This week's True Blood is a riff on grief and mourning, especially on how to move through the pain to find strength to go on. It is a slower paced episode than last week's installment and the plots with the emotional heft to withstand scrutiny float to the top, while the weaker plots continue to sink. Fortunately, the vampire politics/revenge story gets a lot of focus, because that story thread continues to rivet attention as it moves from sweet affirmations of love to megalomaniacal world domination threats and nails every scene. Denis O'Hare as Russell Edgington has a big night as he delivers breaking news to the humans: Vampires are not just like you. They want to eat you. After they eat your children.
Last week, Eric exacted his revenge for Russell having his family killed by killing Talbot. During his stay with Russell, Eric appeared to be thinking on his feet, trying to use the king to save himself and Pam from the Magister while using Talbot to get to the king, with an eye to doing what he could for Sookie if the opportunity presented. This week, as he flies back to Fangtasia, he shows he didn't have the benefit of a master plan when he did so and his demeanor inspires Pam to utter that unwelcome phrase: "Should I be panicking?"
The answer is no, as Eric may have been put into check in his chess game with the king, but he is not surrendering. The show is always on firm ground when the vampires have to deal with the human world and vice versa, so the focus on the uneasy border between the two worlds is wonderful stuff. Eric decides to draw on the connections between humans and vampires as he drops any games and simply tells the Authority (so far, three well dressed and techno-savvy vampires in silhouette) the story of his family's massacre and why he's been pursuing Russell for a thousand years. He is open about his grief at losing his human family and his need for vengeance to cope with the loss. He is also able to point out Russell Edgington has been feeding werewolves V for centuries as he uses them to try and bring about the down fall of humans and if that isn't bad enough, his take on current vampire politics is "F*** the Authority."