True Blood, Ep. 7.02, “I Found You,” expertly mixes humor and darkness

True Blood, I Found You, Sookie Stackhouse, Alcide, Anna Paquin

True Blood, I Found You, Sookie Stackhouse, Alcide, Anna Paquin

True Blood, Season 7, Episode 2, “I Found You”
Written by Kate Barnow
Directed by Howard Deutch
Airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO

On this week’s True Blood, Sookie leads an investigation into neighboring town Saint Alice, the Bon Temps townspeople start a mob, Arlene and Holly attempt to escape, and Pam finally finds her maker.

Proving last week’s stellar season opener wasn’t a fluke, “I Found You” is an excellent follow-up episode. Despite the supernatural nature of the show, True Blood‘s final season is unfolding with a heavy dose of realism–the actions and emotions of the characters are right on point, and even the brief touches of humor feel natural and earned among so much horror and dread.

In a move both unsurprising and terrifying, the townspeople of Bon Temps almost immediately form a mob once they find themselves temporarily leaderless. This plot move makes total sense–the townspeople are frightened and very human in a world overrun with supernatural monsters–and it’s only going to pay off well in the future. After all, the threat of danger for Sookie and the others now lies with infected vampires and their own allies. Overall, it’s a simple but very good storytelling move.

Keeping with the premiere’s strong elements of horror, Sookie and Co. spend the episode exploring an utter ghost town. The director makes the choice to dial down the music as the crew drive into town and explore, and the effect is an eerie sense of despair upon the audience. The pit of bodies is both horrifying and sad, but it’s not at all out of place. True Blood‘s pushing the threat of Hep-V vampires hard, and they’re doing a brilliant job.

Though there weren’t as many slow, purely emotional scenes this week, some of the best came out of Saint Alice. When Sam breaks down in the bedroom of a missing child, it’s heartbreaking, especially considering the danger his unborn baby is still in. Who knows if that baby will ever be rescued?

Luckily, this episode offers brief moments of levity among the crushing darkness, mostly thanks to Jason Stackhouse. From the homoerotic cold open to Jason’s pizza forensics, the humor doesn’t feel forced at all, even though it’s tucked between heavy emotional moments. It’s nice to see the show hasn’t lost its touch for quirky humor, and it’s reassuring that the whole season won’t be just death and misery and fear.

The only real weakness of the episode is the flashbacks when Sookie reads a dead girl’s diary. The audience could’ve easily deduced Sookie’s remembrance of her relationship with Bill without the corny shots of her getting dressed and spinning around her room. They felt very unnecessary and downright ridiculous among the episode’s tragic ghost town setting.

Minor weaknesses aside, “I Found You” is still a strong second episode and further proof the writers know what they’re doing with the final season–none of the plotlines feel extraneous, and the characters who are given screen time clearly deserve it. Oh, and as the end proves, the show hasn’t lost it’s touch for shocks and surprises.

Bonus: The end credits song is “I Found You” by Alabama Shakes.

 

Ashley Laggan




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