True Blood is rarely predictable. Most of its twists and turns are genuinely shocking, leaving you slack-jawed in front of your television at the end of an episode, which is why I was surprised by how unsurprised I was by the end of this week’s episode. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe we were supposed to see it coming, but I couldn’t help but feel a little let down by the fact that I was actually able to guess the ending of a True Blood episode. (This is not a regular occurrence for me.) I mean, come on. Salome has been Little Miss Shifty-Eyes since we first met her—not to mention the fact that she had sex with Bill, so she’s obviously either evil or she makes terrible life choices. Turns out, it’s both! Well, I guess you could debate the whole concept of “evil,” but anyone who knowingly releases a psychotic murderer is clearly not on the side of good. In any case, I was not at all surprised when Salome turned out to be Russell’s accomplice. The only thing that I found astonishing was that Roman didn’t anticipate Salome’s betrayal. He seemed so easily prone to paranoia, but apparently he was just a little too trusting and/or arrogant.
I could discuss the possible implications of this game-changing development on the rest of the season … OR I could talk about how Eric and Alcide totally almost had sex. So yeah, let’s go with that one. Now, usually I would say that I’m probably taking some liberties with my somewhat imaginative interpretation of the scene, but this time I think it is completely validated, because OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THEIR FACES? (If you need a reminder, you can watch the scene again—and again, and again—here.) WOW, was that the most sexually charged scene we’ve had so far this season? Eric’s gentle caressing of Alcide’s injured cheek with his bleeding thumb … Alcide’s initial resistance before he surrendered to the depths of Eric’s mesmerizing gaze … ahem, uh, sorry I got a little carried away there. I swear I didn’t mean for that to sound like the beginning of a piece of fan fiction. But can you blame me? I can’t be the only one who was in awe of the earth-shattering thunderstorm of sexual tension that went down in that moment.
Unfortunately that scene didn’t end exactly as I had hoped (i.e. with Eric and Alcide making out), but it did take a turn from sexy to hilarious in about three seconds. Eric took the opportunity while he was glamouring Alcide to add a few of his own small addendums, commanding him to protect Sookie with his life … but to keep his hands off her while he’s doing it. He even went so far as to say that Alcide is now disgusted by Sookie, which Alcide demonstrated soon after that when he actually recoiled from Sookie’s touch. She caught on pretty quickly, and I guess she de-glamoured Alcide with her psychic powers? I sort of forgot she could do that. I was thinking maybe Alcide’s compulsion to guard Sookie with his life would come back in the finale and Alcide would get killed trying to protect her or something, but clearly the glamour didn’t last that long.
Bill and Sookie had their own little fake glamour moment when Bill pretended to make her forget ever meeting him and Eric, telling her to go on living her life as she was meant to live it: in the sun, with others like her. Sookie and Bill stared into each other’s tear-filled eyes knowingly, and it was theoretically beautiful and touching or whatever, but I really couldn’t bring myself to get that emotional about it because, a) it’s Bill, and b) all my emotions were still busy freaking out about the whole Eric-and-Alcide-undressing-each-other-with-their-eyes thing. I guess it’s nice that Bill got to say some things that he needed to say so they could have a little closure about the whole thing. But back to more important things, like Alcide being a badass.
After discovering that some of his wolf pack were back on V, Alcide confronted JD and announced that he wanted to take his rightful position as pack leader. He needed another pack member to second him on his challenge to JD, and some pretty lady (who is clearly his new romantic interest) stood up to back him up. Nothing looks better on Alcide than the reluctant leader role. He doesn’t want to be in charge, but if he sees that his pack is suffering, he’ll step up. (And he’ll look damn good while doing it.) I hope he and his new wolf lady friend are very happy together. Not that I don’t like him with Sookie, but we all know that she still has feelings for her pointy-toothed exes, and he deserves better than what she can give him.
Speaking of our favorite BFFs on the run, Eric and Bill managed to cheat death for yet another episode by bringing Russell to the Authority, who welcomed them back as sort-of heroes. Bill was all false modesty and reverence for the Authority, and Eric of course called him out on it. My favorite part was when Eric called him “boy scout,” and Bill volleyed back with, “delinquent.” It was pretty much the cutest thing since kittens in hats.
Russell certainly has come back with a bang. He offers a great balance to the order and piety of the Authority. Russell told them that they’re as bad as humans, praising a god that doesn’t exist. In Russell’s eyes, praying to Lilith is just as ridiculous as humans praying to God. They might as well be praying to Leprechauns, he said. I gotta say, I’m liking the religious themes this season, and I’m always fascinated to see the parallels between the different beliefs among citizens and governing bodies of the vampire community as compared with human society. So what’s going to happen now that Russell is at large again? Russell was definitely one of the more exciting and entertaining villains True Blood has had, and I’ll be interested to see where the season goes from here.
In stuff-I-didn’t-talk-about news, Terry told Arlene about the Ifrit, and she rightfully told him he needed to go (what a heartbreaking scene); Jason unsuccessfully tried to get his tie back from a fairy dancer; Hoyt begged Jessica to do bad things to him; Lafayette’s mom told him to save Jesus; Luna survived, and little wolf Emma found her way to her grandmother’s house; and Doug sadly did not live to see the end of the episode. It’s a shame. I really liked Doug. But as True Blood casualties go, I’d say things are just getting started. We’re halfway through the season, and things are about to get even crazier.
Photo Courtesy of HBO