Considering we got watch Bill explode into a pile of bloody goo, you’d think this episode would rank as one of my favorite True Blood finales to date, but alas, I thought it was an anti-climactic end to an inconsistent season. Don’t get me wrong, I love this show, and a below-average episode of True Blood is still more entertaining than the best episode of most other shows on TV. Unfortunately, the many different threads of this season were just not up to the strong storytelling I’m used to on this show. As much as I thought some of the plot lines would somehow be woven together at the end of the season, it felt more like several different stories happening in the same vicinity rather than multiple arcs being brought together for an epic climax.
Thankfully, at least the core love triangle was reunited in the final minutes. Eric seemed to think that Sookie was the only person who could get through to Bill in his even-more-psychotic-than-usual state, and I seriously thought that was how things were going to go down. Sookie would remind Bill of his humanity and he would snap out of his blood-induced stupor, reverting to his old, boring, floppy-haired self. Obviously that’s not what happened. Instead, Bill rose from his pile of goo (hello, religious symbolism) and bared his extremely long fangs right before the credits rolled. Could Bill be the Big Bad for season 6? I’m really hoping he’s possessed by Lilith, because that would be hilarious. As much as I’ve enjoyed mocking Bill over the past season, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I thought it would be. It’s way more fun to mock him when he’s just average Bill. When he becomes a crazed cult member, it’s just too easy.
Hey, remember that time they brought back one of the best villains in the show’s history, only to have him pretend to be a religious zealot for most of the season before he cut loose, drained a fairy, and then promptly got killed by Eric? That was pretty crazy, huh? But seriously, folks … he’s Russell Freaking Edgington. While he did make the somewhat stale Authority/Cult of Lilith plot line bearable, the writers really could have used Russell better in the final episodes. It just doesn’t seem right that Russell was killed off in the first three minutes of the episode. A villain of his status at least deserved to die in the second half of the finale. It was a shocking moment, though, and a great one for Eric, who finally got to avenge his family.
As much as I want Sookie to be a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to save her every time she gets in trouble, I couldn’t help but swoon when Eric stepped in to help save her and the fairies from Russell. Eric basically carried this season on his back. He had to overcome heartbreak, family problems, a death sentence from the Authority, bowing down to the man who slaughtered his family, and—maybe worst of all—being partnered with Bill for the majority of the season. Poor Eric has really earned a break, or at least a group hug with Pam, Sookie, and—okay, fine—Nora. I did feel a little cheated that all we got for a Pam/Eric reunion was a knowing glance between the two. Who would have thought the more epic Maker/Progeny reunion would be Pam and Tara’s steamy makeout session?
I have to say, despite Jessica hinting at it earlier, I was totally stunned by the Pam/Tara development. I noticed the two had been getting closer, but it seemed like more of a mother/daughter relationship than a romantic one. I guess it just goes to show you there’s plenty of room in TV romance for some mommy issues to go along with all those daddy issues. I’m really happy for the two of them, and I’ll be interested to see how their relationship develops. They’ve definitely been one of the highlights of this season for me.
I was much less pleased with how the season ended for Jason. At the end of “Sunset” when the Elder Fairy zapped Jason (after she mumbled something about banishment to another realm), I really thought his spirit had been transported to another dimension or something, like maybe the fairy version of the DMV, or somewhere else miserable. I was incredibly surprised to see Jason not only alive, but conscious (and in this plane of existence) at the beginning of this episode. Honestly, after seeing how the rest of the finale played out for him, I would have preferred he stayed in a coma until next season.
Jason went from one of my favorite aspects of the season to the bane of my existence in the span of just a few episodes. In the first half of the season it seemed like Jason was really making some progress into accepting his sex addiction and why he is the way he is. (Hooray for character evolution!) Now, I understand the concept of “one step forward two steps back,” but did we really need to step all the way back to Season 2 Jason? I thought he got all his hatred for vampires out of his system, but it’s back with a vengeance (literally) now that he has his angry ghost parents egging him on. Maybe Hoyt can come back from Alaska and tell Jason about how not-fun it is to be part of an anti-vampire hate group. Oh wait, he doesn’t remember that anymore.
