True Blood, Season 5, Episode 2: Authority Always Wins. Yawn.

Last week I bitched about not enough naked vampire guys. This week, the only nakedness we got was in the form of a brief flash of a dead prostitute in 1905. WTF? Too much background on the Authority and not enough naked guys. I think the writers are losing touch with why we watch this show, and it’s not for a deep plot. Anyway, this week’s recap, in pictures.

First, Tara. Seriously. Who thought bringing Tara back as one of the undead was a good idea? First thing out of the ground and she’s trying to eat Sookie. Can we stake her yet?

Is anyone surprised by this?

Back at the 24 hour decomposing, pack leader diner, there’s a dispute brewing over who the Leader of the Pack is going to be.  I am pretty sure that Alcide doesn’t want to be their leader because he came from a neighborhood where the homes are attached to the ground by something more substantial than a garden hose and these low-rent motherfuckers are trailer-dwellers to be sure. Also, he is wearing clothes. This is a bad thing. He turns down the pack’s dinner invitation while looking all moody and hot. Let’s just cut to the chase. This scene would have been way better without a shirt on.

Why is he clothed?

Alcide, Luna and Sam leave, exit stage left.

What? Meatloaf again?

Meanwhile, Bill and Eric’s not so excellent adventure with the Authority lands them at the bunker. It’s noteworthy that the bunker is a run-down disaster that only invites urban explorers and codes citations. I think any Authority worth its salt would invest in more upkeep or at least try to blend in. If you want to be low profile, rent in a strip mall somewhere for God’s sake.

Put this secret compound next to Panera Bread in the suburbs and no one will notice anything.

Bill and Eric and Nora get tossed into a cell for a little light therapy.

Cage dancing at a rave or vampires melting in the sunlight? Your call.

After a little group torture, it’s time for the break-out sessions. Bill gets to go first. There’s a lot of questioning about vampire religion blah blah blah. Bill gets a little silver in his veins for his troubles.

“Remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?”

Bill doesn’t take the bait and so we get to visit Eric all tied up.

“No one expects the Inquisition”.

Eric doesn’t take the bait either and so we find our heroes on their knees (yes!) only to find out it’s to listen to a prayer session, in Aramaic (epic bummer). The writers are apparently going to hammer us with the whole religious fanaticism thing this year to go along with our moral parable. Yawn. There’s a lot of talk about Vampire bibles and Lilith (Fair?) but frankly, it was boring.

I wonder if the jeans were True Religion? Anyway, this was a waste of a chance to showcase a shirtless Eric. On his knees, no less.

This whole boring Authority thing lasted for almost twelve minutes. I’ve been to zoning meetings that had more excitement. I will say that the Authority members are nattily-attired. Nice deployment of the pocket squares gentlemen.

Vampires Have Talent!

The Authority members deliberate and are arguing about who gets to go forward to the finals in Las Vegas  live and it’s a split decision, but suddenly Bill offers up a trade. He tells the Authority that Russell Edgington lives and that he and Eric will serve as bait. This logic eludes me and after Chris Meloni offers up a patented serious Law and Order look and threatens to stake Bill, he decides to let them live. Everyone knows this is fatal to the Authority because hot, younger vampires always win and he has just written his own True Death warrant. Also, Bill, please, contact a competent colorist. This hair color of yours is not working.

Meanwhile, Lafayette is proving he’s the only one in the whole outfit with a brain when he is in the crypt standing over Tara with a stake. Sookie of course reads his mind and stops him from killing the whiny she-beast. “She’ll change” blah blah blah. Rigggghhhtttt. Seriously, someone needs to shut Sookie the fuck up. Lafayette has the right of it.

Please God, do it. End the whining now for all time.

Of course, Sookie talks him out of it. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth across the land. This means we will have to listen to the bitch whine for all eternity.

Tara is not grateful and says she will never forgive them. I believe her. We will hear about this forever.

Meanwhile, Sam and Luna limp back from the dinner known as her ex-husband. Then her mother-in-law shows up and begs to be part of the kid’s life. Luna is not amused. Sam tries to be reasonable. Luna throws a hissy and they break up. Yawn. Then later her kid is making a racket and she discovers someone has kidnapped her child and replaced it with a husky puppy with gold eyes. Oh wait, that’s just Emma shifting. So when you go out on the town, do you hire a babysitter or a dog walker? Just wondering.

Do not bitch at a man who has just taken an ass beating on your behalf. It’s impolite.

Pam as usual gets the line of the night. Digging out of the grave, she seems entertained that Tara is not a good vampire baby and only barely orders her not to eat Sookie or Lafayette. When she drags into work, her human white trash employee asks “why she’s all dirty” and Pam tells her “I’ve been in the ground. What’s your excuse?” Badda bing.

