True Blood, that campy vampire HBO series based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris set in fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana, came to an end last night, Sunday, August 24th, with Season 7 Episode 10 finale “Thank You.” The series revolves around telepath Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and her supernatural (and non) lovers, relatives, and friends.
No good vampire/werewolf/fairy/shapeshifter/medium/witch show would be complete without a formidable foe (or foes) for the plucky heroes and heroines to stand against. Some were silly, some were horrifying, some were lunatics, some were the heroes and heroines themselves, and some deserved their own late night Cinemax show, but they all had the common thread of being thoroughly entertaining. Sookie and her posse always prevailed (with some casualties). But, it’s all come to an end now, so it’s time to take a look back at the Villains from each season.
*Note – If you haven’t caught the last 7 seasons of True Blood, or have been living under a rock, or don’t like to see pretty naked people, or prefer watching Eric Dane and Adam Baldwin (Jayne!) on The Last Ship on Sunday nights (DVR folks!), you should stop reading and definitely do NOT read on as there are serious spoilers ahead for the entire True Blood series!
Season 1: Rene Lenier (Michael Raymond-James) was a vampire racist, and anyone he thought was a fangbanger (poor Grandma Adele – Lois Smith), had an extremely short expiration date. A prevalent theme in True Blood was vampire rights as the new “civil” in civil rights, and their first villain hit that silver nail on the head. Nobody, except maybe the audience, had a clue that Arlene’s (Carrie Preston) fiance could be the killer. Hell, poor V-addled Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) thought HE was the killer, because all the dead were connected to him and he couldn’t remember anything. Jason was merely guilty of having a big mouth and spilling his love life to his good friend Rene.
Season 2: This season had two foes for Sookie and crew: One was Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes), the other the Fellowship of the Sun church run by the Steve and Sarah Newlin (Michael McMillian and Anna Camp), who were both mentioned and shown in Season 1 as background to the Rene story. The Fellowship was bunches of fun. Self-righteous Christianity at its campiest. There’s a good reason Steve Newlin came back in Season 5 and Sarah has lasted until the finale. You cannot recreate that pluck in another. I was a little less than enthralled with the maenad storyline, possible because of the all-out orgy in Merlotte’s. True Blood has always been quite naked, but that was quite over the top. And that was the intent. The maenad’s power lies in excess (from Dionysus — Maryann’s future husband) and that scene went right along with said excess. Maryann was very intense and had pretty much the whole town under her black-eyed spell of lust, until Sam sticks her with his bull horn (not the fun kind) and kills her.
Season 3: Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) – Best. Villain. Ever. In. Any. Show. Ever. Yes-there were other beings against Sookie and friends that season. Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan) hated Sookie because of Alcide’s (Joe Manganiello) obvious crush. Franklin (James Frain – always fun playing a bad guy) kept Tara (Rutina Wesley) trapped. We met Lorena (Mariana Klaveno) in season 2 and enjoyed her obsession with progeny Bill (Stephen Moyer). But Russell was the real show, filled with southern charm and a deliciously wicked sense of humor. He also had the best spine-ripping scene which ended in a gravelly voice, “We will eat you, after we eat your children.” Then more lightheartedly, “Now, time for the weather. Tiffany?” He had a temporary end in a cement grave but returned in Season 5.
Season 4: Marnie (Fiona Shaw), the witch with the spirit of Antonia (Paola Turbay) inside her, was terrifying to look at nevermind what came out of her mouth. Antonia did have justification. She was a spirit bent on revenge for being tortured by vampires a long long time ago. The plan was to make a “wicced” spell that made vampires run into the sunlight. She was taken out by a combo spell using witches and vampires. The best part of her and this season was when she made Eric lose his memory, giving us a nice little romance with Sookie. We also had Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan), whome we met in season 3 who hated Sookie because of Alcide’s (Joe Manganiello) obvious crush. She shot Tara which led to Sookie shooting her and Tara becoming a vampire.
Season 5: Russell came back! Thankee sai! He was an instrument of Roman (Christopher Meloni) and the Authority, then killed Roman and became the chancellor. He is as evil as Bill seemed to have turned. Russell’s new boy-toy was ironic vampire Steve Newlin! The goal of The Authority is to destroy the Tru Blood factories which will cause vamps to start chowing down on humans. Here is the first hint of Lilith’s (Jessica Clark) power. Bill is starting to see her. On the side, Sheriff Bud Dearborne (William Sanderson) turned vampire Klan ringleader as his followers wore Obama masks and killed vamps. They almost fed Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Sookie to pigs, but Sam (Sam Trammell) shows up, followed closely by Jason and Andy (Chris Bauer), to save them.
Season 6: Bloody naked Lilith then bloody naked Bill (or Bilith) didn’t do it for me although I am always a big fan of dreams and hallucinations in my TV. Warlow? Nah…cute but nah. There was a buildup through the seasons of the Warlow (Robert Kazinsky) character. But in the end, he was a cutie whom Sookie thought was marriage material. Oh Sookie! This probably was the least favorite of the seasons, although I did enjoy when Sookie said to Bill, “Pam’s my friend?”
Season 7: Hep-V and the vamps it infected were the real and more interesting bad guys in this season. Their frenzied attacks are reminiscent of The Strain vamps who are ugly and must feed (sans tentacle). You also have the Japanese mafia who want to profit from Sara Newlin’s healing blood, and basically hold Eric and Pam hostage, but not believable as a matched enemy to Eric. Violet (Karolina Wydra) was briefly scary last season, but in this season, her love for Jason tamed her. She got scary again and then dead in two episodes. As for Hep-V? We know there’s a cure. We know Bill refused. And after series finale “Thank You” now know how it all turns out.