Last night saw the season finale of True Blood, which wrapped up all of the summer's mysteries and story arcs in a nice, pretty bow while setting up a couple of intriguing twists for next season along with a cliffhanger to keep us guessing until at least next summer. All in all, it was a satisfying (if peculiarly paced) conclusion to a wild ride. I'm not sure how a third season will be able to top the entire town of Bon Temps being mind-controlled by a malicious maenad going on a wild orgiastic rampage ending in a human sacrifice, but we can't wait to find out. To tide us over until next summer, we're reflecting upon the five best and worst developments of the second season. Spoiler alert for those who haven't watched the finale yet.
Best: Hoyt & Jessica
This adorable little couple was one of the most surprising things to happen this season, since the character of Jessica isn't featured in the books at all. She started off as a whiny teenager turned into a petulant vampire, but she developed into an intriguing character saddled with being a virgin forever no matter how frequently she has sex, while mama's boy Hoyt Fortenberry learned the truth about his life and finally stood up for himself. The couple may be on the rocks, but watching Jessica be bad is deliciously good.
Worst: Sam and Daphne
It's not that I dislike Sam per se -- he does own my second favorite bar on this show after all -- but his choice in female companions leaves a lot to be desired. Especially the once-waitress, sometimes shape-shifting, now deceased Daphne who manipulated him right into the throes of evil. And when he wasn't having sex on a pool table with her, he was just sadly mooning after Sookie in the most blatantly obvious and boring way possible. I'm glad that the finale set him up with a quest to find his true parents since that will at least give him something productive to do.
It might have been the Lycra outfit he wore while shopping, or the affinity for hair dye that truly had me enthralled with this bad-boy Viking vampire this season, but he made me swoon with his sexy invasion of Sookie's dreams, his twisted way of binding her to him and his saving of Lafayette. Lafayette wasn't at his most fierce this season (due to the trauma of being kept chained up in Eric's basement and tortured for a while) but I'm glad Eric saw fit to spare him -- and then torture him a bit more with crazed hallucinations.
She had me teary with her touching farewell to Godric, survived being nearly raped by a Bible-thumping mad man, didn't melt down when she saw that her grandma's house had been turned into orgy central and generally made me love her, despite her ability to draw trouble to her a mile away. Her perfectly handled reaction to Bill's proposal was endearing, as was her subsequent scene fiddling with her ring. It gives me confidence that she'll be able to handle Bill's abduction with ease.
Worst: Steve Newlin
I adore the nutty Sarah Newlin and her devotion to God, but completely understand why she'd cheat on her husband (in church, nonetheless) with the attractive sinner Jason Stackhouse. Steve's a whiny villainous creature who took up far too much time this season with his vampire-hatred filled ways, which wouldn't have been so terrible if it had amounted to more in the end. If the Fellowship of the Sun does continue, it would be fabulous if Sarah was at the helm.
Best: Jason/Andy Bromance
I got more than a little bored with Jason's time at Fellowship of the Sun camp, where he tried to recapture his golden-child ways, so it wasn't until he returned to Bon Temps and took control of the crazed cult situation with outcast detective Andy Bellefleur that I could really cheer for him. Together they make a hysterical team: talking about studying porn, creating a decoy Dionysus and killing off one the most annoying characters! Way to go, boys!
Maybe it was the unfortunate name, but every time Tara called him or spoke about him, I just couldn't help but cringe. While it did irk me that again the show decided to kill off a serial killer instead of seeing fit to punish them another way, I'm glad that Team Andy/Jason killed him. And it would have been hard to prosecute someone who's defense was "I only removed hearts and ate them because a crazy maenad made me." If his death means a vengeful or mopey Tara for the entire season to come, please let it be vengeful!
Worst: Queen Sophie-Anne
I wanted to love this glamorous character, but I ended up disliking her even more than Bill's irksome maker Lorena. It was pretty close, as both women drive me batty, but Evan Rachel Wood's unconvincing acting pushed me over the top for Sophie-Anne. Her home may be awesome, but she's not. I did kind of like the twist that she's the one who wants the V sold through Lafayette though, but I'm still not sold on her and her Yahtzee playing ways.
I went back and forth with this character all season long. First I loved her, then hated her, then loved her again, then got tired of her and then kind of loved her again by the finale and her final moments were truly fitting. Still, I'm utterly relieved that she's been turned into a pile of bones, because I don't know if I could really handle more of her delirium again next season.
I know there's more (there's a special place in my heart for Arlene's dirty little ragamuffins) but there wasn't space to list them all, so add your favorites, and least favorites below. See you next season!
For more from Television Without Pity: