True Blood‘s long goodbye continued in “Dead Is Not The End,” this time allowing an extended look back at the origins of Fangtasia. That reverie, unlike some of the others the show has had this year, actually had some bearing on the rest of the episode (at least, the part about the Underground Railroad). But it also was a nice reward for fans who have been around since the beginning, because it showed how Pam and Eric ended up running the club in the first place, where so much of True Blood originally happened. Hit the jump for why “almost every I’ve ever known or loved is dead. I don’t give a fuck about you or your problems.”
“Death Is Not The End” achieved what the flashbacks in prior episodes this season did not. Here it was relevant and entertaining on its own terms (because it deepened a story we already knew, and even gave Ginger some context), but it also gave more time to beloved characters, and their fashion choices through the ages (what is True Blood without that?)
Elsewhere, though, things didn’t make as much sense. Once again, why have an extended scene where Jason and Sam visited Rosie (a character we don’t know), wife of Kevin (a character we barely knew), when all the time that was given to Tara was zilch, and even Alcide’s demise was met with a poker face from Sookie? How about spending more time with characters we actually do know and care about?
Alcide and Maxine’s deaths allowed for the brief return of two other familiar faces, Alcide’s estranged father, and poor Hoyt, who had been glamoured to the point of not remembering Jason or almost anything else about Bon Temps before he set off for that oil rig. This was a forgotten plot point from seasons past, along with Sam’s pregnant activist girlfriend, who seemed to materialize from nowhere in this hour in the basement of Fangtasia (which Pam still cares enough for to put out its fires).
Some of these plot points are better left buried in the past, while others, like the reappearance of Terry when Arlene was on the brink of death, ended up being a nice second send-off for him. Sookie visiting Lisa and Coby was also a gentle moment that helped ground things back in Bon Temps — it showed the more realistic effects of the Hep V vampires’ takeover, the same way Holly’s horror and mental blockage did.
Then there was Jessica’s moral quandary about feeding, and about not trusting herself to do so. It’s a story that’s dead in the water. Does anyone care about Jessica’s sudden horror at her feeding on the fairy girls? It seems so long ago, and should have come before her protection of Adalene. She’s already doing something to help, let’s move on.
“Death Is Not The End” culminated in a quick and dirty battle with some decent choreography and proliferation of flames usually saved until the penultimate or final episodes of the season. But the battle viewers are having to take on is one Sookie mentions to Jessica: “Almost every I’ve ever known or loved is dead. I don’t give a fuck about you or your problems.” Despite a few points of interest and fun backstories, the fact that there are fewer and fewer recognizable faces makes it hard to give a fuck at all.
Episode Rating: B
Musings and Miscellanea:
— As useless as most of the flashbacks have been (even just for entertainment’s sake), I did genuinely like The History of Fangtasia (as discovered by Ginger, and stolen by Pam). There were lots of little bits in there for fans, from the reappearance of the Magistrate and Eric’s appointment as Sheriff, to Pam’s horror at working at a video store for several decades before a naive girl from Tulane ends up setting the stage for what would become Fangtasia. It was fun (especially seeing the changing fashion on those particular characters).
— Pam tells Bill there’s no chance ever again with Sookie, which means clearly there is.
— Didn’t need to see Alcide’s dad in his underpants, though.
— Look, I get what True Blood is trying to do this season, and I’m kind of ok with it … by why kill of major characters if you aren’t going to give them their due? I just don’t get the time management.
— “Kevin was a good man … With a funny voice” – Jason.
— “It’s hard sometimes for boys unless they have a ball with them, I don’t know why but it’s true” – Sookie.
— “History is a bitch” – Jason.
— “Eric Northman is nothing if not pure fucking sex on a throne” – Ginger.
— “I hate Shreveport” – Pam.
— “Pam tells me you wrote a book in which you claim to not be an asshole anymore. Is this true?” – Eric.
— Do we think Eric really is going to die? Or will there be a miracle cure?