True Blood 5.02: Authority Always Wins

True Blood airs Sundays at 9PM on HBO
PREVIOUSLY: Bill and Eric got captured, Sookie and Lafayette made the executive decision to have Pam turn Tara into a vampire, Steve Newlin is in big gay vampire love with Jason, Eric’s fake sister is in the Authority, blah blah werewolf emergency, Terry Bellefleur problems, and Tara’s turning doesn’t go well for Sookie.

Except surprise, it totally does! Tara advances on Sookie, growling, while Pam laughs and Lafayette tries to break them apart. Lafayette gets tossed aside, and Tara bites Sookie.

Pam gets Tara away from Sookie, and tells them that she has a job that she can’t just skip whenever something stupid happens. “Unlike the sterling employees of Merlotte’s,” I whispered with a chuckle into my darkened bedroom, stroking my stuffed unicorn pillow. That restaurant is being run by Terry, Arlene, and Holly at this point. I’m honestly surprised there’s still a restaurant.

Sookie protests that Pam is Tara’s maker, like Pam cares at all. Pam does them the solid of commanding Tara not to bite them and tosses her into the house. Pam fixes Sookie’s neck holes, then peaces.

Tara abruptly turns into a tornado of vampire feelings in the most literal way, tearing the house apart while Lafayette and Sookie watch helplessly. She hasn’t said anything yet, just screamed and growled, and I began hurling invectives at my stuffed unicorn pillow in an incandescent rage at the thought that Alan Ball might have fucked up the one consistently engaging character in this show by taking her brain away, in addition to everything else that’s been taken from her. I don’t read the books, but I’m told by my far braver friends that there’s a mute melty-brained Elvis vampire in them. I was worried that Tara was going to morph into this character. Thankfully, this is not the case, but we still have to tally up the damage within the next episode or two.

Credits! You are the only thing that has never failed me!

Authority HQ. Eric, Bill, and Nora are frog-marched into a warehouse, where they are greeted by a vampire called Salome. Probably she is the actual Salome, because this show is silly enough for that, and a quick glance at the True Blood wiki mentions that she’s famous for her Dance of the Seven Veils. NO SERIOUSLY.

She has a clipped exchange with Nora about the relative usefulness of the Wonder Twins, and it ends with Salome slapping her a little bit. The gang follows her into a biometrically-sealed elevator and down to a bustling lobby for like an hour. Eric, Bill, and Nora are put into cages.

Dinnertime. Alcide refuses to eat Marcus’s body, and he gets heckled by one of the wolves. “Why don’t you take your loner ways and your sensitive stomach back to Mississippi?” Alcide’s like “You think I got this sick body by eating just any old dude’s rotting corpse? Nope. Only Level 5 vegans for this guy.” He tries to leave, but the dude continues, “Walkin’ away don’t make you a bigger man! It just makes you a coward.” You are correct, sir, the act of moving farther into the distance makes you, visually, a smaller man. The fact that Alcide is an actual woolly mammoth wearing the flesh of a gentleman is what makes him a bigger man.

Martha gets Alcide’s attention again and OH MY GOD, writers, I understand you have to fill 54 minutes without any breaks for Valtrex commercials or whatever, but having the exact same “Eat this guy! You’re the new packmaster!” “No! And no!” conversation four times in a row (twice already within the last three minutes) is not the fucking answer. Just have Joe Manganiello take his clothes off and growl about building a driftwood headboard for my bed, okay? That would have more bearing on this godforsaken subplot than 200 repetitions of the same ultimately irrelevant request for Alcide to eat Marcus and become the packmaster, NEITHER OF WHICH ARE THINGS HE IS GOING TO DO AT THIS POINT, I guarantee it.

Sorry. This show gives me acid reflux sometimes.

Alcide finally leaves with a “Good luck,” and Luna drags Sam away, too.

Arlene wakes up to see Terry standing creepily over the bed, staring into space. She tries to touch him, but he shoves her arm out of the way, muttering that something’s going to get them all. She slaps him in a panic, and he snaps out of it, getting back into bed and falling asleep immediately.

