Season 4 of True Blood ended with two consecutive bangs. Let’s recap the season.
A while back I pointed out how True Blood tends to fill episodes with fluff and random junk just to end each one with a crazy twist of some kind. Season 4 was no different that area. The biggest difference came in the season-long plot.
Season 4 started out where the third season left off: Sookie is off in fairyland with her “Claud-centric” cousins. We finally got to see what was going on with fairies.
To start the season you would think they would go somewhere big with the fairies and have that plot go on throughout the whole season.
Well if you thought that, you would have been wrong.
Instead of using the fairies in any way, it seemed like the writers decided that last years decision to use fairies was dumb, so they opted to just use them as a quick plot device to pull a quick time skip.
Sookie figures out the fairies are using humans to make themselves pretty or something, so she decides to fight back and everyone finds out that fairies aren’t actually beautiful but are actually completely ass-ugly. They also live in a rocky desert instead of a pretty forest.
She finally escapes back to Earth just to find out that an entire year has gone by in the 12 minutes she was in fairyland.
A time skip?! No way!
This little plot device is a classic way for television series’ to do things with their characters that would have been too boring to do in a regular season, or a way to change basic characteristics of characters and explain it away with “a whole year has gone by!”
Of course things are different now in Bon Temps. Sookie’s brother Jason is a cop now. Tara moved away, became a lesbian, and became a cage fighter. Oh and Bill is now Vampire King of Louisiana.
I understand why shows often do this, they want the show to move on and switch gears. The direction of the show was going nowhere before so doing a time skip is the easiest way to push forward in a new direction. The audience rarely notices the blatant shift in show-direction and everyone is usually happy. In this case True Blood made the right call in skipping ahead.
By the end of season 2 I was feeling a bit bored with the show. I didn’t even watch season 3 until a while after it came out on DVD, and it was definitely going in a crazy direction. It seemed like the show was just getting more and more crazy and adding tons of new mythical creatures left and right. It just wasn’t enough to have just vampires.
Luckily the writers on season 4 seemed to have noticed how crazy the show was getting and decided to pull it back into reality a bit more.
Season 4 of True Blood ends up being a bit of a bumpy ride that finishes on a nice note.
A few episodes into this season the writers decide to pull in some elements from the original source material (The Southern Vampire Mysteries) then almost immediately after doing so decide they didn’t want to, thus having those plot points go nowhere at all and end abruptly.
I wont get into the spoilerish details, but they take two separate plots from one of the books and roll with them. The first one they keep and roll with for the whole season and it works quite well. The second one they take and make it twist in a really weird direction then suddenly stop it out of nowhere, never to be spoken of again. As a hint, the second plot has to do with Sookie’s brother, Jason. His character seems to be their designated “personality changes with whatever plot device we want to use” guy. He is different in every season in so many ways, and it rarely seems to fit into a single real personality.
It isn’t until the end of season 4 that they decide to start giving Jason a real personality (after almost FOUR seasons of having limited to no real personality).
Aside from Jason’s plotline, the story in season 4 starts getting better by episode 6. It doesn’t get really good until episode 10, and for the final three episodes after that it keeps solid form and ends quite nicely.
If season 4 were an actual rollercoaster it would go something like this:
You get locked into your seat waiting for the ride to start.
The ride starts and immediately flips everyone upside down for about 15 seconds. Everyone gets confused and doesn’t like it.
It soon flips everyone back over and slowly pulls the rollercoaster to the initial peak.
The rollercoaster then drops and coasts nicely for a while, doing a few loops and generally making the people in the ride feel like they are getting their moneys-worth.
Suddenly it abruptly stops, giving everyone whiplash. Some children who were barely tall enough to get on the ride start crying and someone in front of you throws up.
At this point the people in charge of the rollercoaster come on a speaker and apologize for messing up, then start up the coaster again going a completely different direction than the rollercoaster was originally going.
The new path starts nicely at first, has a few rickety moments where you feel like the thing is about to fall off the edge, plummeting you to your death. But luckily it hangs in there and you end up coming out feeling like the second half of the rollercoaster was actually pretty good.
In a nutshell that is season 4 of True Blood. It starts kind of awkwardly with the time skip, and is filled with a whole lot of confusing things that don’t lead to anything, then rounds out nicely.