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TRUE BLOOD (HBO)

Screenshot 2014-08-12 01.17.09

Season 7 Episode 8

"Almost Home"

With his prey in sight, Eric reconsiders his end-game strategies against Sarah. Sookie puts her life at risk in hopes of saving Bill. Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) urge Reverend Daniels (Gregg Daniel) to join them in their V-fueled search for Tara (Rutina Wesley). Violet (Karolina Wydra) eyes payback against those who betrayed her, while an old love is reborn for others...[button color="red" size="small" link="http://www.hbo.com/#/true-blood" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button] Screenshot 2014-08-12 01.19.11

Synopsis

Eric, Pam and the Yakuza descend on the former Light of Day Institute. Sarah decides to give herself up, believing that she's The Messiah, and begs Eric to kill her. Not wanting to give Sarah what she wants -- and faced with Pam's threat of suicide if he does -- Eric relinquishes Sarah to Mr. Gus, but not without drinking her healing blood first.

Bill and Sookie lay naked by the fire and reflect on their long and complicated relationship. Bill reveals Queen Sophie-Anne's plans for Sookie and explains why he didn't bring her to the Queen: Sookie reminded him what if felt like to have a human heart. "But the problem was, it was only a memory," he says. "All I had was darkness to give you in return."

Lafayette and Lettie Mae continue to dig holes in the backyard of Tara's childhood home. Lettie Mae appeals to Reverend Daniels, begging him to believe in her. He accepts James' offer of blood, and joins his wife and her nephew on a V-trip. Tara brings them to a childhood birthday party, the event that led to her father walking out and Lettie Mae's subsequent alcoholism. In a drunken rage, Joe Thornton beats his wife for hiding Tara's party from him. He searches in vain for his gun, but it's revealed that Tara stole it and contemplated shooting her father before burying it in the yard. As the Reverend digs up the gun in present day, Tara apologizes to her mother for not pulling the trigger. Mother and daughter make peace, and Tara fades into the night.

Jason sits uncomfortably with Hoyt and Brigette while they go through Maxine's things. An argument ensues after Brigette mentions having children with Hoyt -- something he can't possibly fathom given the current state of affairs. Meanwhile, Jason gets texts from Violet -- pictures of Wade, Adilyn and Jessica bound and gagged in medieval torture contraptions. He leaves with little explanation, but Brigette insists on coming along to get away from Hoyt.

Back at Fangtasia, Eric and Pam learn that Yakonomo Corporation is delaying the release of New Blood, despite having the perfect antidote already synthesized. They discuss wanting a less-than-perfect product in order to keep vampires dependent on their product. With that in mind, they demand that Eric and Pam keep Sarah's existence -- and role in New Blood -- a secret.

Jason arrives at Violet's, where she greets him by throwing him down a flight of stairs. "So you do have the balls to be loyal to at least one woman," she seethes. After binding and gagging him, she throws him into her sex dungeon. Violet explains in detail the brutal ways she plans to torture and kill Wade, Adilyn and Jessica. "All I ever wanted from you, Jason," she screams, "was to live in a world with no wit, no intellect -- a world where you worship me for the perfect creature that I am!" Her tirade is cut short by Hoyt, who shoots her dead with a wooden bullet.

Sookie wakes in Bill's bed to a knock at the door. Eric has come to tell her that he's cured, but the excitement is short-lived once Sookie reveals that Bill has also contracted the disease -- from her, no less. She begs Eric for the cure. With reluctance -- and dawn approaching -- he promises to return to help Bill the following night.

Jason brings Jessica home and they talk about their complicated relationship. They agree that despite all the weird circumstances, their relationship has been the least complicated either of them has ever had. They plan to move forward with "a beautiful friendship" -- without the sex.

Not willing to wait, Sookie follows Eric to Fangtasia. Mr. Gus wants to have her killed, but Eric pretends she's "just another fangbanger" and convinces Gus to let him "glamour" her instead.  Knowing she's in danger, Sookie plays along. But while pretending to be under Eric's spell, she listens in on Mr. Gus's thoughts and learns of "the cure" locked in the bar's basement.

Hoyt finds Jason at Bellefleur's and asks him about Jessica; there's something about her he simply can't shake. Jason reveals that Bill is dying, so Hoyt stops at the Compton place to leave a bag of his clean blood for Bill. Touched by the gesture and his kind words about losing a parent, Jessica finds herself falling in love with Hoyt again.

Sookie goes back to Fangtasia and makes her way back through the tunnel used to rescue Arlene and the others from the H-Vamps. She's shocked to discover Sarah Newlin in the dungeon and unlocks Sarah's memory and learns her blood is the cure. "Even as the cure," Sookie tells her, "you're still the f*ckin' problem. I'm not letting you ruin the life of one more person I love."

Sookie returns to Bill's and tells Jessica that she found a cure -- though "it's a mother**cker to explain." They go and rouse Bill, who is fever-dreaming of his future with Sookie. In his vision, he discovers Sookie cradling and singing to their baby -- but to his horror, the child is nothing but a black void.

Mr. Gus finds Eric and Pam and tells them he has to fly to Dallas but will be back before sunrise. He warns them not do "anything stupid," as his men will watch them closely until he returns. Once alone with Pam, Eric tells her they need to get Sarah's blood to Bill. As they approach Sarah in the basement, Sookie, Jessica and Bill crawl out of the tunnel. But faced with the cure, Bill hesitates, admitting, "I don't want the blood."

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On the next episode... 
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Interview with Karolina Wydra

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HBO Well, that escalated quickly. This episode, "Almost Home," proved that you really don't want to get on Violet's bad side.

Karolina Wydra That's very true. [Laughs.]

HBO Why didn't she just kill Jason and Jessica when she first discovered them cheating? Why did Violet set up this elaborate revenge?

Karolina Wydra I think at first she wanted to give him a chance. That scene in "Karma" -- when he comes home and she's trying to seduce him in a very sweet way -- that was her way of giving him a chance to explain himself. But the final nail in the coffin for Violet is when Jessica calls and Jason leaves to go be with her.

HBO I was wondering if that seduction was a trap or if Violet really would have forgiven him.

Karolina Wydra I think she would have. Violet has a very strong belief system. She's 800-years-old, she's Catholic, and she lives by a very extreme, specific code. Fidelity is something that's very important to her. As she's faithful to Jason, she expects the same thing from him in return. If he would have manned-up and come clean, I think she would have let his infidelity go.

HBO What if he had manned-up in the beginning and just broken it off with her, would she have let him go?

Karolina Wydra [Laughs.] Probably not.

HBO Of all the men Violet could have, why Jason Stackhouse?

Karolina Wydra She's lived a long time and has had many powerful men over the years, and she'd normally never go for someone like Jason. She's been with princes, aristocratic people -- the most powerful men in the world. She's trying something new with Jason.

HBO So she's slumming it.

Karolina Wydra Kind of, yes. You see how she lives in the last few episodes. You see her house and her décor and you get an idea of the kind of woman that she is. Violet is trying to be a part of Jason's world, and she so doesn't fit into that world. What I love about their relationship is that they're such an odd couple but there's still a connection -- there's something there.

HBO In her speech to him, she talks about bringing great men to their knees, compares herself to Cleopatra and Helen of Troy. So why stay with Jason if she could have the most powerful men in the world?

Karolina Wydra I think it's the purity of his soul. He's just a regular dude. She's always had to earn her status, but not with Jason. She's obviously been with incredibly powerful men -- you have to work at that. That doesn't come for free, it comes at a price. With Jason, she gets a simple life.

HBO Do you think that's how she ended up in Bon Temps -- the search for a simple life? She seems a little too cosmopolitan for such a small town.

Karolina Wydra She's giving it a try. I don't believe that she'd be able to stick around for a really long time, but she's trying. Jason made her that perfect, beautiful cubby in his basement, but to maintain that kind of lifestyle for an extended period of time? If things had worked out between them, I could see Violet making Jason move to her palace.

HBO Speaking of her palace, I wish we'd gotten to see more of it, and earlier.

Karolina Wydra The house we used was just mind-blowing. It's this place in Los Angeles' Los Feliz neighborhood that looks cute but normal from the outside, but you walk in and it's like a museum. It's a whole other world. Every room has taxidermy and crazy furniture. It was actually owned by nuns for a long time -- it was a place for runaway pregnant girls back in the day.

HBO It's deeply ironic that it once belonged to nuns, given the events that unfold in there.

Karolina Wydra I know! It's pretty brilliant.

HBO What was your reaction when you read the script for this episode for the first time? It's pretty nuts.

Karolina Wydra Um... [Laughs.] Well, Kate [Barnow, writer on "Almost Home"] warned me: "You're going to have a big monologue; I want Violet to have an epic death. If Violet's got to die, we want to try to make it as epic as possible." You never want to die, though. It's not just about saying goodbye to the show -- in a way it becomes personal!

I really appreciated and loved the monologue that Kate wrote. It gave you an insight into who this woman is. She's going to torture them not just for torture's sake, but to teach them what real revenge is like; you get punished when you cross someone. You really understand where Violet came from and what she had to endure. Kate actually asked me what kind of torture devices we should get, so I went online and looked for Polish torture devices. It was so fun! The chair that Noah [Matthews, who plays Wade Cleary] is in, normally, you would sit on these pointy, metallic things that would break into your skin. The torture devices in those days were just brutal.

HBO I love that you had a hand in some of the set dressing.

Karolina Wydra It was fun, but maybe I had too much fun. [Laughs.]

HBO What's been your favorite part of playing Violet? From misunderstood outsider to villain to Jason's girlfriend -- there's been a lot to this role.

Karolina Wydra For all those reasons you've just named. It's as fun to play a villain and as it is to play Violet's softer, seductress side. Not to mention being a kind of Vanna White: "Welcome to my dildo dungeon. Dildos over there, nipple clamps on the bedside table..." And working with Ryan Kwanten has been such a dream. He's such a free-spirited actor and he comes up with such brilliant things. It's really exciting to work with someone who keeps you on your toes and makes you want to be a better actor.

HBO Violet's survived for 800 years. How do you feel about her getting taken out by Hoyt Fortenberry?

Karolina Wydra I did not want Hoyt to take me out! If anyone was going to take Violet out, I really wanted it to be Jason, but he was tied up at the moment. You can't f*ck with Bon Temps. It's one of those places that's really special, where all of the people get saved. Even Russell Edgington got his!

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