True Blood Round Table: "And When I Die"
Lives ended, choices were made and a many new storylines were teased.
While fans debate the season four finale of True Blood, editor-in-chief Matt Richenthal is here to dissect "And When I Die," along with staff writers Eric Hochberger, Carissa Pavlica and Jim Garner.
What was your favorite scene?
Matt: Eric and Bill being chained up above that giant fire pit and, no, not because they were shirtless. But because it was the prime example of lazy, incoherent storytelling. How did they get there? The two had full, regular use of their bodies and their brains. Considering it was the conclusion to the Marnie storyline, a seemingly major event of the season, I need to highlight this as my "favorite" example of the episode's sloppiness.
Eric: This is going to sound insanely morbid, but I'm going with Tara getting half her head blown off. We've been crying for too long about how this show needs to kill off some main characters and I can't think of a more useless one. I've been ready to say goodbye to since season one.
Jim: Sorry, Eric, I am fully on board with Jess/Jason on the couch. With that "red-riding hood" cloak flowing around them, sex or not, this was a beautifully filmed scene. The red of that cloak offsets the blue of Jessica's eyes amazingly.
Carissa: Bill and Eric offing Nan. Especially because the scene started with "Nan, gay stormtroopers." Such a simple hello from Eric set the tone for the whole scene. Bill and Eric on the same page, who knew?
Is Tara really dead?
Matt: I must echo my colleagues here and say: she seriously better be. The show must have consequences, and it will an incredibly cheap tease if she is simply revived via vampire blood on the premiere. Oh, Tara also sucks. I won't miss a nanosecond of her whining.
Eric: I sure hope so after my morbid first answer... or won't I feel like an ass? Plus, then I really should have gone for J-Squared on the couch as my favorite scene. That was way hotter than truck bed sex.
Jim: I swear she spun at the last minute and was only grazed by the blast, so I am going to guess she might not be dead yet. As we have never had a primary character become a vampire (Jessica became one after turning), it would be an interesting twist to have her saved as a vampire.
Carissa: Dear God, I hope so. She has provided nothing but annoyance since her first scene. She's never been sassy and cute, just sassy and stupid. I swear her hair was covered in brain matter. No twisting in the wind can stop a shotgun from blowing away her head. Right? Right?!?
Did Sookie make the right choice?
Matt: Sure. She heeded the depressing advice of her dead grandmother (We all end up alone...), randomly made into a spirit with major powers by Holly. This is the sort of thing on which we all should base our love lives.
Eric: Yes. Between that and killing off Debbie, it perfectly sets her up for Alicide, giving her all three hot guys on the show and living out every woman's fantasy. And isn't that all True Blood is about these days anyway?
Jim: Oh, most certainty. Granted, her version of "you're dead to me" with Debbie was a bit more literal than Alcide's, but I think she and the werewolf could still make something work.
Carissa: Unfortunately, yes. And just like Sookie, I would have bawled my eyes out at the front door. But, like TV Fanatic's Eric said, this leaves the door open for Alcide and three suitors. Every woman's dream. Zowee!
Which season five storyline has you most excited: the return of Russell Edgington, the unraveling of Terry's past, Reverend Newlin as a vampire or Bill and Eric vs. The Authority?
Matt: I'd go with Bill and Eric if any part of me believed they wouldn't continue to obsess over Sookie. So, instead, let's hear it for the return of Russell! Denis O'Hare is unquestionably entertaining in this role.
Eric: Bill and Eric officially lost me on their team when they killed off one of my favorite supporting characters (Nan), so all that's left is to enjoy the return of the hilarious Russell Edgington.
Jim: You left off my favorite couple, Jess/Jason. Maybe I am just the romantic, but I think their "not-relationship" is an interesting contrast to the one Jess/Hoyt had and I am curious to see where it goes.
Carissa: Bill and Eric vs The Authority. Somehow I think Eddington will figure into that fight. When Eric and Bill stop their petty arguing over Sookie, they make fantastic partners. I'd like to see more of them against the world.
Give season four a grade.
Matt: Inc. Really, "incomplete" is the best I can for a season that never addressed what it means for Sookie to be a fairy. Remember when she discovered that information last year? Remember the premiere in June? It's inexcusable for a show to just drop a storyline in such a manner.
Eric: C. This season started off with so much potential, bringing in a layered necromancer that had control over our vampires. Yet all the show really did was mess with some relationships, have some conversations, and kill off a couple supporting characters. What has this show become? A vampire soft-core soap opera?
Jim: C+ This season felt more like Desperate Vampires than True Blood. We spent way too much time with Sookie, either imagining being in bed with Bill or Eric (or both), or out of a dream (as in this episode), with both of them feeding from her at once. We get it, Alan Ball, you really wanted a Sookie sandwich. Move on! Besides that, Martonia wasn't a very scary villain and having Adele reach into Lafayette and pull Marnie out like a bad tooth was the epitome of the entire story line.
Carissa: C. The witches were a TOTAL BUST for me. Disliked every single second of that storyline. Plus, it lead to the death of Jesus, who I really enjoyed. There were too many odd dangling bits left due to the focus on the witches. What it really means for Bill to be King and the faeries, for example. Oh, lest I not forget the F of the season: the were-panthers. The season was full of meaningless, trashy characters. Here's hoping for Season 5 gets back to the root of the main characters and their struggle with life in Bon Temps.