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Let's Discuss: The 'True Blood' Series Finale

True Blood Sookie Stackhouse Anna Paquin Bill William Compton Stephen Moyer HBO
HBO

Saying goodbye was sadder than expected. Known for its bawdy camp, out-of-this-world storytelling, and vulgar abandon, “True Blood” signed off in a manner that felt appropriate despite being an about-face from the overall tone of the series. All the while possessing the qualities most finales should strive for: closure, a glimpse into the future, and a sense that a long crazy ride had been worth hanging on for.

The big question surrounding the final hour was Bill’s fate. At the end of the pre-penultimate episode, Bill had denied the opportunity to take the cure. He also announced his decision to meet the “true death.” Understandably his loved ones were shaken.

As the season had steadfastly reminded us, Bill lived a long life, complete with all of its misery. The series finale accordingly centered on whether Sookie would deliver the fairy blast that would kill him or if he would die at all. A philosophical question arose as to accepting or living with whom we were born to be.

As the hour neared its end and Bill’s fate hung in the balance, Sookie decided to keep her powers and begged Bill once more to reconsider. He maintained his earlier stance, and together they helped him meet his true end. 

It was an emotional scene and one that was still hard to believe, given that it seemed a Bill/Sookie endgame had been in the cards since the beginning of the season. Bill’s journey on the series seemed to be leading to this all along, and one could not help getting swept up in the twinkling wistfulness of their goodbye.

Even in the series’ final moments, the moonlit scene of a backyard soiree filled with family and friends felt poignantly inevitable. The finale tied up all of the loose ends and provided one last real-life allegory to carry on its flagship socio-political undertones.

It was the last daring choice of the series. On a show that had so many things it could explore, it was disappointing that it never quite lived up to its promising premise, continually haunted by missed opportunities. As sloppy as some of the episodes had been this season, the heart of the characters never wavered, to its credit.

In all honesty, the show was hamstrung by having the unlikable Sookie as its core character. There was no concrete reason to like her. As a heroine, she waffled, whined, and constantly endangered the people she claimed to love, and she was consistently bested by a slew of other characters that were far more amiable. 

Sookie not receiving the happy ending she wanted, or at least in the way she had envisioned, was a mild consolation for all that she had wrought. On the other hand, Jason, Sam, Lafayette, Jessica, Eric, and even Pam received the happy ending they deserved. There was one confusing bit about Eric and Pam. Why had they returned to working at Fangtasia after they had made it big with New Blood?

Oh well, between that and Sookie’s faceless significant other, there were still a few things left to the imagination, and that was for the best. After seven straight summers, next year will definitely feel a lot chillier without “True Blood” -- a series that was bold, provocative, and in the end, surprisingly sentimental.

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