True Blood – “Authority Always Wins”Posted: June 17, 2012 | |
You know what would be awesome? If they killed Tara and brought her back as a vampire just to kill her again. I mean, how cool of a twist would that be? Very Whedonesque! And it would have the added benefit of getting rid of Tara who has contributed nothing to this season (and little to the four previous) aside from throwing the world’s biggest temper tantrum after being turned and looking for a minute like she might be considering taking a dump in Sookie’s kitchen sink.
The problem with the pacing of cable series is that it’s been four years since we saw the behavior of baby vamp Jessica – I don’t even remember what’s normal and therefore have no frame of reference for evaluating Tara’s behavior. She’s definitely not yet living up to the standard of badassery set by her maker (as if she ever could), and some of that is to be expected, but how long will we have to endure Lafayette and Sookie babysitting baby vamp Tara and making her comfortable with her new life and coming to terms with herzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Couldn’t care less. In more exciting news, Pam was a hooker! To the surprise of absolutely no one! Still, it was way fun to see that she was every bit as badass when she was living as she is undead. That said… how cool is it when we see characters’ personalities completely reversed due to some magical maguffin or another? That’s the best part of a supernatural series. Tell me it wouldn’t have been awesome to see Pam as some kind of mousy, repressed suburban housewife or prairie maid? Eric’s turn as a whimpering lover boy last season was so much fun – let’s do it again!
Overall, I was just whelmed by this episode. Nothing stood out as particularly exciting for me. There were a few high points, but they were primarily one-liners or sight gags for the viewers, not significant or rewarding plot developments. So what were those one-off guilty pleasures?
- The Renaissance-era* portrait of Christopher Meloni/Roman/The Authority
- Wolf puppy in pajamas!
- Gay Vampire-American Reverend Steve Newlin Carlton-dancing his way into Jessica’s party
What I did like about this episode was the exploration of vampire history and society. For me, it’s that glimpse into the “normal” workings and the assumed histories of an alternate universe that is most intriguing – how the wizards use the public London restrooms as transportation to the Ministry of Magic in the Harry Potter world, how companions have near-diplomatic status in the Firefly universe, and how there’s a political storm brewing in the True Blood world that may just have itself a new spokesperson.
Did anyone else raise an eyebrow when Gay Vampire-American Reverend Steve Newlin responded to Jessica’s “my father is the king” remark with “not anymore?” I wonder if he’s already aligned with the Authority. They are out a media darling (RIP, Nan); what a coup for the vampire authority if the former Fellowship of the Sun leader started playing for the other team (*snicker*).
So, there’s the Sanguinista movement, which presumably ascribes to a fundamentalist perspective of human-vampire relationships and a literal interpretation of the “original testament.” In essence, humans are food. Then there’s the politically correct, progressive movement, championed by the Authority, that calls for peaceful coexistence.
There are several layers of political and religious analysis that could be explored here, but instead, let’s talk about the biggest oversight (of several – hello convenient re-emergence of Sookie’s mind-reading powers!) in this episode. Nan Flanagan called Bill and Eric “F*ck Up One” and “F*ck Up Two?” That’s bull. She would have come up with something way more clever than that.
Here’s what I don’t get about the Authority. They/he/it has been so revered for four seasons… spoken of in hushed whispers and with such fear, that I find Eric and Bill’s desperate pleading and bargaining disingenuous to the ideal of the Authority that’s been created so far. If they are so all-powerful and severe, would that kind of petty, clearly transparent noble lying really ever have a chance of doing anything other than just pissing off the Authority even more?
The second thing I don’t understand is their perspective on the True Death. Bill and Eric – maybe by virtue of their position in the vampire social strata – seem to be getting an awful lot of extra chances and warnings and special considerations, and maybe we’ll find out later that there’s a larger reason for that. But for now, it’s being couched as some kind of respect for the sanctity of “unlife…” an unwillingness to casually dole out the punishment of True Death. But that’s definitely not consistent with the Authority’s modus operandi.
Either way, the Authority seems to believe that Eric and Bill have some influence or insight into the Sanguinista movement that is valuable to them, and maybe they do and that’s this season’s big twist – we pull back even further and find out that Eric and Bill’s actions have been motivated by some global political conspiracy, OR they don’t really have any connection to the movement but will soon become pawns of one or, more likely, both sides. The former theory doesn’t really have legs – there’s no way we find out that Bill and Eric are really politically aligned with a movement that seeks to eradicate humans. That’s too much of a logical leap from the characters they’ve established over four seasons, so it’s got to be the latter, and we’re in for a supernatural political thriller for the rest of season five.
- “She just lost her son.” “She just ate her son.”
- “You got the pie without buying the cow!”
- “Jesus loves vampires. Anyone who’s been dead for three days knows where we’re coming from.”
- “If I meet a lady, I’ll let her know.”
P.S. Poor Arlene. Even for the town of Bon Temps, that lady’s been on the receiving end of more than her share of craziness. Wouldn’t it be great if she turns out to have some kind of power or supernatural affiliation herself?
*It’s been years since art history. If it’s not Renaissance-era, cut me some slack.