“Sunset” is a fitting title for this week’s episode, since the sun is setting on Season 5. This was the penultimate episode of the season, and I have to say I kind of expected the various storylines to consolidate themselves a little more before we got to this point, but for the most part, the majority of our major characters are all sort of in the same arena of plot points. I think the scene between Pam and Sam (whom I can’t recall ever having interacted before this moment) when they pass each other in the hallway of the Authority of Lilith headquarters really represents the season as a whole. Both of them were being held as prisoners of the Authority and being led to their respective fates, and when they crossed paths they both had the same reaction: “What are you doing here?” Sam shouted desperately for Pam to help Luna (who was locked with the other prisoners and Emma), and Pam responded with her typical mix of apathy and irritation, “Who the f–k is Luna?” That was the perfect example of how all these characters have been on completely different pages this season. Even when they wind up in the same place, they have totally different motives and agendas. I’m really looking forward to all of them getting together in the finale for a little group drum circle and sharing from their “What I Did This Summer” essays.
Pam has been one of the highlights of this season. We got to see some flashbacks of her early days as a madam in nineteenth century England, the origin of her relationship with Eric, her own evolution as a Maker, and—perhaps most shockingly—we saw her don a particularly ugly yellow Wal-Mart sweat suit. Now that Pam has sort of embraced her role as a Maker to Tara (complete with an actual physical embrace—something that did not look natural for Pam at all), it’s only fitting that she’s risking her neck to try to save her own Maker from the Cult of Lilith. As much as I wanted to see a beautiful tear-filled reunion between my favorite Maker/progeny pair, the two just missed each other at Authority HQ (because obviously they’re saving that for the finale).
Now that Pam is being held in custody of Team Cray-cray, I’m guessing Eric will be drawn back for an epic showdown in the finale next week, which will be a great opportunity for some bonding by way of kicking Bill’s sorry ass. After several painful episodes of watching Eric go along helplessly with the Lilith Agenda, he finally got to spread his wings of badassery and get back to his usual level of awesomeness. He was looking pretty desperate, pacing in the privacy of his room, when newly awakened Nora paid him a visit. They seemed to communicate everything with just their eyes. The look on her face said, “I’m really sorry I lost all my marbles and tried to make you join a cult with me, and that I disrespected everything our Maker stood for,” while his intense stare seemed to say, “Holy crap sis, I’m so glad you’re not brainwashed anymore. Also, WHAT THE F–K?! I can’t believe you went all Helter Skelter on me. Dad would be so disappointed. Glad to have you back though. So…sexy time?” (Yeah, Alexander Skarsgård is so talented that he was able to convey all that with just a glance.) Of course there was plenty of time for a quickie before they got to planning their escape, which involved wearing all black and pulling off a double-staking while pretending to change the radio station in the car. As much as I hate Nora, I have to say it was nice to see her and Eric back to their weirdly-creepy-but-kind-of-sweet sibling relationship, if only for Eric’s sake. He deserves a competent partner in crime for the coming climax of the season.
Let’s take a look at a less disturbing sibling relationship (no incest here!): Jason and Sookie. With everything else in their lives being completely screwed up, the Stackhouse siblings have really leaned on each other this season. Jason has been so supportive of Sookie since she discovered that it was sort-of-kind-of her fault that her parents were killed by a vampire. Actually, it was her great-great…-great-grandfather’s fault because he just up and signed away his female heir to some creep with fangs. (Seriously, who does that?) Anyway, Sookie and Jason decided they were sick of being hunted like animals, so they banded together with the fairies—including the Elder fairy, played by Veronica Mars’ Erica Gimpel (what are you doing in Bon Temps, Mrs. Fennel?!)—to plan an attack on Russell before he could suck them all dry.
I knew something terrible was going to happen to Jason the moment he and Sookie exchanged “I love you”s. On this show, that kind of emotional payoff comes at a cost—and that cost is usually someone’s life. I thought Jason was toast. He’d already survived the almost-crisis of Bill forcing Jessica to turn him into a vampire, after which Jess told him that even though it wasn’t real, if she was going to spend eternity with someone, it would be him. (Awwww.) So, to recap: closure with Hoyt (or as close as he’s going to get), sort-of resolution with Jessica, and telling his sister he loves her… Yeah, he’s definitely going to die. Fortunately, the Elder was pretty vague about the spell she accidentally shot at Jason (you’d think after eons of being a fairy she’d have better aim), so I think he’s just in another dimension or something. Who knows? Poor guy deserves a vacation after the month he’s been having anyway. I hope she sent him somewhere sunny.
Back to the whole fairies issue: I’ve been hating on the fairies since they entered the picture, but they almost won me over with the introduction of the Elder. (They must have known that Veronica Mars alumni are my weakness.) Erica Gimpel was delightfully loopy as she danced around, discussing Ke$ha and the nature of the universe. When Sookie convinced the fairies to fight back against Russell I was right there with them, rallying for the fairies to finally do something interesting. Of course it took them all of ten seconds to completely screw it up and serve themselves up to Russell on a platter. Seriously, that had to be the most disappointing, anticlimactic showdown in the history of True Blood. The Elder’s epic failure just served to confirm my belief that all fairies are stupid.
The one interesting tidbit we learned from the fairies (aside from the fact that you should really use a condom if you’re going to “accept a fairy’s light”) was that Sookie’s poor judgment when it comes to love and vampires might actually be a side effect of her bond with the evil Warlow. It just goes to show you, sometimes there’s just no amount of therapy that can help you—you’re just destined to fall in love with emotionally unavailable vampires.
One of those vampires has been a complete douchebag for the entire duration of this show much of this season, but Pam gave something of an explanation for Bill’s even-more-annoying-than-usual behavior over the last half of the season. Apparently Bill has been under the influence of a phenomenon called “nesting,” wherein vampires live together, drink each other’s blood (or in this case, the blood of the mother of all vampires), and become psychotic. Yup, sounds like Bill all right. Anyway, this explanation does not make me hate Bill any less. (Shocker, I know.) Nor does it make me feel the need to see Bill redeem himself in the finale. (Yawn.) If I sound like I’m just making general complaints about how annoying Bill is without giving any real analysis of his character, that’s because I am. So let’s move on to something more interesting.
Like this. Alcide may not be in the center of things this season, but at least some writer/producer/intern was smart enough to say, “Hey, we should still make sure to show Joe Manganiello shirtless at least every other episode, even if it’s not really relevant to the plot at all.” And thank God for that. Alcide and his disgraced lone wolf father are having their own little side adventures, which seem to be mostly manly brooding about life without a pack and what it means to be a good man… Or something. It’s hard for me to focus on thematic elements when Joe Manganiello is half-naked. All I know is that when Alcide went to go fend off their neighbors’ trailer from some feral baby vampires, his daddy actually came to back him up. It was lovely.
You know what’s not lovely? The fact that Andy just promised Holly’s hooligan sons that he was going to do right by their mom, when really he’s about to break her heart when she finds out he knocked up a fairy. That’s really the least of our problems though at this point. Russell is now, a) on the loose, b) imbued with fairy blood, and c) still insane. And now he can actually see the super secret hidden fairy world since he drank the Elder. WAY TO GO, FAIRIES. Too bad you can’t do anything right. (Except dance.) I’m torn because, honestly, I wouldn’t be that broken up about it if Russell just slaughtered all the fairies right then and there. But on the other hand… Okay, I guess I’m not torn. I just don’t really care. Sigh… And when are we actually going to meet this Warlow? I’m guessing at this point he’s being set up to be the season 6 villain? Also, while I’m whining, can we stop with the creepy Lilith hallucinations already? Unless one of them involves Bill hitting himself in the face repeatedly, I’m not interested. This season has had its share of ups and downs (with fewer ups than I would have liked), and I’m really interested to see how they’ll bring it all together for the finale. I’m crossing my fingers that they don’t take the predictable route of having Sookie be the thing that snaps Bill out of his idiotic Lilith trance. (Ugh.) I’m hoping we’ll see an epic Pam/Eric reunion, a swoony Eric/Sookie reunion, and plenty of shirtless Alcide. (That’s a given.) What are you hoping to see in the season finale?
Photo Courtesy of HBO