True Blood Recap: A Bloody Good Finish

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Season 3/Episode 12: Evil Is Going On

Evil might’ve been going on, but at least True Blood had it goin’ on good for the finale.  It truly came back from the grave after a sloppy penultimate episode. Sure, there were some hokey happenings and some sloppy wrap ups, but, all in all, this was a fun, satisfying conclusion to an uneven, blood spattered trail of season. Take the opening shot of a sun death ray shining down on Eric and Russell chained together in silver handcuffs.  They’re spending the True Death reminiscing about Eric’s Viking Family Slaughter when who should show up to torment Eric with Germanic messages of forgiveness but a ghostly Godric.  Phantom/Vision Godric begs Eric to spare Russell’s life. Only through forgiveness can he find love.

And if Godric showing up bathed in cheesy afterlife light and still wearing those New Agey white PJ’s that he’s apparently being forced to spend eternity in was a little twee, then cutting to Sookie running through the woods to her bad Christmas ornament looking fairy mothership was twee-er than I dunno what (‘cos Im’ not good at making jokes like that).  Thankfully, Bill wakes her up from that dream fast.  Just as fast, she slaps him and accuses him of betraying her.  Bill’s all, “I only pretended to betray you,” and it seems like it finally gets through to Sookie that there’s a very fine line between betrayal and pretend when it comes to the mendacious Mr. Compton.  Then to really bring her diss home, she runs outside to save Eric from the True Death.  Godric’s still floating around Eric’s semi-conscious state as Russell goads her into using her powers to get the silver handcuffs off him and Eric.  Ever the stately authoritative presence, even while being fried beyond recognition, Russell imperiously orders Sookie to bring him inside but she uses her powers again – this time slamming him up against a wall – and drags Eric in instead.  Back inside Fangtasia, Eric’s dying and needs human blood.  Sookie orders Bill to bite open one of her wrists since Eric’s too weak to drop fang.  Eric feeds while Bill fumes.

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Sookie finally realizes Bill's been dickishly lying all season

Also fumin’ and a feudin’ are Nan Flanigan and Steve Newlin on the TV over at Sam’s place.  You’ve gotta hand it to Nan for trying to clean up the VLA’s image in a post spine rip era.  And you’ve gotta hand it to the writers for having the good reverend take her quotes out of context (just like a real life right wing nut job), leaving viewers with the sound bite, “All human beings need to be wiped out of existence.”  Sam’s making breakfast for Tara, who never stuck around that long after any of their previous trysts.  Not because of the company though, because Sam barks in his sleep.  Sam takes that opening to fess up to being a shifter and lets his freak flag fly.

Eric’s also letting the freak flag fly back at Fangtasia.  He tells everyone Godric came to him in a dream, saying he must save Russell.  Everyone’s annoyed but Eric says if they don’t save Russell, he’ll drag his dying ass out there and do it himself.  So Sookie goes out to do what the vamps can’t and drags a seriously charred Russell in from the Sun.    Too bad Tara’s not there to see Russell in that condition. It might cheer her up after hearing that Sam, along with everyone else she knows, is “a supernatural freak.” Aside from all that, she wants is to be a new person with a new life. Sam says she can do that. The old you might catch up, but all you can do is keep moving.

Things are still moving along at a quick, entertaining pace over at Fangtasia (begging the admittedly picky question, why couldn’t they have all season?).  Bill and Pam tell Eric he’s a fool to save Russell. Whatever, the dude’s in a sorry state, dropping fangs and looking like a combination between a charcoal briquette and pinhead from Hellraiser. They leave him with Sookie over Bill’s protests and go off to take care of vamp business. How they’re going to do that during the day is anybody’s guess.  Like Sookie cares.  She hates all of them.  Jason’s got no trouble getting around during the day but he does have trouble exercising any kind of good judgment or believable character development.  He’s over at Bon Temps Police HQ trying to thwart the DEA raid on Hot Shot.  When he can’t make any headway with Andy or the chain smoking DEA agent, he leaves in a spazzy hurry to warn the scum of Hot Shot that the raid’s coming down.

A world of pain and bad memories comes down on Tara YET AGAIN.  She flashes back on all her suffering for the ninth millionth time this season as she leaves Sam’s place.  Hoyt’s not suffering but he’s in for it.  When he pulls up to his job site with visible fang marks, Mama Thortonberry, Summer, and his high school guidance counselor are there to stage a fangbanger intervention.  Hoyt looks more exhausted than contrite after Mama Thortonberry and Summer share their feelings. The only thing Hoyt’s got to say is that he loves Jessica and he’ll never leave her.

