'True Blood' Recap: 'Sunset'

Vampire behavioral science and setup work for next week's season-ender were the name of the game in this week's episode of "True Blood," as most of the cast converges on Authority headquarters for the grand finale.

Hive-minded idealists

Bill's rapid evolution from sensitive gentleman to power-hungry Lilith freak is one of the weirdest things to happen this season... and apparently, we're not the only ones who think so. Jessica, newly arrived at Authority headquarters, is shocked to see how her maker has changed. Her pleas to return to Bon Temps to warn Sookie and Jason of the Russell threat fail to sway him, and when she tries a bluff that appeals to Bill's newfound faith (giving Jason Stackhouse the gift of fangs), he calls her out with sneering superiority and sends her out to make good on it.

Instead, Jessica slips stakes her security detail and runs for Fangtasia, where Pam gives her a hiding place and us some long-awaited exposition. Namely: nesting behavior, which causes a group of vampires living in one home to act as catty and exclusive as a table of eighth grade mean girls. And at the Authority, the nest has been kicked into overdrive by blood-of-Lilith use... which explains not only Bill's devolvement into this season's biggest douche canoe, but also why the chancellors keep having visions of the bloodied and be-merkin-ed Lilith standing in various hallways and personally selecting them to lead the cause.

But not every Authority figure is on the train to Crazytown. Haunted by visions of the ghostly and disappointed Godric, Nora runs to Eric — who, unlike the rest, has been faking his zealotry — for forgiveness and makeup sex. And when a pissed-off visiting dignitary from the U.S. government presents an opportunity, Eric kills him and then takes off with Nora for a damage-control "glamouring campaign"... which is, of course, all a ploy to escape. And they do! Which is great, but considering that the big multi-cast-member finale looks to be taking place at the building they just left, they'll probably be back.

Where's Warlow?

Back at the faerie bordello, Sookie looks for answers to her plight from an ancient elder faerie who, as Maurella explains, "operates on many frequencies at once" — which is a nice way of saying that she's a dyed-in-the-wool weirdo. (She warns Sook that trouble is coming, but she also wants to know if she's "for or against" John Cougar Mellencamp and Boyz II Men.) The only thing that can sober her up? The news of Russell Edginton's return. The Elderfaerie vows that the Fae will fight, and when Russell and Steve find their way to the portal, it looks like she'll vanquish them post-haste... but no, the overconfident Elder makes a wild pitch, hits Jason Stackhouse with the vanquishing intended for Russell, and gets sucked to death in a matter of seconds. The bad news: no more mid-1990s R&B group references. The worse news: Russell's bellyful of blood means that he can now see the incredible, edible fae.

And now, your moment of zen

Alcide. Shirtless. With an axe.

You're welcome.

And though we don't yet know what the werewolf's role in the final episode will be, Alcide and Daddy Herveaux have worked through their issues enough to tag team a marauding pack of babyvamps — which sets them up nicely for whatever showdown is in store next week.

What did you think of this week's "True Blood"? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!