After last week's episode of True Blood, I felt like the tension would just get higher and the drama would get better. I'm sorry to report that I was wrong. This week's episode didn't bring a whole lot to the table and didn't advance the plot as much as I hoped it would. On top of that, the episode was cut short by a full 10 minutes (apart from starting a few minutes late). I have no idea why this decision was made, because I have a hard time believing that the three-minute "insider look" was worth that.
View my full thoughts below the cut. Beware for spoilers, and don't worry: it isn't a negative recap despite my general disappointment.
The big thing to take away from this episode is that, with Sookie's help, Bill and Eric have finally encountered Russell (again). He's got his whole team of werewolves that presumably attacked Alcide at the end there, and he's (we see later) stronger than he initially lets on. Through Sookie's vision we can also see that someone within the Authority had a hand in rescuing him, too.
I personally like the theory that Salome is behind all this. Whenever there are scenes with her and Roman, it feels like she is trying to steer or manipulate him. It looks quite like Nora is either crazy, or just devoted to Salome while either being loyal to Eric or choosing to set him up on purpose. Eric hasn't wavered that he fully trusts Nora and believes she tried to save them while Bill is quick to accuse her, but perhaps both can be true. Nora may be operating under Salome but still want to protect Eric. On the other hand, the vampires of this story are always stressing that they easily turn on humans and each other. Maybe Eric is about to experience real betrayal; ironic after his dialogue with Pam when they had their heartfelt separation scene.
Speaking of Pam, she's got her hands full now running the club and being a full time mom. We had a glimpse of emotion from her as Tara walked in all dressed up - a look of pride on Pam's face that was nice to see in contrast with the following scene that she ends up having to discipline the new vampire. From the look of things, she hasn't seen the end of mean Pam, either. At the very least, it's cute that Jessica is being proactive and has chosen to befriend Tara. More on that on Jessica's blog, too.
I'll just briefly talk about the rest because I'm not feeling attached:
Lafayette is seeking help because he nearly killed Sookie last episode. The answer he gets is a disembodied head with the lips sewn shut. Okay? Well, I hope it helps.
Sam and Luna have become the next victims in the hate crimes against shifters. The last we saw of them, he was trying to grab her hand while Emma changed and ran. The hate doesn't stop there, and as Andy goes to question the crazy guy that sold Sookie the anti-vampire gear, we see (in the preview for next week) that vampires are also going to be victims. Andy had already deduced the killers were after any and all supernatural beings, though.
Finally, we have Terry and the ifrit. I'm seeing folks joke saying the smoke monster from LOST needed a new job after that show ended and joined the cast of True Blood. I'm not happy with this storyline at all. It feels like filler, and it only takes time away from the main characters. In my case, it makes the show confusing because way too many things are going on. I feel that if this were put aside, along with some of Jason's personal things, there would be less noise.Then again, maybe if someone else ran the editing it wouldn't be so confusing. The pacing in general was just completely off.
That's all I've got for this week. Strangely enough, what stood out to me most was some of Andy's dialogue. I'm glad to see that he has chosen to accept the existence of all kinds of supernatural creatures, including fairies, and that Sam could be straight with him in a way that is helpful to the case of our current victims. He doesn't seem to get the respect he deserves despite being a good cop, so maybe this will finally be the case that puts him in the big time.
For an inside look with some of the cast and crew of this week's episode, check out this video from HBO. You could also check out next week's preview right here.