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True Blood, Ep. 7.05, “Lost Cause” halts the action for bittersweet character moments

True Blood, Ep. 7.05, “Lost Cause” halts the action for bittersweet character moments

True Blood, Lost Cause, HBO, Lafayette, James

True Blood, Season 7, Episode 5, “Lost Cause”
Written by Craig Chester
Directed by Howard Deutch
Airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO

On this week’s True Blood, Sookie unwittingly throws a house party, Bill reflects on his human life, several relationships shift, and Pam and Eric attend a Republican Convention.

One of the best things this season of True Blood has done is balance the action with retrospective character moments–the past two weeks have featured plenty of bloodshed, so “Lost Cause” fittingly focuses solely on the residents of Bon Temps, human and supernatural alike. The result is an episode that isn’t particularly thrilling but is still satisfying on a deeply emotional level.

Hands down, however, the best monologue of the night goes to Lafayette. Nelsan Ellis has always been a brilliant and heavily underused member of the cast, so it’s always fun to watch him get his due. His small but powerful speech insisting he deserves a little bit of happiness, too–despite being a thoroughly human outcast in a town full of outcasts–is sad but true. Lafayette hasn’t truly been happy since Jesús, and he’s dealt with plenty of lost loved ones since. So what if his newfound happiness comes at the expense of a scorned, neglectful girlfriend? Besides, Jess wastes no time moving on. And Lafayette isn’t the only Bon Temps resident seeking some happiness among so much grief; Andy’s proposal to Holly is short and sweet and lovely. After all, it’s moments like these that make such a crazy show so rewarding to watch.

Meanwhile, Sookie subtly steals the screen with several heartbreaking pockets of grief. Her chat with Arlene is sad, but hopeful (much like the end of last week’s episode, which also features the pair of waitresses) and very human. Anna Paquin does a great job conveying her grief without becoming overbearing, and Carrie Preston is both funny and tragic throughout the episode. Both women are probably going to be okay, but they’ve suffered quite a bit to get there, and it shows in their interactions with each other and the rest of the cast.

Being the last season, Sookie and Bill’s relationship (and the hints that they’re headed toward reconciliation) could easily have been heavy-handed, but “Lost Cause” handles them with grace. Unfortunately, there are several Bill flashbacks thrown in that feel as useless as Eric’s Sylvie flashbacks from several weeks ago. Maybe they’ll eventually serve a purpose, or maybe they’re simply disease-fueled hallucinations, but they still feel out of place. Oh, and True Blood hasn’t lost its ability to shock and surprise, as episode’s end proves. It’s a twist that will undoubtedly play out well moving forward.

Lastly, Tara finally gets the “funeral” she deserves at the wake party, and it’s just on the verge of being too-little, too-late. Oh well. And Sarah Newlin is as ridiculous as ever (“I’m not a monster, I’m a Buddhist!”) but at least she’s entertaining.

Only five more episodes left!

Bonus: The end credits song is “Lost Cause” by Beck.