Partway through the series finale of ‘True Blood’, Pam asks Eric, “Are you just winging it or do you have a plan here?” I’d like to ask the same of the show’s writers. After seven years, is this really how they think fans want to see the series end? Did they at no point ever consider building the season toward a memorable conclusion?
Like most of this last season, the finale episode (called ‘Thank You’, though I might substitute one of those words for something less polite) has little sense of narrative purpose. The season’s ongoing storyline about the evil Yakuza gangsters is wrapped up very early on when Eric and Pam easily kill them all and set Mr. Gus on fire. And that’s simply the end of that. If these guys were really so easy to dispatch, why did it take so long to do it? Eric had plenty of opportunity in previous episodes.
The rest of the finale is devoted to a series of anticlimactic wrap-up scenes to say goodbye to the characters, centered around that lamest of TV tropes – the Wedding Episode. Yes, from out of nowhere and despite (as far as he remembers) only knowing her for a single day, Hoyt proposes to Jessica, and they rush to get married that same day so that Bill can walk her down the aisle before he dies. I might have found it amusing if his timer had run out early and he’d exploded in a puddle of goo all over her wedding dress before they get to the altar, but no such luck.
Andy officiates at the ceremony, which takes place in the middle of the day. Although a point is made that the wedding happens indoors and away from the sun, the show’s writers seem to have forgotten that vampires get very sick if they stay awake during the daytime.
Unable to legally leave his house and property to Jessica, Bill finds a loophole when he remembers that Andy is his oldest living blood relative. Andy will inherit the house, which he will rent to Jessica and Hoyt for the sum of $1 a year.
With that done, Bill asks Sookie to use the last of her fairy light to kill him, thus bringing finality to their relationship and letting her become a normal human. Sookie gives this some thought and decides that she’d rather stay a fairy, even for all the trouble it has brought her. However, she has come to terms with Bill’s desire to die and agrees to kill him the old-fashioned way. They dig up his gravesite and Bill lies in his formerly-empty coffin. Sookie straddles him, they say their goodbyes, and she stakes him in the heart with a broken shovel. The scene ends with Sookie covered in a disgusting blood bukake. (If you don’t know what that word means, I will not be held responsible if you Google it at someplace inappropriate.)
We then jump forward three years to an amusing scene of Eric and Pam filming an infomercial for “New Blood,” their Hep-V treatment (but diluted so as not to be a cure) which has made them both super-rich. Meanwhile, they continue to keep Sarah Newlin chained in the basement of Fangtasia, where they pimp her out for $100,000 per minute to wealthy vampires who want a definitive cure.
Later that same year, a very pregnant Sookie holds a Thanksgiving feast where we learn that Jason and Brigette are still together and have a bunch of kids. Sam and his girlfriend (wife now?) Nicole also visit with a couple kids of their own. Sookie appears to be happy, though her baby-daddy is only shown from the back of the head. (The show’s producer explains why that’s the case in this interview.)
And that’s it. R.I.P. ‘True Blood’.
This show has long had a problem with weak season finale episodes, and I honestly didn’t expect much from this one. If nothing else, it attempts to offer legitimate closure for most of the surviving characters and has some good character moments. (The episode has a lot of heart-to-heart conversations.) In that respect, it certainly could have been a lot worse had it left the characters hanging or ended with some stupid last-minute twist.
Regardless, the finale is ultimately quite underwhelming and, like most of this last season, feels half-baked. It’s symptomatic of a show that ran out of fresh ideas or fun things to do long ago, and has been coasting on viewer attachment to its characters for the past several years.
At least it’s done now, so we can put it behind us and move onto the next thing.