Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: True Blood "Authority Always Wins"

Non Spoiler Review:
Sookie and Lafayette deal with the Tara that emerges from the ground. Alcide has words with Martha, who also confronts Luna about her granddaughter. Reverend Steve makes an offer to Jessica. Terry continues to struggle with memories from Iraq. Bill, Eric and Nora are taken to the Authority.

Authority Always Wins was a much stronger and more concise episode than the premiere, providing better focus on storylines without a lot of the fluff that plagued last week. It was the introduction of the ubiquitous and mysterious Authority that overshadowed everything, including Christopher Meloni as the guardian, Roman, and a whole lot of vampire lore that really made this one a success for me. While Tara's storyline is dragging a bit, Pam is more than making up for that, plus we're getting a flashback to her first meeting with Eric.

What has emerged, though, is that there are storylines with clear interest for me—vampires, Tara and werewolves, and plots I care absolutely nothing about which drag the show down—Luna, Terry, Andy, Jason's sex travails, etc. So I hope it all evens out.

Spoilers Now!
Pam is amused as Tara runs amuck, but when she bites into Sookie she pulls her off. Pam commands Tara not to bite them and wishes them luck. Tara tears through the house, but they manage to silver her in order to get her into Eric's cubby before sunrise. 

Alcide doesn't partake in consuming Marcus. Martha tells him he's the new packmaster and has an obligation to eat, but Alcide doesn't care about their laws. Luna takes Sam home, and Martha follows and wants to see her granddaughter. Luna demands she leave, but Martha suggests Emma will need her pack when she turns (into a werewolf). Luna disputes that she is one and not a shifter. After she goes Luna tells Sam her daughter is none of his business, so he either has her back or he can get out. He (like us) thinks Luna is being a bitch and takes off. Later Luna finds Emma has turned into a puppy. 

Pam returns to Fangtasia to find Eric has yet to return. She has a flashback to San Fransciso 1905, where she once ran a brothel. She checks in on one of her girls only to find her dead. Then she's followed on the walk home and is about to me murdered when Eric appears and kills the man, noting she's not afraid of him. Eric pays her for the blood on her dress and leaves. 

Bill, Eric and Nora are brought to Salome at an underground installation where all three are imprisoned. Bill tries to keep Nora in the clear by saying she was their prisoner, but the Authority doesn't believe she's innocent in the matter and torture them with UV light.

With the sun up, Sookie goes shopping for weapons at a local vampire defense shop, to fend off Russell should he attack. Reverend Steve is on the television having come out as a vampire. He nolonger associates with the Fellowship of the Sun and believes vampires are not the enemy. Sookie purchases a silver mister for the doorway. When she gets home she find Lafayette about to stake Tara, but talks him out of it, promising it will take time for the Tara they know to come out.

Andy and Jason investigate an abandoned car which turns out to belong to Debbie. Andy finds a vial of V and turns it over to Jason. Later at the station, Andy tells his deputy to expunge Ronnie's ticket.

Bill is interrogated. The Authority is alarmed Nora would betray them to help Bill and Eric. The vampire bible states that before Adam and Eve was Lilith, who was vampire like God. Adam and Eve's true purpose was to nourish the vampires. Bill doesn't believe in the literal interpretation of the text, unlike the sanguinistas, who are the current threat to the mainstreaming movement. Nora does believe it, however. And the Authority has tried to make coexistence a lasting reality, despite the forces aligning against it. 

Meanwhile, Salome interrogates Eric at the same time, telling him Nora met the true death for her betrayal. Both attempt to get Eric and Bill to betray one another while torturing them with a silver IV.

While having another party, Jessica is visited by Reverend Steve. In private, Steve wants to offer her $10,000 for Jason. She doesn't sell her friends, she tells him, so he gets violent. He reveals Bill isn't the king anymore, but she throws him out of the house. Angry, she sends all the party goers home.

Arlene wakes up to Terry sleepwalking and telling her they're all going to die. She slaps him to wake him up. So she finally goes to see Patrick to get answers, but he won't talk about what happened in Iraq. Terry shows up with information the soldier Patrick is looking for is alive, so suggests they pay him a visit.

Jason comes to visit Hoyt at his mother's, but gets told they're over as friends. But his mother tells him in confidence she's elated he broke up Hoyt and his vampire.

By nightfall Tara emerges to confront Lafayette and Sookie, telling them she'll never forgive either of them. She runs out the door, only to get sprayed in the face with the silver mister, and disappears into the night.

Bill, Eric and Nora are brought to meet the Authority leadership, including the guardian, Roman, who extracts some of his blood and dispenses it to his chancellors. Following the mass, Roman addresses Nora for her betrayal and has her taken away. Nan was no prize, but she was Authority, and that is the point. They are the Authority. I am the Authority, he tells them.

He accuses them of being members of the sanguinista movement, though they don't know what it is. Roman will not have fundamentalism in the Authority. The chancellors are in disagreement about whether to kill them or not. 

Bill offers him an exchange. Their lives in return for Russell Edgington. The rest believe Russell is dead, but Bill confesses to what really happened and that he has now broken free. Russell wants anarchy, Bill explains, but desires Bill and Eric dead too. After what he did they felt the true death was too good for Russell. Roman is furious they disobeyed the Authority yet again, but realizes there are more important things than his personal desires to see them dead. Bill suggests Russell will stop at nothing to find him and Eric, so Bill expects to meet the true death whether they succeed or not. So it's a good offer for Roman.

Meanwhile, Russell Edgington is slowly recovering with a healthy supply of homeless victims.

The Verdict:
A definite improvement from the hodge-podge of last week, I was particularly impressed with the fleshed out history of the vampires and the news that there is a fundamentalist sect determined to interpret their bible literally. While Bill and Eric's opportunity to survive the Authority's death sentence could be seen a mile away, the storyline holds a lot of interest.

Sookie isn't endearing herself to me again this year with how she's treating her friends. Granted she wants to save Tara, but lying about Debbie's death is sure to come to no good at all. Not a good way for the series to handle its heroine. And on the subject of bitches, Luna's behaviour was no less wonky either and seemed to come out of nowhere.

Arlene and Terry, Andy and Holly and even Hoyt just can't hold a candle to all the rest of the stuff going on, unfortunately. Jason has never recovered his storylines since the panther fiasco, as well. It might ultimately be best for them to be drawn back into the main plots rather than try to carry their own individual arcs.

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