True Blood: They Don't Know What "Karma" Means

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Pardon me as I wax spiritually about my brief years as a Buddhist...

Karma is a bit more complicated than people think. You see someone scream at a supermarket cashier and then he or she slips on the way out the door and wipes out? Karma, baby!

No, it's not. Karma is the accumulation of the actions of this life as they affect the next. What you're thinking of is poetic justice, and that's a whole different set of gods.

The theme of this week's episode of True Blood is that of reaping what you sow, but what the characters reap is actually a bitterly misplaced harvest. Sookie finds out that she is Hep-V positive, and that drinking her blood is killing Bill Compton at an accelerated rate. Jason's indiscretions with Jessica come to light and Violet begins a strange and weird revenge. Lafayette and Lettie Mae try and reach Tara on the other side of life through V, and cost Lettie Mae her marriage. Oh, and some teenagers fuck and are probably going to be murdered as a result.

I have a question...since when did True Blood take its whole premise of vampires as a metaphor for alternative sexuality hard right into ridiculous puritanical religious judgement? Seriously, this episode should be called "Everything That's Not Vanilla Gives You AIDS Ben Carson 2016." I have no idea what the hell was going on, but the message is clear: everyone who has strayed from heteronormative copulation within the confines of marriage is going to die.

With all due respect, what the fuck? HBO, have you lost your cotton-picking mind? This is our subtext now? And you top it all off with the Sarah Palin stand-in becoming the fount of forgiveness through her blood? Christ, you even had Lafayette and Lettie Mae drink from wounds in James' (Nice...the name of one of Jesus' Posse o' 12) palms to go on a spirit quest. This whole enterprise smacks of repacked religious sentiments, and has the caloric worth of a box of Zebra Cakes.

In positive news...kudos to HBO for a pretty accurate portrayal of liver-failure symptoms in the Hep V population, and apparently we're just going to sweep aside most of the show's original characters to make room for the ending in Dead Ever After. No complaints here, but isn't it a little late in the game to worry about what the books say?

The song this week come from Lady over her self-titled 2013 album. "Karma" is some really weak juice, though I will admit it's used with Tarantino-esque grace in the finale. Apparently Lady had turned in the rap shoes of her youth and is trying to be the next Lauryn Hill. Good aim, as long as you're shooting for the first album that is.

It's not that "Karma" is a bad song, but man it's the Lucy of soul lyrics. It even quotes that "when you point there are three fingers pointing back at you" trope. Quick bit of advice; if your lyrics sound like the advice of a grammar school teacher then ditch them.

It is pretty, though, and does compliment the last scene nicely. It's just a shame that both the episode and the song have no damned idea what they are talking about.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.


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