Throughout this most recent season of the hit series "True Blood," one rivalry has actually come to replace the old Bill vs. Eric dynamic, and that is the tense and antagonistic (and recently downright deadly) relationship between Russell and Roman. So, whose side should we be on, Team Russell or Team Roman?
When it comes to the powers that each of these powerful vampires can wield, the result is pretty much a draw. While Roman has the full brunt of the Authority behind him (or so we are led to believe), Russell is both incredibly manipulative and incredibly powerful. What's more, they are both willing to do whatever it takes to see their own ends and purposes achieved, even if that means that they have to resort to actions that most would see as morally questionable. However, Russell does have a bit of an edge on Roman, as he doesn't let any qualms about killing humans get in his way.
Along the same lines, both Russell and Roman are incredibly charismatic and appealing characters precisely because their temperaments are so much larger than life. Neither of them can really be contained within the spheres of their relative influence, and they practically leap off of the screen toward us as viewers, so powerful is the magnetism that they manage to bring to the story. In fact, their presence in Season 3 (Russell) and Season 4 (both of them) have managed to make those respective seasons some of the strongest the series has yet produced.
Finally, there is the all-important consideration of the actors themselves. Without a doubt, both Denis O'Hare and Christopher Meloni are some of the most talented stars in the business, with both television and film credits under their belt. As a result, they are both able to bring an incredibly diverse and complex range of emotions to these characters, so that we understand them in ways that we may not of some of the more enigmatic or flat characters (Sookie comes to mind here). The actors, perhaps more than anything else, come in as equals.
So, who ultimately wins the battle? Well, in terms of the "true death," it seems like Russell is going to win this one. However, even though it looks like Roman will be no more, he still casts a long shadow, and Russell will have to do quite a lot before he can be declared the true victor of this titanic battle of wills.