Jul 9 2012 12:30pm

He’s Ba-ack! True Blood: “Let’s Boot and Rally”

This week on True Blood, the ball keeps rolling as everyone takes their first steps on new courses. This puts Eric, Sookie, Alcide, and Bill on the hunt for Russell, Lafayette stomps some shade-throwing saints, and Tara has maybe the tiniest flicker of a smile cross her face. It also puts Jason in a He-Man onesie. Incredible.

But much better than Joe Manganiello’s abs (frankly, I’m ab-fatigued. That guy is everywhere lately) was the long-awaited return of Russell Edgington.

Those waiting to see Sookie and Alcide get it on are going to have to wait a bit longer thanks to one too many Orange Marzipans, but at least we got to see some skin. And vomit. Sookie is even adorable when she hurls. I love her but I also kind of hate her. Eric’s little “Alcide, you sure know how to treat a lady,” reminds me of early-season Eric, when he’d just show up and be a smarmy dick. All this made tonight’s opener one of my favorites.

This episode was a whole ten minutes shorter than usual. Therefore, a shorter post for tonight. Some reactions:

“If I wanted to look like a drag queen, I would’ve raided Lafayette’s closet.” Yeah, she looks good in that corset, but it’s so no Tara. Then again, Tara did the big hair and blue eyeshadow to match it, so she’s gotta be having a little dress-up fun. Trying on her new life. Does Tara really have to stick with Pam? Maybe for the time being as she adjusts, but would Pam make their relationship one of permanent indentured servitude?

Hoyt looks absolutely ridiculous as a pseudo-goth, with that babyface and Hot Topic clothes and depseration coming off of him like stink lines on a cartoon character. Oh, okay. Tara will still hook up with him now that he’s totally wrong for her. Guess somethings don’t change after your death. That was such a dumb move on her part. Yeah, yeah, she can’t control her urges as well as an older vampire, but she knew enough to assess that she’s got no friends. So why would she hook up with her new friend’s ex? Bad form. But it’s going to be one hell of a girlfight.

I wish Lafayette would stop screaming all the time. More stomping, less clutching of pearls. If it wasn’t for Terry, I’d say Lafayette has the most random storyline this season. What’s up with Jesus’ head? Is he trapped in limbo or something? What did he tell Lafayette’s mom? Why could she make out what he was saying where his son could not. (See: too much screaming?)

Props to whoever worked on the sound for this episode. Between Sookie imagining Eric, Alcide, and Bill as barking dogs and the little statue that told Lala “Life is sufferin’, bitch,” there was a lot of flavor to this episode.

As predicted, Sam beelined over to Luna’s house in the wake of their friends’ murders. I still don’t like this manufactured distance between them. Sam only saved her life. You’d think Luna would be more grateful. Well, now he inadvertently led her out of the house when super-hating snipers are on the loose, so there’s that, I guess. That was a tough scene to watch. After all of these seasons, I do still like Sam a lot. Poor Luna. I hope she lives, for Emma’s sake. What kind of person would try to kill a child? Wearing Obama masks and filming it like modern-day Point Break adrenaline junkie assholes?

I did some packing for Comic Con. So this episode felt about twenty minutes shorter for me since I refuse to indulge True Blood in this Scott Foley nonsense.

He’s very determined to find out what really happened to his parents. If it was a vampire that killed the elder Stackhouses, is he/she still alive? If it was a male vampire, has he slept with Sookie? That’d be a pretty out-there twist. Unlikely, but this show doesn’t make a lot of sense right now.

Got to be seen naked again.

SOOKIE et al.
I like Sookie this season. I’ve always liked her unsinkable personality and it really shined tonight. I especially like her when she’s not crying over men. But really, all tonight was about waiting for Russell to return. And now he’s back and looking pretty damn strong. What is he going to do next? And what grabbed Alcide?

Now I’m thinking Salome was the woman who freed Russell from his tomb. Nora is just an irritating red herring. Why is she still alive at this point? So boring. What did Eric see in her? I admit I’m a little tired of Roman’s speeches, too. Maybe his desire to mainstream is too severe and it’s blinding him to the traitor at his side, but methinks he needs to leave that Authority compound soon because I’m tired of seeing the same sets. Christopher Meloni is great and giving speeches, but I want to see him do more at this point.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

True Blood airs Sundays at 9PM E/PT on HBO.

Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to She covers True Blood, Game of Thrones, and is also an avid gamer. She has also covered tech and TV for and Action Flick Chick. Follower her on Twitter @tdelucci

Gardner Dozois
1. Gardner Dozois
I enjoyed this episode. I've been really liking the new, tougher, sassy Sookie this season, and I particularly liked her putting the kibosh on the vampire plan to split up and search the Spooky Old Place by basically telling them, "Didn't you ever see a horror movie, you morons?" There's something richly amusing about having to remind a group of vampires and werewolves about what protocols you should follow in a horror movie. Her practical, no-nonsense attitude here, and particularly wanting to get it all over with quickly because she needs to pee, were refreshing.

Good to see Russell back, of course. The Coming Attractions seem to show him locked in mortal combat with Roman, which is something I'll look forward to.

I KNEW that Tara would learn to enjoy being a vampire, and will probably make a fairly bad-assed one, so perhaps she has even less right to complain about Sookie having her turned. In regards to which, I recently re-watched the season opener, and turning Tara to save her from dying is LAFYETTE'S idea; in fact, he has to plead with Sookie to get her to talk Pam into it, something Sookie is reluctant to do. So it's rather hypocritical of Lafyette to blame Sookie for what happened to Tara, and stand by while everyone else in town blames her for it too.

Liked Lafyette lashing out against the talking icons and stomping them. We need to see Lafyette getting tougher and angrier, and stop spending so much time whimpering and cowering in fear. Enough cowering, already--kick some butt!

The murph-murph-murphing head of Jesus on the table was so silly, though, that I nearly fell on the floor laughing. Especially when it got into a "conversation" with Lafyette's insane mother (whom I expect we'll be seeing more of now that MEMPHIS BEAT is cancelled).

The Terry line was boring, as usual, although it's nice to see that the Smoke Monster from LOST is still getting work.
Gardner Dozois
2. Iamme
I'll have to remember the head-sitting-on-a-table next time I ask the afterlife for some kind of sign. C-R-E-E-P-Y! And why was Jesus' mouth sewn shut? Secrets that are supposed to be kept? Like you, I've grown tired of LaLa's screaming and crying. I much prefer "I'll take you out back and wup y'or crazy ass, hookah" Lafayette.

Jason's He-Man footie pjs were da' bomb complete with popped-out toe! Who knew they came in adult sizes?!

Speaking of Jason, why did he and Andy have their clothes taken away after getting thrown out of fairyland? Did the fairies not want their scent wafting and possibly luring unsavory characters to their secret hidey-hole?

I too like this season's Sookie. She's less of a victim and more kick-ass.

What if the woman who released Russell is....Lillith? The often referenced by the Authroity, but never seen Lillith? I'll be sorely disappointed if it's something easy like Nora or Salome. Definitely a woman though which knocks out Roman.

Something I've noticed this season: Everyone's getting pretty equal screen time ... not too much Sookie/Bill/Eric/Alcide or Tara or LaLa or Terry/Arlene in a show.
Gardner Dozois
4. Gardner Dozois
I wonder how old Roman is supposed to be? He'd have to be pretty old to be able to take on Russell on equal terms. You'd think that Jessica, being older, would be able to easily kick Tara's butt.

I also wonder what the fairies are up to with their Fairy Stipper Bar, luring men from Earth into it? Are they harvesting their sperm, or is there some political agenda? If they're trying to gain influence over Earthly politicians, you'd think they could aim higher than small-town politicos from Lousisana.

I also liked the reference to the fairy as "Tinkerball," and Andy's outraged, "I fucked a fairy?" It was moderately clever, for Jason, to ask what year it was after he got back from Fairyland, knowing what happened to Sookie. How come months HADN'T passed, for that matter? He seemed to spend more time there than Sookie had.
Gardner Dozois
5. ViewerB
I too love Sookie's new "Fuck it, let's go!" 'tude. Less whining, more microwave fingers!

Can someone please just put Hoyt out of his misery? It seems like every time he's shown up recently he's just gotten more and more pathetic. Maybe they'll have Tara accidentally drain him. That'd teach them both a lesson.

Is it just me, or did everyone seem to have trouble saying the word "Ifrit" (especially Terry)? I agree, whenever that story's on it's time to pack, or do dishes, or anything else.

So what was the point of the faerie bouncers zapping Jason and Andy? Last week I thought they were erasing their memories of Club Faerie so they couldn't tell anyone, but that clearly wasn't the case. It seemed like the only purpose was to get them naked (not that I'm complaining in Jason's case (Jason ass!), but it seemed like a faerie version of roofie-ing them). Also, is this the first time we've seen Jason and Sookie's parents? I don't remember far back enough to know if we've seen them before or not. If it is the first time we've seen them, it seemed like an odd, off-handed introduction. But Jason in his He-Man onesie was ADORABLE.

I'm guessing that you can reach Club Faerie from anywhere, and it's not just located in Louisiana. I'm also guessing it's not in the Faerie realm, but just hidden on Earth, so time passes normally. Otherwise, if they were bringing high-powered humans there to influence, it would seem counter-productive to then have them disappear from Earth for months and years.

After this episode, it seems clear that everyone prefers "kick-ass" LaLa and Sookie, hopefully they stick around. And hallelujah, Russell's back! Hopefully he'll give this show the kick in the pants it needs.
Gardner Dozois
6. Gardner Dozois
Everybody on this show needs to get tougher and more kick-ass, especially Sookie and Lafyette. And it would be nice to see Tara stop whining and learn to enjoy "life" as a vampire, now that she's closer to the top of the food chain. (If I were Pam, I'd keep a close eye on Tara--she's not going to enjoy being Pam's "slave," and will probably go to any length to break free of her.)

We've all pretty much forgotten about Sam and Luna. In spite of being shot with high-powered rifles from a relatively close distance, I doubt that Sam is going to die. My guess is that Luna isn't going to either, although her wound looks more serious, since they feature an interview with her in the teaser reel. Maybe they can wiggle out of it by saying that shifters heal faster than regular humans would.

The Coming Attractions seem to show Bill and Eric having captured Russell, and Bill seemingly trying to keep Eric from killing him, presumeably because they need to deliver him to the Authority to stay alive. My guess is that Sookie incapacitates him with a Fairy Microwave Fingers Blast first. At any rate, it also shows Russell in the Authority headquarters, so we know he gets there somehow eventually.
Mordicai Knode
7. mordicai
4. Gardner Dozois

Well Jessica is like, a year older? So that is hardly like...well, the three milennia that Russel is somehow supposed to have lived. 3000 years is a long time; I wonder if they will deal with the implications of that? They sort of did with Eric's flashbacks (1000 years is a LONG TIME) & with Godric eating sunlight (2000 years! LONG AS HECK!) but so far the Russel-is-very-old angle is untouched, right?
Gardner Dozois
8. Gardner Dozois
I guess that Jessica would be a couple of years older than Tara (remember, a year went by on Earth while Sookie was in Fairyland), but, yeah, it's not a huge difference. On the other hand, they show Jessica easily, almost contemptuously, defeating the Reverend Whatshisname, and Tara is considerably younger than he was, having been made only a few days before. So you'd think that she could beat her. They've been pretty consistant that older vampires are much stronger than younger ones, as shown by Eric easily defeating Bill, pretty much one-handedly, in the flashback the other night. Which again makes me wonder how old Roman is supposed to be, if he's going to be able to stand a chance against Russell?

Two thousand years was enough to fill Godric with guilt and ennui and make him seek the sun, but it obviously hasn't worked that way for Russell, who doesn't show any signs of wanting to do away with himself.
Debbie Solomon
9. dsolo
I think they are trying to give a brief nod to the books. In the series, Roman is Eric's maker, not Godric and he was a Roman centurion and pretty ancient. He also "rescued" the hemophiliac Russian prince Alexei, making him a vampire. Unfortunately, he was mentally unstable and had to die. Perhaps the boy vampire, Drew, is an allusion to that character. I'm not sure where the fairy thing is going, although it was pretty prominent in the last few books. In fact, Sookie and Jason's parents were casualties of a fairy war, not vampires. As for the Ifrit story line, it looks about as lame as the haunted baby doll one. In fact, the Ifrit is from the wrong series - someone has been reading The Weather Warden books. Arlene is a supporting character, not a main focus. Get the focus back on Sookie, now that she's finally acting instead of reacting.
Don Barkauskas
10. bad_platypus
In the show, Roman is 500.

Power must not be completely determined by age, as Eric comments that Bill is "powerful for one so young" at their first meeting.
marian moore
11. mariesdaughter
Why is Tara described as Pam's "slave" when every other younger vampire is described as the child of his or her maker?
Gardner Dozois
12. Gardner Dozois
There doesn't seem to be much family feeling between Pam and Tara at the moment, either way, very different from the way Pam felt about Eric or Eric felt about Godric. Tara herself says that she's now Pam's "slave," and Pam agrees that she is. This relationship may change, but for now Pam ought to watch her back when Tara's around, especially if there's a stake handy, since I can't see Tara putting up with being a "slave," something that pushes all her buttons, for long, no matter what she has to do to change her status. I could easily see her killing Pam, or trying to.

I'd be interested to know where the indication that Roman's 500-years-old comes from. If it's from the books, there's little continuity left anymore between the books and the show. You'd think he'd have to be older than that to stand any chance against Russell, since Eric's twice that age and obviously feels that he wouldn't be able to defeat him.

It'll be too bad if Roman turns out to only be 500. I was getting the feeling that he went back to the roots of vampire culture, and maybe was even older than Russell, which would give him a certain gravitas. Alan Ball has said that his purpose in creating Roman was to come up with a vampire who would even scare Eric and Bill, and one that old probably would.

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