Is it wrong to feel a little bit excited we may have lost one member of the absurdly large "True Blood" ensemble tonight? Probably. But only because with the amount of fake outs and close calls on this show it's less likely someone was killed than just seriously injured.
Whoever did or didn't die this week, it was a typically busy, busy, busy episode with lots of movement on all story fronts, but little in the way of standout moments. Let's break it down...
The Good (What worked)
— Is Luna dead or not? It certainly looked like the life went out of her eyes as she stared at Sam after getting shot by the mysterious supernatural hunters (a seemingly KKK-like group suddenly emerging in the world). But maybe we shouldn't get our hopes up...
— Alcide learned a valuable lesson: don't try to have sex with a fairy while she's drunk. The wolfman's big "I waited so long for this" moment was interrupted by Sookie's upset stomach, and by Bill and Eric lingering at Sookie's bedroom door. From there the odd quartet spent the rest of the episode in a slow search for Russell that actually pays off. Yes, Russell is back! (And Alcide takes a fall in the last shot of the episode after previously noting the scent of Russell's guard wolves. Unlike Luna, there's no question he'll be fine.)
— Writing staff newcomer Angela Robinson (of "Hung" and "The L Word") gave Anna Paquin several good lines this week, but the highlight: "We say goodbye and next thing you guys are back in my house and a 3,000 year old vampire wants to suck my blood. Must be Thursday!"
— And one from Eric: "New York City smells like pee and the people are rude."
— Five words: Jason Stackhouse in He-Man pajamas. (Also of note for Jason this week: What exactly happened to Jason and Andy after they were kicked out of fairy land remains a mystery. They woke up naked in their separate homes with no memory of how they got there. But Jason suddenly finds his old anti-vampire sentiments reigniting and Andy finally figures out that his one night stand Maurella was a fairy.)
— After several strong episodes Pam unfortunately receded to background, but Jessica stepped up as Tara's new mentor (though their friendship may be short-lived). They bonded over their mutual baby vamp status (as Jessica notes, "Pam and Eric and Bill, they're all just so old!") and Jessica told Tara she should feel good about becoming a vampire: "It's not just about the feeding and the sex and the power...we're gonna live forever, we're gonna be young forever, the world is wide open to us."
The Bad (What didn't work)
— By the end of the episode Tara and Jessica were literally fighting over Hoyt, slamming each other into bathroom walls when Jessica discovered Tara took Hoyt up on his fangbanger invitation. This could've been a pretty cool moment, but it was oddly relegated to just one section of a climactic montage set against a speech from Roman.
— Speaking of Roman, the Vampire Authority is still a bore, and it's getting increasingly frustrating that all Chris Meloni has to do is stand around delivering rants about vampire religion and traitors and mainstreaming. Also, it's kind of obvious Salome freed Russell, right? Even if Bill and Eric (and Roman) don't know it yet, and Bill suspects Nora (who is entirely useless and uninteresting in her current position as an Authority prisoner).
— Finally. We saw major progress in the ongoing saga of Terry's military backstory. When he and Patrick finally find their fellow soldier Eller, he ties them up and reminds them of the curse one of the civilian victims placed shortly before she died. Eller believes their entire squad is being hunted down by an Ifrit, "the evil eternal being of smoke and fire" and suddenly Terry remembers this too. Patrick doesn't believe it, but Eller's right. We see that much for ourselves when the Ifrit comes for Eller after Terry and Patrick have escaped. At least we finally know what's going on, but it hasn't made any of this less tedious or disconnected from the rest of the show.
— At a certain point we just have to accept that "True Blood" believes the best way to service all of its many characters is to divide and conquer, instead of bringing various actors together in interesting ways. Thus we get things like Lafayette spending the hour entirely on his own, seeing visions of Jesus' head (and a single scene return of Alfre Woodard as Lafayette's crazy mama, also seeing visions of decapitated Jesus trying to send a message to Lafayette).
The Nasty (The week in sex and violence)
— No time for any action between the sheets this week (sorry, Alcide) but there was the familiar sight of a naked Jason Stackhouse.
— Things were more active on the gruesome front, from Jesus' severed head to flashbacks of Russell's shrunken crispy corpse
What did you think of this week's episode? Would you miss Luna if she's gone? Are you happy to see Russell's return? Do you think Alcide will ever get what he wants from Sookie?
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