Mon
Aug 19 2013 12:30pm
True Blood Season 6, Ep. 10: “Radioactive”

Half wrap-up and half reboot, the sixth season finale of True Blood went out in traditional cliffhanger style—leaving at least one person scratching her head and wondering if she has the fortitude to endure another season of True Blood. Current showrunner Brian Buckner has teased that there will be one major story connecting all of the characters in Bon Temps instead of this year’s disparate mess of sidelined werewolves and go-nowhere activists. So at least there’s that. The show’s been a mixed bag for several seasons, but there are always glimmers of hope, like fairy midichlorians in a puddle of dead vampire goo.

It’s going to take all of the adult content, nudity, and stunt casting in Louisiana to keep True Blood from crossing the line between soapy guilty pleasure viewing into full-blown crap. And I’m not just talking about that tired final fade to end credits.

Or New York Times bestselling debut author William Compton. WAT.

SOOKIE

Welp, Warlow turned out to be the psycho creep everyone thought he was from the moment he was introduced as the psycho creep who murdered Sookie’s parents and returned to forcefully claim his fairy princess bride. “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal, Warlow!” you think, right before thinking “I DVR’ed Breaking Bad and Dexter for this shit?!” I mean, he even paraphrased Walter White’s infamous “I’m the one who knocks” speech when he asked Sookie “Who do you think you’re talking to?”

I was mega-disappointed in this part of the finale, in case you couldn’t tell. All season, we watched Sookie “Dangerwhore” Stackhouse wrestle with her independence, her destiny, and self-acceptance. And in the end, she was slapped around and tied to a maypole and even said “You monster!” Worst of all, she was saved at the eleventh hour by her ex. And Jason. And (yay!) Niall, who just showed up in the portal in Sookie’s bathroom at the exact right time. (Oh, the sentences this show gets me to type.) I take it she went there on purpose? Or was it just a coincidence? No one knew where Niall was for half the year. I wanted Rutger Hauer to return, but a little more explanation would’ve been nice. But when do people talk about anything important on this show? For example: when Sookie was reunited with Jason, did they talk about Niall? No. Did Jason wonder why Sookie was dressed for a funeral? No. What about Sookie’s impending wedding? Pfft. Let’s just make a joke about Violet being European.

Six months later... and Sookie is with Alcide and his haircut, clearly feeling all the feels for the reformed Bill. Will we get a new bizarre love triangle going? I’ve always maintained that Sookie was best with Bill, like Buffy was with Angel. Both were idealized loves, but if Sookie and Bill get back together after all of that bad blood, it just might mature into something real. And poor sap Alcide will be free to return to...wherever lone wolfs hang out and drink beer.

JASON

Looking for love and stability in all the wrong places, Jason’s new flame is definitely showing her true, possessive colors. His heart doesn’t seem to be into the relationship, but he’s still caught up in the intense physical chemistry between him and Violet. Or, more like, he’s in love with the idea of Violet.

Six months later... Jason’s got a really strong jaw and really blue balls. And I feel cheated we didn’t get to see any sexy Jason n’ Eric dreams.

BILL

So, it’s okay to like Bill again, right? All of his God-posturing disproportionate to his tepid Billith powers and his supreme assholery towards humans is forgiven because Jessica reminded him that without his humanity, of which Sookie has always symbolized for him, his life is meaningless. I’ll buy it. I liked Bill again in this episode. The tying up of this season’s loose ends were rushed—talk about the dizzying editing in that final Bill vs. Warlow showdown—but the reboot of Bill was almost worth it. Almost. The end of Warlow and the end of Bill’s godhood were really, really, really anticlimactic.

Six months later... Bill becomes a New York Times bestselling author. Okay, as a publishing professional, let’s not even get into the EPIC LULZ of Bill becoming a bestselling author within six months’ time. (Did he write the book in a day? Did he self-publish through Amazon? That villain! Is this a subtle clue that Bon Temps slipped into an alternate reality where a debut author can get the distribution needed to hit the list without any publisher support? Who blurbed Bill’s book? Did Neil Gaiman tweet about it a zillion times?) Okay, no, I can’t stop laughing.

SAM

Six months later... Sam sold Merlotte’s to Arlene and is the mayor of Bon Temps? What?! What insanity is this? This actually made me yell at the TV. Jumps in time can be utilized well in order to heighten suspense and mystery. Think of Lost’s flashforwards. Or how time jumps are used on Breaking Bad. A lot of fans were pissed off by the “One Year Later” on Battlestar Galactica, but I thought it was great. I didn’t want to see a season of boring things like housing being built and Viper patrols without Cylon battles. So we skipped all of that in favor of being there when the shit finally hit the fan. But the “Six Months Later” on True Blood? Lazy. A shortcut. It’s a way to reboot the show, but it’s not without making viewers feel distrustful. It’s not enough time to even justify a “how we got here” flashback episode. It’s just... “Oh, hey, we know we wrote ourselves into a mess so just forget all that and here’s what’s next.”

Roving packs of zombie vampires. That’s what’s next.

Heaven help us.

TARA

Is Tara—as she herself would put it—fucking crazy? Trusting her terrible no good mother to feed her? I am about 99% sure Tara’s mom is infected with Hep V and dosed her sinner undead lesbian daughter on purpose. I do not like the idea of Tara being victimized yet again, especially after a season of being mostly invisible.

JESSICA

One of the more interesting initiatives of the Merlotte administration was the idea that every human should have a symbiotic, monogamous relationship with a vampire protector. Way out of left field, but I do like the idea of vampires and humans being forced to come together. There are some interesting possibilities here: such as, why wouldn’t Tara’s first choice of human be Lafayette?! Whoever gets to protect Lafayette is super lucky. But, anyways, Jessica showing up on Andy’s doorstep looking to make some kind of amends and protect the family she helped literally tear apart was nice. Like Bill, this is the vampire I loved. It will take a lot to convince Andy she’s truly trying to be a good person, but I look forward to these two very different characters interacting more next season.

ERIC

Nude sunbathing in the Alps might seem like a cool idea, but not if you know that the daywalking properties of Bill’s blood won’t last forever. Did Eric know this? Was it self-immolation?

Eric can’t be dead. He just can’t. Until I see a pile of ashes, I refuse to shed even one tear for him. Pam saves him. She has to. What’s True Blood without Eric? And kudos to Alexander Skarsgard for going out while all out. See? What’s so scary about a little full frontal male nudity? And not gross, depressing male prisoner nudity like on Game of Thrones or, hell, even last week’s True Blood when we saw a man’s genitals ripped off.

 

Next season: Again: roving packs of vampire zombies. Make of that what you will. A lot of people told me online and off that they’d never watch True Blood after this season. I’m still on the fence. This was definitely a lesser season finale. But I do enjoy talking about the show, so thanks to all of the regular commenters. Will you be watching next year?


Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com, covering True Blood, Game of Thrones, and gaming news. Follow her on Twitter @tdelucci

21 comments
Christopher Hatton
1. Xopher
I think it's too bad they didn't actually show the shark they jumped with this episode.

Crrrap! Terrible. Awful. Almost makes me want Billith back.

Stupid to turn Warlow into a nice guy, then back into a creep. One too many twists on that. It felt tacked on, like they couldn't work out a contract with the actor at the last minute or something.

I doubt Eric is dead. They aren't shy about showing piles of goo or ashes when a character is dead. Of course this could just be contract leverage (or insurance) vs. Alexander Skarsgård.

I agree about Tara, too. I keep waiting for someone to kill that godsawful mother of hers. If Lettie Mae HAS deliberately (or incompetently) infected Tara, I hope they give her to the zombie vampires.

I actually yelled "WHAAAAAAT?!?!?" at the TV when Bill had a book out, much less on the BS list, in only six months. Even if he wrote it instantly...

And in six months no one hunted down Sarah Newlin and dismembered her? Come on.

Will I watch next season? If Eric is alive. Maybe.

ETA: there was no nudity when the evil doctor's genitals were torn off. Just blood. And it was well deserved; in fact I was furious that Bill gave him a quick death instead of letting him bleed out as Eric intended. I suppose that was so both Bill and Eric could kill him.
emmyloo03
2. emmyloo03
I won't lie, I was disappointed with the finale. Warlow's death in Sook's bathroom with Niall coming back through was great but I felt the writers stumbled with trying to get to that scene in so few episodes. And then flash forward and she's dating Alcide!?!?! They've never given them a real courtship (in my mind). First he was with Debbie, then he wasn't, then he was, then Debbie went nuts and mostly killed Tara, then they didn't interact for like a season and all of a sudden, after his wolf pack bitches kicked his ass, he's at Terry's funeral? I must have missed a step somewhere in there. (very likely, I seem to have the memory of a goldfish for plotlines in this show)

If Erik is dead, then this show is for me too. Course I said that about Jimmy on Boardwalk Empire, and for like every character on GOT, but those character deaths always fit into a grander scheme. They died to further the story, not because they happened to be sunbathing nude on a Swedish glacier. (not mad about the peen. Seems only fair after having to see Sook's tits all the time :) haha)

I went into watching this season more than a little reserved, as you often do when they change showrunners; its too bad they couldn't get Moffat to take over here too, but then everyone would have died by midseason! I will watch next year, but I definitely feel like the show I loved once is gone. Frowny face.
Love your recaps, BTW!
Pritpaul Bains
3. Kickpuncher
I'll probably suffer through the remaining season or two of TB just because of the investment made in it to this point, but this show really has just completely lost it.

Also, insta-switching Warlow from decent guy to evil out of nowhere was just flat-out lazy writing. Sorry.
emmyloo03
4. Jason427
Reasons why I'm done with "True Blood" after watching the season finale: (CAUTION! SPOILERS)

1) Writers who decide "You know what? Forget continuity and consistency. I'm just gonna wrap up some story arcs in a way that completely contradicts all of the previous episodes in this season, and in some cases the entire series, because I'm too lazy and I just don't want to follow that arc anymore... oh yeah, I'm also gonna justify some new story arcs that don't make sense by using the ole 'it's now 6 months later' lame ass storytelling device."

2) Billith fizzled out like a bad fart. I am retroactively bored with the whole Lilith/Authority storyline because, a la LOST, it went absolutely flippin NOWHERE!

3) Warlo going evil at the 11th hour after everything that happened so far in the season is the literary equivalent of Gandalf saying "Screw it! Give me the ring! I want to make all of you my love slaves!!" on page 492 of "The Return of the King"

4) I haven't given a shit about the drama between Tara and her mom for a while now because that storyline is dead. Even if the writers want to bring her mom back to the forefront, wrapping up their issues (which included psychotic episodes and both verbal and physical abuse over a long period of time) in one 5 minute scene is lamer than the remake of 21 Jump Street.

5) It's already been established, via Nora, that Hep-V will kill a vampire pretty darn quick, so roaming bands of infected pillaging vampires? ... Nope, sorry, not buying it. ... Trying to capitalize on the success of The Walking Dead perhaps? Who knows. In a word, LAME.

6) I didn't think it was possible for me to ever grow tired of Eric. I was wrong. I honestly don't care if he's alive or not and the scene in the swedish alps didn't help.

7) Speaking of Eric, what the hell happened to him and Sookie?! I mean, at least their relationship made some sense, albeit Sookie does go thru relationships like junkies go thru crack, but come on! She hates Bill because he goes all authority Lilith crazy, and gets with Eric because he's actually looking out for her, then falls for Warlo because she learns he saved her life and he's a fairy just like her, but then he turns evil at the last second, passes up Bill whose now normal again, and 6 months later, she's with Alcide. WTF?! Girl needs some serious relationship therapy.

