Mon
Aug 27 2012 1:00pm

That Train Has Sailed. True Blood Finale: “Save Yourself”

That Train Has Sailed. A recap of True Blood season 5 finale: Save Yourself

Bad, True Blood, bad!

Now go sit in the corner for a year and think about what you've done.

The season finale of True Blood was so full of awesome, evil cliffhanger goodness, it wasn't until after the end credits rolled that I realized we were kind of cheated out of some closure. Everything and nothing happened, especially to some of our favorite characters.

 

SOOKIE AND JASON

So her biggest enemy, Russell, is goo and so is her first love, kind of. All in all, Sookie made out pretty well this last episode. She wasn't kidnapped by Warlow, against all logic of a typical True Blood finale. Now she'll be running from two enemies and her closest platonic connections continue to have deep rifts. She's as alone as she started out this season. Her best friend is a vampire and her brother has adopted a completely different, nihilistic, misguided worldview. Sookie and Tara can mend things, I think, but Jason... well, the writers don't know what to do with him. So now he's all right-wing and stuff, hardly any different from Hoyt before him. This is a distressing change for one of the show's most endearing, loyal characters.

 

JESSICA

Aw. After all of that, Jason rejected her. Jessica's been one of the most consistently good parts of the show. I predict she's going to remain as such and not take the news of Bill's very final transformation sitting down. 

 

ERIC

He's certainly changed from the smug vampire we first met many moons ago. Eric's the good guy now, can you believe it? He's been looking out for others all season. Well, except for Pam. I enjoyed him explaining to Nora that Tara and Pam were family. Encountering Godric that last time certainly made him appreciate what he's got, but I still would've preferred to see a heart-to-heart between him and his not-so-silent partner of the past few centuries. Pam's only been worrying sick over him all season. Maybe next year they'll get their moment.

Oh, yeah, there was also that little moment where he killed RUSSELL EDGINGTON. Damn. I'm glad Eric finally got his revenge, but I'll miss the charismatic baddie. That was too hasty an exit.

 

PAM

While Eric may have been too busy for a really satisfying reunion, at least Tara was happy to see her. Very happy. I had the exact same reaction to Tara and Pam's kiss as Sookie. “Oh. Okay.” Jessica can say she saw it coming all she wants, but I really didn't. It's a bit... creepy, isn't it? A relationship between a maker and its progeny? We haven't seen a pairing like that before. Correct me if I'm wrong. Yet, aside from Bilith, I'm excited to see Tara and Pam happy. For them, I mean. You can't tell their happy faces from their mad faces. They've instantly skyrocketed to becoming my favorite couple on the show.

 

SAM AND LUNA

This would be the second-best couple on the show. I like Luna now that she's not being a psycho girlfriend. I loved her and Sam's plan to rescue Emma, especially Sam's brilliantly disgusting end-game. This show loves its naked, blood-soaked people. What happened to the trio once they were reunited? Is Luna alive? Not a very dramatic close when we've already seen this “Did Luna survive?” cliffhanger like seven episodes ago. Big meh.

 

ALCIDE

Bigger meh. Okay, he finally took charge of a pack. And his dad, the original, liquid metal T-1000, Robert Patrick, survived the hour, too. Congrats are in order, but, really, I can only hope this human-supernatural war heats up so the wolves have something to do next year. The quick death of General Bad Motherfucker last week was the second most wasteful death since Roman.

 

LAFAYETTE

Heyyyyy, sassy minority character does nothing but be sassy. Hope he doesn't get stuck with any wacky fairy babysitter shenanigans next season. I should be thankful that he's not being tortured.

 

BILITH

Wow, so I guess Bill really did drink the red Kool-Aid. I'm kind of glad Sookie wasn't able to snap him out of his madness through sheer pluck because that would've been a redemption too corny to stand. How cool was it to see him come back from goo in the style of T-1000? But now we have to adjust to a True Blood where Bill is next season's Big Bad. That's probably the only major development to look forward to next year. (What? Does anyone care about Andy's fairy quadruplets?)

