On Sunday's season finale of True Blood, at least three, possibly four former cast members, previously thought to be dead, or as dead as one can be on this show, returned for an extra-spooky, Halloween-set season finale. Great, you think, just what this show needs, more characters. But wait! This episode also has a steep body count, my friends. At least four series regulars appeared to die during this hour. It's really hoary cliff-hanger stuff that will continue to enrage you for the next 10 months or so until True Blood's fifth season is finally upon us. Who died? Who was resurrected? Let's do this: I'll tell you what happened during this jam-packed hour, and then I'll make some wildly speculative predictions about Season 5. Then you let me know if you agree in the comments section below. Deal?
What Happened: After possessing Lafayette, she forced Jesus to relinquish his brujo powers, and then she killed him. Next she strung up Eric and Bill to be burned at the stake, but a last-minute witchly intervention by Holly called on Bon Temps' departed loved ones for help. I thought it was a little strange that Lois Smith, who plays Sookie's late grandmother, was guest-starring in this episode. But there she was, one half of a ghostly tag team with Antonia, and she convinced Marnie that the peace of the afterlife would be preferable to whatever resentment she held in the living world. And as simply as that, she was gone. Interestingly, the resolution of the season-long villain story was perhaps the least interesting development of the evening. Read on to see what I mean.
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: Hopefully, ding-dong, this witch is dead. As much as I enjoyed Fiona Shaw's presence this season, this story tried my patience. Besides, there are at least two new-old villains back in town!
What Happened: She's sick of Sookie and her "fairy vagina." (It's what she said, people!)
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: Hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned by her maker because of his unusual affection for a — yuck! -- human. I would like nothing better than for Pam's edgy, contrarian ways to deepen and darken into something truly wicked. (Bonus: You know Kristin Bauer's "evil" wardrobe will be killer.)
BILL and ERIC
What Happened: Bill liked Eric better when he was "brain damaged." Oh, you two! In a strange, real-world version of that cheesed-out threesome dream sequence a few weeks back, Eric and Bill convalesce by feeding off Sookie's delicate wrists simultaneously, while wearing matching robes [face palm]. Borrowing a page from the Beverly Hills, 90210 playbook, when Sookie is faced with selecting a be-fanged suitor, she wisely chooses herself. In vampire news, Nan Flanagan shows up to report that she has quit the AVL and the mysterious Authority (quit, was fired, potato, po-tah-to) and attempts to recruit Eric and Bill in an effort to harness Sookie's powers to fight the powers that be. Sookie's boys will of course have no part in any plan that jeopardizes the comely waitress, so they immediately kill her "gay stormtroopers" and stake her. Not my Nan! As much as I complain about the glut of characters and story lines, this is one that I think deserved to survive.
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: With middleman Nan out of the way, Bill and Eric will realize that she might have been a helpful buffer when they have to start fighting the Authority without her help — and her sassy comebacks, of course.
LAFAYETTE and JESUS
What Happened: Nelsan Ellis got to do his best Fiona Shaw-as-Marnie impression, which wasn't so hot, to be frank. At the end of the hour, Laf was wracked with guilt about his role in Jesus' death. But a spectral Jesus returned to tell Lafayette that his death was temporary.
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: Well, Laf could potentially be doing a lot of mourning next season (see below), but I think that if Jesus does return, it will be only sporadically, in a kind of guardian angel capacity. Wouldn't it be a hoot if Lafayette took over Marnie's Ye Olde Shoppe of Scented Candles and Reanimation though? If he refines his natural abilities, he could be like the Q to Bill and Eric's James Bond in their fight against the Authority.
ARLENE and TERRY
What Happened: They dressed up as zombies for Halloween, which is literally the only way one can distinguish Halloween from any other week in Bon Temps. Terry's old Army buddy Sgt. Patrick Devens (Scott Foley) showed up, and while it's all misty-colored dogtag memories for now, something tells me that Sgt. Devens is not a force for good. Actually, someone told Arlene that: Rene. Um yeah, Arlene's homicidal ex was (accidentally?) resurrected by Holly, and he paid his former g.f. a visit to tell her that Terry's friend should not be trusted. And if you can't trust your undead homicidal ex who faked an awesome Cajun accent, who can you trust?
