The True Blood writers sure do know how their audience thinks. Many of us weren't so quick to accept Roman's demise in last week's episode, solely because we never actually saw him disintegrate into a mound of coagulated flesh, which has been standard operating procedure for vampire deaths on the show. But those doubts were expunged within the first shot of "In the Beginning," which featured Roman's blue golf shirt atop an ample pile of blood, guts and gore. It's been real, Meloni.
Roman's death was merely the opening salvo in what portends to be a full-scale war between not only vampires and humans, but all species. The Authority has been taken over by the Sanguinista movement. The Obama-mask-wearing anti-supernatural hate group that shot Sam and Luna has been recruiting, and Hoyt, seeking revenge on Jessica, is its newest member. Alcide, meanwhile, is preparing to battle with the V-drinking J.D. (who treacherously offered a vial to little Emma – thank heaven Martha was there to snatch it away) to win back the title of packmaster. And Terry and Patrick continue to be harassed by the malevolent Ifrit. It's the worst time in the world to be vulnerable, yet Sookie is begging for it. Once she learns from her fairy kin that her "microwave fingers" and telepathic abilities are limited, she starts to contemplate life as a full-fledged human. This could put her in the most danger she's ever been in.
The Authority, with Sanguinistas Salomé and Nora now at the helm, has welcomed a newly cleaned-up and dapper-suited Russell into its fold. Mainly because, as I predicted, Salomé is the one who freed him from his cement prison, and also because now that Roman has been eliminated, Russell is all of a sudden a born-again believer in Lilith. I don't buy his religious 180, so I'm curious to see what the man has up his sleeve. Then again, given what happens over the next 24 hours, Russell's intentions may end up being irrelevant.
Speaking of irrelevant, I've been having a tough time remembering that Bill is still a part of the Authority story line, but there you have it. Eric, on the other hand, is understandably revolted at Nora's betrayal, and he doesn't hesitate to curse her out whenever she calls him "brother." Salomé insists that, unlike Roman, she wants to share her power with the other members of the Authority, as well as Bill and Eric. So she invites them to participate in a "ceremony" the following evening, despite the fact that they rejected her offer to join the Sanguinistas ("Never, you Bible-banging cunts!" spews Eric).
The religious revival, erm, I mean, ceremony, is attended by Salomé, Nora, Bill, Eric, Russell, Steve Newlin (missed you!), Authority prisoner Nigel Beckford (the one with the burned skin), and the three other remaining chancellors: Kibwe, Dieter and Rosalyn. With his typical dramatic flourish, Russell addresses the vampires as a repentant sinner who is looking for salvation: "I universally disavow myself of my statements. I love Lilith!" (Sad. "Peace is for pussies" had a little more flair.) Salomé presents the vial containing Lilith's blood and commands that everyone drink from it. Dieter, a Roman loyalist, accuses Salomé of blasphemy, but his speech is cut short due to his swift decapitation courtesy of Russell. With all opposition silenced, Salomé offers up a prayer: "May [Lilith] reveal herself to us tonight." Oh, how those words are about to ring true. Just as Eric brazenly quips that drinking Lilith's blood is "not going to do anything," we cut to what can only be described as a vampire acid trip through New Orleans' Bourbon Street.
The vamps eventually descend upon an engagement party (where the bride is singing "You Light Up My Life," which, while funny on its own, took on a whole new level of hilarity when Russell joined in). They allow Russell a few seconds to bask in his recently revived celebrity when the mother of the groom recognizes him ("It's Russell What's-his-face!"), but otherwise, their fangs are out, and with Lilith's blood guiding their way, an all-out feeding frenzy ensues, leaving no heart beating.
In the midst of this massacre, a white light fills the room, and a naked (full-frontal!) female figure rises from a pool of blood. Lilith glides over to Nora, and with a puff of red breath, Chancellor Gainsborough and the rest of the vampires are compelled to continue feeding off of the now-lifeless humans. The future of all non-vampires is looking pretty bleak, until Eric hears a familiar voice pulling him away from his victim. "This is wrong," the voice says in Swedish. Godric's spirit is hovering next to his progeny, and he implores Eric to save Nora, who knows not what she does. With blood and drool dripping from his mouth, Eric stops feeding and looks up. His face is stark white – even for a vampire – and there's downright fear in his eyes. Could he be the human race's great Nordic hope? I sure hope so.
Humans, Vampires, Shifters and Fairies
The Stackhouse siblings are still at the other-dimensional fairy nightclub, where Sookie is being tended to by her relatives Claude and Claudia. They explain Sookie has been "off [her] game" lately (hearing only partial thoughts, weak light power) because she's only "half-fae," therefore her abilities are "finite." Unfortunately, the fairies can't "just plug her in and charge her back up," as Jason sweetly but cluelessly requests. By the way, are we ever going to find out why Jason doesn't have fairy capabilities? It's a matter of conservation now, because the more Sookie uses her powers, the sooner she'll become entirely human. Considering how Sookie has spent much of this season on a relentless quest for normalcy, this revelation drives her toward an existential crisis.
Sookie has a heart-to-heart with Sam, who, having been released from the hospital, has been waging his own investigation of the anti-supernatural group terrorizing Bon Temps. She asks her friend if he had the choice, would he give up being a shape-shifter? Sam admits he's tired of fighting against all the hate and ignorance in the world – and that if he was just a regular human, more people he's loved would still be alive today. His perspective gets Sookie a-thinkin'.
Still reeling over the news that his parents were killed by a vampire, Jason visits Jessica at Compton Manor for support. Jess assures him that not all vampires are vicious killers (been to New Orleans lately, Jess?), and she kisses him to prove her point. The rendezvous runs sour when Jason tastes the blood of the nameless dude she was feeding on before he arrived. Their argument deteriorates into name-calling ("Idiot," "Fanger"), and Jess bites Jason – who retaliates by shooting her in the head. As much as we want to see these two make up, they've both crossed a serious line with each other that's going to make it hard for them to return to a place of friendship, even if their physical wounds healed within seconds (Jason uses some of Jess' splattered blood on his neck). But first Jason needs to see what's up with that mysterious lightning emanating from his sister's house.
Sookie returns home after her chat with Sam, her memories flooding her brain: Maryann and Russell asking her what she was; Bill informing her that she's part fairy; Claude and Claudia revealing that her magic is depleting. Standing outside her house, she starts zapping currents of light from her hands, over and over again. Does this mean we'll meet a fully human Sookie next week? Was the light that filled the room of the New Orleans bar that caused Lilith to manifest a direct result of Sookie's overuse of her power? The only thing I am sure of is that there will be no return to "normalcy" anytime soon. Sorry, Sook.
Favorite Couple: Tara and Pam. Their mother-daughter relationship continues to strengthen when Pam comforts Tara after Lettie Mae disowns her for being a vampire: "One hundred years from now, you won't even remember her." They even hug it out.
Winning Species: Shape-shifters. Sam deduces the anti-supernatural gang is comprised of five members with poor diets and a substantial amount of hate, just by using his heightened sense of smell. He even captures the gang's ringleader, Joe Bob, a hospital employee, on his scent alone.
Losing Species: Brujos. Bring back Ruby Jean! After Lafayette's batshit mother urged him to "Save Jesus!" (pronouncing it "JEE-zus") he headed down Mexico way to confront Jesus' grandfather, Don Bartolo. It included another appearance of Jesus' severed head, Lafayette having his own mouth sewn shut and Bartolo's pregnant wife saving Bon Temps' most fabulous medium. The creepy factor is on overdrive and Lafayette is just too disconnected from the rest of the action to make his plot line worth the time investment.
Previously: Religious Debate