'True Blood' EP Alexander Woo Discusses Tommy's Dramatic Death (Video)
"Death is a part of the life of this show, so characters do die," the exec producer tells THR.
Note: Spoilers if you haven’t seen Sunday’s episode, “Burning Down The House.”
On Sunday’s episode of HBO’s True Blood, the series said goodbye to Tommy Mickens (Marshall Allman) in a very dramatic scene in which he made peace with his brother, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell). Since last season, viewers knew Tommy to be part conman, part seeker for where he belonged in life. In the end, he skinwalked as Sam to spare his brother from the beating that ultimately took his life.
“I think we needed to redeem Tommy at the end,” True Blood’s executive producer and writer, Alexander Woo, tells The Hollywood Reporter about the manner in which they ended Tommy’s story line.
“Despite all the terrible things he does, we always felt he had a good heart on the inside,” Woo adds. “He has done so many things that have hurt others and hurtful to himself, but ultimately we thought it was important to emphasize the basic humanity at the bottom of that character.”
THR spoke with Woo about the choice to kill off Tommy, how it will affect Sam, and whether we can expect any more casualties as we enter the final two episodes of Season 4.
The Hollywood Reporter: When you’re choosing to kill off a character, what is the thought process among the producers and writers?
Alexander Woo: It’s not something we take lightly at all. As writers and fans of the show, you get to know these characters as real people. So, saying goodbye to them when you’ve gotten to know them for a period of years is never easy. There is a lot of discussion about whether to do it and how to do it. This is a vampire show. Death is a part of the life of this show, so characters do die. The heart of the show is always going to be in Bon Temps with this small core group of characters that we have. So often when we lose a character, we feel it from the point of view of our main characters.
THR: Going forward, how will Tommy’s death affect Sam?
Woo: Sam has a lot of heavy stuff to deal with. He went out in search of his family. And because he went out if search for his family, they’re all dead, which of course is quite a heavy burden for him to carry and it’s something he’s going to have to come to grips with.
THR: When a death like this happens, is that a way for the producers to send some kind of message to the fans?
Woo: I wouldn’t say explicitly, but implicitly when we say goodbye to characters and have them die, it conveys a world where things can happen very suddenly and life changes happen very quickly just like real life. Game of Thrones, I think, shows that beautifully this season. And I think that viewers have grown to appreciate and expect to be surprised and to have a show where their relationships with characters in the show reflect their relationships with people in the real world. And life-changing experiences happen sometimes overnight, sometimes not necessarily for great reasons, sometimes for real terrible reasons. And I think it would be unrealistic and a disservice to the viewers if we just saved everyone all the time.
THR: Can we expect some major casualties in the final two episodes?
Woo: Yeah… How about that? No one is safe. Essentially, the vampires and witches are going to war and it’s not going to be a war without casualties.
Watch the scene below.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro