- Having been deftly included in the juiciest subplot last week, Sookie (Anna Paquin) was thrown back into her own storyline rather unceremoniously. It seems the writers now want Sookie to play detective in her own life story, getting to the bottom of her parent's deaths (which has been ret-conned so the blame can be pinned on an opportunistic vampire on a bridge). Another visit to Fairy Club with Jason (Ryan Kwanten) only served to remind me that this show doesn't even have consistent internal logic, because season 4 told us that time moves differently in Fairyland. A minute there is something like a month in the real world, so why is this time discrepancy null and void suddenly?
- Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) successfully found Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare), despite encountering trouble from sickly Russell's werewolf guardians, and were heralded as heroes by the vampire Authority. Lord knows why Eric then proceeded to tempt death by rubbishing the very religion that Roman (Chris Meloni) believes in, which didn't seem wise. Russell's execution led to the reveal that Eric's sister Nora (Lucy Griffiths) may have aided his escape to begin with, and there was a decent surprise when Russell turned the tables and staked Roman ("peace is for pussies!") With Roman removed from the game, I'm glad the more enjoyable Russell is positioned as the Big Bad this year, although it's almost inevitable that antecedent vampire Lilith will turn up at some point.
- Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) continued their Tasmanian Devil-style cat fight, which ended in a draw thanks to Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) interfering. Later, Jessica had a scene with ex-boyfriend Hoyt (Jim Parrack), who's now becoming rather pathetic in his desperate attempt to woo her back, going so far as to let a male vampire drink him to death outside Fangtasia. Remember when Jessica/Hoyt were adorable together and you'd happily just watch them snuggle back in season 2? Yeah, those were the days.
- Remember last week when I congratulated True Blood for killing off a useless recurring character? Well, I counted a chicken before it had hatched. Luna (Janina Gavankar) didn't die after being shot by the gang of rednecks who are targeting "supes", she's merely been hospitalised. But all this prompts Sam (Sam Trammell) into teaming up with Sheriff Andy (Chris Bauer) to find the men who are killing his 'shifter pals with wooden bullets. I was mildly interested in the possibilities of Sam being out for vengeance last week, but partnering him with dopey Andy and refusing to kill his girlfriend sucked all the fun out of that idea.
- Terry (Todd Lowe) is still being chased by the Ilfrit demon, which is giving nobody any pleasure beyond the CGI team getting to do their version of a Smoke Monster. The scene where Terry dumped waitress Arlene (Carrie Preston) because he's cursed was appalling, and more reason for Preston to somehow wriggle out of her contract before season 6. (By the by, it amuses me that Preston's real-life partner, Michael Emerson, had his own dealings with a Smoke Monster playing Ben on Lost.)
- Alcide (Joseph Manganiello) was "glamoured" by Eric into forgetting the capture of Russell Edgington and to consider Sookie sexually repugnant, until he wasn't—thanks to Sookie's fairy powers, which are oddly more forthcoming and controllable this season. I guess it just suits the writers that way.
- Oh, and Jason had a dream about his dead father (or was it a visitation?), and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) learned that his mother Ruby Jean (Oscar-nominee Alfre Wooward) also saw the apparition of his dead boyfriend Jesus.
written by Alan Ball / directed by Daniel Attias / 15 July 2012 / HBO