True Blood: Evil Is Going On Review - Mania.com



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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 SkarsgĂ„rd, 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


Sookie (Anna Paquin) takes center stage in the third season finale for TRUE BLOOD(2010).
© HBO/Bob Trate

 

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.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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fatpantz 9/14/2010 12:27:20 AM

I am not sure if you missed it, Rob, or if you just left it out of your review for some reason, but the ending camera angle as they leave Hoyt and Jessica in their new house def showed us a creepy kids doll.  Along with a little eerie music, this gave me the idea that next season our little love birds will also be dealing with some sort of haunting or demon possion in their house.

O'hare definitely stole the show this season (along with Pam really shining as a little comic relief)....what a treat to watch....even burned to a crisp he was nasty...lol.  Some great cliffhangers at the end to keep us salivating until next summer.  I look forward to learning more about Sookie, Claude and Claudine....I look forward to Jason and his new litter of kittens...I look forward to the final outcome of the end battle between Bill and the Queen who is twice his age....I cant believe 8 more months *pout*

hanso 9/14/2010 2:45:06 AM

I didn't like the finale except for Russell, too much stuff from this season got left for season 4. Oh and the Jason storyline this season was complete sh.it.

 

 

 

Darkknight2280 9/14/2010 4:48:13 AM

This cracks me up seems Rob and i  (and most True Blood fans) differ soo much in opinion. He gave this episode an A- and i would say it wasnt better then a C-, kinda funny. The last episode (finale) was junk in my opinion. It was the first episode of the year where i have felt this way. In no way did this feel like a finale episode. No real cliff hanger and not a whole lot resolved. Seemed like just another episode to me. I agree with Hanso about Jason's story line. I was willing to give it a chance..but it totally fizzled out. So basically season 4 is going to be season 3.5 sionce most of its elements are stemming from season 3's lack of rap ups. I mean season 1 and 2 seemed to wrap up just fine to me and they both had nice cliff hangers leaving you wanting more.

goldeneyez 9/14/2010 6:08:23 AM

Is anyone else kind of sick of Sookie as a character?  Her flip-flopping with Bill and lack of giving him the benifit of the doubt is anoying.  She seems to make really stupid decisions and put other people in danger for the dumbest of reasons... I think she's my least favorite character which is so ironic considering she's the show's central character.

The finale was about a B in my book.  To Darkknight.... they kind of had a cliffhanger.. albeit a really weak one in that Sookie went off to the land of Faries and the kingdom of magical gum drops... I just don't really care about her.  I am more worried about Tara and if Sam committed fratricide (hoping he gave into his better instincts).

I'm also interested in Lafeyette only because I feel like they have a lot of freedom to do things with his character that weren't done in the book since he was killed off in the series.  He's probably the best character on the show and in many ways the most interesting, IMHO.

ddiaz28 9/14/2010 6:35:59 AM

To me, this finale felt like next year's premiere.  I felt the same way last season.  They spend too much time setting up the next season and not enough time satisfyingly closing the current one.  I think the second to last episode's ending would have made a better season ending cliffhanger. 

goldeneyez, I don't think Sam shot his brother.  And if he did I think that is a dumb way to go.  I get that he had a sordid past, but it feels like this change in character happened way too fast.  And fatpantz, I too got that creepy vibe from the doll.  There was definitely some forshadowing going on there.  It will be fun to see how their story goes now with Mama Hoyt joining the NRA.

So now that Sookie has gone off to fairy land, maybe she'll come back with some cool powers.  I see some wolf banging in her future.  I'm sure Bill will triumph over the Queen, but what is Eric going to do about him now that he tried to get rid of him?  Seems like ripping him away from Sookie was revenge enough.

I was also upset that there was nothing more done with the werepanthers or werewolves.  Those storylines fizzled away with no real climax.

I enjoyed the episode for the most part, but like I said, it just felt like a beginning rather than an ending.

isgrimner 9/14/2010 7:25:56 AM

Ok episode.  I think they should just make it the Eric and Pam show, but that's just me.  A lot of characters seemed to be just spinning their wheels this season.  I guess that's what you get when you have such a huge cast and only 12 or 13 episodes.  I'd like to see a 20 episode season or so. 

I like that they gave Sam an edge this season, but it almost seemed like they changed him too much too fast. 

Jason's storyline wasn't so great.  While it is only slightly close to what happened in the books, I'm guessing they are probably going for the same end result. 

Lafayette this season was boring.  Guess he quit his day job with the road crew to work full time for Sam.  Also, for such a small bar, they seemed to show a lot of bar backs in this ep.  Guess they wanted to get some extras in there. 

Tara, I didn't have the hate for her most fans do, but I'm definately coming around.  Actually getting there really quickly.

As for Bill and Sookie, I don't know.  In the books Bill feels almost a minor character after a couple books.  I wonder a little  if Bill is featured so much here because Steven Moyer is married to Anna Paquin.   Normally I prefer the writing on the show to the books, which is very rare.  However the prominance of Eric over Bill is one  area where I prefer the arc of the book to the show.

TheMovieGuy28 9/14/2010 8:57:52 AM

 

I've been talking to friends, and from reading your guys' comments, it seems like we're all in the same boat-the finale was a real disappointment, or just wasn't lackluster.

There were simply tooooo many threads going on this year. Tara's story really became old, and I felt the scene with her finding her mama and the preacher was just tacked on to say "see? Tara really has a horrible life around her"

Jason's thread ended really really weak. He's always been a good guy with a good heart, but I don't have any feeling for the people he saved. In the end, it's no different than if he'd rescued a family sold into slave labor. Him and Sheriff Andy could have had some better moments this year, but it just never melded.

I'm glad for Hoyt and Jessica; they are two of the most innocent characters of the show, but I could see Hoyt kicking ass if needed.

As for Lafayette, I agree with everyone-his story took too long to develop and then was crammed in the end. I always suspected his b/f was some type of witch or voodoo hoodoo, just b/c he worked in a hospital and seemed like he knew more than expected.

And what was with the leann and terry story line (for some reason, i am wondering if leanne is her name, my mind is blanking right now). She also has a witch come do her mumbo jumbo and now we obviously know season 4 will be all about witches spells and curses.

But the biggest let down was the final confrontation between Eric and Russell ::SPOILER ALERT!!!!:: We wait an entire season for Eric to decide just to bury him in concrete? Wtf? has this turned into the vampire sopranos? Russell was one f'd up emotional dude(just like Franklin, who I felt was a total waste, he could have been so great as a player of both sides). What reason do you have to not kill him? Oh, that's right. He'll probably be freed by someone near the end of next season, coming out looking all crusty.

And lastly, Sookie. she's hot, she's sexy, she now is into beastiality (gotta love a big hairy werewolf man coming to her rescue), and she's disappeared like a lightning bug at the end. A little too much of a stretch for her to completely transubstantiate like that.

I've been a die hard fan since the beginning like most everyone here, and so have my friends who watched the show with me. we all agree though that this episode felt like a really low b- or maybe even a c-plus. It's finale was just not a finale or had that feel in any sense of the word.

You want a finale? Entourage gave a great example of how to push everything to the limit, and the last scene really left you on a cliffhanger, cause now you know the sh*t is gonna hit the fan.

 

PS-Bill may have a chance to succeed during his scenes, and I'll admit the two of them floating up to tangle looked awesome.....about the best part of the show

 

PPS-Did anyone else notice Copeland from the Police Academy movies as the high school counselor? I love seeing the old 80's actors getting roles still. Just caught Jon Gries(wolfman from Monster Squad) on Sons of Anarchy the other night. Good stuff

TheMovieGuy28 9/14/2010 8:59:26 AM

 

And I forgot about Sam's story line.......perhaps that shows you how lame shitty his character has become. And I just never bought him as the ruthless killer type. I doubt he killed Tommy, probably just winged him

hanso 9/14/2010 10:25:31 AM

 Yea next season is gonna be witches, hopefully Season 4 is better than this one.  

And u are right MovieGuy, Entourage's finale was waay better but I'm glad that show is coming to an end next season.  I don't see what more they can keep doing with it.  Vince has already been on top, had a movie bomb, back to the top and now drugs.  Unless the next thing they got for him is some celebrity scandal where he gets caught with a tranny or sending hate filled racist homophobic audio tapes to Sasha Grey there really isn't much more to him.

Btw, I thought the Ari and his wife storyline was crap all year too just cause I can't understand why she would be so upset about anyting.  Ari really hasn't done anything wrong to her, dude is paying the bills has her living large, doesn't step out on her and he's always there for everything she wants and his kids.  Ari's wife is a straight up bit.ch.

Darkknight2280 9/14/2010 10:26:19 AM

Sam didnt shoot his brother and if he did he prollyjust clipped him to teach him that he is VERY capable of being a badass. YEah GOLDENEYEZ the fairie thing was kind of a cliff hanger if any really gives a crap about that dumb fairie world. Sookie as a character isnt going away. However im SICK AND TIRED of Tara, i was hoping she was going to stab herself with those scissors..lol She always crying and whining or being a bitch not to mention shes ugly as sin! They should have made Jessica and Hoyts story a center peice along with the main story line with the whole Russell story line and dropped the Jason falling in love with an inbred, meth head, were-panther (so dumb...). They could have kept the cop story as a background thing but nothign more then that. I like Jessicas character and i love the story of her and Hoyt trying to make things work. Would have loved more detail.

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