TRUE BLOOD: Beyond Here Lies Nothin Review - Mania.com



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  • TV Series: True Blood
  • Episode: Beyond Here Lies Nothin
  • Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Chris Bauer, Michelle Forbes, Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston and William Sanderson
  • Written By: Alan Ball
  • Directed By: Michael Cuesta
  • Network: HBO
  • Series: True Blood

TRUE BLOOD: Beyond Here Lies Nothin Review

Joe's thoughts on the Season Finale.

By Joe Oesterle     September 14, 2009


TRUE BLOOD is Back for HBO(2009).
© Mania.com/Robert Trate

 

Maybe I’m in the minority here, and perhaps that will be revealed in the comment boxes below, but after viewing last night’s True Blood finale, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’,” I was disappointed the episode didn’t leave me with an insatiable hunger for more.
 
   Don’t get me wrong; it was an enjoyable enough hour. Loose storylines were tied up, the villain got her comeuppance, funny stuff was said, spooky things happened and a new cliffhanger was established, but somehow it just didn’t seem worthy of a finale. And sadly, it definitely didn’t leave me wondering how I’m going to spend my Sunday nights until new installments of True Blood airs again. (But the NFL gets part of that credit)
  
Sookie’s True Nature
 
   It was nice to finally get confirmation that Sookie is either “beyond human,” as Maryann presumed, or “not entirely human,” as Queen Sophie-Anne seemed to reveal - with more than just a maenad’s hunch. Whatever Sookie is, someone or something has looked out for her from a very early age, and Sookie has at least unconsciously suspected this for quite some time. This explains her until now inexplicable plucky bravery in the face of seemingly stronger adversaries.
 
   I have always suspected brother Jason might have untapped special powers as well, but that theory seems to have wilted on the vine as he and his new BFF, Andy Bellefleur, were easily turned into willing black-eyed participants of evil without much effort.
 
It’s A Nice Day For a Black Wedding
 
   Given the violent nature of the chaos-loving, injury-inflicting slaves of Maryann, I was surprised that neither Terry or any of the other anarchic drones didn’t start randomly and joyously firing the weapons they confiscated from the bumbling duo. That seemed only natural, given their collective appetite for creating pandemonium. Maybe Maryann instructed them to be on their best worst behavior for her wedding night.
 
   I also can’t say I was surprised at the way the Bill and Sam cooked up a plot to destroy Maryann’s wedding night-slash-sacrificial offering celebration. It seemed only natural after seeing Eggs drive another dagger into one more victim that Sam would be resuscitated thanks to Bill’s patented life-saving “drink my blood” strategy. This does form a bond between the two men who have rivaled over the attentions of fair Sookie, but does it also mean that Sam will start having vivid sex dreams about Vampire Bill? That will certainly ratchet the kink factor up a notch. Gay sex is almost passé on cable television now, but shape-shifting bestiality on same gender vampire sex? That’s pushing some envelopes.
 
Missing Michelle Already
 
   Regardless how transparent the trickery involved in trapping Maryann, thumbs up to Michelle Forbes’ performance as a truly believable mythological creature. Getting a resolution to Maryann’s part of this story may have dragged on longer than many fans would have liked, but without Forbes charismatic presence the plotline could have been unforgivably tiresome. Her loving and selfless acceptance of the ox’s fatal blow was just as sincerely portrayed as was ultimate disillusion when she realized it was not her horned husband at all, but just a whiskey-shilling shape shifter playing the part. “Was there no god?”
 
   I hope Sookie knows an excellent dry cleaner and seamstress if she ever wishes to wear Gran’s wedding dress herself one day. Of course that may not be anything Bon Temps favorite more-than-human waitress has to worry about anytime soon, because after wrestling with a quick bout of internal conflict over whether or not she should marry her vampiric paramour, in the ultra liberal state of Vermont (clever nod to gay marriage there) Sookie discovered her beau had been abducted.
 
Who Dunnit?
 
   Now the water cooler discussion today must be, who took Bill? It would seem an obvious enough guess, especially in light of Eric’s all-too-brief erotic Yahtzee scene with the Vampire Queen of New Orleans, that the black-gloved abductor would be Eric himself. He did give his word to Sophie-Anne that he would personally see to taking care of the apparently oft times troublesome Mr. Compton. That however is hopefully far too easy a solution. The next logical suspect then would be Bill’s former lover and maker, Lorena.
 
   The black gloves holding the silver chain and stealth required to get a jump on someone of Bill’s dark abilities all point to probable vampire on vampire crime, but again, that seems a little too straightforward – especially given the context of a season finale.
 
   Given what we know of the characters so far (I haven’t read the books, and now refuse to do so, as to not ruin any potential surprises – though I am aware the show does not blindly follow the Charlaine Harris’ stories) my guess is either the Light of Day members have reformed or we’ll find out the vampire shanghaier is a new character entirely.
 
   So now we have some new questions besides, “What is Sookie?” and “Who kidnapped Bill?” I suggest we discuss them in the comment boxes below.
 
And What About These Questions?
 
   Here they are: Who are Sam’s real parents? Why can’t Sookie use her electric powers at will? Will Jessica start to give in to her more sinister urges? How is Andy going to explain the bullet hole entry on the back of Eggs head, and most puzzling, why did Sookie think it was a good idea to reveal all of this knowledge to Eggs. It certainly would have been wiser to have Bill glamour him into forgetting for his own sake. Looks like Sookie cracked two eggs in this episode.
 
 
Au Revoir
 
   Alright then True Blood Believers. That’s all I’ve got. But stayed tuned for more unholy cable entertainment reviews next season. Same vamp time. Same vamp website.
 
 
 
Joe Oesterle is an award-winning writer and illustrator, but what he often fails to mention is that many of those awards were won on a New Jersey boardwalk. Pick up his latest books "Weird California" and "Weird Las Vegas" in any Barnes and Noble near you, and look for his next book, "Weird Hollywood," due out soon. www.JoeArtistWriter.com And be sure to check out his weekly animated rant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yts0HonSd3I

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 24
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gauleyboy420 9/14/2009 2:39:18 PM

I totally give this ep an A. I wasn't sure Sam was gonna make it through the whole ordeal. I know on a normal show you're guaranteed a major player wont die, but this is TrueBlood anything is Possible.

I liked how they took care of Maryanne in the first half of the ep, then spent some time exploring the Bon Temps recovery from the state it was in.

 

I immediately thought it was Eric who took Bill, BUT maybe you're right that could be too easy....

Anyway I loved it, and am anxiously awaiting more true blood.

This show has grown so much in two seasons. cant wait for the third.

JoeArtistWriter 9/14/2009 2:56:03 PM

gauleyboy420, I do expect to be in the minority here, but I can't help feel things were a little too neat and obvious at times. Why did Eggs have to die? Why did Jason have to kill him? And moost impportantly why did Sookie let Eggs know all those horrible things?

My guess is Jason and Tara will now have a brand new, but not exactly good relationship. Tara's been crushing on Jason forever, and when she finds out Jason pulled the trigger, and she will, it will be messy for those two and Sookie.

hanso 9/14/2009 3:19:48 PM

I thought the finale sucked, it was a huge let down for me after the awesome season 2.

 I don't understand why they tied up the Maryanne storyline 20 minutes into the episode.  After that happened everything was pretty boring and just went downhill from there.  I feel it would've been better if they had combined the last episode with the finale and have it be 1:30 finale.

I seriously did not care about anything that happened with the Bon Temp folks after the fact.  Couldn't they have simply had a line on the show stating how everyone was?  WTF was the purpose of everyone being all happy at Merlotte's?  Wasted minutes if you ask me.

The Eggs thing was stupid.  It's like they shot him out of the blue cause they didn't want to make him a regular.

Anyway, I did like the first 20 mins of the episode and the ending.

Also if anyone is interested, ew.com has an interview with Alan Ball and he talks about the finale and the upcoming season 3.

ponyboy76 9/14/2009 3:47:58 PM

good B episode. I finally enjoyed a scene with the Queen in it. I was wondering why the hell she was the Queen in the first place because she seemed kind of boring, but after she jumped Eric and you could clearly see the fear on his face, she became interesting. How old is she anyway?
 I was pretty shocked that Jason shot Eggs, for that matter why he was still carrying a gun. After all the growing he did from season 1 to 2, he went right back to square one when he shot Eggs in the head. He truly is a dumb hick.
 I`m definitely curious about Sam's real parents. I feel sorry for Jessica and Hoyt because I liked the little love story but now she`s gone nuts. Looks like Bon Temp is going to have another string of murders.
Looking forward to next season. At least I still got Entourage for a few more.

JoeArtistWriter 9/14/2009 4:27:32 PM

Hanso, I can't say it sucked, but for a finale it was a big disappointment. I want my season enders to fill me with awe and impatinence. This did neither. It was a middling episode at best, and it's possible my grade of a "B" was generous, but I'm ok with that, because it was a good season overall.

Shows like LOST, The Sopranos, and even The Office have been able to hook me with each finale. I felt certain this would be the case with True Blood. I was ready and willing to be hooked. This one left me with the same desire sitting through another episode of Two and a Half Men would.

I agree with your Eggs assesment. Glad you mentioned it. It was way too convenient. Just stupid. He could have died some other way if they wanted him off the show. This smells of lazy "bridge" writing. (a contrived device to further a storyline from A to B)

ponyboy76, yeah, finally the Queen showed some menace, and I'm cool they paced it slow, because otherwise it would have been too many powerful vampires vying for screen time. They waited for the right moment to reveal a more "business" side to Sophie-Anne. She'll get scarier I'm sure.

And excellent point... why did Jason have that gun? I will give the writers the benefit of the doubt, and assume we'll discover the reason behind that in Season 3. He may have just been shooting target practice, or maybe he started to feel he needed protection in that town. Who wouldn't?

I did enjoy the Hoyt/Jessica relationship, but I won't be surprised if now that Jess has developed a taste for blood, ol' Hoyt or his momma might become another casualty.

Chopsaki 9/14/2009 8:13:07 PM

"Who are Sam’s real parents?" Werewolves or some other type of Were is my guess.

"Why can’t Sookie use her electric powers at will?" Lack of guidance & training. But the Force is strong with this one. I get a Glinda good witch of the north (or south in this case) vibe from sookie. I think she will either be a good witch or fairy.

"Will Jessica start to give in to her more sinister urges?" Duh :)

Ya I have to agree the season finale was a disapointment.  Killing off Maryann halfway through the episode made the second half of the episode anti climactic. Then insult to injury you have the entire town chillin at Merlottes like nothing happened...wtf. Waxing Eggs was totally contrived. They just wanted his character off the show so they could get Tara to hook up with any new characters they plan to bring in next season. I doubt they will even bother to explain it but of course Tara will find out that Jason did it and melodrama will ensue. I'll be generous and give this episode a C

Ps. I think Lorena kidnaped Bill hence the gloves to protect her from the silver. It will be on orders from the Queen and will have to do with the whole selling vampire blood subplot.

 

fenngibbon 9/14/2009 8:38:38 PM

 Sookie didn't reveal anything to Eggs; when she looked into his mind, at his request, he saw everything at the same time she did.  Other than him stabbing Sam, who came out okay, she didn't have any idea what he'd done.  As for offing him, I understand why; the series is already packed with characters, so it's not as if his character filled a vital gap.  Quite frankly, I thought the character was always underdeveloped and extraneous, so his departure doesn't really bother me, and the manner of his leaving opens up the possibility for more character development of Jason.

I was quite shocked that the whole Maryanne storyline wrapped up by the halfway mark, which made the rest of the episode a bit anticlimatic.  The bit the locals trying to figure out what had happened was amusing (and Charlaine Harris, the author of the books, was one of the people in the bar, apparently), but I'm a bit disappointed the way the Jessica/Hoyt storyline is going.  

