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True to the End

It’s been covered on this blog before: series finales are incredibly hard to pull off well. You’re trying to wrap up years of character development over the course of one season, or one episode in some cases. We’ve talked about All Good Things (1994), the Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) finale that is generally considered one of the best ever. Mash (1972-1983) is up there too, among countless others.

Of course, there’s the other side of the coin as well. Loved shows like Lost (2004-2010) ended with a whimper in their finales. And a rough finale can sour the taste of the entire series for a lot of people.

I bring this up because we just saw the end of a long-running hit show in True Blood (2008-2014). HBO’s vampire drama started out strong in 2008, heralding a new golden era of television as HBO would begin its total takeover of TV. But the ratings sagged and it limped to the end with a season finale in 2014 after seven seasons on the air. The question is, regardless of your thoughts on the series, how did the finale stack up?

There are a number of ways to go in a finale and it seems True Blood went with most of them. Spoilers ahead.

You want to talk about killing off major characters? True Blood did it throughout the final season, culminating in Bill Compton’s assisted suicide in the finale. Alcide, Tara, both gone. How about sending characters off to another city? Yep. Sam got a quick farewell as he went to Chicago with his girlfriend. I’m also still not sure how Chicago is considered a ‘stone’s throw’ from Bon Temps, but that’s beside the point.

What about a wedding? Oh yeah, Hoyt and Jessica get hitched. THAT Hoyt, the one we haven’t seen in a few years since he moved to Alaska. The same Hoyt that had a different girlfriend just a couple episodes ago. A girlfriend who was serious enough to travel to Louisiana from Alaska with him.

But what about wrapping everything up with a nice little bow? They went there too, hard. Nearing the end of the series, we jump ahead one year to learn Bill and Pam have made another fortune selling New Blood, the synthetic blood replacement that is a treatment for Hep-V. They also have Sarah Newlin chained up in the basement, selling the opportunity for vamps to directly drink her blood. Then we jump ahead another four years to find Sookie pregnant. Who’s the father? We’ll never know, but apparently Bill’s prediction of her fairy light continually bringing more vampire suitors to her doorstep was incorrect. We never meet the father of her child, but he seems like a nice, normal human. The partner she apparently deserves, though all signs through the series pointed elsewhere.

Jason is married to Brigit, a character we only met a few episodes ago. They have three children. The marriage we saw earlier between Hoyt and Jessica seems to be going well, and the entire town of Bon Temps seems happy as they have an outdoor dinner on the front lawn of Sookie’s house.

So, what do you say? Did they do a good job capping the series, or did they take it in the wrong direction? Are you satisfied with how the series ended, or did you hope for something else from the finale? Was Sarah Newlin a strong enough antagonist to deserve her fate? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Zac Hogle is a producer/writer who has worked on several nationally broadcast series and documentaries. You can follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/zhogle.

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Categories: TV, Writing
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