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'True Blood' - And Now I Die

Series lives up to its name, with enough blood spilled to shock viewers

Finally, "True Blood" recaptured some of the magic of previous seasons with a season finale that was almost good enough to make viewers forget about the poor quality of episodes they had to endure this season. Almost. A great finale does not make a great season, and Season 4 was anything but great. Still, this was fun to watch.

The first character of the evening to join the body count was Jesus (Kevin Alejandro), who realizes too late that Marnie (Fiona Shaw) has possessed Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). Somehow, without it being shown, he/she is able to capture Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard), strip them naked, and tie them up to a stake to be burned. I am not sure how that was accomplished. It seems quite implausible, but who's complaining? Apparently the director couldn't figure out a way to make it believable either, so viewers just have to accept that it happened.

Of course, Sookie (Anna Paquin), Holly (Lauren Bowles), and Tara (Rutina Wesley) show up just in time, and with a little help from Antonia's (Paolo Turbay) spirit, Marnie goes off to join the dead. While that ended this season's story arc, the rest of the episode was spent building plots for next season to follow. Sam is confronted by a wolf at the end of the episode, which may or not be Marcus (Dan Buran); Bill and Eric destroy Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck); and Reverend Newlin (Michael McMillian) shows up at Jason's (Ryan Kwanten) door as a vampire. And Russel Edgington's (Denis O'Hare) body is suddenly missing from his concrete tomb. All of these serve as intriguing cliffhangers, but they are dwarfed by what happens at the end.

Sookie is attacked by Debbie (Brit Morgan) who is brandishing a rifle. Tara steps in to save Sookie and takes a bullet to the side of the head. Sookie then blows Debbie's head to bits, and viewers are left to wait a full year to see if Tara survives. While she looks pretty darn dead to me, death isn't necessarily permanent on "True Blood."

The best part of this episode though was the fact that this felt like the "True Blood" that captivated me in previous seasons. From the snappy dialogue, injection of conveniently timed humor, to the death of characters viewers actually care about, this episode made viewer emotions get twisted around so much that they had to feel something.

Points Of Interest

Having the story conclude on Halloween was absolutely perfect. Samhain, spirits rising, all of that lent an eerie feel to the episode.

What Worked

I liked how Holly was dressed like a fairy when she met up with Andy, who just had a fairy encounter of his own in the previous episode.

Bringing back Newlin and Russell Edgington are good moves for the series. Likewise, getting rid of unnecessary characters like Debbie and Nan Flanagan are steps in the right direction. Let's hope Tommy (Marshall Allman), Marcus, and Marnie join the list of permanently dead characters we don't have to see again.

What Didn't Work

For God sakes, let Rene (Michael Raymond-James) rest in peace. His appearance was understandable, given that it was Samhain, but that story is done and over with. Bringing back some characters can be effective, but bringing back everyone is downright silly.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

"True Blood" stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell and Alexander Skarsgard. "And Now I Die" was written by Raelle Tucker. It was directed by Scott Winant.

"True Blood" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.

About the Author

Dr. Dan Compora is an associate professor at the University of Toledo. He specializes in science-fiction and fantasy literature and folklore. He lives in Lambertville, Mich.
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