‘True Blood’ 3.12 Recap: “Sometimes the Right Thing to Do Is the Wrong Thing”

Due to my recent vacation, I’m a little behind in my TV watching and recapping. Upon returning home, one of the first things that Mrs. Z and I did was catch up with ‘True Blood’. Immediately after watching the final episode, she turned to me and said, “This show hasn’t quite gotten the hang of season finales yet.” I have to agree. The first season ended well enough overall, but tacked on a rather pointless cliffhanger at the end. Then Season 2 had that notoriously anti-climactic finale with a solid half hour of nothing noteworthy happening. Now we have this season’s very underwhelming ‘Evil Is Going On’. Despite being written by series creator Alan Ball, the episode seems to meander and drag on until finally just sort of stopping without any discernable climax point.

First off, did anyone actually believe that Eric was actually going to die after the end of the last episode? No, no one believed that. At all. Of course Eric wasn’t going to be killed off. He’s too important and charismatic a character.

Sure enough, the finale episode opens with Eric and Russell still sizzling in the parking lot under the burning sun. Eric has a vision where Godric appears to him like Jesus (the Christian Jesus, not the Hispanic character from this show) preaching love and forgiveness. Inside Fangtasia, Bill revives Sookie (who is super pissed at him for turning her over to Russell, despite his explanations). She immediately heads outside to drag Eric back indoors. She uses her special fairy powers to break the handcuffs, and leaves Russell out to fry. After she gives Eric some of her blood to heal him up, he asks her to save Russell too. Some arguing follows, but she eventually does it.

By this point, Russell is blackened to a crisp. He’s conscious, but weak and powerless. One of his fangs has fallen out, and the other is barely still dangling. They chain him up to a stripper pole and leave him like that for the majority of the episode. His predicament is actually one of the most fun parts of the finale.

When the rest of the vampires go to ground for the day, Sookie is left to keep watch on Russell. He tries to bribe her into letting him go. He offers $5 million, and to kill Bill and/or Eric (whichever she wants). She plays along, then asks him why he continues to carry around his urn with Talbot’s remains in it. Sookie soon figures out that he was hoping that her fairy blood would somehow allow him to revive Talbot. In a moment of very un-Sookie-like behavior, she dumps Talbot’s gore down a garbage disposal and cackles with glee at Russell’s anguish. In fact, a lot of Sookie’s behavior lately seems out of character for her, especially her turn-on-a-dime hatred of Bill.

In other news, Sam decides to tell Tara that he’s a shape shifter. She gets very upset at how everyone in her life is turning out to be a supernatural freak, and how she believes this is ruining her life. She leaves him and goes to see her mother, who she discovers is having an affair with the reverend. That just makes Tara sad. Eventually, she decides to cut her hair (which makes her look like a ‘Cosby Show’ era Lisa Bonet), get out of town, and start a new life. I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve seen of her, of course.

With the DEA about to raid Hotshot, Jason and Crystal go to tip off the were-panther folk. Crystal’s father orders his minions to destroy whatever V they have left and hide the meth. From out of nowhere, V-crazy Felton kills him, then starts ordering people around. Crystal agrees to go off with him somewhere, and leaves Jason in charge of her people. Honestly, as I write this out, I realize just how little this storyline makes any sense.

Lafayette continues to have scary V flashbacks that leave him worried that he’s schizophrenic like his mother. Jesus manages to calm him down by revealing that he’s a witch. Uhh, OK…

Sam discovers that Tommy has broken into his safe and stolen all his money. Sam manages to track Tommy down in the woods and confronts him with a gun. In what looks like a return of the dark Sam from his flashback storyline, he appears to shoot Tommy in cold blood. But the scene is staged so that we can’t actually see what he shoots, so I’m sure he didn’t actually kill his brother.

