True Blood Recap 4.12: ‘And When I Die’

Posted on September 11, 2011 by Deaditor 3 Comments

by Britt Hayes

Editor’s note: This article, as well as all recap articles for True Blood, contains significant spoilers. If you have not watched this week’s episode we strongly encourage you NOT to read this article until you have done so.

This season’s finale is, by far, the best finale True Blood has had since season 1. Alan Ball & co. tie up all their loose ends (albeit a little early in the episode) and set up some nice arcs for season five.

Marnie has now possessed Lafayette and gets to work disposing of Jesus, by stabbing him with a fork (how rude) and then taking control of his Brujo spirit animal witch doctor.  In the process she kills Jesus. Kevin Alejandro was a strong actor this season, but I don’t feel like Jesus was a very strong character and needed more to accomplish. I also fear the repercussions of killing Lafayette’s lover because a sappy, grieving Lafayette doesn’t sound fun.

Sookie awakens on Halloween to see her dead grandmother’s body on the floor; of course she’s hallucinating, so she decides to drink some coffee and talk to Tara about heaven. You know, typical breakfast banter.

Sam throws a funeral for Tommy and the first person to show up is Mrs. Fortenberry, who has taken a break from combing the hair of her Marie Osmond dolls to give some Dr. Phil advice and offer something called “pork rind casserole.” How quaint.

Jason decides to do the right thing and tell Hoyt about his sexual encounter(s) with Jessica, so Hoyt does the honorable thing and kicks his ass. And Jason has sex with Jessica again anyway, at which point she informs him that this is a sexual relationship and nothing more.

A conversation with Holly tells us that since it’s Halloween (or Samhain — which she pronounces “Sammuh-hain”), the veil between the living and the dead is at its most thin. Thanks to Halloween, Rene makes a guest appearance to scare the crap out of Arlene. Thanks, Halloween!

In the final confrontation, Marnie has tied Bill and Eric (Awesome Show Great Job) to a stake with silver and set them on fire. Sookie, Tara and Holly join forces to protect the vampires and drive Marnie (and Jesus’ Brujo demon) out of Lafayette. They call forth the spirits from the cemetery — including Gran! — to help Marnie let go and move on, giving her a final moment with Antonia. It’s a quiet resolution, and reflecting back on Marnie’s arc as a whole, it’s not as thrilling as the Maenad story of season 2, but thanks to Fiona Shaw, Marnie’s story had more depth and pathos, I think, than most.

Plus we get the best WTF moment this season when Gran reaches into Lafayette’s throat and pulls Marnie out. Read that sentence again slowly; go ahead, I’ll wait here. Done? Yeah. I can’t believe this is a real show.

Pam is still reeling from being disowned by Eric, and it’s not exactly how I wanted things to end with her this season, but there’s a nice moment where Ginger (in her nurse costume, of course) comforts a sobbing Pam. Spin off!

Alcide visits Sookie at Merlotte’s to drop some nuggets of wisdom that he probably picked up from Mrs. Fortenberry’s internet newsletter. “People don’t change!” “People always say follow your heart!” “What if our hearts can’t be trusted?!” Uh oh, I think Alcide and Sookie are going to hook up! (I mean, duh.)

When Sookie is done feeding her magical milk and honey faerie blood to Bill and Eric (Awesome Show Great Job), she tells them that she’s made a decision: she will not date either of them. It’s for the best, she says — you know, because she has some Alcide to conquer.

Nan shows up with her infantry to recruit Bill and Eric in her fight against the Authority. Having been fired, Nan is ready to start a new renegade faction, but  Bill and Eric aren’t having it, so they kill her and her vampire SWAT team.

Now that the main action has been expelled, we get some nice set-ups for season five. Their first order of business should be fixing Lafayette’s hair, ’cause guuuurl, it’s a disaster.

Reverend Newlin has returned, making a surprise stop over at Jason’s house to show off his fangs. There could be an interesting plot there with how Newlin crossed over (perhaps vampire revenge?) and some closeted issues — which could be refreshing, since True Blood sometimes loses sight of its political and social allegories; they aren’t always effective, but Alan Ball can sometimes be quite clever. Newlin as a closeted, repressed vampire/gay could be hilarious.

Alcide is summoned to his construction site because vampires have dug up something in the concrete. And that something is most definitely Russell Edgington. Oh. Hell. Yes.

In the final moments of the episode, Debbie Pelt goes after Sookie with a shotgun and Tara rushes to shove Sookie out of the way, getting herself shot in the face in the process. Then Sookie finally gets bad-ass and shoots Debbie, point blank, in the head with the shotgun.

It’s official: Alan Ball actually reads the internet.

Bonus points this week:

  • Well. Tara is finally dead, you guys. BEST DAY EVER. I guess this thing is on!
  • “Hi Nan. Gay stormtroopers.”
  • “This fucking suuuuuucks.” I think the theme this season has been a mix between “what the fuck” and “fucking sucks,” which could sort of describe the entire show.
  • “We are not fucking puppy dogs!”
  • “I am so over Sookie and her magic faerie vagina and her unbelievably stupid name!” Pam, you’re my favorite.
Points deducted:
  • None! Best week ever!

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  • Do you think we are REALLY lucky enough to have Tara bite the big one? You don’t think Eric and Bill will come running to Sookie’s distress calls and save Tara so she will be indebted to them and complain about it for the whole of season five?
    I hope you’re right…

    And between the gay stormtroopers and the fairy vagina, this episode had my favorite dialogue of the entire season. With that, Russell making an apparent comeback, and Eric and Bill forming their little kick-ass “men who’ve done Sookie club” to do some head-ripping and snarky barb-throwing, I’m sad to see it end…

  • Liz says:

    Eric: “What a bitch”. Best ever

  • Kayley says:

    Although there were certainly some great moments (and the last half was fast-paced and fun), I think overall the season finale was a bit … meh.

    I will say that I completely agree – I’m happy to see that Tara is dead, at least for now. Her character had been relegated to throwaway subplots for some time. However, I sincerely doubt she is actually dead for real – I see Eric and/or Bill saving her and creating some new, even more bizarro relationship.

    I think overall the finale did what most other finales have failed to do – it set itself up for what could be an undeniably great start to next season. If they are clever and take risks, that is. This entire season has been halfway entertaining, but only just. The writing and directing just seems lackluster, as if everyone is coasting on the fact that we’ll watch the show anyway. (Which I did, so maybe I’m proving a point I don’t particularly want to be proving.)

    My cure for this? All Pam, all the time. She’s by far my favorite character and I want her to have ALL THE SCREEN TIME. ALL OF IT.

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