Friday, October 17, 2014

Fifth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series #4: The Ring

I watched The Ring, last night, the U.S. remake, not the original Japanese Ringu.  I was a bit conflicted about it because I do try to see originals first, like REC or Let the Right One In, but I'd heard good things about this 2002 Naomi Watts vehicle and was just not in the mood for subtitles.  I was in the mood to be scared a bit, however, and The Ring fit the bill.  Although twelve years after its release I am already well aware that many of its iconic moments are now well-worn tropes (i.e. evil girl with dripping wet black hair), it still did its thing.

Everyone by now knows the story: there's a videotape and if you see it, you die seven days later.  The fun thing is that this movie is as much a mystery-thriller as it is horror; the onscreen body count is low and the bulk of the movie follows reporter/mom Rachel (Watts) as she tries to figure out WTF.  Director Gore Verbinski sets a very creepy, atmospheric stage with a dark, almost monochromatic color palate, rain-washed and moody, very evocative of the J-horror from which this remake sprung.  The opening scene - with a very good Amber Tamblyn - effectively ratchets up the tension.  Many of the shots are beautifully framed, especially the ones out at the horse farm - not what you expect from your average horror flick.  And speaking of horses: anyone who does not find the horse on the ferry scene disturbing is a bad person.

While I thought it was maybe a little bit long at 1 hr. 55 min., I enjoyed The Ring quite a lot.  I don't suppose it holds up that well on repeated viewings and it does seem dated now, what with the flip phones and videotape, but I found it a fun Thursday night viewing.  Now if someone could just tell me why that creepy little kid called his mom by her first name ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Walking Dead S5E1 "No Sanctuary" 10/12/14

And we begin with a shout, not with a whisper.  Also: CAROL.

Then.  People, not our people, cower in train cars as shrieks and screams echo from outside.

Now.  Our people, in their train car, work on putting together whatever weapons they can scrounge, from belt buckles, zippers, chips of wood.  They are focused, ready to attack when the Terminusians come for them.  Unfortunately, the Terminusians don't come in the front: they open a door in the top of the car and drop in a smoke bomb.  Rick, Darryl, Glen and Bob are dragged out, bound and gagged, and brought into what pretty much looks like - and is - a slaughterhouse.  They and four other captives are made to kneel against a stainless steel trough while one dude sharpens a knife and another dude practices his swing with a baseball bat.  It is very tense.  And then they whack the guy on the end in the head, and when he slumps over the trough, they cut his throat, the blood gushing out in torrents.  It is SO GRIM.  They do the other three captives and then Glen is next in line.

Again, it's very tense and it looks almost like it might be Glen's turn to buy the farm.  But Gareth interrupts just in time, coming in with some administrative stuff to do.  Bob begs for their lives; Gareth is uninterested.  What he is interested in, however, is the bag Rick buried out in the woods before coming into Terminus.  Gareth threatens to gouge Bob's eye out so Rick tells him all the weapons that are in the bag, including a red handled machete with which he intends to kill Gareth.  Gareth's all, ooh, scary.  He heads out, leaving the two butchers to finish their job.  Bat Guy winds up behind Glen again (but this time, all the tension is gone) and just as he starts his swing, the building is shaken by an explosion.

Out in the world, Carol, Tyrese and Baby Judith walk along the tracks towards Terminus.  Carol tells Tyrese that she'll get the two of them there but she's not going to stay.  When a walker menaces them, Tyrese takes the baby, saying he can't kill anyone/thing, not yet.  Carol rolls her eyes, all exasperatedly "Men!" before stabbing the walker in the head with her knife.  She then catches sight of a large herd of walkers heading their way.  The humans hide and luckily the herd is distracted by the sound of gunfire in the distance, probably coming from Terminus.  When the walkers are past, they continue on.  They come across a Terminusian setting up fireworks out by a little shack in the woods,  They overhear him talking about a "chick with a sword" and a "kid in a hat" and quickly subdue him, tying him up.  They don't gag him, though, and that's too bad because he's an asshole.