I didn’t think anyone ever left Merlotte’s. It’s seems like someone’s always there. But Lafayette’s there waiting for Sam when he comes to open up.  And there’s more nasty hallucinations lying in wait in the recesses of Lafayette’s brain.  But this time they appear to have to a grain of truth to them.  He sees Sam’s hands all bloody and seems to also see his true nature.  Sam’s lips aren’t moving but Lafayette hears him saying, “Cross me, you’re a dead man.”

For a dead man, Russell’s keeping his spirits up.  He’s trying to make a deal with Sookie at Fangtasia.  He’ll give her Eric and Bill’s true deaths, the Mississipi Manse, and five million dollars if she’ll release him.  Sookie tells him no while calmly flipping through a Star Magazine.  Russell doesn’t let up.  He tells her that some vamp will rip her open to get her fairy blood eventually. He’s impressed Bill hasn’t done it already, calling his restraint “tantric.” Sookie sprays silver in his eyes in response then flushes Talbot’s remains down the garbage disposal, laughing gleefully the whole time.  Damn. Who got sassy over the course of a season?

Not Crystal.  At least not as sassy as Sookie’s gotten.  But with Jason’s boner for her, she’s at least got some gumption. The two show up at Hot Shot to warn her kin about the upcoming raid and all hell breaks loose.  It turns out Felton’s been dipping into the V stash and there’s no way he’s gonna dump it along with all the crank they have to flush. When he and Calvin argue about this, Felton shoots him in the head. Ouch.

It looks like Terry’s got an ouchie too. He’s sobbing on the porch when Sam pulls up but not from sorrow.  He’s overwhelmed with joy over Arlene’s Rosemary’s baby, his armadillo and everything else.  Good for him.  Not so good for Sam is when he goes into Tommy’s place and ominous music starts playing.  When Sam sees the place’s been trashed, he realizes Tommy most likely double-crossed him.  The DEA hasn’t crossed Andy but they’re not respecting his authority.  Out in Hot Shot, Jason’s trying to talk Felton down from a megalomaniacal V trip of epic proportions.  He gives Crystal an ultimatum: she either leaves with him or he’ll kill Jason.  Jason unbelievably agrees to let the woman he loves run off with her murderous, wife beating scumbag of a half brother and says he’ll take care of the Hot Shot losers in their absence.  Bye! Have a nice trip!

Mama Thorton is also making questionable relationship decisions.  But at least her’s are believable.  Tara walks in on her and Reverend Daniels in a state of semi undress.  Tara’s disgusted as usual with her crazy ass mama’s judgment.  Mama Thornton’s under the impression she’s about to become the second Mrs. Reverend Daniels.  Tara’s no one to judge and takes off with a peace out and a hug.  Sam, on the other hand, is one to judge. Harshly and by force if necessary.   And that’s just what he’s gonna do after he realizes Tommy swiped the safe at Merlotte’s.  He starts cussing a blue streak which works Lafayette’s last remaining nerve.  Still tripping, he sees Rene standing behind Arlene saying he’s inside her.  That’s it.  Lafayette calls Jesus looking for a come down speech, while Sam leaves packing heat and looking for revenge.

Alcide shows up at Fangtasia just as Russell says his wolves will come for him.  But he’s not looking for Russell or Sookie and no way is he one of Russell’s wolves.  He’s there under Eric’s orders. He brought a truck to help take care of Russell.  But he’s been thinking about Sookie. Dreaming about her, even.  Russell mocks his sentimentality as Bill and Eric show up.  Bill pockets something while Sookie, revved up from Russell’s ribbing earlier, goes off about being vampire crack.  She rescinds her invitation to her home to all vampires present.  Alcide’s eyes gleam at that thought while Eric drags Russell out to Alcide’s truck.

Andy’s got a gleam in his eye too.  For a vial of V he’s holding.  He’s just looking.  For now, that is. But the way he’s eyeballing it and with his known addictive tendencies, I see some foreshadowing for next season in the works.  But before he can try a drop, the DEA agent brings Jason handcuffed into the office and fingers him for dropping a dime on the Hot Shot raid.  In defense of his actions, Jason tells Andy that “sometimes the right thing’s the wrong thing.” Whatever, Jason! I know he’s supposed to be stupid but even stupid people make sense and stupid characters should too. IMHO, Jason sending Crystal off with Felton and torpedoing his nascent law enforcement career doesn’t make sense with every other thing he’s done.

But I’m really just being a nitpicky nerd; since everything other than Jason and the Hot Shot storyline came together pretty well last night.  Like, Lafayette and Jesus’ witch-errific storyline which is surprisingly coming together nicely and making for some common sense plot development.  Jesus shows up at Merlotte’s to babysit Lafayette who’s worried he’s turning into his crazy momma. She also used to see things and hear voices.  Jesus hips him to the fact that he might just be becoming more sensitive to his witchy essence. The same thing happened to him when he was training to be a witch.  This soothes Lafayette.

Tara doesn’t look so soothed.  She looks like she might finally be going full blown suicidal, standing in front of a mirror with a knife in hand.  But instead of offing herself, she hacks off her extensions and gives herself a fro bob.  No mo’ extensions, no mo’ problems?  Seems plausible.  Not so plausible is when Sookie shows up and says she loves her hair.  She looks about as cute as Carrot Top, which is not so cute. But I guess friends have to tell each other little white lies sometimes, especially when they’re letting bygones be bygones.

Eric and Bill are letting pylons be pylons.  They’re encasing Russell, bound by silver, in concrete at some undisclosed construction site Alcide’s dropped them off at.  Alcide’s agreed to be part of their nefarious plan to settle his father’s debts once and for all.  For the arbitrary term of a hundred years, Russell will be buried alive and will surely go mad.  He goes down fighting though, telling Eric and Bill, “a hundred years! That’s a nap!” Glad to see him laughing in the face of longterm torment.  Godric, who’s shown up as an apparition visible only to Eric again, is not happy that his progeny’s disobeying his orders from the afterlife.  Eric yells at phantom Godric but ignores his pleas to show Russell mercy.  Bill and Eric pour concrete over Russell and ghostly Godric disappears.  Bill extends a hand to Eric but then, surprisingly, overpowers him with whatever he pocketed at Fangtasia.  What the heck did he use, btw?  Was it the silver flecked water? It looked like it was smoking?? Help me out here, people. I’m genuinely stumped about what he used to subdue Eric to bury him.  Regardless, it was an unexpected, fun turn of events that just kept twisting when Bill called Eric’s personal assassin, Rubin, imitated Eric perfectly, then ordered him to kill Pam.

Jessica’s in for a nice little surprise herself when Hoyt takes her to a shabby dump that must be considered quaint by Bon Temps standards and proposes.  She accepts. They rejoice.  But there’s a creepy doll lying on the floor, abandoned, unseen and foreboding in the other room.  Maybe it’s an omen that Mama Thortonberry’s coming over for a visit. That’s a distinct possibility as the next scene cuts to her buying a gun.

Sookie should get a gun too.  With wooden bullets.  Bill shows up and wants to talk. Russell’s gone. Oh, and Eric’s gone too.  And so’s anyone else who’s ever tasted Sookie or knows what she is. They will all face the True Death at Bill’s hands. He’ll kill them all because he loves her.  He’ll do anything to keep her safe, even if it means not being with her. He goes to leave. She’s all, “Bill! Wait!” Then Eric shows up!  Man! What a scene! I was riveted watching this love triangle kick back into high gear. Especially when Eric tells Sookie the extent of Bill’s deceptions.  Their whole romance was a set up from the start.  Bill was only courting her under Sofie Anne’s orders to get her a fairy.  He set her up to be killed by the Rattrays back in Season One so he could rescue her with his healing but addictive vampire blood and make her fall in love with him! She disinvites him from her house and for good measure she tells Eric to get lost too.  You go, lame fucking fairy girl.

Eric heads back over to Fangtasia where Pam’s taken out Bill’s assassin.  Tara drives up to Merlottes then drives on by with an air of finality.  Is she coming back for Season Four?  Is Tommy?  It’s a valid question to ask after Sam chases him down in the woods and demands his money back.  Tommy refuses and runs off. Then Sam shoots him!  Damn! It’s cliffhangerpalooza, people, and they just keep on comin’.

Cut to Sookie crying in the kitchen. She’s suddenly gripped by an uncontrollable urge to run out of the house.  Is she going to Bill’s? Nope. He’s entertaining another visitor.  Sofie Anne shows up in a smashing widow ensemble, pleased as blood orange punch that Russell’s dead and Bill’s got Sookie right where she’s wanted her all along – for lunch.  But Bill’s brought her there under false pretenses.  He’s pointedly carrying out his statewide vampire extermination plan to save Sookie. Although he’s a poor match for Sofie Anne, who’s twice as old and strong, Bill’s got nothing left to lose. He’s prepared to fight the kind of fight that only the desperate can. The two go at it all flying vampire karate style!

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Sofie Anne looking for a fey in snazzy widow wear

We know Bill’s not going to die but Sofie Anne might and, come on, this is going to be a great fight to watch when Season Four picks up right where this one left off.  But that’s not the only mystery left.   Sookie’s crying over being all alone at her gran’s grave.  But she’s not f0r long.  Her fairy buddy Claudine show up in a bad ren faire get up and says, “you’re not alone, come with us,” then the fey come out of the woods, turn on their handheld lovelights and … disappear.

