The season four finale of “True Blood” is an event eleven episodes in the making. And by “event,” I really mean the last ten minutes of the episode. The first fifty minutes are extremely emotional and darkly brooding, only to give way to moments that live up to the episode’s title. As soon as the credits roll, you’ll be wondering if you had just watched the same show that has been airing every week at 9 p.m.; I know I felt that way. Does this episode mean to herald a completely new tone for the series? For reasons you’ll see below, I hope not.
- Director: Scott Winant
- Writer: Raelle Tucker
- Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Nelsan Ellis, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Deborah Ann Woll
Episode Title: “And When I Die”
With the aid of some familiar faces, Sookie defeats Marnie once and for all, leaving Lafayette to deal with the consequences of his actions; Jessica and Jason struggle to define their relationship; Sookie decides between Eric and Bill; the political structure of the vampire community breaks down; Debbie confronts Sookie.
- Lafayette: Nelsan Ellis comes out on top in this episode with his performance as a man possessed by another person. He and Marnie must have compared notes, because both performances were extremely engaging and entertaining. It was interesting to see such an affected character alter his mannerisms.
- Jason and Jessica: Every episode needs its romantic arc, and this one’s involved my new favorite pair. Although these two have yet to figure out that they are madly in love with each other (in my humble opinion – writers, please take note), I enjoyed seeing them sizzle while on screen together.
- Sookie’s decision: It’s about damn time that Sookie had a love interest other than the two vampires who have been vying for her attention, so I was pleased as punch to see her kick both Bill and Eric to the curb tonight. Since Sookie will inevitably get with someone at some point due to the nature of the show, I’ll put in my two cents and say that she needs a fresh start with someone new, preferably a man of the werewolf persuasion (read: please, please, PLEASE, pair her with Alcide. I’ve been dying for this to happen for ages now).
- The last ten minutes: As much as I disliked this episode, I have to admit that the last ten minutes had my eyes glued to the screen. This is what I watch “True Blood” for: one bloody, action-packed scene after another and cliffhangers that leave you begging for more.
- Line of the night: Although the beginning of the episode was very heavy in content and therefore lacking in gems, I found a couple of great ones towards the end. Since this was the finale, I’ll spoil you all with my two favorites. “You can’t trade magic like fucking Pokemon cards.” “I’m so over Sookie and her precious fairy vagina and her stupid name.”
- It’s too heavy: Did anyone feel very depressed after watching this episode? I can’t remember the last time “True Blood” has been this emotionally heavy. Between Tara and Sookie, Sam, Lafayette, and, frankly, just about everyone else in Bon Temps, there is a lot to be upset about. There was far too much crying and sadness in this episode for my tastes. While emotion has its place, this episode had an over saturation of it. What about the campy action and humor that makes “True Blood” so much fun to watch?
- Marnie’s revenge: Parts of this arc, especially Bill and Eric’s involvement, felt extremely disjointed. Just how did Lafayette manage to get a hold of Bill and Eric? What was Lafayette’s initial reaction to what he had done to Jesus? The episode skipped some scenes that would have been gold mines of entertainment. Plus, it all seemed to wrap up far too quickly, leaving the rest of the episode vulnerable to the high levels of emotional that I discussed above.
- Randomness: Rene? Reverend Newlin? The chains that Alcide found? As it has done in previous episodes, “True Blood” once again introduces some arcs using only one scene. Although the show will ostensibly pick up these threads in season five, in the context of the already established arc of season four, these newly-introduced plotlines seem to come out of nowhere.
- Tara and Jesus: There was too much death in one episode, I say. Perhaps the show was going for the shock factor this time around, but to take away two beloved characters in one go? It seems a bit unnecessarily cruel to the audience, not to mention to Lafayette, Sookie, and the rest of the victims’ loved ones.
While the resolution of the main arc of the season was satisfying, I was disappointed with the majority of this episode. It was too emotionally heavy for my tastes, taking on a tone that is far too serious for the show. Nevertheless, the last ten minutes of the episode do justify watching the whole thing, if not a need to see things through to the end. So much happens in such a short span of time that I’m still scratching my head, wondering just what, exactly, I watched. What I do know is that it’s going to be one long year until season five.
“True Blood” returns next summer on HBO!
What did you think of last night’s episode?