I tell you what: during the production of “May Be the Last Time,” it seems like the directors chose to just let the cameras roll and allow the characters to go about their business at their own rate. Their own, very slow rate. Really, this episode felt like one giant waiting game.
Sure, some of what we got was applicable to the main storyline and we get a sense that things are building to something big, but there’s no sense of urgency or panic. We got the surprise return of one character and there are moments that could have gone somewhere, but ultimately, not a lot happened this week.
The episode begins with Eric, Pam and the Yakanomo folk questioning a now restrained Amber, who at first refuses to reveal how she’s now healed from the Hep-V virus. Mr. Gus even offers money for information, but no dice. Amber does eventually admit that Sarah is the cure, but says that she is a good person. Eric doesn’t think so. After all, it’s because of Sarah that vampires like him, Jeremy and so many others have and will die. Amber still won’t reveal Sarah’s location, so Eric does the most practical thing possible.
He kills Amber.
Andy and Holly arrive at Fort Bellefleur and find nothing. Andy calls Adilyn’s phone, but, of course, the phone is still up in the fort. So Andy then calls Jessica, as she has Adilyn’s blood and would be able to sense if Adilyn was in any danger. However, Jessica hasn’t felt anything off, so Andy can at least assume that Adilyn and Wade are at least still alive. Holly remembers that Brian has a lake house about a half hour north of Oklahoma City. Road trip!
Violet takes her supposed captives-I mean, newfound friends, to a mansion. She’s so upset that her parents won’t support their love. Violet knows exactly what Adilyn and Wade are going through. After all, she used to fuck her brother, too. All right, no, Violet. Just no. She then introduces the kids to her assortment of erotic devices. You know, strap-ons, shackles, the works. If they want to mess around, they’re more than welcome to. Violet doesn’t even offer to give the two an instruction manual on how to use the devices. Poor Wade doesn’t even know what a strap-on would be used for.
At House Compton, Jessica and Sookie notice the virus making its way up Bill’s neck. Sookie reminds Bill that he wrote in his book about experimental treatment in India, but such treatment is still years away. There is no available cure. Sookie refuses to accept this.
At Bellefleur’s, Arlene is shutting down stop when Keith enters. Arlene is shocked, but Keith is only there to see her home. It’s dangerous to go alone. She’ll need a vampire guide. When Keith puts the moves on Arlene, Arlene makes it very clear that she’s not a fang banger. That doesn’t stop her from giving in and eventually having rough sex with Keith on the pool table.
Oh, never mind.
Pam chastises Eric for killing Amber, but Eric shows no remorse. He still wants to kill-not capture- Sarah, even though she’s the answer to saving his life. Mr. Gus has a proposition: find Sarah, but then synthesize her blood as a product: New Blood. It will still be a tall task to find Ms. Newlin, but luckily, the Japanese government is hard at work on tracking Sarah’s location.
So why does Mr. Gus need Pam and Eric? Well, the new product will need a spokesperson, as the general public doesn’t trust the Yakanomo Corporation. Eric initially refuses, but soon changes his mind.
Back at House Compton, Bill finally manages to fall asleep. Sookie tells Jessica to get in with him, weird as that is. Jessica asks what Sookie will do, and Sookie plans to go searching for answers. She says that people don’t generally believe in miracles, but they exist all around them.
As Bill dreams, we flash back to 1855, where he speaks with his father, William Compton Sr., played by Michael Rothhaar. Compton Sr. wants his son to marry Caroline Shelby, even though she and her family haven’t been in town for very long. Oh, and for land purposes. But mostly for the land.
Business finally arrives at Bellefleur’s. Arlene receives an unexpected visit from Hoyt and his pretty young thing of a girlfriend, Brigette, played by Ashley Hinshaw. Hoyt’s in town to see his mother one last time, but also to speak with Deputy Stackhouse. Arlene, confused as to why Hoyt doesn’t remember Jason, makes a phone call.
From this, we see that Jason hasn’t caught up to the modern world as far as portable music, as he vacuums while listening to music on a cassette player. He does manage to hear the phone ring, though. Upon learning that Hoyt has arrived, Jason rushes to get dressed.
He arrives at Bellefleur’s not much later. Hoyt isn’t ready to see his mother just yet. Though Jason would prefer as little interaction as possible, Brigette insists that he dine with them.
