I feel like we’re finally getting somewhere with this season. The Authority drama is coming to a boil; the fairies are back in the game; people are jumping out of moving vehicles; Sookie and Alcide are making out on the couch; things are happening! And despite the somewhat underwhelming start to the season, I have to say I like where it’s going. (Except for the fairy thing—I’m pretty tired of them at this point.) We’re a third of the way through True Blood’s fifth season, and one of the things I’m liking most about it is its focus on familial and friendly relationships rather than the usual emphasis on romance (which isn’t to say I wasn’t excited to see Alcide finally get some in the final act of the episode). The Maker/progeny bond has been especially prominent so far, but we’ve also seen some of the devoted (if not a little disturbing) sibling relationship between Eric and Nora, as well as the deepening friendship of Jason and Jessica. I have to say, it’s kind of refreshing to have some time off after four seasons of supernatural love triangles. And we did see a little romance at the end of this episode when Sookie and Alcide were groping on the couch as Bill and Eric watched creepily from outside. ‘Cause, you know, that’s what they do.
One of the high- and low-lights of this episode was Drunk Sookie. When everyone in town hates you because you had your best friend turned into a vampire and you’ve just crushed the hearts of the two most beautiful men on the planet (and Bill), what are you going to do next? Get wasted, of course! I appreciated this totally reasonable—and so human—reaction on Sookie’s part. (Not that I’m condoning binge drinking alone in your living room.) At first I was like, “Drunk Sookie, you are my favorite ever. Please become an alcoholic so that we never have to see boring, whiny Sober Sookie ever again.” Okay, that’s pretty harsh on Sober Sookie … she’s really not that bad. But Drunk Sookie is like 1,000 times better. I mean, did you hear her rendition of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”? (“If you like making love at midnight … and are in a cemetery …”) I’m definitely making that my new ringtone. When Alcide showed up, we all knew it was going to lead to a drunken hook-up, but that didn’t stop Sookie from being kind of a jerk about it. She was basically giggling about how he’d do anything for her because he’s in love with her. Ummm … presumptuous much? I mean the guy just helped cover up your murder of his ex-girlfriend, so obviously he’s pretty into you, but there’s no need to rub it in his face. I know it was all in good fun, and she was just being a drunken flirt, but come on, girl.
I have to admit, until this point I was on Sookie’s side with regard to Tara and her hate-on-Sookie parade. I mean, sure Tara’s right, there will probably always be some “fool there to take a bullet for her,” but that’s not exactly Sookie’s fault. She’s had her share of tragedy over the years; I think she deserves to have two sexy men (and Bill) worship her. At least, that’s what I thought until she was all, “You’re in love with me, giggle giggle!” At which point I officially switched to being annoyed by her and her excess of attractive male suitors. Or maybe I’m just jealous because she got to make out with Joe Manganiello. I don’t know. Is Magic Mike out on DVD yet? Greatest. Film. Ever.
Wait, where was I? I got distracted by Joe Manganiello’s torso … oh, right—True Blood was getting awesome (except for Sookie). I was really surprised that we got such a big emotional payoff on the Eric/Pam reunion, which was far beyond my expectations and made me tear up from happiness and sadness simultaneously. True Blood at its best, ladies and gentlemen! I loved how much you could feel the sort of father/daughter dynamic between the two of them, despite the fact that they appear physically to be around the same age. This just proves how great Alexander Skarsgård and Kristin Bauer van Straten are at playing the maker/progeny chemistry. As Eric told Pam why she couldn’t accompany him and Bill on their suicidal mission, you could see it in Eric’s eyes that nothing was more important to him than Pam’s life and that she carry on his legacy, especially now that she has her own progeny to take care of. She desperately wanted to go with him and, if it came to it, lay down her life for him, but he wasn’t having it. Eric could barely get the words out to release her, but he did it. He renounced their bond, which broke my heart along with both of theirs. Is that permanent? Does that mean Eric can no longer sense Pam? I’m so not okay with this. Pam and Eric are perfect and beautiful and they have such an amazing relationship. They can’t just not be maker and progeny anymore … right?
I think Bill was inspired by Eric’s Maker-of-the-Year levels of awesome vampire parenting, because he took a moment to reflect on his own progeny. He looked at Jessica and told her, “I think I’ve done well.” And I had to admit, he has done well in raising her, despite having had a pretty awful example in his own maker. And thus continues Bill’s streak of not making me want to vomit.
I think the focus on the maker/progeny relationships has brought out the best in everyone this season. Even Tara was tolerable this week, although she still has a lot of misplaced anger and resentment, not to mention some self-loathing to work on. But if anyone could make Tara into a likable vampire, it’s Pam. She’s got the tough love thing down pat, and Tara needs someone who’s not going to take her crap. I guess if we have to have a Tara-comes-to-terms-with-being-a-vampire story line, it might as well include a lot more of Pam being awesome.
Okay, now let’s quickly review some of the other stuff that went down in this episode that I don’t care enough to go into detail about. All of Sam’s friend’s got murdered. (Obviously he’s been hanging around Sookie too much.) We saw some really intense (and disconcertingly real, considering this show is about vampires and fairies) flashbacks to Terry’s time in Iraq and the horrible truth about what happened over there. Lafayette’s brujo alter-ego tampered with the brakes in Sookie’s car, which actually turned out okay because it led to Sookie and Alcide hooking up. (Let’s be honest—making out with Alcide is totally worth jumping out of a speeding car.) Last (and probably least), Andy and Jason got unknowingly roped back into the fairy drama when they ended up in a fairy club where they met up with Jason’s cousin Hadley and Andy’s one-night stand Maurella. (Awkward.) As soon as they crossed over into the fairy realm, I was like, “Ugh, more fairy crap? Really?” I’m sorry. I don’t care about the fairy world. Though I was wondering when Andy’s tryst with Maurella would come back to haunt him. So are we pretty sure she had his baby? I bet his half-fairy kid is like 15 years old by this point in fairy time. This does not bode well for the only functional relationship on the show right now (Andy and Holly). And oh yeah, WE STILL HAVEN’T FOUND RUSSELL EDGINGTON. So far, so good, Season Five. I’m loving the beautiful portrayals of the maker and progeny relationships, so I hope this theme will continue throughout the season. Some parting words of wisdom after this week: do NOT attempt to drink Tara’s signature “orange marzipan.” Seriously. It’s disgusting.
Photo Courtesy of HBO