Pam, Tara, Eric, Nora (against all that is right in the world,) Jason, Sookie, Luna, Sam, and Emma are all still in the Authority headquarters and I feel kind of miffed. The last few episodes were a lot of fun, but the first plodding half of the season casts a long, lame shadow. Granted, I enjoyed the time it took to build up Tara and Jason as reinvented characters, to get a glimpse into Pam's past, to see Sookie be single. But the Authority meetings slowed the show down to a crawl. Christopher Meloni was a huge waste of talent. Everything before his death was just wheel-spinning. I wish Roman bit it in the season premiere and Bilith appeared about five episodes ago.

The big cliffhanger felt more arbitrary than in years past. Of course I'm going to come back next summer to see what, if anything, can be done about Bill. Lilith's blood was only dangerous if drank, right? So what power does Bilith have? Is he even corporeal? He must be if Eric and Sookie saw him. Does Bilith recycle? Yeah, I'll definitely need to come back next season.

And with Bilith and the promise of future nudity warning to come, True Blood season five is a wrap. What did you think of the big picture? Where do we go from here?

After back-to-back seasons of Game of Thrones and True Blood, HBO is abandoning all things fantastical for the next few months. Big thanks to all of the regular commenters who have made lemonade from plot-lemons (smoke monsters) and provided some insightful theories and crazily accurate predictions. A round of imaginary Cajun margaritas all around, y'all. See you next year!


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com. She covers True Blood, Game of Thrones, and is also an avid gamer. She has also covered tech and TV for Geektress.com and Action Flick Chick. Follower her on Twitter @tdelucci

20 comments
Cur
1. Cur
Missing from your review is adequate appreciation for the hilarious sight of Big Bad King Vampire Authority Bill zipping around the room trying to catch a fly while the guards just stare dumbfounded.

Almost as funny was Nora flipping out over fairy blood. A lot of people don't seem to like her that much, but I'm looking forward to more hyperactive womanchild shenanigans next season.
Theresa DeLucci
2. theresa_delucci
That was pretty funny, as were the hilarious bad FX on Nora throwing stakes at those guards. So much red goo last night!
Cur
3. Iamme
First, I couldn't have been more wrong about the season finale if I tried! Ah well ... so much for my predictions.

You've summed up pretty well my feelings regarding this episode. I'm disappointed Bill didn't kick it. Is he now a living, breathing supervamp or a vampGod-like entity akin to Lillith? Will he be enlisting other wayward vamps straddling the line between mainstreaming and human feastfest? Seriously, where does his character go from here?

Andy and the babies - That storyline almost seemed a dream sequence. What the hell is Andy supposed to do with four - yes four - babies?? Must admit Holly's comment "You're a dick", was aprepo to say the least.

All in all, I thought it a lackluster season ender. That said, I'll still tune in for next season.

Thanks Theresa for your comical as well as insightful TB episodes caps. I enjoy your style of writing and hopefully I'll see you next season.
Cur
4. Gardner Dozois
Hey, I'm feeling pretty smug about my prediction ratio. As I guessed, Russell was killed, Sam escaped by turning into a fly, Eric tried to talk Bill out of drinking all of Lilith's blood, Bill drank it anyway, and turned into some kind of super-vampire who's going to be next season's Big Bad. Pretty good. Someone else on last week's thread even predicted that Sam would kill a vampire (although they thought it would be Bill) by getting them to swallow him as a fly and then turning back to human form inside them, blowing them to bits. (When you think about it, although they've often portrayed Sam as nearly helpless, he ought to be one of the most formidible characters on the show, able to turn himself into a two-thousand-pound bull or a cobra as well as pulling off his Swallowed Fly Technique.)

It's too bad they killed Russell off. I was hoping that they'd banish him to some fairie limbo instead, an equivilant of the Phantom Zone, which they could always recall him from if necesary. (DID Eric stake him, or was he exploded by all the Fairie Light he absorbed and which you see beginning to shine out of him and break him up before he explodes?) I don't like the new cynical, hardassed Jason (who Sees Dead People), and hope they reinstate the old one soon; I have a feeling that his relationship with Jessica isn't over, no matter what he says. (At least the New Jason isn't any brighter than the old one--"That train has sailed.") They have no idea what to do with Lafyette anymore, although the actor is trying as hard as he can. Hope they give him a more substantial storyline next season.

