Friday, December 19, 2014

True Blood: Season 7 – review

Directors: various

First aired: 2014

Contains spoilers

My thoughts on the earlier seasons can be read at the following: season 1, season 2, season 3, season 4, season 5 & season 6.

Season 7 had been announced as the final season of True Blood. The suggestion was somewhat bittersweet, season 5 and 6 were both stronger as seasons than perhaps some of the predecessor seasons had been. The end of season 6 had seen a man-made variant of the hepatitis virus released, called hep V. Hep V is particularly virulent, not dangerous to humans exposure through blood or a bite will make a human a carrier, but should a vampire contract the illness it will cause veins to become prominent and blackened progressively and will ultimately bring the true death. The virus also weakens them so they need to feed more often, enticing some vampires to become rogue.

a h-vamp attacks
At the beginning of the season Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) has become mayor of Bon Temps, his diner now belonging to Arlene Bellefleur (Carrie Preston). The town are having a mixer, as part of its plan to pair healthy vampires with humans. The idea is that the humans can feed the vampires if they are clear of hep V and the vampires can protect the humans from the h-vamps (as the infected are known). Things go horribly wrong when a gang of h-vamps attack, killing many of the vampires and humans and kidnapping several humans.

Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam
And it is here where we can see why the season became bittersweet, the idea was brilliant but there really wasn't much legs in it as a running central storyline. The story became resolved quickly within the season's 10 episodes, and there was a secondary storyline of the vampire Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) finding Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), who has contracted hep V, and the subsequent hunt for fugitive Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp). Again this was a limited storyline, if one that was darkly amusing. However what the season did really well, was look to bring closure to the majority of the characters. Being the last season one didn't know if the character would survive or not, and several major characters were killed. As someone who has watched every season this made this season worthwhile, however it was probably not the best premise for anyone unfamiliar with True Blood.

Anna Paquin as Sookie
The only new lore centred upon the hep V situation, and I covered most of that already. We do discover that if contracted from a carrier with fairy blood the progress of the disease is incredibly rapid. It also seems to make the vampires more human, in that they actually develop a body temperature and also Sookie (Anna Paquin) is able to read the minds of infected vampires.

Rutger Hauer as Niles
There had been some controversy about the very ending of the show. I don't want to spoil what happens, but suffice it to say that I was somewhat disappointed with the Sookie resolution, though I understand it is similar to the resolution in the books. This resolution is shown in a flash forward three years and the series could happily have ended without that. That said, the Fangtasia resolution was amusing. It would be absolutely remiss if I didn't mention a one episode cameo by the ever wonderful Rutger Hauer (Dracula III: the Legacy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Salem's Lot, Dracula {2012} & the Reverend).

farewell to True Blood
So; a short season, an amusing season, and a season that didn't care if your favourite character was killed off and as such would keep you on the edge of your seat. For fans of the series a worthwhile experience but certainly not starting point for those who haven't seen True Blood (though in truth why you would start a series at the very last season is beyond me). For fans, therefore, I think this deserves 7 out of 10 - so long as you turn away from the finale's coda.

The imdb page is here.

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