After what has been a somewhat frustrating plot point, there’s something satisfying in seeing the Lilith of “True Blood” completely screw with her minions. She appeared to various vamps in all her bloody glory in the eleventh episode of Season Five, “Sunset,” telling Bill, Kibwe and Salome that each is her chosen one. (And unfortunately for Kibwe, Bill is a bit jealous when it comes to sharing his goddess.) The Sanguinista movement is becoming as unhinged as its members, and the remaining storylines are leading to the Authority and whether the vampires will be allowed to run as amok as they desire. The slack from the past several episodes has been picked up as well, and while the season may not have as much drama in its finale as last year, things are tying together better than anticipated.
Even the characters are surprised to bump into each other as stories overlap — Pam and Sam’s confusion when passing each other in the Authority hallway may have been the highlight of the night. Both are there as sacrifices, with Sam angling to free Emma by presumably pleading to Bill and Pam taking the blame for Tara’s killing of Elijah. Naturally, the truly dead sheriff’s maker is Rosalyn, a still upset mother even though he was only one of 204 progeny. Try as she might, Pam can’t pretend not to care for her own child; her commanding Tara never to speak of the murder and then stepping in to accept her punishment speaks volumes of the vampire, who is still mourning her broken ties to Eric. Jessica was able to fill her in on his whereabouts (and ponder her and Tara’s relationship) before her arrest, but, of course, Pam is trapped in the building Eric just escaped from. Now that Eric and Nora have taken Godric’s warnings about Lilith to heart, he will likely try to help Bill snap out of it as well before it’s too late.
The U.S. government isn’t amused with the Sanguinista’s shenanigans, either, knowing full well they are behind the Tru Blood factory bombings. Roman had been working with the government on mainstreaming for years, and when U.S. Military Gen. Cavanaugh learns of his demise, he’s ready to fight. The government has video of Russell and Steve eviscerating the frat boys, and if something happens to Cavanaugh, it will be released to sure-to-freak public. “We’re prepared,” he tells the Authority Chancellors. “We have weapons. … We own the day. Vampires don’t stand a fu**ing chance.” Eric snaps his neck anyway and hightails it with Nora in search of copies of the incriminating tape, soon killing the guards a suspicious Bill sent with them. A self-righteous and increasingly tyrannical Bill, who is exhibiting nest behavior on steroids, according to Pam, was already on a roll: Jessica’s attempts to warn Jason about Steve and Russell, weakly covered by her claiming to want to make Jason a vampire, had Bill calling her bluff and ordering her to turn Jason. Thankfully, Jason catches on to Jessica’s plan well enough to play dead and then kill the Authority guards watching over the fake turning. “I know this wasn’t real,” Jessica tells him, “but if I was gonna have to spend eternity with somebody …” Perhaps Hoyt’s exit will lead to these two resolving their romantic issues.
Jessica is the only one really looking out for Jason, and for Sookie, as she warns them about Steve and Russell’s plan to track down fairies for their blood. She’s more helpful than the fairy elder Sookie visits in scenes that had an almost “Doctor Who” level of playfulness that they somehow worked. Her news for Sookie is that her own destiny as well as Sookie’s is intertwined with the vampire Warlow’s. “A dark time is coming,” she says. “You will be tested. Hold onto your light. As long as we fairies hold on to our light, we will be free.” The elder’s own light isn’t much use on Russell, though, once he tracks the fairies with the help of a glamoured Jason, and the ancient vampire quickly drains her as Sookie and the rest of the fairies look on in shock.
It may be time for Russell’s second life to come to an end. In fact, we’re due for a bloodbath now that the season is ending, with numerous vamps (Salome, Rosalyn, Nora) sure to be turned to goo now that Lilith is driving everyone crazy and the government is clued in to the Authority’s plans. Other supernatural or human casualties seem less likely, but whatever deaths and true deaths come, the shifting alliances of Season Five have made their mark. Most importantly, Bill and Eric aren’t by Sookie’s side (in matching bathrobes) as they were at the end of Season Four, both wanting her affection. She’s largely out of their minds this time around, her having to rely on Jason and her fairy kin to protect her. They have been driven apart while others — Sam and Luna, Alcide and his father, Pam and Tara — have moved closer together. Bill is even pushing Jessica away is his religious fervor. The season may not have has as much heft as its predecessors, but it certainly has changed the overall game.
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Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio.