'True Blood': Inside the killer finale | EW.com

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'True Blood': Inside the killer finale

Brutal deaths! Shocking cliff-hangers! Bunny ears! EW goes behind the scenes of the craziest finale yet for HBO's hit vampire saga. Plus — SPOILER ALERT! — a preview of season 5...and who will live to see another day in Bon Temps

We say it every year, but season 4 of True Blood was arguably the wildest one yet. There were witches, ghosts, lesbian cage fighting, fairy sex — and then, of course, the gore-filled Sept. 11 season finale. ”We saved some massive punches for the last episode,” admits co-exec producer Raelle Tucker, who wrote the episode. The biggest blow for viewers was the apparently fatal shooting of Tara (Rutina Wesley), who took a bullet to the head to save Sookie (Anna Paquin) from a vengeful Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan). ”I knew ahead of time that it was coming,” says Wesley of the twist. But she’s less sure of her future on the show. ”Alan [Ball, Blood’s creator] has said there are ‘big plans,’ but I don’t know what that really means and things can always change. It’s hard to see how I’m coming back, seeing as half of my head was just blown off. They may figure something out — I mean, it’s True Blood.” Adds Tucker, ”On our show, even people who are dead sometimes aren’t really dead. I will say you probably haven’t seen the last of Tara in some way.” The same could be said of Jesus (Kevin Alejandro), who was stabbed to death by his possessed boyfriend, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). ”I thought it was brilliant,” says Alejandro. ”We come in together and he’s the one that has to take me out.” Costar Ellis had a different reaction: ”I was upset. I was like, ‘Why do I have to do that?’ We became good friends, so it was sad for me.” Quips network president Sue Naegle, ”HBO has a great history of playing with audience expectations. Certainly it existed in Game of Thrones this year. Poor Ned Stark lost his head. We’re ruthless!”

With the citizens of Bon Temps dropping like flies, season 5 will introduce fresh meat and showcase some familiar faces. Scott Foley’s Patrick, whom we met in the finale, will bring trouble to Terry (Todd Lowe) and Arlene (Carrie Preston). The identity of the wolf seen growling at Sam (Sam Trammell) in the final moments will be revealed — and, according to Tucker, is ”someone you have never met before.” Tucker won’t confirm, though, if said werewolf is Alcide’s (Joe Manganiello) father, Jackson, who is featured in book 5 of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. The unearthed King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare), will be back, as will former Fellowship of the Sun leader — and now vampire — Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian). Then there’s Sookie, who blew off three supernatural hunks to be alone. (Girl, please!) Fans of Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and Sookie’s romance will be sad to know that her independent streak will continue next year. At least there’s the potential for a new bromance — or a Thelma & Louise-style fugitive friendship — between Eric and Bill (Stephen Moyer) now that they’ve killed Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck). Teases Tucker, ”The consequences of their actions in the finale are going to chase them for a while next year.”