True Blood 5.09 “Everybody Wants To Rule The World" REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: Rafaelle Tucker
Director: Daniel Attias
THE ONE WHERE The Authority start destroying Tru-Blood factories, Terry and Sarge have a showdown, Sam and Andy uncover the leaders of the Obama-mask killers and Steve Newlin gets a new pet.
VERDICT Although the Authority’s attempts to kick-start a vampire revolution begin in this episode, most of that happens off-screen (or at least only on-screen in the form of news reports) as the bloodsuckers pretty much take a back seat this week. They do get some of the best scenes though, right from Russell Edginton’s pre-credit, “Shall we say grace?” (and Steve Newlin obliging, much to the embarrassed glances of Salome), through Bill’s hallucinatory sex with Lilith and Russell giving a were-puppy to Steve Newlin as a pet, right to the final scene, when Bill betrays Eric. It’s still impossible to gauge whether Bill is really a born again (or should that be dead again?) Sanguinista or if he has some grand plan, but it’s still gripping (and often very pervy) to watch.
We also get another great Pam scene (and outfit!). "There are two things I try to stay away from,” she tells Tara. “Humans who eat a lot of fish and politics." Then she discovers to her horror that a new sheriff has been imposed on her. Sadly, the shock of this development is blunted somewhat by the fact that the new sheriff looks like some slightly past-it goth bloke who does From Dusk Till Dawn cosplay at the weekends.
But the majority of this episode is concerned with wrapping up two other subplots: the Obama-mask killers and Terry’s vengeful Ifrit. Neither exactly build to jawdropping climaxes. On the other hand, they both provide some entertaining moments and feel less like the spare-wheel plots they have for much of the season. It's good to see Lafayette back to his first-season best, and Sookie playing Nancy Drew is preferable to her getting all depressed about her love life. Sam and Luna are also more fun than usual, admitting they love each other in the middle of an argument then literally playing flies on the wall in the police station before disguising themselves as pigs to rescue Sookie. The revelation that Bud Dearborne is one of the prime movers behind the Obama-mask killers is a decent twist, even if the way Andy identifies him (“The boots!”) ranks pretty high on the “convenient plotting coincidences” scale.
A fast-moving episode with some great one-liners, good character moments and the prerequisite True Blood gratuitous sex, but a bit creaky in places, and you can’t help feeling it’s all a little bit slight and flimsy. Bring on the vampire revolution.
SPECIAL GUEST STAR That’s Robert Patrick playing Alcide’s dad (oddly looking older in the flashback, despite the hair dye). Ironically, he's probably most famous for playing a shapeshifter – albeit a technological one – in Terminator 2: Judgment Day .
HE HAS A POINT Speaking as someone who had to review Ghost Whisperer for five seasons, I can completely sympathise with Lafayette’s exasperation: “Dead folk - why y'all got to be so cryptic? It ain't cute.”
SPOOKY And on the subject of Lafayette, last week we accused him of going all Whoopi Goldberg from Ghost, and this week he actually says, “I ain't Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost , though I am way prettier."
FORMAT CHANGE The end credits music – in this case a punky version of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” – crashed into the final scene long before the credits commence. We’d have preferred them to use the original, though. Not just because the cover version is terrible, but also because the sweetly tinkly Fears version would have been a more intriguing and quirky contrast to the events on screen.
Lafayette: “The rest of y'all… I ain't Gmail for dead bitches."
True Blood season 5 will air in the UK on FX in the autumn.
Read more True Blood season 5 reviews