Instead of covering multiple shows this week, here’s an in depth look at two of the summer’s most anticipated finale’s; True Blood and Eureka. SPOILERS ahoy! Editor’s note: Srsly. You have been warned. Spoilers. We’re bout it.
TRUE BLOOD – What happened here? Where has this show gone? Season 1 was fantastic, a groundbreaking drama that changed the well defined barriers of genre TV as we knew it. Season 2 continued with a fun, sexy, darkly twisted, albeit sometimes overplayed storyline deeper down the rabbit hole of True Bloods world of vampires, humans, and a mosaic of mythical creatures. We were shown that the Vamps are just a scratch on the surface of this world of shape shifters, maenad’s and fairies. Then came Season 3, and the introduction of werewolves that had me (and others I’m sure) fearful of a detour from the darkness of the first seasons into a tweeny pop-centric love fest ala Twilight. And here we are.
The season finale was the culmination of a wasted season wrought with soap style drama and a cluttered cast that seemed to grow rather than dissipate. The finale picked up exactly where the last episode left off, Eric and Russell handcuffed to each other in daylight, the sun rapidly burning away their flesh. Eric catches a glimpse of Godric floating above, pleading for him to seek peace and forgiveness. He ignores the pleas, and prepares for his true death. From this gruesome rage filled scene we are taken to Sookie running whimsically through the woods, a glowing chandelier (which looked oddly like ET’s spaceship) floating down over her head. Of course she awakes, and proceeds to go against Bill’s wishes to save Eric. Russell begs for her to save him as well, but she shocks him with her fairy Jedi powers sending him head over heels. Did anybody else think that Russell’s maniacal laugh while he was shocked by Sookie’s powers was exactly like the Luke vs. Palpatine scenes in Return of the Jedi? No? Just me trying to bring Star Wars into everything? Sorry.
Anyways, Eric finally listens to phantom Godric and sends Sookie out to save Russell, who at this point looks like the bottom of my grill after a long summer. This is the core storyline of the season, and it could have been a strong one. Instead, the show-runners lost their editing eye, and must have taken all the side stories from the Sookie Stackhouse novels and packed them into this season. The episode moves on…Sam battles with his brother, taking his mid-life rage crisis to the point of shooting him. Over terrorized Tara decides to make some positive changes in her life, shedding her demons through the obvious metaphor of cutting her hair short. Jason dupes Andy and the DEA, saving a compound of inbred, malnourished meth cookers. Where the hell did this story come from and why? Jessica and Hoyt get an apartment together, while Hoyt’s mom plans to kill Jessica. Lafayette starts hallucinating and his boyfriend cops to being a witch. Arlene continues to fear that her unborn child possesses the evil soul of her ex. Blah, blah, blah, fucking blah. Most of these are great characters, but this is just too much for an hourly serial.
So much clutter, so damn pointless. Back to the main story…Sookie had a twisted little moment when she flushed Talbot’s remains down the garbage disposal. Pretty funny, and it really got to Russell. But have no fear; Russell’s stuck for the next hundred years or so. In an awesomely horrific scene, Eric and Bill buried him alive in cement, his unhealed body wrapped in silver chains. Bill also tried to trap Eric in the same manner (but without the chains), and failed miserably. How do you seek revenge on an “infatuated tween” like Bill? Eric told Sookie the truth about Bill being hired to procure her for the Queen. Sookie later complains that her blood is “vampire crack,” which had me laughing out loud. This of course leads Sookie to rescind both men’s invitations into her home, disavowing any connection she had with them or any other vampire. I bet cash money that a Sookie and werewolf Alcide relationship takes shape early next season.
So where are we left? Bill lures the Queen to his house and they prepare to fight to the death. Sookie meanwhile is lured away herself by the other fairies. Poof! Gone. And then…Credits roll. The season ends with a whimper. An ending of predictable cliffhangers that have us pleading for some of these characters to just get it over with and take the damn plunge off of that cliff. Alan Ball is a great show-runner. His Six Feet Under succeeded season after season because it didn’t stray far from it five main characters. With True Blood Ball has strayed so far off the path that fans like myself wonder; can the show be saved? I only hope I’m not alone in these feelings, and word-of-mouth will clue the writers in on what not to do next season.
EUREKA – How about a little science? Wormholes! A shortcut through spacetime, and longtime Macguffin (or filmic shortcut) through science fiction. The Einstein-Rosen Bridge is an explanation of the components of said wormholes, a complex breakdown highlighting other parallel universes, time altering singularities and what would happen if the trajectory of these shortcuts were displaced. All theoretical and HIGHLY scientific stuff of which I have the most rudimentary knowledge. Here’s some more science. In order to displace a volume of water you must submerge an object of equal volume. Archimedes discovery of this scientific fact led him to shout out “EUREKA,” a newly coined term that would become synonymous with exclamatory revelations. But what if something, say a person was sent into a wormhole, like jumping into a pool of water? Would they’re volume offset something else in spacetime (say another person), displacing volume for volume?
I know, I know, where am I going with all this scientific nonsense? Well, fittingly enough, I’m headed to the season 4 finale of Eureka, an end to a season masterfully crafted within the brainy tangles of spacetime manipulation. Lots of movies and shows have done an arc on wormholes and black holes. Sliders was a Sci-Fi show whose entire story existed on the wormhole concept. The hit show Fringe is built from the structure of an existence threatened by the intrusion of competing wormholes. And this season, Syfy’s Eureka tackled the spacetime concept full throttle with pitch perfect fun and impressively sound scientific backing. Friday’s midseason finale opened with Dr. Grant (James Callis) sitting in an all-familiar diner. Were not sure if this opening is set in modern day 2010 or if were back in 1947. Were supposed to be unsure, a subtle hint that time is not all that dissimilar.
Turns out we were in a flashback to 1947, as Jackie Robinson’s first game plays over the radio. Flash-forward to 2010, Carter wakes up with Allison for a little post-coital pillow talk. Yes, they finally did the deed after 4 seasons of waiting. The two go their separate ways, following leads on the disappearance of the DED device, which at this point we know has been stolen by returning character Beverly Barlowe. Beverly’s work for the mysterious Consortium drives her divisive plot to send Grant back to change the annals of history, motivating him with the ego-boosting line; “Einstein was a visionary, you’ll be a God.” Using components of the DED device, Grant activates a newly constructed Einstein Bridge, a steampunk looking mechanical device so named for the theory explained above. Triggering the machine leads to a massive explosion that sends Allison’s car somersaulting into Carter’s Jeep. Allison is dead!
Never before have I seen Carter (Colin Ferguson) struck with such enraged grief. He attacks Grant with violent fury just as the machine is finishing its cycle. Carter’s fist swings for Grant’s face and PHUMP! The two men find themselves back in 1947, witnessing their first encounter with each other. They’re now faced with the stark realization that they have intruded back without displacing their previous existence in this time. At the beginning of the season, when Carter and everyone propelled into the alternate 2010 universe, they’re intrusion pushed that universes versions of them out, displacing volume for volume. But now, the displacement didn’t occur, so Carter and Grant must cautiously avoid themselves, and change the events of 1947 to save Allison in 2010. A complex and extraordinarily well-conceived bit of action follows this revelation. Carter, remembering a recording he had heard of Grant from 1947, acts quickly to change the recording so that the future version of him would be warned to save her. It all sounds heavy handed, and complex, and it is. The finale was pulled off so masterfully however, that everything made sense and tied seamlessly together.
In the end, their actions saved Alison and everything was settled back in 2010. Fargo provided Grant some new credentials, so the character is obviously leaving the show, but I wont be the least bit surprised to see his occasional return to Eureka. The episode ends with Beverly further conspiring to take down Eureka. The most striking part of the episodes end is that Carter, Allison, Henry, Jo, and Fargo are all still stuck in the alternate universe. They don’t seem too concerned, all settling into the differences of this world nicely. Does this mean the alternate universe is the new Eureka? Will they ever travel back to the Eureka we’ve known the past 3 seasons? Are the alternate versions of the characters now living in the Eureka from which they came? We may never know, but one thing is for certain…Eureka is a great show here to stay in our realities for a while longer.
Come back next week for more TVEye coverage!