True Blood: “Evil is Going On” finale review

Well, that finale proved to be worth about as much as, in Sookie’s parlance, tits on a turtle. Even the Lost finale gave more closure than this weirdly frenetic yet ultimately frustrating episode where, once again, not a whole lot happened. When more people are buzzing about the two minutes of Game of Thrones footage HBO aired as a run-in to the season ender, you know something is amiss.

Clearly my expectations of Alan Ball are too high. I couldn’t believe he wrote this episode, which felt more like a mid-season venture than anything approaching a finale. It was as if in place of real cliffhangers, scenes were just cut off mid-action with no emotional next step to be taken. Sam fires a gun in Tommy’s direction, but we don’t see if he was hit or how bad. Bill and Sophie-Anne fly at each other Matrix-style but we don’t see their fight. Sookie’s fairy godmother finally shows up in a time of need and whisks Sookie off of this corporeal plane. Tara drives away from Bon Temps, but we never see her go over a cliff. So almost every single storyline from this season will still be with us in the next. And that’s not a good thing.

At least that means Russell might still come back. It’s better to take such a charismatic villain off of the board for a bit than get rid of him forever. So I’m fine with letting him chill in concrete for a few weeks. However, I’ve always liked Bill’s somewhat stuffy demeanor, but I have to say that was some of the worst taunting I’ve ever seen. It was unintentionally funny. Bill is too short and straight-laced to be in any way intimidating, especially to Eric or Russell. And since when were vampires like Terminators? Is it a book thing? He’s been around Eric so long he can mimic his voice perfectly? I can buy it, but it was jarring.

So now that Eric got his revenge, and at least one fang to show the Authority, what’s next for him? Aside from cock-blocking Bill for all eternity. I thought Sookie already knew that Bill was working for the Queen’s interests when she met him. But her very well-acted fury that she was manipulated into falling in love with him by being tricked to drink his blood was justified. After that revelation and all of the Lorena stuff that went down in Mississippi, I was glad to see Bill go, too. It’s hard to like his character much these days or root for him and Sookie as a couple like I used to. Still, going after the Queen to protect Sookie is noble. But after he most likely wins this fight… eight months from now… what will he do? That would’ve been more interesting than another vampire fight, unless the Queen’s really got some tricks up her stylish vintage sleeves. 

My hope is the Fellowship of the Sun returns in full force. Those brief glimpses of Reverend Steve Newlin on TV and in standee-form at the gun shop make me wish this season ended with the war between humans and vampires heating up. There’s anti-vamp graffiti all over town and people like Mama Fortenberry and Summer are buying Steve’s vampire-killing rifles, implying that the town of Bon Temps is part of something bigger. My guess is that Hoyt and Jessica’s upcoming nuptials will spark some tensions, within the couple and the town. This was pretty much the only storyline I found satisfying. I love Hoyt and Jessica!

I love Jesus and Jesus, too. I’m ready for a witch who’s a nurse who’s a dude.

Still don’t care about Arlene’s evil baby. But it was nice to see René make a brief cameo. It must be to trick bloggers into mentioning that Michael Raymond-James is now on FX’s fun new detective show Terriers. Oh wait…

Speaking of dogs, (see what I did there?) Sam must have some sort of personality disorder. He seemed almost like his old self as he made Tara morning-after hoecakes and made amends with Terry, but as soon as he found out that Tommy robbed him, he turned into a furious jerk again. I’m really hoping Sam didn’t kill Tommy, not because I don’t think that Tommy is an entitled little shit, but more for Sam’s sake. Talk about not taking your own advice and moving on from your past. It seemed so abrupt from what we’d seen throughout the episode and I’ve been hating Sam’s nonsensical character arc this whole year and was hoping he’d go back to being the voice of reason again. Doesn’t seem likely.

As for Crystal and her werepanther kin over in Hotshot, I guess we haven’t seen the last of them, either. Does anyone care that Crystal is gone? How can Jason be deeply in love with a girl with this much baggage after only knowing her for two weeks? Sure, he falls in love fast, but his whirlwind romance with Amy made sense because he seemed to really be entranced with her and her philosophies and their mutual drug addiction. Even Jason doesn’t know why he loves Crystal, so I haven’t been sold on them for even a second. And, damn, I would feel too weird asking my boyfriend of two weeks to look after my cat while I went away on vacation; Crystal’s saddled Jason with a whole extended family of inbred werepanther hillbillies! Will he never again have a storyline that crosses over with his sister? They barely share scenes anymore.

I wasn’t expecting any kind of closure on the fairy front. As late in the game as Sookie learned the truth about herself, I’m figuring fairies (and witches) will play a larger part in the drama. I’m intrigued by all of this, and it’s cool the show has opened up to other kind of supernaturals, but I don’t want the vampire focus to diminish, either.

On the whole, this season left me pretty disappointed. True Blood seems to start each year with a lot of promise and then end on a bad note, like none of the storylines get the right weight. Arlene’s pregnancy took up way too much time and so did the Mickens early on. Russel blah blah vampire limbo blah. Jason didn’t build up any character and Sam’s was kind of ruined. Sookie and Bill are separated again. Tara is still all alone. The wolves made great first appearances, but Alcide drove away with barely a goodbye and Debbie Pelt is still at large somewhere. Nothing paid off. 

Has the thrill of True Blood worn off? I only watch as a guilty pleasure, truthfully. But there’s been a ton of boredom to wade through this season. It takes quite a bit to make me drop a show. (Check out my old Heroes posts.)

So as not to end on an entirely down note, some thing I did actually enjoy:

  • Eric telling Alcide to stop “eye-fucking” Bill. Yeah, Alcide! Don’t you know that’s Eric’s job? That whole scene was great. Bill’s in the doghouse when he goes to sleep and when he wakes up, Sookie’s laughing and having a beer with someone who is clearly destined to be her rebound. Alcide’s always around whenever Sookie and Bill split up. It must happen. Joe Manganiello was another standout this season. The look on Alcide’s face when Sookie rescinded all invitations to her home from all vampires: good stuff. Not as smug as one of Eric’s looks but definitely amused.
  • Eric looks good in concrete dust. The crunchy, burnt prosthetics Russell was rocking were a nice touch.
  • Russell: “It’s about fucking time!” when Sookie puts her powers to use. Word.
  • Sookie’s really weird, slightly maniacal laugh as she dumped Talbot down the garbage disposal.
  • Sophie-Anne’s gorgeous mourning outfit. That hat!
  • Eric: “Oh great. On top of everything else, I’m out an assassin.”
  • Tara left town. Seemed pretty clear she was saying goodbye to people, yet no one stopped her. Please let her come back cooler. She can keep her cute haircut.
  • Sookie: [slaps Bill] “You fucking betrayed me! Again!”
  • Again, that Game of Thrones footage was pretty sweet. Sean Bean!

Theresa DeLucci won’t cancel her HBO subscription just yet.

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