Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen the Season 6 finale of HBO's "True Blood," titled "Radioactive."
This season's "True Blood" finale, with zombie vampires descending upon Bon Temps, was all about bargaining, how far you might have to go to be forgiven, and when it's not enough.
It was also about Eric, the Viking stud, just burning up. Just like that. He's gone. Let's take this slowly.
We open up with Sookie, looking longingly, or worriedly, at Terry's grave. Then, Alcide shows up, and they flirt. He tells her that she's a survivor and then, they run into the vampire love-fest returning to Bill's house from the prison camps. Sookie checks in with Jason, sees Tara, and even Pam is happy to see her. She's rethinking this vampire thing as she heads back to Warlow. He's prepared the wackiest maypole where they are going to entwine and be connected forever and ever, as she promised in return for his blood to save her friends. But fickle Sookie doesn't see why they can't just take it slow, and date a bit, and walk in the sun together before settling down. What's the rush?
Apparently, there is one: Warlow has waited 5,500 years for her. He's pissed, and violent, and he starts to turn her. Luckily, Bill snaps out of his brooding while the vamps celebrate their new, sunny selves. Jess convinces him that although he's messed with Sookie for so long, he owes it to her to help her get out of being a vampire. They grab Jason, the best puppy brother ever, and they're off to save her.
But they need Adeline, Andy's daughter, to use her fairy powers to get onto the fairy plane where Sookie is being drained, like as we speak. They make it -- barely, after a lot of back and forth with Andy, a battle montage, and Violet screaming in Adeline's face -- and grab Sookie and flash back to Sookie's house. Bill and Warlow are fighting in fairy plane land and then they poof through the portal back onto our plane. Warlow locks up Andy, Adeline, and Jason in the vampire basement room and Bill can't come in because Sookie revoked his invite. Come on, Bill!
But then, just as Warlow has Sookie in yet another wrestling hold, Adeline helps Jason out and Niall somehow manages to come through the portal in Sookie's bathroom, where Warlow is about to have her. Jason's escaped and stakes Warlow. He's gone! It's over!
But this is the weird part. All the vamps we see -- Bill, Jess, Violet -- have this little fairy glow transformation moment. They lose their ability to live in daylight, but they don't burn because it's nighttime in Bon Temps -- not so for Eric, who's escaped to snowy Sweden with a good book. Since Warlow's gone, the blood that saved them from the sun is gone too. I wish we could have warned him. And where's Pam, who ran off to find him?
Then, we flash forward six months. Sam is the mayor now, Arlene owns Merlottes, Alcide's hair is short and he and Sookie are in love and everyone's happy. Or happy-ish. Bill's on MSNBC promoting his book, which basically covers this whole past season. It's a "350-page irrevocable confession," but he's not in trouble for beheading Burrell because the government infected vamps with Hep V, which is running rampant throughout the community. Bill's trying to tell the truth in hopes of coming together with humans. It's mainstreaming, but for a cause this time.
Bill teams up with Sam to organize a BBQ and Hep V tests for Bon Temps. They invite everyone to come eat grilled gator and do a meet-and-greet with healthy vamps. The idea is that healthy vamps need to feed, and humans need protection from Hep V vamps. They want everyone to have a monogamous, feeding relationship with a vamp, which means that now, everyone's trying to make amends with the humans and vamps they hurt in the past. But don't they know monogamy doesn't work?
The most moving of these partnerships is between Tara and her mom, who's finally apologizing. This has always been a powerful storyline and I wasn't expecting vamp Tara to give in, but she does. Things must be really bad. They're bad for Jess, too, who's still mourning what she did to Andy's daughters. She leaves the BBQ to offer herself to the both of them, but Andy won't have it. He doesn't shoot her, but he doesn't invite her in. Some things can't be mended.
Back at the BBQ, Bill catches Sookie and Alcide leaving. He offers his protection, Alcide growls, and Sookie decides to go off with bright eyes. And then, a horde of Hep V zombie vamps starts in. That's right, this is what it's come to -- zombie vampires, and no Viking. On the bright side, Alcide's now center stage, and Bill's remembering that, without his Lilith blood, his world really does revolve around Sookie. The love triangle is back in shape.
There are a few loose ends, besides the zombie vamps. The first is that Pam is missing, so I hope we get to go back and find out that she randomly saved Eric at the last minute. (I know this isn't true, but I'm in denial!) The second is this Violet character. She's made Jason her personal love slave, but I'm not really sure why or what the point is. Just to have another strong willed, sexual vampire to take the place of Eric? Or is she evil?
All in all, a very solid conclusion to this season. Sure, zombie vampires are a little silly, but no sillier than Jason begging for some action or Sam's exaggerated southern accent now that he's mayor. See you next summer!
Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse
Carrie Preston as Arlene Fowler and Todd Lowe as Terry Bellefleur
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte
Michael McMillian as Steve Newlin
Rutger Hauer as Niall Brigant
Kelly Overton as Rikki Naylor
Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby
Lauren Bowles as Holly Cleary and Chris Bauer as Andy Bellefleur
Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux
Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton
Arliss Howard as Governor Truman Burrell
Amelia Rose Blaire as Willa Burrell
Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam Swynford de Beaufort
Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Nicole Wright
Rob Kazinsky as Ben Flynn
Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse and Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds
Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton
Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton, Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse and Lucy Griffiths as Nora Gainsborough
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman and Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam Swynford de Beaufort
Follow Karen Fratti on Twitter: www.twitter.com/karenfratti