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True Blood – “Lost Cause” Review: A Very Meta Episode

Well, we all know how campy True Blood can be (and this episodes certainly had its moments of camp), but “Lost Cause” was more about upping the meta factor- or at least taking the time to highlight some of the more ridiculous and unfair things that seem to happen with recurring frequency within good old Bon Temps.

“Lost Cause” offered very little in the way of story advancement, save for the continuing adventures of Pam and Eric. While this might normally annoy me (I’m typically all about making sure plots move along at a strong and even pace), considering how often plots have tripped up True Blood in the past, perhaps it’s a good thing they have all but abandoned a season arc for the vast majority of the characters at this point.

I’d be happy to spend the next five episodes watching Lafayette finally find a true love (the whole Jesus storyline was really just an excuse to bring magic into the mix of crazy on the show and less about Lafayette getting a steady boyfriend, so he totally doesn’t count) and Holly and Andy plan a wedding (really, I’d watch Chris Bauer do just about anything on the show, he’s turned into such a strong presence). I’m sure that won’t be the case, particularly in light of the revelation that Bill is now infected with Hep V (which, I’m sure, will lead the series on a rushed drive to find a cure rather than simply have Bill deal with his impending mortality with the same grace Eric has shown), but a girl can hope.

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In terms of the non-Eric/Pam related scenes within “Lost Cause,” the episode’s unquestioned highlight came from Lafayette. After being off the canvass so much over the last few seasons (and underusing Nelsan Ellis should be a chargeable criminal offense), I have to admit that I actually applauded following his incredible speech to Jessica and Jason. Plenty of fans have been clamoring for Lafayette to find someone (and while dream sex scenes between Jason and Eric may titillate and get media coverage, adding such scenes at the expense of your show’s one gay  character is pretty cheap from a story perspective), and I am certainly on board with the way things are going for everyone’s favorite line cook. Now, here’s to hoping he won’t suddenly disappear now that he’s finally gotten himself an interesting storyline.

While Lafayette’s speech certainly hit the meta-nail on the head, Nicole’s meta speech was a bit on the heavy handed side and certainly didn’t resonate. Perhaps it was because she doesn’t hold as much sway within the True Blood universe as Lafayette. After all, she’s really an outsider judging these people. Yes, she does have every right to be traumatized from her experience, but you know what? If the people of Bon Temps want to celebrate life, let ’em. I’m sure once Nicole survives a few more brushes with death (assuming she actually continues to survive), she’ll understand that in Bon Temps, survival is not guaranteed. Until then, she will remain rather annoying.

All in all, I found this to be another enjoyable episode. The one major issue I had was in the Bill flashbacks. Sookie and Bill have been, and are likely to remain, the two most bland characters on the series. Neither one has grown or changed throughout the series. And spending time learning how bland Bill has always been isn’t the best way to utilize the few remaining hours left in the series. It certainly won’t humanize a character that has lacked a personality from day one. With Sookie, her blandness serves to set her apart from the colorful characters that surround her- she is our entry point into the strange world. Bill, on the other hand, is meant to be one of those colorful characters. Over the past six and a half years, Bill’s only managed to register as taupe on the color wheel. It’s hard to care about a character without a personality, and watching what shaped him into the man (or, in Bill’s case, vampire) he is today is an exercise in staving off boredom.

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Final Thoughts

— I may have missed it in past weeks, but several actors from the past appeared in the opening credits for the episode without making an actual appearance- Jim Parrack (Hoyt) and Rutina Wesley (Tara) in particular. It got my hopes up that both might be popping in for a brief appearance, but alas, it was not to be.

— Let me just state this now: If the show somehow devises a cure at the last minute and saves either one of or both Eric and Bill, I will be beyond disappointed. I’m not begging for both to die before the finale, but considering the emphasis this season has placed on death and how it affects those one leaves behind, it would be pretty cheap to give us the chance to watch Eric and presumably Bill prepare for death only to be given a last second reprieve.

— I’m not a shipper, but I’m glad Jessica and Jason hooked-up. Mostly because I can’t stand Violet.

Rating
7.4
Pros
  • Great Lafayette scenes
  • Excellent use of Pam and Eric
Cons
  • Too much bland Bill
  • Unnecessary outburst from Nicole

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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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