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Sookie's fairy power at full wattage

Nice ending, nice episode all around.  Only the Jason storyline felt incomplete and fuzzy and, all things considered, that was fairly forgivable given an otherwise solid and action packed hour.  The whole episode was understated but suspenseful and still managed to maintain that great B Horror Movie gore fest tongue in cheek thing True Blood does so well.  Or maybe I’m going soft on True Blood now that it’s going away.  What did you think? Was it a strong finish or a weak end to an all around weak season?

Comments

  1. Wesley Craig Green says:

    It’s not really saying much to say this episode was better than 95% of the other episodes this season.

    I dig True Blood as much as the next person but this season was an unnecessary mess. It had SOOO much potential with the whole werewolf thing and crazy-ass Franklin but both were totally wasted.

    Then there were the two weakest storylines of the entire three seasons of the show- Jason’s unbelievable romance with hillbilly panther girl, and Sam finding his equally hillbillish family then supposedly turning back into a cold-blooded killer. The only purpose these two storylines served was giving me the opportunity to check my email or get something from the kitchen.

    I hope Alan Ball and the other people responsible for the show take note of what people are saying about this past season and apply it to the next one or I’m afraid it’ll suffer the same fate as Heroes- another show which started off great but ended as a mess.

  2. Shannon OLeary says:

    Wesley, I think you’re right. When taken as a whole, the season was largely a mess and a strong finale episode doesn’t make up for that.

    I never watched Heroes, but I do remember “the buzz” about the great stories when it first came out and then .. suddenly no one cared.

  3. I liked this season, but I also think that they made too abrupt of a turn with Sam’s character. It was neat to see Godric again (and to see Eric lose it a bit) and Russell was awesome as usual.

  4. Wait, that was the finale? There were so plot threads left untied, I thought for sure there had to be another episode coming.

  5. Shannon OLeary says:

    yeah, i feel like i should’ve considered the season as a whole more in this recap. like abby, i enjoyed this season, but i can’t say that it was really good, you know? there’s no getting past how many plot threads were left untied and how it just didn’t come together as a whole.

    still, all in all, i feel like i’ve made peace w/ the fact that true blood might just turn out to be a better than average soap opera.

  6. Wesley Craig Green says:

    Shannon, I think you nailed it when you said the season didn’t come together as a whole. It never felt like that for me. I got the impression they started the season with a solid idea (referring to the whole Russeul and werewolves thing) but didn’t know what to do with it midway through so it was dropped.

    Then they tacked on all these other storylines (Jason and the hillbillies, Lafayette and the witch guy, Sam’s family, and Tara’s endless crying) which did nothing more than drag down the entire season.

    What I hope they do next season is focus on one main storyline, kill 1 to 2 main characters off, and bring back the suspense. There was none of that “F**k- I can’t wait till next Sunday” endings to any of the shows this year except for 1 or 2.

    Here’s hoping…

    Wesley

  7. volde says:

    Mess.

    One thing i didn`t understand at all is whole vampires/fairies thing. Bill explained that fairies blood is awesome and that they were killed by vampires due to that. Yet Russell believed that fairies were only a myth.

    How comes that arguably oldest vampire wasn`t around when other vampires were killing fairies?

  8. Shannon OLeary says:

    Wesley, I do feel pretty robbed by them dropping the whole Operation Werewolf storyline. There was so much potential there. And you’re totes right that killing off some major characters would really put something at stake (haha!) for the show. They keep introducing these great side characters then killing them too soon. They need to kill someone people are invested in – something we don’t see coming.

    Volde, you bring up a valid point that points to another (admittedly majorly nerdy) issue I have w/ True Blood. There’s major continuity issues on this show. They need to work out the history factor a little better if they’re going to have all these characters that have been alive for thousands of years. It really wouldn’t take that long and just amounts to lazy writing that they haven’t done so.

    Lazy, low risk writing! That’s the main culprit to why this show is going from a four star to a tarnished three star entertainment experience.

  9. Shannon OLeary says:

    Oh, and PS: Can someone confirm what the heck Bill used to overpower Eric when he tried to bury him alive in the concrete??

    Someone told me he slapped one of the silver handcuffs on him but, if that’s the case, how did he pick it up? Did he gingerly use a Fangtasia cocktail napkin?

  10. Joe Lawler says:

    It was half of the silver handcuff. I’m not sure how he picked it up though.

  11. Shannon OLeary says:

    Sigh. I guess I’ll go w/ my cocktail napkin theory then. That’s frackin’ weaksauce though, man.

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