‘True Blood’ Series Finale Review: “Thank You”
‘True Blood’ season 7 spurts out its 10th and last installment of the final year, “Thank You,” as Sookie questions a future without Bill, as Pam and Eric bristle against Mr. Gus' sinister Yakuza plan, and Jessica makes a difficult choice amid the series' ultimate close.
Last week's ‘True Blood’ installment, “Love is to Die,” saw Bill attempting to justify his reasons for declining the cure, while the quadrangle between Jessica, Hoyt, Jason and Bridget took a surprising turn, and Eric finally fulfilled a longstanding promise, so what's last for the final year?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘True Blood’ season 7, episode 10, series finale “Thank You”!
Bill arrives to Sookie’s to talk, advocating how much she deserves children in her future, and proposing that she be the one to kill him with her Faerie light ball. That way, Bill’s and her Fae attraction's removal from the equation would enable her to lead a truly normal life, something Sookie begrudgingly agrees to consider. Meanwhile, Eric and Pam take an opportune moment to set Sarah Newlin free, adding that they’ll catch up to her once they’ve killed Mr. Gus and the Yakuza, taking the business for themselves.
Eric notifies Mr. Gus of Sarah’s escape through the hidden passage, though Eric and Pam quickly overwhelm the other guards, and torch Mr. Gus as he attempts to follow Sarah into the alley. Shortly thereafter, Eric catches up to the remaining Yakuza outside of Sookie’s house, and slays them before they can mount an offensive. Pam catches up to Sarah at the merry-go-round wherein Eric had turned Willa, as Sarah proposes that she be made Pam’s vampire sex slave to make up for her past slights. Pam sarcastically declines the offer, before vaccinating herself with Sarah’s blood.
Bill finds Jessica and Hoyt returning home as a reunited couple, to which Bill poses that Hoyt consider whether or not he’d ever marry Jessica. Jessica pulls Bill aside to point out the sudden nature of his thought, to which Bill reminds her that he’d never been able to walk his own daughter down the aisle, leading Jessica to acquiesce that she marry Hoyt on the spot for Bill's sake. Elsewhere, Sookie remembers back to an old memory of she and Tara returning home in the rain, in which Adele pressed on Sookie that she could lead any life she wanted, regardless of her mind-reading burdens.
Back in the present, Sookie arrives to Jason’s to meet Bridgette and bring her brother up to speed on the dilemma, though the discussion is interrupted by calls from both Jessica and Hoyt, looking for help planning their spontaneous wedding. Hours later, Andy, Arlene and Holly arrive to the Compton Manor, in which Bill asks Andy if he might leave the house to him as his only living heir, so long as Andy rented it to Jessica and Hoyt for a negligible fee.
Jason readies Hoyt for the ceremony, espousing his delight at being best friends once again, and reminding Hoyt of the importance of seizing happiness where it comes. Shortly thereafter, an increasingly-weakened Bill leads a made-up Jessica into the parlor for the ceremony. Andy bumbles through the unplanned occasion, sans rings or vows, eventually pronouncing Hoyt and Jessica married, while Sookie realizes that she can hear Bill’s thoughts for the very first time.
Returning to Jason’s, Sookie shares the revelation with her brother and urges Jason to consider getting together with Bridgette before saying goodbye at the airport. Afterward, Sookie seeks counsel from Reverend Daniels, wondering if perhaps she and the other supernatural creatures represent God’s mistakes, though Daniels assures Sookie that God granted everyone the right to decide their own fates, supernatural or otherwise. Renewed in her confidence, Sookie calls Bill and asks the vampire to meet her at his grave at sundown.
Bill arrives to find Sookie waiting in black, as Sookie directs him into his unearthed coffin, in which Bill finds a long-buried picture of he and his daughter. After saying their goodbyes, Sookie conjures her light ball and prepares to end Bill’s life, but ultimately decides that her Faerie nature represents a true part of her identity, for good or for ill. Sookie offers to kill Bill regardless, breaking off a shovel handle, and climbing into Bill’s coffin to brace for the end. Following one last kiss, Sookie tearfully plunges the stake into Bill’s chest, at last ending his life for good.
One year later, Eric and Pam shoot an infomercial for their own incarnation of “New Blood,” the resounding success of which earns them billions at the stock market over the next few years. Sometime after that, a pregnant Sookie prepares a thanksgiving feast for family and friends, greeting Jason, Bridgette and their children, as well as a returning Sam and his own family. Sarah Newlin remains Pam and Eric’s prisoner, forced to feed paying Fangtasia-goers as she fends off her own madness-induced visions of Steve Newlin.
Finally, Sookie greets her unseen husband, sitting down to dinner with the entire surviving cast.
Well, there we have it. Last week, we attempted to illustrate the parallels between the series finales of 'True Blood’ and Showtime’s ‘Dexter,’ that of campy blood-soaps carrying on long past their primes, and at least a few showrunners. In the case of ‘Dexter’ at least, the show took itself seriously enough and carried enough stake that our quasi-expectations for the end were chopped to hell by a laughable lumberjack, where ‘True Blood’’s quality had consistently dipped to the point that we grew to expect more of a rough landing than an outright crash. In that regard, “Thank You” more or less fulfilled its purpose, even maintaining a bizarre repetition with last year’s finale, in dispatching its big bad with relative ease before leaning on a final coda time-jump.
It’s a measure of constant debate what any good series finale should accomplish, between paying homage to the show’s roots and wrapping up any lingering plot threads, or at least providing a sense of emotional closure. In the case of ‘True Blood’ at least, the thin-stretched and scattershot nature of its emotional threads have made it difficult to garner the sense of true satisfaction to any end, creating a prism of viewer expectation to interpret “Thank You” every which way. For our money at least, the series’ emotional core got its closure in Bill and Sookie’s ultimate goodbye, while the (absurdly rushed) wedding between Jessica and Hoyt gave some small measure of happiness to reflect on the series’ uniform mix of sap and shock.
Paying off the season itself proves a bit trickier, as the thread of Hepatitis-V is given something of an ambiguous tie-off with Eric and Pam’s new product*, and the ultimate fate of Sarah herself. “Thank You” even gave Tara and the Daniels family a minor bit of reflection, both in nodding to the former’s place in Sookie’s life, and accepting the wisdom of the latter. And self-congratulatory though it may have been, at least those absent from the finale's events put in brief appearances through the final minutes, as Sookie embraced her off-screen husband to lead a Thanksgiving feast.
*Why yes, that was ‘The Southern Vampire Mysteries’ author Charlaine Harris observing the monitors at Eric and Pam’s infomercial, and not her first cameo either, but nevermind that for now. Eric burned Mr. Gus and the Yakuza’s offer, yes, but are we to believe they went ahead with marketing “New Blood” as a temporary cure, particularly if Sookie kept a few spare cans in her fridge years later? Why did Pam’s vampire customer insist on another session with Sarah herself, if the direct cure was said to be permanent?
And that’s it, really. Bill died. Jessica married Hoyt, and it apparently worked out. Same for Jason and Bridgette, James and LaFayette, and even Sookie found herself a man with no faces. No major shocks, upsets, or insight into life as a whole. So endeth ‘True Blood,’ with the anemia we’d come to expect in recent years, and nary a lumberjack in sight.
Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of fang-banging ‘True Blood’ action? What did you think about tonight's series finale installment, “Thank You”? Join the discussion in the comments, and check back again tomorrow for more insight and discussion of 'True Blood''s series finale! In the meantime, remember the series' peak with our recap of its most memorable deaths!