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‘True Blood’ Review: “Almost Home”

True Blood Final Season 7 Almost Home Review Recap
HBO

True Blood’ season 7 spurts out its 8th and antepenultimate installment of the final year, “Almost Home,” as Violet exacts her revenge on Jason, while Eric’s hunt for Sarah Newlin takes a surprising turn, and Lettie Mae discovers the truth about what Tara has been attempting to show her..

Last week’s ‘True Blood’ installment, “May Be the Last Time,” saw Sookie seek out a miracle to cure Bill, while Jason and Arlene dealt with surprising conflicts of interest, and Pam and Eric partnered with the Yakuza to track down and capture Sarah Newlin, so what’s next for the final year?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘True Blood’ season 7, episode 8, “Almost Home”!

Realizing that she likely won’t make it out of the situation alive, Sarah surrenders herself to Eric and the Yakuza, believing her sacrifice to be necessary as a martyr. Eric throttles her and prepares for the kill, though the intervention of Pam and the others convince Eric to spare Sarah. Instead, Eric drinks a bit from Sarah, and laughs with glee as his veins begin to disappear.

Back at Bill’s house, Sookie asks why Queen Sophie-Anne had originally sent Bill to find her in the first place, to which Bill reveals that the Faerie Queen Mab had sought to return all Fae and their progeny to her dimension, sealing the portals thereafter. Sophie-Anne had learned of Sookie’s heritage and sent Bill to find her for her proposed breeding program, though he fell in love with Sookie instead. Bill had hoped that loving and protecting Sookie would make up for the darkness in his past, something he believes he’d failed in.

Reverend Daniels finds Lafayette and Lettie Mae digging up a lawn as the confused homeowners watch, though the pair insist the effects of their V binge have since worn off. Lettie Mae leads with her husband to take a leap of faith with her in answering Tara’s call, and James provides blood to all three. Reverend Daniels is stunned to find their claims true, as a vision of Tara motions for them to enter the house. Inside, the trio finds a memory of young Tara’s birthday party, just before her abusive father came home and soured the mood by threatening Lettie Mae for having spent his money.

Back in the present, a bitter Hoyt dashes Bridget’s hopes of having children anytime in the near future, as Jason finds Violet’s text photos of a bound Jessica and Adilyn. Jason phones Andy about the news and rushes to his car, though an incensed Bridget insists on coming along with him and leaving Hoyt behind. Meanwhile in Fangtasia, Eric learns from Mr. Gus that while they’ve successfully managed to synthesize Sarah’s blood, they’ll need several months to rework the product as a temporary solution to Hepatitis V, so as to maximize their profits from the cure.

Jason arrives to Violet’s lavish mansion and leaves Bridget in the car, quickly getting caught by Violet and chained up like the others. Violet relays that no one in her history has ever been the one to reject her, before promoting her various medieval torture devices to use on them all, saving Jason for last. Before she can start however, Hoyt arrives to the underground dungeon and shoots Violet in the heart, quickly ending the mad vampire’s life. Before Bridget makes her way downstairs, a relieved Jessica finds herself transfixed by Hoyt.

Back in Tara’s memory, the young girl watches her parents’ violent confrontation, and fetches a gun from the bedroom, nervously pointing it at her unaware father. The young girl declines to pull the trigger, running outside and burying the gun in the yard, just before her father finally abandons them behind for good, leaving a devastated Lettie Mae in his wake. The angelic vision of Tara apologizes to her mother for not pulling the trigger when she had the chance, thereby saving their family from the devastation of her father’s departure, and Mae’s subsequent alcoholism. Lettie Mae denies that it was her daughter’s responsibility, and the pair forgive one another, before Tara insists that her mother go on living her life. With that, Tara’s spirit finally departs for good.

Andy arrives to the aftermath at Violet’s mansion, while Jessica personally thanks Hoyt, and Bridget observes that they have an unusual connection with one another. Meanwhile, a visibly cured Eric arrives to Bill’s house to let Sookie know of his good health, but is stunned by the revelation of Bill’s own infection. Eric refuses to reveal the source of his cure just yet, but promises to return the following night. Sookie runs back to her own house, just missing Jason as he returns Jessica home. The two make peace with their past slights, as Jessica gleams that the uncomplicated nature of their relationship makes for a beautiful friendship.

