It's time for an Authority Takeover Party!

It's time for an Authority Takeover Party! (HBO / August 26, 2012)

Were you expecting Bill Compton to have a master plan? To be nice Bill all along and not some crazy vampire religious zealot?

It could have happened that way. But yeah, it didn't. The opposite happened.

When Eric and Sookie track him down in his Massive Master Authority Crazy Person Bedchamber, Bill has just staked Salome (I'd say R.I.P. to Salome, but it wouldn't mean it), having tricked her into drinking "Lilith's blood" that he has spiked with lots of silver.

Some major "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" stuff here (before she's staked, Salome even says "she chose wisely), but Bill has the real vial of blood. And he's thirsty.

"This isn't you," Sookie urges Bill.

Oh, but it is. For all Sookie knows, Bill says, he could have been lying to her the whole time. You know, being sweet and sensitive and Southern gentleman farmer vamp and whatnot. Sookie cries as Bill goes on a religious sermon-rant.

"I told you the first time we met: vampires often turn on those they love the most," Bill says and he downs the Lilith blood.

He starts to cough. Blood spews from his various orifices and he explodes, vampire true-death style. I gasped. Even my roommates, who were watching with me and don't particularly like the show but I make them watch, gasped as well.

Major character death?

Not quite. Eric watches as the pool of blood that was once Bill starts to move, and Bill, what the hell, rises, naked, blood-covered male-Lilith style (Milith?).

And he roars at them.

Sookie: "F---."

Eric: "Run."

How's that for a cliffhanger? Truthfully, I've been particularly unimpressed with this wildly uneven season. But the season finale (written by show creator Alan Ball, who is stepping away from running the show after this season) delivered in a big way -- with gruesome deaths, a pretty badass Authority takeover mission and one big development in Tara and Pam's relationship.

But let's backtrack to where the core of the cast ended up at the Authority. And the beginning of the episode got things rolling with a big, big shocker.

Russell Edgington died. In the first two minutes.

Battling the fairylight from the group in invisible fairyland, Russell seems to be able to fight them all off. He laughs his crazy villain laugh until -- surprise -- Eric shows up and stakes him.

"Well that felt even better that I thought it would," Eric says. Yes, Eric was pretty much the moral compass (really) and savior of this episode.

Sookie runs away from her fairy kin to look after Jason who was knocked out by misplaced fairylight, which apparently made him really, really hate vampires. He is done with them. He sees his parents telling him to hate vampires, which doesn't really help (sidenote: a major unresolved plotline here is not discovering which vampire killed Sookie's parents, the Worlo character. I'm assuming that's saved for Season 6? Or something?)

Anyway, Sookie and Jason regroup at her house (aka: run away from Nora who wants to eat her because she smells good). Soon, Eric, Nora and Tara appear to recruit Sookie to help storm the Authority building and recue Jessica, Pam, Bill and Everyone Else in Bon Temps. It was awkward watching Tara, who basically ignores Sookie, matter-of-factly tell her that she owes Pam this (Pam, after all, saved Tara's life by turning her).