As always, spoilers are ahead. Soldier on only if got the guts, 'cause peace is for...well you know whats...
This week's episode, appropriately entitled "Hopeless," tied together a few loose plotlines and set up some action for the second half of the season. Sam and Andy form a new tag team, Roman bit the dust, Salome's the traitor (c'mon who hasn't figured that out yet?) and Russell back in tip top bad ass shape. It's not like we didn't see this coming, what with Eric's "enough of this religious bullshit" comment foreshadowing some type of upheaval within the Authority's ranks and all. Oh, and screw you Eric for trying to keep us from seeing some Sookie/Alcide boudoir action. But moving on...
Picking up where last week's "Let's Boot and Rally" left off, the gang finds Russell Edgington lying in bed, weakened but not surprised by their presence. Alcide gets attacked by a fellow wolf, later revealed to be wannabe pack master and Marcus's Daddy JD, amped up on V, while Bill and Eric are jumped by two other wolves. Russell, feeling frisky at the smell of vampire crack coursing through Miss Stackhouse's veins, gets ready to sink his fangs into her neck when Sookie, growing ever more adept at her light fingers (am I the only who just realized the fairies' "light beams" look eerily similar to the fireworks Jubilee from X-Men shoots out? Maybe Sookie should invest in a yellow trenchcoat and some red goggles), blasts him back. Russell cackles and flashes a psycho smile like he's really about to bring the pain, but apparently he hasn't gorged on enough humans dangling in the pantry, as Eric easily subdues him (and is stopped from killing him by Bill holding a stake to his back) and the Authority takes him in.
Not hip to Sookie's glamour immunity, the chancellor tells Bill and Eric to wipe out her and Alcide's memories of the evening. Bill of course, goes through the motions to save both his own ass and advise Sookie to cut vampires out of her life for good, while Eric cups Alcide's face in his hands (damn I was hoping a kiss was coming--I mean, he already walked in shirtless. We could at least have gotten a little forehead smooch) and glamours away any recollection of the night and his love/lust for Sookie. Sookie helps him remember everything the next day, but judging from her demeanor, there'll be no round two for these two anytime soon: She's off men, supernatural or otherwise, as is clear from her "men suck" pow-wow with Holly and Arlene. She's recognizes her love triangle with Bill and Eric is hopeless (don't worry I'll try to use synonyms) and rife with never-ending chaos. But after learning via Jason and a trip to the Moulin Fairy that her parents were killed by a vampire, she probably won't leave behind the fangers just yet.
The dead parents/fairy blood/vampire revelation was a neat way to connect to Jason back to his sister. Save for Andy and the occasional visit from Jessica, he's been solo much of this season, getting all introspective and whatnot. Sookie and Jason haven't gotten into any trouble together since the "praise His Light" fiasco of season two, so it'll be nice to see the brother/sister duo knee deep in religion-driven vamp drama again.
And oh what drama there will be, now that Roman has met the true death courtesy of Russell, whose little "I kill because it feels good" tirade could be seen as an admission of hopelessness, or hedonistic nihilism. It doesn't matter if the mainstreaming Authority or the sanguista's side wins; it's all just a big song and dance to satisfy each side's cravings, be it for power or human blood. The Authority has no bones about killing humans/other supernaturals if they can cover it up (see Doug and the rest of bus riders getting slaughtered for confirmation). Compared this, Russell's "I kill and feed, therefore I am" mentality seems downright idealistic.
Obviously Roman's downfall was a set up by Salome, who was in no hurry to see Russell executed; that techie chick takes too much pride in her job to have her stake app malfunction all willy nilly. While the writers didn't make the most of Chris Meloni's talents--he basically spent the whole time pontificating and praying--they at least had the foresight to let his last appearance be in tight, body hugging clothing. Did you see him in those slacks? Lawd. Now it's only a matter of time before Salome reveals her true colors, but my bet is on Eric to put two and two together first; you can't con a con. Plus the sight of his Nora babbling like a nutjob probably drove home that his sister's not in the best mental shape to pull such a scheme off.
Russell's return has also shaken up things in the werewolf world, as Alcide, not wanting a repeat of the insanity in Jackson, asserts himself as pack master. Expect a bloody brawl between him and JD, as well as some hot post-fight sex between him and the brunette who backed him up, soon. If you wanted to, you could see Alcide's decision to become leader of the pack as the big bad wolf realizing it's futile to run from your destiny, one that ironically, Marcus predicted. It will find you whether you want it to or not. Alcide's always be an alpha male in loner's clothing; now he's simply taking his rightful place as leader. Let me stop before I start singing The Circle of Life.
In shifter news, both Luna and Sam survived the shooting. Curses--honestly, Luna dying would give Sam's buddy cop routine with Andy a whole other layer of resonance, since he would be avenging himself, their friends and his girlfriend. Aside from the fact I don't what else there is for Luna to do on this show. Grandma could've taken in Emma, being that JD's out cheating with young wolf hussies. I guess Alan Ball has a soft spot for her. But I digress.
In human news, Hoyt's still sad and suicidal, letting everybody and their blood-sucking Mama feed on him at Fangtasia.And he's still not over Jessica, whose sorta kinda almost over him. Perhaps her girl fight with Tara was a reaction to sensing Hoyt's pain/excitement at being bitten? Either way, she still sees that he's going down a self-destructive road. It's not that shocking Hoyt's given up; he's always had lived his life totally attached to someone else. First he was the ultimate mama's boy, then he idolized Jason, and then Jessica became his whole world. Now that he has no one to lose himself in, he's lost. There couldn't have been a worse time for him to be picked up by the anti-supernatural vigilante van. Jessica better watch her back, because he might try to finish what Maxine started with that sniper rifle.
---Lafayette visits Ruby Jean at the home, thinking she had a seizure. But what she really saw was Jesus's head, telling her he's in bad place with his crazy uncle. How exactly Lafayette will save him is anyone's guess, but at least we got to see Ruby serve up some nutty lines ("Jesus loves the little fags"--hmmm I must have missed that verse in the Baptist hymnal). To me, Lafayette feels disconnected from every else on the show--now that Sookie's confessed to Alcide about Debbie's murder and Tara's a vampire, his character is very isolated. I don't know if continuing the brujo storyline was a wise choice.
---Speaking of dead-end storylines, I don't how the writers are gonna get out of the corner they painted themselves into with Terry and Patrick's Ifrit plot. Is Terry suddenly going to become an all-powerful warlock who can cast a counter-spell or incantation to banish the fire demon back into the nether realm from whence it came? Or will Lafayette draw on his brujo magic and send Ifrit packing? I really hope it's not the latter, as Lafayette and Terry had barely spoken two words to each other this season,or really any season since Mary Ann swooped down on Bon Temps with her maenad madness. But the former doesn't sound that promising either.
--Pam and Tara are going to come to blows sooner or later. Trust me. A progeny revolt is in the works.