Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trending Topics - True Blood season finale - [a case of the summer]

The fifth season finale of True Blood aired this past Sunday, so I thought I'd discuss that for this week's edition of Trending Topics.  Now, in respect to those who may not have seen the episode yet, I'll be doing a page break.  Sooooo....

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In the interest of full disclosure, I actually missed an episode or two in the middle of the season.  But other than that, I've been a faithful viewer.  In the past, I've commended True Blood for accomplishing a difficult task:  keeping their cast separated for the vast majority of the season, and then bringing them all together for the season's climax.  This season they seemed to take that to an entirely different level, with Sookie in particular being completely separated from practically the entire cast.  Incredibly, aside from the finale, I think she only appeared with Bill and Eric one episode the entire season.  She really didn't spend much more time than that with Alcide, either.

In some regard, though, that's not a good thing.  If you recall from my Lost reviews, I'm totally fine with stories being introduced and then not resolved until much later.  But this season seemed to completely or forget certain things (and, again, some of this stuff may have been resolved in those episodes I missed).  For example, what ever became of Lafayette seeing dead people and being visited by Jesus' ghost head?  Or him trying to kill Sookie?  And it seemed like the writers couldn't quite decide if they wanted to devote time to the Sookie/Warlow story this season, or save it for next.  Entire episodes seemed focused on it one week, only to be barely mentioned in the finale itself (relegated to a bonus scene).  Or what about Jason realizing that he's using sex as a defense mechanism and wanting something deeper?

We also saw more characters than ever receive their own storylines.  Terry?  Hoyt?  Andy?  Meanwhile, main characters like Alcide and hell, even Sookie, seemed to just pace around all season.

Now, don't get me wrong, there was a whole lot I liked about this season as well.  Sam -- one of my favorite characters on the show -- kicked ass pretty much every single episode.  It was also the ONLY season that I found Tara even remotely bearable.  I also really enjoyed the Bill/Eric friendship, something we haven't seen all series.  And, like I said, the writers did a great job of tying everything together.  Despite all of the varying storylines, Sookie, Bill, Eric, Pam, Tara, Jason, Sam, Luna, and Jessica ALL ended up in the Authority compound for the climatic battle.  And speaking of the Authority, it was fun seeing the inner workings of the vampire government.  And with the entire council pretty much dead, it'll be interesting to see what happens next season.  Oh, and it was rather satisfying seeing Russell finally get his.

One risky thing this season was the villainous behavior of Bill.  Did he reach a point where there's no going back, both for the characters and the audience?  It's tough to say, but I'm inclined to say no.  I will admit, though, that I kept waiting for him to redeem himself.  It just never happened.  Speaking of relationships, while I'm pretty impartial to the Pam/Tara kiss (although I did love Sookie's confused, "Oh okay" followed by Jessica's excited "I KNEW IT!"), I did really enjoy their general development throughout the season.  Their relationship began as something of a necessity.  Pam created Tara as a means to reconcile with Eric.  And Tara remained with her because she had no where else to turn.  But over time, they grew to care about and appreciate one another.  It was a fun growing process, with Pam taking the blame for the Sheriff's murder even though Tara was the culprit.

Overall, I wouldn't say this was the strongest season yet, but it wasn't bad either.  What did you think of the season?

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