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« I Am Collapsing Under The Weight of All These Secrets | Main | The Sniffly & the Damn Fine Soap »

June 18, 2012

Sucks So Good: True Blood 5.2, "Authority Always Wins"

Thank you, True Blood, for basically condemning me to a week of singing "Authority Song" under my breath in any and all situations, including those in which it is totally socially inappropriate. It may not leave my head ever. I am legitimately worried right now.

After the jump, a look at the latest episode of True Blood, including a now-redacted ode to the campy glory of Christopher Meloni that went through his filmography in vivid detail (Wet Hot American Summer, you guys!) and had lots of exclamation points and "I cannot WAIT"'s in it, which I erased because it was barely in English and if one looks at it in conjunction with similar odes to Alexander Skarsgard and Denis O'Hare, it paints what would be a very disturbing picture in the eyes of an FBI profiler.

Until the last few minutes of this episode, I was extraordinarily underwhelmed by this episode. Was it just me? I thought it was often draggy and too often veered into random subplots that don't seem like they can lead to something even slightly interesting. Usually, this show flies by at the speed of...well, at the speed of a newborn vampire (a person could get motion sickness watching Tara fly all over Sookie's house. And then demolish Sookie's house, the house that Sookie just spent so much time and effort turning from a crime scene to a normal living space. Again.), but I kept looking at my clock antsily because of boredom. Since when does that happen? Since when?

If it weren't for the ridiculousness at the show's end (and I mean ridiculousness in the best possible way, because it included 1. Christopher Meloni being all regal and bloodthirsty 2. the promise of more Bill and Eric adventures, this time working together to catch Russell Edgington and bring him to vampire justice and 3. a glimpse of stray body parts and a deformed Russell Edgington himself. Ridiculously awesome is what that is), I'd be annoyed at myself for watching it live and not recording and then fast forwarding through the boring pieces. Let's take a look at some of those boring pieces first, shall we? And then we can talk about the crazy!

Tara's "Turn" As A Vampire

What Happened: Since Tara is an impulsive mess under the best of circumstances, her new vampire-self is running totally amok. Rutina Wesley must have gotten an epic workout filming her scenes, because all she did was sprint and run and howl (the howling doesn't seem like exercise, but whenever she shows any sort of emotion, she uses every muscle above her shoulders, so I am sure the wailing burned a couple of hundred calories). Pam left her with a half-hearted warning not to bite either Sookie or Lafayette, who was feeling guilty for turning Tara into what she hated most. He was right to feel guilty, because she told them both that she'd never forgive them for that very reason, but contemplating staking her was a step too far!

It Was Worth Watching Because...: Lafayette's terror whenever he even heard Tara in another room was just delightful, as was the visual of him covering his neck with his snazzy sweater when he went to grab her a drink.

Could It Ever Get Entertaining? Oh, it totally will be entertaining one Sunday night; this was just not that Sunday night. I AM looking forward to seeing Tara grapple with her new life and coming to terms with the decision Sookie made for her. 

Misty Water-Colored Memories Of The Way They Were

What Happened: A depressed Pam flashbacked to her first meeting with Eric, who saved her from a would-be attacker at the turn of the 20th century.

It Was Worth Watching Because...: Did you not read that last sentence? That happened and in period finery, to boot!

Could It Ever Get Entertaining? The only flaw here was that it did not take up a full half hour of screentime.

Shifting Ain't Easy, But Werewolving (Go With It) Is Even Rougher

What Happened: Marcus's crazy mother showed up to see Emma, and Luna put her foot down in the most over-the-top, snarly way possible. She warned Luna that there is a very good chance that Emma is a werewolf (a warning she delivered with such certainty that Luna's shock at seeing Emma as a werewolf towards the episodes end was a little strange. Like the insane lady would lie to you, Luna!) and then Luna totally flipped her shit with Sam, ranting and raving about how there is no "we", and when it comes to Emma it's her choice and her choice alone. They fought and she basically kicked him out of her house. I understood none of it.