Leaving Tyrese and the baby behind with the asshole, Carol heads out, gooing herself up with walker guts and walking along behind the herd undetected.  (Back at the shack, the asshole first tries to talk with Tyrese and then to rile him up.  Tyrese is determined to turn the other cheek and be the bigger dog - he doesn't want to kill anyone today.  The asshole is like, dude, that means you'll be the one who dies - you and the baby.)  Meanwhile, Carol has made her way to the Terminus fence in time to see Rick, Darryl, Bob and Glen dragged out of the train car and into the buildings.  She watches as the herd of walkers starts to menace the Terminusians, then spots a propane tank.  With the magic science/physics of television, she shoots a couple of holes into the propane tank, causing a leak, then shoots a fireworks rocket right at the tank.  There's the explosion that kept Glen from getting his head bashed in.  Hooray for Carol!  She watches carefully as burning walkers stagger through the hole in the Terminus fence, then follows them.  Walkers pour into Terminus.  The Terminusians fight back but there is a lot of carnage: a shot of a burning zombie chewing off a guy's nose; at least two women being eaten alive.  It is horrific and extremely violent.

Inside the slaughterhouse, Bat Guy and Knife Guy dither around about what that explosion could have been, distracted enough for Rick to pull a stake of wood out of his boot, cut his bonds (that's a sharp piece of wood!) and then stab Bat Guy and Knife Guy in the throats.  He cuts Darryl, Glen and Bob free.  As they wander through the buildings, they find a room full of butchered human body parts.  They cannot even articulate their horror and just pick up as many weapons as they can find.  Rick's all, if you come across any of these people, do not hesitate to kill them.  The guys are like, WORD.  Glen insists that they have to let the captives out of the train cars; Rick agrees although he'd really rather just be killing people and zombies.

Carol wandering through the buildings, looking for her friends and killing zombies and Terminusians indiscriminately, finds a stash of personal belongings.  She quickly snatches up Darryl's crossbow as well as a couple of guns.  (She doesn't take Michonne's sword?  Poor form.)  In another room, one creepily adorned with candles, Mary (Gareth's mom apparently, played by Denise Crosby a/k/a Tasha Yar) finds her.  The two women fight until Carol gets the upper hand.  Mary has a little speech, saying how they didn't used to be like this, how they really were a sanctuary until they took in some bad folks who took over the place, raping the women repeatedly and beating and killing.  She says they learned that you're either the butcher or you're the cattle - and they weren't going to be the cattle anymore.  (But cannibalism?  I can see being distrustful and killing threatening strangers, but eating them?  WTF can't you get enough deer?)  When Mary won't answer her questions, Carol shoots her in the leg and then leaves her for the walkers who come in when she opens the door.

Out at the shack, the asshole manages to get his hands around Judith's neck, forcing Tyrese to drop his weapons.  The asshole says he'll snap the baby's neck unless Tyrese goes outside - where three or four walkers are lurking - so with tears in his eyes but a roar in his voice, Tyrese goes out.  The asshole listens to the sounds of struggles for a while, but then there's silence.  And then Tyrese bursts through the door, having put down all the zombies, and beats the living crap out of the asshole, shouting "I won't! I won't!" all the while.  I guess that means he isn't going to kill this guy, which may come back to bite him later.  (But later he tells Carol he killed him ... although we never see the body.)

Back at Terminus, the gang still in the train car (Carl, Maggie, Michonne, Eugene, Sasha, Tara, Rosita, Abraham, etc.) are again readying their weapons, trying to figure out what's going on outside.  Sasha wants to know what the cure is that Eugene knows about.  While I have my doubts that Eugene knows any such thing - I think he's just saying he knows a cure so people will protect him - he says he used to work for a lab that engineered biological weapons and he believes that with some tweaks to the formula, he can change these weapons so they kill the dead instead of the living.  Everyone seems to buy it and then Rick yanks the train car door open so they can all come out and fight zombies and Terminusians.  They do, fighting and killing, and all make it over the fence.  Rick takes them to where he buried his bag o' weapons, saying that they have to go back and kill all the Terminusians.  Glen, Maggie, Rosita et als. are all, um, NO we just got out of there, but Rick is in a killing mood.

Until they look up and see Carol standing there quietly, watching them.  Darryl throws himself at her, hugging her, not wanting to let her go.  It's really quite sweet.  Rick limps up, a small smile on his face: "Did you do that?"  She nods and he hugs her too, whispering, "Thank you."  Everyone crowds around but she just says, "You have to come with me."  She takes them to the shack where Tyrese and baby Judith are waiting.  Rick and Carl and Sasha are, respectively, overwhelmed and overjoyed.  After the reunion, everyone heads out, walking down the railroad tracks away from Terminus.  They have no supplies and barely any weapons, but they are all together again.  As he passes one of those Terminus signs, Rick picks up a handful of mud, obscuring most of the wording and revising it to say NO SANCTUARY.

