True Blood Sex and Violence Meter: Buried and Fairied
It's been clear for the last few weeks, but last night's finale drove it home: The third season of True Blood really should have ended with that episode where Russell makes his literally spine-tingling news appearance and provokes a full-out human/vampire war. Instead, the show's follow-ups have mostly sidestepped that promising development, and all of the season's plotlines either ran out of steam or were hurriedly shuffled away for abrupt character reboots that felt like an overeager jump on season four. The season began strong and laid out a lot of promising ideas, but that finale...well, let's see how it fared via the Sex and Violence Meter, shall we?
· The last episode ended with Eric springing handcuffs on Russell while both were vulnerable in the sun, so you'd expect some fireworks, right? Instead, they're both kinda chilling out on the pavement, resigned to their fates and getting a little toasty-faced. Oh, and Eric's having visions. "Forgive him in the time you have left," Godric implores. "Preserve Denis O'Hare so that he may make Season 4 guest appearances." (Violence: +4)
· After her vivid dream about a chandelier UFO concludes, Sookie runs outside and fairy-blasts the handcuffs tying Eric to Russell, then blasts a back-talking Russell across the parking lot for good measure, warning "Watch your f**king language." You all know how much I love Anna Paquin and profanity, but this show hardly needs more self-parodying lines. (Violence: +2)
· It's morning-after time at Mr. Merlotte's, as Tara and Sam process their intense humping from the night before. Dark Sam is making Tara some pancakes, and I silently brace myself for the moment he stares intently into the pancake batter, triggering a flashback about the long con he once pulled at IHOP. After Tara and Sam have a conversation about bacon grease (and it soon becomes clear that this plotline is the one thing bacon cannot make better), Sam tells her that he's a shape-shifter, and Tara reprises Sookie's "shut the f**k up" reaction, then sighs. "I wish I could reboot," Tara says. Basically, every line of dialogue Tara has in this episode is intensely meta. (Sex: +1, Questionable Finale Inclusion: +5)
· Inside Fangtasia, Bill bites Sookie at her behest, and she feeds Eric her delicious plasma to help him recover. How much blood does this poor girl have now? Eventually, Sookie runs out to the parking lot to pointlessly save crispy cryptkeeper-face Russell, whose right fang falls out. Somehow, the show resists a tooth fairy joke pinned to Sookie's mysterious heritage. (Violence: +5)
· Jason is trying very hard to call off the Hotshot raid, and coming right on the heels of the previous scene where Sookie decided to save her arch-enemy Russell from certain death, there's a little too much of characters suddenly trying to thwart the plot point they themselves had been advancing for episodes. It's so the Lost season five finale where Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet were all "Sure, Jack, we'll help you blow up this bomb, even though we only came here to stop you and, like, we'll probably die because it's a bomb." Call it off! Shut it down! (Questionable Finale Inclusion: +5)
· Hoyt wears his vampire hickey to work, which is notably inconvenient for many reasons, not least of which the presence of his mom and Summer. (Violence: +1, Questionable Finale Inclusion: +5)
· Lafayette is still having a bad trip from all that V he took with Jesus, and hallucinates a vision of Sam with bloody hands. Not as weird as our collective hallucination of Alfre Woodard on this show. (Violence: +2)
· A good scene! Russell is tied up and smoky at Fangtasia, and he tries to convince Sookie to free him. Instead, she maces him with silver spray and sends Talbot's innards down the Fangtasia garbage disposal. These two really should have had more to do with each other this year. (Violence: +7)
· We're in Hotshot. Ugh, Crystal. Her brother shoots her dad, or maybe vice versa. Everyone kinda stands around until Crystal appoints Jason the kind of the rednecks (man, Jason will never get a storyline with any of the other regulars, will he?), and then he has a halfhearted Last of the Mohicans "I will find you" moment. Goodbye, Crystal. Your whole werepanther thing didn't really amount to much, did it? (Violence: +5)
· After being gripped by a series of terrible, violent flashbacks, Tara catches her mom sexing the reverend. The only real sex in the season finale comes from the Tara subplot. Make of that what you will. (Violence: +2, Sex: +2)
MIDWAY POINT: Violence is way out ahead of Sex, 28 points to 3. Also a contender: the sheer frustration that the finale is spending time on filler scenes and plots that just kind of drift to an end, which has accrued 15 points.
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