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True Blood - Episode 4.12 - And When I Die - Review

After twelve long weeks this season of True Blood has come to a close, and as usual I have some mixed feelings. In general this was a polarizing episode, and not just because we lost two major characters. I have a feeling this is going to end up being my longest review yet, so I’m going to try and divide it into sections; my thoughts on the finale, the season as a whole, and what’s to come for next season. Buckle up, this is going to be a long ride.

My Thoughts on the Finale

As usual I’m going to split this up by characters, starting with Jesus and Lafayette. As I’ve mentioned in the past Jesus really grew on me as a character this season, and I’m really going to miss him and his ghost busting duo with Lafayette. The only issue I had was their brief trip to Mexico that served no purpose, and the rather weak introduction of his ‘family demon’. Now that the demon is in Lafayette I’m sure we’ll see more next season. As usual Nelsan did an amazing job being possessed by Marnie, it was subtle and not over the top but scary all the same. I was really impressed with the scenes between the two of them in Lafayette’s house, and then felt really let down by the conclusion.

What initially bothered me is how the show just cuts to Erik and Bill tied up to the stake, with no reference as to how this even happened. Lame. My initial thoughts as to why Marnie needed Antonia so much was because of her spells and power, if that was something that she could have learned then why bind herself to Antonia? Well apparently some spell rubbed off and she managed to overcome two powerful vampires on her own, or let’s just say with the demons power. Again, none of this was explained very well. So Sookie, Tara, and Holly summon the ghosts from the graveyard, and Gran and Antonia come back to take Marnie with them. Antonia saves the vampires from burning, so that they can suffer for eternity? Hmmmmm ok, kind of goes against what she was doing for the past season. And Marnie, this season’s super villain, was essentially defeated by talking. And even this was a conversation which was essentially a rehash of things that have been said to Marnie from the past two episodes. When I compare it to the villain conclusions from past seasons it just can’t compete, especially with the cement bath that Russell took.

Jason and Jessica were cute at first, but I now find them fairly annoying. Jason Stackhouse is a much better character when he’s not acting like a helpless puppy dog in love, and Jessica’s best moments seem to happen when she’s not in a relationship. My only comfort is that it looks like this is going to be more of a booty call and less of a traditional relationship, quite frankly Sookie’s drama is enough and we didn’t need any more. The Hoyt/Jason fight was pretty intense; what with all the deaths in this episode I was genuinely worried for Jason. But I’m guessing the real danger is yet to come, thanks to Jason’s cliffhanger. When that doorbell rang I definitely thought it was Crystal. After all, we still haven’t had a proper resolution to the insanity that was Hot Shot. Given how much time was spent on it in the first half of the season you would think there might be something in the finale, but nope. Instead we get Steve Newlin, back from the dead, literally. I really did not see this one coming, but had hoped that we would get to see him again sometime this season. And the sight of that goofy preacher face with fangs was amazing.

So apparently Eric and Bill no longer hate each other? Or they’re at least civil towards each other? Since the last few episodes they’ve been inseparable, which is strange to say the least. I’m guessing now that Sookie has dumped both of them they will form their own A-Fucking-Faerie-Broke-My-Heart support group, or maybe just turn to each other for comfort if you get my drift. The break up scene with Sookie was terrible; I was cringing at every line of dialogue. I’m not big on Soap Operas, and that is definitely what that scene felt like. Thankfully this was rectified with Nan and her Gay Stormtroopers. I do love a good head ripping and staking.

And lastly let’s talk about Sookie. The way I see it there are two Sookie’s; the Sookie that does something, and the Sookie that stands around and gives the sad face. You know the face I’m talking about. Well we saw both of these tonight, and as usual I only liked the first one. I’ve mentioned it before on here, but the Sookie from the books is very different from TV Sookie. She’s very independent and is more of a doer than a talker. For example, the only moment in this episode that was taken from the books was when Sookie shot Debbie Pelt, and it was amazing. My boyfriend commented that it was the best scene in the episode, and I agree. Sure, it was followed by sad face, but I’ll allow it because at least it wasn’t sad face about Bill or Eric. Although Sookie was sad about Tara’s death, I’m sure there multitudes of fans were not. I have mixed feelings on this, Tara can be a great character when used properly and when added to other characters, such as her trio with Lafayette and Jesus in the beginning of the season. Also besides Pam she was the second best sass and smack talker on the show. But in the end her death was probably for the best, and definitely made for a memorable finale.

My Thoughts on the Season

Looking back over the past four seasons I’d have to say that the first season is still my favorite. It also happens to be the only season that stayed fairly true to the books, so there might be some bias there. The format of the books is pretty much this; one to two mysteries are introduced and Sookie and co. solve them by the end of the book. The mysteries are also much tamer, sure there are murders but you never really see any crazy super villains like Marnie and Russell who are uber powerful and want to kill everything. I get that Alan Ball and the writers feel the need to kick it up a notch each season, but I just wish they wouldn’t make these villains an end-of-the-world scenario. In the books the witch circle were essentially the Mafia, pay up or we use magic to make your life hell. This was twisted in a million different directions to get what we saw this season, a plot so complicated I don’t think I could sum it up in a sentence if I tried. Complicated doesn’t always mean better, and it also means that some smaller storylines get sidelined. Hot Shot and the Faeries were both introduced with no real resolution this season, so the viewers are going to have to hope that we see something next season. The faerie plot was the biggest drop of all, and it’s a shame because to me that has the most potential for the future. Also at this point I think we’re all sick of vamps and weres, a new supernatural element would be refreshing, and would also give Sookie something to explore that doesn’t involve vampires.

True Blood isn’t perfect, and I have my gripes along with everyone else, but that won’t change the fact that it is an incredibly entertaining show. Overall I really enjoyed this season, even if some of the characters and situations did drive me crazy at times. And it filled out the TB checklist quite nicely with plenty of WTF moments, another category that I call the Has-Never-Been-Done-On-TV-And-Will-Never-Be-Done-Again moment, more gratuitous sex scenes than you can count, and all the blood and gore you could ever desire. Also the ghosts of True Bloods Past was a nice touch, although a little corny, and it was nice to see Gran and Renee again. Did anyone else get a Harry Potter vibe from that scene with Gran? Sorry, off topic there. So all in all I’d give this season a B; a good season but there was room for improvement. The cliffhangers were promising, so let’s move on to the next season’s possibilities.