Well, that was something.  A strong start, shocking and sometimes scary and ugly, with the completion of Carol's transformation from meek mouse to full-on badass.  There was also a tag scene that I think my DVR cut off: a black man, in a mask and a hood and a long coat, following the tracks some ways behind our heroes.  Rumor has it that he's Morgan, the guy who rescued Rick way back in S1 and then got all crazy the last time we saw him.  

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

Monday, October 13, 2014

When in doubt, post a list

It's all the houseguests' fault: we had houseguests, and we had to do things with houseguests, and all that being social and a good host really cut into the scary viewing.  This is what's upcoming: the recap for the season premiere of The Walking Dead (oh dear god I can't believe it's back on already and I have to recap it again and can we please focus on Darryl and Michonne and Carol and ignore Rick?) and also the latest scary movie, The Ring.  But not yet.

Since I don't have much for you in the meantime, and since I've been re-reading Stephen King's Dreamcatcher just for the hell of it, and since it's a scary time of year and since Mr. King is the undisputed high emperor of scary written things, here's a list of all his novels with the ones I haven't read in red.  I'm a big Stephen King fan.  There will not be much red.

'Salem's Lot
Bag of Bones
Black House
The Colorado Kid
Cycle of the Werewolf
The Dark Half
The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah
The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
The Dark Tower: The Waste Lands
The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole
The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass
The Dark Tower: Wolves of the Calla
The Dead Zone
Doctor Sleep
Dolores Claiborne
Duma Key
The Eyes of the Dragon
From A Buick 8
Gerald's Game
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel
Lisey's Story
Mr. Mercedes
Needful Things
Pet Sematary
The Plant: Zenith Rising
Rose Madder
The Shining
The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition
The Talisman
The Tommyknockers
Under the Dome

Then there's also his short story collections, which I think I like even better than his novels: Different Seasons; Everything's Eventual; Four Past Midnight; Full Dark, No Stars; Hearts in Atlantis; Just After Sunset; Night Shift; Nightmares & Dreamscapes; Skeleton Crew; and Stephen King Goes to the Movies.

Wow.  I sure do love me some Stephen King.  (Except Full Dark, No Stars.  Didn't like that one quite so much.)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fifth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series #3: Warm Bodies

Zombie Romeo and Juliet is really all you need to know about the third movie in this year's installment of the FAFMSSOMS, Warm Bodies - there's even a balcony scene!  R (played by Nicholas Hoult) is a fairly sentient zombie who wanders around an airport wondering about the meaning of it all, grunting at his best zombie friend Marcus and trying to avoid the "bonies" - really advanced zombies that are little more than teeth and skeletons.  R may shamble and drool and eat brains but his voiceover is clever and sarcastic.  There's clearly more going on here than with your average zombie.

One day, a group of attractive young humans is sent out from their walled city to collect medicine.  This happens to coincide with a hunting excursion R, Marcus and some other zombies are making.   R's group attacks the attractive young humans; R eats Perry (Dave Franco) and absorbs his memories, immediately falling in love with Perry's girlfriend Julie.  R saves Julie from the rest of the zombies, secreting her back in his secret hideout, and over the next couple of days she segues from frightened captive to friend.  Their burgeoning relationship sparks something in R and he begins to change physiologically; more importantly, it sparks a change in the other non-bonie zombies.

Let's get one thing straight: despite the zombies and the occasional brain-eating, this movie is not remotely scary.  Nicholas Hoult is far too pretty - even with blood and brains drooling out of his mouth - to be a convincing zombie, but his expressions and mannerisms are pretty good.  The more frightening part of the whole flick: John Malkovic ... who is just playing a human, Julie's father.

Apparently this little movie was based on a book - maybe I'll check it out.  In the meantime, Warm Bodies is a decent little zom-rom, but certainly not any sort of a horror movie.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fifth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series #2: The Cabin in the Woods

Okay, so this one is sort of a cheat because it's like the fourth time I've watched The Cabin in the Woods.  It's the only horror movie I own.  But it is just so good and has everything you could possibly want.  A creepy cabin in the woods.  Pretty college kids, including an athlete, a scholar, a nerd, a sexpot and a "virgin."  Drinking.  Drugs.  Sex.  Girls in bikinis.  Conspiracy theories.  Latin incantations.  A zombie redneck torture family.  Beheadings and stabbings.  Running screaming through the woods.  Every monster ever.  Sigourney Weaver.  I mean, why wouldn't I watch that again and again?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fifth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series #1: Candyman

By all accounts ( and by all accounts I mean Final Girl and her devotees), 1992's Candyman is an under-appreciated classic.  The music is elegant and creepy; the gorgeous Virginia Madsen carries the flick and does a great job of it; and Tony Todd is an ominous, looming presence.  Plus bees!

Helen (Madsen) is a graduate student at the University of Illinois, writing her thesis on urban legends and modern folklore.  She learns about the legend of Candyman, the son of a freed slave who dared to love a white girl.  Her outraged relatives cut Candyman's hand off for the audacity, then arranged for stung him to death by bees, then burned his corpse in a bonfire.  Now, at one of the projects, gory murders are being pinned on Candyman - the legend coming to life, according to the locals.  Helen goes to the projects to investigate, befriends a young single mom, then gets herself beaten by some gang members.  Oh, and she inadvertently summoned Candyman - by staring into a mirror and repeating his name five times, because she didn't believe anything would happen - who starts to rampage and frames Helen for the crimes.  In Tony Todd's glorious, booming voice, Candyman tells Helen that her investigation had weakened his congregation's belief in him, so he had to come forth and kill to re-establish his power over the project's inhabitants.

I am Rumor.  It is a blessed condition ... to live in other people's dreams but not to have to be.

Candyman is a little dated but holds up well.  It is genuinely scary; I watched a bunch of the movie through my fingers as the tension built around Helen's poor choices.  While the actual violence takes place off-screen, we get to see plenty of blood in the aftermath.  I should give a special shout-out to the scene where Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen let bees climb all over their faces, including in their mouths.  Those sure looked like real bees - yikes!

I had no expectations whatsoever going into Candyman and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was and how much I liked it.  Not too many people have seen this movie when compared to the classic horror movies like Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, etc., but if you're in the mood for something on the vintage side, Candyman is well worth your time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pre-Fifth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series

Here it is, October.  And the Fifth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series is rearing its ugly head.  We only got through nine scary movies in all of last year's series - I'm hoping we can at least match that.  But the Mouse household is expecting some houseguests, neither of whom like horror flicks, so the viewing may be curtailed.  I'll watch as much as I can (after the crap day I had today, I'm soooooooo in the mood for something scary) and put them up here soon afterwards as best I can. In the meantime, what's your favorite scary movie this time (or any time) of year?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bad Haiku about: Superhero Movies (VIII)

So ... Thor: The Dark World.  Yeah.  There sure was a lot of stuff crashing and breaking and blowing up, huh?  As much as I enjoy seeing gargantuan bulked-up Chris Hemsworth with his shirt off, this one left me kind of cold.  Thor is just so ... stolid.  The best scenes, of course, were the ones with Loki - when is he going to get his own movie?

asgard in ruins
thor stands mjolnir in hand but
never trust loki

That's all I've got.  Perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy, when I finally see it, will prove more inspiration for bad haiku.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

True Blood episode recap S5E12 "Save Yourself"

One episode and two seasons to go ...

Picking right up where we left off, all the fairies blast Russell with all the light they've got, but it doesn't do anything but whet his appetite due to the Elder's blood he just consumed.  But Eric to the rescue!  He sneaks up and grabs his old enemy from behind, planting a stake well into Russell's heart.  Russell grins, mutters "Oh fuck," and disintegrates into lots of bloody goo.  Eric, getting his vengeance after a thousand years: "Well, that felt even better than I thought it would."  Afterwards, Sookie rushes out to check on the unconscious Jason.  Nora immediately starts drooling, "What is she? She smells delicious!" Eric grabs his sister, saying that Sookie is nothing but a waitress that saved his life many times and that Nora is not to eat her.  "But I want her!"  Eric makes Nora swear on Godric that she will leave Sookie alone; sulkily she swears.

