“True Blood” Episode 502 Recap: “Authority Always Wins”


Thank you, HBO, for once again starting this episode of True Blood exactly where we left off. I’ve been really worried about baby vampire Tara all week, and it was nice to exhale to the same image I was gasping at one week ago. However, I don’t feel relieved. I feel scared. That being said, this episode did feature a puppy – more on that in a moment.

Last week, I pondered how young Tara would feel upon waking up a vampire, given that she didn’t have the opportunity to consent to the process. No one on our side of the television screen should be surprised that she’s totally, violently pissed off, which she expresses by immediately attacking Sookie. Pam isn’t any help – she thinks it’s hysterical. Pam, this is why I love/hate you so.

Pam waits to step in until Tara actually bites Sookie. She commands her to not bite Sookie and Lafayette, and after throwing her in the house and begrudgingly sewing up Sookie’s fang marks with some of her own blood, bounces. I guess I don’t really understand the relationship between maker and made as well as I thought I did. Shouldn’t Pam feel an emotional investment in Tara? The way she chucked her into the house seemed like she was really out of shits to give. Meanwhile, Tara certainly seems to have to obey Pam, as evidenced by the way she follows Pam’s instructions so closely. Poor Tara spends the rest of this episode frantic, angry, hungry, violent, and terrified; all while zooming around Sookie’s house breaking things. Lafayette considers staking her, finally realizing that maybe he should have let her go instead of literally turning her into the thing she hated most.

Anna Paquin makes some pretty great scared expressions in these scenes, involving wide eyes and face trembles. When Tara finally settles down, she tells Sookie and Lafayette that she will never forgive them. She zooms out of Sookie’s house and is misted by the silver spray that Sookie bought at a vampire pest-control store cleverly named Stake House. Tara screams in agony, and then disappears into the night. Hopefully she is on her way to New York City in search of a supportive lesbian community.

After leaving Tara, Pam has a flashback to San Francisco, 1905. She is working as a madam (obviously) and wearing truly fantastic turn of the century attire. She finds one of her girls murdered maybe by a vampire, and actually shows some compassion in response. Hopefully, this foreshadows a plotline in which Pam develops feelings for baby vampire Tara. She’s still mostly just worried about where the eff Eric is, though. Later, she flashes back to the first time she met Eric: she was walking down a deserted cobblestone street after work and was attacked by an asshole with a knife. Eric appears and saves hers, wearing a fedora. She charms him with her wit; he charms her with his Viking mystique. It’s a tale as old as time. As the flashback ends Pam opens her eyes wide in her coffin, awake with worry about her maker.

Speaking of Eric: he, Bill, and Eric’s sister/lover, Nora, are taken to the Authority to be interrogated and potentially given the true death sentence.

Inside the offices of The Authority was everything I hoped it would be. It featured super awesome vampire blood identification technology, and a very human-looking main lobby that they casually called “reception” (there’s a front desk girl and everything!). Also exciting was the Renaissance portrait of Chris Meloni hanging on the wall, which we see before we meet his character. The three fugitives are placed in cells, and within the cells, they are tortured using UV lights that are turned on at the will of the Authority. There’s a vampire in the cell over whose skin is pretty much missing, assumedly because of so much UV exposure in his cell – as Nora informs us, he was a nurse practitioner in a maternity ward who ate babies. Yet another reason to support home-births and doulas.

Eric and Bill are separated and questioned while hooked up to an IV of silver. During this questioning, we learn that the Authority thinks Eric and Bill are members of a fundamental sub-sect of vampires who believe in a literal translation of the vampire bible – that is, Adam and Eve’s true purpose was to nourish vampires, and all subsequent humans are sustenance for vampires and nothing more. The Authority is accusing them of opposing mainstreaming, which seems unlikely, given the entire plot of this show.

