The frustratingly uneven True Blood finally comes to an end, and not a minute too soon.
True Blood has finally shambled its way across the finish line, with a checklist of clichés in hand that somehow managed to simultaneously be incredibly dull and infuriating. True Blood launched at an awkward moment for the vampire genre and aired its first season finale on the opening weekend of the first Twilight movie. It was a dark and sexy counterpoint to the chaste, sparkling puppy love of emergent Twilight fever. These vampires were more traditional and a lot more Anne Rice than the “vegetarian” sparkle vamps and, given the prestige afforded by HBO and Alan Ball, True Blood became a lesser cultural phenomenon, but a phenomenon nonetheless.
After seven seasons of sex, violence, and clumsy gay rights metaphors, we’re left with a 1950s version of a happy ending
It’s surprising, then, that a series with so much potential and creative freedom would soon be outclassed by The Vampire Diaries, a young adult series that was essentially Twilight: The Show for the first six episodes. Over the course of seven seasons, True Blood followed a similar path to Nip/Tuck: bursting out of the gate with sex and scandal, only to flame out after the initial euphoric rush wore off. After seven seasons of sex, violence, and clumsy gay rights metaphors, we’re left with a 1950s version of a happy ending.
Bill refused the cure because he wanted to save Sookie from herself, and True Blood is sticking to the idea that this is somehow a romantic act rather than condescending paternalism. Bill wants Sookie to be able to grow old and die with someone and pop out some babies at some point along the way, because that’s how life is supposed to be. So, if we maintain the problematic vampires-as-homosexuals metaphor, Sookie would be bisexual and Bill wants her to have a heterosexual life. Because babies are everything and adoption and IVF are not options, apparently. Bill is a mega hypocrite for pushing Jessica to marry Hoyt as soon as he learns that they are speaking to each other again (maybe it doesn’t matter, because Hoyt can’t pop out babies himself?), even though Hoyt was dating someone else roughly 16 hours earlier.
And so a rushed wedding happens because Jessica wants Bill, her only real father figure, to witness it. The wedding itself is obvious gay marriage commentary, which is ironic because Lafayette and James, True Blood’s only same sex couple, have had almost no screen time together since Jessica caught them banging in the backseat of their car. Apparently they’re a couple now, but legit same sex couples aren’t important for gay rights commentary. During the wedding, Sookie begins hearing Bill’s thoughts, as his illness is making him more human or some such BS.
The wedding is obvious gay marriage commentary, ironic considering True Blood’s only same sex couple have had almost no screen time
Bill also wants Sookie to use her fairy light bomb thing to kill him (“the ultimate kindness”) and turn herself human in the process. Bill considers this a win/win. Sookie is initially upset by this request, naturally, but relents because that’s what she does, and so she agrees to kill him in his fake grave, because reasons. Light bomb in hand, Sookie decides that she can’t give up that part of herself for Bill…but she will stake him instead. So she straddles him in his coffin (because sex and death) and he helps her stake him, rather than just meeting the sun or meeting the true death in some way that isn’t traumatic for the woman he claims to love.
Multiple flash forwards later: Sookie is literally pregnant (and probably barefoot) in the kitchen getting Thanksgiving dinner ready. And Jason has three kids with Bridget, the oldest of which is so big that she must have been conceived the first time they had sex, Twilight-style. So everyone ends up at Sookie’s for Thanksgiving dinner paired off (including Lafayette and James, who don’t even get lines), and Sookie lives happily ever after with at least one kid and a man whose face is never shown and is never named. Because it doesn’t matter. She has a man and a baby; what more could she want?
– Gus and the Yakuza are dispatched early and easily by Eric and Pam, making this another largely pointless mini arc, but at least it gave us time with Eric and Pam, who steal New Blood from Gus, become stupidly wealthy, and presumably never return to Bon Temps.
– Sarah is held prisoner in the Fangtasia basement, where vamps can pay $100k to feed on her for a minute for the full cure. It’s a surprisingly dark ending for her.
– Apparently, Sookie’s way of telling Jason that she approves of Bridget is telling him that it wouldn’t be terrible if he had sex with Bridget on the way to dropping her off at the airport.
All images: HBO