Down in the Authority HQ, when Sam is brought before Bill, Bill is all, well, now you know too much.  Sam says that he's just here to get Emma back and he doesn't care what the crazy vamps are up to, but Bill fangs up and approaches menacingly because he's completely gone over to the crazy-dark side.  So Sam shifts into a housefly and buzzes off into the ventilation system.  Bill growls at the Authority guards, "In case you haven't noticed, we've been breached."  Then there's some Bill-speechifying (ugh), as Salome watches approvingly.  He sends the guards out to scour every inch of HQ, telling them to kill every bit of vermin they find - and if it doesn't shift back into human form after it's dead, keep looking!  Once the guards are gone, Bill kneels before Salome and lies/tells her that Lilith appeared to him and told him that Salome was to lead them all and that he was to protect and serve her.  Salome breathes ecstatically.

Meanwhile, Eric and Nora go to Fangtasia, Nora still marveling over the fact that she never encountered a delicious fairy before.  Then Tara comes out and tells Eric that the Authority got Pam.  Eric immediately goes into the basement and starts loading up light-tight coffins and oodles of cash.  Nora complains that they can't go rescue Pam - she's nothing but a prostitute - and Eric snaps at her that Pam is family.  When Nora and Tara growl at each other a bit, Eric points out that Tara is family too.  Back at the Stackhouse farm, Jason is having hallucinations of his parents when Eric, Nora and Tara show up.  Eric is all, Sookie, I need to you help me rescue Bill, Jessica and Pam from the Authority; Tara growls, "You owe Pam."  Nora: "You smell like something I once dreamed of."  Sookie: "Eric, tell your sister to stop looking at me like that."  Heh.  Jason's hallucinations urge him not to help the vampires but Eric explains what is going on, saying that if anyone can get through to Bill, it's Sookie.  Tara:"And you owe Pam."  The Stackhouse siblings agree and everyone mounts up.

Sam goes back to the cells, gives Luna the update that "apparently [Bill] has lost his motherfucking mind."  He tells her that if the guards come for her, she should shift and hide in the ductwork, and then they'll come back later for Emma.  Later, he comes back and says he's got a plan.  In another part of the cells, Jessica tells Pam that Bill and Eric are acting like they're in a religious cult.  Pam's like, I can totally believe that about Bill.  Heh.  She also remarks that one of the worst parts of being immortal is having to watch the same stupid shit happen over and over and over again:  "It's usually just the humans, though.  I guess this just proves we're just as fuckin' retarded as they are."

Ugh: Alcide and his dad grill up a buck they took down that morning.  Blah blah blah.  Then Martha drives up with Ricki (the hot she-wolf Alcide has been banging) screaming in the backseat.  She's on the verge of ODing on the low quality V she's been forced to ingest.  They take her inside Alcide's dad's trailer to detox her.  As she gets more lucid, Ricki tells the others how JD forced her to take the V and how the older wolves forced themselves on the younger females.  This is clearly not how packs work and Alcide gets all het-up about it.  His dad says the only way to fight JD is to play at his own game: he just happens to have some high quality vampire blood in the fridge and if Alcide takes just a little, it'll up his game enough to beat JD.

Back in Bon Temps, at Merlotte's, Arlene, Holly and Lafayette takes advantage of the boss being away to get their drink on and dance a bit.  Then Andy and pregnant fairy Mirella come in.  Andy ruins Holly's buzz by telling her about Mirella.  Holly gets pretty damn pissed.  But then Mirella goes into labor and Holly has to play midwife, laying the fairy out on the pool table and delivering four (!) babies while Arlene and Lafayette watch, fascinated.  Then Mirella hops up, kisses Andy on the cheek and says that the babies are his to take care of now.  She skips out of the bar and Holly gives Andy some serious stinkeye.

Sam's great escape plan is for Luna to skinwalk into Steve Newlin, fetch puppy-Emma out of the cells and take her for a walk, while housefly-Sam hitches a ride.  Steve-Luna almost makes it out of HQ  but (1) the receptionist gets suspicious when s/he forgets to use the real Steve's Southern accent and (2) Roslyn accosts Steve-Luna in the elevator, saying it is time for his television broadcast.  Things fall apart quickly as Luna starts to get sick from the skinwalking in the studio, unable to hold the shift and changing back into herself.  Roslyn starts to lose her shit and housefly-Sam awesomely flies down her throat AND THEN SHIFTS BACK TO HIMSELF WHILST INSIDE HER.  That was SO GREAT.  Then Luna passes out.

Back to the werewolves: Alcide finds JD and his followers stringing up a vampire in the middle of the woods, looking to bleed him for more V.  Martha and Alcide's dad have his back as Alcide starts pummeling JD: "I think you won this one, son."  But Alcide isn't finished and snaps JD's neck.  The rest of the pack kneel before him as he lays down the law for them.  "Tonight, we choose the pack."

