image source TVfanatic.com
Everybody is talking about episode 6 of season 6 as the episode that kills off Terry. Two things: One, after learning before the season even started that a major character was going to die, I’ve been feeling very protective of my favorites. (The following was running through my head all season: please please please don’t let it be Pam, Jason or Lafayette, they wouldn’t dare kill off Sookie, Bill, or goth freaking forbid, Eric, would they? If they kill Eric I will gather all the Truebies I can find and create a violent Waco-style rampage.)
After they set up the cage match between Eric and Pam at the end of episode five, I had a very sinking feeling that Pam was done for.
So the fact that we lost Terry this week came as a relief (that Waco thing was going to involve a lot of effort). If I hadn’t known someone was going to die, I probably would’ve mustered up some grief. I’ve always liked Terry. I didn’t want or expect him to die. But given the choice between Terry and the other characters I listed, fine, take Terry.
Two, the real, oh no they didn’t moment of this episode and probably this whole season up to this point, was the reveal in that creepy vamp camp compound that the government is contaminating the supply of TruBlood with a new strain of Hepatitis known as HepV.
Yikes! From what we’ve seen of HepV through Nora who seems to be Patient Zero, it involves a slow and agonizing wasting death.
image source Gossip on This
Let’s think, what sexually transmitted blood disease targets a minority group and turns the infected people’s bodies against them?
Which means that the show is not too subtly exploring the controversial conspiracy theory that HIV/AIDS could have been a plot to eradicate homosexuals.
Kind of amazing, right?
And I don’t know why this isn’t the ONLY thing people want to talk about from this episode. Because it’s insanely provocative, reckless, and sensational.
If I wanted to go really conspiracy theory on you, I’d say the Terry death and even the references to a Holocaust concentration camp were a misdirection to keep the main focus off of this twist because it’s too frightening/polarizing an issue for a mainstream audience to deal with.
But we are not a mainstream audience, are we? And not the lamentable loss of Terry; the touching gift Andy Bellefleur gave his surviving fairy daughter of a four part name; Jason being forced to watch Jessica degraded in the copulation chamber; the breathlessly hot surrender of Sookie to Warlow; or even the deliciously satisfying moment when Bill ripped off that asshole governor’s head can divert me from the really juicy reveal of HepV.
image source Gossip on This
Before True Blood premiered on HBO in 2008 (there was life before True Blood? I don’t remember those dark days.) series creator and former show runner, Alan Ball, told reporters, “I really don’t look at the vampire as a metaphor for gays. For me, part of the fun of this whole series is that it’s about vampires, so it’s not that serious. However, they do work as a metaphor for gays… for anyone that’s misunderstood. At the same time it’s not a metaphor at all.”
Alan Ball may have been outright lying. I’m sorry, but either he was deliberately obfuscating an agenda by saying there wasn’t one, or he’s somehow been unaware of the number of creative choices that scream vampires are a metaphor for gay people.
From the very beginning of True Blood there have been countless obvious parallels between contemporary gay issues and vampire culture. Off the top of my head, you’ve got “God Hates Fangs” on a church sign in the opening credits of every single episode (um one letter away from fags, a derogatory term for gay men, not a big leap). Vampires talk about coming out of the coffin instead of closet. The vampires have their own nightclubs such as Fangtasia where there’s a pervasive promiscuous hookup culture. Since the rise of HIV, gay men aren’t allowed to donate blood. Similarly, in True Blood, people fear contamination of powerful V.
And now on the show we’ve got the undeniable link between a disease that targets vampires, HepV, and HIV, a disease that in the US has disproportionately claimed gay men.
There’s also a long history of vampires in literature as symbols for homosexuality. Until the recent True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and yes, even Twilight (ick) trend of strong, macho vampires, a lot of the early twentieth century vampire incarnations were very effeminate.
Dracula, Nosferatu, the lesbian vampires of Nightwood, all became more horrific because of their homosexual traits. It was in the way they dressed and moved. And they didn’t want to have intercourse with women. They wanted to suck fluid out of them (oral sex used to be something only depraved people did). They had the ability to infect or turn normal people into vampires (I’m not saying homosexuality is contagious. I’m saying idiots thought/maybe still think it was/is.)
The HepV plotline is risky. It’s controversial. And it’s got me on the edge of my seat.
What do you think? Is the HepV contaminated TruBlood heavy-handed, agenda-pushing, conspiracy hokum? Or daring, brilliant television?
- Dahlia Jane