True Blood: Like a Lead Zeppelin
There's no other way to say this. True Blood went out weak. Really, really weak.
For almost the entire running time of the finale there was no plot. Nothing was really resolved because there was really nothing left to resolve. For all intents and purposes the supporting cast had been driven away or killed leading up to this, and the only real question was how Vampire Bill was going to die.
Stupidly, that's how.
As the Hep V runs through his system, he degenerated to the point where Sookie could even hear his thoughts. This actually led to the worst possible anticipation of the climax. You were literally watching to see how badly they could mess this up. Would Bill's disease turn him human? Or would Sookie give up her fae nature to give him death by hadouken? In the end it's neither, but still manages to be terrible.
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Also, there's a wedding, and like most wedding's it's not all that fun for the people not actually involved in it.
There is a bright spot to the finale. I truly believe that the show reached as hard as it could for the ending seen in the books. There, Sookie marries Sam and finally has Bon Temps accept her as a valued member.
The ending scene shows that she gets the second part, with a host of locals celebrating at her home on Thanksgiving. In all honesty, it's probably the best we could expect. We're never told who Sookie's husband and baby daddy is, only that she found someone. His identity doesn't really matter, anyway. It was always about her.
It's unfortunate that this came at the cost of the endings seen for Eric and Bill in the novels. Bill's story was completely lost. In the books he finds his humanity through getting over Sookie, finally becoming a decent man in the process. Eric's heartfelt pain is certainly better than that as an infomercial huckster no matter how many lives it saves.
Another missed opportunity shows in the music. Led Zeppelin? Really?
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I know that I'm a little eccentric in that I'm a music critic who hates Led Zeppelin, but anyone can see that this was phoning it in. "Thank You" is held up as this remarkable track that showcased Robert Plant's ascension into songwriting Valhalla. In reality it's a maudlin ode to a woman Plant would eventually divorce and father a child by his ex-wife's sister. I'm not saying it isn't sincere, but it's a hard track to love when you look at the hard endings on the other side of it.
And the Duran Duran cover is better than the original. Yep, I said it and I'm not taking it back.
I started writing about this show six years ago based on the fact that it offered an interesting musical take on television itself. Over the years it's shown me great music I wouldn't have found otherwise.
In the end, though, it was phoning it in with Led Zeppelin. If there's ever been a better example of why shows should quit after five seasons, then that's it.
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