My Thoughts on the Next Season
  • I’m going to take this character by character, and try to touch on everybody. There may be small book spoilers, but I’ll try not to reveal anything too big.
  • Jessica appears to be over Hoyt and just wants to use Jason as a fuck buddy. I don’t think this is going to work out, after all this is new and responsible Jason we’re talking about here. He’s grown up, and I’m guessing will end up wanting something more serious along the lines of what Hoyt had with her.
  • As we last left Jason he was nude and a vampire Steve Newlin was at his door. No worries though, Jason didn’t invite Steve in, although the ensuing conversation is sure to be very interesting.
  • Was Steve Newlin willingly made a vampire or not? And who was his maker? There’s some speculation going around that he was involved in the Russell break out that we saw in the last episode, but I’m going to hold off on this one as the timing doesn’t quite fit, someone else would have had to been involved. And where’s Sarah? She was my favorite character from season two, is she a vampire too or is out of Steve’s life altogether?
  • Russell is now free, but there wasn’t a blood bath in his wake, in fact the person in the garage had been glamoured as opposed to killed. Did his year in the cement change his attitude from season three? Maybe he just wants to be friends and has joined some type of vampire 12-step program. My guess is that he’s still up to his old tricks, but has a more subtle plan in place.
  • As we saw Alcide really wants Sookie to reconsider their possible relationship, but now that Sookie has killed Debbie is that really an option? In the books this is the main wedge between the two of them. This may not hold true for TV though, as we’ve seen the writers pretty much throw the books out the window. Expect some tension though, Alcide did love Debbie, and that’s only going to complicate things. Also don’t forget he killed his pack leader. Book five is very were/shifter centric, with pack leader succession as a main storyline, so hopefully we’ll get to see Alcide in a more prominent role.
  • Nan may be dead, but she brought up some interesting concepts about the vampire hierarchy and the cracks that might be present. She also said that there was some sort of rebellion, and that Eric might be involved. Hopefully we actually get to see this in the next season, some vampire storylines that don’t involve Sookie and suicide would be amazing.
  • Marnie is gone for good. Right? Oh boy, I never know anymore with this show.
  • Arlene received an eerie warning from Renee, who had talked to Terry’s dead buddies in the afterlife. There’s a lot more to Terry that we’ll be finding out about next season, and the catalyst is no doubt his former marine buddy who showed up in the last episode. We know he was psycho, and on medications, but is there more to it than just PTSD?
  • Hoyt’s had a rough season, but it would be nice to see him happy and moving on. In the books I believe he marries Tara and they have a kid, but I’m guessing that won’t be the case for the show. It would nice to see Summer return, or maybe he’ll reconnect with his mother. Either way I’m going to guess he avoids Jason so we may not end up seeing much of him at all next season.
  • Luna and Emma seem to be adjusting well to loosing Marcus, and Sam is fitting in the family man role quite nicely. Don’t forget that they’re going to be tangled up in the same were mess that Alcide is in, so I don’t expect the happy family to last too long. And with the cliffhanger of Sam running into a were, the drama is definitely not over yet.
  • Lafayette said it best in season two, “I’m a survivor first”, so I’m hoping he’ll make it through killing his boyfriend and the presumed death of his cousin. The fact that he can see the dead is a bonus, but it’s still a rough situation. As long as he doesn’t do a Tara and attempt suicide I’ll be happy. Now that he’s lost his sidekicks I expect him to spend more time with Sookie, which is a combination that we haven’t seen too much of.
  • Holly and Andy are adorable, and it may or may not work out, but don’t forget the faerie that Andy slept with. I’m guessing she’ll come back and probably with a baby to further complicate things.
  • Pam is upset that Eric has been choosing Sookie over her, but now that Sookie has effectively dumped Eric she should be OK right? Doubtful. The rumors have been that next season we’ll learn a lot more about the backstory of Eric and Pam, and if snarky comments are present then I’ll be incredibly happy.
  • Tara; is she dead or isn’t she? Or is a vampire going to save the day and either heal her or turn her? I’m going to call dead on this one. She’s been pretty hated and a dead weight for a while now, at least the writers gave her a good death. Bringing her back would be unpopular, and at this point TB has too many cast members, killing a few off was for the best.
  • I’m going to lump Bill and Eric together for this one, as I have genuinely no idea how they are going to fit in to the next season. I can only imagine that they will be involved in the Russell break out, but other than that I have no clue. They were pretty much sidelined in book five, with the exception of a few scenes.
  • In the books Sookie gets dragged into the were/shifter drama that is one of the main plots of the books, but I’m not going to count out that she will probably get dragged in to the Russell mess that I’m sure if coming Bon Temps’ way. Also at this point some faerie friends should have moved into Louisiana, and it would be nice if they made an appearance in the show too. After all, she doesn’t have very many friends left. I’m hoping that she temporarily cuts ties with the vamps, as I said earlier independent Sookie is a far better character for the series and this season I really felt that all they did was drag her down. Also we should see a new love interest in season five, a warm blooded love interest for once!

My Goodbye

Well it’s been fun, but I’ll be glad for the break until season five. These reviews take a lot of time, I average about 4-5 hours per review, including re-watching the episode to write down quotes. Since this was a finale/season review it’s taken even longer. I really hope that everyone has enjoyed these, and since the reaction has been pretty positive I will definitely be back next year. In the mean time I also write the review for Parks and Recreation, which starts its fourth season in a few weeks. I’m not sure how many True Blood viewers cross over and watch Parks, but it’s an amazingly well done show that’s both hilarious and heartwarming. If you’re looking for something to kill your wait for the next TB season I can’t recommend it enough, the first two seasons are on Netflix streaming, and Hulu Plus has all three seasons and the new episodes that air. I’ll be posting my reviews for Parks starting the 23rd, which will be the Friday after the episode airs, for the entire season. Luckily since that’s a shorter show the reviews only take me about 2 hours.

Again, and as always, thanks for reading and please leave me comments! I read through every one, and definitely recognize my regulars. I’ll see you guys next summer for some more fangtastic times in Bon Temps!

