As the new fall television season beings, it’s that time again for us to say a temporary goodbye to True Blood and our favorite residents of Bon Temps. With so much going on during the entirety of season 3, the gauntlet has been laid down for True Blood producers to make sense of all the storylines and character development, while continuing to give the viewers a reason to tune in for season 4.
The addition of Alcide (Joe Manganiello) proved to be a hit as his character added a new dimension and refreshing face to the series - hopefully he’ll receive more screen time next year. The King of Mississippi is completely charismatic and, no matter what happens, he’ll surely be around for awhile – he’s just too good of a character to let die.
Of course, with Alan Ball at the reigns, anything can happen and nothing is absolute. As readers of the Sookie Stackhouse novels can attest, this past season has been almost completely off-book, with so many elements taken from future novels that there’s no way of truly knowing what fate has in store for any of the characters.
With True Blood sporting the largest main cast on television (and Alan Ball deciding that almost every character deserved their own, separate storyline), much of the finale is riddled with short scenes and numerous jump cuts. This decision, while serving the purpose of including all the “required” plot progressions, has the tendency to, at times, leave viewers confused and annoyed as they're being forced to continuously catch-up with what’s going on.
This season 3 finale should have proven that there was a reason behind all of third season's chaotic story telling. Instead, the finale is surprisingly even more disjointed and unorganized than the episodes that came before it. In lieu of coherent plot progression that would have left viewers feeling fulfilled and satisfied (especially after dedicating so much time to this series), they’re left waiting until next season to receive resolutions to storylines that should have been wrapped up in the finale.
Because there was such a lack of closure (and the fact that numerous storylines had to share the same hour of television), the producers felt the need to use cheap ploys to make certain scenes and storylines feel more fulfilling and exciting without actually dedicating the time needed for the audience to come to that result naturally. Sam “shooting” his brother and Sookie going mental with the garbage disposal are perfect examples of that, as these scenes are poor attempts to make up for the emotional build-up that a consistent, well-organized storyline would have provided.
That being said, one can’t deny that there has been a significant amount of wonderful character development throughout this season, but the lack of focus in the storytelling takes away from its importance as the audience has to, at times, struggle to even keep track what’s occurring throughout. Even Tara’s symbolic scene of cutting her hair was ill-received. While this was meant to signify that Tara has truly changed as a character, it’s hard not look at those two minutes spent on her homemade hairdo and think of it as time wasted because there were so many other storylines that could have filled that space.
In the end, the only characters that actually received some sort of resolution were Tara, Jason, Hoyt and Jessica. Perhaps this is a sign of poor story planning by the producers, or that maybe the series should have a smaller cast. Either way, with the way they left things, if HBO and the producers were completely honest with their characterization of this season finale, they would have concluded it with “…to be continued” and announced that the upcoming season 4 will now be the second half of season 3.
At this point, fans of the series will have to decide whether the poor implementation of season 3 - and the finale - is a sign of how True Blood will be from now on or whether, unbeknownst to the viewers, the producers used this season as proverbial maintenance – a rebuilding year, so to speak.
Hopefully it’s the latter...
The season 3 finale of True Blood is a poor example of what this series has to offer. Unfortunately, viewers will have to wait until next year to know whether or not the producers have learned their lesson.
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