8 ) Last one is not lame, and really totally believable after everything Sam's been thru and following the death of our beloved Terry, but Merlott's is now Bellefleur's Bar and Grill??! I hate this more than I hate what they did with "Terra Nova", which had a great premise.. and that's a lot of hate.

9) Can someone please tell Bravo to start a new Dr. Drew reality series with Bill Compton, Eric, Edward Cullen from Twilight, Stephen Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries, and Louie from Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles? Then they can all get together and compare hair products and which one is the best brooder. Lame. Lame. LAME!

OK, breathe... alright... I'm done.
Christopher Hatton
5. Xopher
Kickpuncher:
Also, insta-switching Warlow from decent guy to evil out of nowhere was just flat-out lazy writing. Sorry.
Hear, hear. No apology for THAT opinion.

Also, much of what Jason427 said. But:
5) It's already been established, via Nora, that Hep-V will kill a vampire pretty darn quick, so roaming bands of infected pillaging vampires? ... Nope, sorry, not buying it.
People keep saying this, but Nora was
a) injected with
b) a large quantity of
c) concentrated Hep-V.

The others
a) drank (slower absorbtion, lots killed in stomach*)
b) small quantities in each TruBlood bottle which
c) were diluted with TruBlood.

Nora's demise of Hep-V was highly accelerated for those reasons. She got the fast-forward version of the process that's going to kill all the infected vamps; instead of dying in a matter of hours, they'll take months. I did not find this at all implausible.

*if vamps even have stomach acid, which granted is not a given
emmyloo03
6. sookie
what about sarah is she dead
Theresa DeLucci
7. theresa_delucci
@1 We definitely got a shot of bloody testicles lying on the floor in last week's episode. That totally counts.

@2 I like what you said re: Alcide. Before his foray into inexplicable power trip territory this season, he was just a regular Joe. Definitely one of the most well-adjusted people on this show, with a good heart. At the risk of sounding like an aging mom, I just want him to settle down with a nice girl. Sookie is not a nice girl. She's a manipulative moron. I think that's maybe Alcide's type. He seems drawn to the damaged. Maybe out of some sense of thinking he can rescue them.

It would've been nice to see a real courtship. Sookie and Alcide make as much sense as Jason and Violet. It's just being with someone to not be alone. (Granted I'm judging on about 5 minutes of time in "Six Months Later" land.)

I can't say I'm enough of a Moffat fan to know whether he'd be good at True Blood. From what I hear, he's got some serious issues writing women and True Blood has too many main female characters to really mess them up further.

Speaking of Niall: Where was he in Bon Temps' future? I didn't see his crazy hair in church or at the barbecue. Think we'll get any closure with him?

PS: Thanks!

@4 Eric is such a vital part of the show. I do think Bill and Sookie work best together, but I did like her with Eric and I didn't think their story was fully done.

I found the changing symptoms of Hep-V to be pretty disconcerting, too, but now I think I agree with Xopher and we're supposed to assume it mutated when it was out in the world. Maybe if we saw more of that effect in the prison, where vamps were being fed a diluted version of the disease, it would've helped.

Either way: I'm pretty damn ambivalent about Walking Dead vampires. But I'm more intrigued by the storytelling potential of the Human-Vamp Buddy System. That's got a lot of weird areas to think about. Vampire feeding seems very sexual and intimate to me. So, Tara biting her Mom was squick-inducing. I don't know why Tara feeding from Lala doesn't provoke the same gut reaction. Maybe it should. Or it's just that Lala is so not interested in women, it wouldn't seem like a big deal to either of them. Not being polyamorous, I'd take pause before inviting a third party into my relationship. Feeding doesn't have to be sexual of course, but it's an emotional bond, too. So Bill and Sam's "brilliant" plan seems less so when you think about the details.

