With summer officially upon us and most of television’s hottest shows on hiatus until the fall, it’s time to check back in with our fang-banging friends down in Bon Temps, that pesky little town where vampires, werewolves, witches and a hodgepodge of other supernatural creatures run amok. It’s been an absolutely crazy run for this little guilty pleasure, but True Blood is getting the true death after this year, and judging by the season seven premiere, it’s going to be one hell of a farewell.
We’ve seen all kinds of mystical and supernatural tragedies and sexual encounters befall the likes of Sookie Stackhouse and her friends, but the show is going back to its roots a bit this year. Gone are the Warlows and Liliths of the world, replaced by “Hep-V” infected vampires out for one thing and one thing only: fresh blood. By shifting the focus of the series’ main conflict back to the human/vampire struggle for survival, we’re given an opportunity to revisit the human and vampire relationships that are at the show’s core, which is a welcome and necessary storytelling thread for this final run of episodes.
If you at some point fell behind on the series, and are returning to see how it all ends, I’m sorry to say you’re going to be incredibly lost throughout the premiere. The show immediately hits the ground running and spends no time trying to play catch-up, beginning immediately where last season left off: with Bellefleur’s and the residents of Bon Temps being attacked by Hep-V infected bloodsuckers. Some characters are killed right off the bat, while others are taken prisoner. Those who remain are asked to stay in human/vampire pairs to keep each other safe, and things continue from there.
It’s a great way to open the season, and the ensuing battle between human, vampire, and bloodthirsty hep-v vampire is entertainingly chaotic and incredibly bloody. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed in how the rest of the episode plays out. For a final season, I never once got the idea that the stage was being set for a finale, or that any real retrospection was being payed. In all honesty, it felt just like any other episode. It’s hard to pin down exactly what I was expecting, but perhaps I was hoping for the show to be a bit more self-aware about its impending demise and had adjusted things accordingly.