting as Jessica vs seeing Jessica on the screen. It was almost like she was reciting lines to “just get it done”. It was not my favorite performance of hers.
Proving she thinks she’s the HBIC: If you pegged the woman in the black trench coat as the bi bad this season, you are probably right. Between how she pretty much planned how to cover up the governor’s death and retain power to go forward with the “plan” to get Hep V out on the market to having Jason cut and tossed into the female Gen Pop of starved vampires… well… Sarah Newlin has power by the balls.
Or the head she happened to kiss
It’s all about Eric:
All the praying to HBO paid off, for we got an episode that started with Eric and ended with Eric in what is one of the finest performances of Alex’s on the show. After the discovery of the plan to contaminate the Tru Blood with Hep V, he had to make the decision to get Nora out and send his youngest back into the prison to warn Pam “not to drink the Tru blood”. In a quick sequence Eric and Nora leave the facility under the truck with True Blood with Eric cradling Nora close as he holds on. His face before they cut to the opening credits was one of determination… to save everyone, but especially Nora. He turns to unexpected source for help… like Bill. Or Billith, with his magical blood. Though Nora and Bill down vote Eric’s initial plea for Nora to drink Bill’s Lilith laced blood, and Eric realizes this is the beginning of the end. Oh I am going to start crying thinking about his face again.
Maybe it was the fact that the Viking humbled himself a few times to Bill, even offering to help get Warlow (whom Eric has no knowledge about), that Bill breaks down and gives Nora his blood. This does not visibly work, even though Eric’s face is filled with hope. When his face was averted to get a wet washcloth, Nora and Bill share a look that conveys “we know the blood did not work”. Bill leaves to allow Nora and Eric privacy on this death watch. And I’m bawling at this point because we the viewers are just hurting for Eric… and the pain is growing with each minute. We did have a brief respite with the flashback scene to the court of Charles II and Alex in a wig (and Louis from Interview with a Vampire costume) that just did not work for me. It was in this flashback we learn how Nora and Eric met and he saved her from the Black Death by taking her to Godric to turn her. Thus they are “ending how they began” with Eric trying to save her from death.
“I promised you forever.” “I only asked to live fully. You gave me that.”
But second time was not a charm and she melted away in his arms. Alex delivered a performance worthy of an Emmy with how deep he had to go during the last few moments of this episode. This was raw.
And it sets us up for the next 3 episodes.
Do you think we are ready for them? And maybe we’ll have our questions answered. Time will tell.