True Blood Season 4 Review: True Death For Everyone
Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer, Nelsan Ellis, Joe Manganiello, Carrie Preston, Deborah Ann Woll, Jim Parrack, Kristin Bauer Von Straten, Todd Lowe, Kevin Alejandro, Fiona Shaw, Lauren Bowles, Jessica Tuck, Dale Raoul, Janina Gavankar
Writer: Raelle Tucker, series created by Alan Ball, based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels
Director: Scott Winant
Network: HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM
Airdate: September 11, 2011
I can honestly say that I never thought I would hear the words “disappointed” run through my head when True Blood concluded this season. Confused, as I was when the season started, I was still hopeful that Ball and company could pull off a tremendous show. However, after witnessing the hot mess (yes I said it, HOT MESS) that was the season finale; I am thoroughly disappointed and unsure what to expect in Season 5. I’ve been an advocate for this show since the beginning, but I must say the confident train stops right here.
The Season 4 finale “And When I Die,” overall gets a C performance. There were definite storylines that needed tying up, while others appeared to just be a prelude to the fifth season. It seemed that Ball needed to include every character under the sun (or moonlight) in the episode for shock value and/or ratings. While I enjoyed seeing some of my past favorites, including Gran and Rene Lenier, I was not at all impressed with the execution of the characters scenes. Let’s break down the major plot points.
When Lafayette became inhabited with Marnie’s spirit, I had high hopes for an intense battle of some sort. Unfortunately the shattering conclusion to a decent storyline lacked luster, excitement, and a point. In a nutshell what we did get was Marnie’s spirit being pulled out of Lafayette by Gran, Marnie having a nervous breakdown and crying, and all the spirits summoned by Holly, Sookie and Tara, wandering off into the night. Can you say boring, no build-up, and cheesy?
I was to a certain degree disheartened by certain character deaths in this episode. I had a sneaking feeling that Jesus was near death from the moment he and Lafayette took their trip to Mexico. As a character I thought he was one of the most unique voices on the show. His scenes always produced either laughter or hatred because he appeared sneaky and loveable at the same time. The relationship between Jesus and Lafayette was also one of my favorites being that it was the most believable and honest one on the show. On the other hand, I do not believe that killing it so quickly is necessarily a bad decision by the writers. Characters had to die in order for the show to progress and get rid of its convoluted plots. So his death will remain bittersweet to me, and with Lafayette being a medium I don’t think we have seen the last of Jesus just yet.
Debbie on the other hand needed to die. I was impressed by the recent changes she had made to ensure her future with Alcide. However, after she decided to do the horizontal tango with her packmaster Marcus, I knew she was still the same old conniving wench that she was in the books. So bravo to Sookie for finally putting True Blood fans out of their misery with this unappealing batsh*t crazy character. I was also not surprised by the death of Marcus. I believe the writers have hinted around for some time now that Alcide is going to become a packmaster. And given these recent events, we can only assume he will be taking over for our dearly departed Marcus.
The fated twist of the episode comes with the death of Tara. I know some fans have complained that she was a waste of space, but I always felt that if Ball could write Tara a decent scene where she was actually a leader and not a follower, her character would become more than just a secondary Sookie (i.e. a female that constantly needed saving). But to my surprise Ball decided to just alleviate his poorly written character all together, giving her an explosive death courtesy of Debbie.
The scene was by far one of the most shocking of the season leaving many with a feeling of, what the heck just happened. But we should have expected nothing less from True Blood. Shock and awe is how the show operates. In spite of this, fans should not give up hope. According to a recent interview given by Rutina Wesley to Ausiello, Tara is scheduled to be on the show next season. We can only send out good vibes to Ball in hopes that he and the writers will give Tara something important and positive to do next season, in flashbacks, ghost form, or whatever they may have in store for the character.
Another exciting revelation that was revealed during the episode was the escape of Russell Edgington from his concrete prison. Yes folks that’s right, probably the most beloved villain on television will be returning to Bon Temps for Season 5. Frankly I am ecstatic that he is making a comeback. If anyone can save a show it would be the sadistic character Russell. Alongside the foreshadowing of Russell’s return, we also get to see Rev. Steve Newlin. Correction, a VAMPIRE Rev. Steve Newlin. And boy did he look eager to see Jason. This is a plot I can actually get behind, and I can’t wait to see where it will take us.
From the looks of it, Eric and Bill are going to be on the same team in the upcoming season. In a sort of “dude bro” fashion, the two killed an unsuspecting Nan Flanagan and her, as Eric put it, gay Storm Troopers. Now it appears that they will be taking on the AVL and the Authority. Without both of the characters chasing Sookie’s “precious fairy vagina”, maybe we can get back to having a show less focused on sex and centered back around horror, mystery, and suspense. Heck maybe we can get an actual storyline that doesn’t, how can I put this nicely…suck.
Season 5 Foreshadowing – What I do NOT Want to see:
- 1) Pam and Eric at odds with each other. Pam is right, how can her master cast her aside like yesterday’s leftovers all because of Sookie. Pam is a bad a$$ character and Eric’s devotion/love for her cannot be overshadowed by Sookie.
- 2) The destruction of Terry’s good boy persona. As alluded to by Rene, Terry’s past is going to come back and shatter all the good that fans see in him. Whatever it is, I hope it doesn’t get him killed.
- 3) Werepanther puppies and crazy Hotshot. We all know Jason is going to be a daddy, but what I don’t want to see is a bunch of creepy little kids/cubs roaming around. No thank you.
- 4) Jason captured and tied up…again.
- 5) Sookie bed hopping. Let’s face it the poor girl needs a break from men to focus on learning to control her powers.
- 6) Hoyt turning into the Tara of Season 5.
- 7) Lafayette inhabited by a spirit every other episode. Yes, he’s a medium, but please use his abilities with care.
Favorite True Blood Finale Quotes:
- – Pam: “I am so over Sookie and her precious fairy vagina and her unbelievably stupid name. F@%k Sookie!”
- – Arlene: “Zombies are the new vampires, didn’t you know that?”
- – Jesus: “You can’t trade magic like f%#king Pokémon cards!”
- – Sam: “That’s quite a costume you got there, Lisa. What are you supposed to be?”
- – Lisa:“Jenelle from Teen Mom 2.”
- – Eric:“Hi Nan. And gay storm troopers.”
There definitely were some fluffy episodes this season and weak storylines. The Sookie/Bill/Eric love triangle was one of them, creating unnecessary three-way romping. Instead of giving us that scene, we could have gotten a more satisfying resolution to the Marine storyline. I do expect more out of Season 5. If True Blood can stop trying to one-up itself every year and just tell a story that works for the universe, then the show can and will be saved. But only time will tell what will actually happen in Bon Temps next season. As for my prediction, Russell will be the shows salvation, and that’s something we can all get behind.
Tell me what you think. Did True Blood live up to your expectations?