Episode Title: "Sunset"
Writer: Angela Robinson
Director: Lesli Linka Glatter
Previously on "True Blood":
Deep within the Authority's headquarters, Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) has a vision of Lilith (Jessica Clark); who tells him that he is her chosen one and that he must drink all of her remaining blood. Bill is also surprised that some of Lilith's blood remains after the vision fades away. Elsewhere in the compound, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) tries to find and use Bill's phone when he interrupts her. Jessica explains that she intends to warn Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) that Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) and Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) are coming after him and his sister, Sookie Stackhouse ( Anna Paquin).
To Jessica's surprise, Bill dismisses Sookie and Jason as food under the teachings of Lilith. So, Jessica unconvincingly tries to argue that she should be allowed to go back to Bon Temps and turn Jason into a vampire. Bill openly scoffs at her subterfuge and assigns two of his personal guards to escort her to Bon Temps and make sure that she sires Jason. Elsewhere in the compound, Nora (Lucy Griffiths) relives the vision of Godric (Allan Hyde) being murdered by Lilith. This seems to shock Nora out of her fanaticism; which doesn't go unnoticed by Salome (Valentina Cervi).
After attempting to make Salome believe that nothing has changed, Nora visits her vampire brother, Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) and her silent expression conveys that she is no longer under Lilith's influence. As Eric and Nora make love, she asks him what their next move is. In Bon Temps, Jason is surprised to find Jessica accompanied by two aggressive guards and he completely misses her verbal clues before she bites him on the neck. Shortly thereafter, the guards begin burying Jason and Jessica to complete his transformation, but it turns out to be a ruse that allows Jason to kill both vamps.
Jason and Jessica reconcile, but he kind of blows off her comment about being happy to spend eternity with him. Back at Fangtasia, Pam (Kristin Bauer) scolds Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) for killing the new sheriff, Elijah (Keram Malicki-Sanchez). Pam also orders Tara to never speak about it again. Jessica arrives shortly thereafter and asks to be hidden from the Authority. But Pam only grants her sanctuary when she shares information about Eric's whereabouts. In the faerie club, Sookie is given an audience with the faerie elder, whose grasp on sanity is tenuous at best. As the elder begins to give Sookie information about her ancestor and the deal that he struck with the vampire named Warlow, Jason bursts into the club and says that Russell is alive… and that Bill and Eric have turned their backs on them.
Back at the Authority headquarters, General Cavanaugh of the US Military arrives in a convoy before being taken before the Chancellors. While the Authority initially acts as if he is beneath them, the general informs them that the military is well aware that the Authority is behind the True Blood factory bombings and that they have obtained footage of Steve Newlin and Russell massacring a bunch of frat kids. The general even claims that the military has been preparing for a conflict with vampires for years, with new weapons that no one has even seen before. Believing the Authority to be intimidated, the general turns to leave… only for Eric to break his neck on the spot.
As the Authority bickers about what to do next, Eric and Nora volunteer to glamour anyone within the military who has seen the recording of Russell. Slightly suspicious, Bill assigns a security detail to go with them. But that doesn't stop Eric from staking the guards once they get a safe distance away from the headquarters. Inside the faerie club, Sookie tries to convince the assembled faeries that they have to fight Russell. Fortunately, the elder faerie agrees with Sookie. But Jason insists upon leaving to take the fight to Russell and Steve. Elsewhere, Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello) and his father, Jackson (Robert Patrick) learn that newly turned vampires have been hunting for prey in packs.
That night, the Herveaux trailer is protected by a fence, but Alcide decides to make sure that the vampires don't kill his neighbors. Alcide kills one vampire quickly, but it is Jackson who saves his life at a critical point. In Merlotte's, Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) is confronted by a very pregnant faerie named Maurella (Kristina Anapau), who claims that the child is his and that he must protect them as he promised. When Andy hesitates out of fear of losing Holly Cleary (Lauren Bowles), Maurella warns him of grave consequences if he refuses. At Fangtasia, Rosalyn Harris (Carolyn Hennesey) of the Authority comes looking for her progeny, Elijah.
