‘True Blood’: Russell Goes on a Rampage

True Blood (HBO)

This week’s episode of “True Blood” (“In the Beginning”) could have been written by King Russell himself. It was bloody, chaotic, funny and entertaining but lacked structure, tried to cram way too much into an hour, and did not make much sense. There was even a reference to poor, dead Talbot In A Jar. So, without further ado, let the wild rumpus begin. Here are this week’s most surprising twists.

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Salome and Nora Worked Together to Save Russell — and Resurrect Lilith
Yes, Roman (Chris Meloni) really is dead. During the chaotic aftermath of Russell’s (Dennis O’Hare)  attack, the King of New Orleans manages to hang Eric from a column before becoming ensnared in a net. To Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bill’s (Stephen Moyer) surprise, if not the audience’s, Salome (Valentina Cervi) reveals that she was the one who freed Russell and has been working with Nora (Lucy Griffiths) all along. She conveniently witnessed Russell’s burial and knew that if she saved him he could kill Roman. There really is no satisfactory explanation for why she didn’t off her lover herself, just a lot of blah blah Lillith vampire Bible mumbo jumbo. Nora, however really was trying to save Eric since she believed that he would be a target for Russell. Russell, who entered the room with a dramatic flourish just for fun, says that he is willing to let bygones be bygones. Eric and Bill refuse to sign up for Salome’s Lilith Worship Team, but she invites them to an initiation anyway. At the initiation, Russell makes an ultra sanctimonious speech about how he now believes in Lilith, Salome proclaims that Roman was wrong; the vial of Lilith’s blood is not symbolic, but Lilith’s actual blood, and they are all going to drink it. Dieter protests so Russell swiftly decapitates him with his bare hands. Suddenly everyone else is all, “Hooray for Lilith! Can’t wait to drink some of that!” Eric and Bill go along with it, figuring a few drops of vampire blood won’t harm them. Lilith’s blood turns out to be vampire LSD. Everyone finds themselves partying in the streets. They end up at a karaoke bar where some sort of pre-wedding festivities are happening. Russell interrupts a woman’s mediocre performance of You Light Up My Life by killing her. Russell should replace Steven Tyler on “American Idol.” Everyone joins in the orgy of death and drinking. Suddently, Lilith (Jessica Clark) rises from a pool of blood, butt naked. Everyone stops, enthralled. Russell seems delighted that she is actually real. Then she compels everyone to return to their massacre. Eric has a vision of Godrick telling him that he knows this is wrong, but Nora does not. Godrick implores him to save Nora. When Eric looks at Nora, Lilith seems to have disappeared. Is she really back, or did Salome just dose everyone with drugs so they would have mass hallucination? This story could be an interesting commentary on fundamentalism, but it is at once heavy handed and muddled.

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Sookie Wants to be an Ordinary Human
In fairyland, Claude informs Sookie (Anna Paquin) that, as a half breed, she only has a finite amount of magic. Her luminescence is starting to fade. Sookie, who has come to see her powers as a burden, thinks this is great news. She has conversations with Jason (Ryan Kwanten), who is actually supportive and tells her that she is not responsible for their parents death, and Sam, who says he would not want to give up being a shapeshifter because it’s important to fight for acceptance. So we’re back to the being supernatural is like being gay theme, except that there are plenty of gay characters on the show and they seem to be accepted by everyone other than the designated uptight old lady characters. Also, being supernatural seems awesome on the show despite Sookie’s complaints. Fairies don’t even have the desire to kill like vampires and wolves do. What’s the downside? Sookie stands in a field near Bill’s mansion and repeatedly shoots lightning from her fingers, hoping that she will run out of juice like a battery.

Jason Shoots Jessica
Meanwhile, Jason, stressed by everything that he’s learned in fairyland, visits Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll). They seem headed for some stress-relief sex, until Jason tastes blood on Jessica’s lips. He gets self-righteous when she admits she doesn’t know the name of he guy she just drank from. She sarcastically asks him if knows the name of every cow he’s eaten. They get into a huge fight. She bites his neck. He shoots her in the head. This story is a pretty effective metaphor for why friends with benefits relationships rarely work.

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Hoyt Joins The Obama Mask Hate Group
Hoyt (Jim Parrack) finds himself in a room with all the Obama Mask attackers. One is a childhood buddy. They manage to turn him to their way of thinking, convincing him that he was under Jessica’s spell the whole time they were dating. He says that he hates her now. The Obama Maskers hilariously claim that they are not just a hate group, they are a love group. Hoyt does not ask the logical question: why the heck are they wearing Obama masks?  Sam (Sam Trammell) uses his nasal superpowers to sniff out a box of the masks at the ammo shop where he killed the clerk in self defense. He also tracks down a member of the posse at the hospital who is presumably there to kill Luna. So, if Obama is President, does that mean he has vampires in his cabinet and attends fundraisers at prominent vampires houses? Did Joe Biden appear on a talk show to proclaim that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” made him reconsider his stance on vampires?

Jesus’s Grandfather Sews Lafayette’s Lips Together
Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) confronts Jesus’s grandfather about the visions he is having of Jesus with his lips sewn together. Gramps has Lafayette’s head stashed in his house. He is prepared to give Lafayette the same treatment and feed the blood  from Lafayette’s brain to his pregnant wife, but she grabs the knife and stabs Grandpa Jesus to his seeming death. Then she starts cutting Lafayette’s stitches.

Pam and Tara Hug it Out
Tara (Rutina Wesley) proves to be a good pole dancer. Her mother drops by Fangtasia to announce that, as a preacher’s wife, she is compelled to disown Tara for being a vampire. Since they didn’t have a great relationship to begin with, it’s not much of a loss. Nonetheless, Tara is hurt. Pam (Kristin Bauer) comforts Tara with a hug, before remembering she is supposed to be tough.

In other news, Alcide (Joe Mangianello) trains for his pack leadership challenge by taking off his shirt and hooking up with Nikki, the sexy werewolf. J.D., the self-proclaimed pack leader, wants all the wolves to take V — even little Emma – and align themselves with Russell in the coming human-vampire war. Terry (Todd Lowe) is disappointed when the smoke monster does not kill him.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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