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- TV Series: True Blood
- Episode: Evil Is Going On (Season Finale)
- Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis, Chris Bauer, Alexander Skarsgård, Deborah Ann Woll, Carrie Preston and William Sanderson
- Written By: Alan Ball
- Directed By: Anthony Hemingway
- Network: HBO
- Series: True Blood
True Blood: Evil Is Going On Review
True Blood Third Season Finale Thoughts.
By Rob Vaux
September 14, 2010
Score one for the aptly titled episode. “Evil Is Going On” wraps up True Blood’s third season in style, with plenty of shocking revelations and more of those pesky cliffhangers to keep us in suspense until next season. Series creator Alan Ball handles scriptwriting duties while director Anthony Hemingway keeps us rushing back and forth between various disparate plot threads. The balance remains intact for the most part, though it would be nice if True Blood kept us all on a unified path for once. The Maryann thread last season did quite well on that front; this season has been a little more scattershot.
No matter, “Evil Is Going On” offers up more than its share of delicious moments both small and large. The tastiest involves Russell’s (Denis O’Hare) long-awaited comeuppance. He and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) are baking in the sun in front of Fangtasia as Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) fairy blood slowly ebbs out of their systems. Such is not their fate, however, though the act does give Russell some wonderful crispy critter make-up to wear throughout the episode. It also gives Sookie a chance to enact a particularly cruel revenge against him before Eric and Bill (Stephen Moyer) take it to the next level. As pure gratification, it holds no peer while still allowing for the possibility that Russell may return to torment our heroes somewhere down the line. Considering the show’s propensity to kill off their best villains, it’s a relief to see “Evil Is Going On” having its cake and eating it too in that department.
The other threads feel stratified and cut off, a common difficulty with the show that prevents the finale from attaining a seamless whole. That said, they each make some lovely contributions. Lafayette’s (Nelsan Ellis) subplot finally kicks into high gear as his hallucinations continue and Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) steps in with a key revelation. It does little for this season, but sets a fine table for next year. Similarly, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) finally finds something worth doing, hopefully turning his dilettante “cause of the week” mentality into a more focused purpose. Both characters have spun their wheels this season--a shame, since they both hold so much potential--and “Evil Is Going On” at least has the decency to promise them better things to come.
Sam’s (Sam Trammell) thread does much better, while finding enough traction to springboard into next season as well. His relationship with Tara (Rutina Wesley) sputters to life again and Tommy (Marshall Allman) tries to make off with his money after being kicked out. As another online sage noted, the cheese has definitively fallen off of Sam’s cracker; Hemingway notes the change with a few subtle yet priceless visual gags (watch the busboy turn right around as Sam stomps into the bar), while leaving the door open for our favorite shapeshifter to either find the better angels of his nature or really go loco.
The gentlest subplot, as usual, concerns Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), trying to make a life for each other over the protests of Hoyt’s overbearing mother (Dale Raoul). They have just a few scenes together, but make the most of them, and Hemingway adroitly reminds us how desperately we want them to be happy. Mrs. Fortenberry has evolved into quite a nasty villainess herself, her petty scheming standing in sharp contrast to the more monstrous evils surrounding her. She also ensures that the thread won’t get too complacent, and should help keep our young lovers suitably involved in the proceedings.
At the end of the day, however, True Blood centers on Sookie, and once again, Paquin delivers a solid performance to anchor her character’s emotional roller coaster ride. Having been pushed to the breaking point, she responds with ferocity and strength, reminding us that she’s not nearly as helpless as her vampiric manipulators believe. The final scene places her fate in question, but it’s a fate of her choosing, creating a nice sense of closure that assuages the sting of having to wait nine months to find out what happens. The eclectic mixture of pieces here never quite match her intensity, mostly because they fail to hold together. As individual parts, however, each one works exquisitely well, sending the third season off in the style we expect. The parts could work well together, but they function so effectively on their own that the episode’s overall piecemeal qualities hardly matter. “Evil Is Going On” delivers a proper finale to the summer’s best series, and leaves us breathlessly waiting for its return next June.