Salome goes to the Lilith shrine, intending to drink the blood and accept her calling.  But Bill intercepts her.  She drinks the blood but he has switched it out for blood laced with silver.  They struggle a little as she realizes his betrayal and then he stakes her.  Thus endeth Salome.  Meanwhile, Eric and Nora drive back into HQ, with Sookie, Jason and Tara tied up in the back as "prisoners."  Once inside, everyone gears up and Jason takes great light in offing as many Authority vamps as he can.  The rest of them go deeper into HQ, Eric and Nora slaughtering a whole squadron of guards without batting an eye.  Sookie and Tara go to the cells while Nora and Eric go to the control room to disarm and unlock everything.  Pam, to Tara: "What the fuck are you doing here?"  Tara: "Rescuing your ass, bitch."  When the cell doors open, Tara walks in and plants a big ol' kiss on her maker.  As they make out, Sookie's jaw drops while Jessica grins: "I knew it!"

Eric sends everyone else out while he and Sookie track down Bill.  They find him in the chancellors' chamber, clutching the real Lilith blood.  They try to reason with him but he is way too far gone (I just don't buy this from the character - Bill has always been searching for something but this religious crap doesn't fit for me).  As they watch, he drinks the Lilith blood.  He shudders, shakes and then dissolves into a pool of blood!  Sookie cries out, burying her face in the equally stunned Eric's chest.  But then the pool of blood shimmers and moves, and Bill re-emerges, fully formed, naked and blood-covered.  (Sookie: "Fuck ....")  Bill's eyes open and his fangs pop out and he roars at them.  Eric shoves Sookie behind him, screaming, "Run!"

There you go, True Blood.  That's the sort of episode I've been waiting for all season.  Try to keep it up for S6.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

Friday, September 12, 2014

True Blood episode recap S5E11 "Sunset"

Bill has never been my favorite True Blood character and the religious conversion he's experienced this season has done nothing to redeem him.  So when the penultimate episode of S5 starts off with Bill wandering through Authority HQ, hearing Lilith intoning his name and telling him that she chooses him to lead - drink all my blood! - I'm all, meh.  For a while I was thinking that he was playing a long con but now I'm pretty sure that he's a religious nut.  And not even the interesting kind.

Nora, on the other hand, is having second thoughts in the aftermath of Vision Lilith having ripped Vision Godric's throat out.  She hides her misgivings from Salome, however.  Meanwhile, Jessica has had enough of this nonsense and wants to go home to protect Jason (and Sookie) from Russell and Steve Newlin.  Bill blah blah blah humans are trivial and Lilith says we should convert or eat them.  Jessica thinks of a way out, suggesting that she go back to Bon Temps to change Jason into a vampire.  Bill calls her bluff and sends her there to do just that, chaperoned by a couple of Authority thugs to make sure she goes through with it.  Also meanwhile, Eric frets about the Lilith/Godric vision until Nora shows up and then they console each other with sex.  It seems a bit gratuitous and pointless but there hasn't been much sex this season, so I'll allow it.  They also make plans to escape.

Later that evening, some human General Muckety-muck of the U.S. military comes to the Authority for a meeting.  He's all, WTF are you goddamn crazy-ass bloodsuckers going?  The U.S. goverment has weaponry you can't imagine that will wipe you vamps off the planet if you don't get back in line and get with the mainstreaming.  They're all, we're a sanguinist administration now, so get used to it.  The general: we own the day and you vampires don't stand a fucking chance.  So Eric jumps up and snaps the general's neck.  The chancellors freak out a bit until Eric and Nora volunteer to go topside and do a glamouring campaign/damage control.

Back in Bon Temps, Jason finds Jessica and the vampire thugs waiting for him at his house.  She tries to shake her chaperones, but they won't budge; she tries to get Jason to read between the lines and trust her, but Jason is so damn dim that he's not picking up what she's laying down.  So she whispers, "Trust me!" and then bites him.  Later, as the thugs shovel dirt over Jess and Jason, she has managed to convey enough of the plan to him that he is able to jump up and shoot both thugs, turning them both to slush.  She tells him about Russell Edgington and Steve Newlin being on the loose and he takes off, saying that he's got to go warn Sookie.

