No TV show says summer to us more than True Blood, its Southern Gothic atmosphere and pulpy pleasures providing the perfect complement to sweaty evenings spent drinking mint juleps at home after another exhausting day in the hot sun. The show alternately drives us crazy and enthralls us, and its final season is as silly as ever. This week: what the hell?
So here we are. After all these, years, the grand finale to which True Blood has been leading up, all its characters’ battles with foes both supernatural and mundane, fought so they could take their rightful place at Hoyt and Jessica’s wedding… wait, what?
The finale started so well, too, with Eric and Pam jettisoning their yakuza pals and taking the New Blood business model for themselves. Last week’s cliffhanger turned out to be not much of a cliffhanger at all, with Eric also quickly dispatching the assassins sent to take care of Sookie, too. That meant that pretty much everything to be resolved had been resolved, which meant that the remaining 40 minutes or so were dedicated to…
Well, not a lot, really. The love affair between the series’ two protagonists was finally ended, with Sookie staking Bill at his request and being left sitting weeping in a grave, covered with blood and various vampiric viscera. The thing is, Bill’s entire death trip was kinda pointless, given that his stated reason for dying was to let Sookie give away her supernatural powers and lead a normal life. She proved less than keen to do so, however, so all Bill’s death really achieved was to remove him from her life and make all his friends sad.
After the events of the past week, one hesitates to condemn any decision to die — fictional or otherwise — as selfish, but… well, this didn’t really achieve what it set out to do, put it that way. Instead, it meant that pretty much everyone had to assent to Bill’s wishes, as irrational as they might be. Sigh. And we’ll never hear Stephen Moyer say “Sookeh” again.
This now leaves us only with that goddamn wedding to discuss… which, what the hell? The entire return-of-Hoyt plot was unnecessary at best, but as I wrote a couple of weeks back, had it been left at Jessica staring regretfully at him as he drove back to Alaska, the whole thing would have been rather touching. But no. The way this one narrative has developed over the past couple of weeks is like someone said to the writers’ room at the last minute, “Hey, shit, by the way, we need a wedding for the finale!”, and the poor put-upon scribes smashed out this particular wedding before they all went to the pub.
It’s probably not worth going into why the plot made no sense — Hoyt’s entire memory of Jessica has been erased, so why in god’s name would he agree to marry her a day after meeting her? And why would she assent to something so ridiculous when she’s spent most of the past six seasons slowly asserting her independence? And how does an immortal vampire marry a human anyway? And… oh, god, forget it.
The epilogue felt hurried and gratuitous, too — Sookie apparently gets pregnant to, um, some dude, Jason has a bazillion kids with Hoyt’s Alaska girlfriend, who was introduced to the show all of two weeks ago, and everyone apparently lives happily ever after. It’s left, as ever, to Eric and Pam to salvage some measure of watchability, this time with an amusingly camp promo video for their lucrative new business venture. Sarah Newlin, meanwhile, ends up chained in the basement of Fangtasia in perpetuity, a ghastly fate that apparently doesn’t prevent her from washing her hair and doing her make-up.
And that’s it. This is how the show ends — not with a bang, but with a whimper. And still, I’ll miss True Blood, with its silly southern accents and its gloriously gratuitous sex scenes and its general air of endearing absurdity. It was clear several years ago that the show was never quite going to live up to its early promise — in retrospect, its first season was its best, and it’s kinda striking re-watching those episodes now to see how much darker and more compelling a place Bon Temps was in its early days. The series has long since lost that air, replacing it with increasing levels of camp and silliness, which can only sustain a show for so long.
One thing it’s never been, though, is overly sentimental, which only made the finale more disappointing. It was definitely True Blood‘s time to meet the true death — but Christ, it deserved to go out in a better way than this. Eric ‘n’ Pam spin-off, anyone?