TV Recap: True Blood, ‘Death is Not the End’

Written by Laura Dengrove

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The words, “Death is not the end” never rang more true than with this exciting, new episode of True Blood.

This week we finally get back to the real issues at hand. Remember those pesky Hep V vamps? Sookie (Anna Paquin) finally realizes human life may mean more than the men she will be bedding this week, along with accepting how annoying she truly is. Along with this, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Pam (Kristen Bauer Van Straten) have more scenes than ever, effectively saving the show from the ever-growing boredom that has seemed to take hold of it after these past few seasons.

With Sookie and friends finally working together and acting on a plan to stop the infected vampires, the show seems to have found an interesting, coherent plot to build on, and not just depending on the cheap gore and love triangles.

Photo Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO
Photo Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Not to say Sookie’s love triangle storyline has disappeared without a trace. No, the triangle still very much lives even though a newer part of it died in last week’s episode. RIP Alcide, (Joe Manganiello) you died how you lived, boring and super-fast. Of course, with this death, we welcome back an old part of the triangle — a handsome, blonde, and Viking part.

Ah yes, with the return of a powerful, less mopey Eric Northman, the show (as well as the shippers of Soric) can finally take a breath of relief. It seems all is not for loss for the Sookie and Eric fandom, looks like some sparks may be flying soon, and they won’t be shooting out of Sookie’s hands this time.

The show is slowly building upon the ever-growing improvement it has been making since its premiere, and this episode may be the best of the batch.

With the return of old characters that were thought to be lost, directing skills that were simply superb, and continuously getting rid of plotlines that never seemed to work from the beginning, rather they be characters or stories, makes this episode a winner.

Let’s start with the increasingly good storyline that is Pam and Eric. At first, the plot didn’t have much potential, but then grew as they joined the rest of the gang and packed up for Shreveport, Louisiana.

The writers seem to finally get it, more Eric, more viewers, more money.

After viewing a bit of Pam and Eric’s most excellent adventure, the flashbacks begin. With Bill (Stephen Moyer) they are boring and overused, with Eric they seem to just get better and better. Even bringing back characters that were thought to be lost. (Side note: The flashbacks may have been annoying, but the Eric and Pam ones are just getting better and better! The Magister returns, Ginger as a young college chick, movie store Fangtasia… just freaking awesome.)

Never thought I would miss the Magister as much as I did, but the eerily gleeful return of guest actor Zeljko Ivanek added some familiar bite to the show.

Speaking of familiar bite, the return, albeit a small one, of SPOILER Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack) added an emotional side to dark show. His scene was one of the best in the show, along with the help of some excellent directing and camera skills. When Hoyt finds out about his mother’s cruel, yet foreseeable, fate it really proved that the directors along with the writes are really finding their groove. The scene also featured Alcide’s dad (Robert Patrick) as both parties get phone calls about their recently deceased family members. The camera pans from one scene to a next, showing how both parties react and grieve, adding some normalcy and heart to a show that has grown a bit wacky over the years. Actually showing grief, shock, and hurt, real human emotions over death, for more than a second shows just how much everyone wants this show to end on a high note.

Photo Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO
Photo Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

The writers didn’t just stop there with adding some old, great characters back into the mix and showing a little more human than immortal, they also succeeded in getting rid of more unnecessary and lousy plotlines, even the unnecessary and lousy plotlines they just created this season.

Well, except for the Willa (Amelia Rose Blaire) and Holly (Lauren Bowles) plot. This show is doing too well to let their story try and ruin all the progress it’s made. Seriously, someone should create a Golden Raspberry for television shows and let Bowles win every time, never has crying in a show made me want to cry from how utterly bad it was.

All in all, the episode was great, the best out of this season’s batch hands down. Not only was it enjoyable to watch, finally, but also it was exciting and fresh. They brought back all the characters that needed to come together, or at least be show on the show again, added some top notch directorial skills, and got rid of more plotlines that made me want to contract Hep V and give it to the vampires that were sucking the life out of this show.

Hopefully this episode marks the beginning of the end for a show, in a good way, and lets it meet the true death with a smile and one last bite.

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Laura Dengrove is the one of youngest members of the Pop-Break staff and is a critic for television/movies of all types on Pop-Break. Just having closed out her senior year, she will be studying to obtain her bachelors degree at Rutgers University for Journalism/Public Relations. She was the editor for the Arts and Entertainment section of her school newspaper, runs her own blog (Pop Culture Darling), and interns for Design New Jersey. She also has an in-depth knowledge about all things True Blood and an avid Eric and Sookie shipper.

Hello! My name is Laura Dengrove. I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Journalism/Media Studies and Cinema Studies. I am a film critic and interviewer by choice, professional Linda Belcher impersonator by birth.

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