Stars: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer, Nelsan Ellis, Joe Manganiello, Carrie Preston, Deborah Ann Woll, Michael McMillian, Denis O’Hare, Jim Parrack, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Todd Lowe, Lauren Bowles, Valentina Cervi, Janina Gavankar, Lucy Griffiths, Scott Foley, Tina Majorino, Dale Dickey, William Sanderson, Louis Herthum, Giles Matthey, Robert Patrick, Jennifer Hasty
Raelle Tucker, series created by Alan Ball, based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels
Daniel Attias
HBO, Sundays @ 9 PM
August 5, 2012

TRUE BLOOD continues to amp up the pressure in several storylines while bringing one to its climax in “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” an apt title for an episode that has both vampire and human supremacists mauling everyone within reach.

There is genuine cause for concern with the heretofore mainstreamer Bill (Stephen Moyer), who now wonders if maybe God really is a vampire and wants vamps to indiscriminately drink blood. With the TruBlood factories being bombed at Bill’s suggestion, Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) thinks Bill is playing games with the now-bloodthirsty Authority. Salome (Valentina Cervi) takes Bill as her new lover. Bill briefly imagines Salome as Sookie (Anna Paquin) and bites her hard; Salome thinks Bill is being especially passionate. When Eric and Molly (Tina Majorino) try to include Bill in their escape attempt from Authority headquarters, Bill betrays them and shows up with Authority troops.

Meanwhile, the TruBlood shortage is starting to create problems at Fangtasia. An Authority vampire comes in and starts draining a human. When proprietor Pam (Kristen Bauer van Straten) tries to intervene, the vamp throws her to the floor and announces he’s been appointed the new sheriff in town.

Sookie continues to try to find out which vampire killed her parents, and realizes that former sheriff Bud Dearborn (William Sanderson) may have information. She goes to visit him.

What Sookie doesn’t know is the current sheriff Andy (Chris Bauer) and his deputy, Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), suspect Bud of being the Dragon of the hate group that’s killing vampires and others around Bon Temps. When Andy refuses to let shapeshifter Sam (Sam Trammell) participate in the investigation any further, Sam and his shifter girlfriend Luna (Janina Gavankar) both turn into literal flies on the wall to overhear Andy and Jason.

The upshot is that when Sookie goes to visit Bud and is knocked unconscious by Bud’s girlfriend Sweetie (Jessica Hasty), Sam and Luna are there to save Sookie and fellow prisoner Hoyt (Jim Parrack) from being fed to pigs. Sam has transformed into one of the pigs for good measure, but untransforms at the right moment. When Andy and Jason arrive, Bud won’t put down his gun, forcing them to shoot him dead. Sweetie flees, but Luna pursues her and begins beating her – for shooting Luna, and for shooting Sam and for trying to shoot Luna’s little girl Emma. It’s unclear if Luna beats Sweetie to death, but it’s certainly major battery.

Speaking of Emma, the little girl werewolf is with her grandmother Martha (Dale Dickey) when vampire Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare), with Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) in tow, comes to visit the pack. Russell of course has millennia of experience with ruling werewolves via judicious sharing of V. When Martha refuses to take Russell’s blood, Russell retaliates by kidnapping Emma and humiliating packmaster J.D. (Louis Herthum).

Having lost his bid for packmaster, werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) returns to Mississippi to see his father, former packmaster Jackson (Robert Patrick), now a lonely alcoholic. Wolves seem to fare poorly without a pack.

Patrick (Scott Foley), old Army commander of Terry (Todd Lowe), has taken to heart the ghostly insistence that one of them must kill the other to remove the curse of the Efreet. Patrick gets Terry’s wife Arlene (Carrie Preston) at gunpoint at Merlotte’s and makes her close it for the day. When Terry comes in, Patrick insists that Terry get on his knees. Terry complies, but this gives Arlene the opportunity to stab Patrick. Patrick winds up on his knees, begging for his life, but Arlene begs Terry to shoot him. Terry does what he thinks is right – and shoots Patrick dead. The ghost of the Iraqi woman Terry killed appears and pronounces Terry’s action the right thing to do.

This is obviously a whole lot of ground to cover. It’s sad to lose Bud so conclusively, as Sanderson is a terrific actor and the character remained somehow likable even when filled with righteous hate – perhaps chalk this up to Sanderson’s ability to make us feel that the character is always being sincere and reasonable within his own mind.

Bill’s transition to the dark side is intriguing and it’s fun to see Eric sparring with him, as Skarsgard does a great job of conveying Eric’s exasperation and incredulity at being the one who has to try to get Bill to be humanistic, instead of the other way round.

It’s also good to see Sookie recover her fellow feeling for other supernaturals and her realization that being a plain old human doesn’t make someone like Hoyt (or herself) any less a target for the loonies.

Robert Patrick as Alcide’s dad is a stroke of casting genius. It’s unclear where that plot strand is going, but it doesn’t matter – Patrick and Manganiello are welcome to read, or howl, the phone book and it will make for swell viewing.

We now see how the werewolf pack storyline and the vampire storyline will come together, and how Luna and Sam will be drawn in – that’s Luna’s kid Russell has grabbed, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Once again, seeing O’Hare and McMillian play off each other is a lot of fun.

The storyline for Arlene and Terry seems to be wrapped up for this year, but the climax is a strongly-acted scene of affecting, even frantic emotion that is honestly suspenseful.

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a strong episode that makes us wonder who will prevail in that title ambition.


Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “Somebody That I Used To Know”

Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “In the Beginning”

Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “Hopeless”

Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “Let’s Boot and Rally”

Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “We’ll Meet Again”

Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “Whatever I Am, You Made Me”

Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “Authority Always Wins”

Related: Exclusive Photos from the TRUE BLOOD Season 5 Premiere Screening
Related: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “Turn Turn Turn” – Season Premiere

Related: Interview with THE DOUBLE and TRUE BLOOD star Stephen Moyer
Related: Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 – “And When I Die” – Season Finale

Related: TRUE BLOOD – Season 4 premiere review – “She’s Not There”

Related: Exclusive photos from the TRUE BLOOD Paley Fest screening
Related: Exclusive photos from the TRUE BLOOD comic book signing featuring some of the cast

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Article: TV Review – TRUE BLOOD – Season 5 – “Everybody Wants to Rule The World”


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