VOD TV review: True Blood Season 7 Episode 10 (Thank You)
Jo Bromilow | On 08, Sep 2014Reading time: 4 mins
(Warning: This review contains spoilers)
So that’s it. No more nights out in Fangtasia, no more occult sacrifices to stumble in on and no need to sleep with a stake by your bed. You’re down to your last bottle of Tru(e) Blood.
It’s been a long old time since this sex-n-stakes show of salaciousness exploded (as dead vampires do) onto our screens, way back in a small-town bar in downtown Louisiana. As we reach the finale, we observe the circle that has widened to encompass the rest of the world in seasons with grander plots contract right back onto the central relationship that has kept the show’s undead heart beating.
Eric is now back in his rightful place as master of his business empire, with Pam smirking at his side, preparing to launch their product – New Blood – to an eager population. As it was they out of the vamp cast who always managed to attract the attention of the outside world through their political machinations, taking them out of the equation gives the series a chance to offer a soulful and sweet conclusion to its story.
True Blood has always been so heavily about sex and death working side by side, but two incidents in the finale look to explore something deeper than both – the sacrifices you make for your loved ones. Jessica and Hoyt, having managed to get over the dramas that plagued them for long seasons in a matter of minutes, decide to get married in the sight of the dying Bill Compton. For yes, Bill has decided to die, to give his beloved Sookie a chance to live a normal life without him. Bill has spent pretty much the whole season trying to reconcile himself with the multiplicity of sins he has committed in his various incarnations, but it would seem that of his many crimes to Sookie, the greatest is that he has her unconditional love.
But before the death must come the wedding – possibly the most surreal part of what is, inevitably, a totally bizarre episode. Compared to some of the events we’ve witnessed, the ceremony is one of the more low-key moments of the show. Its main dramatic significance (aside from giving Sookie a chance to sport a truly gravity-defying hairstyle) is to give her a chance to hear Bill’s thoughts – something it has been impossible for her to do with vampires in general – as he gets closer to mortality. While we’re not entirely sure if Jessica and Hoyt’s union will be everlasting, the promise that Bill is entreating of Sookie most definitely is.
The death scene itself, which you can’t quite convince yourself is real until the remnants of the corporeal Bill are floating at Sookie’s feet, is prolonged and poignant, made more so by the masterful handling of it by the two leads and the fact that they are a real-life couple. This, as well as creating such palpable chemistry, makes their decision even more poignant. It must have been a challenge to film, but it’s a challenge that Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer rise to exceptionally. Sookie’s strength and Bill’s resolve mean that far from over-emotional the death is resolute, a mutual understanding by two people, who, while neither much like the outcome, are expressing a true and deep love in the only way that they can.
Crucially, though, Sookie’s sacrifice is only partial. While the initial manner of Bill’s demise would result in the death of Sookie’s faery self and remove from her the outsider status that has plagued her her whole life, Sookie chooses to remain a faery, remain special, and retain the gift that was bestowed upon her. As a result, her killing of Bill is a much more intimate act, the closeness between the two bodies meaning more than any sexual encounter between them ever could. Their relationship, with its many twists and turns and derailments, has finally been laid to rest, buried, and walked away from.
Now that we’ve drained the last drop that True Blood had to offer, perhaps it’s time for some honesty. Has this finale been worthy of our cast? It’s a difficult question and one that needs a quick preface before we go anywhere near it. This show is not perfect. Its first few seasons were fantastic in that they were unlike anything we’d seen before. As with any brilliant show that is hyped from the off, the later seasons fell victim to this hype and felt like a letdown (Season 5’s diabolical faery plot line, the massive anticlimax at the start of Season 6, anything involving Sam post-Season 2). Choosing to bow the show out by reviving some of its more reliable elements – Eric and Pam back on form, Jessica and Hoyt’s relationship rekindling after the pair have grown up a bit – means that, while the final season has delivered a few head shakes across the internet, it does mean that the series can reach a pleasant, finite, and ultimately human conclusion.
True Blood ends in the exact opposite way to how it began: a farewell that is familiar, comforting and peaceful.
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