Sookie and Lafayette continue to watch helplessly as Tara ruins the kitchen, even knocking down the refrigerator. She ends up on the counter, perched and glaring like a really grouchy parakeet.

Knowing Rutina Wesley is a Juilliard-trained dancer makes me less terrified that she is going to fall down.

Sookie uses this quiet moment to tell Lafayette to “Grab her.” Lafayette does not immediately smack Sookie upside the head, which tells me he is really off his game right now. She suggests he use one of the TruBloods, and he shakily tries to hand it to Tara, eventually setting it down near her. She just stares at him, then at Sookie when she says “Tara, sweetie, you gotta eat.” Lafayette moves toward the bottle again, and Tara jumps on him, preparing to rip out his throat. She can’t do it, and hits herself in the face a couple of times before running off to break more of Sookie’s house in half.

Fangtasia! GINGER! Pam comes into the storeroom/back office, not at all in the mood for Ginger’s questions about where she was.

Ginger: “Why’re you all dirty?”
Pam: “I was in the ground. What’s your excuse?”
Ginger: “:(”

Ginger leaves. Pam sits at the desk and reapplies her lipstick. THERE IS VISIBLE DIRT ON YOUR FACE, PAM, GO TAKE A SHOWEoh nevermind we’re in a flashback now.

San Francisco, 1905! Pam sits at a bar in a burgundy room, eating crab–ew–and looking generally kind of hot and blasé about how soft-focus this flashback is, and also about the olde-tymey jaunty prostitute music playing. A tired-looking, equally blasé young girl appears at her elbow, asking if she’s got a boost for a working girl. Pam pops the top of her ring open and gives the girl a bump of cocaine, asking if she’s seen Claire. The girl says Claire has been occupied for over an hour, and Pam goes to see what’s up.

Looking awesome while doing so.

What’s up is the girl is super dead, probably from vampires. Pam is upset. She is also upset back in the present, and leaves a message telling Eric that it’s fine if they’re not friends anymore and he just wants to hang out with that bitch Bill forever, but they have a science project due on Monday and he HAS to call her back or they will FAIL MISERABLY. Kristin Bauer has lovely blue eyes.

Eric and Bill meet Nigel Beckford, another occupant of the vampire prison. His face is super fucked-up, and we find out he’s in there because he was a nurse practitioner, but he kept eating the babies instead of delivering them. You have to deliver them before you can eat them, though, don’t you? You can’t just stick your whole head up there and chow down, right? And how would he have managed to do that more than, like, once?

A German accent starts German accenting at them from the PA system. That’s how you know it’s evil! German accent! Good job, True Blood! Push all those boundaries of effective storytelling.

The German accent welcomes them to New Orleans, and laments that the visit was not under better circumstances. Bill tries immediately to get Nora and Eric released, claiming that they were both his prisoners and have done nothing wrong. It’s a noble gesture, but it doesn’t work. UV lights suddenly flare through the jail cells, and we find out that Nigel’s face is so jacked because of repeated burnings.

Luna cleans Sam’s wounds on her couch. When she gets up to check on Emma, Martha shows up. Sam lets her in, the first of many boundaries he will overstep this evening. Martha tries to convince Luna to turn Emma over to her, on the basis that Emma might be a werewolf. Luna’s like NOPE NOT EVER because a) Emma might be a shifter instead, and b) ew. Luna orders her out of the house. Martha stops to apologize for Sam’s injuries.

Sam then starts running off at the mouth about how Emma might need a pack if she’s a wolf and blah blah blah. Let me tell you something about single mothers: they do not need you to tell them how to raise their children. That’s exactly what Sam proceeds to do, though! He’s confused when Luna gets pissed off, and becomes belligerent when she tells him to get the fuck out, calling her a “fucking psycho” as he leaves.

It’s truly a masterclass in sympathetic character development, courtesy the True Blood writing staff. Sam hasn’t had a spine for the past four seasons, and they thought that this was a dandy place to turn him into a pushy, overbearing douchebag.

Sookie and Lafayette realize they need to get Tara into Eric’s cubbyhole from last season before sunrise. They lure her in with Lafayette’s blood, and wrangle her into it with a chain around her neck. :(

Squad car confessional time!