It Was Worth Watching Because...: The lil' werewolf at the end was super cute.

Could It Ever Get Entertaining? It's not looking great for Sam, who will probably once again have a subplot that interests no one, anywhere.

Could It Ever Get Entertaining?

Zach From The Gilmore Girls and Noel from Felicity Have a Tragic Past, Deep Dark Secrets, Etc.

What Happened: Terry has some crazy bad PTSD that is leading him to lash out, violently, at Arlene and have horrible Iraq flashbacks. Also, some guy that we've heard about entirely through dialogue is the one setting the fires.

It Was Worth Watching Because...: On some level, it's always nice to see just how eye-searing Arlene's outfits are. Plus, Scott Foley is handsome.

Could It Ever Get Entertaining? I want so badly to say yes! I love Terry, and I love Scott Foley, and I feel like this has the potential to be something (especially if it ties into another storyline or six, like the best True Blood subplots have a tendency to do), but right now, I am wary.

Andy Bellefleur Has FEELINGS 

What Happened: Andy worried about Holly blowing him off, and followed through on his promise to the judge to make the judge's son's speeding ticket disappear. He also contemplated, but decided against, taking a vial of V he found in Debbie Pelt's car.

It Was Worth Watching Because...: There is no because.

Could It Ever Get Entertaining? Typing those five words brought me more enjoyment than the entirety of his scenes tonight did.

Jason Stackhouse ALSO Has FEELINGS

What Happened: An angry teenager (why do the writers continue to force Jason to interact with jerky kids?) confronted Jason about having slept with his mother, who Jason knows as Crazy Sharon. He then tried once again to mend fences with Hoyt who was not having it and did not have it while dropping a flurry of f-bombs, much to the consternation of Maxine (who pretended to be enraged at Jason for what he did to Hoyt, but who slyly promised him a pie as thanks for breaking up Hoyt and "that red-haired slut").

It Was Worth Watching Because...: Any scene with Jason out of work usually means it's a scene without Andy, so...win.

Could It Ever Get Entertaining? Ryan Kwanten is entertaining even when he's just standing still, so probably, but it's trying my patience already.

And Alcide Has MORALS

What Happened: Alcide refused to take part in eating Marcus and declined his new role as packmaster. When an angry werewolf told him to go back to Mississippi, he nodded in affirmation and turned around as if to do so. And when the werewolf taunted his retreating body with a cry of "Coward!", Alcide nodded again. When Marcus's creepy mother reminded him that it was pack law to join in the feast on the rotting body and become packmaster, he growled in objection. He basically said eight words the entire hour.

It Was Worth Watching Because...: Your eyes just glazed over reading that, right?

Could It Ever Get Entertaining? I...well...probably not. I like Alcide and all, but more when he's a supporting player in someone else's story. The thought of him spending this season going through an existential crisis is worrisome. Hopefully, he starts looking for Debbie, because unravelling that story will be much better than whatever this waste of screentime was supposed to do.

Jessica Has MORALS, Too, But She Doesn't Have Steve Newlin's Sweet Moves

What Happened: Jessica was having another party with her random college friends and who should happen to show up but Steve Newlin?! Making himself at home, he grooved his way into Bill's mansion and attempted to buy Jason from Jessica for the cool price of $10,00 which, turned on at the very thought of Jason, he eventually upped to $20,000

Jessica: Let me ask you a question, Steve. Have you seen Jason's but?
Steve: Of course I've seen it, why do you think I'm offering $10,000?

But Jess informed him that she doesn't sell her friends.

OH, and when I say that he grooved, I mean that he literally grooved and showed us some gleefully dorky dance moves that gave me some serious Niles Crane flashbacks, although Niles would never be caught dead in a Cosby sweater.

It Was Worth Watching Because...:

Could It Ever Get Entertaining?

