"True Blood" — "Hopeless": "Oh, I Love a Good Execution"
It appears not even guest stars are safe from death, or even the true death, this "True Blood" season. Sure, most die at the end of a season (see: Michelle Forbes as Maryann, Fiona Shaw as Marnie), but Chris Meloni barely had time to ramp up his camp as Roman before he was sent to live with Lilith at the end of Episode Six, "Hopeless." (Though if you ask Russell, who took Roman out, the Authority leader may as well have been praying to leprechauns or unicorns this whole time because Lilith ain't real.) Either way, at least we still have Russell, one of the better characters of the series thanks to Denis O'Hare. Out with one star and in with another -- it was nice while it lasted, Meloni. Nothing in the main vampire storyline is as it seems -- Nora is looking quite dubious about now -- and it is all Bill and Eric, Boy Scout and delinquent, can do to keep undead. Another solid episode for one of the better seasons so far.
Not every situation is hopeless, but most characters are feeling that way. Luna has no choice but to let Martha care for Emma. Pam's dismissal of Tara -- "(I'm) proud the way a human's proud of a well-trained dog" -- is born from her own hurt from being released by Eric, but that won't stop Tara from pouting about being a "slave." Jessica should be more concerned with helping Hoyt instead of Tara -- he's the one opting to be drained in an alley instead of coming to terms with the fact he and Jessica are over. Terry and Sam have the bigger worries of the crew, however, as they try to protect their loved ones from the Smoke Monster and supe-haters, respectively, out to kill. Sam and Luna's shifter nature helped save them from their gunshot wounds, but the humans who are wrecking the havoc won't have such a good shot at survival. Sam made that clear when he sent an arrow into the gun store owner's chest. Terry is paying for his crime; Sam, however, is paying for his existence.
It was Alcide's nature, too, that helped him see through some of Eric's glamouring Eric and remember his almost hook-up with Sookie. Unfortunately for him, Eric's directive that Alcide isn't attracted to Sookie -- "She kinda disgusts you" -- stuck, as did the command to protect her with his life. He can't shake her, but perhaps now he won't lust after her. Maybe he'll be distracted by Rikki, the pack member stepping in as his "second" while he challenges JD for the role of packmaster. For her part, Sookie is too caught up on Bill's orders to her as he pretended to glamour her: "You will live your life as you were meant to live it -- in the sun, with others like you. Human." He keeps letting her go, but each time it only reminds both of them of what they are losing. And he's wrong to put Sookie squarely in the human camp. Her microwave fingers set her apart -- her fairy blood sets her apart. If her deceased fairy godmother is to be believed, it was her blood on an old bandage that attracted a vampire to her parents' car. That's really how they died, it seems; the drowning was a cover up. Jason pledges to find their killer, joining Sam in the vigilante camp of the night.
The twist of the Stackhouse parents' death is the best part of the fairy plot. The fairies themselves -- while better to look at now that they are out of the "Disney character" clothes Mab made them wear -- still are disappointing. The exchanges with Claude fell flat and felt out of place with the rest of the episode. We don't need another circus; the vampires, werewolves and shifters offer plenty of the bizarre, as does Lafayette and Ruby Jean's dealings with the spirit of Jesus. Lafayette still is far too placid for Jesus having just died, but at least he keeps things interesting. The fairies just feel like a nuisance -- as annoying as Sookie's abilities are to Russell. He's the one viewers want to watch, anyway. Him and Steve Newlin.
- Jessica: "I guess that whole friendship thing's on hold."
- Eric, glamouring Alcide: "You will keep your hands off [Sookie], romantically speaking. She kinda disgusts you." Alcide: "Oh-OK."
- Hoyt: "I'm exercising my Constitutional right to be a dirty fangbanger."
- Eric: "Enough with this religious bulls**t already. Lilith can f***in' blow me."
- Sookie: "Bye! I'm just gonna stay here and quietly slip into a coma."
- Ruby Jean to Lafayette: "But you got to go. Jesus is in trouble! save Jesus! Jesus loves you. Even if you an abomination."
- Molly: "Stand still. Don't wanna accidentally activate this thing. Wouldn't that be ironic?" Eric: "But funny."
- Eric: "Boy scout." Bill: "Delinquent."
- Terry: "And now I'm being hunted by an evil smoke monster that wants to kill me and everyone I love. That's what set our house on fire -- not that ghost, Mavis, like we all thought."
- Russell: "In the name of My Ass!"
Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio.