What fresh hell is this? A True Blood episode with no gratuitous nudity? Actual story development? Wait, that second one’s a good thing. After a fast paced season opener Authority Always Wins acts more like a setup episode. While the pacing of this episode was slower it still successfully lined up a number of blood sucking ducks in a neat little row. Having said that there are several precious minutes of my life that I’m never going to get back after having wasted them on some of the completely pointless scenes in this episode (hang tight, we’ll get there).
Authority Always Wins is still a worthwhile episode because it spends a lot of time on the main storyline featuring a character pairing that has worked well throughout the entire run of True Blood to date but has never been fully explored. Now stop playing with that werewolf puppy and let’s recap.
Damnit! Tara (Rutina Wesley) still isn’t dead, at least not in the conventional sense that I’d like. My false hope that making Tara a vampire would make her more interesting has been staked right through the heart. As a human character she was angry and irritating. As a vampire she’s angry, irritating, and super fast. Not a vast improvement. Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) do their best to feed their former friend/cousin but Tara is too bat-crap crazy to care and ends up running away. There’s also a slightly interesting scene where Lafayette considers staking her (I actually shouted at the TV for him to do it! He didn’t hear me…).
Alcide (Joe Manganiello) refuses to eat the man he killed (werewolf or werewuss?) and he leaves the pack behind. After threatening to kill Sam the pack lets him go which made about as much sense as a brick trying to read Shakespeare. Sam (Sam Trammell) and Luna (Janina Gavankar) then get into a pointless fight over whether her daughter, Emma, is a werewolf or a shape shifter. Later in the episode irony pays a visit as Emma turns into an adorable little wolf pup. This at least makes their story worth watching.
Here are those lost moments of my life I mentioned: Firstly, Arlene (Carrie Preston) and Terry’s (Todd Lowe) story about the latter’s war background and how it’s affecting his mental state and their relationship, and then there’s something about a fire, some quick flashbacks…and seriously, I couldn’t care any less. This feels like it has so little to do with True Blood that it might as well be a deleted storyline from an old episode of NCIS.
Secondly Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is a man whore. But we’ve known that since episode one so why is it important now? Jason and Andy (Chris Bauer) discover the now very dead Debbie’s car but gloss over the entire thing by touching upon Andy’s vampire blood addiction and, later on, Jason tries to patch things up with Hoyt (Jim Parrack) but the big guy isn’t interested. Understandable. If someone stole my red headed vampire I’d be upset too.
Now the awesome stuff! Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) is a fan favorite on the show so it’s about time she got some personal story rather than playing second fiddle, or is it ukulele? Whatever the instrument we’re treated to flashbacks of Pam as a Madam in a house of ill repute and her first encounter with Eric.
Up until the end of Season 4 Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) were constantly against each other, most often than not, fighting over Sookie the super fairy. Once Sookie ditched the two of them they finally began working together which brought an interesting dynamic to their relationship. As the two of them are imprisoned by the Authority in silver cells with UV lights and tortured using some sort of silver injection system they both hold true to each other even in the face of death. We also meet Roman (Christopher Meloni), the head of the Vampire Authority and a general badass. Bill and Eric offer to kill Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) in order to save their lives and the answer to the offer is left hanging.
Highlights of Authority Always Wins:
- Lafayette unsuccessfully trying to give Tara her first drop of True Blood.
- The interrogation scene with Dieter Braun and Bill – An impassioned speech revealing the vampire origins.
- Gay vampire Reverend Newlin (possibly my new favorite character) crashing Jessica’s party (dancing) and offering to ‘buy’ Jason.
- Our first glimpse at Russell Edgington as he heals from his time encased in concrete. Heee’s baaacckkkk!
With Bill and Eric’s storyline currently being the most interesting we can only hope that once Russell is back on his feet we’ll see Sookie joining the fight and maybe even Lafayette with his magic mojo (not a penis euphemism).
I give Authority Always Wins 7.5 blood sucking ducks out of 10.