Sookie arrives to Fangtasia in the morning to find Yakuza thugs waiting outside, before the gangsters reluctantly bring her in to see Eric. For Mr. Gus’ sake, Eric dismisses Sookie as a crazed fangbanger, pretending to glamour the woman away as Sookie listens in on Mr. Gus’ thoughts to find they have something hidden downstairs. Meanwhile, Jason and Hoyt renew their friendly bond over breakfast at Bellefleur’s, as Hoyt reveals that he can’t shake an elusive feeling about Jessica. Jason explains that her maker is dying, upsetting Hoyt for always having liked Bill.

Hoyt arrives to Bill’s during the day, offering his condolences to a blushing Jessica, and delivering a bit of his own clean blood to ease Bill’s pain. Jessica offers her own sympathies on the death of Hoyt’s mother, though he expresses a modicum of relief for not having to have lived with the pain of her impending death, as Jessica does with Bill. Meanwhile back at Fangtasia, Sookie breaks into the basement and finds Sarah Newlin chained up, looking through the woman’s memories to discover the source of Eric’s cure. Sookie refuses to listen to Sarah’s pleas for freedom, but makes a plan to return with Bill.

Bill dreams of a domestic life with Sookie, but is horrified that their swaddled baby is nothing more than a void of darkness, just before the real Sookie wakes him with news of the cure. Later at Fangtasia, Mr. Gus departs for Dallas, and urges neither Pam nor Eric to do anything stupid with Sarah in his absence. Eric goes to retrieve a vial of Sarah’s blood, but is surprised to find she and Bill already broken in with Jessica downstairs. Jessica violently threatens Sarah for their past conflicts, but stands aside for Bill to cure his sickness. Once presented with a cowering Sarah in front of him however, Bill strangely declines to cure himself.

OUR REVIEW:

Only two episodes remain in the whole of ‘True Blood’ after tonight, and as such, the name of the game seems to be sweeping away the remnants of the season’s most extraneous stories, and/or affording opportunities for fan-favorite characters to return. The last few episodes especially have suffered from so many plot threads feeling more like chores than intrigue, though tonight’s installment at least proved relatively straight-forward in its tension.

On the one hand, we were more relieved to see Violet’s needlessly elaborate revenge given a short, anticlimactic end than to linger on such a superfluous storyline any longer, while Hoyt’s continued presence felt far more organic to the plot than last week. Better to have one of the series’ more likeable characters return for a significant arc with Jessica, rather than simply provide Jason with an opportunity to ignore his moral instincts for the sake of a pretty girl. And despite the closing kiss with Jessica, we’re starting to think that Bridget will end up with Jason somehow, an especially shoe-horned idea to throw in so late in the game, though better for the love triangle to have an unexpected ending than a contrived return, as with Sookie and Bill. Jim Parrack and Deborah Ann Woll have dynamite chemistry together, and Hoyt’s grief for Bill remaining even without the memory of Jessica proved an especially sweet scene for the two to play.

Speaking of Bill and Sookie, it’s looking like the Yakuza will prove our big bads in the end, particularly now that a cured Eric remains somewhat uneasy with the prospect of keeping Sarah’s cure under wraps. Now that Sookie and Bill have been brought in on the secret, we have to imagine Mr. Gus won’t be too happy with our primary cast, or interested in going the altruistic route. Thematically speaking, we’re not sure how much sense it makes for the Japanese mafia to be the final adversaries for the series, though the storyline at least spared us any more of Bill’s strangely superfluous flashbacks.*

*It was nice of the series to circle back and answer any lingering mystery about the Faerie realm or Queen Sophie-Anne’s interest in Sookie, but wouldn’t THAT have been a flashback worth showing, as long as we’re putting ridiculous wigs on Stephen Moyer, and bringing Evan Rachel Wood back to HBO?

And finally, we seem to have wrapped up Lettie Mae’s quest for Tara’s spirit with an uncomfortable flashback to the latter’s childhood, though it doesn’t seem to have answered what made Tara’s post-death lingering so unique in the first place. Do other vampires with unfinished business stick around after death in V-induced visions, or did writers simply need something for Rutina Wesley and Adina Porter to do this season without interfering in any of the main storylines?

In any case, it seems as if the final two episodes should prove relatively straight forward, hopefully building on Bill’s baffling decision not to accept the cure, now that the season’s most extraneous storylines have been swept away. You know, eight episodes later.

Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of fang-banging ‘True Blood’ action?  What did you think about tonight’s revelatory installment, “Almost Home”? Join the discussion in the comments, and check back again next Sunday for another all-new recap and review of ‘True Blood’ season 7′s penultimate installment, “Love is to Die”!

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