Sam had a bit of trauma to endure this episode.

Sam had a bit of trauma to endure this episode. (HBO / July 8, 2012)

"Took you long enough." -- Russell Edgington

So they finally found Russell. Because no one thinks to search in the creepy asylum for a vampire seeking to be reborn.

Seriously, the asylum was like a low-rent haunted house run by high schools students. Dark corridors? Check. Rats? Check. Rats feeding on body parts? Check. Soon-to-be victims hanging on meat hooks? Check.

But yes, Russell is alive. And looking sort-of well. He's in good enough spirits to make genteel, witty quips. "What infernal racket you people have been making," he tells Sookie, Alcide, Bill and Eric when they discover him in bed.

After a few episodes of searching, the Big Russell Discovery seemed a bit anticlimatic. But welcome. I've missed Russell and his fun brand of evil shenanigans.

All it took was Bill and Eric recruiting Sookie to help with the search. Walking in on her and Alcide about to get down to business (yes, I just wrote "down to business." This is a family newspaper, after all), Bill and Eric informs her that they need her thoughts-reading powers to track down the owner of the parking garage where Russell was buried.

Sookie does her thing and sees the guys vision of being visited by a female Authority member (IDed by her necklace, but we can't see her face...dun dun dun) and being glamoured to help her move Russell to the asylum where he's been feeding and gaining strength. My money's on Salome as the ultimate "traitor." Anyone else?

The discovery couldn't have happened at a better time. The Authority was about to terminate Bill and Eric with that handy iStake app by dawn if they hadn't located Russell.

When they view him, Eric promises that "we came to finish what we started."

"Give it your best shot," Russell says.

And Eric's about to, baring his fangs and such, before there's a loud distracting noise and Alcide seems to turn into a werewolf and howl.

Clearly, the end of Russell won't happen for a new more episodes (if it happens at all), but I really hopes he sticks around because the rest of the subplots are lacking.

During the show, a friend of mine texted that there seems to be much potential in the whole Authority vs. Sanguinistas plot that has yet to materialize. I agree. First of all, the rebel Sanguinistas have a really cool name. Secondly, I want to see more of a straight-up mainstreamers vs. rebels battle.

I don't count Roman killing chancellor Drew as a battle. I also don't count his dramatic soliloquies as battles either.

TARA GONE WILD: Thankfully, we have fun Tara Getting Used to Vampire Life situations to occupy our time as a viewer. She appears at Fangtasia dressed as a mini-Pam: big hair, tight bustier, mean attitude, etc.

"If I wanted to look like a drag queen, I would have worn Lafayette's clothes," Tara tells Pam.

Sadly, Tara, the former surly bartender at Merlotte's, is now the new surly bartender at Fangtasia. Tara's life = still depressing even as a badass vamper.

Tara's first gig doesn't go well -- she succumbs to temptation and almost feeds on a patron before Pam puts a halt to that -- but she does have a new friend in Jessica ... for a moment.

One second, Jessica is sympathizing with Tara as a baby vamp. Later, she's discovering Tara feeding on ex-boyfriend Hoyt and getting into a bar fight at Fangtasia. I don't know who I'd put money on in a Tara-Jessica fight. Probably Tara.

SERIOUSLY ... A FIRE MONSTER: Just when you thought the Terry and Patrick subplot couldn't get more ridiculous and random ... this happened. Tied up as hostages in the creepy basement of their former comrade, Brian, the pair try to talk their way to freedom.

But not before more flashbacks. And Brian telling them that he saw a fire monster kill one of their comrades recently. Like, a monster formed from smoke and fire. It's called an "Ifrit," we learn and is apparently a real supernatural figure in Arabian culture (thanks, Wikipedia!).

The Ifrit is tracking the soldiers down because one of the victims of the shooting in Iraq was still alive for a second enough to curse the men with the fire monster before she was burned alive with her fellow villagers. Got that?

Terry actually remembers seeing said fire monster and convinces Brian to untie them so they can all run away. Again, from a FIRE MONSTER. Instead, Patrick tied up Brian (Patrick doesn't believe in the monster and thinks Brian's just crazy-dangerous) and the fire monster kills Brian.

Where will this plot go from here. Hopefully, nowhere.

SHIFTER ASSASSINS?: Investigating the deaths of Sam's shifter buddies, Andy discovers that the two were shot in a drive-by (yes, a drive-by in Bon Temps). Later, Sam visits Luna and tells her what happens before he is attacked from the distance by a masked mob in a pick-up truck. He's shot before Luna is shot in the stomach and appears to die. Emma gets away by shifting into a dog and running off.

Was one of the shooters wearing an Obama mask? Not sure what that's supposed to mean, unless the mob is having some sort of updated "Point Break" fantasy.

PARENTAL CONTROL: What was the aftermath of Jason and Andy's trip to fairyland. Jason wakes up in a dream from childhood (except he's an adult and wearing some super-sweet Masters of the Universe jammies).

It's Christmas (little Sookie is there!) and the Stackhouses are having a nice breakfast until Jason sees vampire bites and blood spurting from the necks of his parents (refresher: cousin Hadley told Jason last episode that his parents were killed by vampires).

I wonder if Jason's going to explore this further -- or tell Sookie?

Meanwhile, all that happens to Andy is that we wakes up naked and Arlene spots him and is scandalized. If you're keeping score, Andy has been nude twice this season. Twice.

JESUS!: Lafayette, meanwhile, is visited by Jesus. Well, Jesus' severed head with his lips sewn up like a tourist shrunken head. I know Lafayette is battling his whole inner-black-magic-demon, but what the hell is going on here. Even his schizophrenic mom, Ruby Jean (Alfre Woodard) sees Jesus' head. If it weren't for Terry's situation, this would be the most ridiculously random plot.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM 'LET'S BOOT AND RALLY'

Not the best first move: When Sookie removes Alcide's shirt in her bedroom, she can no longer hold her liquor and pukes all over her shoes. I imagine this doesn't happen often to a shirtless Joe Manganiello.

ERIC IS NOT A BIG APPLE FAN: "New York City smells like pee and the people are rude," he summarizes.

WORST LOOK: Hoyt, in full fang-banger mode, wears a purple shirt with cut-off sleeves.

LEAST-RELATABLE RELATIONSHIP PROBLEM: Andy tells Jason that he's not going to let a little thing like "sex with fairies" get in the way of the good thing he has going on with Holly.

FUNNIEST THINGS THAT CAME TO LIFE: Lafyette's group of religious icons start to move and talk to him. I think I heard one say, "Life is suffering bitch."