At least a half-dozen significant characters left True Blood one way or another in Sunday’s season finale. But the biggest departure took place off screen: The episode was series creator Alan Ball’s last as showrunner. Before we let him hand over the reins to new boss Mark Hudis, though, we have one last job for him to do — to answer all of our burning questions about the finale, about the season as a whole and, since he’ll still be an exec producer, give us a sneak peek at Season 6! Okay, so we have several last jobs for him to do. Read on. He’s up to the task(s).
TVLINE | So, is Bill God now?
I don’t want to say if he is or he isn’t. Who’s to say what Lilith really is? He is still Bill but he is something different.
TVLINE | So there is some of the old Bill in there?
It is Bill, but it is a transformed Bill. He is not a completely new person. It’s not like his memories or his experiences have been left out and he’s just a baby.
TVLINE | Can he revert back to the old Bill?
Well, that’s the question: Is he going to be evil? What does he want? What is he going to do? Will he be able to revert back to Bill? That’s for future seasons. The implication, certainly, is that he is more ferocious.
TVLINE | As you warned me back at Comic-Con, there was a lot of death in the episode — some more ambiguous than others. Did Luna die?
You’ll have to watch [next season]. We didn’t see her die.
TVLINE | And Russell? Is he really dead?
He’s gone. We may see him in flashbacks, but he bit it.
TVLINE | Also back at Comic-Con, you declined to tell me which couple you were having the most fun writing for this season because it would be too much of a spoiler. Can you now confirm it was Russell and Steve?
Yes. I love both of those actors and I thought they were hilarious and kind of touching.
TVLINE | Will Steve remain a viable character next season?
I don’t know. I’ve spoken to Mark briefly. They’ve only pitched some very broad ideas. I hope he does because I think he’s such a great character. I don’t know if he would be a big part of the season, but he definitely seems like that would be a person to bring back.
TVLINE | You really outdid yourself with Rosalyn’s death scene. Congratulations.
I think that is probably the most jaw-dropping [death] that we’ve done. Every time I see it I laugh.
TVLINE | The Pam/Tara kiss – did you know at the start of the season that it was all leading up to this?
It was in our mind at the beginning of the season, yes. We wanted to really tease it out.
TVLINE | What was it about those two characters that made them relationship material in your mind?
They both were, if not full-on lesbians, than bisexual. They both were characters with real attitude. And they both hate each other — at least they did at the beginning of the season. And that, to me, felt like it could create a lot of tension that could turn romantic towards the end.
TVLINE | Where would you personally like to see that relationship go next season?
Well, here’s the thing with relationships on True Blood: Once they happen then you have to throw a monkey-wrench into them, because to have people be happy is not that exciting.
TVLINE | But it’s your understanding that Mark is committed to that story?
All of the writers were into [them], so that is my understanding, yes.
TVLINE | Did you ever consider introducing or unmasking Warlow in the finale?
No. We didn’t want to really define Warlow until the next season.
TVLINE | So he’ll definitely figure into Season 6?
I think he’ll be kind of a big part of it.
TVLINE | Is he someone we’ve met before?
TVLINE | With Bill heading into Big Bad territory next season, does that make Eric now the hero of True Blood?
Remains to be seen. They’ve both been heroes in their own way. Eric was kind of like a mischievous cad, but I don’t think he was ever, like, a true villain the way that Russell was or the way that Maryann was. And he’s done a lot of really heroic things himself. So I never really looked at Eric as the bad guy and Bill as the good guy – at least not since the very early seasons. But it remains to be seen what will go down with both of them.
TVLINE | A non-finale burning question — why did you write Hoyt out?
I felt like we had told his entire story. There weren’t many places we could go with him that we hadn’t been, but I love that character and I love Jim [Parrack] so much I didn’t want to kill him. He’s always been such a good soul. I wanted to have the possibility for him to return as well. But he fell in love and he couldn’t let go.
TVLINE | Did you feel like you had to write him out so viewers could more easily accept Jessica and Jason without feeling guilty?
That was not the thought, no. I thought the way that he left and the way that he made her glamour the memories out of him was pretty devastating. Also, there are so many characters on the show to serve. It felt like Hoyt had run his course for now, so we thought let’s send him off to Alaska and then if we need to bring him back as well.
TVLINE | The finale was your swan song — how are you feeling?
It’s bittersweet. It’s been such a big part of my life for so long; of course it’s hard to step away. But running that show is such a huge job and I’ve been doing it for five years straight. I just don’t think I have another season left in me. I need to re-charge. And then I’m interested in doing something new — something with different characters and a different tone. As a writer, it’s fun to create. And once you get into a long-running show with very established characters and a very established tone and format, after a while it’s a really great job but that’s what it is — a job. You’re just continuing to create the same show. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want to work as hard. Actually, I’ve had to take a good hard look at workaholism and it’s effect on one’s mental health. [Laughs] And, also, there are things I want to do that are different. I want to try something completely different.
TVLINE | The show is in good hands with Mark?
Very good hands. And three other writers have been there since the very beginning… It’s like a having a kid go away to college.