All right, now back to Fangtasia. Alcide shows up and has a few words with Sookie. Then Eric and Bill use him to drag Russell out to a construction site. He makes Eric promise that this will settle up his debts so that he can be done with vampires. Alcide really has next to nothing to do this episode. His appearance was clearly only tacked on to give the character closure.

Russell has vowed that if they send him to the true death, he’ll find some way to come back and punish them all. Because Eric is still having visions of Godric, this seems like it might be a valid concern. Eric decides instead to toss Russell down into a building foundation and bury him in cement, where he’ll be trapped for at least 100 years, left to shrivel up to nothing and be driven mad by his misery. This is a very fitting, ironic end to the character. After Alcide leaves, Bill then tricks Eric and throws him in the cement as well. Shocker! He takes Eric’s cell phone and (pretending to be Eric) calls someone named Ruben and orders him to find and kill Pam.

This would actually be a fairly decent twist ending and cliffhanger for the finale. Unfortunately, it happens about 40 minutes into the episode. Later, Bill goes to Sookie’s house and explains that – even if she is no longer in love with him – he has vowed to protect her by killing everyone who has ever tasted her blood.

Well, then Eric shows up at Sookie’s door, covered in a little bit of cement but looking nonplussed. (Pam had rescued him after killing Ruben.) Eric informs Sookie that Bill was assigned to romance her by Queen Sophie-Anne, that their whole relationship has been a sham, and that Bill had arranged for the Rattray’s to attack her way back in the series premiere. Bill protests that his love for her is genuine, but by this point Sookie is so pissed that he just banishes all vampires from her house. All of this would have been much better served to take place in next season’s premiere rather than tacked on as an extended dénouement to the finale.

And the episode still isn’t even over. Next, Sophie-Anne visits Bill’s house dressed in widow’s garb. She expects that Bill will offer Sookie up to her, but Bill reveals that it’s a trap and he intends to kill her. Sophie-Anne reminds him that she’s twice his age, then they have an ultra-cheesy face-off where they both fly into the air and hiss at one another. End scene.

Finally – yes, really, finally! – Sookie goes to her grandmother’s grave and is visited by Claudine and the fairies. They all vanish together in a big poof of light.

After the episode, Alan Ball promised that Season 4 will feature witches (is this supposed to be exciting?), more new supernaturals, and lots of vampire politics.

I don’t know. I still think that Season 3 was very strong overall. Most of the episodes really went for broke. But the season sure did (once again) end with a disappointing whimper.


  1. JoeRo

    – Sam and Tommy …tbc
    – Jason and Crystal/Hotshot …tbc
    – Sookie and the fairies…tbc
    – Lafayette and Jesus being witches …tbc
    – Russel not dead …tbc
    – Bill vs. Sophie Anne …tbc
    – Tara driving off …tbc
    – Arlene’s evil baby … tbc
    – Jessica and Hoyt are together at last!!

    Those are all storylines that could’ve easily been given some sort of concrete ending in this episode, but instead we get the “tune in next week” treatment. No conflicts are resolved and no questions are answered. I actually only think one storyline was handled correctly in the finale, and that’s the Hoyt/Jessica relationship. I love that it’s been established that they’re back together, and we know that the bumps in the road for them have not ended. That’s the kind of development that belongs in a season finale. I’m looking forward to season four right now basically because of that. Everything else, just sort of sucks.

    And lastly, it’s high time that the show just gets it over with. Kill Bill!

    • Josh Zyber

      Buffy really set the template for how this should be done: Establish a season-long story arc with a planned beginning, middle, and end. Wrap up all the major plot threads in the finale, and then begin again with a new story arc the following season.

      For some reason, Alan Ball doesn’t seem to be thinking in those terms. He’s treated finales and premieres as arbitrary stopping and starting points – just more episodes along the way.

      While I liked most of the episodes in this season a lot, the season as a whole was not very well structured. Frankly, I was shocked after the previous episode to learn that the finale would be next.

      I don’t remember Six Feet Under having this problem. Then again, perhaps that show just lent itself to looser story structure.

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