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‘True Blood’ 5.10 Review: Three are ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’

True Blood suffers a staff reduction as two vampires (don’t worry, peripheral ones) suffer the true death while one human cast member bids farewell for parts north. Plus, Bill and Nora try to make a convert out of Eric as the American Vampire League continues its PR offensive convince the human world that things are fine, just fine (that’s not stopping panicked humans from packing guns with wooden bullets, though). Then there’s Tara, Pam, and the new Sheriff of Zone 5, while Sookie and Jason find a mysterious scroll.

Hey Sookie, no good can ever come of discovering a mysterious scroll!

****Spoilers after the jump.****

So hey, how great was that scene between Jessica, Hoyt, and Jason? The unexpected threesome at Merlotte’s (c’mon, get your head out of the gutter) saw Hoyt Fortenberry trying to get up and move on, and sever all ties to Bon Temps. Later in the episode, Sookie suggests that Hoyt asked Jessica to glamour him in this scene because it was the only way he could think of to forgive Jason. My take is less optimistic–I think Hoyt was still motivated by anger more than anything else, and wanted an elegant way to cut the two people who hurt him most in the world out of his life.

This was the longest scene in “Gone, Gone, Gone,” and as far as I can recall, one of the longest this season. It’s curious the stories this show lingers on, but I have no objections here. For True Blood, this whole conversation was as close as it gets to emotionally raw as all three characters grappled with how they ended up in that moment. I’m not going to lie: I almost wondered if Jessica was going to make Hoyt forget asking her to make him forget (but the writers have done a good job pushing the character in the direction of maturity this season).

And as Hoyt heads to an oil rig up north (what, he’s never heard of 30 Days of Night?) the rest of the country, the world even is on edge with the vampires all out of their True Blood supply. Has the show ever answered the question of how much blood a vampire needs to drink? I don’t think it’s been stated outright how long it’s been since the Authority-led bombings took out all of the True Blood factories, but it sounds like global stockpiles are dwindling and attacks on humans are already on the rise. Plus, the scene in the frat house with Reverend Steve and Russell means that that drank all of those guys by themselves which begs the follow-up question “How much blood can a vampire hold in their body?”

Speaking of vampire anatomy, hey it’s another enigmatic Lilith appearance. With only two episodes left, it’s still unclear whether she’s a mass hallucination or a real spiritual threat (although Obi Wan Godric insists that she’s a danger to the vampires’ very souls).

This subplot teeters right past heavy handed into screaming “It’s an allegory, see” with the vampire fundamentalist/religious fundamentalist parallels. Right before she gets i-Staked, Tina Majorino’s underused IT vampire girl tells the Lilith faithful they can suck it while later, Pam grumbles about forced procreation under the new Authority directive. True Blood is playing at two different strains of religious mania here, with the push for indoctrination running side-by-side with the Inquisition-era tactics of forced conversion.

This last bit would be interesting if it didn’t come off as a little dumb with the Authority spending so much time trying to convert Eric. As I understand it, during the Inquisition (and other religious purges), if you were finally “converted” to the true faith, you were still just as likely to burn at the stake or suffer exile. Nora’s feelings for him notwithstanding, why is Eric still getting a seat at the table? Also, since the show is borrowing the La Magra subplot from Blade, they’re going all in with a plan to make more vampires (therefore increasing the scarcity of the food supply).

Finally, after a surprise vampire attack by the town coroner, Sookie is pulling up stakes and moving in with Jason. But before she does, the two of them double check under her bed to see if there are any clues to their parents’ murder. Oh please won’t this story go away? Now we have centuries-old secret contracts with mysterious vampires (theoretically) for the Stackhouse’s first female fae child and I just couldn’t possibly care less about any of it. Sookie is a character steeped in mystery, I get that, but as the series progresses, it keeps dropping new mysteries and enigmas on top of her to the point where there’s very little time for the character to exist in the moment. Consider how many real emotional beats she’s gotten this season beyond confessing to Debbie’s shooting. Sookie’s mostly been a vehicle to push other plots forward over season five and with the introduction of another mystery, we’ll get more of the “why” of her character while losing the “who.”

Just two episodes left–will Lilith actually shape up into something we can understand? Will Jessica find the one, true vampire god? How long before Russell his next attack on Sookie? And when will Pam and Tara start their road trip?

True Blood airs Sunday nights at 9 on HBO.

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