True Blood: Save Yourself Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, August 27, 2012
It's a shame this was Alan Ball's last episode of True Blood, as he demonstrates he truly gets what makes this show tick. He was more than a little handcuffed by the various storylines that needed addressing, but found enough to work with to give us some memorable scenes and character moments. I think the question now will be- Is the person taking the reins going to put their personal stamp on the show? Or will they just be guiding the freight train of supernatural insanity to its inevitable destination?
If there is a blight on this episode, it's the handling of our beloved Russell Edgington. Rarely have we been so enamored with a villain. His easy southern drawl, his penchant for ultra-violent outbursts, his karaoke chops... we expected all this and more after his re-emergence at the beginning of this season, but after the finale, one has to wonder what the point of his return was at all? He had a few juicy moments here and there, but was mostly neutered by the vampire authority. And when it looked like we would finally get a bit of that old Russell we love so much, he gets staked in the lamest of ways. It's absolutely fitting that Eric is the one to kill him, but it deserved a moment we would never forget, not a random killing before the opening credits. This also brings up another peccadillo- why are vampires, particularly ancient and powerful ones, so damn easy to kill? After this season they seem more fragile than your average human. What's the benefit of longevity when you're able to be dispatched as easy as a baby vamp fresh from the ground?
I like the idea that Jason is seeing the ghosts of his parents everywhere at this point. Their not-so-sound advice is a nice addition to an already deeply confused former Bon Temps High School football star. I get that the blast of faerie light from the elder is what most likely brought this on, but it would have been great to see these two devils on Jason's shoulder throughout the whole season. It's a shame they cut out Jason's last scene in the episode, it would have really solidified his mindset and the direction he is going to take. I believe the scene is only available via HBO Go, but it goes something like this- In the elevator up from the Vampire Authority, Mr. and Mrs. Stackhouse are congratulating Jason on how well he did taking out all the militant vamps, remarking that he killed at least 11 by their count. They start to coax him into the idea that killing all the vamps in the elevator with him (Eric, Nora, Pam and Tara) would be easy pickin's, but before he can consider it, they reach the top, and are attacked by more para-military vamps. Jason yells "I'm comin' for you, Warlow" to which a shocked Nora replies "Warlow? What do you know about Warlow??"
I think Alan Ball had the most fun with Andy Bellefleur and the very pregnant Maurella, whose "light breaks" at Merlottes. Lafayette, Arlene and Jane Bodehouse getting drunk on margaritas and watching an orgasmic Maurella give birth to quadruplets felt like classic Ball. Unfortunately, even he doesn’t seem to know what to do with Alcide. He takes a little V, beats up JD, hooray! Ball actually finds a decent way to give Sam and Luna’s story a bit more purpose. Not that rescuing Emma is small potatoes, but broadcasting to the world the truth about vampires was a nice addition, and Sam’s Jonah and the Whale moment was suitably disgusting and cool. We’ll get to the cliffhanger in a minute, but Ball’s other great moment is a little bit of love amongst the chaos. Tara and Pam’s passionate kiss almost felt like a parting gift from Ball to the fans, replete with Jessica’s aw shucks “I knew it!”
Bill, oh, Bill, where have ye gone? A few weeks ago the idea that Bill may be pulling a long con on the vampire authority made sense, he has always been the most level headed of the fangers, but the last few episodes have proven he was truly in a religious fervor. In the finale he goes all the way- finally dispatching Salome (After all her speechifying I can’t say I’m sad to see her go) with some silver laced blood, and he at last takes the plunge by drinking every last drop of Lillith’s blood. Sooki and Eric do their best to try and talk him down, but it’s all for naught. Bill is overcome by the blood’s power, and quickly becomes a pile of vampire goo… only to be reborn, looking much like the male version of Lillith’s naked and bloody self. His fangs pop, Eric tells Sooki to run, and the credits roll. True Blood loves its cliffhangers. Next season we’ll be without our captain, Alan Ball. We wish him well in all his future endeavors, however, we do get two big bads- Warlow, and someone I can only dub as “Billith”.
Best Moment: The kiss Worst Moment: Nora’s areal stake throwing. Maximum cheese.
Mania Grade: B
Episode: Save Yourself
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Sam Trammell
Written By: Alan Ball (creator), Charlaine Harris ("Sookie Stackhouse" novels by)
Directed By: Michael Lehmann