Dr. Ludwig arrives in a monstrous looking vehicle that she should not be driving. Or own. Why does she have that? Anyway, Sookie takes her to Bill, but let’s spend more time in the past.
We flash back to When Bill Met Caroline. Neither is what the other expected: she expected Bill’s father, but just younger looking. Bill isn’t a fan of the fact that his father described Caroline as comely. As the two feel the eyes of their parents staring into their souls, the two decide to go for a walk.
Back in the present, Dr. Ludwig tells Sookie that the virus would not have transferred from her to Bill as a result of the cut on her arm. She’s seen a similar acceleration rate before, but nothing like Bill’s. When Ludwig learns about Sookie’s particular fae line, she shows herself the door.
Hoyt sees his mother one last time, while Jason can’t keep his eyes off of Brigette. She brings him in to talk with Hoyt for a moment. Hoyt asks Jason about how his mother died, and Jason changes a few facts around: Hoyt’s mother was not, in fact, part of the mob, but one of the good people. Funny how that worked out, isn’t it?
Sookie tries to call on Grandpa Niall Brigant, but she gets nothing but the wind.
But then she finds him in the kitchen, hungry for her spaghetti. Even though there are more pressing things to deal with, Sookie fixes up some food first. I mean, why not? Nothing else is going on right now. Grandpa Brigant isn’t surprised that Dr. Ludwig suddenly didn’t want to help out anymore- dwarves have a fear of fairies, maybe because fairies killed some of them in the past. That could have something to do with it.
Sookie asks that if Grandpa Brigant could see her at all times and knew that she was infecting Bill, why didn’t he stop it? His answer is very simple: he doesn’t like Bill for Sookie. Sookie, however, begins to see very little advantage in having fairy abilities. I mean, she only gets to use the power so often, it may as well be pointless.
Sarah drives to the Light of Day Institute and hears voices of the past, but then sees Jason. He addresses her by her new name, but then tells her that Eric is coming for her, meaning death. She argues with him long enough to suddenly realize that no one else is there.
No one else except the Japanese government, which has now spotted her by using the most advanced form of Google Earth known to man.
Because Sam needs something to do this week, he talks to Arlene about Nicole’s ultimatum. Oh, just forget about her already! He talks of people who rebuild their homes where tragedies once took place. As bad as Bon Temps is, he can’t really see himself leaving. Arlene knows that Sam has run from many places, but Bon Temps is the one place he really considered home. If he left, is it to run from something or to it? Arlene, however, is not happy. She probably never was, but she fakes it. The more she fakes it, the more real it is until happiness feels real. Sort of like this season, really. Her whole life is in Bon Temps, shitty as it is.
Elsewhere, Holly and Andy arrive at the lake house. That took no time at all. The kids aren’t there, but Andy can’t help but admire how peaceful it is compared to home. He blames himself for Adilyn leaving, but Holly consoles him.
As Grandpa Brigant takes Sookie to channel nature’s energy, we get a brief flash back to Caroline giving birth to a young girl. The point of that little trip, Brigant says, was to show that the dream itself was a miracle. Death, forgiveness, they’re all miracles. Sookie thinks this little reunion may have just turned into a way to trick her, but then Brigant gets to the point: not everything can be fixed with magic.
Oh, and Lettie Mae and Lafayette go digging in someone’s yard. Why this scene is just randomly in the episode at this point, I don’t know.
Back at Bellefleur’s, Keith shows up, but for real this time, as he felt Arlene’s pain. Before things can escalate, Arlene tells Keith that she’s Hep-V positive, so they can’t have sex. That’s no problem with Keith. The two can dance instead.
Violet, fresh from her rest, knocks out Wade while cuffing Adilyn to the bed.
This gets Jessica’s attention, so she springs into action.
At the same time, Eric and Pam awaken.
Well, Jessica picked a good time to leave, as Sookie runs to Bill in a white dress and pledges to stay with him until the very end.
Sarah, meanwhile, sees visions of not just Jason, but Steve and Guru Sanbir Dutta as well. Dutta and Steve offer her a choice between Christianity and Buddhism, but she chooses neither. Instead, she chooses herself as the Messiah. Either way, death is still coming.
And so are Bill and Sookie.
With only three episodes left, the stakes should feel higher, but don’t. There’s no sense of buildup or anticipation. What we got with this episode was mostly conversations and characters searching for answers, but being fine with not finding any.
This season has been very uneven. When episodes give us too much too quickly, we’re not allowed to soak in what happens. But when an episode such as this moves so slowly, we get little out of it. I’ve said that less is more, but less shouldn’t equal nothing. Or next to nothing.
One of the overarching themes I noticed with this episode was happiness, or a last shot at it. We don’t know when our end is, so we try to make the most of our time on Earth while we have it. We see characters say and do things just to give others some joy in the face of danger, as Jason does with Hoyt. Sookie talks a lot about believing in miracles, and maybe it’s crazy to believe in such things when you live in places like Bon Temps. Nicole may not entirely be wrong on that account.
Even though Bon Temps is a proven hellhole, that doesn’t mean that the people who live there don’t deserve something that will better their lives, even if, as Arlene mentions, faking it until happiness feels real. When the characters take themselves out of their element, it’s a literal breath of fresh air, as was the case with Holly and Andy. Sure, Bon Temps is all most of these people know, but they aren’t doing much to try and change their situations. They aren’t acting like Bon Temps is all Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows either, but they’ve become complacent, and that is very clear in this episode, as characters just walk from scene to scene with little urgency pushing them. Problems can’t be solved overnight, but show some fight in the face of danger.
Sookie tries to be the optimist this week by believing in miracles. Well, at least that’s something she gives a shit about. However, as much as she’d like to help Bill, she’s able to take time out of her not so busy day to make spaghetti. Seriously, she wants to look for a miracle, but she moved a lot faster when she rushed to have sex with Bill. I appreciate her telling off Grandpa Brigant about the ineffectiveness of fairy powers which, let’s be fair, are almost entirely situational. Sookie being a fairy turns her into even more of a target than she already was.
Oh, and she was in such a hurry to have sex with Bill again. She wanted to remain loyal to Alcide at first, and then she tried to remember Alcide after he died, but now it’s like that doesn’t even matter. If the show was in such a rush in trying to make us forget a character like Alcide, it was pointless to keep him along for so long or even put him in a relationship with Sookie in the first place. And let’s not forget Sookie’s brief moment with Eric when he and Pam arrived back in Bon Temps. The girl needs to make up her mind.
Jason had a moment to be genuine without messing things up, and he did, but ogling Brigette wasn’t necessary. He’s over Violet, but like that, he’s onto another girl that’s with Hoyt. Hopefully this doesn’t sour things between the two of them again. At least he gave Hoyt a final, happy memory of his mother, even if he did muddle the details.
Speaking of Violet, this was another waiting game. Her having sex toys felt right up her alley, but what’s her end goal? It’s as if she wants to be caught. At first, I thought she only wanted to just keep Adilyn and Wade hostage, but in hindsight, now I wonder if she’s trying to draw Jessica to her. If Violet wanted to kill or drain Adilyn, she’d have done it. This also means that Holly and Andy are stuck just playing catch-up.
By the way, what’s up with the random inclusion of Lettie Mae and Lafayette? The scene just randomly appears in the middle of everything else that’s happening and, to be honest, felt like more of a distraction.
Dreams as a result of vampire blood are nothing new for True Blood. Hell, we saw Jason have an erotic fantasy with Eric. So when Arlene’s pool table sex with Keith turned out to be a dream, it did throw me. Again, she’s here this week to drop some wisdom with Sam on faking being happy until it feels real so she’s not just here to sit around at Bellefleur’s. I still attribute this to her near death experience, but she has a point: Bon Temps is an awful place to live, but she’s making the most of it, even if she is Hep-V positive.
Even Pam and Eric are forced to sit around and wait, after starting on a quick note with Eric dispatching of Amber with little hesitation. We’re with them for a few scenes, then the next thing you know, they’ve overslept. I mean, what the hell, show? Don’t take the most entertaining part of this season and reduce them to a long nap.
It’s funny how Sarah has given herself this godlike complex. She has to know she can’t hide forever, but ingesting the cure does still give her an advantage, because it ensures she’ll stay alive just a bit longer.
This episode felt very uninspired. Nothing really happened! We mostly had to wait for things to take place, and the things that did happen weren’t all that interesting. A slower paced episode didn’t feel any more engaging than the faster paced ones. I keep holding out for some great setup, but even that’s becoming a chore. The season as a whole has had trouble finding its footing, and with three episodes left, that’s not a good thing.