Season 3 of “True Blood” has come to a conclusion, and I’ve got to be honest with you: it couldn’t have happened a moment too soon. Between having to blog both this show and “Mad Men” more or less live, I’d reached the point where I’d begun to dread Sunday nights…until I realized that, no, it wasn’t so much that I was dreading Sunday nights as it was that I was dreading having to blog “True Blood.”

But we’ll get back to that.

Since I’ve already watched and written about the show, let’s go ahead and just tackle the events of the season finale first, beginning, of course, at the beginning.

So Eric and The King are just, y’know, kinda hanging out in the parking lot and catching some rays, like good buds sometimes do…except, of course, that good buds don’t tend to be handcuffed together (unless they’ve taken their friendship to a, uh, higher level), and being exposed to the rays in question means imminent death. In the case of The King, it’s kind of a good-riddance-to-bad-rubbish situation, but for Eric’s, it’s definitely a case of suicide by sunshine. So is the spirit of Godric really visiting him, or is it just his rational mind trying to get his attention? Either way, Godic’s pleas for Eric to forgive The King fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, Sookie’s running through the forest to catch something that looks like a cross between E.T.’s ship and a chandelier, but it turns out to be something like running toward the light, since she suddenly wakes up from what was apparently a dream and slaps the shit out of Bill for betraying her again…except that, really, he only pretended to betray her in order to save her again. Yawn. As soon as she realizes that Eric’s outside, sacrificing himself in order to rid the world of The King, she refuses to allow it, instead running outside and allowing The King to goad her into using her fairy powers to separate Eric and The King from each other. Rather than save them both, however, she slams The King against a wall, dragging Eric inside and leaving The King to burn…although, frankly, I don’t know why she didn’t do something to actively finish him off, given that he was continuing to threaten her even as she departed.

Oh, that’s why: Sookie offers up her blood to save the day, and once Eric’s in better shape, he announces that he wants to spare The King. Yeah, good plan: he sure talks and acts like he’s really going to be sparing humanity when he gets released. Sookie sits around, reading Star Magazine and listening to The King rattle on with huge monetary bribes, but she’s not letting him out of his chains. As a backup, he tries to make her feel paranoid about the value of her blood to Bill and the other vampires. She openly mocks him for believing that he can bring his lover back to life with her blood. Instead, she pours his remains down the sink and cranks up the garbage disposal. Ew.

Tara’s watching Nan and Rev. Steve on the news as Sam whips up a bit of post-coital breakfast for them (mmmm…pancakes), but he’s really only using the food to help ease her into accepting that he’s a shapeshifter. I’ll give her credit: it’s about time someone called out the completely insane goings-on in the town. Indeed, she seems to be trying to work her way through PTSD. First, she decides to run home to her Mama, only to find that the Reverend has made a house call. I loved how Tara opened her comments to her mother by saying, “God knows I don’t have any business judging anybody,” but her mama has decided that she’s found her calling: as a minister’s wife…after, of course, the minister leaves his current wife. Tara clearly doesn’t believe her mother is destined to find happiness, but she gives her best wishes and drives away.

Eventually, she makes her way back home, and there’s a momentary thought that she might stab herself to death with a pair of scissors, but, no, she’s just going to give herself a quick trim. After a brief heart-to-heart talk with Sookie, where the two friends rekindle their relationship, Tara hops in her car and heads off to parts unknown…or, at least, they’ll be unknown ’til next season, anyway.

Jason, meanwhile, is trying to help save his girlfriend’s family from being invaded by the DEA, his future career in law enforcement be damned, but her daddy isn’t exactly what you’d call grateful. Once again, Jason turns out to possess a voice of reason, but he doesn’t get a chance to convince him before her brother shoots Daddy in the head. He threatens everyone unless she leaves with him, but Jason keeps telling her to leave. She thinks the best of her brother, though, and she decides that Jason’s the one who needs to take over for her father and keep her people safe. Time to step up to the plate, Jason! We never get to see what he does, though, aside from tipping the family to the upcoming assault and helping them find safety. Another “to be continued next season” moment, naturally. Maybe that’s when we’ll also finally see Sheriff Andy take a hit of vampire blood. Now that’s something I’d like to see…

