TRUE BLOOD Season 5 Finale Recap: “Save Yourself”

by     Posted 1 year, 335 days ago

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A year?  We have to wait a year to find out the result of that-thing-that-happened?  What am I supposed to do until then?  If you have been following these reviews this season you’ll know my stance on the show, particularly last year’s unfortunate offerings.  I wanted to give True Blood up for dead, but then it drew me – and all of us – back into its sticky sweet gooey web of vamp mush and here we all are, once again at the end of another season.  But this time the feelings are sure to be different.  Best True Blood finale ever?  Best True Blood episode ever?  Or did JD slip me some V.  Hit the jump for more on why all roads must lead back to fucking Sookie.

true-blood-poster-sookieThere’s no mistaking the uneven nature of this season as a whole, particularly in the middle episodes, but surviving the Ifrit, Jesús’ severed head and some of the duller Authority story lines were all a small price to pay for the glory that was that completely batshit finale.  And I say “batshit” in the most loving way possible.  “Save Yourself” had all of the great elements of True Blood on display, from humor (particularly regarding Mirella) to the bizarre (Jason’s head trauma) to the satisfying (Salome’s death, Luna and Sam saving Emma, Alcide saving the pack) and finally the utter What The Fuck (Bill’s rebirth).  It managed to bring (almost) all of the seasons stories together, a feat I never would have believed possible the first few weeks in.

It also made me consider, in terms of bringing people together, how often have we ever seen Jason and Eric interact?  Their exchange was a joy to watch, and some of the surprising pairings (some of them romantic: looking at you, Tara and Pam!) were interesting to see interact.  To have almost all of the principle cast together in the action-packed gory finale was a nice touch, and even better to have the secondary cast spending time together drinking and having a normal after-work fiesta watching a fairy give birth to four babies and instructs Andy to try and make sure “at least half of them survive to adulthood.”  Just another day in Bon Temps!

true-blood-save-yourself-stephen-moyer-1“Save Yourself” was a tight episode, with hardly any time wasted — something that isn’t often said regarding this show.  It gave a glimpse of what the series could be if it was paired down to maybe eight episodes instead of twelve a season, but no matter.  It’s usually a fun ride, and for once it set up more than it answered.  With Luna warning the humans that it was the Authority who blew up their own factories and who are harboring humans as food, as well as the mention of a “holy war” in the wolf pack, the next season seems primed for action.

Then there’s Russell.  Let us take a moment to mourn the former Vampire King of Mississippi, occasionally of Germanic accent, who died rather suddenly by what I thought was fairy light but then realized was Eric’s stake (I think? It all happened very fast and the episode overall was such a bloodbath I have trouble remembering who died of what.  Except the Sharon Osbourne clone Sam blew up by shifting inside of her.  That was fucking cool).  Eric deserved that kill, yes, but for all of Russell’s power and crazy and potential, it was a quick and sad way for him to go.  His mission to use fairies to supply vampires the ability to daywalk would have made a great extension to his story.  Alas. R.I.P., King.

true-blood-save-yourself-stephen-moyerSpeaking of loose ends, I’d love for anyone to explain what was going on with Jason’s head trauma and his visions and new (selective) anti-vamp sensibilities.  Him rejecting Jessica seemed sudden and cold, given all the time the season spent on it so far (though I see he is putting his paramilitary training to good use at least).  Not to mention Warlow … literally, he wasn’t even mentioned.  And in the most traditionally soap operatic moment of the night, will Andy raise his quadruplet daughters on his own from his fairy fling, or will Holly step in and help?  Tune in next year to All My Vamp Children!

Now on to Billith.  Praise his light?  Interesting that after all of this time Sookie still prefers and loves Bill so clearly over Eric (not that Sookie and Eric ever had any real chemistry.  I think Eric has more chemistry with Nora, or even Pam, than Sookie).  I have mentioned in the past that this has been largely due to Alan Ball’s influence, but with him leaving the show’s writing staff as of this finale, I think we can finally believe all cards (and options) are on the table.  Might Sookie’s fae magic have a way of reversing his reborn self?  Tune in next year to Vamps Of Our Lives!

So Season Five has ended with a bang and plenty of promise.  Whether it will deliver next year or not remains to be seen, but I’m absolutely looking forward to it. I may be a fool, but if I want to be a fool then I will be — it’s my God-given right as an American.

Rating: 9.8 out of 10

true-blood-save-yourself-straten-wollMusings and Miscellanea:

– I’m not 100% on board with Pam and Tara hooking up, but I don’t think it’s serious.  I think, like the other “incestuous” relationships in their family (Eric and Nora) it will be an on and off thing.

– Alcide’s girlfriend’s crazy V-induced tirade was kind of hilarious.  And informative — colloidal silver will help get the V out if you OD, kids!

– I love it when Pam drags Sookie’s name.  On the other hand, Sookie has been more likable this season than maybe any other so for once I’m not hoping she gets a stray bullet.

– The episode was a bloodbath yes, but in the best of ways.  And one of those puddles resurrected, which was unexpectedly awesome (except it was Bill so … maybe not so awesome).

– Apparently fairies love salt.

– “My light broke!” – Mirella. If only human births were so easy.

– I’m reading forum comments now and apparently a lot of people hated this episode and season.  Does the cheese stand alone on this?

– It’s been a pleasure watching True Blood with you all this season.  See you next year!




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  • adambramble

    better then last season lol. But I would prefer a 16 episode season. :D

  • LEM

    Eric is much older than Bill so why didn’t he just do a flash move and grab the blood and throw it in the fire and just drag Bill out. They really do seem to like to pick and choose when these rules are used but I guess that’s just the lazy writing I’ve come to expect from this show. I think the season over all was not great but it still one of the more entertaining shows on TV.

  • April

    I really enjoyed the finale too! Though for most of the season I was wondering why I still even watch this show but the last couple of eps reminded me.

  • El Alto

    It’s good show for me cause it has consistently made me laugh. Whether the laughs were made intentionally and unintentionally, it’s doesn’t really matter. Are we not entertained?

  • chris

    This episode was great! And I think season 6 will be quite interesting. This season was so much better than the last one. Season 4 with all that witches was so boring.

  • RunnerX13

    I disagree on a lot of your points. All that build up with Russell, and Eric kills him with such ease. Makes me questions why he couldn’t do that earlier. But then Eric can’t move fast enough to stop Bill from drinking Lilith’s blood? The wolfs were another anticlimactic fight, and another example of the show wanting their cake and eating it too. Alcide is so against V, but barely hesitates on drinking his pop’s secret stash. The cliffhanger ending would have been fine if the show didn’t waste so much time getting there. The last cliffhanger ending where Bill was facing off against Sofia Ann was such a copout, and I fear that this resolution will be equally weak.

  • LP

    The season finale was the best yet. I am so happy they pulled it off because I was starting to worry that TB had lost me. Now I’m looking forward to next year!

  • Michael

    I wouldn’t call Bill’s resurrection unexpected. My wife was in mid-WTF when I started saying that they would just use Lilith to bring him back. I didn’t get the full sentence out before the camera panned to the CGI blood.

    HBO is getting cancelled after Game of Thrones next year. I haven’t read the Sookie Stackhouse books. My wife has read them all. We are in complete agreement that the show is simply not worth $16 a month. Yes, there were cool moments laced into the nonsense that was the finale, but not enough to draw me back to the show.

    If nothing else, I am SOOOOOOOO very tired of cliffhangers that get resolved before the opening credits of the next episode and the lazy way the writers forget that Sookie can read human minds or that Eric is far more powerful than Bill or any of their other lazy shortcuts. Where did all the werepanthers go?

  • RunnerX13

    @Michael, shhhhh, please don’t remind the writers about the werepanthers.

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  • Bandit666

    I spend most of every season wondering why Sam doesn’t use more creative ways to shift.. and this was one of the most satisfying. His power level against vampires has increased greatly.. But the biggest questions that I have for next season:
    1. Is Warlow a vampire that we have already met, or is he a vampire at all?
    2. If Bill died, then is he still Bill? Is he disconnected from Jessica now?
    3. Why did no one seem to notice Jason’s head trauma, and is it permanent? They go to a college to read some ancient text, but do not take time to visit an emergency room?
    4. Name the fairy babies after second bananas. Like Cher, Hutch, Clyde, and Robin. Or the Beatles.

  • ajgoodgirl

    I love true blood but this season was kind of dull. I did like the finale, but Russell death was to rushed and there was no meation of Warlow at all, you think he world talk about more in the finale.

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