Here's Adam on a show that probably should have ended a couple of years ago but finally has its eviction notice -Editor
It’s been seven years and we’re finally (almost) to the end. I don’t know how many people of you have stuck with True Blood from the beginning. Nathaniel bolted during the show's nadir (season 5) though he's silently returned since. But if you’re anything like me, you believe that season six was, as much as it could be, a return to form, a reminder or the series glory days.
As I plowed through the first three episodes of this seventh and final season, I could not help but feel that it has all been a prolonged set up to something better... or perhaps 'trimming down' to something better more aptly explains it. While no episode has been an absolute knock out, you can feel season 7 trying desperately to become the show it once was before it meets the true death.
Season six left off with Sam as the new mayor of Bon Temps (Because, why not?) giving a speech at a social, with nearly the entire town in attendance. In order for everybody to advance in this world and move forward from their dark past and ensure peace between vampires and humans forever, Sam decrees that each human will have a designated vampire to be their protector. In exchange, the vampire will be allowed to feed off the human in moderated doses at the donor’s discretion. During the festivities, a pack of intruding Hep-V stricken vampires killed a majority of Bon Temps residents and kidnapped others, forcibly regressing the town back to its past social structure, with humans hating anybody who’s not human like their lives depend on it.
As the Bon Temps social structure crumbles beneath its citizens’ feet, this season tracks how these characters either choose to be consumed by the destruction and let the unraveling define them, or how they fight against the chaos.
For years, it hasn’t been a hypothetical question as whether the quality of True Blood has decreased. Even as a diehard fan I can proudly inquire as to what the fuck season five was. You could say True Blood has a problem of sucking off more than it can drain. Too many uninteresting or one note characters without compelling integrated storylines (I’m looking at you were-panthers, Alcide’s wolfpack, Sam Merlotte in general. To be fair, I’d even throw Sookie in there.) So, instead, lets focus on what the show is doing well in season 7
YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT, TRUE BLOOD
Condensing of storylines.
It only took a few years for the writers room to realize what wasn't working, thereby cutting the fat. What do you do with characters whose solo storylines have proved worthless for years? Force them to share one big super storyline! Completely getting rid of any solo Alcide and Sam narratives and joining all the characters into a search party is a godsend. We’ve been following these characters’ lives for seven years and I’ll be goddamned if I didn’t miss them interacting amongst one another. So, seeing the majority of them banding together to find the kidnapped Arlene, Holly and Sam’s girlfriend is a real treat.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I nearly shit all over my duvet when Nan popped back up, even if it was only for a flashback. Memorably returning last season, Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) is a delicious antagonist who is thrillingly now the one being hunted. However, she’s not even being pursued by a merry band of vampires, fairies, shifters, werewolves, and humans…yet. Just some sword-wielding hitmen hired by some pissed off Tru Blood executives.
Jessica’s journey towards atonement after murdering three of Andy Bellefleur’s litter of fairy daughters is the most moving storyline. Her character has always been the undead beating heart of the show, even piercing through season five’s dullness with her goodbye glamoring of Hoyt as he left the series for Alaska. Watching her change from hunter to protector, for a fairy of all temptations, shows remarkable growth for her character.
POTENTIAL, BUT NOT THERE YET
Given the opportunity, I’d stake Sookie and Bill off myself if that meant Pam and Eric could be the leads of the show. It’s just a shame Pam’s journey to find Eric was presented with an end so sudden and abrupt, without any time and pay off. Regardless, when Pam reinvigorates Eric with a will to live and hunt down Sarah Newlin, I tingled all over.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe I want a piece of happiness too?
Dare I hope they're setting up a meaningful storyline and maybe a sincere romance for Lafayette? Maybe a love interest that won’t be killed off just as the relationship’s being taken seriously? Lafayette has been adrift ever since Jesus’ death in season four. The show hasn’t known what to do with him for years, reducing him to a snapping sassy one-liner cameo machine. Like Tara, he’s seen his fair share of bullshit and if anybody deserves some fucking happiness at the conclusion of this series, it’s Lafayette. However, just as a new tender relationship for him seems to begin, the mockery of a fantasy sex scene between Eric and Jason only reminds us of True Blood’s masked homophobia. Look, we show guys kissing and Lafayette even had a boyfriend for a few episodes. We totally love gay people. Psh, it’s like when someone says they’re not racist because they have black friends. But then again, even as I type that, I can’t deny that having seen Eric and Jason canoodle, naked, wasn’t a sight for blood soaked eyes. It’s just too bad the scene could not have served a purpose other than joking shock value, fandering, or a sign that the show’s creators are going for broke in its final season.
While I was never the biggest fan of Tara, she didn’t get the proper send off she was entitled to. She was killed off screen, for god’s sake. Alcide’s death? Eh, I’m okay with it. I mean, he was pretty to look at but did anybody really believe that him and Sookie were suddenly in love at the conclusion of season six? You can only take so much growling in everyday dialogue. The most rewarding death so far is, hands down, Maxine Fortenberry. At least she had some killer one-liners and some hearty as shit laughs before her heart was literally ripped out. Now, that’s a deserved exit.
WRAP IT UP
All in all, by True Blood standards at least, the seventh and final season is off to a pretty solid start. The visuals have been eerily unsettling (the mass grave of human casualties in St. Alice) and the dark self-effacing humor is finally back (anything out of Maxine Fortenberry’s mouth, especially when persuading the townspeople to lock up Adilyn and Holly’s son during the police station raid). Like many characters have said already, “fuck the past. Only now matters.” If True Blood keeps taking pointers from George RR Martin, then what has happened in previous seasons really does mean nothing, everybody’s fair game, and nobody’s safe. Though in True Blood people rarely stay dead. Who knows, maybe since we never saw Tara perish, only her grisly aftermath, she’s still alive? We’re already three significant characters down with seven more episodes to go.
Lets ride this final season out and, as the advertisements suggest, stay true to end.