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True Blood – “May Be the Last Time” Review: Nothing Happens

I was worried this might happen. By speeding through the bulk of the season’s main plot points in the first handful of episodes, True Blood has been left floundering for some form of conflict as its final hours play out. Sure, the fates of Eric and Bill are still up in the air, and Sookie has finally reunited with Bill, but nothing truly changed from last week’s episodes to this week’s.

It’s pretty sad when the best part of the episode was Sarah Newlin’s hallucinations (any appearance by Steve Newlin is an excellent use of time, True Blood writers). Seeing Steve and Jason taunting Sarah harkened back to the early days of the series, where things were crazy, but still grounded in some base of reality. Seeing Hoyt back in Bon Temps also made me nostalgic for the days when Jason and Hoyt would work on the road crew, and Hoyt was so in love with Jessica. I was excited to see Hoyt and Jason together again, and anxious to see how Jason would deal with the lingering pain from sacrificing his friendship to protect his best friend’s heart, until Jason rolled into Bellefleur’s and promptly began sizing up Hoyt’s new girlfriend. Seriously? I had thought we had moved Jason’s character beyond simply having him be a complete horndog around women. Apparently not.

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But Jason’s regression back into his Lothario ways was not the only disappointing element of the episode. Bringing Rutger Hauer back to the show only to have him eat spaghetti and tell Sookie he can’t save Bill (although I was happy to hear him warn Sookie to stay away from Bill) is such a complete waste. Yes, Niall was a poorly drawn and executed character in his original appearance on the series, but why bring him back if he was going to add absolutely nothing to the story? Bringing back beloved characters in the waning episodes of a series is perfectly fine. But the characters must add something to the plot. Otherwise, it’s simply a piece of stunt casting, and on a show with a cast as large as True Blood’s, there’s no need to be throwing additional characters into the mix when you can’t even cater to the ones you already have.

In addition to bringing in unnecessary cameos, please for the love of all that is holy can the show stop with the Bill flashbacks? So far, we have learned absolutely nothing new about Bill. We have, unfortunately, seen that Bill’s personality has not changed at all in the last 150 plus years he has been around. With the exception of the Pam and Eric video store flashback, there hasn’t been a single flashback this season that has provided us with additional information we have not already known or could not have found out simply through dialogue. I understand these flashbacks are apparently an attempt to humanize Bill and undo some of the extensive damage done through his recent trip into megalomania, but they are so beyond unnecessary. At this point in the game people already have made their minds up about Bill and no amount of sepia-tinged flashbacks are going to change that.

After several weeks of strong episodes, I was sad to see the show lose steam and begin treading water rather than continue pushing stories forward. Hopefully, with these final three episodes, it can get back on pace to somewhere.

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Final Thoughts

— I may find Bill to be one of the show’s biggest liabilities, but even I can sympathize with how awful it must have been for Stephen Moyer to go through the Bill make-up for that sex scene. Having all those black lines drawn on? That could not have been fun.

— How did Holly and Andy make it to Oklahoma so quickly? Managing time has never been one of True Blood‘s strong suits, but this quick road trip left me scratching my head.

— So Sookie and Bill are finally back together. And they appear to be as poorly matched as they ever were. Sookie’s inability to make good choices with her life has always been one of her hallmarks as a character, so I guess it was too much to hop she would come to her senses.

Rating
5.5
Pros
  • Steve Newlin!
Cons
  • Lack of plot movement
  • Characters reverted to their old selves
  • Predictable storytelling

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Meet the Author

About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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