‘True Blood’ Recap: ‘Hopeless’

Alcide stepped up, Sookie crossed over and Guardian got taken down in last night’s “Hopeless” episode…which, for those of us who love Russell Edgington best of all the characters on “True Blood,” was anything but. Here’s what went down.

Russell Edgington for President
This episode picks up right where last week’s left off: with Alcide getting jumped in the background by…wolves! Yep, even in his gooey, atrophied state, Russell Edgington still commanded the loyalties of a couple rogue werefolk, whose appearance distracts Bill and Eric long enough for the recovering vamp to make a play for Sookie. But out comes Sook’s faerie finger-weapon, in comes the Authority, away go Bill and Eric with congrats for a job well done…and SPLAT goes the busload of unfortunate survivors who just wanted to forget and go home, and who instead meet an unpleasant end at the hands of Kibwe. Hmmmm. Could it be that the Authority chancellors’ commitment to peaceable mainstreaming actually has a whole lot more dissenters than previously thought?

Um, yeah. No cliffhanger here: It’s back to Authority headquarters, where a self-congratulatory celebration commences, Salome looks twitchier by the minute, Nora goes the full evangelical down in her basement cell and Russell Edgington meets his imminent death with typical frothing awesomeness: “You were a pompous, self-righteous prick in the f—ing Renaissance!” he screams, as Guardian pushes the “stake” button on his True Death App…

…and it doesn’t work. At which point ol’ Russ leaps up, stake in hand and ends poor Guardian’s reign (and, we imagine, Christopher Meloni’s all-too-brief and nowhere-nearly-nude-enough stint on the show) with a mad grin, a spray of blood and a cheerful bon mot: “Peace,” he growls, “is for p—ies!”

Oh, Russell. Don’t ever leave us again.

Meanwhile, Chez Stackhouse
After a night of hunting Russell, Sookie and Alcide wake up to an awkward morning-after. Bill only pretended to glamour Sookie (who’s nevertheless down in the dumps at the finality of his goodbye), but Eric went for it—not only wiping Alcide’s memory of the previous night, but installing a mental cockblock in the bargain.

Fortunately, Sook realizes what happened and restores his faculties. So, good news: We may be seeing some Alsookie action after all! …Only not now, because Alcide has to seize his destiny and go claim packmasterhood. And Sook has to follow Jason to the secret faerie rave, where Claude tells her the awful truth: A vampire did, indeed kill her parents, drawn by the scent of Sookie’s own blood on a discarded bandage in the back of their car.

Stalking the wild supe hater
Don’t worry, Luna/Sam shippers: Our favorite shifter couple is still kicking—literally, as the bullet-riddled pair writhe and scream all the way to the hospital. And across town, little Emma takes a page from wolfly lore and scoots straight to Grandma’s house. It doesn’t take long for all four to find themselves reunited around Luna’s hospital bed, which sees the conflict between Granny Martha and Luna come to a touching-if-uneasy resolution, and frees Sam to join up with Andy Bellefleur in tracking the redneck death squad who shot them.

First stop: the anti-vampire gear outlet! Where, true to his claims, Sam smells the proprietor’s homicidal sweat just in time to save Andy’s life. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as across town, a van full of masked men are out shooting vampires…and, coincidentally, saving the life of Sad Goth Hoyt, whose descent into pathetic groupiehood has found him—as it does every pathetic groupie—in an alley, against a brick wall, being mauled by a craggy-looking guy with a goatee.

And finally, let’s check in on…
Lafayette: The leftover season four subplot sees Laf visiting Ruby Jean, where he learns that Don Bartolo is the source of all this brujo trouble (and we get some much-needed comic relief.)

Terry and Arlene: Splitsville, and so sad. Terry confesses his crimes and related cursed-ness before leaving to keep his family safe. Can this possibly end well?

Tara: Is kind of super-strong for a newborn vampire! Just sayin’.

What do you think of Russell’s surprise takeover and Guardian’s unfortunate demise: long-awaited, or totally tragic? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!