The humans STILL didn't do anything to strike back or even defend themselves, with the exception of Jason. No government action at all, in spite of General Badass. Wimpy humans.

My first thought about Pam/Tara was, That's it, Tara, fuck your mother.

Anybody have any idea why Eric and Nora were pulling all that money out of the wall?

No appearance by Warlow this season, which somewhat surprises me, since they were setting him up to be next season's Big Bad. Did they change their minds and decide to go with Bill as the Big Bad instead? Sometimes the sudden swoops and reversals this show makes, with whole major storylines abruptly dropped, is disconcerting, although this season wasn't as bad that way as last season.

The whole finale seemed a bit rushed, somehow, as though they needed another episode to work things out right, but ran out of time. Although I enjoyed this season much more than last season, the whole season seemed a bit rushed in some ways. They killed off Roman too fast, without really doing anything substantial with him. They killed off Russell too fast, without really having him fight it out with any of the other major characters. They even killed off new character General Badass too fast. Surely we could have used more time with Roman and Russell and less time with the endless Vampire Council meetings.

Two silliest things this season, in a season full of silly things: the Elder Fairie dancing absurdly around while uttering her gnomic words of wisdom (thank God they killed HER off early!), and Sam and Luna getting up out of bed the next day, rolling around on the floor and having fistfights, in spite of having been shot through the body with high-powered rifles the evening before.

Still, all in all, better than last season, although not quite as good as the First and Third Seasons. I'll definitely tune in next year. Let's hope they can hold up, and maybe even do a better job, without Alan Ball.
Cur
5. Iamme
I assumed Eric and Nora pulling money out of the concrete wall was to hightail it out of Bon Temps if necessary and set up shop somewhere else. Which, when you think about it, was kinda odd as both were heading to AVL headquarters for a fight that likely would result in their deaths.

As most vamp/progeny relationships are sexually based, no surprise for me with the Tara/Pam hookup although they seemed more motherish/childish-like, akin to Bill with Jessica so I get the incestuous vibe.

@Gardner: I wholly agree with the rushed viewpoint as well as the waste of Roman and Russell storylines.
Cur
6. Iamme
I almost forgot - Highlight of the episode, at least for me, was Eric leaning in the truck window and asking Jason if they were there yet. (Took me back to many a car trip to see Grandma when I was a child.) I laughed so damned hard.
Theresa DeLucci
7. theresa_delucci
I remember before the season began, HBO ran these wicked promos featuring Roman in robes getting ready to feed on a human, all scary n' stuff. Yeah. Never happened. He wasn't even a Sanguinista. So much hype over such a wasted role.

Was anyone kind of glad when we thought Bill was dead? I was really believing they were going to go there for a second and kind of admired the balls of it.

I'm really going to miss Russell. I wish he was banished to some fairy limbo. Why get rid of one of the best characters on the show? There's always ways for a gleefully homicidal maniac to grow. At least he's not in danger of becoming a de-fanged shadow of his former self. (See: Spike in the "But he's got a soul now!" later days of Buffy. He got cool again on Angel.)

I'm glad Eric remains one of my favorite characters. He's just all-around pretty awesome and adorable. Especially in that playful, dickish way, whether he's teasing Sookie or snapping necks. He looked sad to lose his old frenemy.
Cur
8. Cur
Here's what I'm really wondering about Eric, though: is his killing Russell really okay? He spared his life because Godric's Ghost told him to forgive him, then Godric's Ghost was disappointed in him for not giving him peace. Eric forgave Russell in the Authority, but it didn't really seem sincere. In this episode Eric's all about honoring Godric, but his figuring out a way to kill Russell was really kind of a cheat.
Cur
9. Gardner Dozois
Yes, Roman was wasted in a peculiar, afterthought way, as if they'd originally had a different storyline in mind for him but changed their minds, the way they abruptly dropped the Fairie War or the methhead werepanther or the Jason-turning-into-a-werepanther subplots last season, after they'd already invested a lot of time in setting them up to clearly go somewhere else other than where they actually ended up.

