‘True Blood’ Recap: And When I Die

true blood finale“We are not fucking puppy-dogs!” – Bill

S4E12: True Blood has never had the strongest season finales, but this season’s was pretty freaking interesting. And by interesting, I mean that half the cast is now dead. While I’d prefer that they hadn’t run out of plot halfway through and spent the second half setting up season five, season five promises the return of Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin so it’s hard to stay mad. Plus, True Blood started playing fast and loose with its cast, cutting down on characters from side stories with a surprising lack of mercy. Then again, I thought Tara was gone for good after last season’s finale, so I won’t count her out until I see the tombstone. Besides, when you get a medium like Lafayette in the mix, even being dead doesn’t stop you from making convenient appearances during sweeps.

It’s Halloween night in Bon Temps (or Samhain, an ancient wiccan holiday pronounced differently by each person who says it), so it makes sense that things are getting spooky. Marnie’s back as a ghost, and by taking over Lafayette’s body, she manages to basically hold Lafayette and Jesus hostage against each other. (And threatens to cut out her own eye, which, ow.) Using some vague magic and a not-so-vague kitchen knife, Marnie steals Jesus’s weird demon form and kills him in the process. Which is pretty sad, honestly, but since Lafayette is a medium, it’s not like they’ve got to stop dating or anything.

“I liked you better when you were brain-damaged.” – Bill

With her newfound brujo powers, Marnie manages to chain Bill and Eric to a pyre with merely a jump-cut. Sookie, Tara, and Holly ride in to the rescue with a carton of salt and summon on the spirits of the dead to put Marnie in her place. Antonia and Sookie’s grandma show up to talk Marnie down and Marnie cries about being powerless. While Marnie and Antonia are kind of cute together, I’d be a lot more sympathetic to Marnie if she wasn’t a terrible person who just stabbed Jesus to death using his boyfriend’s body. Marnie ascends (or descends, probably) into the afterlife, but not before she roasts the vampire boys like marshmallows. (I’ll get the chocolate, let’s make s’mores!)

Just because she rescued Eric and Bill, however, doesn’t mean that she wants to date them. In the True Blood version of The Bachelorette, she gives them each a very nice departing speech but doesn’t give either of them the rose. (To paraphrase, Bill: I forgive you for being a terrible person. Eric: I liked you even before you got brain damaged.) Sookie then leaves and goes to cry on the porch, which, again, would be way more sympathetic if you disregard the fact that her problem is that two incredibly powerful and attractive (well, at least one’s attractive) men are madly in love with her. Cry me a river, girl, most of us have to use Match.com.

“I’m so sick of Sookie, and her precious fairy vagina, and her fucking stupid name.” – Pam

Sookie’s pity party doesn’t last too long, as she’s soon interrupted by real problems- Debbie Pelt breaks into her house, again. But third time’s the charm, as she manages to actually do something, firing a shotgun blast at Sookie’s face that Tara takes instead. Sookie retaliates by blowing Debbie’s head off as well. What happened to vampires being super attuned to whoever drinks their blood? Between this, and Jason getting attacked by Steve Newlin at the end of the episode, Eric, Bill and Jessica are really falling down on the job.

Speaking of which, STEVE NEWLIN. The vampire-hating preacher appears on Jason’s doorstep to show off his new fangs, while Alcide discovers that someone’s broken Russell Edgington out of his concrete prison. Are these two evens related? Damn, I hope so, because it’s hard to imagine a better team-up than the two most interesting villains the show has ever had. And hopefully, the punch bowl o’ Talbot will make a reappearance.

“Jason Stackhouse, you are a good person. Yes, you are. Shut up!” – Jason

There was a lot to enjoy in this episode, sometimes in unexpected ways. True Blood’s sprawling cast may sometimes hinder it, but this season they’ve done a better job making sure that everyone gets screen time, and that that screen time means something. It pays off in smaller scenes like the one where most of the cast is just spending time at Merlotte’s, wrapping up some plot but mostly just enjoying each other’s company. And then you realize that you’re enjoying their company as well. Not every side story in this episode was monumentally exciting, like Tommy’s quiet funeral, or Pam’s breakdown, or Jason and Jessica’s awkward reconciliation, but they each had a season’s worth (or more) of backstory behind them. And it’s kind of nice to see the characters be happy, before somebody, as Luna puts it, “drops a brick on their heads.”

So, what’s going to happen next season? Arlene and Terry will have more ghost problems (Terry’s army friend is definitely dead). Jessica and Jason will continue talking about Hoyt and having casual sex, until one of them develops FEELINGS. Eric and Bill work together to stay on the run from the authority. (While we’re at it, I’d like to see Pam and Eric reconciled, since Eric was such a jerk to her all season.) And most importantly, Lafayette wakes up in the morning and finds out that yet another friend is dead. Which is going to be awkward.

Best Moments:

“I hope I get to sit on the porch with you some day.” And at that moment, Tara’s death was assured. It’s like saying “I’m only three days away from retirement!”

“Ain’t nothing scary about fairies.” Holly has clearly never actually read a fairy tale.

“If Hoyt pops up from under that hood I’m gonna knock him the fuck out.”

“Dude, I’m dead. You’re a medium. I’ll always be with you.” Best imaginary friend ever!

“Their cruelty served its purpose- to bring you and me together.”

“You’re like no woman I’ve ever been with. And I’ve been with a LOT of women.” Thanks? I guess?

“People don’t change, they just find new ways to lie.”

“God is gonna drop a brick on our heads.” Not God, Alan Ball. But close, Luna.