Sometimes, less is more. Tonight's episode clocked in at a brisk 50 minutes -- and it was one of the best episodes of the season. Even with the laughable introduction of a mysterious scroll. Dun-dun-dun!
With just two more episodes to go, this episode was clearly a transition to the usually action-packed last two "True Bloods" of the season. It was fast-paced, often funny and didn't tie up any loose ends.
And, shockingly, it was even heartfelt.
What's going on at the Authority? The inevitable internal drama. With so many religious fanatics in the kitchen, things are getting heated.
At first, things appear to go well. All the TruBlood factories have been destroyed (as if Tokyo needed another hit to its economy). Vampire-on-human violence is up -- and Salome and gang love it. They stake techie Molly -- using her own iStake device (irony!).
Steve Newlin continues to pretend like he's devote to the American Vampire League and mainstreaming (he even debates a right-wing congressman on TV). And Bill is weilding power successfully.
So what's the issue? Russell. Crazy, fun-loving, can-never-get-enough-power Russell. He's tired of sitting around with Salome and the rest and talking about stuff like vampire education reform (which, granted, is boring). He just wants to have fun and wreak havoc and be all bad.
Like when he goes out to eat Greek with boyfriend Steve Newlin. By "Greek," he means slaughtering a frat house and dancing together around the bodies.
You know -- fun stuff like that.
It all comes to a head after Eric, granted a reprieve after he's forced to down Lilith's blood (and watch Lilith rip the throat of Godric, for some reason), forgives him for murdering his whole viking family.
Russell thinks of himself as a god (and he really, really wants to, like, spend more time with his BF!!). He urges Salome to consider drinking fairy blood so they can all walk in the daylight. Salome is all, "Fairies are in abomination," and Russell doesn't like that.
"Their blood is like sucking on heaven," he tells Salome. Poetic, that Russell.
Salome threatens him with, "I dug you up and I can put you back in the ground ... blah blah blah" and Russell pushes her across the room. The whole Authority is scared by this in-fighting.
Then Russell gets dramatic, says he's more powerful then everyone combined, and yells "I WILL HAVE THE SUN!!" and leaves the group and leaves me laughing at the line. It reminded me of when Mr. Burns on "The Simpsons"blacked out the sun in Springfield. But, you know, with more vampires in this case.
FAIRY DUST(Y SCROLL): I honestly haven't cared much about Sookie this season, but I am sort-of curious if she will solve her parents murder by this Worlo person.
A clue? Sookie and Jason find an old scroll under the floorboards of Gran's room, written in a language they don't understand. After a professor is clueless (and makes weird comments about his wife naming her toes), they take it to Claude, who says that it appears to be fairy words.
But it's in an older fairy language. So they bring in an old fairy (fairies don't age so the "old fairy" looks 20), who is able to translate via fairylight.
Turns out its a contract from 1702, fairy blood on velum, from one "Mr. John William Stackhouse, granting Mr. M. Worlo my first fae-bearing female heir.
And who would that be?! Sookie, of course. You didn't see that coming, right?
Speaking of Worlo, this dude has to be Russell, right? He loves fairies, who's alluded to feeling like he knows Sookie ... and he's general evil. Wow, maybe I do care more about this than I thought.
DON'T GO, HOYT!: One of the most touching"True Blood" moments of the season happens when Hoyt tells Jessica and Jason that he wants to leave Bon Temps for good (who can blame him?) for a job in Alaska (didn't he see "30 Days of Night"?! More vamps, Hoyt!). Then he asks Jessica to glamour him to make him forget everything about Jessica -- and Jason.
It was painful to watch Jessica hold back the tears when she follows his wishes. And it was even sadder to see Jason break down in tears when his best friend doesn't recognize him later. Still, it appears Hoyt may be gone for good, even if his mom tried to make him stay in town by buying him a California King bed.
"I don't approve of the state, but it's good for a boy your size," she explains.
RESCUING EMMA: Luna, annoyingly dramatic as ever, is hellbent on getting Emma from Steve Newlin. So Sam flies them down to New Orleans where Steve is debating a congressman on TV. They shift into mice (naked Luna alert!), hide themselves in Steve's briefcase, and sneak into the Authority.
They witness Emma getting scolded by Steve, when she turns into a human.
"Emma, you know your Daddy doesn't like it when you're human!" Newlin says.
FANGTASIA BLOOD: What a weird end to the new sheriff presiding over Fangtasia (aka: Eric's replacement). That said, I was never a fan. First of all, his name is Elijah, which is wussy. Secondly, he looks straight from "The Lost Boys." Third, he's rude to Pam and Tara and tells them that they need to procreate (aka: make new baby vampires) or he'll seize their assets (Fangtasia).
Pam appears to give up hope, but Tara's not having it. Using barmaid Ginger as bait, she calls Elijah, telling him that she thinks she killed Ginger and, in a sly "Gone With the Wind" reference, says "I don't know nuthin' about birthin' no vampire babies."
Then Ginger stabs him in the chest and Tara beheads him, leading to a hysterical Ginger (screaming for the 123rd time in the series) and Pam saying, "You have got to be kidding me."
"No one f---s with us in my house," Tara says.
Love the Pam-Tara duo.
FINALLY: Lovesick-for-Sookie coroner Mike finally got some time with his crush -- he just happened to be a turned vampire who wanted to eat her.
Sookie stakes him in the spine and later Andy helps her clean up -- and tells her that Mike used to keep his porn on the same computer as his autopsy photos.