Nice dress. Love your fang marks. The nearly-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark is a spectacular touch, although that’s a bit high-end for the truly white trash. Good work, prop folks.

Pam is getting all misty-eyed and remembering back to her first meeting with Eric which naturally involved a dead guy and lots of blood. I must say, he looks quite well in formal attire. It almost makes up for the lack of naked Eric. But not quite.  It is so not a shock that Pam was a brothel madam.

Eric looks hot in a coat and tails.

The good Reverend came to Jessica’s frat party to try to buy Jason from her.  One 900 number-inspired monologue later and Steve has blown his wad and Jessica mocks him and tells him her friends are not for sale.  Then he goes and pulls her hair and the fight is on. Jessica kicks him to the curb and he gives her the ominous news that maybe Bill is no longer the king. Well, then, that’s very special. I guess our friend Steve whose private parts were all tingly and engorged is in tight so to speak with the Authority. More will surely be revealed.

I fucking love those purple shoes. Snaps to Jessica.

We do get some Jason feeling sorry for himself after a teenager comes in to beat his ass for doing his Mom and busting up his parents’ marriage. I must say, the whole Jason rethinking his sordid behavior is sad, the same kind of sad like when Van Halen went from “Aint Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” to “Why Can’t this Be Love” sad. Stop now, writers. Please. Don’t Hagar Jason.

Also, there’s more of that whole Terry and Arlene thing with the under-utilized and overly-clothed Scott Foley as Patrick. All the flashback crap from Iraq detracts from the central point of the show, which is to have morally-flexible people who are quite attractive having sex with each other. If you must insist on this plot line, in the name of all that is good and decent, let’s see some naked Foley.

Finally, the episode ends with a scene of gore and dismemberment and pans to what can only be a bloody, revolting Russell Edgington getting ready for his comeback. And, fade to the inevitable John Cougar song.  See you next week kids.

That’s no way to pick your friends.

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True Blood, Season 5, Episode 1: Not enough naked guys

It is no secret that Sunday night during True Blood season is pretty much church for me. Everyone who wants to live knows not to bother me during that hour of communion with the television. Obviously after nine months with no True Blood, I was ramped for the premier. Troy fails to get my enthusiasm for this show, but to his credit, he kept his mouth shut for the entire show without more than a handful of stray comments. He gets to live.

To recap from last year’s finale: Alcide declared that Debbie was dead to him, Lafayette got possessed and ended up killing Jesus, Andy hooked up with Holly, Sookie broke up with Bill AND Eric, Debbie tried to kill Sookie but ended up shooting Tara and Sookie killed Debbie and dumped the body, Alcide killed Luna’s husband who killed Sam’s brother, Bill and Eric offed the annoying blonde from the Authority, Jason got it on with his best friend’s ex, Arlene and Terry’s devil baby burned their house down and Rene appears to be coming back from the beyond. That about covers it.

(Anyone who wants to see this later and not have the whole thing ruined should quit reading now and should definitely NOT look at the pictures).

Season 5 opens with Sookie on the floor cradling the dying Tara in her arms while Lafayette pretty much freaks the fuck out.  I had to agree with Troy that Tara kicking off was awesome because she whined incessantly and I just wanted to shut her up. Death is a pretty permanent shut the fuck up so I was down with it. Then Sookie had to go and ruin it by begging Pam to turn Tara into the walking undead. Fabulous. Now we have a walking undead whiner in the making.

Anyone with minimal brains can grasp that this is a very bad idea.

Pam feeds her some blood and then lays down for a dirt nap with Tara while wearing a yellow Wal-Mart sweat suit. Line of the night to Pam for the “If that’s not a demonstration of team spirit, I don’t know what is.”

Meanwhile, Eric and Bill have run into a spot of trouble. Problem number one from my vantage point is that they are wearing clothes, but I digress. It seems that last season when they killed the blonde mouthpiece of the Authority they irritated the powers that be.  Bill leaves Jessica in charge and he and Eric prepare to hide out.  Eric cleaning the house in super high-speed while Bill is on the phone with Jessica was a nice touch. Both Eric and Bill get a little jolt when they sense Sookie is in trouble, but Eric saves the day with a “Fuck Sookie” since she ditched them. They leave Sookie to her fate. Sadly for Bill and Eric, the Authority is there to nab them as they flee the house and they get netted with silver.  Considering the size of the nets, I can only speculate that these are really pricey nets. They get thrown in a trunk and driven off, then after some chit-chat, they blow the car up and get out. Bill gets injured and Eric comes to his rescue saying “I won’t leave without you.” WTF? These two can’t stand each other and now they’re BFFs?

