Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow…
Hey, I remember that old Stabbing Westward song! "I can not save you…" Sorry guys, my ’90s are showing.
Okay, so big things were poppin’ in the True Blood season finale. And I don’t mean that metaphorically. Fangers were ‘splodin’ all over the joint. And Sam (as much as it still hurts my brain to accept that shifters can turn into flies) flying into Chancellor Harris’ mouth and then bursting out of her as a human was pretty freakin’ rad. As was the final 10 minutes of "Save Yourself," in fact. But before I get into the whole naked, bloody "Billith" reveal – which actually seems to be borrowing from Deacon Frost’s plan to become the Blood God from the movie Blade – I need to talk about the quick, unceremonious death of Russell and some of the things that were lacking in this season ender.
True Blood has always been an oddly paced show. Often, the finales dispatch with the "big bad" within the first half hour, leaving the rest of the episode to act as set up for the next season. One gets the sense that the writers know when they want to have big moments happen, but filling in all the moments in-between, or leading up to them, is treated as a stagnant chore. So we either get episodes of filler leading up to exciting bloody carnage, or we get random crazy side-stories that go nowhere and leave a handful of characters with nothing to do at the end but drink Cajun Margaritas. And witness the beauty of the orgasmic fairy birthing process. "I have no idea what’s happening" says the drunken Mrs. Boathouse in Merlotte’s, in that True Blood meta-way that tries to excuse the crazy bulls*** by having the characters call out how crazy their lives are. "Who the f*** does?" Lafayette replies.
So, while one story in this finale had "life or death" stakes, the other had Maurella telling everyone "My light broke" and leaving Andy with four newborn baby girls. The worst part of which is that we’ll now have to see Andy comically deal with four newborn babies in Season 6. And as for Russell? The driving force for most of Season 3 and the man who we all cliff-hanged on last week? He got splattered by Eric within the first two minutes; before the opening credits. Now, since I figured that this season couldn’t end without Sookie actually meeting and seeing "Evil Bill," I knew the Russell situation would get handled quickly. But not that fast. I mean, I’m glad Eric was the one who got to kill him, but the hastiness of the whole thing made it feel very unsatisfying. I would have much rather watched things play out in the field a bit longer than, say, watch "constantly seeing things" Jason constantly see visions of his vampire-hating parents.
But, like I mentioned already, the final act of this episode was pretty damn fun. And guys…skinwalking paid off! It was used to actually do something useful! And, I have to say that I didn’t even know it was Luna acting as Steve at first. I thought it was just Steve being protective of his pet. We’d even seen him tell Luna not to shift into a human before. Also, Tara kissing Pam and Jess screaming "I knew it!" was awesome.
And I’m glad they decided to keep Evil Bill around for Season 6. Though, I’m not sure what his plan will be now that almost every vamp in the Authority HQ has been staked by Jason, Eric and Nora. His army seems to be gone. But who knows what Bill’s mind is even going to be like after fully transforming into that blood demon thing? Will he even be in charge of anyone? Season 5 did a good job of expanding its vampire story out across the U.S. I mean, I still didn’t believe Jess when she said that the Bill and the Authority were just crazy enough to take over the world, but it was a step in the right direction.
But now the world knows that Steve Newlin "eviscerated" 22 frat boys. And they know that shifters exist too, thanks to Luna. So there’s definitely some interesting possibilities taking shape. The trouble is, it makes me care even less about the smaller characters at Merlotte’s. This finale ended with a single cliff-hanger and not several character-specific cliff-hangers like last year. Which makes me really only want to follow this one story even more.
Oh, and Alcide’s pack-master story was fine too. Robert Patrick’s always a kick to watch, although Alcide now seems even more detached from the core characters than usual.
At this point, given the final scene, I can see no way back for Bill. Of course, we all thought that at one point when Angel turned into Angelus back in ’97, so I suppose there’s always a way. And this is where series creator Alan Ball leaves us, as he wrote this finale and now heads off to focus on his new Cinemax series, Banshee. He leaves us (thought probably not entirely) with our former hero flipping his crippling guilt upside-down and using it as an excuse for divine madness. It’s funny too, to think about how every new Authority character that was introduced this year, aside from Nora, is now paste. No one from that now overly-familiar set was meant to survive the religious purge; with ever-devious Salome being the last to bite the dust. And now that Bill is Billith, will we ever know what Lilith’s game was? I mean, she wanted one of them to drink all of her blood. So now what? Stay tuned…
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