True Blood: The First Taste

True Blood, HBO, Airs Sunday 9pm

Episode: “You’ll Be The Death Of Me” (Season One, Episode Twelve)

Synopsis: The season comes to a close, but not before wrapping up several major storylines.  Jason sits in jail for crimes he didn’t commit while the the real killer sets his sights on Sookie.  Tara finds her luck changed for the better at the hands of a mysterious benefactor who has unexplained ties to Sam, who’s been hiding more than his share of secrets.

Review: I’m not sure twelve weeks have ever passed so quickly as we reluctantly say goodbye to Alan Ball’s take on the revisionist vampire books of Charlaine Harris (The Southern Vampire Mysteries).  We’ve seen a lot of drama and a lot depth in most of the characters and it’s a sad day to see the series take a break, no matter how brief it is (more on that later).

The final episode had the task of wrapping up storylines, which for the most part it managed to do.  There is no twist to last weeks give-away of who the killer was, so we watch the events unfold with more knowledge than those on screen.  The wait before things boil over doesn’t take very long and the chase that results is pretty exciting, with Sookie in danger, Bill putting his life on the line, and Sam doing battle as a dog.  I wasn’t really all that excited about Bill’s little battle-the-sun performance, as his actions were more stupid than heroic and he really didn’t do much to help; he sort of made things more difficult.  Not sure why that’s romantic, but girls have never made sense anyways.

The resolution to the killer storyline happens fairly quickly, leaving much of the episode to deal with the aftermath and prime our appetite for the second season.  Things are left in a strange and exciting place with most of our characters ready to embark in new directions.  Jason had some alright screen time before his poor, young, impressionable self seemingly fell prey to the Fellowship of the Sun and their religious fang-hating.  Tara’s journey has taken an about face into what will no doubt be full of danger.  I’m most excited to follow Sam’s trail, as he seemed especially put off by the hot new mysterious woman – put off enough to pack up a bag of cash.

As a season finale, the episode was good and did what it needed to.  The writing, like always, is exceptional and enjoyable.  Likewise for all the performances.  I’m always happy with how deeply the actors have taken their characters to heart; they really embody them.  It was a bit odd that Bill, who started the series as one of the primaries, was really relegated to a second tier status this episode, despite his ‘brave’ act of near self-sacrifice.  The main qualifiers for success come down to only two things:  Was the episode satisfying and do you want more?  To the first question, I say yes.  To the second, I say Oh Hell Yes!  Luckily, HBO is moving forward with a second season of True Blood already, set to air in Summer 2009.  Even more good news – Charlaine Harris has written eight novels surrounding Sookie Stackhouse and her Louisiana compatriots, living and dead.

So there we have it, twelve weeks and twelve Sunday nights well spent.  If you haven’t seen any True Blood, or you missed an episode, definitely jump on board as soon as possible.  Heck, even if you have, take another go-round with them, as Alan Ball has brought the tangled web of sex, mysticism, and violence of Harris’ novels to life in a tremendous way.

See you again Summer 2009.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you watch True Blood this week? If so, feel free to discuss below.


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