True Blood, Season 5, Episode 11: ‘Sunset’

True Blood Ugh, the Authority. We’ve been trapped in this stupid, sleek, modernist basement set all season. It’s like being stuck at the airport. It almost makes me miss last season’s evil Wiccan feminist bookstore (almost). Bill is lured into the temple of doom by Lilith’s inviting voice. She instructs him to chug the vial of her fluids and become the clan leader. Bill somehow resists her goth, topless, tomato-sauce charms and flees. She leaves a bloody handprint on the glass to remember her by.

Fun fact: That time-lapse clip of a decomposing fox from the True Blood credit sequence is stock footage in the public domain. It has also been used in Adaptation, The Hunger, a Nine Inch Nails video (“Hurt”), a Katy Perry video (“E.T.”), a Linkin Park video (“The Catalyst”), and an episode of Wonder Showzen. It’s my favorite part of the opening credits. Here is the creepy/awesome/informative clip in its entirety.

Nora has a flashback to seeing Godric’s throat ripped out by Lilith. Nora’s life partner Salome is suspicious, and reminds Nora that they will soon be yachting on rivers of human blood. The Real L Word is apparently “Lilith.” Sneaky ginger interloper Jessica creeps up into their spot and looks for a phone to call Jason and warn him. Bad dad Bill is unresponsive to her pleas. Maybe he knows about how Jason shot her in the head the day before?

Bill tells Jessica that quitting humans cold-Sookie was the best decision he ever made. Not too long ago he was always butt-hurt while chasing after Sookie, being forced to compete with tall blond vampires and buff werewolves for her fickle love. Now his life is a rosy scarlet blur of drug trips and blow jobs from demons. Even if Sookie came crawling back in a soaked sundress, Bill wouldn’t budge.

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“But DAAAAAAAAAAD that’s not FAAAAAAAAAAIIIIR!!!!!!”

Jessica offers to turn Jason, hypothesizing aloud that their relationship might finally work out if they are both on the same level as vampires. Bill rolls his eyes at how young and na&#239ve she is to think that’s going to make it functional. Bill accuses Jess of being a manipulative emotional teenager and then clears her to smoke the whole pack, sending her to Bon Temps with escorts to make sure she keeps her word.

Nora appears to Eric in a bedroom for a classic bit of will-they-or-won’t-they-commit-incest suspense. (They will.) The siblings have the requisite raunchy vampire sex scene, during which Nora forlornly wails “what are we gonna doooooooo?” in a rather distracting way during intercourse. Come on, Nora, stop multitasking and just enjoy the Matterhorn! Nora and Eric hatch a plot to escape (and climax) together.

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“WE BE CLUBBIN'”

Sookie is coming to terms with the idea that her parents pimped her out to vampires. She thinks the spirit that’s been following her around and cooing “you’re mine” might have something to do with it, or maybe she’s just developing self-awareness about her habit of dating controlling vampires. She lets Jason back into the real-world field through the trans-dimensional red-velvet circus curtain.

General Cavanaugh descends from the ambiguous warehouse front at street level into the bowels of the Authority. He demands to see Christopher Meloni, setting up a quickly dashed hope that Meloni might reappear. Stranger things have happened on True Blood. Cavanaugh warns the vamp council that the government knows they arranged the True Blood bombings, and the Pentagon is formulating a vampire eradication strategy. They calmly inform him about their new Lilith-centric agenda.

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Judging lineup for talent competition The O Negative Factor

Cavanaugh spits back that he’s in possession of a snuff film of Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin reverse-gangfanging the fraternity house one day ago (“One Night in Newlin”?) and will release it to the public tubes unless the vampires comply. He promises that the U.S. government has been hoarding nuclear stakes. Eric has enough of the General’s grandstanding and murders him neatly.

Jessica is waiting with her escorts when Jason pulls up in his cruiser. She gives him a little speech about trust and truth-telling, which he rightfully points out is neither her strong suit not his. The bodyguards get anxious and push her to get it over with. She fangs out and pounces on Jason, to his surprise and disgust.

