Nine episodes in and three to go True Blood already seems to be concluding some of their many multiple storylines. Where there was once about a dozen different individual arcs during this fifth season only about three or four remain, and things are getting good.
There must be something big on the horizon with the whole Authority/Lilith storyline because "Everyone Wants to Rule the World" cleared the character slate clean (story-wise that is) for most. Terry and Patrick's Ifrit curse comes to an end. The supe-hunters, aka the Obamas, situation is not only fully revealed but pretty much resolved by the end of the episode. Alcide leaves town, has his first flashback, and we are introduced to his father. Finally Bill's suggestion to bomb the world's only True Blood factories has been put into action and the ripple effect is starting to show.
Normally for True Blood the show takes its time slowly revealing or telling their season long stories but this past Sunday they combined and sped through to the climax for some of my favourite arcs of this year so far. Having Sookie get Lafayette to medium her Gran, to get her involved with the whole supe-hunter business, was a bit of a stretch for me but a minor note since the rest worked out so well. The former Bon Temp sheriff Bud, from seasons 1 - 3, makes a short lived come back as part-leader to the supe-hunter group known as the 'Obamas'; because of the presidential masks they use. After its learned that Bud is behind the attacks no time was wasted in wasting him.
This 'Obamas' plot was subtle in the beginning of the season and quickly acted as a focal point for most of the series supernatural and human characters. What started out as a shifter only problem with Sam and Luna in the cross hairs quickly added Jason, Andy, Hoyt, Jessica, Sookie and even little Emma into the mix by the end of things. This series has expanded its reach past the borders of the small Louisiana town of Bon Temp after the first season so typically this amount of cross character plot lines has been reserved for season finales at most. Refreshingly True Blood made the most out of their cast, putting a good chunk of them together while the season still has some life left in it. I thought about complaining about some of these storylines being over too soon, but I didn't because one: it did its job and was entertaining, and two: I'm thinking the Eric & Bill arc is about to get a whole lot bigger. I'll get back to that in a minute.
Terry's Ifrit curse was lifted after a standoff with Patrick left him dead. Part of me thinks that because this was the most anticlimactic story all season. The Ifrit curse felt like just a last minute story device introduced last year so Carrie Preston (Arlene) and Todd Lowe's (Terry) characters had something to do during the fifth season. On the other hand this story might be a pretext to something bigger involving Terry next season. I might be over thinking this but if you look back to last year when the ghost went after Arlene and Terry's baby, combine with this Ifrit this year, Terry could be some kind of paranormal magnet. Or, like I said, I might be over thinking this.
Throughout "Everyone Wants to Rule the World" there were multiple shots of news reports on the True Blood factory bombings, as well as the supply shortage being mentioned back at Fangtasia with Pam and Tara. Russell returns to his werewolf pack of pets to secure additional numbers. Then there was Eric's thwarted escape attempt, which wasn't a shock, but Bill's new alliance to Salome doing said thwarting was. Put all of these corresponding scenarios together and this episode looks to have just been a warm up to bigger things to come. For the first time in the series True Blood might go further than their local universe and go global with their settings. Its still a relative mystery what Salome's long term plans for her new blood thirsty reign of the Authority will be or what the big and small scaled repercussions will come of it. There is already a replacement vampire sheriff in Eric's old position, a frantically short supply of True Blood getting smaller by the day, and no real opposition on the horizon. The whole anti-mainstream direction maybe a confusing mystery but I happen to enjoy the idea of not knowing what's coming next.
Michael McMillian's goofy and always funny Rev. Steve Newlin claims the quote of the week early in the episode. In the opening 2 minutes before the credits role McMillian's character takes it upon himself to say grace before some poor smuck is drained dry and it was so silly nothing else seemed to top him.
"There once was a cock and a hen, who gave lunch to a goose in a pen. Good lord, said the goose, bliss this food for our use, and us to our service. Ahem"
Andrew Burns loves film and comics, and can be found writing about when those worlds converge. You can follow him on Twitter at @myAndrewBurns.