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: When we first met Terry, he was practically incapacitated by PTSD. Something tells me that the return of his ol' buddy from the trenches is not going to be good for Terry's mental state. I'm seeing a lot of hysterical (and hysterical) scenes with Arlene.
JASON and JESSICA
What Happened: Jason tells Hoyt about his, er, little transgression with Jessica, and perhaps justifiably, Hoyt decks him. Later on, a super-sexy Jess shows up on Jason's doorstep wearing a Little Red Riding Whore costume, and they re-consummate their relationship. She blows his house down, I tell you! But there's a catch: Jess doesn't want another boyfriend, just a bad-Ashton-Kutcher-Natalie-Portman-movie kind of situation. But she doesn't want to be intimate (e.g., drink his blood) just yet. "It's like hookers with kissing," Jason observes. Right after she makes a hasty exit, there's a knock at the door, and -- holy smokes! — it's Rev. Steve Newlin! And guess what, kids? Dude's a vampire! Do not invite him in, Jason!
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: Well, with all that very specific, postcoital sex talk, I was going to say that I foresee a lot more scrumping in Jason's future. But now, well, all bets are off. I have to admit: I was a big fan of the Fellowship of the Sun story line — and of Anna Camp's Mrs. Newlin — so this narrative wrinkle is definitely a welcome one. I actually think he might make an interesting addition to True Blood's vampire family, and I see him finding a place in their ranks. Perhaps he'll make an ally out of the disgruntled Pam? Or of someone else? (See below.)
What Happened: Sam has the most boring funeral ever for Tommy. He and Luna make kissy-face, and just after Luna tells him she feels a sense of foreboding, a werewolf appears, ready to attack Sam.
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: Sam will be fine and will live to bore us another day. Let's just hope that Janina Gavankar's Luna sticks around too. She purdy.
What Happened: An apparently clean Andy tries to make amends with Holly — and hopefully score a date — but her life is a little too complicated at the moment for a boyfriend. But they leave things on very good terms, sealed with a hug.
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: I hope that Andy and Holly hook up; they're super-cute together. But don't forget the promise Andy made to the saucy fairy last week. Once those filthy wretches flit their wings over to Bon Temps, Andy is going to have a lot of 'splainin to do.
What Happened: He dumps Debbie and tells Sookie, basically, that he's in love with her and wants to help her simplify her life. Finally! But, I mean, what else did he do all season? Fortunately for Joe Manganiello, in the final moments of the hour, he gets something really important to do. He discovers a hole that has been dug in the cement floor of a parking garage, where he finds broken chains, much like the ones that sentenced Russell Edgington to a concrete-y semi-death at the end of last season.
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: Russell will return to de-spine a few more humans, except this time he'll have company, an army of "evil" vampires, led by Pam and Rev. Steve Newlin. Hell, they might even hitch their wagon to the Authority's star. Vampires vs. vampires — that's what I see coming.
What Happened: This season was not kind to Rutina Wesley, as Tara played follow the leader with a pretty bad role model. The finale is no kinder to Tara, as she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just as Debbie storms Sookie's kitchen with a shotgun, intent on eliminating Sookie's potent threat to her relationship with Alcide, Tara pushes Sookie out of the way and takes the bullet, right to the temple. (An added wrinkle: Sookie shoots and kills Debbie in retaliation, making her a murderer.)
Wildly Speculative Season 5 Prediction: Things look pretty bad, but Tara isn't really dead. Eric and Bill will sense Sookie's anguish and rush to her side and make a barely breathing Tara drink their blood. Once she's back to 100 percent -- and Sook receives a speedy self-defense acquittal -- I predict that they'll join forces with Eric and Bill to combat the bad vampires.
What did you think of "And When I Die" — and, for that matter, all of Season 4? Was it compelling enough to keep you tuning in next season, or was the Season of the Witch your Bon Temps swan song? Let it all be said in the comments section below.