So here we are. Bill is dead. Sookie and Jason booed up and are parents. Hoyt and Jessica lived happily ever after. Pam and Eric are, as Pam would say, fucking billionaires, thanks to New Blood. And Sarah is Newlin is trapped in the basement of Fangtasia, serving as a human shot glass for the rest of her miserable life. So why did “Thank You,” the series finale and sum of all these parts, feel like a disappointment?
Let’s start with Eric, Pam and the Yakuza. Like the roving hoardes of hep V vamps before them, Gus Jr. and Co.’s threat level went from formidable to nonexistent in a matter of minutes as Pam and Eric suddenly remembered they were badass immortals with unlimited strength and speed and laid waste to the gang. Which begs the question, why couldn’t they do this the other zillion times they silvered Pam and threatened Eric? It’s not as if I wanted to spend the entire last hour of True Blood watching a shootout, but the Yakuzas were built up as this unstoppable big bad, when it turns out they were anything but.
Fortunately Pam and Eric’s story didn’t end on that muddled note, as they take over New Blood, shoot hilarious infomercials and take the company all the way to Wall Street. Meanwhile, Sarah Newlin becomes their literal cash cow, as they charge hungry vampires $100,000 a minute for tasting her hep V-curing nectar. Cheers to you Eric and Pam: may the next 100 years be another century of killing, fucking and laughing.
If the Yakuzas proved to be inconsequential, Hoyt and Jessica’s shotgun wedding was a little too consequential, at least for my taste. While I’ve always been here for their relationship—it’s pure and heartfelt in a way almost no other pairing is on True Blood—was it really necessary to devote a good 15 to 20 minutes to the whole shebang? When we could have checked in on say, Lafayette and James, who haven’t gotten a solo scene since they officially hooked up? Another annoyance was the show kept making Hoyt cite his amnesia as a reason for his cold feet. Did the writers forget Sookie can bring someone’s memories back with her fae powers? Remember Eggs? Alcide? Hell, Tara?
That being said, the wedding did offer its share of gems, like Sookie being able to read Bill’s thoughts for the first time. It was a twist as jarring for her as it was for us, and Anna Paquin totally sold the moment with watery eyes galore as Bill wished for her the same wedded bliss Hoyt and Jessica were about to embark on. Jason also had a nice bro reunion with Hoyt, offering him this piece of advice when he expressed doubt: “If I was gonna tell you the world was gonna end tomorrow, who would want to wake up to?” To which Hoyt answers “Jessica.” Aww.
All of this of course, was in the service of Mr. Bill Compton. He pushed for Jessica to marry Hoyt, just like he pushed for Sookie to not only accept him choosing to die, but to use her fairy light bomb to kill him so she would be free of both him and her burdensome powers. Bill’s really pushing that “do for this me ’cause I’m dyin’” card isn’t he? Though he may have had a point that other vampires would come to claim her, why ask the woman you purport to love to kill you when you’re going to die anyway?
Sookie mulls the decision over, thinking of her grandmother’s advice not to limit herself, and going to Jason for emotional support (he can only dole out so much advice in one day). However, her talk with Rev. Daniels proved to be the most affecting, as they have a somber conversation about faith, free will and whether God makes mistakes. It’s one of the episode’s better scenes, as it helps Sookie come to her own conclusion about whether to give up her powers without giving away what her decision will be.
When it comes down to it, Sookie does kill Bill (no pun intended); but she stakes him instead of using her light. It’s triumphant moment for Sookie as she defines herself for herself, finally embracing her fairy bloodline as just another part of her identity. And even though Bill’s request doesn’t do much to redeem the character, the scene is nonetheless gut-wrenching.
Afterwards, things jump forward a year or five, where we see the characters we’ve spent so much time with, baby bumps, spouses and kids and all, sharing a Thanksgiving meal, enjoying their lives and each others’ company as the screen fades to black. We don’t get a good look at Sookie’s baby daddy, but that’s not the point; the point is she’s moved on and found happiness.
So what will True Blood‘s legacy be? As a sexy, campy supernatural soap, or as something that started well, but went off the rails and became a frustratingly inconsistent slog with bits of greatness mixed in with the muck? To be cliché, only time will truly tell. However, despite my frustrations and grievances with the show, I’m still a fan. For the past seven years, Bon Temp and its residents were as welcome an addition to my summer as longer days and backyard barbecues. I’ll miss it.
R.I.P. True Blood.