Hoyt’s mother, ex-girlfriend, and, uh, the high school guidance counselor gang up with poor Hoyt at his work site, staging a vampire intervention. It’s a waste of time, though: he loves Jessica, he’s pissed off at his mother, and he knows the counselor keeps a stash of liquor in his desk. In the end, all it does is convince Hoyt that he really does want to spend his life with Jessica, so he goes off and buys a house, then promptly asks her to marry him. Clearly, they’re not going to live happily ever after, since we also get to see Hoyt’s mama stocking up on Rev. Steve-approved firearms, presumably to take Jessica down for the long haul. Also, what was that on the floor of Hoyt’s new house? A doll…? I couldn’t see it clearly enough to tell.

Lafayette’s still having some serious vampire flashbacks – including one which, rather surprisingly, involved a momentary cameo from Michael Raymond James, reprising his role of Rene – which leads him to call Jesus in a panic. He manages to pull it together before returning to work, though, and when Jesus turns up, he reveals that he knows magic, resulting in Lafayette responding incredulously, “You’re a witch who’s a nurse who’s a dude.”

Sam tries to find out what’s up with Tommy not answering his phone, and he finds his place in disarray, all the money gone, and – rather inexplicably – all signs pointing to a desperate attempt to get the place as cold as possible, with the A/C apparently cranked up and the refrigerator door open. What’s that about? Oh, well, it doesn’t matter, because Sam heads back over to Merlotte’s, finds that Brother Dearest has swiped the money from there, too, and hits the road to find Tommy. He eventually does, of course, and their last scene of the season ends with Sam firing his gun in Tommy’s direction, though – shocker! – we don’t know whether or not he actually shot Tommy.

Alcide – you may know him as Werewolf Boy – is back in the picture briefly, having returned to repay his father’s debt by assisting in Bill’s big plan, though he does manage to take time to flirt a little bit with Sookie. Bill’s big plan, by the way, involves wrapping The King in silver, then encasing him in concrete. Not a bad idea. What I didn’t expect, however, was for Bill to knock Eric flat and try to do the same to him, not to mention sending off someone to kill Pam as well. Thinking Eric no longer a viable concern, Bill turns up at Sookie’s place, tells her that he’s knocked off both The King and Eric. She’s unsurprised about the former, but it’s clear that she’s horrified by the news of the latte. Bill swears it was something he had to do in order to keep her safe, which he assures her that he will do forever, even at the expense at his own life, saying, “I have never loved nor will I ever love as I have loved you.” Cue Eric’s appearance on the front doorstep, alive, well, and dripping wet concrete, in order to out Bill’s sordid past.

So, wait, all you have to do to get a vampire out of your house is to rescind your invitation, at which point they go flying out the front door? Somehow, that seems too easy.

Time for the final wrap-up. TVampire Queen of Mississippi shows up, dressed to the nines in her best widow attire, thrilled to death about Russell’s demise. She’s waiting to indulge on Sookie’s blood, but Bill informs her that she’s fallen for his clever ruse, that he’s instead planning to take her down, since he now has nothing left to lose. Cue the Matrix moment where they both leap into the air, then toward each other. Sookie, meanwhile, goes to the graveyard to commune with Gran, but she’s told by the fairies that she’s not alone, at which point she takes their hand, joins the light, and disappears with them.

And, so, another season of “True Blood” is behind us…and, frankly, I think it might well be the last one I’ll be blogging for Bullz-Eye.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan of this show over the years and have certainly enjoyed a great deal of it, but this season just wasn’t doing it for me, and the one moment that seemed like it was going to be an absolutely kick-ass game changer – The King ripping out a newscaster’s heart on live TV – might as well have never happened for all the ultimate effect it seemed to have on the world at large. Instead, we got Jason and the Hill People, Sam’s shape-changing family, Tara’s PTSD, and a whole bunch of fucking fairies. There were entertaining moments in Season 3, yes, but Russell should’ve ruled the remainder of the season. Instead, he turned into a cross between Gollum and the Phantom of the Opera. As such, I can’t call it anything other than a major disappointment to me.

What were your thoughts?