Killing Russell was a mistake, especially as they could have so easily have gotten rid of him for awhile in a way that wouldn't have ruled out his return, which is what the Fairie Elder said she was going to do with him in the first place, send him to some kind of Fairie limbo. (I'm still not sure, watching the episode for a second time, if Eric actually staked him or if was absorbing all that Fairie Light that did him in; his face was starting to break up, with Fairie Light leaking out of it, before he exploded.)

Yes, I thought for a moment that they might have actually gotten rid of Bill, thus clearing the decks for Warlow to be the Big Bad next season, but I wasn't too surprised by what happened as soon as the blood pool began to bubble, although I thought that what would rise out of it was the old Lilith, not Lilith with a sex change, or Billith. Since the Beaker 'O Blood has been sitting around there for thousands of years, you have to wonder why Lilith didn't make this happen a long time ago. Why did she wait until now?

I must admit that I was a little surprised that Eric was willing to risk his life on a desperate venture into the Authority headquarters in an attempt to save Bill; I didn't think he and Bill were really all that close--would have almost been more in character for him to shrug and write Bill off. I thought that he was going to go back in there in an attempt to save PAM, which would have made more emotional sense to me; instead, rescuing Pam seems to have been only an afterthought, with rescuing Bill his main priority. Hard to belive that Sookie would go along with the plan in any case, with both her and the vampires having been totally alienated from each other ("Fuck Sookie.") from the beginning of the season; she doesn't owe Pam THAT much.
Cur
10. Gardner Dozois
And yes, Nora flying around throwing stakes may have been the worst wirework I've ever seen, so bad it was actually funny.
Thomas Jørgensen
11. Lavode
Erik was packing up the cash because there is a vampire/human war coming - The factories are still craters, the general is still dead, Erik didnt glamour anyone and newborn vampires are running wild all over the place. Which means fangtasia is going to get firebombed, and Erik plans to grab his "family" and bloody well hide until the war is over. I.. am having considerable trouble thinking of a credible way to for the show to not have thís war happen, particularily with Luna adding her little broadcast to the fire.

I am happy they killed Russell, and even somewhat satisfied with the way he went, though I think it would have worked better if they had made it clearer to the audience that it was a trap. - keeping a charismatic villain on past his sell-by date is a good way to ruin a show.

Something is up with Jason: He is out of his mind, and no way, no how should he be able to kill 12 vampires *wearing body armor* with wood bullets. That is not skill or luck - that is magic.
Pritpaul Bains
12. Kickpuncher
IIRC, Bill and his maker had the whole sexual progeny/maker relationship going prior to Pam/Tara, and Jess intended to turn Jason (or toyed with the idea) with the intention of them getting back together, so it seems like a generally accepted thing in the mythos.

Also, nice to see Stabbing Westward make a re-appearance.
Cur
13. Gardner Dozois
Something clearly IS up with Jason, and I think it's going to turn out that his "parents" are evil spirits or demons possessing him and trying to turn him evil rather than the actual ghosts of his parents. I think they just forgot about the body armor, though. After all, Eric and Nora killed a whole roomful of people wearing body armor using wooden stakes (although you could argue that they at least have super-strength).

If wooden bullets are actually that effective, I think it bodes ill for the vampire side of the human/vampire war that I suspect is coming next season, even before (or if) they trot out the "new weapons you can't even dream of."

@Cur--yes, I wondered about that too, after the fact. Russell was still alive in the first place because Ghost Godric (a concept which still boggles my mind--not only the ghost of a vampire, but the ghost of a vampire that can then be KILLED) urged Eric NOT to kill him (for some reason still not entirely clear), preaching a doctrine of forgiveness and foreswearing vengence that would help Eric "evolve" in some cosmic sense so that he could become a Good Vampire Ghost too), but Eric seems to have fallen off that particular wagon. Maybe because Ghost Godric is now "dead", he feels released to seek vengence again (so Ghost Godric was wrong about the whole cosmic scheme of things?), although it was Lilith that "killed" Godric, not Russell.
José Schenkel
14. Joosche
Tara needs high heels, please! Too damn short for Pam. By the way, thank God she become a vampire. It should have happened 3 seasons ago.

