'True Blood' Recap: 'Authority Always Wins' (Season 5, Episode 2)
Last week’s “True Blood” season premiere set up the season nicely. Tara is now a vampire, Bill and Eric are in trouble with the Authority, Jessica is enjoying freedom as a single, maker-less vamp, the werewolves are pissed at Alcide and Terry is letting his past in Iraq make him crazier than we thought he was. Meanwhile, Reverend Steve Newlin is back as a “gay vampire American” with the hots for Jason and we know for sure Russell is on his way back. This should be fun.
So what’s up this week?
Tara has become the Tasmanian Devil She-Vampire. This is the thanks Lafayette and Sookie get for making a deal with Pam to turn her. She tries to kill both of them, she destroys Sookie’s house and then she runs off into the night. In a moment of absolute clarity, Lafayette tried to stake her because he knew his reasons for wanting her to be a vampire were selfish, but Sookie talked him out of it. There goes the last good decision that will be made when it comes to Tara’s well being.
Meanwhile, Sookie’s boy Alcide has his own problems with his new pack. They all know he killed their pack master Marcus and Marcus’ mom Martha tries to get him to eat Marcus’ carcass (say that ten times fast) and take on the role of new pack master. Alcide won’t have any of it and tells Martha what she can do with her dead boy’s body. Martha won’t sit idly by, though. She visits Luna to see her grandbaby and Luna kicks her out which causes an inexplicable fight between Luna and Sam because Sam doesn’t see the problem with Luna’s daughter hanging out with the cannibals. Sam and Alcide exit their scenes all brooding and pissed off. (“Pissed off” seems to be the emotion of the evening.)
Back to the infinitely more interesting vampires. Pam, who has to be the most fun yet most poorly used character on the show, is finally getting some good stuff. We found out last night that she and Eric met in San Francisco around the turn of the century when she was a madam and he saved her from an attacker on the street. So far all we know is Pam was Pam even back then, quick-witted and self-reliant, and Eric looks amazing in a top hat and tails, but the flashbacks were some of the most compelling scenes in the entire episode. More Pam please.
But there are the annoying humans to deal with first. The Bellefleur boys have their own issues. Andy is distressed because Holly hasn’t called after their night of passion and Terry is now having episodes where he turns catatonic and flashes back to his days in Iraq which are somehow connected to the fire that destroyed his and Arlene’s place. Again, I wonder why we should care. The only enlightening thing Andy did this week is find Deb’s car abandoned. Oh, and he found some V in Deb’s car and gave it to Jason instead of stealing it. So there was that.
Jason, possibly the only interesting human in the bunch, is on a discovery of self-awareness. He’s realizing that his days of being a scoundrel have caused much pain to many people. He goes begging Hoyt for forgiveness over Jessica but Hoyt is done with the randy policeman. It feels like they are going for Jason to just give up and hang with Reverend Steve but I’ll be damned if I can see how they’re going to get there. The good reverend tried to buy Jason from Jessica but all that got him was a fight that dissolved into hair-pulling and ended when he let it slip that Jessica’s dad is no longer the King.
Eric and Bill deserved better last night. Essentially every moment of their time on screen involved them being tortured or yelled at. It was worth the payoff, though, when they used Russell as their “Be Spared the True Death” card. Series newbie Christopher Meloni joined the team last night (with ten minutes left in the episode…talk about prolonged gratification) as Roman, one of the Authority dudes and we got some vampire background involving a vampire bible that states humans are only here as food for vampires. It seems the Authority wants to do away with the vampires who believe that and after mistaking Bill and Eric for members of that gang, Roman wants to stake them both just for being stupid but stops when Bill makes a deal: Eric and Bill’s lives for Russell’s.
The episode ends on the sight of Russell’s face slowly turning back to his old self, complete with his red, snakey tongue and those fabulous fangs.
Eric and Bill, hands down. This new relationship where they seem to actually care about what happens to one another is a ‘shippers dream as well as a brilliant move on the part of the writers. They work well off each other and are extremely easy on the eyes to boot.
Reverend Steve’s response when he was asked how Jesus would feel about vampires:
“Anyone who's been dead for three days knows where we're coming from"
Martha, werewolf and dead Marcus’ mother, is played by the wonderful Dale Dickey. My introduction to Ms. Dickey was as Patty, the daytime hooker on “My Name is Earl” and every time she’s on screen I start to laugh. I’m pretty sure that isn’t the reaction they’re going for.
Not only did they wait until the last ten minutes to bring on Christopher Meloni’s Roman but we only got a fleeting glimpse of Russell to end the episode. The best part of the ending, though, is the knowledge that Russell is thisclose to coming back.
Closing credits song:
The Authority Song ~ A quirky cover of the John Mellencamp song by Rockabilly artist Bosco Delrey