True Blood season 6 finale review: Radioactive

Review Emma Matthews
22 Aug 2013 - 11:42

True Blood bows out of its glorious sixth season with a frenetic slice of finale gold. Here's Emma's review of Radioactive...

This review contains spoilers.

6.10 Radioactive

Our annual visit to Bon Temps came to an end in spectacular style this week, with showdowns, hoe-downs, a surprisingly low death count, and the retreat of the vamps into the darkness. Oh, and we might just possibly have lost the show’s best vamp, due to an ill-timed, nude reading on top of a mountain incident. Never let it be said that True Blood doesn’t have a sense of humour.

With the Warlow storyline still in full swing when last we saw Sookie, Radioactive dealt with her extrication from her ‘always kept’ promises fairly early on. Having fed the vamp 500, Bill is back to his old merely immortal self, and with that comes his possibly genetic need to save Sookie. Wracked with guilt that he essentially sold her to Warlow, Bill’s guilt peaks just as Warlow’s patience with her disappears. Unusually for Bill, rather than take care of it himself, the newly humbled Mr Compton goes instead to the season’s premier problem solver – one Jason Stackhouse. Somehow the town’s last best hope for vampire and Stackhouse kind – despite having once been described as as dumb as a box of hair - Jason pulls out all the stops to save Sookie from her impending vampiric marriage. It’s a fitting end to Jason’s year, having been superb all season – particularly this week’s Top Gun reference – so it’s only right that he gets to save his sister and get the girl...ish. Surprisingly, he’s enjoying being tied to Violet, and despite her teenage levels of jealousy, she gets more interesting every week

Having started as a fairly low-key affair, Warlow’s death marked a shift in pace and became a frenetic and ultimately intriguing slice of finale gold. Beginning with the wearing-off of the faery magic and what could be the end of one of the show’s most beloved characters, Radioactive was exactly the sort of ending season six deserved. As predicted, the effects of the faery blood were shortlived and the sun is once again deadly for our fave fangs. Which is fine if you stayed for the party in the Bon Temps. However, if you’ve decided to go catch up on a little reading, while sunbathing nude on a mountain, then you’ve got a first class ticket to crisp city and most likely, a special mention at the Darwin Awards. Yes, it would seem that we may have seen the last of our beloved Eric, given that rather than going on a Sarah Newlin hunting mission, he was just in need of a holiday. Which makes his possible death-by-nudity all the more galling. And just fyi, HBO, full frontal Eric in no way compensates for no Eric.

How the writers expected anyone to concentrate after watching Eric burn is unfathomable, but expect it they did. Slipping the mountain inferno in at just about the half-way point of the show, it marked the end of season six, and the introduction of season seven, which gave us a glimpse of a whole new ball game in Bon Temps.

Thos of us wondering how the residents of Bon Temps – vamp, human, were and shifter alike – could move on from recent events had those questions answered and then some. Six months on, the place is unrecognisable and seemingly happy endings abound: Jason’s enjoying a monogamous relationship, Sookie and Alcide appear to be living together, Bill’s a celebrity author, Sam’s the frickin mayor, Arlene owns the bar, Tara’s reconciled with her mother in the most bizarre way and Jess has her chance at redemption. It’s like Disney invaded Bon Temps. And then you learn about the marauding band of diseased vampires eating their way around the south, and balance is again restored in Bon Temps. How does Mayor Merlotte propose to keep the town safe? By pairing off humans with clean vamps in a blood for protection trade-off. Which when you take away the mafia-style undertones, is actually genius. And it’s just as well – with said band of marauding, diseased vamps already descending on the town, the fragile relationship between vampires and everyone else is about to be put to the test.

So, Warlow is gone and the genocide foiled, but next year’s big bad is already on the scene, leaving the residents of Bon Temps in danger once again. But clearly, there’s much we’ve yet to learn – throwing us six months into the future means there’s plenty of backstory to tell – how did Sam become Mayor? When did Arlene buy the bar? And since when have Bill and Sam been so pally? After such an excellent year, season seven has a lot to live up to, and its success will rest in large part on how it answers those questions. But these are worries for next year. For now, as we say goodbye to Bon Temps once more, let’s bask in the glow of some of the finest True Blood we’ve seen for a long time. From the feminism to the radicalism, the beneficence to the gore, the survival of the vamps to the almost successful extermination of the faeries, season six has been glorious. Even if they do owe us two episodes... Safe travels y’all and see you next year! 

Read Emma's review of the previous episode, Life Matters, here.

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