After individual torture sessions, Eric and Bill are brought in front of the council of the Authority, where we finally meet Chris Meloni, Guardian of the Authority, and a table full of new vampire characters – one of whom is a boy who appears ten years old. If there is anything scarier than a ten-year-old boy, it’s one who is also a vampire. The council engages in a ritual of accepting a drop of blood from the Guardian and reciting vampire biblical passages. As a Jew, the Christian parallels of this ritual are lost on me, but I trust that they are there. The vampires debate whether or not to give Eric and Bill the true death, since they don’t believe that Eric and Bill really do believe in mainstreaming. At the last moment, Bill offers to kill Russell Edgington in exchange for their lives. The Authority had believed Russell dead, so this is quite a shock. Bill valiantly says he expects the true death regardless of whether he can actually stop Russell. He always has to be the hero, am I right?

Back at Bill’s palace, Jessica is wearing a wonderful cropped corset top, and having another party. I wonder how she isn’t tired of entertaining yet. Unfortunately, Steve Newlin shows up. The last time they met, Jessica was saving Jason from being love-bitten by Steve, who is newly gay and newly vampire. In Bill’s office, Steve offers Jessica a whopping ten thousand dollars for the much-desired Jason Stackhouse rear. She dirty talks him into raising the price to twenty thousand. His fangs come out while she’s describing Jason’s various hard parts, making this show not appropriate for children. She then tells him that she doesn’t sell her friends, and they have a hair-pulling fight concluding with Jessica throwing him out the door – and then throwing the rest of her party out as well.

Jason, meanwhile, is trying to make peace with the fact that Jessica doesn’t want a serious relationship with him, and also trying to get his BFF Hoyt back. Hoyt’s still not interested. Other happenings in Jason’s life include finding deceased Debbie’s abandoned car while on patrol with Andy, so that’s going to be a thing soon.

In terms of werewolf happenings, we left off with the pack eating their pack master’s body. For whatever reason, they really, really want Alcide to eat it with them, and it infuriates the pack to no end that he’s not into it. I guess everyone is entitled to their own rituals, and this one is a werewolf show of respect. There were a lot of rituals in this episode! So by not eating, Alcide is giving a big eff you to the alpha he killed, and to the rest of the pack. They also want him to be the new pack master, which he likewise rejects. He’s just not that kind of guy.

Luna helps Sam limp back to her house so she can tend to his wounds. Shortly after they get home, the dead pack master’s meth-faced mom shows up. She begs Luna to let her remain a part of Emma’s life – she is her grandma, after all, and Emma is probably a werewolf – but Luna puts her tough shifter foot down and kicks her out. Unfortunately, Sam Merlotte is still an idiot, and after Grandma Werewolf leaves, he suggests that maybe Luna wasn’t in the right. He gently wonders what little Emma will do when she grows into a werewolf. So Luna throws him out, too – as the battered ex-wife of a werewolf, she really doesn’t need yet another man telling her what to do. He calls her a psycho because he’s still not a nice person, despite the way his mannerisms indicate that he thinks he is.

Later that night, Luna opens the door to Emma’s bedroom to find a WEREWOLF PUPPY in her daughter’s clothes. Emma/werepuppy makes the most perfect puppy whining sounds while looking up at her mother. I want one!

In the realm of human-ish problems, Arlene awakes in the night to find Terry standing over her having a violent war flashback. She slaps him across the face to wake up him, and then rather than processing, he just wants to go back to sleep. Later, at work, Arlene interrupts Terry having a flashback while cooking some bacon. He throws her across the room, and then denies that there is anything wrong while screaming in her face. I’m not okay with this. Arlene takes a trip to visit Terry’s war buddy, Patrick, in his motel room to see if she can get some answers, but he lies to her just like Terry does. While she is still there, Terry shows up, and Arlene tells them to “fix this” before she huffs out. Patrick and Terry ponder who could be starting the fires, and decide to visit another Army buddy who has been living off the grid. I think that probably Patrick is the one starting the fires, as he doesn’t really have a personality yet, so he’s likely to turn out evil.

The episode concludes with a thoughtful check-up on our dear Russell Edgington, who is recovering from being buried alive. More specifically, he is lying in a bed surrounded by a pile of corpses. He has a spider-like pattern of bloody scabs covering his face, and he’s licking his lips. He actually looks a lot like Voldemort here, which makes me feel less scared, but only slightly.

Hopefully next week will have more sex and less religion. And more werepups!

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