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“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-“

The rest of the Authority council roasts Eric for murdering Cavanaugh, except for the Sharon Osbourne lookalike, who approves. They head out to do damage control and stop World War V from kicking off prematurely. The different secret alliances among the various vampire factions are a tangle of cords.

Jess nuzzles Jason in the shallow grave they’re being buried in. Jason springs up and shoots both of the bodyguards. They splatter. Jess confesses that even though it was a hoax, her feelings were real, and that things are about to get weirder than ever. Jason mumbles something about having to find Sookie and runs off.

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“It’s a modified side ponytail and it’s fabulous.”

Pam explains the Authority to Tara at Fangtasia, while they make sure the backroom is fully clean of remnants of Azrael Abyss. A banged-up Jessica comes in asking for sanctuary, and Pam cracks when Jess promises to reveal Eric’s whereabouts. Eric squishes the remaining Authority escorts, and he and Nora run off into the night together like the Flowers in the Attic cut of Moonrise Kingdom.

Sam and Luna slide nudely through the underground lair. Sookie goes to meet the Fairy Elder, a ridiculous person who asks what she thinks about Ke$ha and John Cougar Mellencamp (separately) while ecstatically dancing across the checkered stage. She tells Sookie that her vampire fetish is not an accident. There’s some kind of evolutionary biology to half-fairy Sookie only being attracted to so many handsome supernaturals. Here I thought she was just into really hot guys.

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“XANADUUUUUUUUUUUUU…”

The Elder is just about to tell her about Warlo when she’s interrupted by Jason returning through the portal. The Elder is horrified to hear that Russell Edgington is alive. Holly gives Frank Sobotka some takeout from Merlotte’s and an apology from her sons for taking those up-skirt photos of him and posting them online.

Big Dick Werewolf Richie is swinging an ax in front of T-1000’s trailer and they argue about pack life. At the fairy burlesque club, the Elder is leading everyone through their improv warmups and reassuring Sookie they are a united front. Jason and Sookie wait in the Field of Conflict and profess their love for each other. They don’t make out, because that is the only line True Blood will not cross … yet.

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“I was in Bridge to Terabithia.”

Arlene serves Terry and Sobotka. She calls Lafayette a snitch, which is not something to throw around so lightly. She makes relationships sound like the Mafia, saying they rely on loyalty and honesty. The knocked-up fairy walks in to tell Frank Sobotka that her fairy baby is his. She says he accepted her light. Pam hazes freshman vamps Tara and Jessica. Jess suggests Pam and Tara are banging on the DL, which Tara takes such serious offense to it can only mean she’s thought about it.

Sharon Osbourne appears and demands to know what happened to Azrael at Fangtasia. Pam takes the fall for Tara and Sharon sniffs out the missing Jess. Bill is again beckoned towards Lilith and real ultimate power. He falls to his knees like he’s backstage at Alice Cooper. B.D.W.R. microwaves soup for dinner. Jason gets glamoured into giving Russell and Steve Newlin the address of the fairy club.

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“We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig.”

B.D.W.R. takes on the wayward vamps at the trailer park and is saved by T-1000’s crossbow skills. Sam and Luna find Emma the puppy at the vamp shelter behind a grate. Bill finds another chancellor kneeling before the blood altar and decapitates him. Sharon Osbourne drags Jessica in by the ear. A cuffed Pam passes Sam in the hallway. Bill confronts Jessica and does some extremely off-book parenting.

Salome receives Lilith’s secret message. Turns out that bitch has been telling every council member they’re the one. Jason leads Russell and Steve Newlin (Newlington? Edglin? Stevell?) into the fairy field, where they lose their minds over the herbal essences. The Elder walks into the field and shoots Steve Newlin and then Jason across the field. Russell gets the drop on her and drains her from a beautiful hippie lady into a dry shrunken skull husk. One episode left to wrap up all these love triangles, fix a vampire war, and get Sookie seriously laid.

Filed Under: Anna Paquin, HBO, Recaps, True Blood

Photo on 2014-01-10 at 12.58 #3

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert