Despite my qualms with most of season 5, I have to admit that True Blood really picked up the slack this week. It seems as if everyone involved remembered what the show was really about, as the newest episode explores the relationships between characters in an effective manner that didn’t seem as jarring as the past few weeks. There’s still about four too many storylines being followed, but at least I could bring myself to care about them this time.
Sookie has taken more of a backseat role this season, and tonight’s episode is no different. After telling Alcide about her involvement with Debbie’s death, she incurs the wrath of Lafayette and his brujo, which almost kills her. Once she realizes she’s not really in anyone’s good graces, she spends the night hitting the bottle, eventually joined by Alcide. Their nice little kiss at the end could hint towards another romance for her, meaning she can put a token on the werewolf space of her “Interspecies Sex” bingo card.
Bill and Eric don’t steal the show like they have been lately, but their search for Russel Edgington is gathering steam. Eric gets sidetracked with Pam, who has become one of my surprise favorite characters this season. Although she was always on my radar as nothing more than a character good for a quick laugh, being able to see her early involvement with Eric has fleshed her out in ways I wasn’t expecting. The scene where Eric releases her from his hold as a Maker was more emotional than I could have expected from what used to be a background cardboard cutout.
Back with the Authority, Roman and Salome go on a hunt of their own, working to root out a traitor in their midst. Although they only show up for a few precious minutes, both performances are some of my favorites, and I still can’t get enough of fanger religion.
Even Tara’s story was tolerable this week, because apparently it took her dying and becoming a vampire to become a more tolerable character. After Pam saves her from the tanning bed, she feeds on a human for the first time, and boy does she seem to savor her some red. Her high pitched whining has been replaced by calm acceptance, and it’s a side of Tara that has been missing for far too long.
The other side stories this week do a great job of rounding out the episode, as we finally get another glimpse into Terry’s curiously secretive past from his military days. While he goes searching for one of his old friends, he has a flashback to an Independence Day massacre caused by one of his crazy comrades killing a bunch of civilians. Once Terry and Patrick arrive at a creepy looking bunker, this guy shows up with gun in hand. Although his story has occupied all of seven minutes of this season, Terry’s background is shaping up to be one of the more interesting diversions of the season.
Finally, we get a nice reminder that the fairies are still out there, as Jason and Andy get invited to a private party by Judge Clements. But this is Bon Temps, so the party is of course hosted by fairies in their world where they are hiding out from the vampires. Jason runs into his cousin while there (remember her?), who reveals that his parents were actually killed by vampires for their fairy blood. After understandably making a scene about the whole thing, him and Andy are tossed back to Bon Temps, but it looks like they brought along a few visitors as well.
Overall, this episode of True Blood felt more in line with what fans love about the show. The characters have come back to the forefront, even though a few of my favorites were missing this time around (no Steve Newlin? For shame!). At this rate, all of these plots are hopefully going to converge into a huge finale, in epic True Blood fashion.
What did you think about tonight’s episode? Did it draw you in or revoke its invitation? Let us know in the comments and be sure to keep an eye open for next week’s recap!