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‘True Blood’ Season Finale Review: “Radioactive”

True Blood Season 6 Finale Review Radioactive
HBO

True Blood’ season 6 spurts out its 10th and final episode of the year, “Radioactive,” as Bill and the others race to save Sookie from a vengeful Warlow’s grasp, before a shocking calamity unleashes a new threat to humans and vampires alike.

Last week’s ‘True Blood’ episode, “Life Matters,” saw Bill and Eric enacting their plans to free the captive vampires from meeting the sun at Vamp Camp, while Sookie and the others gathered for Terry Bellefleur’s funeral, so how does “Radioactive” close out the season? Who ends up as a pile of bloody goo by the hour’s end?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘True Blood’ season 6 finale, “Radioactive”!

Following Terry’s funeral, Sookie and Alcide share a walk until Alcide smells the Vamp Camp vampires returning in the sunlight. The vampires all strip and celebrate their freedom around Bill’s house, before Sookie spots Jason and meets his new owner Violet (Karolina Wydra) in the process. Sookie urges her brother to be careful, greeting Tara and Pam as well, as a despondent Bill watches from inside the house.

Sookie visits with Warlow in the faerie realm to find him constructing a maypole as part of their wedding ceremony, but when Sookie proposes that they take things slower by dating first, Warlow smacks her to the ground to claim what he believes to be his. Back at the party on Bill’s lawn, Tara begrudgingly watches Pam fly off in search of Eric, while Bill laments to Jessica the apparent loss of his abilities, and that he sacrificed Sookie to be turned for his own ends.

At Jessica’s urging, Bill tells Jason of Warlow’s plan to turn Sookie, before the group realizes they’ll need the help of Andy’s daughter Adeline to reach the faerie realm. Jason travels to the Bellefleurs’ to find Andy just barely willing to allow Adeline to help, while elsewhere Bill glamours Dr. Takahashi into forgetting their time together, leaving the man with a satchel of cash. Back in the faerie realm, Warlow binds Sookie and admits he only wants to own her, and fill the hole in his life, before sinking his teeth in.

Meeting up with Bill on the road, the group scare Adeline to have her powers manifest and transport them to the faerie realm. Once there, Bill battles Warlow to a standstill, while the others grab Sookie, return to the real world, and retreat to the Stackhouse residence to prepare for an assault. Warlow and Bill return to the real world as well, though Warlow gets the jump on him in pursuit.

Warlow arrives to the Stackhouse home and disables Andy, incapacitating both Violet and Bill with his light blasts. Warlow finds Sookie upstairs cowering in her shower, when Niall suddenly breaks through from another dimension, and holds Warlow down long enough for Jason to drive a stake into his heart. Warlow finally dies, as Sookie and Jason rescue Niall from being sucked back in, and the light essence from Warlow’s pool of blood dissipates. At the same time, Bill and the other vampires all lose their ability to daywalk, including a naked Eric in the Swedish mountains, who reclines in reading a book before suddenly bursting into flames and collapsing before we see his fate.

Six months later, Bill appears on TV promoting his new book “And God Bled,” explaining to the host how he had been a vampire god for a period of time, killing Truman Burrell in the process. Bill offers no concern that he’d be tried for his actions, considering how Truman used taxpayer money to create a vampire virus that continues to affect the population. Sookie and a newly-shorn Alcide watch the broadcast before returning to bed together, while elsewhere Jason continues pleasuring Violet, still shot down to go all the way with her.

Sookie and Alcide arrive at church to find Sam Merlotte and Andy Bellefleur arguing about the separation of church and state, before heading upstairs. All of the congregation submit to a blood test to find if they carry the hepatitis V virus, before Reverend Daniels encourages the separate congregations to intermingle. Daniels rails against the packs of infected vampires preying on small towns like theirs, before introducing Sam Merlotte as the Mayor of Bon Temps.

Sam invites the church to a gathering later that night at Bellefleur’s Bar and Grill (now under Arlene’s management), explaining that the results of their blood tests will await them there. Once there however, Sam proposes that uninfected humans consider entering into monogamous arrangements with uninfected vampires in exchange for protection, a plot spearheaded by Bill Compton. Much of the church expresses outrage, though some consider the prospect.

Later that night at the party, Sookie and Alcide agree to keep their appearance brief, while Tara’s mother Lettie Mae approaches her. Consenting to a moment alone to talk, Tara listens as her mother finally apologizes for all her neglect and abuse over the years, offering to feed Tara in the way she’d failed to do so many years earlier. Tara finally silences her mother’s pleas for forgiveness, and accepts the offering of blood.

Andy and Adeline recline at home, before a knock at the door brings Andy to ready his gun. Andy finds Jessica waiting outside, tempting him to pull the trigger, until Jessica pleads to make things right by offering her protection of both Bellefleurs, with no blood from either required. Andy shuts the door on her, as Jessica begins standing guard outside the home.

Sookie and Alcide leave the party and find Bill waiting for them in the parking lot, though Alcide declines Bill’s request for a private word with Sookie. Bill assures the couple they he’s become trustworthy again, and that they have his protection, even with Alcide’s insistence they don’t need it. Sookie admits she could never fully trust Bill again, before both he and Alcide smell the approach of an army of infected vampires converging on the party.

And so, another season of ‘True Blood’ has come to a close, guaranteed to pick up in the exact spot come 2014. We’d worried that last week’s “Life Matters” had exhausted the reservoir of story for the season, though Warlow’s heel turn and a rare ‘True Blood’ time jump managed to effectively take us through the rest of the hour.

It certainly felt a bit off to have so much of the initial running time devoted to self-congratulatory pats on the back, as all the vampires partied in the sun like a J.C. Penney catalog, making Warlow’s descent into pure villainy a bit forced by ‘True Blood’ standards. It wouldn’t have seemed outside the realm of possibility for Warlow to take Sookie up on her offer to spend the next year in Bon Temps, marking Robert Kazinsky as a series regular, so the resulting turn and ultimate battle ends up a bit contrived, even if satisfying to see the Stackhouses working together. Not to mention, kudos for bringing back Rutger Hauer, if only for an exceptionally convenient few moments.

And while we’d never believe for a second that ‘True Blood’ would so anticlimactically kill off Eric, we appreciate the chance for ‘True Blood’ to move forward six months and dump its audience in a new world to explore. Often time jumps act as a cover to inject unfamiliar story elements the narrative otherwise had been impatient to justify, though in ‘True Blood’s case, a little shake-up does more good than ill. Not only that, but it can strain credulity to remember that like ‘Breaking Bad,’ so little relative time has passed in the overall storyline for the many years we’ve been watching.

So, while we don’t believe ‘True Blood”s infected vampires to be an attempt to capitalize on the zombie phenomenon as others have suggested, we welcome the introduction of another supernatural threat that still keeps the action grounded in one location, as had been prophesied by new showrunner Bryan Buckner at Comic-Con 2013. It lacked the immediate cliffhanger punch of its 2012 finale predecessor, but nonetheless keeps us open and interested for another year. Well done this year overall, ‘True Blood.’

Did you get your fill of fang-banging ‘True Blood’ action?  What did you think about season 6 finale “Radioactive”? Join the discussion in the comments, stay tuned for the latest from the cast and crew and be sure to check back later for more ‘True Blood’ coverage while we wait for season 7 on HBO!

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