Was this really the finale of True Blood already? Alan Ball loves to end with a cliffhanger, yes, but the finale seemed to have so many cliffs that I didn’t know which one was the best choice from which to hang. Rather than the more climactic episodes like “Hitting the Ground,” “Evil Is Going On” felt almost subdued. Still, there were a few surprises in store.
I thought that there was no way King Russell wouldn’t die at the end of this season’s True Blood, but I was wrong. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a century to see his return, which is a pity given how much Denis O’Hare brought to that challenging, scenery-chewing role. I’m a little dubious that a little silver and a few tons of quick-setting concrete will be enough to hold Russell for even that long, though, so perhaps we’ll see him again sooner than we think.
I was also surprised to find that I’m just as over Bill as Sookie is. I’ve held off all this time on reading the novels, but I find myself hoping that the Bill/Sookie relationship is well and truly at an end. Bill is a controlling, conniving jerk with a sense of humor about as lively as his last meal in most of his interactions with Sookie, and while I think Stephen Moyer’s a terrific actor, I hope he’ll be acting on his own instead of having virtually every scene with the equally terrific Anna Paquin. They’re so much better apart that I have my fingers crossed that they’ll stay that way.
Sookie’s vitriol toward her former friends was both surprising and welcome. Paquin beautifully portrayed a good person turned to evil behavior by anger and pain. Was she cruel to Bill, Eric, and even Russell? Yes, but it was hard not to see that they generally deserved it. What a shame she’ll be losing Tara too, at least for a while. (On a completely shallow note, Tara’s new hair looked amazing.)
Not so surprising: Eric’s safety. If Alan Ball intended a suspenseful scene with a shackled, smoking Eric (literally smoking, that is, not the more metaphorical smoking hotness that Alexander Skarsgard brings to the role) getting a nick-of-time rescue, it didn’t work out that way for me. That doesn’t mean it was a bad scene–on the contrary, finding out that vampires do have some sort of afterlife and that Eric has a conscience are both interesting turns of events–but there was no doubt in my mind that Eric would live to see another night.
So Jason is now saddled with an entire village full of idiots. Or perhaps I should be more politically correct and say “genetically challenged werepanthers with pressing dental care needs.” Regardless, he is willingly accepting this fate and tossing away his dreams of being an officer of the law for the sake of a plain girl whom he’s known for a week or so and who has brought him mostly ass-whuppin’ at the hands of her chromosomally checkered cousins, double-cousins, and brother-uncles.
I guess the bright side to Jason’s story is that it was certainly a surprise. Finding a roach leg in your fast food mashed potatoes is also a surprise. Surprises are not always good. The faster the whole Crystal/werepanther story dies out or mutates into something more interesting, the better. I hope that next season picks up a few months after this one ends in Bon Temps time.
Another story that turned out to be a non-story was Tommy Mickens/Merlotte. Sam shot, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he didn’t shoot to kill. We’ll see Tommy again, and it won’t be on a slab in the parish coroner’s office.
If anyone deserved and got a happy ending, it was Hoyt and Jessica. It’s impossible not to feel a case of the warm fuzzies for the adorable pair, but even their apparent domestic bliss seems to have some friction in the future; I’m sure Hoyt’s dear old mom isn’t just buying that immense gun for duck hunting, and that baby doll on the floor of the happy couple’s new apartment looked downright creepy.
True Blood’s season finale did accomplish the biggest thing a finale’s supposed to do: keep viewers wanting more. It’s funny that a show about creatures of the night so often veers close to daytime drama plot lines, but because of great acting and just enough of a sense of humor about itself, True Blood manages to captivate. I’ll miss Bon Temps until the show returns.