True Blood, Season 7, Episode 6, “Karma”
Written by Angela Robinson
Directed by Angela Robinson
Airs Sundays at 9pm EST on HBO
On this week’s True Blood, Bill seeks help from his lawyer, Sookie receives a bad diagnosis, Violet leaves Jason, Andy and Holly engage in a pre-marital spat, and a cure for Hep-V surfaces.
The best way to tell when the creators and writers of a show actually have a plan and a structured story path is how well they bring back storylines, or even mere moments of story, from the past and mesh them with current storylines. Several episodes ago, when Sookie was splashed with the blood of several Hep-V vampires, it felt like little more than True Blood engaging in the gross-out gore it’s used since the pilot–but no, it actually had much larger and more heartbreaking reverberations that are just now making themselves known.
And let’s not forget all of “Karma” is centered around Bill finally receiving his comeuppance for turning into a vampire God of sorts and rampaging last season. Actually, several characters’ storylines revolve around their past actions in this episode, and though it’s a little slow (slower than last week’s episode, even), seeing new layers to characters who’ve been around for years on the show makes the barely-existent pace worth it.
Though dealing with a supernatural illness, “Karma” also takes the time to make several moments throughout the episode very mundane. While waiting to meet with his lawyer, Bill is forced to wait with dozens of infected vampires while clutching a number in his hand. Still, several shots of Bill in the waiting room contain a peculiar sort of beauty–particularly the one that frames Bill between two heavily-infected vampires while he sits forlornly in the center. The shot is very ominous and sad and fitting for such a dark season.
“Karma” still has plenty of light moments, especially with the relationship between Holly and Andy’s son and daughter, respectively. Their relationship feels very untainted by the supernatural (despite Adilyn’s fairy blood), as does Holly and Andy’s reactions to the teens’ relationship. Like Bill’s time in a crowded waiting room, the scenes depicting this soon-to-be family feel very mundane and realistic.
Sookie, too, spends a lot of time in the episode dealing with the repercussions of past actions in the guise of a hospital visit (where she sees several humorous stickers and signs that read “Silence=True Death” and “You are the Key to Hep-V Prevention”). Of course Sookie’s diagnosis is sad, but from an emotional standpoint, it makes sense that Sookie would be infected. The correlation between Sookie and Bill’s infection will only serve the story well in the future. This, too, fits into the structured story of the season as it’s built on several tiny and almost insignificant moments from past episodes.
Unfortunately, there’s still a lot about this season that needs cleaned up. The Violet drama feels excessive in such a tightly-wound season–her existence on the show seems long past welcome, especially given how her exit appears to be playing out. And the V trips featuring Tara are seriously confusing (but still lovely). Unlike the Violet situation, Lafayette and Lettie Mae’s hallucinations of Tara seem like they have a more important purpose that has yet to be revealed.
After so many past seasons with storylines that have seemingly-spiraled into a multitude of disconnected directions, it’s reassuring to see the final season is following a map. The payoff at series end will undoubtedly be so much sweeter because of it.
Only four more episodes left!
Bonus: The end credits song is “Karma” by Lady, The Band.