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Why Everyone Needs to Die in the True Blood Finale

This is the final season of True Blood, which is kind of a relief given how nutso the show has gotten, and after last night’s episode, I have but one wish for the series finale: I want everyone to die. This has been a vaguely percolating wish for some time, but now that it’s clear there's only one real change that ever happens on True Blood — death — it's time to let it fly. [Spoilers from here on out.]

Last night we bid farewell to Alcide, who went out the way we'd all like to remember him: naked. TB had such a good thing going with the Bill/Sookie/Eric love triangle that Alcide always sort of felt like an also-ran, but hunky's hunky, and lo, Alcide was hunky. He was also just the most recent in a very long line of characters to die on the series, joining, in no particular order: Grandma, Tara, Eggs, Russell, Terry, Jesus, Warlow, Godrick, Sophie-Anne, Salome, Steve Newlin, Drew (a.k.a. René), Luna, Amy, Tommy, Nan Flannigan, Franklin, Debbie, Marcus, Marnie, Cooter, Patrick Devins, and three out of four of the Bellefleur faerie quadruplets. And those are just the people that really recurred — the whole show is a carnage bonanza of bloodbaths and death gurgles, with the woods of Bon Temps seeming as fertile a murder ground as ever. So much dying!

But my wish for everyone else to die too isn’t about piling on. I want them to die for a sense of completeness, because no one on this show ever seems to learn anything. No one will end the series any wiser than when he or she began, which means there are no real character arcs, no journeys, no big changes that have any lasting significance. Take, for example, beloved fan-favorite Arlene. She has been through some shit! Her fiancé in season one turned out to be a serial killer who murdered many of her friends. He died. Then she married the lovable but troubled Terry. He also died. And yet nothing has changed for her; she's in a damn dungeon right now, and she's still her perky, quirky self. There is no metamorphosis on True Blood.

Which means there's nothing else to tell in the Arlene story. Or the Sookie story, honestly. Or Bill’s, or Pam’s, or Eric’s, or Lafayette’s, or anyone’s. We've seen everyone fall in love — and nothing changed. We've seen everyone grieve one of their true loves — and that grief typically lasted 15 or 20 seconds before they moved on to some kind of tragio-healing orgy, where everyone simply bones their troubles away. Just about everyone on this show has been the victim of sexual assault, something the show rarely acknowledges; but if there are any lasting effects from these incidents, we never see them. Everything always seems to go back to its weird True Blood stasis. Remember when Sookie learned she was a faerie and it changed everything? Oh, wait. It didn't change anything. Bill and Sookie have sworn off each other, what, 900 times now? And yet here they are, sitting around flirt-bickering about whatever. There was a time when an Eric-and-Pam banter scene was all any of us dreamed of. But now it's just the same old song over and over: They're in trouble; they need each other; don't make me; well, okay, fine, just this one last time. Quick, someone make a crude sex joke.

I suppose, though, that life inevitably becomes repetitive once you're an immortal vampire. I, however, am not immortal, and have instead invested seven damn years of my life in this show. I have not come to peace with its cyclical nature, nor will I eventually bliss out when I come to fully understand the helpless vanity of all human endeavors. I want a big ending, a gigantic blowout where all the craziness gets boosted into an even-more-lunatic realm. When True Blood ends, I want it to end end — like, the-Sun-eats-the-Earth end. And at this point, the only way for something cosmic to shift is for everyone to meet his or her true death.

Photo: HBO