In the penultimate episode of the season, “Life Matters,” the human-vampire power dynamic shifted back to the vampers favor, as they finally said goodbye to Vamp Camp in very dramatic fashion. While all of Bon Temps gathered at Terry’s funeral, Eric and Bill were busy saving the vampire race from destruction. As the episode restricted itself to those two story lines, we witnessed the contrast between the serene, contemplative scenes at Terry’s funeral, and the gruesome awesomeness that was the escape from Vamp Camp.
There isn’t much to say about Terry’s funeral, except that the writers clearly wanted to pay tribute to his character. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Terry’s death did not warrant this much screen time. Still, there were touching, if not boring, scenes of Andy, Lafayette, Sam, Sookie, and Arlene paying their respects, with flashbacks of Terry and his post-traumatic stress disorder. Terry and Andy’s bigoted grandma makes a few offhand remarks here and there, Big John (one of the cooks at Merlotte’s) sings a beautiful hymn, and Arlene finally comes to peace with the whole situation.
Now, on to the gore! The episode actually begins with Bill and Sookie in the fae realm, where Eric has just drained Warlow. Bill doesn’t care. He wants to use the last of Warlow’s blood to save his friends, and he’s willing to kill Sookie if she stands in his way. Sookie uses her fairy light to blast Bill back to earth, and proceeds to feed Warlow. Before Sookie heads to Terry’s funeral, Warlow asks if she intends to keep her promise of becoming his fairy vampire bride, and she says she will. How great of a twist would it be if Sookie actually went through with this in the next episode?
With a healthy dose of Warlow’s blood in his system, Eric makes his way back to Vamp Camp. His main priority is to avenge Nora’s death, and he’s out for blood. Bill shows up to find the guards outside camp literally ripped in two (or three). Next in Eric’s warpath is one of the human “doctors” at camp, a Mr. Overlark. In perhaps the most cringe-worthy development on True Blood, Eric rips Overlark’s genitals, throws them across the room, and leaves him on the floor to bleed to death. Adding insult to injury, because Bill learned that Overlark may have hurt Jessica, he proceeds to stomp Overlark's face in may have hurt Jessica. Ouch.
While Bill continues his search for Eric in Vamp Camp, Eric makes his way to male and female general population. He releases his peers and encourages them to “go forth and kill the humans,” which they do, but not without a little torture first.
In female gen pop, Eric finds a near-death Jason who, without the protection of Violet, has been massively drained by female vampires. Jason tells Eric that the whole crew — Pam, Tara, Willa, and Jessica — is being held elsewhere. Eric decides to heal Jason, and in a funny exchange, Eric asks him, “Have I ever healed you before?” When Jason says no., Eric replies, “Well, you’re in for a treat. When you dream of me, dream of nice things.” Will do, Eric. Will do.
As Jason leads Eric through the facility they manage to overlook Sarah, who's been hiding out from the ongoing vampire bloodbath. She makes her way to the roof and opens the ceiling, in an attempt to expose our favorite vampires to the sun. To my delight, as the ceiling opens, we find all of the vampires feeding from Bill in order to inherit his day-walking ability, as he lays in a position that mimics Jesus on the cross. Bill decided to end his search for Eric, and instead sacrifice himself for the good of his friends. As happy as I was, I did have to question how Bill got into the room in the first place.
But never mind that, as these were the final few moments for good old Steve Newlin. It’s survival of the fittest, and Steve finds himself unable to get in position to feed from Bill. Eric walks into the room and decides Steve deserves to die instead, considering that Steve has been in the room every time Bill has lost someone he loves (first Godric, then Nora). Steve’s final words before igniting and turning into vampire goo? “I love you Jason Stackhouuuuuuuussse!” Don’t we all?
After consuming Bill’s blood, not only are the vampires sun-proof, but they’re also high. They begin dancing, singing, and trashing the Tru Blood shipments outside camp, with Eric leading the pack. Jason realizes Sarah may be getting away, so he and chases her down. He’s tempted to shoot her dead, but decides he doesn’t want anyone else’s blood on his hands, and lets her go.
Back inside Vamp Camp, Bill appears to be near death. Lilith’s vampire groupies begin to summon Bill, telling him that his time on earth is over. Bill says he’s not going anywhere, and summons Jessica to his side. Jessica and her new love interest, James, decide to feed Bill, hoping that whatever was in his blood is now in theirs, and will bring him back to life. They’re right. Bill joins the rest of the elated vampires outside, and they take the party back to his house.
Well, everybody except Eric. Pam notices her maker is missing from the pack. She turns around and locks eyes with Eric, who seems both hesitant and determined. He came, he saw, he conquered, and now he’s moving on. Pam whispers, “Don’t you dare leave me.” Before we know it, Eric flies away, disappearing to who-knows-where. One more episode left, folks! Which questions do you want to have answered in the finale? Let’s discuss them in the comments!