When it comes to discussing True Blood there are always a dozen different characters and half a dozen storylines that you could pick apart at any one time. There are dozens of websites that are fangtastic at providing general episode recaps. So when I was asked to write something for True Bites, I thought that I might narrow my focus in the hopes of providing you readers with something different and worth your while. In light of my interest in Bill, the politics of the vampires and this year’s theme of Church versus State I realized that discussing the Authority, in all of its aspects, would be a perfect fit. This column aims to break down the Authority-related storyline and how it fits into mythology of True Blood. There will be some recapping as is necessary, but won’t go over all the fine points. That being said, let’s take a look at episode 5.01 – “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
Because this the premiere this episode largely served as a set up for the broader storyline at hand. Although we have yet to meet Roman or the council or see the “Vampire White House” as it were, the episode did set up some questions for us to ponder until next week. Let’s take a look at what did stand out, aside from the rather warm reception Eric gave his sister.
The Ambush at Bill’s – Of the three things we’ll be discussing, this was the most obvious and expected for several reasons: you don’t work for the Authority for almost seven centuries and not know how to protect yourself, they had to know that Nan would try something and on the simplest level you could say she was followed to make sure the job was done. When you break it down, however, something isn’t adding up.
Nan only had three men with her. Bill had a half dozen with him when he ordered Sophie Anne shot, and there appeared to be another half dozen on hand to bring in Bill and Eric. Why was she given so few men? Furthermore, Eric and Bill clearly expected more time to make a getaway – they had a sense of urgency, but not the same sense that say, Sookie had when dealing with Tara.
So the question remains: was the plan all along to have Eric and Bill kill Nan and then bring them in or did they think that Nan would successfully convince them to join the ‘other faction’ that has been hinted at since Season 4 or a little bit of both? There’s definitely some paranoia going on there, but at the same point in time the Authority seems to be going to great lengths to bring in Bill and Eric as we’ll see later.
Nora thanking Bill for handling Marnie. – This was the most obvious reference to the troubles within the Authority. We know for a fact that there are two definite factions: the mainstreamers and the Sanguinistas who are the side of “humans are cattle” but it seems like there’s got to be a more moderate camp that may not see humans as cattle, but also don’t want to coexist so badly that they’re willing to risk their very existence in a way that Roman seems to be pushing towards – remember how even Bill began turning away from Roman’s agenda in the last third of Season 4? We don’t know all the sides or all the players, but they do exist and this was a nod to that.
The team ambushing Nora and her allies at the dock. – We’ve now increased from a half dozen men to a full dozen snipers and a guy on a bullhorn. We have a handful of dead allies, yet Bill, Eric and Nora all still live when it would have been easy to just take them out as well. In the grand scheme, Bill and Eric just aren’t that important. Why not kill them and be done with it? It probably is something as simplistic as torture before death, but feels like it should be something more complex than that.
As I said at the beginning, this was an episode of set up so we didn’t really see much and I fully anticipate us getting many more questions than answers in the next week or two. Regardless, I hope this has given you some food for thought and I’ll see you next week for “The Authority Always Wins.”