Someone in The Authority made Steve Newlin the new face of vampires everywhere. Keen watchers, here’s your clue there’s gonna be a lot of religion in Season 5. So let’s see just how much:
Sookie, Tara, Lafayette
Tara’s resurrection goes about as well as anyone might predict. She’s missing half her brain and was prone to violent impulses in life, so of course she attacks Sookie as soon as she’s out of the ground. When Pam is finished laughing, she gives her new child some instructions and runs off to work at Fangtasia. Tara wrecks the shit out of Sookie’s house (that just got fixed!), attacks Lafayette, and is finally dragged via silver chains into Eric’s hidey hole under the house. Lafayette tries to stake her during the day, knowing she’ll never forgive them for what they’ve done, turning her into the thing she hates the most. Though Sookie talks him out of it, they then take the “precaution” of installing automatic vampire sensing liquid silver sprayers all over the house just in case Tara tries to kill them again.
What she does is worse. When she awakens on the second night, with her memory and identity apparently intact, Tara declares that she will not, in fact, ever forgive them for what they’ve done and on her way out of the house, gets caught in a mist of corrosive silver. In two days time, Sookie and Lafayette have managed to: get Tara killed, get Tara turned into a vampire, attack her with silver chains, attack her with silver mist, and completely alienate her from her only friends and family in the entire world. How can this season end without Tara meeting the final death?
Though it’s only been two episodes, I like this season’s Sookie so much better than last’s. She seems more competent and resourceful, and is using all the knowledge she has about vampires proactively. She’s not necessarily making good choices but she’s not moping around about her love life either.
Bill, Eric, Nora
Our merry band of vampires gets transported to New Orleans to get a taste of The Authority’s hospitality. Why is The Authority in New Orleans? Because. After the torture — UV lamps in their cells, refined silver injected into their blood stream, psychological gambits — the boys are taken in to meet the governing body of The Authority. During a bit of torture exposition, we learned that there’s an “original” Bible that existed before either the old or new testaments, written by and for vampires. Lilith, Adam’s first wife, is the progenitor of the vampire line. The Authority is a religious group that reveres Lilith and God as equals and seeks to coexist with humans in (relative) harmony. Due to Bill and Eric’s actions over the past couple of years — Fuck Up 1 and Fuck Up 2 as Nan liked to call them — the group suspects they’re aligned with an opposition movement dedicated to… well, something, but we can deduce it has to do with slaughtering and oppressing humans as a food source. Under threat of the True Death — long shots reveal that the boys have been positioned kneeling over a storm grate, which is a nice touch — Bill and Eric reveal that they didn’t actually kill Russell back in Season 3 for their own selfish purposes. And oops! Someone has dug him out. But please, Detective Stabler in fangs, if you let us go, we swear we’ll kill him for you this time!
Vampires as religious fundamentalists aren’t a new angle, but the idea that the religious vamps are on the humans’ side is. I’m excited to see where this goes. I like Lilith mythology and the concept that they revere her as an equal to God. There’s some meaty lore to work with here and I hope the show runs with it. Considering that one of the council members was named “Salome,” I’ll bet we’re going to get the Biblical references thrown at us all season long.
As much as I enjoy the boys working together, I’m confused as to their sudden thick as thieves attitude. Last week, Eric wouldn’t leave Bill behind. This week neither of them will entertain the possibility that the other would sell them out. They’re trading lies fast and furious, trying to get each other off the hook. Weren’t they fighting over the same chick less than 48 hours ago? Didn’t Bill try to bury Eric alive and hire an assassin to kill Pam? I’ll buy the desperate times and desperate allies’ explanation, but the game they’re playing requires a lot of trust and neither of them has ever exhibited that before.
The showrunners have apparently clued into Pam’s massive popularity among the show’s fans. It looks like we’re going to get her origin story this season, which flashbacks reveal are set in San Francisco where she was a madam at a brothel. Bustles and top hats, folks, that’s what we have in store. Eric initially saves Pam from a knife wielding lunatic who corners her on the street. He streaks away but we know he’ll be back. Someone’s killing prostitutes in her house, after all.
In the present, Pam is still distressed by her inability to get in touch with Eric. The quiver in her voice as she asks him to “call me” is pitch perfect, just enough of a hint at how much she cares for him and how much history they have together.
Sam, Alcide, Luna
Alcide turns down his rightful places as the head of the Shreveport pack, even after comely wolf girl from episode one pretty much begs him to stay. Sam and Luna turn their backs on the pack as well, but not for long. Luna’s daughter has her first shift the next night — into a wolf, like her father, which means she’s not a shifter like her mom. That means we’ll get a lot more of Martha, with her amazing gravelly voice and her fantastic red hair, and her ability to have her eyes water just so when talking about her dead son.
There’s a whole lot of what? in the few scenes we get with this crowd. Alcide’s actions are understandable. But why do Luna and Sam get into a huge fight? Why is Sam so sympathetic to a woman who was involved in his heavy torture? Is a wolf puppy in a dress supposed to make us overlook these questions?
And the rest
Reverend Newlin is clearly working for The Authority since he knows Bill is out as King before the announcement is even made. Jessica breaks up with her college kids. Terry’s PTSD flares back up again and seems to be connected to (one might guess) some murders his squad did back in Iraq. Apparently there’s a member of their troop who is on the lam with a penchant for burning down houses. Or something. That’s about all we know so far. Debbie Pelt’s abandoned car has been found. Andy is having a hard time getting Holly to talk to him. Jason is finding that years of bad behavior with women has actual consequences. I’m sure that this season will find Jason Learning and Growing about Women. Jesus’s body is still missing. Hoyt is still mad at Jason. Russel is regenerating in a dungeon somewhere and is in serious need of a day spa. Phew. I think that’s all the D plots so far.
So far, a strong start to the season. “Authority Always Wins” was less frantically paced than “Turn! Turn! Turn!” but still managed to wedge in more plotlines than you can shake a stick at. I don’t know how the show can possibly keep so many balls in the air successfully but if past seasons are any indication, we still have several episodes to go before the storylines start congealing.
Next week: Fairies?