‘Almost Home’ made quick work of some of this season’s drawn-out storylines. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing since these plot strands failed to register with audiences or capture their imagination, but it was also frustrating. True Blood’s decision to invest this much time in side characters’ stories to eventually just toss these overboard came off as quite pointless and aimless, two words that adequately describe the series’ last run. Regardless: even after the show put an end to some its dull and superfluous story strands, it failed to become any more interesting. Viewers were treated to a lot of “meaningful” (read: uninspired and repetitive) conversations, matchmaking from hell and a very stubborn and annoying Sookie. With only two episodes left, it seems impossible that True Blood will redeem itself and go out in style, which also makes watching the show rather pointless at this stage.
After having speechified like a true dumb villain and having threatened to torture and kill Jessica, Jason and the two teens, Violet was shot by Hoyt, which led to a surprisingly swift and uneventful ending to one of the show’s craziest characters. Ultimately True Blood didn’t have much fun with her demise, but instead just got it over with to put the pieces in place for a genuine partner swap. I’m not kidding: because Hoyt saved everyone, he met Jessica again and, despite the fact she glamored him a couple of seasons back, these two fell in love each other all over again. Fortunately Jason was all A-ok with that: he has fallen for Hoyt’s soon-to-be ex-girlfriend now, which will leave everyone happy in the end. It’s really baffling how flippant True Blood has made his characters. The fact the show knows it, had Hoyt deny it, and then went ahead with it anyway was truly cringe-inducing. It also really lowers the stakes: everyone here is more than fine with people dying around them and these people swap loved ones whenever it’s convenient like it’s a card game.
The other plot strand the show got rid off was the incredibly strange Tara story. Lafayette, Tara’s mom and her husband were somehow transported back to a childhood memory of Tara’s, which led to the fact that Tara and her mom forgave each other. The problem is that True Blood had already had that happen, and that it never explained how exactly Tara stuck around in spirit form. Given how this storyline was wrapped up, nothing about it made any sense, and because of it this plot strand lacked the emotion the writers had intended for it. Its final moments also couldn’t have been more cheesy: Tara faded away, disappeared into the wind, with the trio standing by and smiling. We never saw these characters again this episode, which was probably for the best since the only tantalizing question that remained after their scenes was this one: how is that family doing whose yard is now a complete mess? How are they going to make sense of this?
Lastly there was the “the cure” storyline, which is definitely the best of the bunch, even though that really isn’t saying all that much. Eric, Pam and Yokonomo corp captured Sarah Newlin and when Eric drank from her he was cured. After Noomi’s capture the Japanese tried to dilute the cure in order to keep their customers coming back for new product Nu Blood, a drink that will battle Hep V over a long period of time, earning Yokonomo lots of money in the process. It was a nice little moment of evil corporate action, but other than that the storyline failed to bring anything interesting to the table. When Eric visited Sookie to let her know he was cured and she told him Bill was sick, Eric told her to wait so that he could get some of Noomi’s blood to Bill. Sookie being Sookie of course threw a fit and went in on her own, almost getting Eric and Pam in trouble. Eric talked his way out of this awkward and potentially dangerous situation and later still tried to fulfill his promise to Sookie, but, once again, she took matters into her own hands and broke into Fangtasia’s basement with Bill and Jessica in tow.
While it’s certainly understandable that Sookie is worried for Bill, the way her actions are handled and the manner in which Anna Paquin performs the part makes the character come off as a spoiled child who needs to have her way no matter what. Because of this it gets harder and harder to sympathize with her. Jessica’s action to threaten Sarah Newlin despite how little time Bill had left was also incredibly stupid: it didn’t gel with the character, didn’t add anything to the story and was even a do-over of the episode’s first scene with Noomi and Eric. The cliffhanger didn’t fare much better either: Bill decided not to drink Sarah’s blood, which left us to wonder why the hell he went along with Sookie anyway.
With ‘Almost Home’ True Blood trudged forward toward its finale. Fortunately there are only two episodes left. 3/10