The culmination of a summer long blood-fueled thirst for power ends in here in True Blood's fifth season finale, "Save Yourself". Who survived? Who got blood on their hands? And where does this episode leave the series as it's creator Alan Ball exits as the show-runner? [SPOILERS BELOW]
Like most, I was expecting the finale episode to be just like any of the past four season enders and have excitement throughout the whole 50 plus minutes of running time. The opening five minutes sure set the tone for that exception with the sudden death of Russell (told you there would be spoilers). Sadly the True Blood finale squandered their season's last episode with poor story-arc choices and following secondary characters that weren't going anywhere important. That's not to see there wasn't anything good about "Save Yourself", because there was some stuff, but ying and yang of good and poor quality television was all too apparent so I decided to organize it for your reading pleasure.
Bad TV first:
Now on to the good but not great TV:
As you may have noticed I haven't included the finale's main focal point in either of those good/bad break downs. Why you might ask? Because, frankly I'm simply indifferent after seeing the conclusion of the entire Bill/Salome/Lilith plot. The whole coy back and forth with Bill and Salome over Lilith's blood didn't really do anything other than get rid of Valentina Cervi's character Salome. There was never any urgency until the final moments where Bill drank the blood and changed. Being a blood god could mean big things for Bill next year, but there was never even a hint at what powers or abilities this Lilith blood would give a vampire so having that as the cliff-hanger till season six doesn't entice audience members to return in summer 2013.
On a side note, there had been a character loosely introduced early on this season (Worlow) and he wasn't even mentioned during the finale. I would normally chalk this oversight up to being pressed for time since it was the season finale episode in all, but there was at least ten minutes or more of show that could of be cut to fit that character in. The only reason that I can think for Worlow not to be introduced during "Save Yourself" would the reason I gave last week, in that the show hadn't been able to cast for the character yet.
In closing, like in the True Blood finale's before this one, the episode sadly has some characters exit the series. Cervi's character Salome, and the remaining of this season's cast for the Authority, all experience 'the true death' before the end credits roled. Not that unexpected but both fan and story-wise I was disappointed to see the amazing David O' Hare's Russell Edgington leave the show. Russell became so popular by the end of season three the show didn't fully write him off yet sadly they did this time around. The trade-off is both Nora and Rev. Steve Newlin will thankfully be back for next season, but that's as far I know for what will happen next summer. True Blood will be switching show runners for the first time ever and the show has just put a lot of pressure on Bill becoming Lilith (aka Bilith according to the show's Facebook page) to bring back its viewers come next year. However Alan Ball will not be completely leaving Bon Temp as he will stay on as one of the show's producers or some other capacity, there is some hope.
Till next summer I'll leave you fang-bangin-fans with quotes from the funniest moment of this season finale from Sookie & Jessica. It comes just after Eric, Nora, Jason, Sookie, and Tara break-in to the Authority headquarters, free their friends, and Tara and Pam kiss.
Sookie: "Oh... okay"
Jessica: "I knew it!"
[Start the video at 2:15 to check it out]
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.