True Blood: Authority Always Wins Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Oddly enough, the clumsiest part of last week's premiere ends up being the best part of this week's episode, but we'll get to that.
The second episode of the fifth season finds Sookie and Lafayette dealing with a damaged Tara fresh from the grave (shades of the Bubba character from the novels). Apparently the benefits of vampirism haven't totally sunk in yet, or is it the fact that Tara had a good chunk of her head blown off? Alcide refuses to be the new pack master, and Sam and Luna have to deal with the fact that Emma may be a wolf instead of a shifter. Jessica has her second party crashed in as many nights, this time by Steve Newlin, who sure can dance! Terry starts getting violent flashbacks to his time in Iraq, and finally decides to do something about it. We (finally) get confirmation that Jason has pretty much slept with every woman in Bon Temps, which may end up helping Jason on the path to being a better man. We get some nifty, if a bit typical, flashbacks to Pam's time in San Francisco, circa 1905, and Bill and Eric finally meet the Authority.
It's in that last bit where this episode is at its best. Last week the Bill and Eric show felt very sloppy- they get caught, and escape only to get caught again. I don't know about you, but I never liked the whole militarized vampire thing, and the more I see it on this show the more it reminds me of the Underworld series of films, and that's not really a good thing. Why do vampires need beret-wearing, machine gun-toting thugs when they're freaking vampires? Anywho, this week B & E get put in UV-rigged cells, and interrogated while hooked up to machines that pump pure silver right into their veins. It's during Bill's interrogation that we get the juiciest stuff, and a lot of the credit goes to Christopher Heyerdahl who plays interrogator Dieter Braun. On True Blood, characters have a tendency to speak in very broad strokes when it comes to the heavy stuff, but the Character of Dieter is very matter of fact, and his dialogue and cadence are very refreshing. During the interrogation we get all sorts of fun bits to chew on- Lilith the first vampire, sanguinistas and interpretations of the vampire bible. We also finally get to meet Roman (Christopher Meloni), and he doesn't disappoint. His hulking presence and extreme desire to drive a ritual stake through Bill's heart are definite highlights. It may not be the most original idea, but True Blood has relied on a new "big bad" every season, and I like that Bill and Eric's transgressions are putting them in a rematch with the best big bad of them all- Russell Edgington.
I also have to give some kudos to Steve Newlin crashing Jessica's party. Not only did it wonderfully mimic Jason's party crashing, but seeing Steve Newlin 2.0 in action is a blast. I thought his unrequited love for Jason might have been a ruse, but apparently not. A $20,000 buy-out offer and a double boner later proves he's for real, and it's a funny sub-plot I can't wait to see unfold.
Best Moment: Andy Bellefleur doing the right thing. Worst Moment: Emma puppy (So cute I almost punched my television.)
Mania Grade: B
Episode: Authority Always Wins
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell
Written By: Alan Ball (creator), Charlaine Harris (novels)
Directed By: Michael Lehmann