Perhaps the saddest, most poignant sequence of "True Blood" Season 6 unfolds in the "Don’t You Feel Me" episode when Todd Lowe's character -- war-scarred veteran Terry Bellefleur -- is shot by a sniper. He bleeds out in the arms of his loving wife, Arlene (Carrie Preston), as she comforts him by singing a lullaby.
Since the critically acclaimed HBO drama launched in 2008, this is the first time an original, regular cast member has met the "true death," in "True Blood" speak.
Making Terry's demise even more tragic is the fact that the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder crippling his gentle soul finally lifted when he's "glamored" into forgetfulness by a vampire.
But along with forgetting the atrocities he experienced in Iraq -- and the supernatural horrors afflicting his home in bucolic Bon Temps, La., -- Terry no longer remembers that he recently decided to end his pain by ending his life.
Unable to commit suicide, he persuades Justin (Gideon Emery), a Marine Corps buddy and expert marksman, to carry out the awful deed at a time and place unknown to Terry.
The time turns out to be when the short order cook joyfully regains his love of life, family and friends. The place is Merlotte's Bar and Grill where he works with his waitress wife. The sniper bullet hits him as he performs a mundane chore -- taking out the trash.
"I had a great run on this show, but I understand why my character had to die," says Lowe. "We need to prove that life does matter and not everyone can turn into a supernatural character."
Lowe was referring to the practice on "True Blood" of violently killing cast members then bringing them back from the grave as undead vampires. That can't happen to Terry, of course, making his death much more powerful.
Lowe learned Terry's ironic fate when working on this season's initial episode.
"I got a call from my reps. I thought it was about an audition. I was bummed," he admits. Also depressed were his longtime cast mates, who broke into tears at a table reading.
"As we read the scene and it ended, I got this huge ovation from everyone at the table," Lowe recalls. "I'll never forget that moment. I had chills up and down my spine for days. I felt really loved."
A Houston native, the 36-year-old actor majored in fine arts at the University of Texas at Austin. His first big break occurred when he won an audition for "Walker Texas Ranger." That led to TV roles on "Gilmore Girls," "Without a Trace," "CSI: Miami" and "NCIS," along with movie parts in "The Princess Diaries" and "Redline."
Lowe also appeared in more than 20 theater productions and can be seen around town as a guitarist-vocalist with The LA Hootenanny, an eclectic country-rock band.
Saying good-bye to his "True Blood" family was painful, Lowe says. As was saying goodbye to Terry, a very human character in a wild and racy show dominated by vampires, werewolves, fairies, shape shifters, witches and various other supernatural beings.
"At the end of the day it's just a character you're playing," says Lowe. But his powerful "True Blood" finale proved cathartic, nonetheless.
"I went through a grieving process for my character, just like you would for the death of a friend," says Lowe, who's taking time off now and looking forward to his next project. "But I couldn't ask for a better exit," he says. "They wrote me out very well."
"Now I'm out. I'm smiling," he adds. "It's a nice day."
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