'True Blood' Season 6 finale recap, 'Radioactive'

For the Baltimore Sun

The sixth season of True Blood has come to a close, but was it the epic ending that fans were hoping for? Last night’s finale offered up death(s), new relationships and a new big bad — unfortunately, instead of feeling like a change in direction or return to the show’s roots, it all just felt like more of the same. 

Did Eric Die?

Presumably, Eric bursting into flames after some full frontal flashing means that fan favorite Alexander Skarsgård has indeed been killed off. Or was he? While we sure do see all of Eric Northman’s body, what we don’t see is that body fully disintegrated. When the camera pans away, Eric is on fire but still alive, writhing in pain. 

Then there’s Pam. She left early on in last night’s episode to go find her maker. She never reappears in Bon Temps, and we aren’t made privy to the reason for her absence. This is obviously meant to suggest that she might be busy tending to a recovering Eric’s burns. Or she could just be taking her time mourning his loss. That’s why they call it a cliffhanger, kids.

Also, why was Eric even in a lounge chair in his birthday suit on a mountaintop in Sweden? He’s too smart not to have considered that the faerie blood might wear off at some point. Was this a terrible accident, or was it a planned suicide? Either way, Eric’s death would be a very unwelcomed change to the True Blood universe.

Ain’t No Party Like a Daywalking Party

The most enjoyable scenes from the finale happen right at its start. The daywalking vampires return to the Compton manor and celebrate their escape from vamp camp and ability to be outside without burning up. It’s one part vampire orgy, one part spring break vacay and all parts good old-fashioned True Blood fun. Jason and Violet square off against Jess and James in a jealousy-infused volleyball game set to the tune of The Breeders’ "Cannonball." Later, Sookie meets her brother’s new lover-slash-master and Violet enthusiastically plants a wet kiss on Sookie’s mouth. It’s ‘cause Violet’s European, Jason explains to his confused little sis.

The wet blanket, of course, is Bill. He’s sulking in his office, and when Jess asks why, he explains that his powers have disappeared. He can’t feel Lilith anymore and is back to being plain, ordinary Bill Compton. Jess isn’t sure why this is a bad thing until Bill explains that their freedom came with a price tag named Sookie Stackhouse. She’s about to be turned by Warlow, and those Billith powers probably would have helped stop that. Nevertheless, Jess prods Bill into action. They go to Jason, who gives them all the Warlow dirt he has. Despite being ticked off that Bill encouraged Sookie to agree to Warlow’s ultimatum, Jason wisely decides that the priority is saving Sookie. Looks like the party is over.

Danger Whore No More

After Terry’s funeral, Sookie returns to the faerie dimension to find that Warlow has built her a maypole so that they can perform a faerie wedding ceremony. When Sookie protests that she needs more time to decide about eternity now that her friends aren’t facing their imminent demise, Warlow turns into the evil vampire we first met back in Sookie’s bathroom.  As Warlow so sweetly puts it to his intended, “It turns out that I do just want to f--- you, and own you, and use you for your blood.”

Luckily, with Adilyn Bellefleur’s help, Bill makes it to Sookie just as Warlow begins to feed on her. Jason carries his sister home to safety, leaving Bill to finish off Warlow. Except he doesn’t, and Warlow escapes faerie land and shows up at Casa Stackhouse where he finds a weakened Sookie futilely trying to make her vampire-killing ball of light appear. Warlow is ready to finish what he started when Grandpa Niall shows up via black swirly portal and grabs Warlow as Jason runs in and stakes him through the heart. Unlike Eric, Warlow is absolutely, definitely dead; he turns in a puddle of gooey blood on the floor.

Six Months Later 

After Warlow’s death, we (abruptly) jump six months into the future. A lot has changed in Bon Temps, and almost none of it makes sense.

Sam Merlotte is mayor, despite having zero qualifications for the job. And seeing as mayoring takes up quite a bit of time, Arlene now runs Merlotte’s, which has been jarringly renamed Bellefleur’s Bar & Grill. Bill is on television being interviewed about his bestselling book about his time as a god. Sookie is watching the interview from her house, and although she gazes at the screen longingly, it’s a shirtless Alcide that she’s shacking up with. Also shacking up are Jason and Violet, although Violet still won’t let Jason have sex with her. He even built her a lux, girly basement lair! Super unfair.

Hep V has mutated and no longer destroys infected vamps. The virus now turns vampires into murderous zombies prone to nighttime killing sprees. United by this new common enemy, humans and uninfected vampires are pairing up in a mutually beneficial arrangement thought up by Bill and Mayor Merlotte — the vampires get to feed, and in exchange they defend the humans against the zombie fangers.

Not everyone is on board with this plan. Andy and Adilyn aren’t interested in help from vampires, not even when Jess shows up at their door and begs them to let her protect them, no feeding required. She just wants to assuage her guilt over killing Adilyn’s sisters. Justifiably still pissed off about that, Andy slams the door in Jessica’s face. But he doesn’t shoot her, and the camera lingers on Jess as she stands guard over the Bellefleur house despite Andy’s refusing her offer. 

Also without a vampire protector is Sookie, and Bill would like to change that. Alcide growls at Bill’s offer to assist Sookie, but doesn’t exactly deny that she might be better off with Bill around. It’s Sookie who firmly refuses Bill, noting that even at when he’s at his best, she can’t trust him. That’s when Bill and Alcide both smell something funny — it’s an oncoming swarm of infected zombie vampires. Will the uninfected vampires and humans be able to fight them off? We’ll have to wait until next season to find out.

Loose Ends

The finale mostly managed to bring all of the season’s different storylines together, setting up a Season 7 that will be focused on a battle between the infected zombie vamps and the humans and uninfected vampires.

But questions abound: What happened to Grandpa Niall after Sookie and Jason yanked him out of the portal? Why is Sookie playing house with Alcide when she’s totally into Bill again? Is Nicole going to give birth to a half-shifter, and why do I care? And zombies? Really? Technically, the writers didn’t introduce a new species but…c’mon. And then there is the most pressing question of all — is Eric dead? Where is Pam? Can I stand to watch a "True Blood" that doesn’t include these two?

Despite some serious reservations about where the show is headed, I’ll be tuning in to Season 7 to get some answers. Will you? Let us know in the replies.

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