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Monday, September 12, 2011

'True Blood' season 4 finale

Im sorry Bill ... I cant. Especially with you in that bathrobe, wearing that pinky ring.
  • John P. Johnson
  • I'm sorry Bill ... I can't. Especially with you in that bathrobe, wearing that pinky ring.
Up until about the last two minutes of "True Blood's" season 4 finale, I thought maybe Alan Ball had mixed up his last two episodes and played the actual finale last week, and the penultimate episode last night. Episode 11 saw a showdown between the vampires and Marnie, including Eric ripping the beating heart out of Mantonia's redneck sidekick and slurping warm blood from its severed aorta, and Jesus channeling his demon-faced brujo magic to rip Antonia's spirit from Marnie's corporal bond. At the episode's end, Marine lay vanquished, a bullet between her eyes, until WHOOSH!, into Lafayette's gullet she went.

What a creepy-eyed way to finish season 4 that would have been, with Marnie making herself at home inside Lafayette. The parting moment would have subtly reinforced the notion that death is simply another way of life, at least in Bon Temps, and the America in which Bon Temps exists. It's one of the central ideas around which season 4, and by extension the entire series, has been constructed, to varying degrees of success.

Instead, Marnie's storyline gets dragged out to a predictable but sufficient end. And then we still have half the episode to go. So ... what now?

Well, it's Halloween. In Bon Temps. Where actually everyday is like the scariest version of Halloween you don't even want to imagine, but they all get dressed up like zombies and teen moms to celebrate anyway. And then everyone dies.

Basically. Fast forward through all of Sookie's yapping about how she chooses neither Bill nor Eric (yawn), pause for a second to watch Jason and Jess have some seriously hot couch sex (Remember when Jess looked like this? It's a far cry from season 4's role-playing, orally fixated baby vamp), and meet Sookie back in the kitchen about two minutes before the episode ends.

Mangy Debbie busts through the back door with a shotgun and yells, "I shoulda done this a long time ago!" at Sookie. Tara glimpses the the situation from the next room and dives forward to save her best friend. She manages to push Sookie out of the bullet's path, but it catches Tara in the back of the head, destroying the backside of her skull. Sookie leaps up, wrestles the gun from Debbie, pins her down on the kitchen floor and blows her brains out. Sookie cradles dead Tara in her arms screaming for help. And Tara's definitely dead. That was no bullet graze, no mere flesh wound.

But what does "dead" even mean on "True Blood?" Based on season 4, there's a strong chance Tara will be resurrected in season 5. After being murdered by Marnie, Jesus is already back in business, floating around Lafayette's room. And poor Lafayette, Jesus' cuerpo isn't even cold yet and now his cousin's been killed too. If Tara does come back to life, my one wish would be that the bullet destroyed the part of her brain where that horrible accent lives. (Too soon?)

The ghosts of season's past are busy this hallow's eve: A fanged-out Rev. Newell pops up on Jason's doorstep, Renee appears behind Merlotte's to warn Arlene about Terry, and Russell Edgington breaks out of his cement tomb. That didn't take long. Not to mention Gran's braless cameo in a dirty nightie. Is that really what they buried her in? Couldn't Sookie at least have put her in her church dress?

Nan actually meets her end in season 4, a True Death swiftly delivered by Bill in his office after she defects from the AVL and threatens Sookie's safety. "What a bitch," says Eric.

Season four's ending feels slightly ambivalent, as if the writers are saying, "Yeah, yeah. Sorry we wasted your time this season with too many superfluous storylines. We're not sure where we were going with all that were-panther crap. Ha! We'll make it up to you by bringing back all the awesome people from seasons 1-3. Cool?"

Before being obliterated, Nan brings up the issue of dissent within the AVL, a potential storyline for season 5, especially with Russell Edgington back in the picture. Will Bill and Eric continue to be chummy? Will Pam disobey Eric and go after Sookie? Can Hoyt and Jason's friendship be mended? And will we ever get to see Mrs. Foytenberry's famous pork rind casserole?

QUOTES & NOTES:
-Tara: "What are we magnets for fucking craziness or something?"

-Mrs. Foytenberry: "He was a devious little son of a bitch?" (about Tommy)

-Arlene: "Do you want to go trick or treatin' down at the trailer park and get a bunch of empty Coors Light cans or do you want candy?"

-Jesus: "Dude I'm dead you're a medium. i'll always be with you."

-Pam: "I am so over Sookie and her precious fairy vagina and her incredibly stupid name. Fuck Sookie!"

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For Tara, in memoriam:

and this

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