Photo credit: HBO

Why I'm Letting The True Blood Finale Off The Hook

I’ve been pretty vocal about my love for the final season and feel no shame in admitting my satisfaction with the True Blood finale “Thank You”. We got complete closure on everyone left alive and yes, I’m a sucker for a happy ending. A little overly sentimental, maybe, but it was nice to know that Sookie had a happy ending in a post-Vampire Bill world. Which is not to say it was perfect but I’m OK with that.

I do not disagree with a lot of the finale criticism running rampant on the interwebs. For one thing, Tara totally got the shaft. I had hoped her too-early demise meant she’d have a strong finish, but no. Why is Lafayette largely absent from this episode? Did Bill really need to harp on the whole “babies are the meaning of life” thing? And why rush Jessica and Hoyt’s wedding? If you’re going to end on a schmoopy moment, how about showing them getting married four years later in Bill’s backyard?

FlickSided’s Kali Bolle takes issue that this was not a “’true’ True Blood ending” and I agree that the show’s final moments should have been in the pulpy over-the-top style True Blood was (once) known for. Melissa Maerz at Entertainment Weekly could only find solace in the awesomeness of Eric rocking out in a car full of dead bodies:

Photo credit: HBO / E! Productions

Yes, Bill asking Sookie to kill him was too much, and if she had done it with her fairy light I don’t think I’d be OK with it. It’s been made pretty clear that Sookie is conflicted about her Fey abilities, so Bill’s pitch to end his misery and extinguish her light in one fell swoop didn’t get my panties in a bunch. I can see the poetry in that, but I’m really proud of her for choosing to stay who she is. For once, it felt like she went the right way at a crossroads.

Do I think Bill is a selfish bastard for not wanting to spare her the agony of yet another horrific death? Yes. Do I wish their story didn’t end with a blood soaked Sookie knee deep in Bill’s guts, alone, in the dark, in a cemetery? Absolutely. It would have been lovely for her to “meet the sun” with him but that’s already been done. Why couldn’t Jason step up? What about Arlene? Imagine if Arlene showed up at the cemetery and sent Sookie home, then just sat there with Bill, reminiscing, until he burst into flame. Good times.

Arlene’s journey has been one of the joys of season 7. To watch her shed her prejudices and become a caring person to everyone, not just her family circle, at least gives some meaning to Terry’s senseless death in season 6. I still think he got a raw deal and wish he’d made it through to the end, but if the consequence is Arlene’s spiritual growth, I’m OK with that. I also liked Andy’s final grace note in “Thank You”. He’s another character to evolve over the entire series and his speech about being who you really are had a powerful effect on me, I think because it seemed like a message to transfolk.

And then there’s Sookie’s faceless Thanksgiving date. I knew immediately that people would be furious about the non-reveal of her presumable husband/baby daddy but I respect the show’s courage not to show us. Really, what does it matter? Can the True Blood finale tell us their entire love story in the last five minutes? No, and they had enough respect for their audience not to try. Sookie loves him; what else do we need to know? She always wanted a normal life and it looks like she finally got one.

I’m a huge fan of Lost and would go so far as to say I consider it the greatest TV show of all time. And yes, my soul was crushed after the final episode. I was angry for three days – like, actual anger that burns in your gut. To be clear, I never expected them to tie everything up. I didn’t expect closure to the overall story or an explanation of what it all meant, but I expected at least SOME measure of satisfaction after the labyrinthian storytelling of the previous six years. Alas, it was not to be.

Lost taught me some valuable lessons, the most important being not to over invest in a final episode; it’s not good for your digestion. Time has taught me that the final episode does not a series make. In an interview that I can’t find online right now, Damon Lindelof posed this question: Who says the final episode has to be the best? He’s right. And I don’t believe one not-so-great episode invalidates an entire series.

Even after reading all the criticism and analyzing how the True Blood finale could have been better, I’m still OK with it. There was emotional closure, for me anyway, and for a show that’s managed to keep it together for this many years, I think that’s the best you can hope for.

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Tags: HBO Original Series Sookie Stackhouse True Blood Finale

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