On this week's episode of True Blood, Bill and Eric, who are accused of aiding the Sanguinista movement (whatever the heck that is), meet the shadowy Vampire Authority, and hey, guess what? Stabler is its leader! Plus, while Sookie and Lafayette vamp-sit Tara, we get a juicy tease about Pam's backstory.
Let's back up for a minute and examine the complicated system of governing bodies of the vampire world. Early on, we were introduced to the American Vampire League, a kind of lobbying organization headed up by the droll, hilarious Nan Flanagan (RIP). Her job was to convince humans that vampires would not eat them. Then, we learned that there is also a vampire monarchy, in which each state has a king or queen and each parish or county has a sheriff.
But all that is small potatoes compared to the Vampire Authority, it seems. Up until now, we've only gotten passing references to it, which alternately made it seem either like a boring body of bureaucratic overlords or some kind of creepy cult.
As it turns out, it's a little of both. Tonight, we meet the key members of the Authority, called the Chancellors, in their slick concrete underground bunker. At first, the headquarters of the Vampire Authority reminded me of Beetlejuice's case worker's office, but it is in fact much more treacherous.
We also get some vampire religion, y'all, and boy, is it confusing! Apparently, the vampire's good book is a testament that predates the Bible that tells the story of Lillith, who was made in God's image as the first vampire. Another passage, if interpreted strictly, implies that Adam and Eve were then created to be mere food for vampires. Yikes! A chancellor asks Bill if he agrees with this interpretation and he (wisely) says no.
It's a good thing too, because head chancellor Roman (Law & Order: SVU's Christopher Meloni) explains that the Authority supports mainstreaming, aka coexisting peacefully with humans, and for some reason is under the impression that Bill and Eric are not. (Um, Bill proposed to a human and ran for City Council and Eric owns a vampire-human nightclub.)
But let's talk about Meloni for a second. How does everyone feel about his performance? I am a big fan, dating all the way back to Wet Hot American Summer, but regrettably, I have to say: He is super-boring! Did he take a Klonopin or two before his scenes? He's supposed to be this intimidating, imposing figure in the Authority, right? Then why does he seem so... blasé? I know the SVU fans will probably disagree with me, since it was often Stabler's smoldering stoicism that made him a great cop. But this is True Blood, a show that is hardly subtle in its storytelling (and that's a compliment). I'm hoping that Meloni will think bigger in upcoming episodes. He's a talented guy; I bet he will.
(Oh, by the by, Rev. Steve Newlin is the new spokesperson for the Authority, and let me say for the record: He is no Nan Flanagan. His "God loves vampires" spiel is just as unsettling as his Fellowship of the Sun ramblings were.)
Now this is interesting. My sister, who has read all the Sookie Stackhouse novels but has a terrible memory, told me that she thought that Pam was a 1950s Southern housewife before Eric turned her. (Wikipedia, on the other hand, says she lived in Victorian-era London. Potato, po-tah-to!)
But here we are in San Francisco in 1905, and Pam is ordering a blood-red cocktail from a bar in what appears to be a whorehouse. The cocktail is not of the platelet variety, but Campari, which is shorthand for "Pam is still human at this point." She's also a madam, and someone has killed one of her working girls. So we're naturally concerned when a dubious sort posing as a client corners her in an alley. But before things get too precarious, a dapper stranger whooshes out of nowhere, kills the man and saves her. "You're not frightened," he says, intrigued. And that's how Eric met Pam apparently — just like Nora Ephron wrote it.
Poor Sookie and Lafayette! After Pam turns Tara to save her "life," she forbids her from biting her friend and cousin and from leaving the house. But that's one hell of a babysitting job. One complaint: It kind of sucks that disoriented Vampire Tara as of yet doesn't really talk, because Rutina Wesley's forked tongue could have a lot of fun with the complex series of emotions Tara must be experiencing. (But oh, just wait until next week!)
BUT WHAT ABOUT RUSSELL?
The final image of tonight's episode is of a convalescing Russell, whose dessicated body (shades of Voldemort) is surrounded by a host of discarded, drained human bodies, which are clearly strengthening him by the minute. So hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband 'cuz Russell is killing everybody out here! Run and tell that!
- Since Alcide killed Marcus, werewolf law dictates that he is the new packmaster. First up: It's his duty to, ahem, eat his predecessor. He politely declines, both the title and the meal.
-"That's getting to eat the pie without having to pay for the cow," says Jason, of Andy's complaint that after he had sex with Holly, she didn't call.
-The Southern belle vampire chancellor is played by Carolyn Hennesy, who you might recognize from a totally different role, the maneater Barb on Cougar Town. There's also a little-kid chancellor, whose acting abilities rival those of Jake Lloyd in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Wheee!
-Aw. Emma is an adorbs little werewolf in adorbs little werewolf PJs. Can I keep her, Mom? Can I? Can I?
-OMG. Human friends are so 10 minutes ago, says Jessica, who is also totally not down with selling Jason to Rev. Steve for $20,000.
-It turns out that one of Terry's fire-consumed comrades, Heller, is actually not dead. He's in hiding, and Terry knows where. Yawn.
What did you think of "Authority Always Wins" (besides the tragic absence of a John Mellencamp cameo)? Are you picking up what the Authority — and Christopher Meloni — are putting down? Are you excited to learn more about Pam's backstory and see more of Vampire Tara? Let me know in the comments!
On this week's episode of True Blood, Bill and Eric, who are accused of aiding the Sanguinista movement (whatever the heck that is), meet the shadowy Vampire Authority, and hey, guess what? Stabler is its leader! Plus, while Sookie and Lafayette vamp-sit Tara, we get a juicy tease about Pam's backstory...