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Tara Thornton: Can't catch a break!

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What a pathetic season for Tara this has been.  I was never a big fan of Tara's, but neither did I particularly dislike her.  The Lettie Mae redemption story was a bit of a let down because it seemed a bit unearned, but I'm willing to accept it as Tara getting her closure with her mother before entering the great beyond, and I can take it or leave it.  What really bothered me was the garbage material the writers handed Rutina to work with.  She gets to hang on a cross with a snake around her neck, speak in tongues, squat like a dog digging up a yard with barely any speaking parts at all.  What!?  Really!?  The actor has been with the show since season 1, has shown up at interviews and toed the company line all along and yet they dismiss her like so much garbage, giving the majority of the end of Tara's story to the character of Lettie Mae.  Seems like a bit of a slap in the face to me.  Nothing against the actor playing Lettie Mae, but I think Rutina deserved better.

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Back at the beginning I'd hoped for Tara/Jason, although I didn't have a problem with her moving on with Eggs. 

Never liked her becoming a vampire. 

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I liked the idea of Tara becoming a vampire after everything she had been through... but then Pam treated her like shit and she was too pissed at Lafayette and Sookie for her to be able to live a life similar to her old one, minus the people being able to have control and power over her all the time.

When Sam came to her rescue when she was first turned, I was hoping for good things- Tara being able to mainstream or something... but they obviously went a very different direction with that and the whole vampire storyline that season.

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I liked Tara when she was aired with Sam. Two people who experienced pain in life but wanted better. Too bad TPTB broke them up for the stupid pairings we got in the aftermath and ultimate endings we got for these characters.

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While watching "Love is to Die" I thought of Willa for some reason. Do we even know what happened to her?  Thinking of Willa made me think of Tara and how much I HATED what they did with Tara this season.

 

 A much better ending for Tara would have been for Willa and Tara to plan to leave Bon Temps together (as lovers or BFFs).  If the writers wanted a big emotional forgiveness/good bye scene we could have had it with Tara forgiving Lafayette and Sookie for having her turned. Tara could talk about how she never wanted to be turned but now she is happy to be alive and excited to see where life a vamp takes her. Sookie and Lafayette could admit they basically had her turned for seflish reasons, they loved her so much they couldn't bare to face life without her.  They could have a nice goodbye, with Tara promising to stay in touch. 

 

We cold have skipped Lettie Mae, the yard digging and Tara apologizing for not having shot her father.  My eyes roll just typing that.

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While watching "Love is to Die" I thought of Willa for some reason. Do we even know what happened to her?  Thinking of Willa made me think of Tara and how much I HATED what they did with Tara this season.

 

 A much better ending for Tara would have been for Willa and Tara to plan to leave Bon Temps together (as lovers or BFFs).  If the writers wanted a big emotional forgiveness/good bye scene we could have had it with Tara forgiving Lafayette and Sookie for having her turned. Tara could talk about how she never wanted to be turned but now she is happy to be alive and excited to see where life a vamp takes her. Sookie and Lafayette could admit they basically had her turned for seflish reasons, they loved her so much they couldn't bare to face life without her.  They could have a nice goodbye, with Tara promising to stay in touch. 

 

We cold have skipped Lettie Mae, the yard digging and Tara apologizing for not having shot her father.  My eyes roll just typing that.

 

Willa was at the dinner at Bellefluer's in this weeks episode.  She had asked Arlene for a job in ep 5 (I think it was ep 5- at the party)

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I thought it was weird they made her unable to speak (except in tongues) and then all of a sudden she can speak English to her mom and Lala... Why didn't she just say all that stuff in Lettie Mae's first V trip, and save us all those horrible scenes?!

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What saddens me about Tara is that there were so many missed opportunities.  She and Sam would have been great together.  I will always be pressed about that not happening.  

 

Her being a vampire could have been an interesting arc for her if explored properly.  She, Willa, and Jessica could have been friends and had adventures together.  Tara and Pam could have had an amazing maker/progeny relationship that mirrored Pam's and Eric's.  

 

Instead, they kept her on the sidelines until they needed her, made her as miserable and isolated as possible, and killed her off with no real fanfare.  To add insult to injury, they made her (true) death a way for her mother to redeem herself, despite the fact that Lettie Mae treated Tara like human garbage and never showed any remorse for her actions.  And since Tara was miserable so much of the time, it made it harder to viewers to identify or care about her, because she was usually sniping, fighting, or crying.  She never got to experience any real happiness that lasted longer than an episode. 

 

I hope Rutina gets a better role, because she got royally screwed.  And while Tara wasn't always my favorite character, she deserved better than this.

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I was never a huge fan of Tara, but I think she got royally screwed over the last couple of seasons.

 

On a completely shallow note, the Greek goddess-style hair/dress they had Rutina in after Tara's true death has convinced me that she's one of the most gorgeous actresses on television. And her arms! Dear god, I covet her arms.

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From Entertainment Weekly:

When they filmed the season six finale, Buckner had no intention of killing off Tara. But then realizing they had to have a casualty to make the H-Vamp threat real, and not knowing how he’d top that season six finale scene between Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Lettie Mae (Adina Porter), he thought it made sense for Tara to be the one to go. “I didn’t know what to do with that for 10 more episodes. The writers chose to tell a story about the redemption of Lettie Mae. I understand that people feel like, ‘Why would we tell the story of Lettie Mae and not the story of Tara.’ I get it, but you have to make certain choices, and I think that this season there are characters who got more explored than they’ve ever been explored—like Andy and Holly. And other characters who people have come to love but have already been thoroughly explored, who at the end of the day may have been short-shrifted. We have a massive cast, and it is both a curse and a blessing.”

 

 

I feel compelled to respond to this because it irritates the crap out of me.  

 

In the first place, your finale is not the time to pivot and explore characters who are secondary characters (at best).  It just isn't.  If they were worthy of attention, it should have been done sooner.

 

Secondly, they could have gotten to the same goal- making the Hep-V threat real- by killing the mother instead, and I think it would have been a more cohesive story.

 

If Lettie Mae dies because Tara can't protect her, it ties into the flashback they invented wherein Tara couldn't protect her mother in the past.  We could have seen Tara's struggle with that (giving Lafayette more to do than James).  Lettie Mae could have had peace, which makes sense because of her addiction issues.  And then the character some of us have actually cared about could have joined the Happy Ending Club with everyone else.

 

The scene from last season he's referring to was bullshit anyway, imho, and I believe he even addressed it in an interview because people didn't believe Lettie Mae would actually help Tara sincerely.

 

ETA- Killing Lettie Mae also would undermine Sam's plan by showing that vampires can't protect humans with an actual kill instead of a list of names and a kidnapping, making the human-led revolt that much more understandable.  Could've had some Tara/Sam sparks from it too, giving him something to do.  So, y'know, bonus.

 

If they needed to off someone big in the premiere (and not show it), why not Alcide?  You get a shock, and you free Sookie earlier in the season so she doesn't come off so poorly reverting back to Bill by the time the season's done.  

 

That said...if they had to kill off Tara to ratchet up the tension, they should have done it on screen.  More than that- the other characters should have actually reacted.  Lafayette flat-out said it wasn't a big deal.  Pam's response was to blink while playing Russian Roulette.  I'm not even sure Jason reacted at all.  Killing the character didn't raise any stakes because nobody frickin' cared, and it didn't make it real because nothing else happened after that (meaning the Hep-V vamps didn't really do much other damage).  So he didn't even pull off what he says he was trying to, which leads me to land on the last part of his comment- he just didn't feel like writing for certain characters...begging the question, why did he sign on for more episodes?  Why not turn it over to someone who's OK with the characters they had to work with, had invested time in?

 

Thanks for the space to rant.  I'm annoyed at the off-screen no-impact death, the reasons behind it, and how it contrasts with everyone else's perfect endings (except for the villain).  As I say goodbye to the show I had to get it out.

Edited by phoenix780
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