True Blood: Season 4, Episode 1
The wait between seasons of True Blood is almost too long to bear. Thankfully, the season premieres never fail to disappoint. It was so exciting to see True Blood back in werid and fascinating form.
The episode picked up right where the Season 3 finale left off. Betrayed and heartbroken, Sookie followed Claudine to the fairy world which looked about like HBO’s version of Pixie Hollow. In short order, Sookie met her long-lost grandfather (and guest star), Gary Cole. After discovering that he had no idea that he had been missing for 20 years, Sookie realized that something was rotten in Fairy World.
Sookie tried to warn her grandad, but since everyone is Fairy World is a telepath her warning caught everyone’s attention. Soon, Sookie was confronted by the leader of the fairies, Mab. Mab didn’t mess around. She wasn’t having any of Sookie’s nonsense and tried to force her to eat the mind-numbing “light fruit”. Sookie busted out some kind of fairy power and knocked Mab on her ass.
Immediately, the Pixie Hollow facade disappeared and the fairies were revealed for the hideous, lightning ball throwing creatures that they were. The shit hit the fan as Sookie and her granddad fled the scene. They found themselves dodging lightning in a battle between two fairy factions. Mab and her crew wanted to seal off the fairy world from humans. But Claudine’s brother led a group of fairies that helped Sookie escape in order to keep the human world open.
In order to escape, Sookie had to take a leap of faith into a giant ravine. When she hesitated, grandad Earl pushed her over the edge. Although he had been warned not to take the leap himself (due to his consuming the light fruit) Earl went into the ravine with Sookie.
They landed very conveniently on Stackhouse property. Sookie took her grandfather to the graves of her parents and Gran. Earl was clearly dying due to the lightfruit. So he said his goodbyes and gave Sookie a watch to pass on to Jason. Bye, bye Gary Cole!
Sookie returned home to find her house was being renovated. The workers didn’t recognize her and threatened to call the police. Sookie welcomed the offer of police involvement to explain what was going on. Sometimes Sookie can be a little dense. Given her grandfather’s 20 year absence, it was pretty obvious she had been a way for a while.
This was confirmed when the police showed up. The first officer on the scene was none other than Sookie’s brother. Given how things left off last season, I’ll be interested to see how Jason got on to the force. Jason dropped the bombshell on Sookie that she had been away for just over a year. During that time, everyone just assumed Bill had killed her.
The leap forward was a brilliant move on the part of the show-runners. Season 3 had gotten a little bogged down. Three seasons of heaping tragedy upon tragedy had left most of the characters in a state where they were no longer relatable.
Everyone needed some time to move past their drama so that they could start suffering anew. But no one wanted to watch a season of “moving on”. Now, we don’t have to. And any important or interesting bits (like how Jason became a cop) can be doled out in flashbacks.
From here on out, the episode mostly consisted of reveals of what was going on in Bon Temps one year after we last checked in. Sherrif Andy showed up at the house ranting and raving about all the work he had put in to solving the case of Sookie’s murder. It was soon revealed that Andy has developed an addition to V.
Lafayette was still dating Jesus. It had been months since his last vision. But Jesus was still trying to coax Lafayette to embrace his inner witch. They started attending some kind of coven spell circle. Lafayette was a reluctant participant. You can just tell no good will come from this. It’s True Blood, after all.
Meanwhile, Tara has fled Bon Temps. She has taken up cage fighting and is in what appears to be a healthy romantic relationship with fellow cage fighter, Naomi. It was good to see Tara happy and relatively well adjusted after three seasons of her just being a mess. But since she is lying to Naomi about everything (including her name) you know her happiness will be short-lived. Again, that’s how True Blood rolls.
Jessica and Hoyt are playing house together. But the strains of a human/vampire household are already getting to them. Jessica won’t cook for Hoyt and apparently Hoyt isn’t progressive enough to cook for himself. If my significant other could rip my throat open and drink my blood, I might think twice about throwing a temper tantrum over eggs. But, Hoyt has no such concerns.
They laugh off their troubles and go to Fangtasia for a date night. Here we see that Jessica is having problems with her monogamous lifestyle. Pam confronts her in the bathroom and tells her it is unnatural for a vampire to live this way. Jessica stomps off in a huff, but you get the impression Pam is not wrong. At least where Jessica is concerned.
Jason is still taking care of the hillbilly shape-shifters in Hot Shot. God bless him! I would have let these ingrates fend for themselves. But new Jason is stepping up to responsibility in all kinds of surprising ways. Jason’s reward is that he gets hit over the head with a baseball bat and locked in a broken refrigerator. He may be more responsible, but he hasn’t gotten any smarter.
Arlene has had her baby and she’s still concerned that he’s evil. Little Mikey adds to her concern by snapping the heads off of Barbie dolls. Terry tries to tell her that this is normal behavior for a little boy. But Arlene’s not convinced.
In the least compelling storyline of the night, it was revealed that Sam shot his brother Tommy in the leg. Sam is now paying for Tommy’s physical therapy and Tommy is living with Hoyt’s mom. Sam has taken up with a group of well-to-do shape shifters and appears to be drifting further away from humanity.
The most compelling updates centered on Bill and Eric. Presumably having killed Queen Sophie Anne, Bill has risen to the rank of King of Louisiana. He told Sookie that he had busied himself in her absence. From all appearances, he has become a very successful politician.
Meanwhile, Eric purchased Sookie’s house. That allowed him to sneak up on her after her episode ending shower and proclaim that she was his.
I love the way the show is balancing Bill and Eric. Neither of them is a villain. But they sure ain’t heroes either. You could make a case for either Eric or Bill as Sookie’s soul mate. Although if Sookie had half a brain she’d probably run away from both of them as quickly as possible. Fortunately for us, Sookie’s more of a feeler than a thinker.
And so, a new season of True Blood is up and running and all the characters have new and improve status quo’s. The writing’s already on the wall for most of them. Things never end well in Bon Temps. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.