Over at Fangtasia, Pam and Tara have cleaned up the remains of Sheriff Elijah.  Pam is panicking a little about the Authority coming down on them for this.  Jessica shows up, bloodstained tears tracking down her face and asking to be hidden from Bill's thugs.  Pam is reluctant until Jessica mentions that she knows where Eric is.  (Currently, he and Nora are ditching (staking) their Authority security detail and running away.)  Jessica tells Pam and Tara about the situation in the Authority.  Pam says that Bill's weird behavior is due to vampire nesting: too many vampires in too close quarters.  When she stomps off, annoyed at having to hang out with baby vamps, Jessica asks Tara if she has a thing for Pam and Tara is all, no! never!  Jessica apologizes, saying that she is just trying to be friends because she likes Tara.  Tara sniffs that maybe she'll bring her a fangbanger later.  When Tara goes upstairs, Chancellor Roslyn is there.  The sheriff was her progeny and she's looking for his murderer.  She focuses in on Tara but Pam steps up, saying she killed the little asshole because he annoyed her.  Roslyn arrests Pam to take her back to the Authority and, on the way out of the club, sniffs out the hiding Jessica and grabs her too, saying, "Your daddy is looking for you."

Sookie, who has been hanging out at the fairy nightclub, is introduced to the Elder (Wallace Phennell's mom from Veronica Mars!), who is weird and flaky because she's so old and has too much stuffed in her brain.  She's a bit annoying, actually, but she looks pretty.  All she manages to tell Sookie is that she and Warlow are inextricably connected and a dark time is coming so Sookie should hold onto her light.  Jason shows up and fills Sookie and the fairies in: Russell and Steve are on the hunt and Bill (and Eric) are religious nuts and won't be coming to save her.  The Elder freaks out when he says that Russell is still alive.  Sookie tries to rally the troops, saying that they need to fight back against Russell.  Unexpectedly, the Elder agrees: they, the fairy tribe of Bon Temps will join Sookie in battle.

On the other side of town/storylines I don't care about, Holly makes her rude sons apologize to Andy for being jerks to him and he in turn promises that he is going to do right by their momma.  A little later, the fairy Mirella who Andy hooked up with a week or so ago shows up at Merlotte's: she is super-pregnant and the baby is Andy's - apparently fairy pregnancies are rather different than human pregnancies - she's expecting him to do right by her and protect her in the coming battle against the vampires.  In other news, a shirtless Alcide is putting a silver-plated fence up around his daddy's trailer to keep the rampaging packs of new baby vamps out.  I have to think that a silver-plated fence is awfully expensive.  That night, three baby vamps do show up.  The fence keeps them out but then they go over to the neighboring trailer, who doesn't have a fancy fence.  Alcide goes out and tangles with them and between him and his dad, they manage to kill off all the baby vamps.

Back at the Authority, Sam and Luna have been roaming the corridors as mice and finally find Emma, in puppy form, in the cells.  They shift back to human form to try to get her out but guards come in to fetch "Chancellor Compton" his breakfast.  (Chancellor Compton meanwhile is upstairs killing off Chancellor Doctore (Peter Mensah, but I can't be bothered to remember his name)).  Sam, upon hearing Bill's name, volunteers as breakfast.  As he is led out of the cells, Pam is being let in.  They both do double takes at each other: "What the fuck are you doing here?"  Sam calls out that she should help Luna.  Pam, increasingly annoyed: "Who the fuck is Luna?"  Jessica is sent in to Bill who is rather furious with her: he punches her across the room, snarling that he is the chosen one.  Of course, a couple of rooms away, Lilith is telling Salome that she choose her to lead.

That night, Russell and Steve find Jason at Sookie's farmhouse.  Russell immediately glamours him and he leads them right to the field where the fairies are hiding.  Russell, to Steve: Who know how to show you a good time?  Steve: You do!  When they get to the field, both Russell and Steve get all giddy and drooling over the delicious fairy smell saturating the place.  The fairies hide out in their sanctuary, scared.  The Elder comes out and when Steve rushes her, she zaps him across the field.  But when she tries the same with Russell, he is just too strong and he muckles onto her neck, draining her dry.  Now he's nearly drunk on her blood and it allows him to see the fairy sanctuary.  "Oh," he moans, staring at the frightened fairies, "I would LOVE to come to dinner!"

Well, what do you know?  Finally, 10.5 episodes into S5, things start to get fun.

Previously on True Blood / next time on True Blood

PS - Anyone else got their hopes up for American Horror Story: Freak Show?  I do!