The Confusing Final Ride of ‘True Blood’ [Review/Spoilers]

True Blood
Fans of True Blood are having a hard time recently trying to decipher what is actually happening in the HBO series. Now that the final season is drawing ever closer to an end (only three more episodes to go), the build-up to the final bow feels all the more reckless. The August 3 episode, interestingly titled May Be the Last Time, has caused a great deal of confusion for many fans.

The biggest takeaway from Sunday’s True Blood experience is, of course, the ending scene between Bill Compton (played by Stephen Moyer) and his ever-lustful ex-fiancé, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, Moyer’s real-life wife). For anyone who has watched the series since its beginning, it was the reconnection that was always bound to happen; even if no one wanted it to. Following a surprising reveal in which the audience learned that Bill had been infected with the deadly Hep-V virus, Sookie was finally able to make her choice between the first love of her life and another romantic interest, the swoon-worthy Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard).

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A distraught Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) worries for her “father,” Bill (Stephen Moyer).

After realizing that there is no cure for Hep-V, at least to her knowledge, Sookie runs to her former paramour’s arms in a similar fashion as in the show’s very first season. “I’m not going to leave you,” she says breathlessly. “I’m going to stay with you to the very end.” The two kiss and viewers are then thrown into the first Bill and Sookie love scene in years.

This has brought up a strange inconsistency when one considers how Bill contracted Hep-V in the first place. In the July 6 episode, Fire In the Hole, Sookie overstepped her boundaries once again in an effort to “help” the long-suffering town of Bon Temps. In the ruckus that follows, she is doused in infected vampire blood not long after cutting herself to lure out the sickly creatures that had kidnapped her friends. Bill would later drink her blood (as she once again just had to help someone out) and thanks to the fairy side of the Stackhouse bloodline, the infection grew rapidly within Bill’s body.

If Hep-V is the True Blood version of HIV and AIDS, physical intimacy with Bill would worsen the infection in Bill’s body. During their love scene, Bill attempted to bite Sookie, as he has done many times before. However, he stops himself knowing that drinking more of her blood will make things worse for him. As crass as it may sound, the exchange of bodily fluids should have the same effect, but that did not prevent the two from making love.

On top of this, it did not feel like a genuine love scene between the two. Sookie obviously feels guilty for accidentally causing Bill’s impending death, so what transpired was not an actual act of love being reborn, but a way to ease the pain she feels for making Bill sick. A reunion under these circumstances is not what fans of Bill and Sookie together want to see (although there are not many of them who want to see them together again, anyway).

Furthermore, it is difficult for fans to forget that during her infection, her werewolf boyfriend, Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello), was killed while protecting her. It happened only days ago in True Blood world and only three episodes ago in real-time.

True Blood
Adilyn (Bailey Noble) and Wade (Noah Matthews) talk about sex.

Another part that seems to bother many fans is the story line surrounding teenage lovers Adilyn Bellefleur (Bailey Noble) and her soon-to-be stepbrother, Wade Cleary (Noah Matthews). Admittedly, their story has progressed not only to further the usage of Adilyn’s father, Andy (Chris Bauer) and his love, Wade’s mother, Holly (Lauren Bowles), but also for vampire Violet (Karolina Wydra).

Violet is currently attempting to get revenge on her former love, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten), for sneaking around and sleeping with his former vampire love, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll). Since Jessica can sense when Adilyn is in danger, thanks to the latter ingesting the blood of the former, it is an obvious ploy to pull her into some kind of confrontation.

This could have been handled a lot more quickly, or in truth, not at all. There does not seem to be a real reason for Violet’s character to return from last season. The connection between Adilyn and Jessica is fine due to the closure that should occur, especially with Jessica “accidentally” killing Adilyn’s three fairy siblings, but that is about as far as that situation goes.

There are other issues that are causing confusion among True Blood fans as the series winds down. For starters, it seems to be taking a very long time to apprehend Sarah “Numi” Newlin (Anna Camp). While it is obviously to create suspense in one of the series’ final “big bad” situations,  it cannot be that difficult. One would think that since the corporation that creates TruBlood has access to satellites like the one they used during the episode, they could use it to help locate Sarah.

Also, there is still no full explanation on how the Hep-V virus is growing so fast within Bill’s body. When Sookie questioned whether or not her half-fairy blood could be the cause of the rapid progression, Dr. Ludwig (Marcia de Rousse) replied that she had treated another vampire who had ingested the blood of a “full fairy” that happened to be “Hep-V positive.” However, that vampire’s infection had grown over the course of 10 days whereas Bill’s infection was going much faster than that. Therefore, it was not specifically her blood that was causing the issue.

Furthermore, fans will never be satisfied at how quickly Tara (Rutina Wesley) was killed off in the season’s opening moments, but True Blood could at least keep better tabs on the story line of her relatives. In the episode Karma, it was shown that Tara was somehow communicating to her mother, Lettie Mae (Adina Porter), and now her cousin, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), from the afterlife. The two went off to the house Tara grew up in to literally unearth the truth.

The 30-second cutaway to the two of them actually digging up the lawn outside of the house was just a rude tease. Obviously, the scene was played up for laughs, but considering the audience is waiting for answers, there was not much to laugh about.

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The Safety Dance: Arlene (Carrie Preston) and Keith (Riley Smith) find a way to connect.

Granted, there were some good moments during May Be the Last Time. Mainly, all of the scenes that involved Arlene (Carrie Preston). In a surprising turnaround, the character that most seemed to have an almost racist-like problem with vampires is suddenly having feelings for one. Of course, they are mostly due to ingesting the blood of vampire Keith (Riley Smith), but it was the one small factor that has been played consistently throughout.

True Blood can have some truly great moments. Sadly, much of May Be the Last Time did not have many of them. Things are coming down to the wire for the series, and perhaps it should make more of an effort to end it on a high note.

Opinion by Jonathan Brown

Entertainment Weekly

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