Finale wrap-up: “True Blood”

The first season of HBO's "True Blood" ends with fried vampires, Bible thumpers and -- of course! -- even more unsolved mysteries.

Topics: True Blood, HBO, Alan Ball, Television,

Finale wrap-up: "True Blood"

Now at least we know what happens to a vampire when he ventures out into broad daylight: He starts to fry like bacon! His head turns red and black and oozes and smokes! But could Bill (Stephen Moyer) end up disfigured forever, thanks to his efforts to save Sookie (Anna Paquin) from that vampire-hater Rene (Michael Raymond James)? Would Sookie merely pity poor charred Bill, then set her sights on Sam (Sam Trammell) — who actually saved her life, after all, instead of falling to the ground, a smoking, crispy shadow of his former self?

Personally, if I had to choose between a nice guy who owns a bar and can turn himself into a really cute dog, and a guy who sucks my blood, talks in a creepy accent, has no sense of humor whatsoever, and looks pale and sickly most of the time, I think I’d stick to the dog-man.

But then, if we learned one thing by Sunday night’s finale of HBO’s vampire series “True Blood,” it’s that no one knows Sookie Stackhouse’s mind except for Sookie Stackhouse herself. So when Bill returned from the grave yet again looking just like his usual ghoulish self, it was no surprise that Sookie embraced him and left poor Sam to lick his wounds — literally and figuratively.

 Put yourself in her shoes, though. If you could read the minds of mortals, like Sookie can, an immortal with a taste for human blood and no annoying thoughts in his head might just look like your dream man, fangs or no fangs.

 And while we’re at it, if you were a bitter, homeless, drunk woman who’s alienated her mom, her best friend and her lover like Tara has, you’d happily take shelter in a rich lady’s house, snack on her fresh fruits, wear her pretty outfits and suspend your disbelief over her strange “I just like to help people” story.

You Might Also Like

 The question is, what is newcomer Maryann’s (Michelle Forbes) real story? Where did she come from, and why does Sam seem to know her already? Is she some other variety of magical being, a new species that’s neither vampire nor shapeshifter?

 And what does Sam plan to do with all that cash from his safe? Who attacked Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and are those his painted toenails in Andy Bellefleur’s (Chris Bauer) car?

Yes, Sunday night’s finale ended with just as many cliffhangers as there were resolutions to season-long mysteries. But what else would you expect from a series that’s based on Charlaine Harris’ “Southern Vampire” series of page turners? If the answers to the big questions felt a little predictable by the show’s final episode, that was quickly solved  by introducing a whole new set of questions.

Alan Ball’s perverse, off-kilter series has leaned heavily on this formula from the start. Just when one plot point seemed exhausted, a new wrinkle arises, whether it’s seemingly nice Sam sniffing a dead girl’s sheets or Sookie’s grandmother showing up dead on her kitchen floor. Sure, there’s something a little dissatisfying about the mystery-around-every-corner format, but whatever “True Blood” lacks in substance, it makes up for in flair. From Jason Stackhouse’s nefarious hippie girlfriend to Lafayette’s colorful assortment of clients to Bill’s good Christian girl turned impatient, bloodthirsty vampire-slut, “True Blood” has paved its own, sometimes rocky path as one part vampire mystery, two parts campy, foolish fun.

The only upcoming twist that looks a little less than promising is Jason Stackhouse’s apparent transformation into a born-again Christian intent on snuffing out the evils of vampires from the face of the earth. Enduring the terrible Southern accents on this show is bad enough, without a clichéd herd of Bible-thumping fundamentalists to drag us through every worn-out stereotype in the book. The nice thing about Sookie and Sam and Tara and Bill, after all, is that they’re new to us. We’re not sure what drives them or what they’re capable of just yet. In contrast, those old familiar saccharine smiles and cries of “Praise Jesus!” are just a few clicks away on TBN at all times. To most of us in this country, evangelical Christian shenanigans are old news. When it comes to the second season of this sultry, suspenseful vampire tale, let’s hope Alan Ball sticks to some fresh blood.

 

Heather Havrilesky is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The Awl and Bookforum, and is the author of the memoir "Disaster Preparedness." You can also follow her on Twitter at @hhavrilesky.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>