Tuesday, August 26, 2014

True Blood, Season 7, Episode 10: Thank You

Bill has called on Sookie to explain why he needs to die – for her. “You’re choosing to die because I have no self-respect?” yes, Sookie’s tone says it all. When Sookie presses he tells her that the disease makes him feel more human, the creeping mortality makes him feel human and he references his family’s graves and his own, empty. Which actually would be an excellent and deep reason why Bill has chosen to end his life – to embrace mortality. But then he quickly turns it to Sookie and how wonderful she is with kids which she could never have with him (because kids are everything and kids can only ever be part of your family if both you and your partner can have kids together. It is known). Also, just in case she won’t have enough angst, he wants her to use up her light killing him and therefore not being a super tasty fae any more

Sookie is not a fan of this plan. Bill’s plan to ensure Sookie gets over him seems to be to ensure the guilts will haunt her for the rest of her life.

At Fangtasia Eric continues to make random decisions – he decides to let Sarah go. He also intends to kill Gus and steal Nublood. All this trusting and sharing thing just doesn’t work for him any more. Pam loves this idea. They give Sarah Pam’s blood (why not Eric’s?) so Pam can always find her.

Once Sarah has escaped, Pam and Eric show Gus and the Yakuza what vampires can do in a confined space (about damn time!) Gus tries to run down the tunnel – as Eric puts it “humans are slow”, giving them ample time to burn him to death.

Other Yakuza have made their way to silence Sookie. Eric goes to meet them and has a happy little slaughterfest. He loads them up in his car and drives off quite merrily (I love the little head dancing to the radio – perfect touch).

Pam goes to collect Sarah. They talk about Bill’s book (Pam only skimmed it to read the parts about her. Heh, which is so perfectly Pam). Sarah decides she’s a horrible person (Pam: “yes dear, you are.”) So that would make her an awesome vampire! Yes she wants to be a vampire, and a lesbian to be the woman behind Pam. Pam is amused by this nonsense – until Sarah mentions Tara’s name then she gets strangled and Pam telling her never to say Tara’s name (I like it, I love it –but toooo little toooo late). Not only would Pam never ever have sex with Sarah, ever – she does take Sarah’s blood to ensure she’s “vaccinated”.

To the Crompton house where Jessica and Hoyt pay a visit and Jessica interrupts all the pleasant small talk to tell Bill she’ll be fine – she doesn’t want him to die, but she does want him to know that if he does die she’ll be ok because she knows that would prey on him. Hah, Jessica I don’t think Bill has thought of anyone but Sookie for some time now. Bill then decides to ask Hoyt if he’s going to marry Jessica which pushes Hoyt to say, yes, one day

Jessica drags Bill somewhere private to point out that in all her dreams of getting married didn’t include her dying vampire dad pressuring a guy who has no memories of her into proposing for some nebulous future. Bill explains that beause he didn’t get to give his daughter away, he’s using her to live out his fantasies of a wedding before he dies (though he could, we have to realise, take the cure and walk into the sunlight later rather than putting Jessica’s relationship on his time table) and he wants to know she’s “spoken for” so Jessica decides to change that nebulous future into getting married right now.

Sookie mopes around her house and has a flashback to her and Tara as kids and finding Tara’s crush on Jason through mind reading – but she thinks she’ll never have a boyfriend or family because her mind reading reveals too many nasty thoughts from boys. Something her grandmother rejects fiercely and Sookie can be anything she wants.

This touching scene may have been more relevant in season 1 as a backstory for Sookie. Now? Kind of pointless. Anyway, Sookie heads off to see Jason and runs into Bridget . Brief conversation and disdain for Jason’s horrible coffee, Sookie talks to her brother about what Bill said and how, now she has a definite chance to give up being fae, she’s not sure she actually wants to do it. Jason is smart enough to realise he can’t give her advice and his phone rings – Bridget answers

Ok, who does this? She’s known Jason for, what, 3 days and she’s answering his phone? Do people even do that?

Anyway the call is Hoyt and Jessica roping Sookie and Jason into last minute wedding plans (y’know, I care about absolutely nothing for this wedding except maybe, just maybe, getting Bridget drunk and hearing her opinion on the out-of-the-blue nuptials because that would be HILARIOUS).

Time to call in Andy to do the ceremony (a sheriff? It’s not like we don’t have a pastor in the cast! Is there a special tradition of having the father of the girls you killed to handle your marriage?), Arlene, Holly show up to snoop. Bill arranges his affairs with Andy (technically Bill’s heir as a descendent) to ensure Jessica and Hoyt are ok. Jason and Hoyt are buddies again

Wedding stuff goes here (including appropriation from LGBT marriage equality movement, of course). Does anyone actually care? Honestly did they just sack all the writers and replace them with someone who spent way too much time writing Jessica/Hoyt fanfic? They could have at least had Jessica and Bill vampire blur down the aisle. Come on, how awesome would that be? ZOOOOOOMING BRIDE!

For extra angst, Sookie also develops the power to read Bill’s mind and how much pain he’s in and how much he loves Sookie and wants her to have this kind of wedding as well (which is between… a human and a vampire! Which is the very essence of why he’s committing suicide! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGHLE!)

Anyway Siookie tells all this to Jason driving home and she’s clearly feeling romantic so she gives Jason her blessing to have a quickie in the car with Bridget on the way to the airport

I kid you not, she actually did. I… I…  no, there are no words.

Sookie goes to see Rev Daniels to get some advice on whether she should give up being fae (got to love how she’s happily telling everyone she’s fae and how everyone knows she’s a telepath all of a sudden). She wants to know whether she’s a mistake or god made her this way (because, with the Hep V thing in the background now, we need a new way to appropriate from LGBT people) while Rev. Daniels raves on about the wonderful things she’s done for this town – being very conveniently vague on the details because there’s not a whole lot there.

She also decides to randomly tell the reverend that help is on its way, it’ll all be over soon. Which she just knows. Personally I think it sounds ominous like Sookie’s planting a bomb or getting a gun and a high place.

Sookie ominously calls Bill to let him know she’s made all the arrangements at the cemetery. She goes there at dusk to stand by Bill’s open grave. Much tearful goodbyeness, Bill opens his own coffin (angst moment) and gets in. Sookie calls her light but can’t stand to give up her shiny faerieness. So she stakes him instead,

She went through with it at last! Sorry Bill, you’ve irritated me far too much for me to be sad at your passing. Ok, I’m a little surprised there was no 11th hour save though, I have to admit that. He dies really messily and Sookie buries him with lots of tears and sad music.

Skip forward a year- and an announcement from Eric, CEO of New Blood as he and Pam describe a rather fictional account of them making a cure (also, spot the Charlaine Harris cameo).

3 years after that and the company is doing very very well it seems.

And to Sookie’s for thanksgiving – and Sookie is very pregnant indeed. Jason and Bridget have a horde of kids, many of which look far too old to be 3 year olds. Sam and Nicole arrive with their child.

Fangtasia is doing well and despite their business Pam and Eric are still running the place only Pam has put her plan for Sarah into action and she’s now chained in the basement with feeding on her sold for vast sums of money to vampires. Sarah’s still hallucinating.

Closing dinner table and we don’t even get to see who Sookie’s new man is.

Dear gods, what the hell was that boring pile of nothing? This is how True Blood ends? This? Is this a determined attempt to be sure that not even the most diehard of fans actually cares that the show is gone?

I know I’m not exactly in the majority when I say I find Hoyt about as compelling as snooker played in slow motion (and, no, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when they dragged him off the bus from Season 5 and less so that we decided to pretend the whole vampire killing phase he went through is totally bygones), but is there actually anyone, anyone at all, who find Hoyt and Jessica’s relationship so damn fascinating that it simply had to dominate a huge part of the last episode? Jessica is a much more interesting character – but this speedy wedding to please daddy hardly showed her in her best light – nor did this entire season. She’s been dull in season 7, weepy and dull.

There are so many horrible elements to Bill’s planned suicide I don’t even know how to cover them all.

Everyone knows I’m no fan of Sookie’s, but what Bill is doing to her is just pure evil. He wants her to get over him so is setting up his death to haunt her forever. Normally points could be made about Bill’s agency and choice here – but it’s irrelevant because he has cast everything as Sookie’s fault and all because of Sookie – making it Sookie’s business. If Bill hadn’t met Sookie, if Sookie hadn’t loved Bill, if Bill didn’t think Sookie were incapable of living without him (mega-egotism included) and if Bill wasn’t obsessed with Sookie having children then Bill would not be committing suicide. He made his suicide Sookie’s fault, he made it a SACRIFICE for Sookie whether she wanted it or not. That’s not about him making a choice, that’s about making a choice for Sookie and dumping responsibility on her

And Jessica? She came to him to tell him she’d be alright. That’s the reassurance he offered – and he refused it. No matter what nice things he said, he refused it until he knew she was “spoken for.” Jessica’s assurance she’s going to be ok is meaningless unless she has a man to look after her, to take up ownership. And on top of that he takes Jessica’s very reasonable objections about not being ready to marry Hoyt, about his memories and her own actual desires for her wedding and they’re all swept aside because of his death guilt.

And this applies to the whole season. Yes, True Blood has been shaky the last few seasons, but this last season they didn’t even try. The writers knew how they wanted it to end so they just hacked off anything that didn’t fit. Want it to be Pam & Tara together? Throw Willa in the plot box and clumsily kill Tara off. Then have them decide not to kill the yakuza and Gus until the very last episode because REASONS, despite the fact they have damselled Pam three freaking times! She’s supposed to be a damn vampire, not a princess in a tower!

Want Sookie and Bill to be together? Kill Alcide off, let Sookie read Bill’s mind and throw in this patently ridiculous suicide plot line.

For whatever damn reason you have a unholy need to have Jessica and Hoyt together? Drag him from Alaska, throw in Bridget to be cast off to show Jessica as superior, throw James at Lafayette so Jessica doesn’t have to break up with him (then throw them both in the plot box) and have Violet lose her ever loving mind so Hoyt can be the hero (which is damn ridiculous as well).

Who cares if everyone is grossly out of character this season, who cares who has to be randomly killed off – who cares if the cure just randomly drops, who cares if the packs of Hep V vamps killing WHOLE TOWNS just disappear (no way was that just one pack), who cares if the whole town is willing to form an armed vigilante mob and then disappear as soon as it’s done, who cares if we have Yakuza and no Federal government and Sam’s randomly run off to Chicago (writers clearly had no ideas for him) – this ending WILL HAPPEN and it doesn’t matter how many square pegs they have to hammer through round holes. That’s the season – awful writing and everything forced down ridiculous

This season has been a trainwreck of a hot mess from start to finish.

Now we come to the nauseating treatment of minorities this season and “too little, too late” really underscores the whole thing. Tara finally gets some back story, some development of her relationship with Lettie Mae and she manages to (sort of) get a role beyond comic relief for 5 seconds along with Rev Daniels being random purveyor of wisdom – but this is after 7 seasons of bullshit and it’s all cobbled on in a belated attempt to pretend Tara’s death was actually meaningful – with added slapdash attempts to address Tara’s abusive childhood in the most hollow attempt of last minute characterisation ever

Lafayette was there to catch James when Jessica’s storyline threw him off, then him and James became sidekicks/dealers/blood supplies for Lettie Mae’s little trip of last minute Tara characterisation – then it was into the plot box with the lot of them. Lafayette and James wasn’t a storyline, it was a loose end of other people’s storylines.

Then we threw in a lot of Yakuza because all the cool kids are doing it these days. And they died. Of course they did.

Then we had True Blood’s usual level of appropriation – only taken to new, vile levels with the utter nauseating AIDS/Hep V connection which was laid on really damn thick. And Pam spent the whole season being imprisoned and threatened and only very very very very belatedly caring about Tara. A bit. Occasionally.

And get the neat ending – happily ever afters happen because of straight folks getting married and having babies! Like the messages haven’t been subtle these last few episodes that ending laid it on with a trowel.

Good bye True Blood. I won’t miss you – and that’s really sad