6.5

True Blood: “Hopeless” (5.06)

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True Blood: “Hopeless” (5.06)

I imagine that it’s very difficult to write a show like True Blood, which has become so well-known for being over-the-top and shocking. You start to lose steam, and it becomes harder and harder to top your best moments. Burnout, 101.

WIth this in mind, we head into the sixth episode of the season. “Hopeless” picks up directly after last week’s cliffhanger, with the core characters finally stumbling upon Russell Edgington. Eric prepares to stake Russell, when of course, Bill stops him. “If he dies, we die,” Bill says, which roughly translates to, “If he dies, this season will suck.”

The Authority shows up to haul a raving Russell away, and Eric and Bill glamour Alcide and Sookie (but not really, because fairy fake-out). Any surviving humans left in the compound are slaughtered by the bus-load (including Doug. Caaaaalled it.). Eric and Bill head back to Authority land, and Sookie returns Alcide’s memories—including his knowledge that the new packmaster is yet another vampire-aiding V-addict. Alcide leaves to challenge the packmaster and reclaim his wolves, while Sookie returns to work.

Back at Fangtasia, the lady brawl continues between Jessica and Tara. Pam steps in and gives Tara a good pat on the head for her fight, and Jessica sulks off. Hoyt shows up to gloat that Jessica still cares for him, which she naturally denies because she’s just not that into you, man. He goes off to pout and get himself eaten, but is saved by Sam’s shooters.

In what may be the episode’s most surprising twist, Luna isn’t dead, and neither is Sam. The two take some time to recover in the hospital, and grandma wolf Martha shows up with Emma in tow. After recovery, Sam teams up with Andy to track down the masked vigilantes with predictably bloody results.

Lafayette pays a visit to his mother, who tells him that Jesus is in trouble on the other side. It’s still not an explanation for last week’s severed head cameo, but it’s as close as we’re likely to get. There’s more Terry drama as the Ifrit continues to set people on fire, and Terry tells Arlene it’s time he takes his leave. If the audience is anything like me, no one cares.

Jason takes Sookie back to the fairy bar, which still appears to be playing the same song. The death of their parents is confirmed to be vampiric, and Sookie attempts to finger-blast everyone to death with her microwave powers, only to have the tables turned on her.

In the show’s final moments, Roman prepares to stake Russell and bring an end to any future child-eating. Predictably, it doesn’t quite go his way, and things get messy awfully fast.

In so many ways, “Hopeless” is an exercise in frustration. The episode is almost completely predictable, with a few minor exceptions, and lacks the punch True Blood is normally so ready to give. Of course it’s easy to guess that the writers are saving a big showdown with Russell, but his reasons for being alive are quickly thinning. Has no one learned their lesson? With so many opportunities to kill him, it’s almost comical that he’s still alive.

Season 5 is trying so hard to pull together so many different stories, but in the end it just feels tired. “Hopeless” marks the halfway point for the season, and yet it feels like so little has happened. Could this be the beginning of a jam-packed road to the finale? Something needs to happen.

Fun Fact: Vampires don’t have fine wine, but they do have perfectly aged human blood. Does that mean old people taste better? Probably not.

Quote of the Night: “You’re fucking worse than humans! You might as well be praying to leprechauns, or unicorns, or the motherfucking Kardashians!”