Oh, and the Burlington line?  We get it Mr. Ball:  vampires = homosexuals.  You can make social commentary without anvils, you know. 

And as for the ending, I was wondering if they were going to continue to hew to the books, albeit loosely (in the books, Lafayette is killed at the beginning of the second book, which is mainly about the Dallas storyline, and the maenad makes only a minor appearance).  The cliffhanger suggests that they are.

 

HudsonTaco 9/14/2009 10:39:11 PM

Well as I just started watching this show on Thursday, got caught up just in time for the finale, this was easily the worst episode of True Blood to date, and after a very strong season. I totally agree with the review but "B" seems a bit generous. Strong stuff like Godric, and Jessica stories seemed more interesting than the Maenad stuff , probably because it overstayed its welcome IMO and instead of a big payoff its over in 15 mins, seemed rushed to me. I also feel the same about Eggs as you all do, felt like lazy writing.

Now as for Bill, had to be a supernatural being, most likely a Vampire as I don't think it is possible for a human to sneak up on a Vampire, but Eric does seem like too convenient a choice, as does Lorena as both of them are much more powerful than Bill and wouln't have to sneek up on him to capture him, My guess is a new Character we haven't seen yet, again though it would be more interesting if was someone we had met already. Longshot : Jessica perhaps? maybe Pam? Pointless guessing if it is a new character. They did say how dangerous Dallas Vampires are. Guess I will have to wait and after this last episode I am alright with that.

JoeArtistWriter 9/14/2009 11:33:33 PM

Chopsaki, I'm with you on everything except Lorena. It only takes another second to come up with Lorena after you eliminate Bill for being too obvious, therefore, Lorena is too obvious as well. Of course if last night's writing is any indication how Season Three will go, I suppose you could be right.  (I'll however bet heavily against) 

fenngibbon, even if Sookie didn't reveal anything directly to Eggs, she already saw into Tara's mind, and saw how crazy things got. Realizing Eggs had been hanging with Maryann for much longer than Tara, Sookie should have declined Eggs request, at least until she spoke it over with both Bill and Tara. She may only be guilty of being stupid, but that's some prretty big stupid.

HudsonTaco, I have a definite thing for Pam, so anything to get her more screen time, but I'd still bet against her as Bill's kidnapper. I'm leaning toward some as of yet unseen supernatural. If Bill Compton has been a troublesome vampire, as Eric suggested to the Queen, than it's noty hard to imagine he's made enemies we haven't met yet.

AND BY THE WAY: Please feel free to check out my new short animated videos. "Joe's Weekly Ani-Rants." I'd be honored to hear what you guys think. Here's the latest one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yts0HonSd3I

Wiseguy 9/14/2009 11:42:39 PM

After a great first season and a promising start to the second I must say my love for the show isn't as strong as it was

People being back in party mode one day after all the shit that went down is dumb. If the town was the wreck they showed when Sookie got back in town you'd think everybody would have work to do cleaning up.

This is going back but Lafayette playing a scary traumatized person doesn't fly. He looks bad attempting it, maybe he doesn't have the range but it looks forced to me. He should always be the smartmouth bitch. That's where his character shines.

The maenad story was too drawn out. Though agree that Forbes pulled it off nicely. But her drones seem to respond only to direct oirders otherwise they seem to do only what's really in the dark part of their hearts. Otherwise Hoyt's mom could've killed him while he napped and surely there would've been much more killing as opposed to orgies

Agree that Eric and Lorena seem the obvious choice to kidnap Bill and I do think it is Lorena. Eric seems to be too major a character for this, he'd basically be the bad guy as opposed to one walking that line. Lorena with the blessing of the queen is my guess.

But the thing that I'm most interested in right now is Sam and his family. Just how bad a folk were his parents and wtf are they?

The Vermont nod went over my head, maybe if he said Massachussets, since that made more headlines.

The Eggs thing was lazy writing. They could've come up with something better than that.

Jason needs to develop or is he just going to be a dumb ass the entire time. After the shit in Dallas and the talk with Sookie I thought he was going to be a bit more mature

C minus is my score.

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