Ferocious finish for True Blood season 4

I’m a little late in the game here, but with all the downloading, television recording and seasons of TV shows on disc, everyone is getting to the finish line at different times.

In my case, I just wrapped up season 4 of True Blood, the HBO show about vampires, werewolves and the like.

HBO’s spin on the vampire saga has been refreshingly original from the get-go and a lot less teen-bop than Twilight.

From the first episode of the first season, I appreciated the modern day twist on what often feels like a tried genre.

The show takes place in the Bon Tempe, Louisiana, which is ripe for characters and weird shit. It’s the classic South, except “true blood” is available as a bottled beverage for blood-hungry vampires who don’t wish to suck humans dry.

Best way to make the make-believe believable? Make present day parallels between politics and coexistence.

So the concept works. Solid writing and generally convincing action, violence and sex contribute here too.

But I got a little lost in season four. The creators have been bringing in new species to the world each season, from shape shifters to werewolves and now witches.

The witches of this latest season have been my least favorite.

The supervillainess was a “nekromancer” (see: witch) named Marty, whose level of obnoxiousness grew faster than her level of destruction.

We’re made to believe that Jason, the brother of the sweet, sassy and sexy protagonist Suki, gets turned into a werepanther (think werewolf, but catlike). Except he never turns, so that’s confusing.

Tara, Suki’s best friend, turns out to be gay. She moves back from seclusion in New Orleans to rejoin the supernatural hijinx.

Suki courts two powerful vampires, Bill and Eric, let’s them suck her blood, then leaves them both.

And on and on.

Long story short, when we get to the finale, I’m pretty bored. Things were all the over the place this season, and the storyline seemed stretched. I figured there would be a twist at the end, since that was what kept me coming back after each episode.

And what started out as predictable — all the love triangles settle, lost loved ones are mourned, and the pieces are being put back together.

But in true True Blood fashion, I’m pulled right back in with the events of the last 20 minutes — warnings about the lovable Terry from a dead pyscho ex, Jason gets a vista from an old friend, looks like someone has dug up the infamous Russell Edgington…

Then WHAM — crazy pyscho ex-werewolf girlfriend Debbie pulls a shotgun on Suki and ends up mauling half of Tara. Suki gets Debbie right back with a vicious shotgun blow to the neck, screams, and end scene.

Phew. Clearly a direct setup for the next season more than a wrap-up of the current one.

And I liked it. I continue to tune in to shows that take risks and keep you guessing even as things appear to get dull. The last few twists and turns in this finale came out of nowhere, and while it seemed a little forced, at least the makers aren’t holding back.

To that, I say thanks. I’ll see you next season!

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