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'True Blood' finale: True to the end

By Rande Iaboni, CNN
updated 2:56 PM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Quite possibly the biggest anticlimax in TV history: Tony Soprano meets his family in a restaurant, looks up and then, with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " playing in the background, the screen fades to black. "Sopranos" fans have long debated the ending and in August 2014 creator <a href='http://www.vox.com/2014/8/27/6006139/did-tony-die-at-the-end-of-the-sopranos' target='_blank'>David Chase finally broke his silence about whether Soprano died. </a>Shows have let down fans before. Here's a look at some of the best, and worst, finales (of course, there are spoilers): Quite possibly the biggest anticlimax in TV history: Tony Soprano meets his family in a restaurant, looks up and then, with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " playing in the background, the screen fades to black. "Sopranos" fans have long debated the ending and in August 2014 creator David Chase finally broke his silence about whether Soprano died. Shows have let down fans before. Here's a look at some of the best, and worst, finales (of course, there are spoilers):
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'The Sopranos'
The best and worst TV finales
The best and worst TV finales
The best and worst TV finales
'Seinfeld'
'Cheers'
'Freaks and Geeks'
'Roseanne'
'Friends'
'The Cosby Show'
'Star Trek: The Next Generation'
'M*A*S*H'
'Lost'
'Frasier
'X-Files'
'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
'The Hills'
'ALF'
'St. Elsewhere'
'Dinosaurs'
'The Fugitive'
'Life on Mars'
'Smallville'
'The Office'
'Big Love'
'Medium'
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • HBO's "True Blood" aired its final episode Sunday
  • Fans weren't thrilled with the conclusion, which involved a major death
  • At the very least, writers kept viewers guessing until the very end

Editor's note: This article contains spoilers for the August 24 series finale of HBO's "True Blood." You've been warned.

(CNN) -- For "True Blood's" series finale on Sunday, fans received a wedding, a funeral, and ... an infomercial starring Eric and Pam?

Even after seven seasons, "True Blood" kept fans guessing right on through to the end.

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Whether the show's fans appreciated those twists is another story. For some, the ending was all they could've asked for after sticking by the show for seven seasons. For others, "True Blood's" conclusion just might rank up there with the worst finales of all time.

One of the big surprises was the death of a major -- and we mean major -- character. Yes, the demise of Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Alcide (Joe Manganiello) were shocking to viewers earlier in the season, but they were secondary characters. If you were told before the final season that Stephen Moyer's Bill Compton wouldn't make it out alive, would you have believed it?

Granted, the show has been building up to Bill's death the last few episodes, but it still seemed like something that wouldn't actually happen. Most were convinced that in typical "True Blood" fashion, writers would pull out a twist in the final act and he would end up living. But surprisingly, they had the guts to actually go through with it.

While Sookie's (Anna Paquin) feelings for Bill have definitely flip-flopped throughout the series, there was no doubting who had her heart last night. All she wanted was for her one true love to live. But Bill's mind was made up. He knew they wouldn't be able to stay away from one another, and he wanted Sookie to have the life he felt she deserved -- one with a family, something a vampire cannot give her. (Being dead and all makes it kind of difficult to reproduce.)

His martyrdom and his speech were romantic, but then he asked Sookie, while she stood there crying over his impending death, to do the actual killing. Annoyed fans had one word for his choice: selfish.

Yet before Bill could say his parting words, "True Blood" took an unexpected detour and threw a human-vampire wedding. Baby-vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (Jim Parrack) decided to get married. Jessica and Hoyt are one couple that fans have rooted for, and while the gesture was sweet -- it allowed Bill to walk Jessica down the aisle before his untimely death -- it was still a bit of a rush, and took away from the main event. As one impatient fan put it, "This is cute and all BUT ARE WE REALLY WASTING VALUABLE TIME ON JESS AND HOYT?!"

That question became all the more pointed upon the realization that Nelsan Ellis' Lafayette didn't even get one line of dialogue in the finale. We knew he got his happy ending with James (Nathan Parsons), but couldn't we get just one sassy comeback from him before the credits rolled?

Apparently, there just wasn't enough time, not with Sookie donning a black dress to meet Bill at the graveyard for his funeral. Paquin and Moyer gave stellar performances as they said their final goodbyes to one another (although the two actors get to stay happily married to one another in real life).

And then, after a time jump of roughly four years after Bill's death, the town of Bon Temps became a much brighter place. Jason (Ryan Kwanten) ended up with Brigette (Ashley Hinshaw), and a loving father to three young children. It probably wasn't what you would expect from the promiscuous ladies' man we met back in Season 1, but seeing him bonding with his children was adorable.

These couples looked positively peaceful too: Jessica and Hoyt, Andy and Holly (Lauren Bowles), Arlene (Carrie Preston) and vampire Keith (Riley Smith), plus Sam (Sam Trammell) and Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) with two kids now.

As for Sookie, she got her happy ending. Viewers never learn the identity of the man Sookie settled down with, but she ends the series pregnant and presumably in love.

And with that, HBO closed the coffin on "True Blood."

"I don't know if I loved that ending or hated that ending...Maybe a little of both?" one viewer tweeted amid the chorus of responses, many of which were disappointed.

"Wow True Blood series finale was horrible," another fan said. "I can't believe how much I loved that show in the beginning and how far it fell."

"May be the only fan who loved the finale," chimed in one grateful viewer. "Thanks #trueblood for 7 great seasons."

The only plot point that seemed to escape viewers' criticism involved Alexander Skarsgard's Eric and Kristin Bauer van Straten's Pam. As suspected, the pair didn't keep the Hepatitis-V cure a secret from the public, and instead started New Blood, a cure and replacement for TruBlood. Their infomercial was definitely a series highlight.

"Eric and Pam need a spinoff show," tweeted one fan, as another called for a "new season of #TrueBlood called #NewBlood and it's the adventures or lives of Eric and Pam."

Whether or not the show lost steam during its seven-year run is irrelevant now. Those who stuck with the series until the end have endured each hardship and tragedy alongside the characters themselves. The finale was appropriately titled "Thank You." So thank you, "True Blood," for taking viewers on an unforgettable, bloody ride, and staying true until the very end.

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