MEANWHILE!

While all of this is happening, Eric and Bill are being tortured by the Authority, the biggest and baddest of all vampire governing bodies, who are furious with them for the whole Nan Flanagan thing. High tech interrogation tactics include burning prisoners with UV Rays, injecting then with pure silver and threatening them repeatedly with the true death. But because theirs is a lasting bromance, neither turns on the other, despite the best efforts of their interrogators (a pleasant German dude named Dieter and a woman named Salome whose only character trait so far seems to be her physical inability to keep her bosom from heaving) to flip them. So there they knelt (Alexander Skarsgard kneeling is basically the same height as an average-sized man), waiting for the Authority to decide whether or not they'd meet the true death, until Bill had the bright idea to either save their lives (or, at the very least, put off their execution for ten or so weeks) by suggesting that the Authority exchange their lives for that of Russell Edgington who, unbeknownst to the members of the Authority, is actually still alive. !!!!!!!!! And if he's alive, that means he's insane, hunting for revenge, and limitlessly entertaining. I am so excited right now that I cannot even stand it.

This enraged Roman. I have a feeling I am going to be typing those words a lot this season.

Roman: You disobeyed the Authority to satisfy your feelings. I feel like staking you so fucking much right now!

OH. Maybe all of this will be more awesome when I tell you who the members of the Authority are. Besides Salome and Dieter, there is a guy whose name I did not catch, a child (! And he was extremely filled with rage. Fingers so crossed that he gets a backstory), Diane from General Hospital and Christopher Meloni as Roman, who swaggered into the scene and conducted a vampire communion and then berated his prisoners in a cold, emotionless way that brought back the best memories of Elliott Stabler, only with with awesomeness dialed up about 39 notches because he has fangs and is totally going for it. It is basically amazing, is what I'm trying to say.

What did you all think?

Comments

I loved it! I am so happy with that Steve Newlin .gif! Thank you muchly!

I need to find a .gif of Eric in period dress, sucking on his fingers. I almost expected jazz hands or spirit fingers from him at that point. That was a great image!

Was I the only one laughing at the fact that they sell silver misters like it's glade. Also seeing that it didn't work on Tara I believe Sookie should go get her money back! I look at last night as a filler episode one that set things up for the future. But it was worth it just to see Stabler(Roman) and GH's Diane (don't know her true blood name) and of course Steve Newlin doing his best Carlton of the Fresh Prince imitaton!

I want another .gif of Steve Newlin doing the little shuffle he did to get by Jessica in the doorway. So nerdy awesome! That was the only segment that truly enjoyed last night (oh! And flashback Pam and Eric. More please!)

I was so bored with most of the rest. SO BORED. I was not happy at how bored I was in an episode that introduced Christopher Meloni, although his parts weren't the boring parts. I was just miffed by the time we got to them.

One of my issues comes down to this: With a show and genre that places importance/fear/respect on longevity (Russell Edgington was feared because he was 3,000 and unstoppable, Godric was mourned and admired because he was 2,000 but so weary with it all), how is a 1,000 year old vampire like Eric Northman not more known and respected? How old are these authority members? I feel like he should be a more powerful character than he has become. Or a more feared or respected reputationally. I guess "you're taller than I expected" from Salome means she's heard of him.

I get that Eric is a guy who eschews politics, and I think that's totally in character, but it's not him I'm having problems with so much as his place in this tale thus far. I guess I'm just not yet buying the Eric-Bill bromance angle they're working so hard to sell right now.

Also, it's very possible (okay, probable) that I'm too much of an Eric fan for my own good and just need to expect to be disappointed when 150 year old Bill is the one who gets the focus.

Oh! Also also, when the story is built on a foundation of a plot point that I *hated* (that is: Eric not killing Russell dead totally dead and not just a little dead)(I love Russell but I think it was entirely out of character for them to leave him with even a slim possibility of escaping, and I hate that even if it was done so they could bring the delightful nutcase back), then the story has a long way to go to make me not mutter about that all along the way.

