Thursday, December 25, 2008

Summing Up: True Blood

This show was an oddball entry from the start, but I’m wildly impressed by how it turned itself around from merely fascinating to truly superb in both its plotting and execution. The finale is what I really want to talk about here, but I’ll first mention the run-up in the second-to-last episode. Amy’s murder was extremely tragic since the character was one of the best on the show and Lizzy Caplan was astounding in the role, but the lead-up to her death was a visceral and amazing montage. The show’s ability to capture and show the effects of this vampire blood drug V are mesmerizing. The reveal of the killer as Rene didn’t do much for me in the second-to-last episode, but in the finale, that was all rectified.

I absolutely loved this finale and found it perfectly exemplary of how good this show can be. It invested from its opening moment in Rene as a major character, focusing in on his face and thoughts and filling in his back story throughout the episode. We knew Sookie was in danger, but it never felt more real than during this episode. Sookie flashing to Rene’s memories while in the house with him was a great way of revealing his past. Only on this show would Sookie run out of her house in her waitress uniform. I find the colors on this show quite terrific. It was also thrilling to see Arlene discover her kids watching the videotape and finding the Cajun dialect for actors tape all at the same time. What I loved most about the Rene/Sookie chase was how both Sam and Bill leapt to her rescue. Sam using his sense of smell and taking off all his clothes while Bill actually went out in the daylight to try to save Sookie, knowing full well what it would do to him were wonderful examples of just how unique this show is. Only on this show would you see either of those things, and I love it. I’m happy that Bill isn’t dead since Sam had the good sense to bury him right away so that he could heal properly.

This season one arc was awesome and it resolved itself so well. I like the introduction of Mary-Anne as a new mysterious character, particularly because Michelle Forbes is a terrific actress, especially in a role like this. It was fascinating to watch her try to shape-shift and telling Sam that he knew she’d find her and calling him a “silly dog.” She’ll be an awesome addition to the cast next season. Lafayette’s disappearance is troubling, but I suppose it wouldn’t be the worst thing if he didn’t come back. The return of Bill’s protégé should be fun as long as it doesn’t get old quick. I absolutely loved the end of this episode, which perfectly set things up for season two. Andy Bellefleur has always been a so-so minor character, but here he’s given a spotlight to close out the first season and moan about how no one ever respects him. He can’t find his car but when he finally does it’s an incredible ending that captures the show’s tone remarkably: he says “that ain’t mine” right when a dead body’s leg falls out the door, and both Sookie and Tara let out high-pitched screams. This show has always been fun, and I’m sure that next season will be just as terrific. I’m so excited.

Season finale: A
Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Anna Paquin/Lizzy Caplan

No comments: