7 Ways That True Blood's Series Finale Could Have Been Improved
I know, I know. I'm a little late to the party (okay, over two years late, whatever). Nevertheless, I've finally gone back to watching the HBO fantasy series, True Blood, and completed the final season after having abandoned the show sometime during season 5. From what I could tell, the series had already begun to go downhill by that point but, thanks to my OCD, I happen to be completely and utterly incapable of leaving a television series incompleted for too long. So I flipped the series on and binge-watched from beginning to end. And the end that I saw wasn't very pretty.
The decline which I first noticed all those years ago continued. Perhaps this was the result of Alan Ball leaving the series. Or maybe it was because God really does hate fangs. I don't know. Either way, what it amounted to was one of the worst, least satisfying series finales I have ever seen (yes, even worse than the last episode of LOST... I think).
While I see no way in which the ending could have been particularly good, here's at least seven ways in which I believe it could have been made more tolerable.
Sookie should have landed a relationship with literally ANYONE else
Sookie should have ended up with either Bill, Eric, or Sam. Hell, even the wolfman would have been fine (especially if we're going with the whole "she's gotta have babies to feel alive!" nonsense). As long as it was someone out of the choices we'd been given throughout the shows 7 seasons.
I'm fairly certain, judging by all of the negative audience reactions, that this isn't even a subjective opinion. It would have definitely made the show better regardless of which of these men she chose to be with. I was rooting for Bill, personally, since he'd finally become somewhat likable again (yeah, yeah, I know, the #TeamEric gals hate him), but, seriously, either of the other three options would have been fine. As long as it was someone who we've grown to know over the years.
Having our protagonist end up with a random, white, supposedly human guy didn't appear to be at all in tune with any message the show had previously tried to instill in us, either. Where once it was about embracing the differences between everyone and fighting for your true love at all costs, in the end it suddenly became about fitting in, settling down, having babies, and being normal — even if you have to sacrifice your true love and wind up with a homogeneous nobody to do so. I mean... wtf?
Sookie gets turned into a vampire
Seeing as though all of the vampires that Sookie had relationships with were destined to live forever — eternally young — it would have been a necessity for Sookie to be "turned" if she were ever to keep any of her many vamp-relationships going for more than 50 or so years. But if that weren't enough, it was also established that a little bit of her blood made it possible for her vampire buddies to freely walk in the sun without fear of becoming crispy critters. This is an especially important and fortuitous fact, considering that one of Bill and Sookie's ongoing relationship discussions throughout the years have been centered on the dilemma of them only being able to be together at night.
However, one could argue that once Sookie is "turned" then her fairy blood may be tainted and no longer allow this special, vamp-helping side effect. At least, that how we could have rationalized it until the character of Warlow was introduced to the series. Warlow, like Sookie, was also a fairy. But he was a fairy who'd been made vampire. Due to this, we were shown that fairies-made-vampires could both live forever and remained capable of walking in the sun — they didn't loose one power for another, the retained the best of both worlds.
Long story short: If Sookie had turned, she would have become a super vamp like Warlow, who could even help her vampire boyfriend (whether it was Bill or Eric) walk in the sun with her for eternity.
Give Bill a more rational reason to die
If the writers were intent on Bill dying, then at least they could have gone about it in a different way. Maybe one that's even slightly consistent with the past 7 seasons.
It always seemed to me that True Blood had a pretty firm focus on how it was okay to be different, weird, and how segregation just wasn't cool. Yet the entire theme with Bill's death appeared to be a quest for Sookie to live a "normal" life without a vampire getting in the way. "Why?" You ask? Because a vampire can't have babies, apparently. Nevermind that neither can any of the other vampire/human couples on the show. Nor can any homosexual couples, for that matter. And some people don't even want babies. Yet, according to Bill's suicide mission, babies are apparently the only essential thing on earth that are worth living for; conquering even the deepest love between a woman and a man (or a vamp). Perhaps my opinion on this would be slightly more understanding if Sookie had spent even a modicum of time in the past seasons complaining about how not having babies was a big problem for her. But she never did that. In fact, she seemed to happily jump into one vampire fling after another — knowing children would never come from it — without giving babies a second thought. Even if this weren't the case, however, she could have adopted. To me, Bill's death (if it had to happen) would have been much better served if he'd either:
- Not gotten the cure for Hep V in time and wound up dying from it.
- If there never had been a cure for it and he died from it.
