True Blood 5.05: Let’s Boot and Rally

True Blood airs Sundays at 9PM on HBO
PREVIOUSLY: I missed the PREVIOUSLY so I‘ll make up my own. Everybody turned into bunnies and we all learned a valuable lesson about friendship and hiding when there are falcons nearby.

FINALLY SOME FUCKING MANFLESH. Sookie and Alcide are furiously making out on the couch, then furiously making out on the way upstairs while she plasters herself to his giant mountain chest and he hangs onto her with one arm, then furiously undressing each other in Sookie’s weird bedroom. He is so tall that she physically can’t reach high enough to even think about getting his shirt over his head, which is delightful. Nobody makes any mention of how she was super drunk like a minute ago, but I assume she has sobered up blah blah ABS. Sookie ruins the moment like a jerk by suddenly and violently barfing all over Alcide’s feet, and he stands there for a second like “We can make this work still, just gargle some Listerine and I’ll toss my shoes in the bathtub, let’s GO,” but then the dudes who have actually managed to bang Sookie without interruption crowd into the doorway and ruin everything that vomit has not by being all like “Alcide, you sure know how to treat a lady.” Jump in or shut up, bitches.

Lafayette freaks out inside his house. The witch mask is on in his reflection, and he yells at it for being a giant dick before lighting a bundle of sage and asking god for help. I enjoy that he seems to have a different altar for each religious practice he might be into. His figurines start being dicks again and taunt him rudely (Buddha: “Life is suffering, bitch!”), at least until until he knocks them all off of the mantel and stomps on them. Their tiny screams! I could not stop laughing! This is obviously building up to Lafayette’s total breakdown or his transcendence into ACTUAL BUDDHA, but there’s always one or two storylines in every season where the writers don’t pay enough attention, and so it just looks like the characters involved are going insane until someone knocks the bong off of the story notes and is like “Oh, shit! QUICKLY, WE NEED AN ENDING.” So I’m interested in seeing where this goes, but in the meantime, more tiny screams of terror, please. Each week, Lafayette can destroy a different set of little religious dudes!

Private Eller, having landed Terry and Patrick in his crazy PTSD Basement o’ Chuckles, ties them to chairs and demands to know if they were followed by “anything.” Terry’s like JUST OUR PAST DEEDS.

Jason has the fuzzy bright soft-focus dream filters as he wakes up on his recliner, wearing adorable He-Man pajamas. He goes to the kitchen to find his parents and child-Sookie sitting at the table, eating cereal. He’s happy and joins them for breakfast—his father encourages him about some sporting event, and his mom’s like “It’s just peewee, Corbett,” which is not something a mom says about her child. It’s something a bitter jerk like me says about your child.

SOMETHING IS AMISS! AND I DON’T JUST MEAN THE BLOOD THAT IS DRIPPING OUT OF THE PARENTS’ NECKS AND INTO THEIR CEREAL! Gross. Even grosser: Mom Stackhouse propositions Jason for no reason other than the writers are bad people. Jason panics himself awake and takes a phone call from Rosie the police dispatcher in the nude. Congratulations on your whole physical situation, Ryan Kwanten.

Bill, Eric, and Sookie have a meeting at the kitchen table, where they tell her they’re going to need her fairy fists to bust through Alcide’s glamoured crewman and find who broke Russell out. She’s doubtful that she can even do it, and Alcide is growly and angry, but she eventually hallucinates them all barking at each other like dogs as they argue, and starts to laugh until they shut up. She tells them that basically her life is a goddamn mess, and now Russell’s going to get all up in her shit again, so she might as well try and help them take care of it. She puts on her jacket and climbs out through her broken window, sarcastically thanking Tara for ruining everything.

Fangtasia! Slow-motion new-you walking scene with Tara in a bustier that was clearly borrowed from Pam. It’s ridiculous, but again: Rutina Wesley is at such an insane level of beauty and charisma that she could be wearing my actual skin and I’d still be like “BLALRARHHGHG LOOKS FABULOUS ON YOU AAAARRHG BLAH /expires from blood loss.” Pam (also looking particularly foxy) admires the slow-motion new-you walking, proud that her progeny is a total babe. Tara’s smile drops off her face when she reaches Pam, who congratulates Tara on looking “halfway decent.” Tara snaps that if she wanted to look like a drag queen, she’d have raided Lafayette’s closet. Pam ignores the dig and tosses Tara a bar towel, informing her that they’re shorthanded, so Tara’s going to be tending bar. THIS GIRL CANNOT WIN.

