'True Blood' weekends: That's all, folks!
Honestly, I expected the "True Blood" finale to be a lot more controversial around these parts. Usually when I dislike (or even like) an episode, a healthy number of you disagree. But outside of a few people who thought the finale was good fun, it sure seemed like everybody who commented or got in touch with me could agree on one broad point about the finale: It was pretty bad. If it wasn't pulling lots of lame cliffhangers on us and muddying up the storyline, it was just plain boring. For once, we're all (mostly) on the same page, and that just makes me feel great about humanity.
Unfortunately, since we were all on the same page, there's less to write about this week. (Which gives me more time to finish up this piece on the awesome "Boardwalk Empire" pilot.) But let's see some of your comments anyway.
Tess liked this season. She's still looking forward to next season. But the finale? That disappointed her:
"This whole season I thought was fabulous, and it did feel like it was building towards something, but then we got here and nothing happened. I did feel like I was enjoying it while I was watching it, but once I got to the end it was like, I have no idea what just filled those 55 minutes. Every time something built up -- Eric in the ground with an assassin sent for Pam, for instance, or Alcide showing up -- it was over 5 minutes later (not that I wasn't glad to see Eric alive. Or Alcide still looking good. Or Godric, for that matter)."
I agree it was nice to see all of those characters again, but at some point, they've got to be back to service the story. And that was never the case in this finale, where people just showed up out of nowhere for no particular reason.
Jeremiah took the show to task even more than I did:
"The best example of (the season's failings) is the story of Lafayette. He was one of the strongest characters when the season began -- a ... survivor who found himself in over his head but wasn't afraid to keep fighting. Now, he's weak, supplicating, and ... dull. Jason, who has always been the show's most perplexing character, spent the whole season searching for a story. He started with the Eggs murder ordeal, switched to wanna-be cop mode, had his 'I'm in love with white trash for no explicable reason' moments, dealt with the 'V is the new PED' situation, and is now mayor of Hotshot in the wake of Calvin Norris' death. The writers didn't seem to know what to do with him, so they kept inserting him into whatever hole was available, irregardless of whether the hole was square, round, or triangular.
"My biggest gripe is the way Sam's story was resolved/set-up for next season. He went from being the only 'decent' guy on the show to being a monster. He is now wholly unlikable. No doubt the writers will want to set him up for 4th season redemption, but in the meantime, I can't buy him shooting his brother (if, indeed, that's what he did).
"'True Blood' has the potential to be one of the best show's on TV, but it seems to kowtow to the pressure of a fanbase that wants more and more useless plotlines involving ancillary characters than a cohesive, engaging narrative."
Yikes. I will say that I don't believe Sam has actually taken a turn to the dark side. The cliffhanger in that case sure seems to be a "just where was he pointing that gun" kind of affair, though I could see others reading this differently.
Finally, Barbara G. Griffin had the best defense of the show I read, even if it was kind of half-hearted:
"Personally, I enjoyed the finale. It set up just enough to make me interested to find out about the next season. Yes Sookie going to fairy land was a bit hokey but that's her role in the show -- sort of a confused ditsy blond trying to find her way. I totally disagree with the idea that Lafayette has become weak. His character is developing; there is more than one side to everyone and for the first time he has someone to lean on in the form of Jesus. I love the Jessica and Hoyt sideline for some reason but I think they are taking the Sam rage thing a bit far. All in all, I can't wait to find out about the witches and what their role will be, how all the relationships will pan out (especially since Hoyt's mama just bought a rifle), if Sam really shot his brother, etc."
And I think that will be all for this season of "True Blood." It was a frustrating season, though it certainly had some terrific moments. I thank you all for reading these pieces and offering your intelligent comments on them. Here's hoping that Season 4 of the show turns all of this around!
-- Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)
Photo: What's it take to keep a vampire down? Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) survived exposure to sunlight and being buried in wet cement in the "True Blood" finale. Credit: HBO