The plot twists have started, the characters' paths begin to intertwine, and the blood continues to flow. True Blood moved things up a notch this past episode and altered the direction of a few story arcs along the way.
"Hopeless" gave a great feeling of uncertainty and excitement this week all at the same time. Ideas or assumptions myself and maybe other audience members may have had for where this 5th season of True Blood was headed were quickly erased by the end of this episode. Encase you readers out there haven't already viewed this past Sunday's show I should warn there will be some larger than usual spoilers in the paragraphs below.
First I'll give you a spoiler-ish free quick recap of "Hopeless". Russell puts the jump on Eric, Bill, Alcide, and Sookie, but Sookie's fairy abilities put a quick end to the ambush just in time for The Authority cleanup crew to arrive. Eric and Bill join them in escorting Russell back to The Authority's headquarters, while Sookie and Alcide head home. Shortly after Jason confronts Sookie about his own fairy experience and they go looking for their secret club. Alcide challenges for the role of pack master. Luna and Sam are brought to the hospital in time and Sam swiftly turns to Andy to go after whoever is targeting 'supes'. Meanwhile, Terry and Patrick officially go on the run from their Ifrit curse on them, but not before Terry says goodbye to Arlene.
I'll save the juicy main story-line till last, yet I'll still start off with my favourite new angle the show is going with, the supe-hunters. Personally I was glad Luna turned out to be all right, and even more so that it looks like shifters heal pretty quickly. More pissed than worried about recovering Sam gives Andy an ultimatum about him joining him with the official investigation; not wasting anytime. Those two characters have a history teaming up together, as they took down Maryann at the end of season 2, and I'm excited to see where this arc will take Sam and Andy again. This new vigilante supe-hunter angle doesn't look to be shifter specific since there was a scene near the end of the episode with Hoyt outside Fangtasia where and vampire gets crossbow-ed as Hoyt is letting him feed on him. I have a couple ideas where they might take this newly formed supe-hunter story but I'll get back to that in a minute.
There were a the few other stories going on in "Hopeless", like Tara and Jessica putting their friendship on hold, Terry going on the run from the Ifrit, and Jason and Sookie entering the secret fairy club, but none of those parts of the episode had enough time spent on them to go anywhere. For the most part every other side story kind of took a back seat to Russell being brought in and judged by The Authority.
***And here is where the real spoilers begin***
Russell has been down playing his actual strength since his reveal last episode and when he arrives in front of the council to be judge/executed he has more than strength up his sleeve. I've noticed the hints, probably since the second episode this year, that it wasn't Nora that freed Russell that in fact it has been Salome all along. The facial reactions alone from actress Valentina Cervi's Salome were a death give away. Instead of being upset about these obvious tell-tell signs I'm actually still intrigued about how and what is going to happen next. If the last screen shot of the episode continues into next week Russell kills Christopher Meloni's Roman and puts everyone, human and vampire, at risk. On top of the question: what is Russell going to do next? I'm curious about Nora and Salome's part in all of this. Nora may not have been Eric's sister when he was human but they consider themselves siblings since they were both created by Godric. So I find it hard to believe she would want to free Russell for any other reason but to give the true death knowing all about what Russell did to Eric's real parents over two thousand years ago. As for Salome, as well as Nora, I'm still wondering how she found out about Russell being buried in the first place. Both of these two women have either their own or a joint agenda for Russell being back in the picture.
Being only the sixth episode of the season, and fifth appearance wise, I was pretty disappointed to see Meloni's character Roman exit the show so soon. I was thinking he would have put up more of a fight or lasted longer considering they cast Meloni in the role. So where does this episode put season five's direction after this twist? As off guard as this episode's ending was the answer is actually up. Meloni's absence not withstanding this season can only go up. One of my theories is there could possibly be a connection to the supe-hunters to Russell, with Russell deciding to making a very public example out of them, on TV again no less, and go after them. As for the other side stories fitting into the Russell one they still remain a mystery.
In honour of Meloni's character Roman leaving the series I decided to give him the true blood quote of the week. While celebrating Russell's capture and his, what was to be, soon be execution Roman dips into his vampire style wine cellar and passes around an old bottle of aged blood. How he explains it is priceless:
"18th Century Austrian Hemophiliac, not that I know too much about these fancy antique bloods. All I know is it cost a f***ing f** load of money."
Here's hoping Roman returns in flashback form.
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.