Tara is immediately hit on by a fangbanger, and just when Tara’s about to take her up on the offer, Pam zooms in and jacks her up against the wall, ordering her to never feed on a human in public where she can be seen/recorded, because it reflects badly on the people running the joint. Those people is now Pam, who has a vested interest in not being reported to the Authority. Jessica, also looking extra hot, stands awkwardly in the crowd as all this is going down.

THE FORMER PERMANENT RESTING PLACE OF KING RUSSELL EDGINGTON THE RAD Sookie reads the mind of Alcide’s dude, Doug, and discovers that 1) Doug loves nachos and 2) the person who dug up Russell was a woman. As if there was ever any doubt it was Salome. I know now that I‘ve said it that it’s going to be someone other than Salome, but whatever. I’m a fan of this show. I’m used to crushing disappointment.

Man, I want some nachos.

At the Authority headquarters, Nora says some stuff about Lilith and gets hit with the UV ray. Salome, observing this, orders the iStakes (UGH) attached to Bill and Eric to be activated and deployed if they don’t have Russell by dawn. She goes back to see Roman, who is staring wistfully at an alleged vial of Lilith’s blood. He’s upset about having to kill the kidpire, and Salome, subtle as her backstory would suggest, tells Roman he really should reach out to the ~*~Sanguinistas~*~ by incorporating more of the religious vampires’ ideas into his political worldview, suggesting that he could “control the message” that way. Despite my best efforts, I’m pretty interested in the whole sociopolitical and historical side of True Blood‘s vampire bullshit.

Terry and Patrick accuse Eller of setting the fires, but Eller argues that he’s innocent, and in fact was a witness to the first fire. He tells them that he was staying at the first house that burned down, and that he saw the fire actually seek the others out before he escaped. He says he Googled it and found information about ifreets that seemed to fit the “angry fire monster killin’ bros” theme of his life. Terry flashes back to the massacre, and how one woman was wounded but alive. He went to her and wanted to call in a medevac for her, but Patrick ordered Terry to kill her, and he did—but not before she totally murder-cursed their asses by praying for an ifreet to destroy them and all they love. This is actually pretty creepy, and kind of cooler than I thought the storyline would be. I love ifreets!

Murder scene with Sam’s yuppie shifter pals. Jason and Andy poke around, but mostly use the time to talk about their fairy feelings. Jason wants to just forget about everything on account of he likes Holly, but Jason is desperate for purpose, like he is every other season, and his purpose is now faerereryr investigatin’. Andy questions Sam, who spills that he and the two yuppies were shifters. I can’t remember if Andy knew about shifter stuff, but he doesn’t seem freaked about it, so I assume he did.

FRIENDTASIA!. Jessica and Tara bond over being turned against their will, and they become friends and it’s adorable. Jessica gives Tara a cute it gets better video about how vampire feelings are okay once you get the hang of them, and also sex and drinking blood are awesome yay forever! I want them to be best friends so bad. SO BAD.

HERVEAUX VAN OF AWKWARD EMOTIONS. Sookie tries to get Alcide to talk about that time she puked on his shoes (Alcide, hilariously: “No.”), and Doug simmers in his own terror in the passenger’s seat. Bill and Eric argue with each other in the back of the van, Bill accusing Nora of digging up Russell and Eric defending her, until Bill calls both Eric and Nora lying traitors. Fangs are popped, but Molly the adorable vampire tech girl calls Bill and tells them that their stakes have been activated. Bill and Eric are like :/

They arrive at an abandoned mental institution that Sookie plucked from Doug‘s memory. WHICH INCLUDES DOUG CARRYING A TINY GURGLY BABY VOLDEMORT RUSSELL AROUND ARAJRPELKRAEHGPASKJDLK HJSLDKFA;DS EW. I’ll say now that this is probably the one episode I can ever remember that made this feel like an actual horror-themed show, what with the ifreet and the sanitarium and Lafayette’s whole life. Bill and Eric try to ditch the other three at the doors, but Sookie, fairly, points out that the only thing that ever even hurt Russell was her fairy fists, and also please remember that her life is a goddamn mess, and on top of that she has to pee, and have Bill and Eric never seen a horror movie, etc., and she’s totally going.

