'True Blood' Recap S6 E9 'Life Matters': Where Did Eric Northman Go?

Bill, Jessica and friends day-walk after he saves them on True Blood

True Blood, season 6, episode 9, titled “Life Matters,” is split between two storylines: Bill and Eric’s separate raids on the Vamp Camp to save their friends from extinction, and the tender farewell to Terry Bellefleur during his military funeral. While the latter storyline is a satisfying end for the Terry character as his friends tell stories of how they met, the former, more violent tale (with several grisly scenes involving Dr. Overlark) ends with more questions, the main one being, where did Eric Northman go?

True Blood's "Life Matters” opens with Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Bill (Stephen Moyer) in the now-darkened Cemefaerie, where Warlow (Rob Kazinsky) has been nearly drained by Eric (Alexander Skarsgård). Eric needed faerie blood to save his progeny, Pam, and wanted to harm Warlow to avenge his sister Nora’s (Lucy Griffiths) death. Sookie no longer cares about the deal she made with Bill (he would spare Warlow’s life is she convinced Warlow to provide Bill with faerie blood), and tells Bill to find Eric and get the blood he took from Warlow. Bill threatens Sookie, so she zaps him out of faerie-land. After that, Bill heads to Vamp Camp, and Sookie attends the funeral of Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe).

The Marine Corps ceremony arranged by Terry’s family winds up being a lovely affair, even for his widow, Arlene (Carrie Preston), who initially thought a military funeral represented everything that Terry was not. Told in flashback, Terry’s cousin Sheriff Andy (Chris Bauer), Sam (Sam Trammell), and a sharp dressed Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) each reveal how they helped Terry (who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome) through his re-entry into the community. Sookie (who is comforted at the funeral by Alcide) takes a turn speaking about Terry, tells the assembled mourners that she’s a telepath, and then reveals that she read Terry’s mind when he was a new employee at Merlotte’s. She tells Arlene, "He loved you the second you walked into his life." A friend named “Big John” sings a song called “Life Matters” in tribute to Terry. When all was said and done, it was a fitting, gentle send-off to a beloved character.

As far as well-deserved send-offs go, the bloody fate of Hepatitis-V creator Dr. Overlark (John Fleck) at the hands of Eric is one for the ages. Eric day-walks into Vamp Camp, tears apart a group of guards, and then enters the prison and confronts the Doctor. Once there, he rips off the doctor’s genitals, tosses them aside, and then goes to look for his progeny while the doc bleeds out. Bill arrives to Vamp Camp looking for Eric, and finds Overlark, who begs Bill to kill him. When Bill asks if he’s ever hurt his progeny Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), the doctor says “yes,” so Bill stomps his face in.

Meanwhile, Eric releases all the imprisoned vampires and tells them to kill humans. He also finds Jason (Ryan Kwanten), who is weak from vampire Violet (Karolina Wydra) feeding on him. Eric heals Jason and enlists him to find Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten). Instead, they happen onto Pam’s psychiatrist (Pruitt Taylor Vince), who gloats about having sex with Pam. Eric is furious, but not as angry as Pam is going to be that her doctor is bragging about it.

In their hunt to find Pam, Jason and Eric run right by Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) who has hidden herself in a pile of bloody doctors. Bill is also there searching for Jessica and her friends, and puts into motion his plan to save them from their death that he saw in a vision. Sarah Newlin runs to the roof of the building with the circular room and cranks open the ceiling, expecting that when she exposes the imprisoned vampires to sunlight, they’ll be burned alive. Instead, she witnesses a roomful of vampires feeding on Bill – outstretched as if he’s being crucified – and drinking the faerie blood that saves them from the sun’s rays. The only vamp not allowed to feed is Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) – Eric enters the room and keeps Steve from Bill. Before he burns to a crisp, Newlin shouts “I love you… Jason Stackhouse,” then goes up in a puff of smoke and a pile of goo.

Jason runs out to find and kill Sarah Newlin – telling her that he’s been told by Jesus to do the dirty deed – but in the end he can’t pull the trigger and lets her go. For a moment it looks as if Bill might die when Lilith’s sirens come for him, but Jessica and her new boyfriend James (Luke Grimes) heal him, and a regenerated Bill joins the vampires he saved in a joyful, drunken day-walk. Pam feels Eric’s presence and spies him in the distance, waving. She tells him, “Don’t you dare leave me,” but he rockets upwards – to where, we have no idea.

True Blood season 6, episode 9 "Life Matters" leaves us with questions. Where did Eric Northman go? Will Sookie and Warlow stay together, or is she headed into a relationship with Alcide? How will Sheriff Andy deal with Jessica and the fact that she killed his daughters? What are the implications of tainted Tru-Blood making its way into circulation (including the hijacked truck in Hawaii)? Is there going to be a global Hep-V epidemic?


Next week on the True Blood Season 6 finale titled “Radioactive” (season 6, episode 10), “Bill discovers the price of salvation; Jason senses a vampire attraction; Sookie examines her future with Warlow; a new crisis threatens the humans and vampires of Bon Temps.”

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True Blood airs on Sundays 9/8c on HBO

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Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2013