True Blood Review: “Life Matters” (Season 6, Episode 9)

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Allow me to gush for a few paragraphs, because Life Matters was the best episode of True Blood this season, the past few seasons, and probably ranks in the top three of the series as a whole. It’s a lofty goal to rank with the time Sam turned into a bull and then gored someone with his fist, but too much worked in this penultimate episode for it to be counted out of the running.

For starters, True Blood proved a point that fans of the series have been making for ages: a tighter focus makes for a much more enjoyable season. So far, the plots have been all over the map, but Life Matters knocks it down to just two, with minimal inclusion of Warlow and not a peep from Nicole. Who could ask for more? The episode swings back and forth between Terry’s funeral and Eric’s assault on the vampire camp, contrasting the exceptionally gory escape with the bittersweet nostalgia that more than makes up for the lacking Terry plot thus far.

Terry’s death this season was a bit of a surprise, but it never had the emotional impact fans hoped for. Characters moped around for a few episodes, and his loss was more aggravating than anything else. But his funeral turned those feelings around quick, because emotions were running higher than ever. As friends and family took turns retelling moments from their lives that intersected with Terry, I finally realized that I actually missed him. The scene with Sam, Terry and Andy fishing just after Terry returns from war was subtle and touching in a way that True Blood hasn’t been in ages.

More important than the nostalgia, though, is the fact that Terry finally got his proper send off. Surrounded by loved ones, Terry finally got the recognition he deserved. He was never a major player, but he was a part of the True Blood universe, and his loss can finally be felt. So goodbye Terry. You’ve finally found some peace.

Now that the sad part is out of the way, let’s get to what really matters: Eric ripped a man’s dong off and then left him to bleed to death.

Eric is still in his “loose cannon” phase, empowered with Warlow’s blood and ready to free his friends. Bill is hot on his trail, finding all the limbs, blood and severed dongs that hint at the good time Eric is having. Jessica, Tara, Pam and the rest of their small band are still locked in the circular room, and just as Sarah opens the roof to expose them to the sun, Bill shows up and lets them all drink his blood, giving them the ability to walk in the day. The shot of that group of fangers feasting on Bill as the sun hits them is what True Blood is all about, and another reason why Life Matters was nearly perfect.

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