Although it rubbed me the wrong way at first, I’ve come to accept the fact that Hoyt needed to be glamoured to forget Jessica and Jason, and that moving to Alaska was the only way he could move on with his life. I liked how they ended that story with Hoyt and Jason and Jessica. I was hoping that would pave the way for Jason and Jess to reunite in the finale, but instead Jason took the advice of his angry ghost parents who convinced him that all vampires deserve to die (which sounded a lot like Bill’s new attitude towards Sookie—that she’s an “abomination”). This was a slap in the face to Hoyt and their friendship. Jessica and Jason’s affair cost them Hoyt’s friendship—not to mention his sanity and sense of self. For Jason to then decide that he can’t love Jessica because she’s a vampire makes it seem like he betrayed his best friend for nothing.
We all know there’s no such thing as a happy couple on True Blood, at least not for long (I’m looking at you, Arlene and Terry), but after the season they’ve had, Jason and Jess at least deserved to have each other’s friendship to lean on. Now not only does Jessica not have a friend in Jason, she also has no Maker, since hers is now, uh, otherwise occupied. Maybe Pam will take her in and she can continue to work on her friendship with Tara.
Another unsatisfying conclusion to a story line I didn’t really care about was Alcide’s fight to reclaim his pack from the psychotic V addict J.D. Alcide and his father followed up last week’s father-son vampire slaying with some manly emotional bonding time over the grill. Jackson talked about what it means to be a good man, which Alcide told him was better shown through actions rather than words. So when it came time to fight J.D., who was practically unbeatable while amped up on V, I thought it would be Jackson who would volunteer to poison himself with V and go up against J.D. to redeem himself and save the pack (most likely dying in the process). But apparently that whole “actions speak louder than words” thing was just a misdirect, because Alcide ended up being the one to do it. So I guess we’re going with the old “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” adage here? Really, True Blood? That’s the way you’re going to resolve this plot line? Wow. Pretty weak, I gotta say. I know he had to do it for the good of the pack, and that in doing so he showed great leadership and selflessness, but the fact that Alcide actually had to resort to V to become pack master just felt like a huge letdown to me, like finding out your favorite athlete took steroids.
Meanwhile, Sam evaded vampire security guards by turning into a fly, and Holly was midwifing Andy’s fairy quadruplets while Lafayette and Jane Bodehouse sipped margaritas and gave a running commentary. That may have been my favorite part of the entire episode. Lafayette and Arlene were the only things that made the Maurella birth scene tolerable. That, and Holly’s surprisingly mature attitude towards the whole thing.
This season had a lot of great moments, and some not-so-good ones. Let’s have a quick review of some of the season’s highs and lows. High: Russell sings karaoke (before slaughtering an entire bridal party). Low: The Ifrit. High: Steve Newlin’s transparent sycophancy and desire to fit in. (“I’m like a tree in the wind—I’m just so happy to be included.”) Low: Lafayette’s visit with Don Bartolo. High: GODRIC!!! Low: Creepy naked Lilith hallucinations. High: Drunk Sookie. Low: Brainwashed Eric. High: Eric and Bill’s epic bromance. Low: Overplayed religious allegory. High: Ample Veronica Mars guest stars. (Tina Majorino, Erica Gimpel, and James Jordan) Low: Obama mask-wearing hate group murders. High: Pam (the flashbacks, the Wal-Mart sweat suit, and everything else). Low: Seriously, who the hell is Warlow? High: Alcide’s abs. Low: Everything else related to the wolf pack. High: Chris Meloni and Barb from Cougar Town (Carolyn Hennesy) as Authority members. Low: Bill’s sex scenes. High: Bill bites the dust. Low: Bill comes back. Naked.
I have a lot of lingering questions, like what was the point of introducing Warlow if he wasn’t even going to make a real appearance? Why is Jason seeing visions of his dead parents? What is Bill now? And for all our sakes, will someone please get him a loincloth? This season was certainly different, at least in the fact that it kept Sookie separated from her two main romantic interests for the majority of the season. That’s not an easy task, and I’m impressed that they were willing to commit to it, even if the resulting story lines weren’t as strong as they usually are on True Blood. I don’t know what the next season will bring, but I hope it involves more of Eric’s abs, less religion, and preferably a lot more karaoke.
Photo Courtesy of HBO