Random Thoughts
  • The scene with Maxine and Sam was really touching, yet hilarious as she starts listing the clothes Tommy stole.
  • Loved Jason psyching himself up in the car mirror, also it was a fun camera angle.
  • Smart Jason, asking Hoyt to put the chainsaw down first before telling him that he’s screwing around with Jessica.
  • Nice to see that Sookie’s got a job again, otherwise she’s got a good career as a private soda dispenser.
  • Loved Lisa dressed up as a teen mom, but really she looks like a mini Arlene.
  • Is it just me or does Terry’s old friend Patrick look concerned that Terry has a wife?
  • Love how cool and calm Holly is, and she’s even dressed up just a day after being freed from Moon Goddess. Also her wiccan first aid kit was pretty awesome.
  • When are people going to get the message that being Bill’s security guard is essentially a death sentence? At this point I don’t think he has any left.
  • My guess is that the conversation in the writer’s room went like this; How can we get Bill and Eric shirtless, and throw some symbolism in there too so it doesn’t look like we just wanted to get them shirtless?
  • Loved the strange looks Holly was getting as she was spreading the salt around.
  • Gran pulling Marnia out of Lafayette was pretty awesome, Go Gran Go!
  • Of course Arlene starts chanting that song when Renee shows up, didn’t work the last time to chase out the ghost, so I’m guessing it won’t work this time.
  • Yes, talk about your relationship during sex Jessica. Way to kill the mood.
  • Ginger is back! And is comforting poor Pam, which is incredibly sweet. I’m pretty sure Ginger is Pam’s only real friend, beside Eric.
  • Is Sookie getting off while feeding both vampires? Jeez new low, and probably closest to an actual threesome we’ll see outside of a dream sequence.
  • Bill and Eric in identical robes? Hilarious.
  • Oh poor Eric is sooo excited when he thinks he’s finally getting Sookie, so sad.
  • Hoyt was scared of Jessica’s fangs so no blow jobs. Ah the problems of being a vampire.
  • Yeah I’m pretty sure Steve Newlin is gay for Jason. But then again I’m sure a lot of guys are.
  • So there’s an order on Bill and Eric’s heads? I wonder if we’ll see the resolution of that now that Nan’s gone and they solved the witch issue.
  • The scariest sound ever; the sound of a shotgun being loaded.
  • Sookie’s kitchen is so often covered in blood, she should paint it red to hide the stains.
  • So the final scene is Sookie crying out for someone to help her. Any guesses on who will show up first? Or maybe Eric and Bill are just too pissed at the moment with her to help.

Favorite Quotes
  • “What are we, like, magnets for fucking craziness of something?”
  • “We all do the best we can with what we got.”
  • “It’s a nice day. Moist.”
  • “Kind of a weird question to ask man, but if you really want to know, uh missionary, then doggie, then her on top. It was nothing too kinky.”
  • “Marnie before Antonia came along you were afraid of your own voice. You talked to the dead because they were your only friends.”
  • “Zombie’s are the new vampires, didn’t you know that?”
  • “You can’t trade magic like fucking pokemon cards!”
  • “Now do you want a bag of empty Coors cans and food stamps, or do you want candy?”
  • “I’m either going to be a shapeshifter like my mommy, or a werewolf like my daddy. He’s dead.”
  • “People don’t change, they just find new ways to lie.”
  • “Usually I just light a candle and ask the spirits to make sure my boys don’t end up in jail or knock somebody up. But so far that’s worked out OK.”
  • “I liked you better when you were brain damaged.”
  • “As your friend Lafayette would say, what goes around comes around, bitches.”
  • “Oh this fucking sucks!”
  • “Excuse me, we’re feeling a little bit crispy up here.”
  • “Is this another dream? Because if Hoyt pops out from under that hood I’m going to knock him the fuck out.”
  • “I am so over Sookie, and her precious faerie vagina, and her unbelievably stupid name. FUCK SOOKIE.”
  • “What you mean don’t worry about it, I killed you!”
  • “Due I’m dead. You’re a medium. I’ll always be with you.”
  • “Just wanted to let you know I’m sober, and I’m lonely. And I can be good to someone if they let me.”
  • “You’re like no other woman I been with. And I’ve been with a lot of women.”
  • “Hi Nan. And gay stormtroopers.”
  • “Why bother, when your tongue is already so far up his ass.”
  • “Quit. Fired. Same difference.”
  • “I refused to be retired like a fat first wife!”
  • “She smells fantastic, but that’s hardly worth dying for her.”
  • “We are not fucking puppy dogs!” This season, yes you were.
  • “What a bitch.”

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