Remember season one's Eddie? Poor vamp just wanted to stay home and watch Heroes (shudder. The only show I've ever ragequit in review-form - funny to re-read it and see I list True Blood as my #1 favorite show of that TV season.) What good would he be in a fight? Not all vamps are flying martial artists. So how does that help their human charges?
emmyloo03
8. Gardner Dozois
I will watch next season, but I won't be expecting much. All of the objections you pointed out are perfectly valid, and scream "lazy writing, lazy writing!" About the best thing you can say about this season is that it was fast-moving and entertaining, which means that there are worse ways you can waste an hour of your life on Sunday night, so I'll probably watch next season--but, my God, this season made not a lick of sense whatsoever from the beginning to the end. The standards of TRUE BLOOD for plot logic were never terribly high anyway, but THIS season makes the early seasons look like tightly-plotted masterpieces.

Wouldn't Violet be dead by now, if she's been drinking from Jason all this time, since he was clearly infected with Hep V? (I don't much like Violet or her relationship with Jason--for Christ's sake, he's been going down on you three times a night for six months, give the boy a break and let him get some!) Wouldn't all the vampires from the camp who'd been drinking the True Blood be dead by now? It took something like a day or two for Nora to die.

You're right, it was intensely annoying that these people never talk to each other. Sookie didn't ask Jason where he'd been or what happened to him? She never asked what had happened to Niall? She never told him that she'd just been to Terry's funeral? She never told him that she was about to go off and marry Warlow and become a vampire?

The scene with Tara and her mother was somewhat icky--and I immediately had the same thought: her mother is infected with Hep V. The only question is whether she's infecting her daughter deliberately or not. I kept waiting for them to drop the other shoe about Jason, too.

I doubt that Eric is dead. After all, we didn't see him poof into ash, just on fire. Bill has been on fire twice and survived. I think you're right that Pam is going to save him. Now that Bill's conviently a Good Guy again, the show really needs Eric around to form a romantic triangle with Sookie. Alcide can't really hold his own as competition for either of them; as Bill says, he's not good enough. The dynamic worked best in the show as a romantic triangle between Bill, Sookie, and Eric, and they should go back to that.

I will keep watching, but unless the writing dramatically improves next season, I'm pretty sure that this show's best days are behind it. (Oddly, the best-written episode of the season was last week's episode, with Terry's funeral. That gave me some hope, but this episode was a mess of "let's try to wrap all the loose ends up as quickly as we can whether it makes any sense or not before the clock runs out.")
Theresa DeLucci
9. theresa_delucci
P.S. I'm still chuckling when I think of William Compton, New York Times bestselling author of the pretentiously-titled "...And God Bled."

I'm just imagining Bill in his office, speed-typing a chapter with his vampire powers, then kicking back with a smug smile of self-satisfaction and saying to himself, "Ah...am a genius."
Christopher Hatton
10. Xopher
I don't remember all the guards in the hellhole being infected with Hep-V. When did they show or talk about that?

But then I didn't remember the severed genitalia in last week's ep, either, and that clearly happened.
emmyloo03
11. kti
Can the writers of this show really not know about the zompires in the Buffy Season 9?
Or am I just silly being surprised how they keep getting inspired by certain vampire slayer?
Constance Sublette
12. Zorra
I seem to have stopped watching about four episodes ago. I just couldn't get myself amped up to Go-catch up ....

Love, C.
emmyloo03
13. Frankie Woods
I hated the last episode of season 6 True Blood. It is not consistant, it just pulls you here, then there, then here, etc.etc...Totally disappointed me ! I think the purpose of that little girl being there was to let us know that Sookie no longer has her powers to read people's minds. She ASKED the little girl what was wrong, if she still had her powers, she would have been able to read her thoughts ! I truly hated this last episode, so disappointed in all of them, Warlow really upset me, he totally made a 90 degree turn. In the first season of True Blood, Sookie and Jason were at the grandmother's house waiting for the parents to pick them up .. they were killed on the way home...in this season it shows Sookie's father putting her in the trunk and he was going to kill her....how can that be ? She would have been in the same car as her parents when Warlow killed them..Did he fly her back home? Wouldn't the Flash Flood have killed her also if she was in the trunk!!!
emmyloo03
14. meonlyme
Why didn't the daylight vamps go after Sookie when she came to Bill's house? She's supposedly like catnip t vamps. "Sunshine in a pretty bottle" as Eric called her. Maybe they were too geeked out on Bill juice to notice...? (The inconsistencies in this show are often overwhelming.)

