True Blood Review: “Let’s Boot And Rally” (Season 5, Episode 5)

The storylines in Bon Temps slowly continue to progress in the latest episode of True Blood.

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bill (Stephen Moyer) team up with Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Alcide (Joe Manganiello) to capture Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare), as ordered by the Vampire Authority, while the rest of the supporting characters live their eventful but mostly unrelated lives.

Season five’s most received complaint has to be the countless number of sub-plots, with almost every conceivable character receiving their own juicy story, drawing more and more attention from the main plot: the Vampire Authority and its politics.

Said storyline is still inch-worming along, though the progression should speed up now that Sookie and co. have finally found Russell. True Blood delved smoothly into the controversial abyss of religious fanatics in season two with the Fellowship of the Sun, so I would love to see how they portray the religious in the actual vampire community. More Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian), anyone?

While this episode has the same “too many plots” problem as the rest of the season, it did manage its mania more effectively than usual with well-timed humor. A duo of Bill and Eric, walking in on possible-new-couple Sookie and Alcide and then taking them on a manhunt, shouldn’t be serious, and it wasn’t. Sookie’s monologue about her crazy life was one of the best lines of dialogue she’s had this season. The adorable scene between Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Tara (Rutina Wesley) didn’t hurt things either, bringing the show back to reality. (That is, a reality where vampires serve each other synthetic blood drinks.)

The most notable annoying sub-plot focuses on Terry (Todd Lowe), who barely deserves his own story let alone a borderline-offensive plot about the Iraq War. The story itself wasn’t too bad, until what I can only describe as “the smoke monster from Lost” appeared. Definitely a jump-the-shark type of moment. On a similar note, must Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) be supernatural too? I know his “magical dark side” was introduced in season four, but it’s still bugging me. The opening scene where Lafayette smashes his various shrines and votives was endearing, but the shock-ya ending with dead-boyfriend Jesus’s severed head (Kevin Alejandro) was too bizarre to be a fair cliffhanger.

More encouragingly, the latest between Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and Andy (Chris Bauer) looks promising, now that we can see where it fits in the puzzle. Their recent trysts with fairies revealed some sad truths about the long-lost Stackhouse parents, reminding Jason that, before vampires “came out of the closet,” supernatural forces have been taking the lives of the innocent for a long, long time. Roman (Chris Meloni) re-asserts this fact in his solid ending-episode speech. Paradoxically, Sam (Sam Trammell) and his shifter friends are being hunted by presumed humans, although they couldn’t certainly be weres or an entirely different species.

Hopefully – the rest of season five will be more cohesive, because that’s the only serious problem bringing the episode down. By True Blood standards, this was a totally enjoyable episode, with most of the characters at their best. Let’s just hope it’s the last expository episode, and that episodes to come will utilize all of this built-up madness.

What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.