Thursday, 28 August 2014

TRUE BLOOD, 7.10 – 'Thank You' – father of the vampire bride

Thursday, 28 August 2014
JASON: It's been a long fuckin' week, and it's been a weird fuckin' week.
Just go with it. That's a phrase you often have to repeat to yourself when watching TRUE BLOOD, but thankfully only once during its series finale. The idea that Hoyt (Jim Parrack) would agree to marry Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) after only knowing her a day (as far as he remembers), just to please her terminally ill "father" Bill (Stephen Moyer), wasn't the most plausible of things. But this show has done far sillier things over seven seasons, so I went with it. The wedding itself didn't pull at my heart-strings as was intended, alas; mainly because of that underlying stupidity, but also because Hoyt and Jessica were a couple taken to such a tragic conclusion that this eleventh hour decision to right a wrong has always felt like fan-servicing.

Which is why the real heart of this finale worked surprisingly well, because I didn't really expect True Blood to go through with its threat to kill Bill. His reasoning for wanting to die felt slightly more believable here—a desire to see Sookie (Anna Paquin) live a normal life, giving up her Fae-powers in a final act that will bring him peace—and the actor's scenes together were excellent. Sookie and Bill have been the core of this show, despite the fact the writers (wisely) opted to end their relationship because it was getting very repetitive. This final season's attempt to get them back together was awkward because of the situation with Alcide (thanklessly put into a serious relationship with Sookie, just to be murdered and forgotten about in days), but for the most part it worked well. Nobody gave two shits about Alcide, so it was just an unfortunate obstacle that made Sookie look very cold.

The best part of this episode was, undoubtedly, Sookie taking Bill's life. Opting to keep her Fae-powers (which is part of her own "truth", she instead straddled Bill in his exhumed coffin and pushed a makeshift stake into his heart, to see him explode into a bloody mess around her. Quite a graphic, emotional ending. True Blood has always been at its best when it's laying on the melodrama with a side order of explicitness, and it helps that Paquin and Moyer have such obvious chemistry (which isn't always the case on-screen with real-life couples). It was a great way to end their stories, and is the main reason I liked "Thank You" overall.
DANIELS: God doesn't lead our lives and he doesn't have to live in our shoes.
The rest of the episode was ultimately a lot of mop-up, concluding with the show's signature leap forward in time for an extended denouement. And for the most part, I can't grumble too much about how the show left the characters. Andy (Chris Bauer) inherited Bill's home, which he rents out to Jessica and Hoyt; Jason (Ryan Kwanten) has become a father-of-three, presumably ending his bed-hopping ways; Sookie is pregnant and in a relationship with, um, someone (we perhaps wisely don't get to meet her "new man"); Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and Pam (Kristen Bauer van Straten) are now the co-owners of New Blood, after killing Mr Gus (Will Yun Lee), and wealthy beyond their wildest dreams; and Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) is their secret prisoner, curing high-paying vampires of Hep-V permanently for a hefty price. My only complaint is the latter, because I just don't see Sarah as a villain deserving of that fate. She was always more of a misguided person, than truly malevolent. I just don't feel happy or satisfied she ends the show in this way, but I guess others would disagree.

Overall, I don't have any huge complaints about this finale or how the writers chose to end the show. Season 7 wasn't the best year, True Blood's fatigue was really showing in places, and I'd have preferred a punchier finale with more shocking moments than what was delivered... but it was resonant in how it chose to conclude the central Bill/Sookie storyline, and almost every other character was given a happy ending. In some ways it's a shame it didn't have the balls to do something truly memorable, but I'm just glad it didn't do something truly horrific.

written by Brian Buckner | directed by Scott Winant | 24 August 2014 | HBO