Loathed the six month jump ahead - the suckers way out of writer's block. Shame on you, TB powers that be! And the vampzombies? Really? VAMPZOMBIES? Is there really not an original idea left in television?

I love that Sam's Mayor of Bon Temps, hate that Merlott's was changed to Bellfleur's, that Sookie's with Alcide, and that Jason's under - once again - a woman's spell. (173 days straight of one-sided oral copulation, sometimes two or three times a day? Jasom should be immortalized in some kind of sex hall of fame somewhere. DAMN!)

If Eric's truly dead, I'm out. Otherwise, I'll tune in for more torture next year, if for no other reason than to see if the show can redeem itself ... or epically fail once again.
emmyloo03
15. rewaters
Does HBO even realize the extreme criticism that they are getting on this show? I can't believe that they are mushing foward with another season that will surely fail. The die is cast; it's just a matter of time. This show hasn't been great since season 3, and even then you could see signs of its decline. Why not cancel this pukefest and put the money they'd save to Game of Thrones, where good decisions are being made? That's what I would do.
Gregg Anderson
16. digrifter
True Blood has jumped a dozen zombie sharks, and has now earned the TRUE DEATH.

Bye bye ya'll!
emmyloo03
17. Amy DF
I was disappointmented that they ended Warlow so quickly. The six month later thing was awful. I am not sure if I want to tune in next year. Sookie is a Supernatural Whore. She loves sleeping with anything non-human, lol.
Marilynn Byerly
18. MByerly
I'm sure that Bill being a bestselling author in six months gave Charlaine Harris a good chuckle considering the number of years it took her as a working and very competent writer.

According to an interview at TVGuide.com of the producers, Eric will be back.

http://www.tvguide.com/News/True-Blood-Season7-Spoilers-1069409.aspx
emmyloo03
19. Vicky Thomas
I for one think this show is a mess!! I LOVE Eric but I don't know if I cankeep watching this show, this whole bill Sookie alcide thing is a joke I don't like bill at all but the Eric Sookie and bill thing is what make the show work!! Alcide character is a joke he need to just go away. I feel like they don't know what to do with his character so they are trying to make his character have some part of the main character on the show. And in doing that, making Sookie look like a WHORE!! Going form one man to another, when I saw the scene I LMAO SHM!! Like WFT?? Trueblood?? I thinking about just watching ERIC scenes next year on YouTube
emmyloo03
20. Horusbedhetys
Like many of the other posters, I have so many issues (negative) regarding this season in particular and the whole series in gerneral, except Season 1. Many of my complaints have been voiced by others so I won't go into that too much. The writing, however, really, really SUCKED this season: too many story lines that went nowhere, and were dropped with no explanation or follow up; meaningless characters who served no purpose except to lead to yet another dead-end story line; inexplicable changes with no explanation (that "6 months later thing) and, the real topper, for me, the shameless rip-off of "The Morganville Vampires" by Rachel Caine. The whole "vampire sponsor/protector" bit is a direct rip from this series. Too bad the lazy writers didn't decide to rip off Charlaine Harris instead. She laid out a very good template for them to follow, just as George RR Martin did for "Game of Thrones" - not a slavish visual of the books, but a road to follow. The TB writers decided to change the material and NOT for the better. The only good thing they did was introduce and expand the "LaFayette" character. What they did to Tara was a damned crime. But, i'm an eternal optimist, plus I've invested a lot of time into watching, so I'll watch next season...maybe. It's just becoming so difficult to do so.
emmyloo03
21. TBfan
Violet is European! She's originally from Poland. Some ppl think about stuff way too much. It's a programme made for entertainment. 40 mins every week that you can forget about life!! Just go with it!

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