Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What I’m Watching: True Blood (Season Finale)

True Blood: Season 2, Episode 12 “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” (B)

I was so blown away by last year’s finale that perhaps my expectations for this season’s closer were far too high. There’s also often a tendency for finales to resolve some season-long tension far too quickly, and if it happens too early in the episode, it’s more about what the town does after rather than actually solving the problem. The latter is often quite boring, and especially so in this case, since the season-long problems in Bon Temps are much more interesting than how the town recovers from their lengthy blackouts and the rather intoxicating presence of Maryann. The charade orchestrated by Bill and Sam was pretty cool, and seeing Sam rip his entirely coated arm out of Maryann’s body was fairly intense and a good farewell to that whole plotline. I’m less impressed with the performances in the latter half of the season by Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. I’m not sure it’s necessarily the fault of the actors, but both characters have become rather squeamish and awkward, and seeing them onscreen apart (and together sometimes) isn’t really great. I’ve liked them both for a while now, but I feel like their formerly fantastic lead characters have taken a real backseat to the showier performers with meatier parts. Eric is an example of this, and Alexander Skarsgard did a great job this season portraying both Eric’s serious side (Godric) and his more comic side (Sookie). It became clear in this final episode that Maryann’s plotline really was a bit ridiculous. Clearly Maryann left her mark on the town, and while next season probably won’t show much of it, it was the end of the line for Eggs, which was a sad departure for a character that seemed so kind though evidently so troubled. As I noted last week, the vampire queen wasn’t as terrific as I had hoped, but maybe next season she’ll get a chance to shine as she’s now intricately connected to Eric’s V-selling business. It looks like Bill may be in serious trouble, and I imagine that it was Eric who took him. You never know, though, since the season one finale made it seem like Lafayette’s was the dead body in the car when it really wasn’t. All in all, this has been a great season, and it’s a shame that this finale didn’t do it justice. The best and most surprising storyline was the one revolving around Hoyt and Jessica, which could have been incredibly lame but instead was entirely engaging. I’m hopeful because Jessica seemed like she’d be an awful character at the end of last season, and look at how great she turned out. I’m excited for season three, so I guess we’ll check back in next June.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Allan Hyde as Godric

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