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True Blood wrapped up its final season tonight. "Thank You" closed out the series with an ending that was strangely comprised mostly of ending, with a bit of set-up to push us toward the series' true death. Sure, there was blood and there were explosions and even a few moments to smile at. Most of all, there was a proper wrap-up to the story. But there wasn't much momentum, due in large part to the fact that no one was really trying to kill anyone... unless you count Sookie, but we'll get to that. Here's where we announce the obvious spoiler alert! If you haven't seen the finale yet and don't want to know what happens, stop reading now!
The finale in a nutshell - Hoyt and Jessica got married. Bill made one last play for Sookie's light, but settled for a stake. Sookie gave Bill the true death courtesy of a shovel handle. Sara Newlin earned a horrible fate as a blood slave. Pam and Eric got rich and everyone else lived happily ever after... Except those Yakonomo people. They're all dead. Eric and Pam snapped a couple of necks and set another on fire.
On a scale of amazing series finales to the really disappointing ones, True Blood probably falls somewhere in the middle. Admittedly, my expectations weren't particularly high, which may factor into that assessment. The season itself was really just ok at its best, so the ending had to follow suit, and in that respect, "Thank You" actually did a few things right in terms of closing out the series. For one thing, the show figured out how to give Sookie a positive ending and that didn't include turning her into a vampire or forcing her to sacrifice what's left of her gift to the man she loves. Sure, there might have been something poetic about Sookie offering up her remaining light to Bill and moving forward as a "normal" human, but as she put it, her gift is part of who she is. She doesn't need to let it go in order to have a happy life.
But she does need to let Bill go. It's one of the sadder endings to a vampire-human love story, sure, but it's hard to imagine the series ending with Sookie and Bill walking off into the sunset together. The very nature of their relationship was riddled with complications that would've only led to more drama, more fights, more chaos, and more death.
Beyond that, Bill seemed to grasp what few vampires do in stories like these. To be human is to die. Ok, vampires aren't human, and for some of them, that's just fine, but for Bill, it wasn't ok anymore. He was ready to go. He was ready to accept the fate that should have been his a long time ago. In that respect, it was fitting that he should splatter into a pile of goo over his own empty casket.
Sookie doing the honors was also fitting, as was the gory nature of Bill's demise. Because let's face it, as sad as Bill's departure was as it related to the overall story, which began with Sookie first meeting Bill at Merlotte's, it wouldn't be True Blood without, well, blood.
The alternative to Bill's death would've been for Sookie's light to somehow turn Bill human, after which the two of them could go on to live happy human lives together. I'll admit, the thought did cross my mind while Sookie was holding that ball of light. Alas, the truth death was Bill's face. RIP Bill Compton.
On the brighter side, Bill got to walk Jessica down the aisle. The lovely baby vamp married Hoyt at Bill's mansion, dressed in a champagne-colored dress. The rushed nature of their nuptials didn't go ignored either, but it's a finale. A wedding is in order. As is a funeral, apparently.
And that brings us to the epilogue, which showed everyone paired up and happy in the few-years-later followup. That included Sam and his happy family, Jason and Hoyt's ex-girlfriend Bridgette, Sookie and whoever she's with -- we don't see his face, but Sookie is very pregnant -- Lettie Mae and Reverend Daniel, and some other Bon Temps residents. It's a happy Thanksgiving for the living.
Meanwhile, Pam and Eric killed the Yakonomo guys, took control of Sarah Newlin, made her a slave at Fangasia and bottled "New Blood," the cure to Hep V. We were treated to the sight of Eric returned to his throne, and Sarah Newlin being fed from in the basement and later, hallucinating Steve. So she's basically in her own special version of hell.
Pam and Eric's ending was perfect. But I can't help but feel like the Yakonomo story was meant to go in some other direction or something. Otherwise why leave off with them possibly targeting Sookie and then just dropping it and having Eric and Pam kill them off in the finale? That eliminated any chance of their being some actual suspense in this episode. If there's a place where "Thank You" went wrong, it's that. There was virtually no threat to anyone, except for Bill's fight against Hepatitis V. No one-last-battle to fight. No danger for Sookie. Just an hour and ten minutes of ending, and then it was over.
As an ending, it was happy but vague, as Sookie is living the life Bill and her grandmother wanted for her.
We can certainly argue that True Blood should have wrapped up sooner than Season 7, but at the same time, I doubt I'm alone in knowing I'll miss it next summer.
Jessica in her dress.
Sarah Newlin chowing down on garbage.
Pam and Eric ringing the Wall Street bell.
Bill exploding underneath Sookie, because that's just the kind of WTF-shenanigans we should come to expect from this series, even as it blows up the biggest romantic arc of the series.
A turkey being deep-fried, because I don't know.
"Fuckin... A!," - barely whispered by Arlene, in awe of Bill's house.
"Love is love, plain and simple." - Andy, marrying Hoyt and Jessica.
"I wouldn't let you go down on me for a billion dollars." - Pam to Sarah Newlin.
"I love you Sookie Stackhouse. I love you with everything I'm made of." - Bill's thoughts.