Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: True Blood "Hopeless"

Non Spoiler Review:
Russell's capture raises Bill and Eric's stature in the Authority. Sookie and Jason go on a search about the truth of their parents' death. Alcide makes a move on the pack, while the fallout of the shooting leads Sam and Andy to search for who is killing supernaturals.

The season is getting a sense of direction and motion with the official return of Russell to the fold, and the vampire politics are continuing to be interesting. However, we do get a healthy dose of the fairies this time, and that whole set up and mythology remains cheesy at best (at worst confusing).

Spoilers Now!
Alcide is dragged away by another wolf and Eric and Bill go to his aid, leaving Sookie to a reinvigorated Russell. She blasts him with her fairy powers. Eric and Bill dispatch the wolves and pin down Russell. Before they kill him, Bill suggests taking him back alive so they needn't have to die. The Authority special forces with Kibwe abruptly arrive to take over from there.

Russell is bound and led off while threatening the soldiers and commenting their belief in Lilith is foolish. The Authority orders them to glamor Alcide and Sookie, so they comply to make it seem they never met (though Sookie cannot be glamored, of course). Eric also adds to Alcide that he must always protect Sookie but never touch her romantically because she disgusts him. Eric instructs Sookie to live her life in the sun with other humans and forget they were ever together.

Kibwe rounds up the human survivors who remember who the woman is who brought Russell to the hospital. They're to be interrogated. Kibwe sends Bill and Eric back to the Authority, but then proceeds to kill all the humans.

At Fangtasia, Tara and Jessica's battle expands into the bar until Pam shuts it down and drags Tara out. She lays down the law that Tara works for her, but comments she did good out there fighting and made her proud, like a well-trained dog.

Hoyt tells Jessica to butt out of his life because he's happy being a fangbanger and accuses her of still being in love with him. He just wants her to be a vampire with him. She denies it. Outside, he's getting drained by a vampire when the vigilantes show up and kill it. They recognize Hoyt and take him with them.

Sam and Luna are rushed to the hospital, both alive. They were hit with wooden bullets. Both will recover, but Sam vows to find Emma, who in her wolf form has run to Martha's. He tells her the attackers were human, but he did smell whiskey. Martha arrives with Emma. Luna acquiesces to let her keep her daughter safe until they find out who is after them.

Sam tells Andy his theory they're being hunted by humans and can help find them. Andy goes to interrogate the owner of the vampire weapons store. He sells the same sort of bullets used in the crime. Sam comes in as well to sniff out the place. Sam grabs a crossbow and saves Andy by shooting the owner when he's about to shoot him. 

Alcide drives Sookie back but doesn't seem to remember anything, or why she's crying. He wakes up at Sookie's and wonders if they had sex, but she assures him they didn't. When she touches his hand he recoils for her, and she realizes immediately Eric is behind it. She grabs him and forces him to remember the previous night. 

Lafayette was called by the hospital to see his mother Ruby, given she had a seizure. She tells him Jesus is in trouble and visited her, asking her to tell her son Don Bartolo is behind it. She admits she always saw things.

Terry and Patrick rush back to the cellar but it's consumed by flames, and the Ifrit rises out and dissipates. They return home to Louisiana. Arlene confides in Holly about Terry running off about something bad that happened in Iraq. Terry returns to Merlotte's with his bad news about the curse, and confessing to what he did in Iraq. It was the Ifrit, not ghost Mavis that set their house on fire. Despite all she's seen, Arlene doesn't believe him and tells him to leave if he won't get help. He does so for their protection.

Jason has another dream about his father and swears he'll find the vampire who killed him and his mother. Back at work Jason explains what he's learned about their parents to Sookie. She wants to be taken to the fairy nightclub to get Hadley and Hunter. When they go to the meadow, Sookie can sense the presence of the nightclub and the two find the portal inside. She's reunited with Hadley, as well as with the fairy who helped her escape from the fairy realm.

Hunter escaped to the human world before the last portal closed because they don't believe in the harvesting of humans. Hunter only knows what Claudine told him. A vampire was drawn to their parents by something she smelled in the backseat of the car—Sookie's blood on a bandage. Sookie gets angry and is about to use her powers, but a bunch of fairies fire their blasts at her.

Alcide visits J.D., the current head of the wolf pack, accusing him of being on V, and telling him Russell's wolves are dead. Alcide claims the role of master of the pack. J.D. denies it so Alcide challenges him. He needs a second before he can challenge the master. A woman named Rikki steps up to throw in with Alcide.

Bill and Eric return to the Authority and are congratulated by the chancellors. Roman is apparently impressed and their devices are deactivated. Eric learns that Nora confessed to being a sanguinista. Roman arrives and is in a jubilant mood and thanks them for what they've done. Now he knows they're on his side.

Salome wants to continue interrogating Russell, but Roman announces he's to be executed. Salome suggests she give him another dose of silver and bring him to Roman. Eric requests permission to visit Nora, revealing she is his sister.

Nora is praying as Russell is led to his execution. Eric is watching but she won't acknowledge his presence. But she's happy because god's plan is being made manifest by Lilith. She tells him she never released Russell.

Roman and the Authority prepare the execution while Russell thinks both they and the sanguinistas are hypocrites. Roman prepares to kill him but the app doesn't work, and Russell is free and on Roman before he can react, staking him with the Judas Tree. Nora says "Praise Lilith."

The Verdict:
Roman's death and Russell's release was probably the most anticipated twist. And a sad one too, given Chris Meloni was too interesting a character to have been dispatched so easily. But it marks True Blood moving the season into high gear with Russell's full-fledged return.

Other stuff got advanced—I'm surprised Luna survived. However, the fairy plot is starting to get confusing, given I'm having a hard time remembering who Hunter is, much less which are rebel fairies, and the really bad ones. Do we really need another vigilante subplot in addition to Terry's Ifrit and Lafayette's quest for Jesus?

There were a lot of messy bits, too. The whole glamor thing seemed extremely contrived for no good reason (Sookie can't be glamored and she released Alcide immediately after). Arlene's seen enough supernatural goings-on that her dismissal of Terry was ridiculous considering they tried an exorcism last season. Yet she's willing to throw her marriage away on it. But on the plus side the little character scenes continue to shine through. Particularly, Lafayette and his mother, and of course Tara and Pam.

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