Andy: “Stackhouse, I had sex.”
Jason: “Hey! Welcome to the club!”
Andy: “It’s not the first time, assmunch.”

Andy says he’s feeling insecure about Holly blowing him off, and Jason’s like “No that’s totally the best thing ever.” He describes it as getting to eat pie without having to buy the cow. I know he’s supposed to be humorously mixing up his metaphors, but I can’t help wondering if Jason Stackhouse accidentally bought a cow from some girl he was trying to fuck at some point.

Andy asks about Jessica, and Jason lies like, “We’re just keeping it casual. Perfect situation.” If you listen closely, you can hear his heart eating its feelings.

They come across Debbie Pelt’s abandoned vehicle. While Jason makes the connection between Debbie, Alcide, and Sookie, Andy finds a vial of vampire blood in the pocket of the door. He slips it into his pocket, then gives it to Jason, who congratulates him and dumps it onto the ground. If you listen closely, you can hear Andy’s heart also eating its feelings.

Sookie goes into an anti-vampire weapons shop, the same one Maxine Fortenberry got her anti-Jessica rifle at a couple of seasons ago, which is owned by a ponytail. I mean, it’s ostensibly a dude who has a ponytail, but when I say the guy is a ponytail, you know what I mean. Like when somebody is a neckbeard or a popped collar or an Affliction t-shirt.

You can’t even SEE the ponytail, and yet you know him for what he is. Welcome to your innate survival instinct, ladies.

Sookie tells him that there’s an ancient, pissed-off vampire who wants to get his fangs in her, and Ponytail immediately offers a room spritzer full of colloidal silver as the solution. He does a small one-act play about the effects (it’ll burn the shit out of vampires) (but in real life, it turns human people blue with prolonged use, so if you’ve got a vampire infestation, just light your house on fire while they’re sleeping and move to North Dakota) to Sookie’s utter disdain. Ponytail asks if she wants a more permanent solution, and when she gingerly agrees, he reaches under the counter for a crossbow, thinking about how he should invite her on a vampire-killing trip with him on the weekend, and maybe she’ll fuck him after she strings one of them up. She’s like, ew, dickwad, and also murdering is still illegal. Ponytail, suitably chastened, puts the crossbow away and pouts. In the background of this whole scene is a cutout of Steve Newlin holding a rifle, and there’s a red smear on his face and his canines are blacked out. It’s a nice touch.

Terry cooks bacon in the kitchen, and it lights on green fire, knocking him into a halfassed flashback to THE WAR until Arlene interrupts it and he basically throws her across the kitchen. He apologizes, but she’s freaked out and begs him to tell her what’s going on. He gets scary, yelling in her face and storming off. Her hair is really distractingly terrible, and it was not this bad in previous seasons. Why are you doing this to Carrie Preston, hair people? She’s way too adorable to deserve this.

Sookie installs the Glade room spritzer full of silver on her porch and heads back inside, when she hears Lafayette thinking about staking Tara out of guilt. She runs into Eric’s cubby, telling Lafayette that he can’t, that it was a totally unselfish thing that they did and they’ll make a life for Tara somehow and it’ll be awesome when she gets better, like how things are awesome for Jessica now even though it took like a really long time. Lafayette agrees not to stake her. Sookie is dangerous because she has terrible ideas and manages to convince rational people to go along with them. I like Sookie, but she’s like the Zach-Galifianakis-in-TheHangover of friends.

Renard Parish PD. Jason watches Steve Newlin talk on television about how god loves fangs and he is no longer associated with any hate group whatsoever. When the interviewer asks if there’s anyone special in Steve’s life, he says that there is. Jason watches intently, and looks genuinely sad in his heart when Steve says “She makes me very happy.” Say what you want about Jason Stackhouse, but he’s always wanted people to just be themselves.

Andy comes in and questions the other deputy, Ellis, about Judge Clements’s son’s speeding ticket. Ellis, still with scarring on his neck from where a werepanther tore his throat out last season, said the Son Clements almost hit a kid, and flipped Ellis off, too. Andy says the ticket needs to be expunged anyway, and Ellis frowns, but agrees to it. Andy turns the television off despite Jason’s complaints.

