'True Blood': What's Good, What's Weird, What's Next

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HBO

Three things came out of the True Blood finale that probably pleased most fans greatly:

1) Eric survived (HBO is a benevolent puppet-master);

2) Alcide returned; and

3) Sookie kicked Bill out. I don't think she's going to take him back this time, either (though I think I've been wrong on this point before)—this is the first time he has been discovered to have consciously betrayed her. It's unclear how Eric knows this (did the queen tell him?), but the night Bill and Sookie met, Bill was trying to get access to Sookie at the behest of his queen. He allowed Sookie to get attacked and almost beaten to death so that he could give her his blood, and thus chemically manipulate her into falling in love with him. That scores pretty high on the list of dirty tricks a guy can use to get a first date.

Finale head-scratchers:

1) Why would burying Russell in cement seem like a good idea for even a minute? What a cruel trick to play on the people who eventually accidentally release him. Worse, it's such an unreliable storage method—how will they be alerted when he escapes? This is just begging for trouble.

2) Godric's visit from the peaceful afterlife (or possibly just from Eric's mind). He keeps telling Eric that after death all beings find peace ... but then right after that he says Eric's hatred of Russell is making him (Godric) bleed. Make up your mind!

3) Sookie's evil cackle as she rinses Talbot's remains down the garbage disposal. I didn't know she had that in her ... and I now wonder if we'll ever hear the details of Russell's plan to use Sookie's blood to resurrect Talbot. Is vampire resurrection another thing they all have to worry about?

Things to look forward to in Season Four:

1) Fairyland! What does it look like? Is it more fairy-like, or more alien-looking? Is Claudine as sweet as she seems, or do fairies have ulterior purposes for caring for Sookie, just as Bill did? These fairies seem frankly stoned all the time—will we get more insight into this, and into their predilection for hanging out in cemeteries? It's time to see them teach Sookie how to use her powers, and tell her what actually did kill her parents. These two ingredients would set her up perfectly for some more adventures.

2) Lafayette's introduction to the world of witchcraft! I'm still a little suspicious of Jesus, and will be until we find out exactly why Lafayette was having trippy visions of Jesus a la monster head, but it looks like he's going to bring some very interesting additions to the next season. Will there be any association or conflict with Holly the Wiccan?

3) More of Lafayette's trippy visions seem to confirm Arlene's nightmares that her pregnancy is a terrifying demonic-spawn-of-a-serial-killer situation. It is difficult to imagine how this will be resolved since the herbal-tea abortion attempt failed. It is also difficult to see how this will be blown up into an immediate conflict, since the baby of a human serial killer is still just human—why is it getting all supernatural? Are they going to need an exorcism?

4) We need the completion of the Sam-Tommy scene to show us that Sam did NOT just kill his brother. At worst, he probably winged him in the leg to get him to stop running ... Or shot the bag of money out of his hand ... Or something relatively benign, basically. 5) The shot of Summer's doll lying on the floor of Hoyt's new house gave me the creeps even more than Sookie's crazy laughter (though I've had a fear of dolls-in-the-night for quite some time, so HBO can't take all the credit for this one). When Mrs. Fortenberry and Summer get their latest attack plan (dolls with assault rifles?) over with, maybe they'll finally give up.

6) It takes a village of inbred hicks to make Jason the brains of an operation—it will be interesting to see how he manages it. It can't possibly be more of a disaster in the making than Bill's decision to destroy every vampire that has ever tasted Sookie's blood. Looks like fun times are ahead in Bon Temps!

But not for about a year.

If you feel yourself slipping into vampire withdrawal while we wait for the next season, here are some recommendations:

Books:

Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. This is one of my very favorite authors—her originality and brilliantly-depicted characters never fail.

Bloodsucking Fiends, by Christopher Moore. This is the first book in a creative and hilarious series—I cheat and listen to the audiobook versions of these while pretending I'm going to go to the gym really very soon indeed.

Movies:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Probably any True Blood fan has already seen this. I loved the classic movie, but I just couldn't get into the TV show.

Blade

Underworld

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Clarissa Matthews contributes to TheAtlantic.com, mostly in the form of product management. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Columbia University's Publishing Institute and lives in Washington, D.C.

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