TRUE BLOOD Season 5 Finale Recap: “Save Yourself”

     August 26, 2012

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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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