‘True Blood’: Bad to the Last Drop [Recap / Review]

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True Blood now joins an ever-growing list of shows that peaked early on before heading toward a slow and agonizing death. More interesting characters were severely underused, and the ones that got the most screen time were usually the most annoying. Story lines were never fully fleshed out and the ones that made it on screen were questionable. Perhaps the show could never have been saved. Like many of the victims in Bon Temps, it began with a roar and ended with a whimper. The final episode may have been titled Thank You, but truthfully, it was hard to feel any sense of gratitude.

After deciding to what basically amounts to suicide, Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) decided to speed up the process when he asked his truest love, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) to not only help end his life, but to destroy her powers as well, by using the last bit of it to send him into the hereafter. It was the most asinine request that he could ask of a woman that he claimed to adore beyond all measure. It is also extremely deplorable to ask someone to give up a part of themselves that had nearly been extinguished many times, due to Bill’s actions.

Some fault must be cast on Sookie as well. What she has gone through, no one should ever experience. However, she admits that no matter what Bill had done to her in the past, she could not stay away from him. The basis of their relationship is anything but romantic. It almost feels like Stockholm syndrome, where a victim becomes sympathetic to their captor. After asking for advice from Reverend Daniels (Gregg Daniel), she decides to grant Bill his last request.

As she gazes into what would be the last of her fairy powers, she has a long overdue epiphany and states that she will not go through with it. It is the one moment fans have demanded of the constant victim and self-proclaimed “danger whore” since the show’s inception. For the first time in what felt like forever, Sookie Stackhouse finally stood her ground and maintained her power — this time, literally.

Sadly, it would not last long. Only moments afterward, she would assist in him staking himself. The moment was obviously meant to be sympathetic, but when one really takes the time to think about it, William Thomas Compton was never a sympathetic character. He may have tried to redeem himself repeatedly but even in his dying moments, he left behind a level of pain that Sookie will hold onto for the remainder of her natural life. It is hard to feel sorrow for any of this.

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Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) sell “NewBlood.”

While all of that was going on, vampires Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) decided to finally do something they should have done episodes ago: take out the rest of the Yakuza, including the sleazy leader, Mr. Gus (Will Yun Lee). They were done away with in seconds. The next time Eric and Pam are seen together on screen, they are lavishing in the riches created by hawking their semi- (stolen) cure, NewBlood.

Surprisingly, Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) actually made it to the next-to-final scene of True Blood. As previously mentioned by Pam, she is kept alive and held against her will to be used as a highly-paid prostitute (obviously, the money goes to Eric and Pam). As she is chained up and in tears, she has a vision of her former husband, “gay vampire American” Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian). As he torments her for all of the horrible things she has done, including the creation of the Hep-V virus (which still makes no sense as it was mentioned as early as season one), he asks her what she is thankful for, as it happens to be Thanksgiving in Bon Temps. She despondently answers “nothing,” before she breaks down in tears.

In truth, Sarah Newlin was quite the horrible character. No one was meant to root for her, but there was nothing enjoyable about seeing her suffer in such a way. The darkness of that resolution may have had probable cause. With that being said, it still does not make it right.

Things officially end four years into the future. Everyone is coupled up and happy, including Sookie, who is now pregnant with someone’s child. The audience is never actually able to see the face of the man she ends up with, which officially killed the entire battle of Team Bill vs. Team Eric.

They do get to see the rectification of former mayor Sam Merlotte’s (Sam Trammell) hasty exit from the previous episode, as he turns up for a huge get-together at Sookie’s house. They also get to see her brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), grow up from a sexual plaything to a loving husband. It was perhaps the only follow through that maintained a semblance of sense.

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The show’s final scene.

For a series finale, “Truebies” were asked to swallow quite a bit from True Blood, including the hasty marriage of Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (Jim Parrack). Considering they only reunited a day before their nuptials and Hoyt had no recollection of his relationship with her, it was another scene that was played for sentimentality. Although, like nearly everything else in the episode, it faltered just as strongly. It was nice to witness Sookie hear Bill’s thoughts for the first and final time at the wedding, but the sweetness of the act would die when he did.

Over the years, True Blood lost that special something that demanded its position in the “must see TV” category. As time progressed, the delivery of ill-conceived plot points, character developments that constantly reset themselves and many other misses would lead to a sense of dread and disappointment.

Although the penultimate episode seemed to finally get some sections right, Thank You left no gracious feelings overall. As heartbreaking as it is to realize, there really was no other way for True Blood to end. May it rest in peace.

Opinion by Jonathan Brown

Entertainment Weekly