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Posted at 12:18 AM ET, 09/12/2011

‘True Blood’ season 4 finale: Questions and cliffhangers

Previously on “True Blood” – lots of stuff happened.

Currently on “True Blood” – Marnie possesses Lafayette, kills Jesus to absorb his magic, tries to kill Bill and Eric, the spirits of Gran Stackhouse and Antonia talk her into moving on to the afterlife.

This is the least interesting part of the episode, because after we wrap up the main plot, it’s time to hold on to your hat.

Cliffhangers and questions abound in the rest of the season finale:

Has Alan Ball been watching too much of “The Bachelorette”?

Wouldn’t they totally have cut to commercial after Sookie says “this is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make” if, you know, HBO had commercials? After much preambling, Sookie tells Bill and Eric she doesn’t want to be with either of them.

How did Rev. Steve become a vampire and what will he do to Jason?

There was a mention earlier in the season that he’s been missing, and he turns up on Jason’s doorstep, seeming more intent on tricking than treating. I think it’s safe to assume that Jessica will sense Jason is in danger and rush to the rescue.

Who let Russell out of the garage?

The most exciting and potentially scary development of the episode – Alcide goes to the garage where Bill and Eric buried the ancient and completely insane vampire Russell Edgington at the end of season 3. He finds an employee with no memory, a big whole in the concrete and empty silver chains. Russell is out and I can’t imagine he’s very happy.

What’s Scott Foley’s deal? Will Terry really be bad for Arlene?

An old Marine buddy of Terry’s shows up, and Terry doesn’t seem too happy about it. Later, the ghost of Rene appears to Arlene and tells her that Terry’s past is catching up to him and she should run. Of course, when the ghost of your psychotic, serial killer ex-husband appears to give you a warning, it’s only right to be skeptical.

[Note: the previous graph has been updated to reflect that Terry’s buddy was in the Marines, not the Army.]

Are Bill and Eric going to go on the run?

Nan shows up at Bill’s mansion and informs the king and Eric that she’s resigned, or been fired, by the AVL and the Authority. She tries to get them to partner with her, but makes the mistake of threatening Sookie, which leads to decapitation for her guards and the true death for her. One thing that is not in question: Bill and Eric are not puppy dogs.

Is Tara dead?

Debbie Pelt shows up at Sookie’s house, bearing a shotgun, which, frankly is not very original of her. Tara shoves Sookie out of the way, taking a blast for her. Sookie appears to kill Debbie and then cradles Tara, who is bleeding profusely.

In the end, while we lost some characters in Jesus, Nan and maybe Tara, we’ve added new ones and plenty of new plots, so it doesn’t appear that Ball has learned that less is more. But if next season has the same manic energy as the last 20 minutes of season 4, all will be forgiven.

RELATED: ‘True Blood’ author Charlaine Harris answers reader questions.

By Paul Williams  |  12:18 AM ET, 09/12/2011

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