So Jessica fucked up Hoyt because of Jason, then she get tired of him and suddenly want him back? Baby vamp! But she is cute.

I would hate have been born in a pack of wolves... even with alcide as leader.

Did Sam passed at least one episode without being naked?

Why Lafayete was tortured for? Much better the way he was presented in the last 3 episodes.

Bill sucked the hole season. Eric is not Eric and Sookie was totally forgettable.

I will watch next season just to see all the naked and gore things.
Ashe Armstrong
15. AsheSaoirse
It took me like 3 hours to watch because it was so boring. But Sam gets badass of the season, and I'm still kind of annoyed that Russell's gone. I think I'm just going to watch via tumblr gifs next year.
Cur
16. Petar Belic
@ Gardner
And yes, Nora flying around throwing stakes may have been the worst wirework I've ever seen, so bad it was actually funny.
Clearly you don't need to watch more cheap Asian cinema like I do. Bad wirework looks worse than this. Although for a show with a budget like True Blood I am surprised at how bad it was. Working with 'talent' can sometimes be the issue as well!

My favourite moment of the whole season was LaLa's cocktails. It was like the calm in the eye of the cyclone. Now I feel like one...
Cur
17. sofrina
kickpuncher is correct. bill and lorena were our first - and most torrid - example of maker/progeny love affair. many episodes show us they're macabre, none greater than "hard-hearted hannah." and most recently was the one where we find out why erik turned pam.
Cur
18. ASfandancer
@Cur and @Gardner, in season three what Godric told Eric is that in death Russell would find peace and forgiveness, and Eric wanted Russell to suffer so he decided not to kill him. Eric killed Russell in the finale this season because he sensed Sookie's fear and came to rescue her which he accomplished. I don't think he was thinking of a way to kill Russell as much as saving Sookie, it was definitely not a cheat.

My thoughts on Bill being next season's Big Bad, I still think early in the season Bill will redeem himself and Sookie being such a doormat where he is concerned will go running back to him. I'm sure Bill will be the one to save Sookie from Warlow.
A Byss
19. Abyss
I think they foreshadowed next season's solution to Billith with Alicide's gf trying to sweat out the V with the silver whatever they injected her with.

I did enjoy Bill taking out his competition, especially the way he utterly played Salami. Despite a lot of meaningless wandering for him this season, i look forward to Billith next season. The character could benefit from chewing scenery and getting his evil on.

Sorry to see Russel Edgington bite it. He was by far the best part about this season and i desperately hope the Rev reclaims that photo of them with Emma and looks at it lovingly at least six times next season.

That entire sequence in Merlotte's was a waste of my life, with the sole exception of the line 'Try to ensure at least half of them live to adulthood.'.

Sam's fly-vamphead-ker-splode thing was pure awesome.

All in all i give this season six wooden bullets of a possible ten. Too many plotlines were pointless (Lafayette's powers went nowhere, Sookie's are whatever), annoying (the whole Ifrit thing, Andy, oh look another vamp is interested in Sookie how novel), needless drawn out (Jaso/Hoyt/Jessica, Alcide) but i did enjoy the Vamp politicking, the slow build to Billith, Tara's transformation, virtually all of the Eric & Bill buddy show and all things Roman and Edgington.
Cur
20. Gerald Fnord
Maybe I'm not remembering it properly, I got the impression that Eric and Nora were (as others have said) grabbing that money because they were going to get the hell out of Dodge until Eric learned that Pam was in trouble.

No appreciation for Patty Bethune's turn as Jane Bodehouse? I though it relaxed and funny, in fact I liked the whole (note spelling) Merlotte's scene as a relief from end-of-season-oh-shit-we-need-to-handle-this action.

Nora's rapid-fire stake-throwing was nicely cheesy, and about as believable as anything else in that scene...intentional self-parody?

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