- If he killed himself before hearing about there even being a cure.
- If he'd died in the act of saving Sookie one last time (sort of cliche, but so is a random wedding during the series finale of a TV series).
- If he'd never even mentioned anything about his death being for Sookie's "normal life", and instead proclaimed something about how tired of living he's become after over one hundred years (this, too, would be lame and inconsistent with the rest of the series, though).
- Or hey, how about his motive for death being that he felt he deserved it after turning into a monstrous killing machine in the previous seasons.
Pretty much anything would have been better than the kind of pointless, out-of-no-where death of a main character that we got. There were simply too many problems to find in this. For another example, how about the irony that Bill died to help Sookie be happy by, ipso facto, causing her to live the remainder of her life with the devastating knowledge that she was the cause of that death. What sense does this make? Now her one true love is dead, she has to live with the burden of both giving him Hep V and staking him, and she's now forced to live with the undoubtedly traumatic memory of having seen the man she loves literally explode right in front of her. And we're supposed to believe this is going to make her live a happier life? If it does, then it really makes Sookie seem like an awful human being. If it doesn't, then it makes Bill seem like an equally awful vampire. If anyone with half a brain bothers to sit down and analyze this plot line, they'll immediately see one flaw after another in it. It just didn't work on so many levels and shouldn't have ever happened in the way it was presented.
Do away with Eric's Hulk-bod
This is kind of a shallow point that isn't really important at all, but I can't help but voice how distracted I was by the fact that Eric suddenly had the body of The Hulk this season. I didn't like it. It was weird and I couldn't stop noticing it. So I would have preferred the actor to have saved his Tarzan body building for at least the end of filming.
I dunno. Maybe I'm just weird.
Give Hoyt his memories back for Pete's sake!
Just have Sookie knock Hoyt's memories back into his glamoured head like she's done with so many other glamoured characters. We've seen it done. We know it's possible. There's never a reason given not to do it. So do it!
While it's okay having a glammored character show up and re-fall in love with someone he used to be enamored with (a la, letting us know how true love can't be stopped no matter how much you try), it's sort of ridiculous to have him just suddenly marry a girl who he only remembers from one night prior. Not to mention having a guy (Jason) who he remembers nothing about as his best man at their wedding (a wedding filled only with people who he either doesn't remember or hasn't heard from in over a year). A simple un-glammoring would have at least made this silly part of the episode slightly more tolerable, as far as believability goes, at least. As it is, though, in Hoyt's perspective, he's marrying someone he doesn't know, accepting that he's best friends with a guy he just met, leaving his girlfriend alone in a strange town without a second thought, and doing so immediately after the death his mother. And he's being strangely cool with all of this.
It just makes zero sense.
Get rid of the wedding scene altogether
Better yet, how about we just do away with the wedding scene. I don't know about anyone else, but I kept looking at the clock during this entire ceremony, knowing this was the last episode and getting very frustrated by how much time it was eating into. Don't get me wrong, I was all in with the Jessica and Hoyt reunion (regardless of how forced in it was), but this was the last friggin' episode, guys. C'mon. All that time could have been much better spent. We already saw that Hoyt and Jessica were reuniting and getting together again, the marriage could have been implied during that crumby flash forward at the end of the episode.
Ya know what? How about have Eric die instead?
Yeah, yeah. I know. All the gals like him and want him with Sookie. But, honestly, his more sinister ways really wouldn't have worked well with Sookie's goody-two-shoes character in the long run, so having the two end up together really seems unfitting with the previous seasons. Nevertheless, I'll grant that Eric did appear to become a better, more likable, and more interesting character than Bill in the end. But that fact only contributes to why his death would have been a much more emotional experience than Bills.
Having Eric sacrifice himself in order to save Sookie or Bill (for Sookie's sake) would have been a much more powerful outcome in the end. The series was clearly looking to provoke emotions with the heroic death of a main character in their final scenes, so why not kill off Eric instead? This would have resulted in a meaningful death, an emotional ending, and would have helped Sookie end up with a character who she'd been in love with for the entirety of the series (like it or not, the series was designed to be a love story between Bill and Sookie, so having them wind up together in the end would be the most natural way to wrap up the series). This also would acted as a great final redemption for Eric, who has already been established as a character who often wrestles with his good and evil sides. Him dying for the sake of someone he loves would have been a final, moving proof of how good and selfless he really was underneath it all.