This season of True Blood introduced two cases of PTSD with the characters Lafayette and Eggs. I wouldn’t call Lafayette’s case subtle, but Eggs’s was much more apparent as the show progressed. I think this may be because Lafayette is a recurring character for multiple seasons, so the show will have more time to deal with his issues; however, I don’t foresee Eggs coming back after this season, and his character in some ways seemed to be defined by his PTSD and relationship to Tara.
Again, spoilers ahead.
Eggs’s PTSD is shown rather well, and we can definitely see how Maryann’s influence is affecting him. However, he never progresses beyond this point because of his death. In many ways his character exists entirely for Tara’s story arc. Normally, in these kinds of situations, it’s the female character who exists for the male character, so it’s a little neat to see this gender reversal. I would hardly call this sexism against men on True Blood’s part, since there are numerous male characters who are well developed, but that still leaves me wanting to get to know Eggs better and see him deal with the long-term consequences of what Maryann did to him.
Eggs is first introduced as someone down on his luck and staying in Maryann’s care. When he initially meets Tara, it’s very clear that they’ll become romantically involved. After watching Tara make a mess out of her relationship with Sam last season, it was nice to see her with someone she got along with better. That said, I still didn’t like Eggs all that much. While it was awesome that Tara was happy with someone, Eggs’s introduction just seemed too convenient for me. And unfortunately, without Tara, Eggs would have no purpose in the story. The role Maryann uses him for could easily have been filled by someone else and the story wouldn’t change all that much.
In season two, Maryann has been controlling Eggs and giving him amnesia. She uses him to murder people, like Miss Jeanette, and cut out their hearts. When Eggs slowly begins to regain his memories, he starts stressing and panicking, worrying that he actually did kill people and afraid because he doesn’t know why he would kill anyone. Eggs comes from a bad place and he made a lot of horrible decisions before ending up in Maryann’s care, so it’s entirely natural for him to start worrying that deep down he’s a truly terrible person. Watching Eggs attempt to come to terms with his memory loss or dealing with being forced to kill another person is the only interesting thing about him—and as I said, this part is shown very well. Due to Maryann, he doesn’t really know who he is anymore and he cannot trust himself.
However, I don’t see why Maryann even needs Eggs to begin with. Also working for her is a shapeshifter named Daphne, and though Maryann cannot control shapeshifters like she can other humans, Daphne is loyal to her. Maryann could have just as easily asked Daphne to murder people for her, and then Eggs truly would have had no purpose in the story other than being Tara’s love interest.
While watching a character struggle with a lack of identity is interesting in itself, I felt as if the story struggled with what it wanted from Eggs’s character. I feel as if Eggs is a character we could have gotten to know more about had he survived the season. Instead, he only ends up as a convenient love interest who gets shoved in a refrigerator for Tara to angst over. Again, it’s really fascinating seeing this happen to a male character, but it’s also really sad, since Eggs had so much potential and such a strong internal conflict.
The other character struggling with PTSD is Lafayette. Lafayette was kidnapped and tortured by Eric for information regarding two missing vampires: Eddie, with whom Lafayette had a relationship in order to get V, and Godric, whom Lafayette ended up knowing nothing about. While in captivity, Lafayette witnessed Eric murder another human by ripping him apart and eating him, and Lafayette ended up being fed upon himself. During an escape attempt, he was also shot in the leg by one of Eric’s human underlings.
Lafayette remains Eric’s captive for weeks before Sookie discovers and rescues him. Once back home, he is noticeably subdued and refuses to talk about what happened. At one point, Andy questions where Lafayette was and accuses him of being part of a crime, going to so far as to threaten to take Lafayette down to the station and lock him up. Upon hearing this, Lafayette begins to panic. It is at this point that it becomes clear that he has PTSD. During this interrogation Terry, another one of Sam’s employees who is a minor character and Andy’s cousin, notices that Lafayette has PTSD, since it’s a condition that he also struggles with after having been a marine.
It’s entirely possible that Lafayette’s PTSD is nowhere near as bad as Eggs’s because Lafayette both has Terry helping him and he doesn’t struggle with a sense of identity because of the trauma. However, his PTSD doesn’t magically go away after this scene; it is something that he continues to struggle with and as the season finale starts drawing near and the plot becomes more intense, Lafayette is in danger of suffering a panic attack at the most inopportune times, such as when Lettie Mae holds a gun to him and he has a flashback of Eric.
Overall, I have to say that I was happy with how the show handles both Lafayette’s and Eggs’s PTSD, even if I wasn’t too happy with some of the characters themselves. Although Eggs
is now dead, I would really love to see more of Lafayette and his struggles next season. Until then.