Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgard, Chris Bauer, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Amelia Rose Blaire, Lauren Bowles, Tara Buck, Anna Camp, Nelsan Ellis, Gregg Daniel, Aaron Christian Howles, Noah Matthews, Bailey Noble, Nathan Parsons,  Adina Porter, Carrie Preston, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Deborah Ann Woll, Karolina Wydra, Robert Patrick, Shannon Lucio, Natalie Hall
Writer: Craig Chester, series created by Alan Ball, based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels
Director: Howard Deutsch
Network: HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM
Airdate: July 20, 2013

Stephen Moyer as Bill in TRUE BLOOD "Lost Cause" | © 2014 HBO/John P. Johnson

Stephen Moyer as Bill in TRUE BLOOD "Lost Cause" | © 2014 HBO/John P. Johnson

Given all the grief, loss and bloodshed in the last few episodes of TRUE BLOOD, just about the last thing we’d expect (short of a crossover with THE STRAIN) is a big party at Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) place, but that’s what we get in “Lost Cause,” courtesy of Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), who thinks it’s high time the living and the undead give the finger to death.

Since Sookie just lost Alcide about twenty-four hours earlier, she’s in no mood for a party, but when even Alcide’s father Jackson (Robert Patrick) agrees with Lafayette, Sookie acquiesces. It’s one of those events where all kinds of things happen. Andy (Chris Bauer) first forgives Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), then proposes to Holly (Lauren Bowles), who delightedly accepts. Lafayette winds up having sex with James (Nathan Parsons), Jessica’s vampire boyfriend. Jessica sees them together and is hysterical. When Jason (Ryan Kwanten) goes to talk to her, Jessica admits that maybe she and James aren’t meant for each other; Jason expresses his own doubts about girlfriend Violet (Karolina Wydra) and Jason and Jess get back together. Violet hears them. Uh-oh.

Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) comes to the party and stays sober. She gives a moving speech about her daughter Tara having died a hero. However, since Lettie Mae is convinced Tara is trapped between worlds and that the only way Lettie Mae can see Tara is when she’s high on vampire blood, she stabs Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire). Lafayette hustles his aunt out before she’s able to get any blood.

Bill (Stephen Moyer) spends a lot of time at the party remembering when he was alive, trying to avoid fighting for the Confederate Army – he thought the whole rebellion was a lost cause – and indeed trying to help a black friend/neighbor escape, though the attempt ends in tragedy. He also recalls professing undying love to his wife Caroline (Shannon Lucio). Sookie is genuinely glad to have Bill around and gives him a big hug. Bill leaves the party early, takes a bath when he gets home – and finds he has signs of the fatal Hep-V virus.

Meanwhile, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), who is well aware of his own Hep-V, goes to Willa to apologize for being a neglectful maker. When Willa requests that he release her, he does. Willa tells Eric and Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) that Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) has a vampire sister, Amber (Natalie Hall), in Texas. Amber is only too happy to point Eric and Pam toward Sarah, who has gone to see her parents at a George W. Bush fundraiser for Ted Cruz. The Yakuza come looking for Sarah as well. Fleeing them, Sarah runs smack into Eric, but since the Yakuza are firing indiscriminately, Eric takes out the mob hit men.

If we didn’t already feel sad about the prospect of losing Eric, seeing snark goddess Pam start to well up about it does the trick. Eric’s apology to Willa is touching, even if Willa doesn’t much appreciate it. As for the outfits that Eric and Pam wear to the gala, van Straten is stunning in her sparkly violet gown and Skarsgard fully pulls off the Texan ten-gallon hat look. Tara Buck as loyal, unappreciated human Ginger gets a scene that’s emblematic of the show – she’s very funny at the same time we feel her pain.

As to the party, well, who hasn’t been to a do like this one, with people making up and breaking up in every available corner? Lafayette gets a strong speech about having some needs that no one seems to take into account, delivered wonderfully by Ellis. Kwanten and Woll once again demonstrate great chemistry, and Bauer and Bowles are adorable as can be in their big moment.

As for Sookie, Paquin takes her persuasively through misery, elation and everything in between as the character’s emotions carom around through the evening. She and Moyer have potent feeling between them whenever they’re on screen together.

Bill having Hep-V is another unexpected twist, partly because we don’t know how he got it and partly because it seems a bit much to have both him and Eric dying of a disease. Let’s see where this goes.

“Lost Cause” is warm and humane and humorous, with generous sex and enough gore to let us know what we’re watching. It’s a solid representation of TRUE BLOOD.

Related:TV Review: TRUE BLOOD – Season 7 – “Death is not the End”

Related:TV Review: TRUE BLOOD – Season 7 – “Fire in the Hole”

Related:TV Review: TRUE BLOOD – Season 7 – “I Found You”

Related:TV Review: TRUE BLOOD – Season 7 – “Jesus Gonna Come Here” – Season Premiere

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Article:TV Review: TRUE BLOOD – Season 7 – “Lost Cause”

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