True Blood: Hopeless Review (

By:Joel Rickenbach
Review Date: Monday, July 16, 2012

"...You might as well be praying to leprechauns, or unicorns, or the motherf***ing Kardashians!"
I feel like we were cheated out of what could have been a great moment in this week's episode. After Bill, Eric, Alcide and Sookie take care of Russell Edgington and his V'd up werewolves, Kibwe and the vampire authority task force show up to take custody of Russell. Kibwe is disappointed Eric and Bill used humans and wolves in their mission, but before he can suggest a violent solution, Bill convinces him a little glamouring will do the trick. Eric takes Alcide and Bill takes Sookie. Eric's bit is actually quite funny, he tells Alcide to forget everything that happened tonight, but to protect Sookie with his life. He also forbids any funny business of the romantic variety between them, then goes as far as suggesting that Alcide will from now on be repulsed by Sookie. Bill, on the other hand, knows he cannot glamour Sookie, so what follows is his very sad and honest goodbye. He tells Sookie to basically forget everything they've had together and live the rest of her life "in the sun". This moment should have felt profound with a proper build up, but instead it happens at the beginning of the episode and feels completely forgotten by the time the credits roll. This should have been the dramatic end to an episode and the stakes should have been far higher. Part of the reason is I still don't know how to take the vampire authority. They have Bill and Eric wired to these silver death harnesses, but I have yet to feel like they're in any kind of danger. They've been walking around with these things on acting so nonchalantly it kills any kind of tension. The other reason is Bill and Sookie have been cold for so long that it really feels like an afterthought.
Despite being tertiary to the main plot, Terrey Bellefleur's Ifrit storyline still feels like the one with the most meat on its bones. He finally comes clean to Arlene, and leaves her with a heartbreaking "Thanks for taking a chance on me". It's a great scene, in fact it's the episode's best, and it's also incredibly lit- giving Merlotte's more atmosphere than it's ever had.
I'm interested to see where they take the Obama-mask-wearing-anti-supe-gang storyline. Andy and Sam taking out Junior the extremist gun store owner seemed awful quick, but they do add another dimension by pulling Hoyt into the mix. I hope this thread gets deeper and more matter-of-fact as the season goes on. 
To no one's surprise and everyone's delight, Russell breaks free during his execution, staking Roman in the process. Now we don't get the giant splash of blood that usually follows a vamp staking, instead we get Roman looking like he's about to transform. Either that or he's Violet Beauregarde. It would be kind of surprising if they killed of Christopher Meloni half way through the season, however, the real mystery put forth is - Who killed Sookie and Jason's parents? It definitely won't be the same as it was in the books, so throw out your guesses below, Maniacs.

Best Moment: Every moment Alfre Woodard is on the screen.
Worst Moment: Every time they cut to the Fairy Moulin Rouge dancers to fill time. 

Mania Grade: B-
Episode: Hopeless
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Christopher Meloni
Director: Daniel Attias
Written By: Alan Ball (creator), Charlaine Harris (novels)
Network: HBO