Taking Out the Trash: True Blood and The Newsroom Wrap Up

The time has come for both Sunday night HBO series to come to a season’s close — and both left more unanswered questions than our beleaguered correspondent would have liked.

The time has come for both of these HBO shows to come to a season’s close — and both left more unanswered questions than I would have liked.

True Blood tied up some loose ends in the Sanguinista plotline, but left the series on a cliffhanger that lets you know they’re nowhere near done with it.

Eric stakes Russell at the opening of the episode, finally putting an end to his reign of blood, while a freshly-bitten Jason is propelled into an anti-vampire fervour by his ghost parents egging him on to protect sister Sookie and kill them vamps.

Bill gets wise to the cut of Lilith’s jib when he finds out she’s been telling everybody she chose them as leader. He moves to manipulate Salome, convincing her that Lilith came to him to tell him Salome should be leader — then he poisons her with silver-laced blood to get her out of the picture.

Eric valiantly returns to the Authority with Nora and fake-hostages Sookie, Jason and Tara in tow on a mission to rescue Bill, Pam and Jessica and kill everyone else. They nearly succeed, too — until Bill downs the reserved vial of Lilith’s blood and explodes into an oozy pile of blood and guts. Only to reform out of the pool à la Lilith! Whoa. Didn’t see that coming.

Bill used to be the do-gooder vampire derailed from his mainstreaming ways, and we couldn’t help but root for him, but this unexpected plot twist descends True Blood even further into the depths of darkness and depravity.

Down in the Authority’s holding cells, Sam and Luna hatch a plan to save Emma and get the hell outta Dodge — Luna shifts into Steve and scoops Emma up out of her kennel, but gets thrown off her course when “Steve” has to make an appearance on the news. She begins vomiting blood while rolling live and shifts back into herself, quickly telling the world about vampires keeping humans in prisons before collapsing on the floor.

“I did NOT see that coming,” Lafayette says while watching said news broadcast at Merlotte’s.

Bet he also didn’t expect Mirella the fairy to give birth to four female babies on Merlotte’s pool table, only to leave them to Andy to rear.

Elsewhere, in the wolves plotline — being kept alive for no apparent reason, other than to leave options open for their future involvement later — Alcide kills packmaster JD when he finds out he’s been keeping the wolves drugged out on V and raping the women. It ends with the former lone wolf presumably assuming his status as new packmaster.

And that’s pretty much a wrap. True Blood is both hard to predict and guilty of Lost syndrome — that is, too many plotlines likely leading nowhere, to the confusion and frustration of audiences. This season was the most convoluted of the series yet, which shows both an evolution of the characters and a sort of muddiness in the scripting.

Will guiding force Alan Ball’s departure be the death knell of the series, or a source of reinvigoration and better clarity? I can’t tell, and neither can you — and that’s just how they want it.

The Newsroom
Hey, has anyone invented a time machine yet? Because I’d like the past three months of my life back, please.

In a season finale that surprised no one, The Newsroom left nearly everything in the same state it spent the entire season — Jim, Lisa, Maggie and Don are still entangled in an awkward love parallelogram that may now be made even more awkward by the potential addition of Sloan.

The show’s creative staff tried to create some excitement by having Will get a bleeding ulcer, landing him in the hospital. Turns out he’s been taking too many antidepressants and anti-inflammatories for his own good, causing him to be found by MacKenzie and his bodyguard unconscious on his bathroom floor.

People cycle in and out of Will’s hospital room, filling him in on the goings-on of the office, but he seems depressed about the whole thing — until he finds out MacKenzie’s phone was hacked by ACN president Reese in a grand master plan to find enough dirt on Will to fire him. Then he’s raring to go. Of course.

MacKenzie’s prior advice to Jim to “gather ye rosebuds” vis-à-vis Maggie go awry when Jim says he “gathered the wrong rosebud” — remember the night when he went to see Maggie, except Lisa wrongfully presumed he was there for her, and then he and Lisa got back together as a result? Yeah. Pardon me while I mash my forehead into my keyboard.

But then Maggie flips out at a double-decker bus full of Sex and the City tourists by lamenting the Jim-Lisa-Don situation… a bus Jim so happens to be on. Because that makes perfect sense. Maggie takes off down the street with Jim in hot pursuit, but when they FINALLY kiss, he rejects further advances by saying he’s with Lisa and she’s with Don. She returns to Don’s place a sad manatee, only to be pleasantly surprised by a candlelit room and Don asking her to move in with him. What could possibly go wrong?

Sorkin tries to come full circle in the season by MacKenzie and Will hiring the dumb co-ed who asked a flimsy question that acted as the entire story’s catalyst (“What makes America the greatest country in the world?”).

Looks like we’ll have a whole second season to unravel that enigma. Can’t wait!

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