A kid walks in through the front door, looking for Jason. When Jason introduces himself, the kid punches him in the face, saying that his parents are getting divorced.

Jason: “Well, I’m sorry, but why the hell are you hittin’ me? I’m a COP, dude!”

Apparently, Jason had sex with the kid’s mom. It takes a picture to jog Jason’s memory, and the kid tries to hit him again. Jason, who is holding a juice box, bear-hugs the kid as a defensive manoeuvre. They have to be broken apart by Andy, who takes the kid’s side. Jason looks contrite as Andy asks if he’s slept with every woman in Bon Temps. He answers in the almost-positive, and Andy gently leads the kid away, warning Jason that if he touches Holly, Andy’s going to put him in jail.

Flashback time again! Pam gets stalked through the streets by an olde tymey murderere, and even though she confronts him in a clear and concise manner, he still pulls a knife on her. But then his throat explodes and he falls down, revealing ALEXANDER SKARSGARD IN PERIOD CLOTHING.

sick cravat, brah

He looks awesome in it. He is mildly impressed by her nonchalance in the face of the dead body of the guy who was just going to FUCKING RAPE AND KILL HER. He says most ladies are not so calm. She tells him “If I meet a lady, I’ll let her know.” He smiles at her, then comments that the dead guy’s blood has ruined her dress. He sensually hands her some money to fix it, and she’s either in shock or in love or both (an appropriate response to Alexander Skarsgard). He leaves her with another smile, and she cries a little bit after. She then wakes up in the present, perturbed inside her awesome pink coffin.

Dieter Braun (Christopher Heyerdahl from Supernatural, playing against type as a crazy torturer), the German accent from earlier, strolls into a room where Bill is attached to a chair and a giant pumpy thing full of stuff (it’s cool, guys, I’m awesome at writing). He tries to be friendly with Bill, even while explaining that the pumpy thing full of stuff is an IV full of “electrolytically refined silver,” and I don’t know what that is but it sounds itchy.

Oh, god, guys, it gets stupid from here. Stephen Moyer (in a henley!) and Christopher Heyerdahl are trying to make it work, but it’s just bad. Apparently there is an OLD OLD TESTAMENT, about how god made LILITH, the FIRST VAMPIRE, who was created in god’s image because GOD IS ALSO A VAMPIRE, and now VAMPIRES ARE THE BEST and HUMANS ARE JUST WALKING CAPRI SUNS and ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED AS FOOD but all of this is ignoring that ALL VAMPIRES WERE HUMANS ONCE and this is an example of WHY I HATE VAMPIRES IN GENERAL. I honestly can’t tell what Braun’s angle is, because he asks if Bill subscribes to a literal interpretation of the text and if he consorts with people who do, and when Bill says no on both counts, Braun hits a button and injects him with silver. I know it’s because he wants Bill to confess, but does he want a real confession or a fake one?

Salome interrogates Eric, telling him that if he cooperates, he’ll leave there a free man. She says she can’t say the same about Nora, and Eric, smirking, says “She won’t leave here a free man?” But no, she has met the true death. Nope, I don’t think Eric falls for it, either.

I’m sorry, these people are just fucking awful at interrogations. She gets as much out of Eric as Braun gets out of Bill, and silvers Eric, too. Her first question was actually “Did you or Bill kill Nan Flanagan?” and Eric answers with a faux-surprised “Nan Flanagan is dead?” so even if either Bill or Eric were involved with the SANGUINISTA MOVEMENT—ahahahahaaha oh my dracula god this is hilarious—neither of them are sufficiently frightened or pained enough to confess to anything, much less something they didn’t do. The show intercuts both interrogations. Braun and Salome both pull the Prisoner’s Dilemma on their captives, which is bush-league nonsense that only works on kids. Eventually, when neither Bill nor Eric has confessed to anything, Braun and Salome give up. I think the most important thing we get from this is that Bill and Eric apparently trust each other completely, and may in fact be in love.

