‘True Blood’ Season 4 Finale Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:23 pm,

true blood season 4 finale True Blood Season 4 Finale Review

Following last week’s episode of True Blood - which could have been seen as a competent resolution – the “official” True Blood season 4 finale feels like nothing more than an unnecessary addition to a series that’s on verge of proverbially imploding because of its tendency to follow operatic logic while continuously positioning itself as a fantastical drama.

Despite adequately concluding the myriad of concurrent storylines and subplots that have run rampant throughout the series’ evolution, the True Blood season 4 finale was also a cavalcade of ridiculousness wrapped in a veil of poorly executed scenes and a litany of “twists” that serve no other purpose than to reduce the number of actors the series has to employ.

Unfortunately, whatever complaints that can be made about the way True Blood’s fourth season concluded are magnified by the simple fact that the producers decided to set the finale on Halloween. Of course, even if one was attempting to forgive this decision, the illogical reference to MTV’s Teen Mom 2 would have certainly prevented that. Even lovers of Teen Mom will acknowledge that the original cast is the more interesting of the two.

With a rush to include any and all remaining character storylines, many of the finale’s scenes are rife with disproportionate rationality driven by forced emotions and convoluted dialogue, poorly juxtaposed to the imagery presented. Bill and Eric being burned on the cross while Marnie comes to terms with her death and Jessica and Jason having sex while talking about Hoyt are just a few examples of this.

To give credit where credit is due, the True Blood season 4 finale does present a more earnest conclusion to this past season’s storylines than the disastrous True Blood season 3 finale – but that’s not saying much.

Despite the core storylines being defined more by their frivolity than intrigue, the cliffhangers leading into True Blood season 5 are appealing in their own right – but does that really make a difference?

true blood season 4 finale jason True Blood Season 4 Finale Review

[MAJOR SPOILER ALERT]

Even if the revelation that Russell Edgington has escaped his cement coffin OR the news that the vampire alliance is falling apart OR the “shocking” twist of Tara being killed was enough to entice you to tune in to next season, one must ask themselves whether or not these relished twists and cliffhangers are even important when there’s precedence that these plots could be as poorly executed as previous storylines.

[END SPOILER]

In a year when True Blood needed to prove itself as an ever-evolving series that can handle the prodigious mythos that comes from the Sookie Stackhouse novels, the series has, for all intents and purposes, chosen not to evolve, but to adapt; Alan Ball has (unfortunately) adapted this series into a proverbial adult soap opera before the audience’s eyes.

While this soap opera approach has worked well on, say, daytime television (though, not anymore) and resulted in entertaining, seemingly well-orchestrated  storytelling, it’s often at the expense of deep, rich, character-driven stories.

true blood season 4 finale bill True Blood Season 4 Finale Review

Although, perhaps True Blood season 4 will serve as another rung in the ladder of growth that the series hopes to achieve. The improvement between season 3 and season 4 is apparent, so perhaps the transition from season 4 to season 5 will be as well.

That being said, in a world where television has elevated itself to be more than a litany of 30-minute network sitcoms, is there any room for a television series that’s trying to find itself over the course of 5 years to still be on the air? With a vertebral treasure trove of well-told stories continuously available every night of the week, are audiences willing to suffer through the growing pains of True Blood in hopes that something amazing will eventually occur?

Even though there’s no way that True Blood will be taken off the air anytime soon, at a certain point these contrivances will most certainly catch up with them, unless they’re changed.

It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”

-

True Blood season 5 will premiere July 2012 on HBO

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

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  1. I didn’t see the whole season but i could care less about the werepanther ordeal. It was one thing i didn’t like in season 3 & i missed the bad fairy parts but from what i heard about it, i didn’t miss much for them to bring that stuff up again. Thing i hated in season 4 was the hunted baby thing, it was dull. As much i find Arlene annoying on the show, im glad they dispatched Tara. Wouldn’t mind if she came back in spirit form of-course. I think Eric is still bad, in another way as we seen in the finale. I can’t wait to find out if Pam did break Russell free & be on his side & not Eric’s in season 5.

  2. Gotta be honest — I hated this entire season. Subplots were started and abandoned with reckless…abandon. Plot threads were dragged oout endlessly. Every episode, they’d drop in on each of the characters and their particular threads, but they wouldn’t progress those plots. They’d just say, “Hey guys, so the same thing that was happening last week, and the week before, and the week before, is still happening. FYI.”

    The only part I enjoyed in any meaningful way was, uh, the last five minutes. Where things actually started to happen. Sigh.

  3. I agree with your season review completely.

    I have read all of the books, I am a huge fan. I loved what AB was doing with it…. At first.

    First episode, he totally cheesed up the fairies, in the books the fairies are cool and mysterious. He really fouled that one up. The first episode was so much garbage I almost quit watching.

    Final 5 episodes this season was just the same old crap. The storylines have gone so far from the book that it’s hardly even based on the Soookie Stackhouse novels at all now.

    I am totally disappointed in you Alan Ball.

    Please go back to the book and read it again and remember why you wanted to do True Blood in the first place, you have lost the touch with the spirit of the story.

    What a shame.

  4. I really enjoyed season 4. I have read all the books and absolutely love the book series but I definately think the books are a little more geared toward women. True Blood changes it up a little, adds a some spice, it is hbo, some eye candy and is geared toward both. I know many men and women who enjoy it! I read it being labeled as an adult soap opera, well its entertaining as it is and the books have kept us reading based on that same principal. It is a series based on the supernatural afterall and for the people asking for no more faires… Well, the series definately keeps the fairies coming, afterall Sookie is part fairy! I loved Six Feet Under and I think Alan Balls work with True Blood has been exceptional. I really enjoy that he changes the series around a bit and keeps us guessing. I know everyone isn’t going to love everything, there is no way to please everyone. I find it an entertaining hour of television that I always look forward to!

  5. Once again this season there were too many plot strands that didn’t go anywhere and too much out of character writing just to get the writers out of the corners they had written themselves into. I don’t mind the show being different from the books but the writers can’t even stick to the internal rules and logic they have established for themselves so far. All of a sudden everyone is magic – when it suits the plot!
    King Bill took up too much time, we did everything but watch to see how he tied his tie this season, then the final few episodes were rushed and full of plot holes.

  6. I was really disappointed with the last four episodes of the season. Where has the romance stuff gone, the bit some of us got hooked on in the first series and the books (or are we not to mention that and just pretend it’s the unrealistic even for fantasy story lines that we are watching for)

    Come on people the whole point that made it believable was that it was our world that had a hidden secret that vampires existed. It has turned into a complete fantasy world which is hard to relate to.

    Sookie walking away from Bill and Eric was rubbish! I want to see her and Eric try to be a couple for a while, to see a little normality which we can all relate to instead of this constantly hard to swallow story lines, it is getting harder to suspend disbelief in the name of entertainment, please give us some reality. At the end of the day that is how some of the first fans were hooked, in order to keep these you might have to ease of the fantasy just a little bit for a while, give us some good old romance, with Eric and Sookie please.

  7. Ok, Have Not Seen The New Series, But I Think Ultimatley Yes They Did Fall Off Course With The Last Series Ending. Isn’t This America Can’t We Do Whatever The F*** We Want? Point Being If It Is A Bad Show, Let It Happen It’ll Go Bank Rupt Anywhore!

  8. This wasn’t really a “review”. It was a bunch of words that in the end didn’t mean a thing.

    I’ve read the Sookie Stackhouse series and it is very entertaining and engaging. True Blood? Not so much. It seems to me like the real problem with True Blood is that they are trying extremely hard to continue the shock factor that made it famous in the first place. The sex, the violence, the irrational killing of some of the most compelling characters, it all adds up to them trying desperately to hold on to viewers’ interest. It isn’t working.

    This season had too many problems: the Eric/Sookie line was mush and completely unbelievable. In the books Eric admits he cares for Sookie but doesn’t love her yet, but maybe one day he could. That is WAY more interesting than the drivel we were fed for two months. I also have a problem with how stupid Anna Pacquin looks trying to portray Sookie Stackhouse but I digress…

    Jessica-Hoyt-Jason… this was actually a lot more interesting than Bill-Sookie-Eric. Its a sad moment when the love triangle between minor characters overshadows the main characters.

    Marnie taking over Lafayette’s body? As if this guy hasn’t gone through enough. Find someone else to torture.

    And finally… Tara being shot. Not only is Tara one of the most pathetic characters in the series, they have to end her life this way. Many are wondering if it means that she will be turned into a vampire. Meh… she’ll probably be just as boring as a vampire as she was as a human. Maybe even worse because she will HATE herself for being a vampire or something.

    For those of you wondering why I watch at all its because I really like the Sookie Stackhouse series and I keep hoping that they won’t completely butcher it in the process of bringing it to life on television. I’m fighting a losing battle…

  9. This show has become a huge let down i mean they screwed everything up from beginning to end its sad too because it had such promise

  10. I think things just started to go downhill after season 2. All of this werepanther and fae stuff just annoyed me. I know that some of it was in the book, but let’s face it. True Blood might as well be a fanfiction compared to the Southern Vampire Mysteries. I really hope that season five is better.

  11. I have only watched a couple of of the tv shows, but read all of the books. Hate the series. None of the characters look the way that they did in my mind and it’s disjointed. Guess I’ll stick to the books.

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