True Blood Review: “Somebody That I Used To Know” (Season 5, Episode 8)

What makes True Blood one of the best shows on TV is that it features a huge cast of characters all facing vastly unique challenges, but we’ve become so familiar with the ensemble that the jump between stories is never very jarring. Despite this, the beginning of season 5 was marred by having too many characters with uninteresting stories, making each episode feel like more of a chore than an experience. But this is episode eight, and the tables have turned in a huge way by now. Not only are the plots picking up, but everything is rushing towards what is sure to be the most explosive finale the show has ever seen.

In Somebody That I Used To Know, the religious parallels between modern Christianity and believers in Lilith are becoming ever clearer. The council, still reeling over their experiences on being drunk on Lilith’s blood, decide that it’s time to take action and begin planning on ways to end the mainstreaming movement. Eric tries to convince Bill and Nora to change their minds, but failing to do so decides it’s time to get out before things get worse. Of course that doesn’t pan out, as Bill proposes that vampires begin bombing True Blood factories in the hopes of lowering humans on the food chain once again.

Bill also has an interesting flashback to an encounter with one of his human children, as she lies on her deathbed and pleads with him to turn her into a vampire so she can live forever. He refuses to, but the choice obviously still haunts him. These glimpses into the past from both Eric and Bill have been some of the best moments of the season, and I really hope we get to delve even farther into the history behind these characters.

Just like the fangers, the wolves didn’t get too much screen time, but we did finally get to see the brawl between Alcide and J.D. and it was nothing short of awesome. Although Alcide lost, Martha’s increasing hostility towards J.D. hints that Alcide will be giving it another go sometime soon. But until then, we get to watch a pack of wolves get hopped up on V, so who’s complaining?

Sookie began edging her way back into the spotlight this week too, deciding to keep her faerie powers in the hopes that she can use them to find her parents’ killer. While meeting with the faeries to make a connection with her mother at the time of the murder, Sookie instead makes a connection with the vampire who did it, something that has supposedly never happened before. The ramifications of this include a haunting visit from a ghostly vampire head threatening to hunt her down, meaning we get to see Sookie get back into action.

Hoyt is still hanging around with the group of “supes” killers and he finally gets his initiation gift: Jessica, tied up in silver chains and in the cross hairs of his gun. Rather than killing her, he decides to set her free and sets out to get help. We soon find out he did no such thing, rather leaving her there alone as he went on his way. But this plan fails miserably and he’s soon picked up by someone who isn’t too pleased to see him alive.

Jessica is rescued by Andy, Sam and Luna, who are having issues of their own. Luna, frustrated by her uselessness in the hospital, manages to shift into Sam but has no way of changing back. She helps Sam and Andy find Jessica, and by the end of the episode she has switched back to her normal self, but other than throwing up a lot, it’s not entirely clear whether she’ll be back to full health or not by next week. The end of the episode provides us with a shot of Sam holding…well…Sam, and nursing him/her back to health. Good luck forgetting that.

Terry and Patrick have a small role this week, but their story continues to get more twisted. Meeting with the newly escaped Lafayette to hold a seance and hopefully purge the curse of the Ifrit, the ghost of the woman that Terry killed possesses Lafayette and reveals that Terry must kill Patrick or vice versa before the curse is lifted. Being brave as ever, Patrick bolts, setting up a (hopefully) epic conclusion to this subplot.

Finally, the Tara story doesn’t seem to be heading anywhere too dire, although the blossoming relationship between her and Pam is still something to behold. After having a run in with an antagonistic classmate from high school, Tara’s attitude flairs up and, rather than getting her in trouble, gets her a tasty treat. Pam ties up the classmate in the basement of Fangtasia and leaves her to be Tara’s little blood servant. I still remember when I got my first blood servant.

Even though Somebody That I Used To Know wasn’t as explosive as last week’s episode, the mounting excitement of each plot is making this upcoming season finale worth the wait. Now that our favorite characters have shaken off the dust from earlier in the season, True Blood can finally settle back into its usual pattern of awesomeness, and I couldn’t be any happier.