The vampires took a backseat in "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," no doubt because the drama in the three episodes remaining this season will center around the imminent war between the species. "Rule the World" served as a necessary palate cleanser, propelling several of the human-shifter-medium-Ifrit story lines forward and preparing everyone involved for the biggest battles yet to come.
Humans and Shifters
Lafayette, still dressed in his Oda Mae Brown turban, is in Sookie's bathroom trying to channel Warlo, the vampire who killed Corbett and Michelle Stackhouse. He's coming up empty ("I ain't Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, although I am way prettier," he drawls), until Adele Stackhouse pipes into his head – along with a whole congregation of spirits, whom Lafayette turns away with a sharp, "I ain't Gmail for dead bitches!" Lafayette eventually gleans a coherent enough message from Adele, which is that she's glad "those strip-tease fairies are looking out for [Sookie]," and that there's a big box under Sookie's bed that should give her some answers. After poring through the box of old photo albums and newspaper clippings, Sookie stumbles upon the clue Gran was hinting at: Former sheriff Bud Dearborne was the police officer on duty when her parents were found dead.
Over at the police station, Jason and Andy continue their investigation into Hoyt's disappearance, studying the website of the Obama-masked anti-supernatural hate group: www.keepamericahuman.com. Videos depicting vampires tied to crosses and left to burn in the sun and mentions of a "dragon" (a.k.a. "Grand Dragon") leads Andy to suspect that the group is modeling itself after the KKK. How patriotic. It's a good thing Sheriff Bellefleur pays such attention to detail and recognizes his erstwhile boss' cowboy boots on one of the Obama-masked men in the video, and that Sam and Luna were, literally, flies on the desk of the station listening in so that they could – you guessed it! – Save Sookie.
Earlier in the day, Sookie paid Bud a visit to get some answers about her parents' deaths, but instead got herself knocked out when Bud's heavset, satin-robe-favoring gal pal, Sweetie, smacked her with a frying pan. When Sookie comes to, she's tied up in a barn filled with pigs – and Hoyt's unconscious body. Sweetie – introduced as the "dragon of Renard Parish and the square-dancing champion of Louisiana" – and Bud enter the barn and start spouting off reams of hateful rhetoric about how they are only trying to protect people, in the name of America. There is absolutely nothing likable about Sweetie, who not only wants to kill supernaturals, but humans who associate with them, like Hoyt and Sookie. And our opinion is not the least bit softened when Sookie delves into her memory to extract the basis for all of her bile against supernaturals: Sweetie's husband left her for a shape-shifter, at a square dance, no less.
Bud drugs Sookie, and Sweetie prepares to have her star in a new political-statement YouTube video by feeding the telepath to her horde of pigs. Only problem with that idea is that one of the pigs miraculously stands up on two legs and shifts into a bar owner. Sam fends off the Obama-masked goons until Jason, Andy and the Bon Temps police force arrive – just in time for Andy to shoot Bud dead before he could stake Sam with a gardening spade. ("Humans rule!" Bud says with his last breath.) Sweetie, meanwhile, doesn't get terribly far in her pink fuzzy slippers when she's got an angry mother on her tail, in the form of a feral dog. Once Luna has her on the ground and is human again, she gives Sweetie the most gratifying ass-kicking in all five seasons of True Blood: One punch for herself, one for Sam and one earth-shattering crack for Emma.
A woozy Sookie heads home to rest after Andy assures her that Hoyt is still alive and we see Sweetie being led off in handcuffs. But there is no time to celebrate this victory, because Sookie needs to prepare for an even larger, deadlier battle. Claude, Claudette and yet another fairy sister, Claudija stop by to inform her that the vampires themselves are behind the Tru Blood factory bombings currently being splashed all over the news – and that they're trying to take over the world.
Humans and the Ifrit
Terry and Patrick have their final showdown over the incendiary Ifrit, but not before Patrick destroys any lingering shred of compassion we may have had for him. Terry is all for a "fair fight," except Patrick blows that idea straight out of the water when he holds Arlene hostage at Merlotte's. Terry, still willing to sacrifice himself if it means saving his wife, enters the restaurant weaponless, while Patrick, crying and pointing a gun at Arlene's head, commends his squadmate on being a better man than he is. Patrick pushes Arlene away, but she stabs him with a pencil just as he's about to pull the trigger on Terry. Patrick and Terry brawl, with Patrick's gun getting knocked out of his hands. Arelene grabs it. Now at the mercy of the Bellefleurs, Patrick pleads for his life, saying that his wife is having a baby in December, but he knows that the last thing Terry, who is shaking with fear, should do is follow his orders. Instead, Patrick tells him to "do what your conscience tells you this time. Do what's right." And that's when a blood-stained Zaafira appears to both Terry and Arlene, echoing Patrick's plea. Terry, with cold, clear eyes, shoots Patrick, and Zaafira is at peace. "Blood has been paid with blood," she announces, before unleashing the Ifrit for one last time to engulf Patrick's body and whisk it away, leaving only a pool of blood in its wake and dumbfounding Arlene in the process. And I really hope this subplot is over for good now.
Vampires and Weres
The Authority 2.0 continues to position itself as an unstoppable force, carrying out Bill's idea of bombing the Tru Blood factories – which is having the desired effect. By the end of the episode, anarchy is seeping into even mainstream havens like Fangtasia. Dressed like the frontman of a really bad goth band and sounding like an entitled teenager, the recently named sheriff of Area Five informs Pam – while throwing her across the room for good measure – that the vampire monarchs have lifted the ban on public feeding. Pam's anger over the sheriff's King Joffrey-esque designs on Eric's throne – and her earlier snide comment to Tara that they are not "Oprah and Gayle" – notwithstanding, maker and progeny exchange looks of downright fear as the sound of ear-piercing shrieks pervades their bar.
Russell, meanwhile, wreaks his own brand of havoc when he takes Steve Newlin to meet the Shreveport werewolves under his command, and to provide them with a hearty dose of his blood – which they lap at like water in a desert. But Russell doesn't give anything away for free, and in exchange for the V, he insists on taking Emma (who only appears in her wolf-cub form here) to be Steve's pet. Martha pleads with Russell to spare her granddaughter, and, to his credit, J.D. implores the vampire to reconsider, but it's too late. A little girl, in the clutches of Russell Edgington. It's a thought too gut-wrenching to bear.
At Authority headquarters, Eric is devising an escape plan, enlisting tech wizard Molly and trying once again to bring Bill to his senses. Bill's loyalties are muddled – while he feels lost and unable to trust anyone, he does believe that Lilith is God. Yet, when challenged by Eric, he is unable to accept the idea of Sookie becoming nothing more than nourishment to vampires. But Sookie is no match for Salomé, who succeeds in further entangling Bill in her web of seduction. Her topless belly dance is the tamer part of the episode, leading up to one of the show's more bizarre sex scenes – which is saying a lot, considering this is True Blood. Salomé, who wants to be known as more than just "a naked girl with a man's head in her lap," tells Bill that Lilith has chosen him to birth a new world with her. I'm not exactly sure what that means, and despite Bill's initial hesitation about such a large responsibility, he succumbs to her temptation. But this is the furthest thing from a good ol' round of vampire sex. Throughout their lovemaking, Bill's vision of Salomé fluctuates between the biblical figure, Sookie (whose neck Bill greedily devours) and a blood-drenched Lilith. Is this all in Bill's mind? Or does it mean Sookie has a connection to Lilith now? If it's the latter, damn, that girl is powerful.
Eric and Molly try to make a run for it by tricking Nora into believing that Eric wants to understand Lilith better. When Nora's guard is down, Eric injects his sister with silver to sedate her – but the plan is thwarted by a now thoroughly brainwashed Bill, who brings along Salomé and a bunch of Authority soldiers and takes Eric and Molly into custody. Whatever bromance Bill and Eric had going on this season is officially over. To Eric, Bill is a "fucking traitor." And Bill continues to order vast amounts of Kool-Aid: "We've been chosen by Lilith," he tells Eric. "This is what God wants."
Favorite Couple: Terry and Arlene. There was something very special about the way Terry clutched his wife after Patrick was killed and the Ifrit vanquished. After all they had been through the past couple of seasons, there was no doubt of the love they had for each other at that moment.
Winning Species: Humans. While the shifters played an integral part in capturing the anti-supernatural group, it was the quick thinking of Andy, Jason and the entire Bon Temps police department that brought down Sweetie and Bud's hate enterprise.
Losing Species: Mainstreaming Vampires. Eric and Molly are now prisoners of the Authority, and Tara and Pam have completely lost control of Fangtasia.
Previously: Sweet Child O'Mine