Shifter murder scene. Blah blah investigation: discovery where Jason finds a silver-cored wooden bullet embedded in a tree, and Andy determines that the killers were in a vehicle.

SANITARIUM. Scooby and the gang find a room full of bodies being fed upon by rats.

At Fangtasia!, Tara goes outside for a cigarette, then ashes it completely in just one breath. She seems amused by this, and then Hoyt walks up in a purple vest and a red tie and eyeliner, and she is greatly amused by that. They express surprise that they became a fangbanger and a fanger, and Hoyt uses simple math to suggest that Tara should totally bite him. Tara has sense enough to say no, even when Hoyt almost successfully manages to be sexy and not a giant hot goober, and Hoyt is left empty-handed. Tara still watches him leave, though.

Up in North Dakota or Canada or Uzbekistan or wherever Eller’s basement is, Terry’s flashback shows us that he did, in fact, see the ifreet in the smoke as the soldiers burned the bodies. He tells Eller about it, convincing him to untie them because they need to get the hell out of there before the ifreet comes. Patrick knocks Eller out and congratulates Terry on his acting. Terry’s all “I wasn’t! We need to go!” but Patrick gets angry and says that if Terry isn’t going to help him tie up Eller, he needs to go. Terry totally leaves. Patrick, after tying Eller up, goes back outside to find Terry smoking furiously. They argue, and down in the basement, smoke falls down the walls like blood in a haunted house. Eller wakes up and starts screaming as it forms into a monster shape (the effects are actually pretty cool), wraps its spindly arms around him, and hugs him to burny death. WAY TO GO, PATRICK.

LAFAYETTE’S HOUSE OF HORRORS. AAARARHGAGH HAVE WE EVER DISCUSSED MY THING ABOUT MOUTHS BEING SEWN SHUT? We shouldn’t discuss it, it’s terrible. But Lafayette wakes up to the sound of muffled panic, and waiting for him on his coffee table is Jesus’s severed head (or a vision of it), it’s mouth sewn shut. It’s trying to talk to him, but Lafayette just starts yelling, like any normal person would. In a delightful twist, Lafayette’s mother sees the same thing in her room at the care facility, but is so amazingly blasé about it, and seems to understand that Jesus wants her to tell Lafayette something. She starts yelling for Lafayette. I fucking love Ruby Jean, and am so glad Alfre Woodard is back for this season. Also, I was genuinely creeped out by this whole sequence, so good job, True Blood!

SANITARIUM. Doug, still freaking out, says he’s never been to New York and is going to die without having seen it. Eric tries to comfort him by saying it smells like pee and the people are rude. I’d like to add that the subways are really dangerous if you’re an idiot like me. Aaaaahhhh another room full of bodies but these ones are ALIVE, hanging from the ceiling. One dude tells them where the bodies usually get taken, and Doug decides to stay there while the others check it out.

Sam goes to visit Luna to tell her about the shifter deaths, and they seem to make up a little bit. Sam goes to leave, and walks outside and into some bullets. Luna comes out and gets shot multiple times as well by a bunch of masked dudes in a truck. Luna’s weird kid runs out, and almost gets shot, but she turns into a tiny baby wolf puppy and escapes into the woods. The guys in the truck drive away, laughing. Sam tries to reach Luna, but I think she died. Aw L.

Roman gives a speech about mainstreaming, but seems to have followed Salome‘s advice and is incorporating the fundamentalists into his worldview again. His speech plays over scenes of Jason crying at his parents’ graves and Tara feeding on Hoyt in the Fangtasia! bathrooms, right next door to where Jessica is feeding on the blond girl who hit on Tara. Jessica hears Hoyt ask Tara to stop, then freaks out and drags the two of them apart, totally vampire-fighting with Tara. NO I WANTED THEM TO BE FRIENDS. THIS IS A DISASTER.

