'True Blood' 5.05 Review: 'Let's Boot and Rally' or The Flame Monster and the Drinking Corpse

By the end of this week's True Blood, Bill, Sookie, Eric, and Alcide may have bitten off more than they could chew, while Tara gets an old job at a new place along with an old new friend; Lafayette starts to freak about the whole demonic possession thing while Jason and Andy investigate a shooting and Terry and his old Army buddy investigate not getting set on fire.

****Warning, spoilers below!****

You have to hand it to the True Blood writers, they know how to go out on a high/low note. By the end of this week's episode, our heroes are up against 3,000 year old vampire Russell Edgington while a gang of supernatural killers put a couple of bullets in some characters who we really wish had ducked. Plus: vampire catfight.

Five episodes in, Bill and Eric's part in the Authority storyline will have to come to some kind of resolution by next week—Salome has given the duo until dawn to end Russell Edgington before their i-Stakes (ugh) go off. And if they do kill Russell, well, the stakes are still set to go off. We actually see some fracturing in the unexpected partnership between Bill and Eric as they start to home in on the identity of the vampire who freed Russel (and is obviously Salome and not Nora).

Speaking of Salome, she tries to talk Roman down from taking such a hardline stance against the religious arm of the vampire community, but the Authority's Guardian isn't hearing it—killing an ancient vampire kid has shaken him and made his stance against the Sanguinista movement and their sympathizers even harder. Of all of the plots going on this season, I'm actually the most intrigued by the internal politics of the vampires. I just find something so fascinating about building up this idea of creating media messaging around a species of killers and trying to manage their relationship with humanity.

I'm also starting to warm to the Tara-as-vampire story, especially since she has Pam to play as a foil. Poor Tara, blessed or cursed with immortality and super strength and she's forced to tend bar again, this time at Fangtasia (according to Pam who now owns the joint, they're understaffed). The awkward, halting first attempt at friendship between Tara and Jessica was a little clunky in its execution but it was still a nice springboard to a possible new set of interactions. Too bad stupid Hoyt and his mascara had to muck it all up.

Lafayette's story is the only one that feels like it's spinning its wheels. We've hit the same beat a couple of times that he's got an evil spirit in him, but instead of any kind of escalation or turn, it's simply running in place. Here's hoping that the return of Jesus' head might get this plot going somewhere.

We get another chunk of Iraq flashbacks from Terry, who learns that they're dealing with a ticked-off ifrit. So at some point Terry's going to have to kill an ifrit.

The storyline that really kicked into gear after being introduced last week is the shooting deaths of Sam and Luna's shifter friends. Apparently, someone out there is targeting shifters (or maybe just supernaturals in general) and by the end of this episode, there are a couple more bodies added to their tally. Frankly, if both or even one of those shot stays down, I'll miss those characters.

Andy and Jason are on the case (and the former would rather not talk about messing around actual fairies the night before), but the whole situation has also kicked off Jason's need to find out if vampires really did have a hand in his parent's death. I hope we're not ping ponging back to his character being anti-vampire again. It was such a one-note take on Jason (who doesn't have too many notes to begin with).

By the end of this episode, as ever the bodies are piling up and the show has some real momentum going for it.

True Blood airs Sunday nights at 9 on HBO.

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