“Do you believe in God?”
For some, it can be a heart-stopping question. Not because you might not be sure of your answer—you could very well be obnoxiously confident in your belief or lack thereof—but heart-stopping because of the timing with which this question may be asked, distilling all the crises of life into a yes-or-no answer you better get fucking right. In True Blood’s “I Will Rise Up,” put-upon Godric asked Sookie if she believes in God expectantly on a roof, while waiting for the sun to come and kiss his vampire ass goodbye. It was a time he needed comfort, to believe that 2000 years of after-life added up to something meaningful.
Earlier in the same episode, she had a heart-to-heart with her brother Jason, when they counted all the members of their family, didn’t make it past two, and realized they’ll have to come big kids now. So, on the roof, Sookie responded maturely to Godric that she did believe in God, and, also explained how this is actually a good thing for because far from just meaning he’s in that case an evil demon meant for eternal damnation, it more-so means that God will forgive him for his sins.
… Mm yeah me either. I mean… vampire. …Crosses? Explain that. You can’t.
Well, fortunately, it didn’t matter in the end. See, the point is, Godric, wise vampire that he was, observed then and there on the roof that being escorted to oblivion by a human, after an after-lifetime of feeding on them, is where he saw God. And this self-made conclusion is what ended up making him ecstatic, and sent him, like a 4th of July sparkler, off into that good night. Er, day.
But how is True Blood hoping to send itself off? The finale airs tonight, and this whole season almost seems to depend on it. Since the premiere, they’ve knocked down characters and relationships and set them up to status quo again faster than a bathtub baptism. The show seems to be pushing for big changes, stretching and flopping like a turtle thats outgrown its tank, and constantly denied. Will the show finally find its own voice, like Godric and take permanent steps to really becoming a big kid now?
One thing we do know is that the finale will end in a cliffhanger, perhaps the only device so far that True Blood has used to definitively stand out from similar shows. And that might be enough, if this wasn’t a premium channel during a recession, and if the writers just feel kinda feel like, god guys, whatever. But here is what we really need to see:
1. Bill Grow a Second Dimension
They tease us with flashbacks of Bill being a cold-blooded killer in one episode, and then nevermind! He was just doing it as a ruse for his maker. In the second episode of the season they tease us with Bill having to “take care” of Jessica’s human family, snikting out his fangs, and then nevermind! No permanent damage. In the last episode, we were once again given a tease when he visits vampire queen Evan Rachel Wood. She somehow already knows about Sookie, is lesbian lovers with her cousin, and Bill was unfazed. Will this finally be what presents a real conflict for Bill and Sookie? Something a near fatal minotaur attack or lukewarm bloody fang sex can’t whipe away? This is the list item that has the most hope, especially with Eric pointing out that Bill gave Sookie his blood the first night they met, making any feelings she has for him at all extremely questionable.
2. Tara Take Some Fucking Responsibility
They show us Tara is lovestruck and hateful even outside of Maryann’s control! Then we see she actually just might be hormonal from needing to lay a huge egg. It’s similar to Bill syndrome, where the writers just seem too hesitant to make the character do awful things, because they’re scared they won’t be able to win the audience back. Except that in this case they are right to worry. But at this point it would be much more interesting for Tara to be Sookie’s ex-friend who lives in the town and screws everything up rather than Sookie’s idiot friend who lives in the town and screws everything up, which is what she’s been all season. Tara’s lover Eggs doesn’t look like a character that can last long in this world, so if he’s going to die, it would serve well if Sookie is involved, and for Tara to start concocting some very hate-able schemes with her hate-able crazy mother. After all, Hate-able + Hate-able = Almost tolerable.
3. Bill/Sookie/Eric Triangle Dynamic Be Any Different From Jack/Kate/Sawyer Triangle Dynamic
Like Jack, Bill is stalwart, and is winning the girl’s affection, but at the same time there is something kindred about Sookie and Eric. And like Sawyer to Kate, Eric is intent on working his way into Sookie’s system. Sookie getting “tricked” into sucking Eric’s blood was definitely reminiscent of Sawyer tricking Kate into kissing him in Lost Season 1, especially with the similarity of Alexander Skarsgard and Josh Holloway. And both Bill and Jack like to warn their blonde competitors to “stay away from her!” I suppose this is like many good boy/bad boy love triangles, but for some reason the Lost one stands out the most. The tricking and saliva. I’m going to go with that being the reason.
4. Jessica and Hoyt Work It Out Somehow
Jessica and Hoyt, aside from being the youngest and least-metaphorical growing children, are also saddled with the responsibility of being the least-metaphorical gay couple. While Bill and Sookie’s experience has touched lightly on homosexual , they’re nothing compared to the after-school-special of Jessica and Hoyt. Like Bobby in X-Men 2 (incidentally, also starring Anna Paquin), we see the quotidian , adolescent side of the Other. In Bill and Sookie we can explore all the frightening and philosophical plumbs of dating the undead, but with Jessica and Hoyt it’s much more explicit. Jessica’s regenerating hymen (which I would imagine is someone’s RPG character somewhere) will force the innocent kids to rely on anal sex, and as Hoyt’s mother pointed out, adoption.
The last is probably the item on the list that would be the best show of good will in the finale. If Hoyt runs back to Jessica even after she bit his mother, and the show commits to proving that vampires are more than real good kindling in their universe, and convinces us to care about this couple, it would go a long way to investing in the show. I want to see True Blood become a creative work that, unlike Chan-Wook Park’s latest vampire film Thirst, doesn’t only take the touchstones of the vampire/minority experience for the sake of humor, curiosity and drama—but follows through and offers insights into function, meaning and life beyond life beyond life, and ultimately, how you come of age—even without age.