That, in a word, sums up my reaction to tonight’s episode of True Blood. While I’ve enjoyed this season, I cannot deny that it’s been an uneven one with great episodes alternating with episodes that felt like they were mostly serving as filler. Tonight’s episode was one of the great ones and, if the final half of this season can continue to build on this episode’s momentum, season 5 of True Blood will be a memorable one indeed.
A lot of things happened on tonight’s episode of True Blood and I’m still taking them all in, even as I write this. This is going to be a review of first impressions and I make no apologies for that.
For a show that has often been in danger of coming across like a collection of random scenes and flamboyant quirks, tonight’s episode had a very definite and very strong theme and that was the theme of hate. Why do people (and vampires and werewolves) hate and how does it feel to be hated? Can hatred be ended or are we just fated to live our lives in a world that’s dominated by people trying to kill each other for reasons that don’t even seem to be all that apparent to them? At it’s best, True Blood has always served an allegory for the prejudices that have poisoned the past and which refuse to die in the present. That was certainly the case tonight. It was rarely subtle but then again, True Blood rarely is.
That’s kind of why some of us love it.
Where to begin with recapping this episode? Well, let’s start with Sookie. After having her little freakout at the Faerie nightclub, Sookie was subdued by two faeries who, once Sookie regained consciousness, informed her that she has to be careful with her magic powers because, since Sookie is only half-Faerie, she’s running the risk of depleting herself. As the faeries grimly explain to her, if she uses up her magical powers then she’ll no longer be half-faerie. Instead, she’ll just be normal. Sookie can barely disguise just how excited she is by this news.
Later, Sookie goes to the hospital to see Luna, who is still recovering from being shot by rednecks two episodes ago. While there, she talks to Sam and she asks him if he would want to be normal if he had the chance. Sam replies that he doesn’t know and that he really doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Sookie, however, does and she ends the episode lighting up the sky in an effort to deplete her magic.
As for Sam, he’s using his powers to continue to pursue the men who shot him and Luna He manages to catch one of them — who, somewhat predictably, is named Jim Bob — in the hospital.
Jim Bob’s friends, meanwhile, are busy hanging out with their new best friend, Hoyt. Usually, I find an excuse when writing these reviews to refer to Andy as being a dumbass. However, I may have to stop doing that because, as of late, Hoyt is a 100 times more of a dumbass than Andy. Having been “rescued” last week, Hoyt is apparently now a born again redneck and he seems to have little trouble joining up with this hate group and letting them know all about how angry he is at Jessica.
Yeah, Hoyt’s definitely a bigger dumbass than Andy.
But, as tonight’s episode proved, rednecks aren’t the only ones who are capable of hatred. Do you remember how, last week, I theorized that Russell wouldn’t actually kill Roman? Well, I was certainly wrong as tonight’s episode opened with Roman dead and Salome assuming control of the Authority. And, much as I (and a lot of other people) predicted, it was revealed tonight that it was Salome and not Nora who originally dug Russell up in the first place.
As the new head of the Authority, Salome not only releases Nora but also pardons Russell for killing Roman. Once the lone dissenting member of the Authority is killed by Russell, Salome leads the remaining members in drinking the blood of Lilith. Though originally hesitant, Bill and Eric both also drink the blood because, as Eric puts it, it’s just vampire’s blood.
In the very next scene, we find Nora, Salome, Russell, the Rev. Newlin, Eric, and Bill all drunkenly wandering the streets of New Orleans. While Russell and Newlin flirt, the other members of this happy group go out of their way to intimidate humans and announce that the city belongs to them. As if to prove their point, they then crash a party where they proceed to make a bloody (and almost disturbingly graphic) feast out of everyone there. Eventually, so much blood is spilled and so much hatred is released that a very naked Lilith suddenly appears and proceeds to walk over to where Nora is feeding on one unfortunate guest. As Eric, apparently lost in his own daze of a blood lust, watches Lilith and Nora, he suddenly has a vision of his own as Godric appears to remind him that he knows what he’s doing is wrong but, ominously, Nora does not.
(At this point, the show truly earned my review of “Wow.”)
As of tonight’s episode, it certainly appears as if that long-threatened war between humans and vampires is right around the corner…
Random Thoughts And Observations:
- Tonight’s unofficial scene count: 35.
- Who do you think the Dragon is? I’m going to make an early guess and say that it’s Buddy Dearborn, if just because I can’t think of any other reason for including that scene where Andy goes to visit him.
- I have to admit that I found the scenes where Lafayette attempted to get that spirit exorcised out of him to be almost unbearably disturbing and difficult to watch.
- How hot was Alcide while he was training for his fight with J.D?
- Though it didn’t do much to move the story forward, my favorite scene tonight was when Arlene was watching her wedding video. It was a sweet moment of calm in a stormy episode and Carrie Preston’s performance as Arlene really sold it.
- This entire episode, in fact, was very well-acted. Denis O’Hare was all decadent evil as Russell and Anna Paquin’s scenes where she considers whether or not she wants to be normal were very well done.
- As often happens whenever True Blood tackles the most serious of themes, this episode was full of some great one-liners. Here are some of my favorites:
- “I don’t know how to make lunch so I made you breakfast instead.”
- “Your son doesn’t have a grave because y’all ate him.”
- “Hate group is about more than hate.”
- While I think the show made the right decision when it came to killing off Roman, I’m still going to miss Chris Meloni’s performance in the role.