Rosalyn quickly realizes that Elijah is dead that Tara was present when it happened. But Pam takes the fall and allows herself to be led away. However, Rosalyn also senses Jessica's presence and she forcibly escorts her out as well. Inside the Authority headquarters, Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) and his girlfriend Luna (Janina Gavankar) wander around as mice before finding her daughter, Emma (Chloe Noelle) in a cage while still in her wolf form. The guards mistake Sam and Luna as two of the human prisoners and Sam volunteers to be Bill's breakfast. As he is escorted away, Sam passes an incredulous Pam.
Back in Bon Temps, Russell and Steve quickly get the upper hand on Jason and glamour him into revealing the location of the faerie nightclub. Inside Authority headquarters, Lilith appears to Bill again, but when he finally goes to drink the blood, Kibwe (Peter Mensah) is already there claiming that Lilith picked him to lead. So, Bill stakes Kibwe (Oenomaus… no!!!), before Lilith appears to Salome and tells her that SHE is Lilith's chosen leader. Bill then confronts Jessica and accuses him of choosing a vampire over two humans. Back in Bon Temps, Jason leads both Russell and Steve to the edge of the faerie nightclub… as planned.
The elder faerie nearly fights off Steve and Russell, but Russell is too fast and he manages to get a death grip on the elder before draining her dry. Now fully empowered by faerie blood, Russell is able to see the invisible entrance to the faerie nightclub… and he invites himself in for dinner.
"True Blood" season 5 has had its problems, but I'm enjoying the ride to the finale. There's only one thing that needs to happen next week that will make it all worthwhile: Bill must die. Granted, that's probably not going to happen, but it seems like a fitting punishment for what he became this season. I really like Bill as a villain. However, Bill has been a little overshadowed by Russell's presence. The problem is that if Bill survives this season then he'll probably be up for a redemption storyline and revert to the more boring personality traits that he had before. I still think Bill's death would be a satisfying ending to the season and his character, but don't hold your breath waiting for that.
With all of the shared visions of Lilith, I'm beginning to wonder if she is more real than she initially seemed. It can't be a coincidence that Lilith is turning the Chancellors against each other. The question is: what does she gain from it? Perhaps Lilith will be able to retake a corporeal form if someone drinks the last of her blood. If that's the case, Lilith may end up being next year's main villain… if her plan isn't foiled in the finale.
One of the more unintentionally funny aspects of the last few episodes has been the inability to hide Anna Paquin's pregnancy. It's pretty obvious and it may be why she's been kept separate from the main vampire plot except for dealing with Russell and Steve. I have to say that the elder faerie's plan was… pretty bad. Unless she wanted to die and somehow poison Russell, the elder faerie seemed completely unprepared for a fight despite her so-called powers. Although I would have much rather seen Bill or Eric dispose of Russell in a final battle, that job may have to fall to Sookie and her faerie friends. This isn't my favorite plot of the season, but it's still better than anything with Terry and Arlene.
Surprisingly, Jessica and Jason seem to be on their way to becoming the new heart of this series. Last week, they had some great scenes dealing with Hoyt's departure and this week, their time together was also memorable. Ryan Kwanten and Deborah Ann Woll had some good chemistry this season that has been more effective than their brief affair in season 4. It's still going to take some work getting Jason and Jessica to the point where they are a believable couple. But least now I want to see that happen again.
The other kind of weird love story this season is between Pam and Tara. Despite the implication that Tara has some attraction to Pam, it seems more like a mother/daughter pairing. And Pam also appears to have gone out of her way to protect Tara, even taking the blame of Elijah's murder. While Pam may be hoping to see Eric, she wouldn't have done that if she didn't care about Tara as well. There was also a great moment when Sam and Pam passed in the hallway as their stories momentarily converged. It took a little clunky writing to set that up, but Pam's comical reaction made the moment.
To a certain extent, the script did seem to be straining to find ways to connect all of the stories to the vampire threat, even if only tangentially. Next week's episode is Alan Ball's final script as the showrunner of "True Blood." There's certainly potential for an epic finish, but it could still go either way.