'True Blood' or bad 'Blood'? The campy vamp show isn't what it used to be

Image: Alexander Skarsgard and Michael McMillian in "True Blood."
Eric got his revenge after his sister's death, but it's "True Blood" fans who really felt the pain this season.Today

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By Ree Hines

Vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, witches, werepanthers, fairies and more — when it comes to suspension of disbelief, no one has it mastered quite like "True Blood" fans. No matter how outrageous the creature, how over-the-top the superpower, Truebies take it in stride. For them, it's all about the love of the story, the characters and at times, the ridiculousness of it all.

But the current season of the show has finally managed to deliver something that some fans find hard to swallow: a complete about-face for most of the Bon Temps regulars.

The problems with some characters started even before the season premiere. For instance, Bill Compton's evolution from sensitive, genteel vampire to egomaniacal jerk has been years in the making. Now that he's "upgraded" to Billith, he has a full-on god complex — or at least a demigod complex.

There's little of the Bill viewers once knew left, but at least his changes were gradual compared to what's happened to other fan favorites.

Alcide went from noble lone wolf to raging pack master and back again in the blink of an eye. And he wasn't the only one to make a whiplash change.

Just look at Jason Stackhouse. After (once again) turning into a vampire-hating extremist last season, he shook off the bad vibes (and the parental hallucinations) and was back defending his old fanger pals after just a sip of Warlow's blood. It took all of about one episode for the personality switcheroo to occur.

Sure, sweet-but-no-so-smart Jason is a welcome change from his alter ego, but his problem with vamps went way beyond those creepy visions he suffered and merited a bit more time.

Then there's Sam. The shifter barely had time to dry his tears over dead girlfriend Luna before he started professing his love for a woman he barely knows (and who is, evidently, several days pregnant with a little half-shifter).

The show's central heroine, Sookie, isn't acting like herself these days either, especially where her romance — or at least intimate fairlyland escapades — with Warlow is concerned. Sookie might have a reputation for getting cozy with the local supe population, but her out-of-nowhere decision to turn on the lovin' with a guy she vowed to kill earlier in the season was a jaw-dropper. It's not as if the fact that Warlow wasn't lying when he said her parents tried to kill her proved he's a good guy or anything.

(Which she might realize if she or anyone else bothered to investigate what ever happened to fairy grandpa Niall.)

Even Viking vampire Eric, who's offered some of the season's best (and absolute bloodiest) moments, veered into major emo territory this year with his reaction to Nora's death. Heck, he shed fewer bloody tears for his maker, Godric, than he did for the sister no one knew he had two seasons ago.

Now that he's had his revenge (and then some), his angst has sent him skyward in what may be (but better not be) his flying farewell.

And then there's the one character who definitely said farewell this time around —Terry. It's understandable that a growing ensemble like "True Blood" needs to make way for new blood, but killing off Terry? Not cool. As a peripheral character, he infused humor and heart into every scene he had, and his death just didn't pack a punch (like, say, killing Bill, Alcide — or even both — might have).

Of course, despite all the bad turns, there's still some hope for the HBO drama. The season isn't over just yet. Sunday night's finale can't erase all of the wrongs, but it could wrap up the woes with hope for season seven. 

The "True Blood" season finale airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.