Could you at least have taken his shirt off?

Just as they are about to get killed, along comes some new hot vampire who rescues them with a timely staking and suddenly Eric and the new girl are on. Bill gets to be all snarky here but Eric introduces his “sister” (insert Louisiana joke here) before he rams his tongue down her throat once again.

Ah, the romance of having a guy grab you by your hair all covered in blood and then ramming his tongue down your throat.

It looks like Eric’s broken heart lasted about an hour, so props to him for his quick emotional recovery. She takes them to a loading dock and they spend the day napping in a shipping container.  I didn’t see air conditioning, so I can only assume vamps don’t mind broiling mid-day Southern heat in a box. Naturally, as night falls Eric has to have sex with his sister while Bill waits outside with the occasional snarky comment. As they are getting it on, Eric’s phone goes off. Nice. It’s Alcide. Eric is so up to something, but it doesn’t matter what because the man is shirtless and zipping his pants. Let’s enjoy this for a moment:

Thank you.

They get new names and identities and are headed off to a new life, when explosions occur and the Authority is on them again. This is not good as it means more clothes for Eric.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Andy has scored with Holly and gets the awkward walk of shame to the squad car when her kids come back early from hunting:

Covering up your nekkid self with a fairy costume is on the humiliating side.

Why this is a story line I am unclear. Andy also has a test of convictions and fails when he allows the local judge to get him to let his relative off the hook for a ticket. This is boring too and does not lead to more naked Eric, Bill, Jason or Alcide. Yawn. Note to producers: we aren’t watching this for moral redemption. I’m just sayin’. Ditto the Terry and Arlene thing. More nakedness, less PTSD for the cook.

Getting back to the story, Jason answers the door naked and it’s crazy Rev. Steve Newlin, now sporting fangs. Jason gets glamored and lets the Rev inside to hear his tale, which turns out to be a declaration of gay vampire love. I will forever love the good Reverend for showing up just for this image:

Thank you Jesus. The perfect man. Naked and mouth covered with duct tape.

Thanking him for the honor of being the object of his gay vampire love, he declines and then the Reverend gets all pissy and threatens to bite him when Little Red Riding Hood shows up to save the day:

The sledgehammer of subtlety: the connotations of the red riding hood outfit on a vampire coming to save Jason were too obvious to be missed, writers. We got it.

Then they get it on. Later, Jessica goes all sorority girl and hosts a party at Bill’s house while he is out-of-town and Jason crashes it and bums her out, but they are both jealous of each other and they sing a tragic rendition of ‘Cherry Bomb’ on Guitar Hero and then Jason leaves with a stacked blonde but just takes her home claiming he has a new-found respect for women. Whatever.

Back at Chez Sookie, Alcide comes over to warn her that Russell Edginton is back and she is in danger. Sookie hides a tooth she missed in cleaning up her kitchen (guess Alcide’s werewolf nose is all stuffed up) and Alcide begs her to come with him so he can protect her. Sookie starts to confess she offed his girlfriend, but then Lafayette shows up and goes all ballistic on him and Alcide leaves. Still wearing his clothes. Sigh.

Q: What is wrong with this picture?
A: He’s wearing clothes.

Meanwhile, Sam is trying his best to take one for the team by claiming to have killed his girlfriend’s crazy ex to protect Alcide who helped him find his brother.  In exchange for leaving Luna and her daughter alone, Sam gets a beat down while the writers want us to unconsciously assimilate the crucifixion imagery where he literally turns the other cheek. Finally, he coughs up the location of the grave in exchange for permanent clemency for Luna and her daughter. Then the wolves take him to the body, which they dig up just in time for Alcide and Luna to show up (wearing clothes) and stop his execution, but the dead guy’s wolf parents eat their son’s decomposing corpse. Not sure what to make of that, but I can’t imagine there’s an Emily Post etiquette rule that covers what to do when werewolves devour the body of their dead child in front of you.

Where did he get his pants? He left his house with the werewolf totally naked. So they beat him once he puts his pants on? Whose sensibilities were offended? I vote for no pants.

And finally, there’s night fall and Lafayette and Sookie are waiting for Tara with a bottle of True Blood by the shallow grave. After some totally not so subtle foreshadowing of doom and after some pitiful squalling by Sookie who is constantly squalling, Tara emerges from the grave and she does not look friendly. Girlfriend, I told you this was a bad idea and now you have a mess on your hands.

The bitch is back and she is pissed off.

So much for the end of Tara.  I hope they have several sharpened spikes waiting in the wings.