DESTINATION: RUSSELL. They find him looking considerably healthier, but still skinny and lying on a cot. Everyone sort of machos all over the place, and Eric states his murderous intentions. Russell, cockily, says “Give it your best shot.”

I have to admit, this is the first episode of the season where I’m honestly sad about having to wait until next Sunday! But that follows the pattern of the show pretty well, the seasons don’t usually kick off until about this point in the run.

SO HOW ABOUT JESUS’S HEAD. OH MY GOD.

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  • No lie, when they pulled up the drive to the Sanitarium, I shouted out: “GARTH MARENGHI’S DARKPLACE!” It cracked me up. And then creeped me out with the people hanging in wait. GOOD WORK!

    RUBY JEAN. Holy hell, I love Alfre Woodard and love that you do, too. And now I, too, want some nachos. (Great write up, Sam!)

    • Sam H

      I NEED TO WATCH THIS DARKPLACE BUSINESS SO I UNDERSTAND YOUR REFERENCES.

      I think we should make a pact now that if one of us ever ends up eating nachos with Alfre Woodard they have to invite the other along.

  • mrmonkeybottoms

    I burst out laughing at the shot of Bill and Eric leaning douchily against the doorway after Sookie vomits. SO. FUNNY.

    • Sam H

      Hahaha, casual vomit observation is the VERY HEIGHT OF COMEDY.

  • YOUR PREVIOUSLY AND ENTIRE OPENING PARAGRAPH ARE FREE OF FLAW. As is the rest of your review, but opening up with shrill cackling is never not the way to go.

    I thought Jason’s dream sequence was hilarious with him all grown and shit. None of Sookie’s flashbacks are like that! Neither were Tara’s! Jason just really could use a therapist, I think.

    Ugh, but speaking of Tara, I thought that whole slave line was ridiculous. Reeeeeally, Alan Ball? Really? Okay then, just so we both know that’s what’s happening here.

    TINY GURGLY BABY-VOLDEMORT-KING RUSSELL EDGINGTON THE RAD (OF MESSESSEPPEH) CAN HOOK YOU UP WITH NACHOS SO LONG AS YOU ARE OKAY WITH BEING HIS VERY OWN BOTTOMLESS FAERY CAPRI SUN POUCH. Get it get it get it. (I am very proud of this joke and its stupidity, whatever.) (Also, I pictured Fred Fredburger singing his “I just want some nachos” chorus in the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy’s “Keeper of the Reaper” episode. I imagine it as your heartsong, à la the penguins’ in Happy Feet.)

    Dude, as much as the ifrit is a cool reason for everything to be being destroyed in Terry’s life and his loved ones coming to ruin, it is totally exploity-awkward that they happened to murder Mirri Maz Duur’s AU Targ cousin or something amidst the Regular Muslim Folk who really would not be summoning elemental demons to their aid. From what I’ve heard from my Muslim friends/fam, most djinn are not supernatural dudes you want to owe favors to or be in the presence of. Idk, I’d rather if Terry’s unit had rolled up on some cursed Ali-Baba-cave or something so there weren’t all these unfortunate sociopolitical implications. Because this is unfortunate even for True Blood. :/

    BUT WHY WOULD YOU LIGHT A CIGARETTE WHEN A FIRE DEMON IS AFTER YOU, TERRY. BESIDES, USING DIP WOULD BE MORE ACCURATE IF HE WAS AS PTSD AS ALL THAT, SMOKE GIVES AWAY YOUR POSITION, GOSH.

    And I for one found Jesús’s mouth being sewn up hilarious, but I’ve also watched Hocus Pocus about a hundred times and I was kind of laughing in anticipation of future cornballness. And I think the werewolf baby being portrayed by a Malamute is kind of hysterical, but that’s because wolves are freaky-deaky in a different way than puppies really can physically manage to be.

    ANYWAY YES COSIGN I THOUGHT THIS WAS THE FIRST REALLY EXCELLENT ONE THIS SEASON, SO YEAH.