When we last left our vampire, werewolf and faery friends in the city of Bon Temp, Louisiana, a dark storm was figuratively brewing on True Blood‘s horizon. The vampire race was already threatened by the manufacturing of the Hep-V strain, even as the bloodsuckers’ Local 409 did its best to exact revenge on the governor’s secret brewing and torture facilities, but we were left with a vision of a really pissed off horde of vampires ready to tear everyone in Bon Temps to pieces. If the most loyal of fans, who have actually stuck around to see this whole thing through, are worried that this final season of HBO’s R-rated supernatural soap opera might not be crazy enough, it was at least set up in the Season 6 finale, “Radioactive,” to give us hope.
Looking back on (and re-watching) “Radioactive” made me remember that it wasn’t exactly the most fulfilling of season finales. In a season that constantly promised us an all-out war between the humans and vampires, it never felt like anything more than a slap fight. Even when Bill thought he fulfilled his prophecy of bringing his vampires into the daylight to take revenge on the Hep-V facilities, it felt like a NASCAR driver trying to win the Daytona 500 on a bicycle. It’s obviously difficult for a low-budget show like True Blood that deals with magic and monsters to really deliver us high-quality action and gore, but clever writing can sometimes be more valuable to a show’s success than a few extra million bucks.
We expect that the show’s writers will have worked their asses off to end this series with a fang (*punches self in face*) as the first episode of Season 7, “Jesus Gonna Be Here,” debuts at 9 PM ET on Sunday night. They owe us plenty of effort considering the questions that they left us with at the end of “Radioactive.” Maybe I was alone in having hope that it wouldn’t be sadly indicative of the downhill slope of the series, after it was so fun and ridiculous in the beginning. But I’m always a sucker like that, having faith that something will click in the writers’ and producers’ heads and they’ll say, “You guys, we really owe it to the fans who didn’t jump ship after the third season.” Fortunately, the show’s creator and original writer, Alan Ball, was spotted on set during the filming of Season 7, so fingers crossed.
That said, before Sunday’s Season 7 debut begins, I have questions that need to be answered. Some of them are obvious and will almost certainly be answered, but they still need to be asked, because I’m not going to pretend like “Radioactive” didn’t have parts that left us all wondering, “Wait, what the f*ck was that?” Also, and probably far more importantly than storylines, I want the best for some of the characters that we’ve come to love over the years. At the very least, one character. Okay, it’s Jessica. I want Jessica to be the hero and to get her own show so she never leaves us. I’m a sad, sad man. On with the questions.
1) Seriously, what the F happened to naked Eric?
Eric Northman did not die. That is the most obvious thing that I can state before we head into “Jesus Gonna Be Here.” If they killed off Eric with no explanation after barely featuring him in the Season 6 finale, there’d be riots at HBO’s headquarters. Sure, it would probably be 15 older women who just want to see Alexander Skarsgård’s penis again, but they’d be really loud for, like, an hour. Work would get done, but people would be all, “What’s up with those ladies outside?”
Eric has several stories that need to be wrapped up, and as we saw in Season 6, this show’s writers don’t do the greatest job of taking advantage of every minute of their one-hour episodes. For starters, how the f*ck is Eric coming back from becoming a vampire flambé? The kill two birds with one stone response would be that Pam somehow finds and saves him and that fixes the problems between them and maybe even brings them closer than ever. I’m talkin’ ‘bout vampire love, baby. But once he’s found, saved and nursed back to health – so help me, it better not feature him feasting on penguins and baby polar bears – we need to know if Eric is still hellbent on the domination of the human species as revenge for Hep-V or if he’s going to help save Bon Temps from the terrifying vampire horde.
It’s hard to predict a happy ending for Eric, because it’s hard to know what he ever wants and it’s not so certain that he even deserves one. Perhaps the only happy ending that he deserves is Pam’s freedom.
2) Is Sookie content with Alcide or is there another lover or 12 out there for her?
By the end of “Radioactive,” Sookie had told Sam that they’d end up together, slept with Warlow and then asked him to date her before things got too serious (RIP Warlow), and had sexual tensions again with Bill, only to somehow end up with Alcide six months later. I’m not saying that everything has to make sense, but we should want to like Sookie. Instead, she’s like the girl who sleeps with every guy she meets on Match.com after the first date and then complains that she can’t find a guy who treats her well. Hell, if anything, the show’s finale is going to be an episode of Maury with all of Bon Temp’s most eligible creatures awaiting a paternity test to see whose wizard baby belongs to one of them.
*POTENTIAL SPOILER AHEAD*
We’ve already seen a clip from the third episode, “Fire in the Hole,” in which Sookie is forced into a situation where she has to drink Bill’s blood in order to stay safe. Of course, when Sookie drinks Bill’s blood, she gets super horny and they end up getting it on. She’s with Alcide now and she doesn’t want to cheat on him, so she vows that she won’t give in to the sexual powers of his blood. (Honey, I know this feeling all too well.) Anywho, thanks to that clip that should have never been released (seriously, who releases a clip from Episode 3 and not the premiere?) we know that Alcide has plenty to be nervous about.
At this point, Sookie and Bill deserve each other. They’re like the supernatural Ross and Rachel, in that we want them together in the finale so we can say goodbye and imagine they were both fired into the sun.
3) Speaking of, how about a good story for Alcide?