I think I might be -- or want to be -- interested in the complexities of the vampire hierarchy, but not if it's going to be so overtold to the point where I just roll my eyes. Are we supposed to root for the mainstreamers? Are we going to get a complex story of how power corrupts even those who have good intentions? And do I really care about some high-falutin' politicking when I really just want to tune in for vampire sexin' and killin' and adorable Jason stupidity and someone putting Sookie in her place now and again?

I guess it's the difference between fun commentary like the vampire self-defense silliness and Steve Newlin's changing situation and hitting me over the head with "fundamentalism is BAD" craziness that seems crazy in its own special way. Also, the grander the scale and the wider the reach of the story, the more chance, I think, that they're stretching themselves too far and eventually that could come back to bite them storywise.

Anyway, I remain skeptical about the season and show as a whole, but I'll keep tuning in and hoping for a good dose of Skarsgard, Meloni, O'Hare . . . and if they could put all of them in fancy (and somewhat bloody) period attire, that'd be bonus.

And that post was longer and ramblier than I intended but I think I just really needed to get that out.

Mallory, you and I have discussed our everlasting SQUEE over Russell Edgington, so there's no need for me to tell you that I am doing the Steve Newlin dance and then some over his return. Who is helping him, I do wonder???

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think Christopher Meloni is as hot as they get. I thought so on SVU, but the whole suit, fangs and general badassery he is portraying is YUM. I also cracked up at his comment in Entertainment Weekly when asked the best part of being a vampire. "Getting to stake a motherfucker in one take. I busted a hole in that asshole. It was beautiful." LMAO!

Carolyn Henessy's (Diane on GH)character, Roslyn Harris is too awesome. I loved her "oh do it do it" face when Roman was considering staking Bill.

The rest will sort itself out, I have no doubt. As long as I have a good dose of Roman, Russell and a bit of swagger and sarcasm from Lafayette, I can wait it out.

Oh, as for Alcide? Joe Manganiello said in that same article in EW that between this season of True Blood and the upcoming movie Magic Mike, he's going to have "one helluva soft core porn reel," so apparently, Alcide gets a turn of the doorknob that Sookie is rapidly becoming.

How eclectis is this cast? not only ddo we have refugees from Gilmore Girls(Ex-Zach) and Noel from Felicity, but we also have the Captain of that wonderful German film, "Das Boat", before he sold his soul: to Hollywood to star in such crappy films such as " Dune.

your right the first show of the season was draggy.i found naked pics of chris meloni in the shower if anyone',s interested inbox me at facebook with your email address and i'll send them to ya!! Eric french kissing his sister was creepy tho'.Marcus was hott in sick kind of way and then he's gone.aww..STEVE AS A RELIGIUOS VAMP WAS FUN WE NEED A LIL HUMOR.YAY FOR SCOTT FOLEY JOINING THE SHOW,NEVER ENOUGH HOT MEN FOR ME. LOL TARA DESTOYING SOOKI'S HOUSE WAS DISTURBING ,CAN'T Sookie ever have a clean and normal home? and when Tara stood on her sink?? wow! wonder how many times they practiced that, or maybe staged it,we didn't exactly see her get up thier

I could be way off but I wonder if the kid on the Authority council is Alexei Romanov, the young son of the last Russian Tzar. In the book series, Alexei is Eric's vampire sibling and was turned by Eric's maker, Ocella, just after the slaughter of his family by the Bolsheviks. Between his lifelong, painful hemophilia, the trauma of seeing his whole family murdered, and being abused by the evil Ocella after being turned, Alexei was mentally unstable and extremely violent. Since the show changed Eric's maker from Ocella to Godric and created the Nora character as his sibling, I wonder if they decided to keep Alexei but needed a different way to introduce him.

Where are the True Blood recaps?

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