TV Guide conducted an interview with Brian Buckner earlier this week about the finale. He says a lot of the same things I’ve seen elsewhere,but he also puts things a little differently here and there.
His comments on Eric:
Turning to the biggest question after the finale: Is Eric really dead? What kind of role will Alexander Skarsgard have next season?
Buckner: In the olden days, this was a fun tease for an audience [Laughs]. The actor Alex Skarsgard and the character of Eric Northman will be back on the show next year. He’ll be a series regular. We’ve obviously promised a “Where is Eric?” story and it would feel incredibly cheap to deliver the goods right away. We sent Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) off in search of him and if she were to find him right away, we would be doing a disservice to ourselves and to the audience. How we use him is going to be up to us, but we want people to rest assured that he will be back in their living rooms next year or wherever they watch. Boy do they love him! Wow!
So, we can expect that Eric is going to have been rescued/saved himself in some other way on that mountaintop, and that Pam is going to spend the early part of the season looking for him. When a Maker/Makee bond is broken, does that mean the ability to track/find/summon each other is gone as well? Is Pam having to rely on her knowledge of Eric rather than magical connecxtion to figure out where he may have gone? Despite Buckner trying to imply that we might get ghost/memorex Eric, I don’t think they’re going to want to make sure Eric is really alive/undead/whatever you would call a vampire.
Pretty sure he broke the internet after going full-frontal.
Buckner: It was crazy. I got a question about the discussion on that and said, “He’s Swedish. There was no discussion whatsoever.” I even called him to say, “Are you sure this is OK?” and he said, “No problemo.”
People thought it might be a body double.
Buckner: Nope! One day the tell-all will come out that that guy is as cool as Eric Northman. He doesn’t sweat the small stuff.
What does this mean for Bill next season? Will he seek redemption in order to get Sookie back?
Buckner: Yeah, but I don’t think it’s manipulative. One thing that I’ve heard a lot online, and it applies to Bill too, is this idea that characters can change. [I honestly think Buckner meant to say “can’t change” here — MVB] Lettie Mae (Adina Porter) does not have a trick up her sleeve. It’s genuine. People can feel incredibly ashamed of the way they’ve treated their children down the line. I know my mother does, right? Lettie Mae does not have Hep-V. She’s not trying to infect Tara and trick her. There’s not a plot thing behind every character motivation. To the same effect, Bill has truthfully seen the error of his ways. When Lilith left him, he lost his powers and all of his feelings for Sookie came rushing back. The real question is, yes, this season is about redemption for Bill, but can he be forgiven? We’re establishing a new triangle — with Eric clearly unresolved, but not part of the picture in Bon Temps in the short term [My emphasis – MVB] — the Sookie, Alcide, Bill triangle is going to be in play.
I still hate it because it makes Sookie look like a moron to ever consider Bill as a romantic partner again, but maybe this is the last gasp of that nonsense. And if they make it so Sookie finally realizes through what I hope are additional wrong choices that it is Eric she really would want to be with, I’d be satisfied in the long run.
On what was going through Sookie’s mind when she revisited some of her exes — but not Eric.
Speaking of the books, if viewers hadn’t read the final book that just came out, it would appear that the Sookie and Sam thing came out of nowhere. Why did you guys decide to explore having Sookie take a shot at a relationship with Sam?
Buckner: Well, it was organic. Sookie was looking for a reason to stay alive, right? A lot of her usual sounding boards weren’t there because they were in a vampire prison. She went to Bill, not because she loves Bill [Well, at least we know there was a time when she had briefly pulled her head out of her ass –MVB], but because she thought of all people, my first boyfriend, he’s not going to say, “Oh cool, go ahead and become a vampire.” But he did. It was a slap down. She went to Sam not to say, “Let’s start this now,” but to say, “Do I have a human connection? Is there anything in this town and this life left for me?” And when she got slapped down by her backburner guy, she said, “F— it. I don’t even know if my brother is alive!” It was a very fatalistic, dark Sookie. Then she goes to this funeral and experiences community. That funeral wasn’t just about Terry deserving more screen time. It’s about this place, this town, what these people mean to each other, this sense of community. When she experiences that and hears Arlene (Carrie Preston) finding some peace, even in the midst of all that pain, she realizes, “I have a place in this town.” That’s why she goes back to Warlow and says, “Let’s try this out.” Now he ran out of patience, but that was her storyline.
Do you think there’s still the possibility of exploring Sookie and Sam?
Buckner: I’m aware that Charlaine got a lot of blowback for that pairing in the book. [And I assume this means he also DOES understand how much people wanted Eric and Sookie together. – MVB] I think anything is worth exploring. I don’t have the answer to how much longer we’re going to be doing this show. It’s not where I’m leaning. That scene was more connected to Sookie looking for a reason to be here and truthfully about us trying to earn pushing her to the place where she would really consider being made vampire. [My emphasis. To me, having Sookie made vampire is going to be key to her ending up with Eric long term, so I’m glad they made her consider it as a real option for the first time. And while it might not work out with Warlow, maybe it can work out with Eric. That way, if she makes the decision in a later season, no one can say that Sookie opting to do that came out of nowhere. — MVB] They have an incredible friendship and I think she sees more eye-to-eye with him than she does with any other man in her life, but it seems that he’s in the friend-zone where Sookie is concerned and I think she was grasping at straws. The cool thing about that scene was that neither of them were wrong; she just had really bad timing. On another day, maybe Sam would’ve been more receptive to that.
On a non-Eric topic, Jason and Violet:
Violet and Jason have a very odd relationship in that she expects him to pleasure her, but she won’t reciprocate. Can we really trust her?
Buckner: I trust her so far. She came on strong. She seems like a b—- at vamp camp. Of course the way she claimed Jason, that seemed pretty b—-y, too. If she’s b—-y to Pam, everyone is going to be protective of Pam. The job was, how do we get her earn her way back in our hearts because she’s joining as a regular next year, as is James (Luke Grimes). One of the things that we realized pretty early on is that as much as people complain sometimes that there are no humans left on True Blood, if you do the math, there aren’t very many vampires left, so we needed to populate it more. The two of them are just stunning. It was a strange casting call in the middle of the season knowing that we were going to be casting for series regulars for the following season, but I think we hit the jackpot both times. We trust her — for now. I think she has a code. We’re a show that has Pam, so if you want to have a new, tough female vampire, you have to create a different character. Pam doesn’t give a sh– about anybody, so the instinct was to give Violet this code. “If Sookie is your family, she’s my family. I will put my life on the line for her.” She’s earning her way into our hearts by going to bat for Sookie and Jason in the finale.
If you go read the original article, the comments section is full of Bill lovers proclaiming their One Twu Wuv. However, I think that the fact Buckner was even doing all those interviews as damage control means that HBO does know that Eric/Sookie is what the majority of the audience are interested in.