I thought the biggest disappointment of Season 6 was that Alcide was meaningless. His side plot about playing protector to the pack was pointless, because after all the posturing and howling, he just forgave Sam and all was well. Hell, Sam’s the mayor of Bon Temp now only six months after Alcide told him never to return. So when it comes to Alcide’s potential role in the final season, I’d hope that it would be about him protecting his pack from the incoming vampire horde, as the vampire vs. werewolf violence could cause significant death and excitement. He’d be the hero to his people and we’d get to see Joe Manganiello kicking a lot of ass.
However, if I had to bet a shiny dime on it, I’d predict that he ends up feuding with Sam over Sookie, and Sam ends up with Sookie in the series finale. That would be awful, but this is what perpetual pessimism brings.
4) What hell hath Bill’s big f*cking mouth brought for him?
At the end of “Radioactive,” Bill was on a talk show bragging about how he killed the governor of Louisiana. Haha, this was not, hehe hoo boy, what the experts would call a good idea. I can’t imagine that the humans and those haters in the government are going to stand by and let Bill walk around like he didn’t tear the governor’s f*cking head off outside his own home. That leads me to believe that the humans aren’t done with their ambition for vampire genocide, which is just going to make things more difficult in Bon Temps.
Bill and Co. will likely be fighting both humans and vampires at the same time, which means that we have 10 episodes to resolve two major conflicts. This show could barely resolve one conflict last season, and even then, Warlow’s death was full of questions in itself. Chief among them: So grandpa can just pop out of the worst dimension in the universe when he feels like it so he can grab Warlow and let Jason kill him? Cool, man.
Bill has his work cut out for him in Season 7, but again, that clip from Episode 3 basically tells us where his concerns lie.
5) So who is the main character that is supposedly going to die?
Right off the top of my head, I’d say that Sam is going to die. After all, he’s the one who was elected mayor and then actually suggested to the humans of Bon Temps that they become walking snack packs for the vampire residents as a means of promoting peace. Dude, how the hell do you recommend that? Granted, as I stated in my recap for “Radioactive,” if Jessica or Violet told me to dress up like a Hot Pocket and repeatedly sing the jingle while they feast on me, I wouldn’t be too put off. Still, Sam’s a dick.
That said, I agree with Stacey that Sam is probably going to see this series out, so my prediction is Tara. That whole scene with her and her mom in “Radioactive” was so awkward and unsettling, but it had to mean something. I’m guessing that she gives Tara Hep-V and that leads to the disease spreading in Bon Temps, with Tara kicking the bucket.
6) Will the Hepatitis-V strain actually bring about the extinction of the vampire race as we know it?
With only 10 episodes in Season 7, there’s not a lot of room for meaningless fluff, which is something that takes up at least 20 minutes of each True Blood episode. So the cliffhanger from “Radioactive” left us with two major foes for the vampires of Bon Temps – the incoming horde and Hep-V. Forgive my lack of confidence in this show’s ability to wrap both of these stories up in a way that will both excite and please fans, but I just don’t think they can do it without the two threats becoming one. I don’t see how that can happen, though, unless the horde is there as a result of the humans somehow infecting and controlling the sick vampires.
You know what, though? Sometimes when I think about this stuff too much and I write it out in a way that doesn’t make sense, I realize that it’s exactly what will happen. My guess is that despite the threat of the virus that could end the vampires forever, Bill and the vampires of Bon Temps will fend off the horde and make peace with the local humans. It’s just boring and underwhelming enough to work.
7) Is there a vampire out there that we will actually approve of for Jessica?
No. We will never approve of any vampire suitor that Jessica may have. I think she’ll end up with Jason Stackhouse, which is another topic in itself.
8) Can Jason Stackhouse tone it all down just a little bit and go out without us hating him?
Jason Stackhouse was two different characters by the end of Season 6. When it came time for him to help Jessica and the vampires in the Hep-V facility, he nutted up and put on his badass suit to confront the manipulative Jessica once and for all. Then he let her off the hook because he didn’t want to see any more bloodshed. Awesome, bro. That hateful b-word totally isn’t going to come back with another government-backed scheme to slaughter everything and especially our beloved Jessica.
Meanwhile, he also had the cojones to take out Warlow – you know, once magic grandpa conveniently appeared – but then had no problem offering himself as Violet’s human snack. Again, I don’t necessarily fault him for that decision, but it would be nice to see Jason find some direction and closure so he can be something other than the character with the worst accent on this show.
9) Which of the old favorite (and hated) characters who have been killed off in the past are making their returns?
There’s a rumor that we’re going to see some “old favorites” showing up in flashbacks or maybe ghost form this season, and with Ball showing up on set, it makes sense. The problem with that is I don’t know how the hell they’ll fit it all in. Granted, as I’ve already said several times, this show is nothing if not wasteful with the limited time it has to tell a story, so maybe Terry returns to tell Arlene that things will be okay without him, which would be the easiest and most complete way to wrap Arlene’s story. A touching moment could be had with Eric facing death at the bottom of his icy grave in Sweden, and Nora visiting him in a vision to let him know that it’s not his time yet, before an ice fisherman or bikini team discovers him just in time for a feast.
Realistically, I hope this rumor is just that, and no time is wasted on reunions. Unless it’s Rutger Hauer returning as grandpa, because he’s always welcome in Bon Temps.
10) Will Sarah Newlin’s demise be the greatest thing that we’ve ever witnessed on television?
Yes. YES. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! OH GOD UP IN THE HEAVENS, SMITE THIS TV CHARACTER IN A WAY THAT MAKES GAME OF THRONES LOOK LIKE FULL HOUSE! I’m pretty sure that would make it all worthwhile.