Well it only took about six episodes, but True Blood is finally living up to its previous status of insanely great television. After last week's promising set up, Hopeless was the episode that finally made season 5 worth watching, and all it took was a little Russell Edgington. Well, and a healthy dose of cohesion.
After finally capturing Russell, Bill and Eric hand him off to the Authority, hoping to be exonerated from there sentences handed down by Roman. Before doing so, they are ordered to glamour Sookie and Alcide, which leads to an emotional moment between Bill and Sookie as he tells her that she will never see him nor Eric again. We all know in our hearts it's not, but it was still enough to shed a single tear over.
Both Stackhouse children are in mourning, as Jason's reoccurring dreams of his parents lead him on a search for the truth about their death. His journey leads him and Sookie back to the faerie nightclub that he visited with Andy previously, but the results aren't any better this time around. Without spoiling anything, part of the mystery surrounding their parent's murder is revealed, but just enough to hook us until we figure out the rest.
Meanwhile, Alcide takes it upon himself to challenge his pack master after discovering that some of the wolves have been using V again. Sadly, we'll have to wait until next week to catch the (hopefully) epic showdown, as all we got this week were a few growls and tough words.
And poor, poor Lafayette, who is being haunted by the decapitated head of his dead lover, finally gets a speck of good news. While visiting his mother, he discovers that she had the same vision, as well as some choice words from Jesus. The dialogue between Lafayette and his mom was one of the funniest of the season, and it was worth the wait to see our beloved Lafayette back in full form.
Terry and Patrick are still on the run from the Ifrit after watching it snuff out a past squadmate. Terry meets Arlene back in Bon Temps and tells her all about Iraq, his curse, and that he has to leave for her family's safety. Of course we're left with no idea where he's heading or what he'll do once he gets there, but this storyline has always been promising, so the fact that it's finally culminating is enough to make me giddy.
On a complete side note, the visual effects used for the Ifrit were pretty impressive. For a show that has had some of the corniest images I've seen on TV, I was shocked by how well it was done. Apparently a nice little nudge to the budget can do wonders.
Sam and Luna, freshly made up, are both gunned down by a group of masked men who take it upon themselves to kill any supernatural creatures they can find. Emma fortunately escapes, but she ends up in the paws of Martha, who promises to keep her safe for Luna. Martha is as shady (and chilling) as they come, but God is she a fantastic character! Sam vows to find out who is killing the "supes," and teams up with Andy to hunt down the killers. Add one more awesome and unexpected duo to this season's roster.
Finally, Tara's new attitude is a welcome change to the whining and blathering vamper she was a few weeks ago. Although she's absent for most of the episode, her periodic appearances were actually enjoyable. And dare I say it: I'm actually excited to see where she goes this season.
Hoyt is still a pathetic little boy dressed up like a fangbanger, and his love for Jessica is getting to be creepy instead of cute. But just as he becomes disposable, he becomes important again! Let's just say he may or may not know the gang that's killing the supes.
I promise not to ruin the ending, but I will say it is a classic, 100% pure True Blood ending. The twist is insane, and it hints at so many more things to come this season.
Overall, this episode was the kick in the pants True Blood needed after a lackluster first half of season. Every loose plot is starting to come together, the characters finding new levels of likability, and Russell Edgington is back in the spotlight. Now that we have a clearly defined villain, the added focus makes the show infinitely more enjoyable.
So for those of you who had lost hope before now, I promise that if you come back, it's worth it. With six episodes left in the season, it can only get better from here. Sorry for doubting you, True Blood, but you've got our attention again.