This week's episode of True Blood was exhausting. Presumably because the next episode will be the season finale (already!), the show's writers are scrolling through all the main characters and making sure the stress level is high enough on all story levels to get us really excited for the denouement. Some of the story lines are interesting and original, and some seem, well, less so.
1) The most egregious plot twist: Fantasia's suddenly rebellious exotic dancer/sex toy was a cardiologist in Estonia? What?! This seems like a blatant plot cheat—no back-story, no clear motives for leaving cardiology or for then taking a big risk to help Sookie and Bill—now if she was a hematologist secretly doing research on bloodsuckers, THAT could get interesting. It's unlikely they'll have time to patch this up in the next episode.
2) As one of our lovely commenters noted last week, the effects of V seem strangely flexible (and maybe if our dancer were a hematologist she could study this): V can heal people, and Kitsch uses it like steroids—these two make sense together—but then when Jesus and Lafayette take it they have bizarre autobiographical visions in a completely out-of-body experience. Why isn't Kitsch rolling around on the field dreamily contemplating his great-grandmother's cooking prowess or the mysterious beauty of nature?
3) On the topic of Jesus and Lafayette's V trip (or "time-travel into themselves", which may or may not have taught them truths about their histories): I can't wait to see what is going on with the terrifying Jesus-monster Lafayette saw. This storyline definitely goes into the "original" pile.
4) Not going into the "original" pile: Sam's downward spiral from awesome nice guy to mean-spirited drunk complaining about how people are always taking advantage of his generous nature. As psychological studies go, it is pretty basic—and as plot devices go, it's getting a bit drawn-out (and plain depressing). Since Tara seems to have pulled herself together somewhat, here's hoping she and Sam can help each other become more interesting again (I'm guessing the bedroom scene means they're on their way).
5) Arlene's abortion attempt was well-written and well-acted. Her guilt, fear and indecision came across clearly but the scene wasn't heavy-handed or clichéd (it helps that there probably aren't all that many abortions carried out via the great Mother Goddess). In terms of storyline, it'll be interesting to see what happens with this "strong little critter."
6) Do Eric and Russell really die? I'm not ready to say goodbye to Eric!
7) I am very ready, however, to bid farewell to Mrs. Fortenberry. Why must she pop up again having strategy talks with Summer? Did we need a 30-second clip to fill the remaining time? She'd better not win any ground in the season finale...
And now: what will they leave us hanging on at the end of this season? Another kidnapping? I'm betting on Holly or Jesus having a hand in it, whatever it is...