Jessica has another house party with the college kids. Her outfit is weird again, like the sartorial equivalent of Arlene’s hair. Is it that difficult to dress a tiny five-foot-nine girl? Anyway, she’s checking her phone while holding a keg for the blonde Jason wouldn’t have sex with. The brunette is about to barf, and Jessica zooms over to her (practically dropping the keg on the blonde), and drags her over to the front door, hissing “Not in the house.” Also at the front door is Steve Newlin, who dances his way inside, high-fiving everybody, letting the blonde touch his fangs.

Jessica (whose makeup looks good, however) asks what Steve wants. He just wants to talk to her, so they go into her/Bill’s office. Essentially, he’s there to buy Jason from her for ten grand. She tells him twenty, and he goes up to fifteen. She talks about his ass and dick, and Steve, overcome with the vapors/a boner, agrees to twenty. Jessica rolls her eyes and tells him to fuck off, saying that Jason’s her friend and she doesn’t sell her friends. She manhandles him out of her house, then orders all the college kids out, telling them to go back to their human lives before she eats them.

Motel. Patrick is packing up his things to leave when Arlene knocks on the door to finally pick his brain a little. She doesn’t get much before Terry shows up and kind of chases her off. Terry and Patrick discuss Geller, who was in the squad with them—he’s not dead, just off the grid, and they both seem convinced he’s the person behind the fires. They decide to go find out for sure. Roadtrip!

Maxine Fortenberry’s house. Hoyt is fixing her sink when Jason shows up. Jason tries to get Hoyt out of Maxine’s house, offering to stay at Sookie’s if Hoyt will move back into their old place. Hoyt tells him to fuck off, and that’s pretty much that. Jason leaves sadly, Maxine hounding him about ruining Hoyt’s relationship, but she grabs him before he’s gone to thank him for ruining Hoyt’s relationship, promising to bake him a pie for his troubles. His dick troubles.

Luna groggily walks to her weird kid’s room, wondering why she isn’t asleep yet. Then she opens the door.

So much more awesome than a kid.


Luna is not as enthused as the rest of us.

Sookie and Lafayette clean up the packaging from like 300 of the vampire Glade plugins. Tara comes downstairs and stares at them. Sookie says her name, hopeful, but Tara tells them that she will never forgive either of them, and runs outside. The silver sprays her, which is just shitty icing on the poop cake that is her life, and she disappears into the night. Man, I’m just glad she can still talk at this point.

I don’t really know what happens in this next scene in the Authority’s basement, because Christopher Meloni and Peter Mensah are in this season, and it’s asking too much that I focus on anything past that. So what I can piece together about this is that Christopher Meloni is playing the Guardian, Roman, who is like the boss of the Authority. You can tell because he has a pocket square. He gives a drop of his blood to the other Authority members while reciting a prayer to Lilith in what I can only assume is Draculese.

He turns his attentions to Bill and Eric, basically all “what the fuck” over their whole lives. I enjoy that Roman is basically Elliot Stabler as a vampire politician. He asks them again if they’ve ever been members of THE SANGUINISTA MOVEMENT oh nosferatu christ that still kills me. Bill doesn’t know what it is; Eric claims he’s keeping away from politics and religion. Roman turns back to the council, asking what they should do. A redheaded Southern lady wants them dead. Peter Mensah says they should stay alive. This annoying child overacts about wanting them dead also. He looked like he hurt himself, he was so emphatic.

Roman explains to Bill and Eric that it’s vital to coexist with humans, mainly because humans outnumber vampires a thousand to one. He takes a stake from Salome, asking if they’ve got anything to say before he kills them. Bill offers Russell Edgington in exchange for their own lives. This stops Roman for a moment—Nan had assured them Russell was dead. Bill and Eric convince him otherwise, claiming that they’re sure they can draw him out. Roman is just flabbergasted that they were stupid enough to leave Russell alive, especially considering Russell hates them both.

Roman flips out when Bill explains that he let his emotions drive their actions, and nearly kills Bill, saying “I want to stake you so fucking much right now.” Which is hilarious. But he pulls back, because he knows how to keep his feelings out of these matters. Bill assures him that Roman will be there to give Russell the true death, and that Bill himself expects to die either way. But what about Eric? Eric’s the one who killed Russell’s husband!

Creepy dungeon warehouse. Parts of dudes are just all over the place. Russell, looking gross but apparently getting better, tongues his newly regrown fangs.