'True Blood' recap: Sookie confronts agonizing dilemma in series finale

'True Blood' recap: Sookie confronts agonizing dilemma in series finale
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is torn between her love of vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and her desire for marriage and children on the series finale of "True Blood." (John P. Johnson / HBO)

After seven seasons of supernatural sex, violence and dark humor, HBO concluded its popular “True Blood” series with Episode 80, “Thank You.”

From the first installment, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) has been drawn to vampires, just as they’re drawn to this pretty, blond waitress and her half-faerie blood.

Now her on-again, off-again vampire lover Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) is dying of hepatitis V and refuses to take the antidote. He urges Sookie to end his suffering with a blast of faerie light, thus extinguishing his life and her exotic powers.

This means Sookie can swear off vampires for good and lead a normal life. But will she?

“Show me the true death and you’ll be setting us both free,” Bill says, emphasizing that he belongs with his wife and children who passed away many decades ago.

While Sookie wrestles with this agonizing dilemma, Bill’s progeny Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll) prepares for a world without her maker.

“I’m never going to understand why you’re doing this,” Jessica sadly tells Bill. “But one way or another, I’ll figure out a way to accept it.”

Easing the pain of Jessica’s imminent loss is her rekindled romance with Hoyt Fortenberry (Jim Parrack). Knowing Bill might only have hours to live, Jessica and Hoyt opt to get married immediately.

Sheriff Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer), who inherited Bill’s estate, performs the impromptu ceremony. He also promises to rent Bill’s mansion to Jessica and Hoyt for $1 a month, thereby giving the newlyweds an enduring present.

As for Sookie, she reluctantly agrees to end Bill’s earthly existence. But as he calmly lies in his Civil War-era coffin, Sookie is unwilling to part with her faerie powers.

“This is who I am,” she insists. “It’s part of my truth.”

So rather than kill Bill with her faerie light, she turns to an old standby. After one final kiss, she plunges a wooden stake into Bill’s heart then sobs uncontrollably as he explodes into a bloody mess.

Meanwhile, vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) and his progeny Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) dramatically sever their partnership with Mr. Gus (Will Yun Lee) and his Japan-based Yakonomo Corp.

After slaughtering the ruthless executive and his yakuza henchmen, Eric and Pam assume full control of Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp) and her hep-V-curing blood.

“Everybody wants you dead,” Eric tells Sarah, who committed mass murder by releasing the deadly disease into the global vampire population. “Which means that, as much as Pamela and I hate you, we’re the best friends you’ve got.”

It turns into quite a profitable friendship -- for Eric and Pam, at least -- as they synthesize Sarah’s blood and make a killing on Wall Street.

Unfortunately for Sarah, she’s chained in the dungeon-like basement of Fangtasia, where vampires pay $100,000 a minute to drink her lifesaving blood. Sarah’s sanity is slipping away as she converses with her dead husband: televangelist-turned-vampire Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian).

“What are you thankful for, Sarah?” Steve gleefully asks.

“Nothing,” she glumly replies.

Having much to be thankful for, by contrast, is Sookie. Three years have passed since Bill’s death and Sookie is hosting a joyful Thanksgiving feast for friends and family.

Her brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) has married sexy microbiologist Brigette (Ashley Hinshaw). Jessica and Hoyt are still together. And Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) has returned from Chicago with his wife Nicole (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and their young daughter.

And Sookie? She’s happy, pregnant and presumably married.

Seems she found that normal life, which once seemed impossible. Or at least she's found as normal a life as possible amid the supernatural denizens of Bon Temps, La.