Episode Title: "Let's Boot and Rally"
Writer: Angela Robinson
Director: Michael Lehmann
Previously on "True Blood":
In the midst of tearing their clothes off, Sookie Stackhouse ( Anna Paquin) and Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello) make it to her bedroom before Sookie kills the mood by barfing on Alcide's shoes. Then Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) appear in the doorway and lightly mock Alcide. At his home, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) freaks out when his demonic incarnation pears back from the mirror and his religious paraphernalia begins speaking to him. Lafayette begs the spirit of his dead lover, Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) to come forward and help him deal with this.
Elsewhere, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) finds himself dressed in He-Man pajamas and apparently a child again with his sister Sookie and their parents. But Jason is disturbed by the blood-gushing vampire bite marks on his parents' necks before he wakes up to find himself naked in his own home. At the same time, Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) also wakes up inexplicably naked. Back at the Stackhouse home, Sookie is incredulous about Bill and Eric's claims that Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) is alive and she zones out of their argument with Alcide. Although probably still drunk and angry, Sookie laughs at the situation and she agrees to help them hunt Russell.
At Fangtasia, Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) is put to work behind the bar by Pam (Kristin Bauer). And soon enough, Pam has to violently warn Tara not to feed on humans where anyone can see them. At a construction site, Alcide begrudgingly introduces Bill,.Eric and Sookie to Doug (Jayden Lund), the construction worker who was glamoured on the night that Russell was freed from the concrete. Although Doug can't consciously remember it, Sookie uses her telepathy to relive his memories and she spots a glimpse of the woman who dug up Russell and she describes a distinctive necklace around her neck that Bill and Eric link to a member of the Authority.
Back at Authority headquarters, Nora (Lucy Griffiths) wears a similar necklace as she recites the Sanguinista beliefs and is punished for them with UV light. Salome (Valentina Cervi) wears the same necklace while urging Roman (Christopher Meloni) to throw his religious base a bone. In Bon Temps, Andy and Jason interview Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), who found his shifter friends Emory and Suzanne shot to death. In Fangtasia, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) gives Tara a much needed pep talk about the upside of being a vampire; which Tara seems to respond to. On the road, Doug is uneasy as Sookie grasps his hand and gives Alcide directions to the place where Russell was taken.
In the back of the truck, Bill and Eric almost come to blows over whether Nora set them up to be killed by Russell or the Authority. But they are interrupted by a call from the Authority's minion girl, Molly (Tina Majorino), who gleefully informs them that they have until dawn to deliver Russell to the authority or their iStakes will be activated remotely. Back at the murder scene, Jason finds a wooden bullet in a nearby tree and remarks that vampires have been getting away with killing humans for years before coming out of the coffin. Andy figures out where the shots came from and they theorize that the killers may also be targeting supernatural beings besides shifters and vampires.
At Fangtasia, Tara runs into Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and she initially rejects him when he offers himself to her as a source of blood. Meanwhile, Sookie, Doug and the supernatural Scooby gang arrive at an abandoned hospital. Despite Bill's suggestion that she remain behind, Sookie declares that the safest place is for them to stay is with her so that her faerie powers can protect them from Russell. In his home, Lafayette is disturbed by a vision of the severed head of Jesus, whose mouth has been sewn shut as he desperately tries to convey a message. At the same time, Lafayette's mother, Ruby Jean Reynolds (Alfre Woodard) has the same vision and she seems to understand what Jesus is saying.
Sam visits Luna (Janina Gavankar) to tell her the bad news about their friends. But when Sam leaves, the masked killers shoot him and Luna, when she goes out to investigate. As Luna appears to die, Sam urges her young daughter, Emma (Chloe Noelle) to run. Emma escapes the hail of bullets by shifting into a wolf cub and disappearing into the woods. In the Fangtasia bathroom, Tara feeds on Hoyt in one stall while Jessica feeds off of another woman in the next stall. However, when Jessica hears Hoyt, she attacks Tara. In the hospital, Sookie and company find a room where some helpless captives are kept before being fed to Russell.
Leaving Doug behind, they find Russell still recovering in a hospital bed where he mocks them for making so much time. Russell is also defiant in the face of Eric's threats, but suddenly Alcide is pulled to the ground and dragged out of the room by an unseen attacker.
Welcome back to "True Blood," Denis O'Hare!
I have to admit that I didn't actually expect Sookie and her ex-boyfriends to find Russell Edgington in this episode. But it was a good way to give this season a much needed jolt in the main storyline. Although I'm hoping for a swerve when it comes to the identity of the traitor within the Authority. We're certainly meant to think that Nora is responsible for Russell's return… which means that Salome is the most likely suspect. Because that's how these stories normally go. Surprise me, show.
Jayden Lund's Doug brought a human touch to "True Blood" that's been missing for far too long. Even the normal people on this show are mostly acclimated to the existence of the supernatural. But Doug is such an everyman that he increasingly freaks out as he is drawn into the hunt for Russell. And frankly, that's the only sane response. That Sookie kind of brushes off the danger of the situation may speak volumes about where her state of mind is. She's either overconfident about her ability to defend herself or she simply doesn't care that Russell knows the secret of her faerie blood or that Russell would gladly extend Sookie's suffering to have her blood on tap for the rest of her life.
Jason's story is also slowly heading towards relatable territory, as his dream suggests that there may actually be something to the faeries' claims that his parents were killed by vampires. But if the Stackhouses were murdered for their faerie blood, why were Sookie and Jason spared? The shifter killings may also be a part of the larger picture than they initially seemed. It was a little predictable that both Sam and Luna were shot… and it seems likely that Luna was killed in the attack. If so, the writers seem to be setting up Sam as a single father figure to Emma and they've already established his tense relationship to the werewolf side of Emma's family.
As for the killers themselves, they seem to think that they can prey on the supernatural beings with impunity. Not. Smart. If they target the vampires too as Jason suggests, then it is going to get bloody very quickly. But with Steve Newlin turned into a vamp and the Fellowship of the Sun largely out of the picture; who stands to gain by inciting the shooters to target the supernatural beings? Possibly the Sanguinistas themselves, as it may feed back into their agenda of vampire domination. If Salome is their secret leader, then she's done a good job of giving the Authority multiple threats to deal with while pursuing her own plans.
The return of Jesus had the great visual of his severed head with his lips sewn shut. Lafayette's storyline also appears to be heading in an interesting direction. And I do want to know what Jesus' message was… not to mention who or what could do that to a spirit.
This is the best episode of the season so far and the momentum is starting to build. Hopefully "True Blood" can keep building on that.