‘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

TAGS: true blood

61 Comments

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  1. the season finale was good, but i didn’t like the whole sookie,bill,eric triangle they had going where bill was like go ahead i don’t care, and sookie is just driving me crazy with this i mean why can’t she just pick a man and stick with it. She’s in love with eric she’s not in love with eric, she’s still in love with bill….my head is gonna explode honestly

  2. I got so confused I stopped watching several weeks ago. I used to really enjoy this show. I hope they can fix it nest season.

  3. It really felt like they wanted to add about half an episode of additional story, ran out of time in the episode prior to the finale, and so they had to do the finale… I’ve been so frustrated with this show, you only get to say “it’s a new show” for so long.

    Great article.

  4. Idk why critics are so hard on this series, I think it has been fantastic thus far and now that some of the more benign characters have been killed off it will only improve. The only problem True Blood had, far too many storylines, is being worked out. I think everyone was getting sick of Tara and I’m glad the show responded by finally ending her and her seemingly never changing problems with life. Since the very beginning she has been the same person with the same problems. What I did find frustrating was the entourage like solution to russel edington and steve newlin. I think they could have gone a better way with both. I think they should’ve held off on bringing edington back for another season or two, as it would e added more intrigue. Now it seems as though season 5 will be very similar to season 3

  5. No offence Anthony, but I could not disagree with you more. I thought season 4 bounced back in spectacular fashion after season 3. The stories wove together really well and were tied up just as well. Yes, the finale leant more towards setting up the next season, but that’s not a bad thing. True Blood is most in it’s element when presenting jaw-dropping cliffhangers, and there were pleanty here. But I guess it’s a matter of aesthetic and personal tastes. Each to their own.

  6. This review was written just as poorly and haphazardly as the very show it’s complaining about. There’s absolutely no flow, an overuse of big words to try and sound knowledgeable and the integration of random points that are neither here nor there. This reads as though it were written by a pouting teenager with ADHD. With that being said, I couldn’t disagree more with the author. Had the author written a more compelling review, however, I may have been willing to take his point of view into consideration.

    • +1

      That means I completely agree, the original post is just a badly written whine.

      • @Jensketch

        I thought you were leaving due to our sarcastic undertones in our writing? Glad to see you decided to hang around to keep complaining. Whoops, there goes that sarcasm again…

    • Ouch, I have to agree with the both of you. Looks like he busted out a thesaurus just to say he didn’t like it.

    • Hmmm…

      I’m sure your attack on our writer had nothing to do with you disagreeing with his opinion. Couldn’t be…

      • I agree with the writer’s opinion the finale was not good. No problem with that. The presentation just wasn’t well executed. Seems a little pretentious for a True Blood review. It’s a silly show about vampires, werewolves, shifters, and so on. No need to make it seem like an academic analysis. It’s an adult supernatural soap opera, keep it simple. Didn’t mean to upset anyone just stating an opinion about the writer’s style.

  7. I thought season 4 was good but the I agree the finale was quite poor.

  8. we are talking about True Blood or True Bill?
    I’m really mad about the triangle and what they do to Charakters…like Eric and Pam….and Sookie…
    Thanks by the way for alle Fanwriters on Fanfiction cause you saved my days with your great ideas…maybe Alan Ball should read this good stuff too….the beginning was good but after episode Spellbound…i’m sorry of this….every viewer with a working brain ….bla bla bla true blood emergency..bla bla…after this i don’t need a saison 5…good bye TB for me…

  9. I don’t think Tara is dead. Just really hurt. Also – pick a man already, Sookie. Jeez.

    • The side of her head was blown off, unless they pull some vamps showing up and she has the smallest thread of life left then yeah, she’s dead

      • Mark my words…Tara is coming back as a Vamp.

        • God I hope not!

  10. For what it is worth, veritable is an intensifier used mostly in metaphors as in “veritable treasure trove” and vertebral means having to do with vertebrae, i.e. your spine. Legit not bashing you, but just giving you a heads up for the future.

  11. You take true blood too seriously. This show is great fun. Yeah sometimes the story lines are silly and aren’t carried out great but it’s fun. Watching this crazy little town go through all this craziness and the love triangles and twists every turn is fun. This isn’t breaking bad. It’s a summer show with lots of sex and violence. Stop taking it so serious

  12. Yeah, Eric and Bill may show up…theyve all shared blood so they sense her cry for help. If Taras contract isnt up, she’ll be back-saved by the vamps. Yes, the season has its downfalls, but so have the books. Its entertainment folks, turn it off if you dont like it!

  13. So there was something to see besides Jessica showing up a Jason’s in a Red Ridinghood outfit with sexy lingerie….And of course the gratutius sex to follow? I hardly noticed….. (Spoiler) But I do have to tip my hat to the writer who gave the lines for Jason to answer Hoyt when asked “How did you have sex with here?” “That’s kind of a weird question but first it was missionary….etc” As well as when he told Jessica she was different than all the girls he’s had sex with…and that he’s had sex with a lot of girls and she replied as though really touched with “That’s so sweet” I hope whoever writes the lines around Jason sticks around…..That comedy break is really needed for the show.

  14. You people have no imagination. Tara IS going to grow into that which she hates the most….a VAMPIRE!!! They’ve stuck with her this long, they aren’t going to kill her off like that.

    • That Jason and Hoyt thing was funny, how did you have sex with her

    • That really sucks but I think you are right. I really hate Tara and I am hoping they just kill her off. I just don’t see it happening.

      • @ GreaterTater

        Both Tara & Arlene annoy me on the show. Im glad one of them got killed off. One of my friends talked like Tara’s dead because they said one of the main characters was gonna get killed off within the season. She could still make appearances in spirit form im sure though but who knows.

  15. I think the finale sucked. The whole season was all over the place–witches, mediums, too much and it did not seem to come together for me. Hope next season is better.

    • I think season 4 of true blood sucked big time I will not be watching season 5

  16. What about tara coming back as a spirit through lafayette? I sure hope tara stays dead tho. I think this season started out slow but that the wiccan development was interesting. Bill started out as (corny) noytt so much of a princess, i mean at least he was shooting people and trying not to give a f*ck about most things. He is not a bad character, but the sookie bill relationship needs to go away for good. Keep bill around, yes, but their love is not love its lame. Sookie and Eric would be a much more intereseting duo, and i could see sookie developing her faery powers alot more if encouraged by eric. THey could become pretty powerful. BUT,it seems alcide will be back in the picture for sure. esp after sookie blew debbies face off. Alcide has become pretty cool, and even sam merlotte is cooler now, not such a p*ssy! I thought the last two episodes maybe weren’t the best, but they tied in every body’s storylines for the most part, and set up what may be a very interesteing dynamic for next season. Dontgive up on the show since youve put this much into it already and next season might be great! who knows, lets hope so!

  17. Season four was dually addictive and frustrating. Far too many cans of worms were opened up in one season! Not to mention the cliffhangers, oh the cliffhangers!!! I vowed every week to leave the show alone, but I have to admit I’m hooked. Like Andy Bellfleur on ‘V’… I’m an addict. I just wish the writers would fully develop many of these miscellaneous storylines before they start introducing some more stuff (i.e. Terry’s army buddy). Although more Alcide any which-way possible is all good in my book. Besides, Sookie should’ve have gone for that FINE specimen of a man over the vampers long ago: no lost blood, pierced skin, or late night restrictions on interaction. Alcide has been waiting in the wings while Sookie gets on my damn nerves with her love triangle. Well, now that she has let that go, maybe she’ll at least drop by the house and brush his coat. I’m just saying. Anyway, I just found the blog randomly, but great thread!

  18. Ok…The first season they basically started with Vamps and a shape shifter or two (I might have forgotten something here) Then there was that Earth Goddes or whatever and the beginning of Werewolves…..Anyway each season they keep adding different creatures to the point that it’s long past time to bring in Sam and Dean Winchester to start getting rid of some of these…….But really…….What’s next? Leprechauns…Mermaids? Or maybe they’ll start pulling some back from Greek mythology….Personally I would be satisified if they didn’t continue to try to expand on the strange cases living in this area…….I wonder how property value is down there….Must be pretty cheap with all that strange action always going on….And people being killed left and right, but unless it’s caught on camera for the news it’s never seems to be investigated because nobody seems to miss anyone who just disappears…..

    • Tundrabeast–love what you said–you nailed it, lmao

  19. Ginger is a great example of a supporting character not needing their own storyline to validate their presence on the show. Hope next season will be more about vampires. And not just the love triangle angle, because that’s getting really old really fast. Also, it would be nice to have some continuity concerning the lore. In one show, Eric can jump in front of a bullet fired at close range, while in the other, he just sits and watches while a rocket is being launched from a distance. In one show, vampires are said not to have a scent, while in the other, Hoyt tells Jason he can still smell Jessica. To name but a few examples. I always thought the show was better than the books, but this season was just all over the place. I agree with the review.

    • Good observation…I totally missed that….Ya…It sure is funny how they can turn on the speed and power…If they’re motivated….But wouldn’t he and Bill both have been there in front of the launcher if they were willing to sacrifice themselves for Sookie and they thought that would kill her? I think they need some better editing…

    • Artistic licence maybe with the rocket launcher but I believe Hoyt was probably talking about Jessica’s perfume, if he was talking about her sweat that would just be… weird.

  20. At this point I no longer expect very much from the writing and think of it more as a silly guilty pleasure.

  21. Russell..met the true death supposedly…as old as he was wouldnt he have gone up in dust like Godrick? How he survived is beyond me…cause they wouldn’t have 8saved* him whne he was getting torched..artistic license I guess…

    • Russell didn’t meet the true death – he was buried in cement.

      • @ girl

        Do you think it’s a possibility the AVP or the Authority might of unburied Russell? I can’t imagine Pam wanting to do that, even after how mad she was with Eric.

  22. Anyone have a idea when season 4′s dvd box set will come out?

    • They usually release them right before the next season starts… so a while from now

  23. the show started out great with the vampires and their struggles to fit into modern day society. now its gone the way of so many other shows, with too many characters and everyone has super powers

    • Good point maeby. Like LOST , Heroes , and Prison Break , True Blood started off strong with a great first season formula, and then got mired down in weak new characters, killing off old favorites , and losing what made the show capture the public’s imagination. The result is , the show’s flame out.

  24. hmm…too many characters? Wonder what Charlaine Harris would say about that? Im a fan of the books and of the series, and yeah it is like a soap opera. Anyone who is a fan would have to admit it. And Guess what? It is still friggin awesome.

    • I too am a fan of the books, but the series has mangled the books plot lines to a degree that they’re not even identifiable anymore. It’s strayed so far from the intent of the original characters, that the series has become more like poorly executed fan fiction.

      That being said…. as a stand alone series, independent of the books, I do hope that season 5 gets some of the creative juices from Season 1 & 2 back!!

  25. I have considered TB an adult soap opera and guilty pleasure since it started. It’s over the top and at times hilarious and the finale of this season was exactly that. To expect anything more from a show about Vampiers living in open in the real world is ridiculous.

  26. fire the current writers!!! and no more f****** fairies!! o_O

    • Don’t know if the writers are to blame … but the faeries were rather central to the books (though the TV series has gone QUITE a different way with them) can’t exactly lose them without losing a massive amount of story further down the track…

      And the werepanther storyline petering out like that? It was a pivotal point of growth for Jason in the books … without which he’s just going to remain an idiot…

      I hope to all gods they have a decent character development storyboard hidden somewhere in the studio to ensure the characters actually develop, instead of just killing them off when they realise the audience has grown bored to death with their intransigent natures…

  27. Thank you for offering a wonderful review I couldn’t agree more.

  28. Season 4 sucked. They left so many things unfinished. The hole werepanther story line tanked. The whole evil fairy story line was never explained. The hunted baby went flat. Season 1 was the best season. I hate the triangle, just pick one. And sookie didn’t hear thoughts enough.

  29. I hated this season. I didn’t enjoy the most of it. The best thing that happened was Sams brother died. I want them to bring the writers back from season 1, maybe some from season 2. I want Tara to live and Sookie and Alcede to explore their connection. And I want Eric to be so bad… again.

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