Film and TV

True Blood: Flashbacks and Tearjerkers

Despite some recent stellar showings, it's pretty apparent True Blood is going out in a whisper, not a bang. That's fine. Seven seasons of a vampire show is always going to be a bit much. The last season of Buffy certainly wasn't anything to write home to mom about.

In a more solid season, this week's episode would have be a nice palate-cleanser. It would have served as one of those moments when we sit back and reflect on the characters themselves rather than whatever uber-contrived plot was going on in the background. Such breaks are necessary.

Admittedly, this was an emotional rollercoaster. I was honestly near tears when Andy spontaneously decided to propose to Holly, borrowing Sookie and Jason's grandmother's wedding ring for the task. Chris Bauer has honestly become the most solid performer in the show, able to deliver a unique everyman approach to all the supernatural goings-on that is sometimes lacking. He has nothing but a sense of small-town Southern justice, and it serves him remarkably well.

The main focus this week is an impromptu wake/party meant to fill Sookie's house with well-wishers and help the people of Bon Temps move past the carnage of the last several days. In reality, all it did was reaffirm my desire to not have a funeral, and you sort of get the impression Sookie feels that way too. Despite some great moments of connection, such as when she and Arlene bond over the death of a significant other, it's plain she finds this display of revelry unseemly in a time of grief.

Meanwhile, Bill does his best Edward Cullen as he sits outside the circle of the gathering remembering his Civil War life. This season has used way too many flashbacks to tell the story. Not a single episode has gone by without that crappy flashback sound effect and an unnecessary glimpse to either long ago or, worse, past seasons.

For an episode where the best message delivered was "move forward," it seemed painfully ironic.

Oh, and Eric finally topped the most amazing kill list, beating out Sam's horn goring and Bill's penis rip. As far as gratuitous deaths, go it's a real winner.

The song this week is Beck's "Lost Cause," from 2002's Sea Change. It's both a good and a weak choice in my opinion. First, it's a pretty standard soundtrack piece at this point. I've heard it in a dozen television episodes, though I have to admit Ellen Page busting it out in Beyond: Two Souls was an unexpected and well-done pleasure.

Don't get me wrong. It's a great song, and arguably the best one on the album. Certainly is Beck's most accessible ballad, even if there are moment's in it when my brain expects it to turn into The Church's "Under the Milky Way."

It may have been a pedestrian choice for this week's episode, but I can't deny it's at least an appropriate one. No single song has more summed up the idea that the end is near for True Blood, both from a storytelling and character standpoint. There's only so much either can take, and it's become tiresome. Maybe the coming weeks and the the attrition from the final conflicts will be cathartic after all.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.


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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner