True Blood Season 4 opener: too slow or just right? (spoilers)

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Last night was the premiere of True Blood’s first episode for season 4, one of twelve. First of all, much love to HBO for creating HBOGo, where I’ve been able to get these excellent screenshots. It’s free for HBO subscribers and incredibly convenient. (I’ve also been watching Game of Thrones this weekend and have a couple episodes left to go. That show is amazing.)

A lot of time was spent in this episode establishing where the characters are, introducing new characters and catching us up. The show dragged in parts, but the last fifteen minutes were very well done and included many promising plot twists for the coming season.

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This episode opened with a very dumb sequence featuring Sookie in fairy land. We’ve already seen the first eight minutes as they were released by HBO online, and they were disappointing. In that sequence she reunited with her grandfather, a fairy, and when the two of them escaped from the fairy realm Sookie’s grandfather died shortly after re-entry. There was a lot of melodrama as she watched him pass away in the cemetary. (Update: read Sofiel’s comment below. It’s not the case that this was the same fairy grandfather character from the books, it was supposedly her real grandfather stuck in fairy land.) This varied quite a bit from the books in that 1. she never knew this man as her true grandfather until he told her he was and 2. he used to flit in and out of the fairy realm and visit her. From what I remember there was no big death sequence, at least not this early on, and he was a very likable recurring character that used to help her out. It’s too bad they went this route with the series.

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When Sookie got back to her house it was under construction. Her brother Jason returned to tell her that she had been missing for over a year and he’d sold it to some company that had been doing renovations. Sookie told him it felt like she’d been gone for just 15 minutes, and conveyed the message from their grandfather. Jason said “I believe you, but if you start telling people that you time traveled to a land of fairies, they gonna put you away.”

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Bill came right at dusk and told Sookie he thought she’d died after he didn’t feel her presence for over a year. She was a little cold to him, and later said that to her it felt like just an hour ago that he’d broken her heart.

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Eric showed up with his snarling hotness to say that everyone else had abandoned Sookie when they thought she was dead, but that he never gave up hope. “I knew you weren’t dead. I’d never lost hope… understand this. Everyone who claims to love you, your friends, your brother, Bill Compton. They all gave up on you. I never did.”

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Then Sheriff Andy showed up to lighten the mood. He was unintentionally funny as hell and scolded Sookie for disappearing for a year. Bill covered for her, claimed she was on official vampire business and promised he would pay back the search efforts. Andy got upset and yelled at Sookie “For 13 straight months I’ve had that open case on my books. If it weren’t for you, this years Louisiana’s safe streets plaque would be on my wall and not f’ing Webster Parrish. You owe me a plaque!

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In the police cruiser, Jason busted Andy for using V. I just wanted to include the screenshot above. I love Jason.

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Lafayette and his boyfriend Jesus then went to a witches circle although Lafayette protested about it. The dead vampire that Jason’s ex girlfriend killed, Eddie, talked to Lafayette through a witch and freaked him out, causing him to leave.

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Then we saw Jessica and Hoyt having typical domestic issues. They fought over the fact that Jessica never cooks for him. She angrily served him up a bunch of broken uncooked eggs and he ate some of it. Then they laughed over it.

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The next scene was one of the best in this episode, and involved Eric doing a PSA for vampire relations while Bill attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at a Bon Temps retirement home. Eric croons to the camera “Who would you rather trust, a vampire or a politician?” This scene also introduced (spoiler for future episodes) Portia Bellefleur, Bill’s future love interest in the books. She’s much prettier on the show than she’s described in the books.

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We then saw that Tara has moved to New Orleans, where she is involved in some kind of underground women’s fighting ring. She’s in a relationship with the woman she was fighting with, and they made out outside the venue. The other woman called her “Tony” and in a later scene revealed that she thinks Tara is from Atlanta. It’s clear that Tara lies to her girlfriend and has fabricated a lot of her past.

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Sookie went to Merlottes to catch up with everyone. She learned that Arlene and Terry got married and had a baby, and that Tara moved away and sends postcards sometimes. Sam told Sookie that the vampire business must have been really important to keep everyone greiving for a year. He gave her her job back part time.

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Jessica and Hoyt went to Fangtasia, where a hot fangbanger tried to pick up Jessica when Hoyt had his back turned. Jessica ran into the bathroom to clear her head, which is when Pam came in to confront her. This was another excellent scene.

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Jessica said “Me and Hoyt, we moved in together.”

Pam countered “That tree with the plaid shirt, it has a name? He seems sweet and all if you’re into that sort of thing, but if you’re making him bring you here, I have a hunch it’s not enough.

It was his idea, like a date night.”

Pam goaded her “The way you’re eye f’ing fang bangers from across the room, that’s especially romantic. You have no reason to feel guilty, you’re a hunter. You’ve never been on your own, you live with a human. Monogamously. [laughs] Sorry, it’s just so ridiculous.”

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Don’t you think if all I wanted to do was kill and f*ck that I’d be out there doing it right now? I don’t know what you saw or what you think you saw, but when I go home tonight I’m going home with the man I love. I’m just sorry that you never had that.

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Sam got drunk at a dinner party with two hot women and a man. They talked about anger management issues. Then they all got naked and a bunch of horses ran out in the night. I guess it was a shapeshifter gathering. I thought it was going to be an orgy at first.

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Jason delivered food to the kids in Hotshot. They talked about how “aunt Crystal” is gone. Then a guy tricked him into looking into a standing freezer, pushing him in and locking it, trapping him inside.

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At the witches circle with Lafayette and Jesus they brought a bird back to life for a moment, surprising everyone.

One of the witches is a spy, and we saw her walking to a heavily guarded mansion afterwards. She sat down in front of a regal looking desk and then addressed “your Majesty,” and it’s Bill! I guess he’s taken over somehow.

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In the final scene, Sookie got naked at her house to get ready for bed, and all of a sudden Eric was there, grunting sexily. “Such a strange sensation when the reality matches what you’ve pictured in your mind so precisely,” he purred.

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She asked him if it was a dream and he said “it’s not a dream, I assure you.”

Then how are you here? I rescinded your invitation.

You don’t own the house anymore,” he said, holding up the keys, “I do.”

Why would you do that, why would you buy my house?

Because I always knew you were alive, and if I owned the house, I would own you.

Then he bared his teeth and walked toward her, “Sookie, you are mine.”

That was it. We won’t be doing these long recaps every week, but I have to say I really enjoyed that episode, especially towards the end. There were plot twists that were stupid, namely the fairy business, but I’m intrigued by the witches, I like that Tara has a whole new life and background she invented, and I love the potential romance between Sookie and Eric. She has to want it, though, it can’t be forced. Eric is going about it the wrong way but he’ll surely be successful in the end. And it will be hot as hell.

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60 Responses to “True Blood Season 4 opener: too slow or just right? (spoilers)”

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  1. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    I thought it started off real slow with the fairy world. Then once Sookie got back and it was like she had been gone a whole year it was the most perfect episode ever. I loved seeing how all the characters had changed. True Blood usually picks up where they leave off which I was expecting them to do this time but that little twist about her being gone a whole year was just badass. OMG it was amazing. I loved everything about it.

    Also if you have a HBO Go account you can watch ep 2 of True Blood early. Since the 4th of July is next week I decided to go ahead watch last night and I am blown away. This season of True Blood is totally gonna blow last season out the water.

  2. marianne says:

    oh please. After that ending, who cares about the rest?

    I WANT ERIC TO DO ME!

  3. Sofiel_67 says:

    Actually Grandpa Earl was a human. He wasn’t Fintan, Sookie’s fairy grandfather. He was part of the human harvesting, which is why he was being forced to eat the magic fruit.

  4. Tigger says:

    Hm, the whole episode was okay. The characters I was really interested in were Pam, Lafayette, Tara, Jason and Jessica and Hoyt.

    But I think I’m the only one who is extremely annoyed by the love triangle. It just seems too much like the Twilight bull. Cheesy lines, dumb speeches, bad acting etc.

    And I found the ending between Sookie and Eric to be exremely creepy and uncomfortable. It felt like rape to me essentially, and if this is the way their ‘romance’ is going, then I don’t know if I want to watch the rest of the season.

  5. Samigirl says:

    The grandfather wasn’t Niall or Fintan, it was Earl Stackhouse, Adele’s husband. He was a human they could harvest, which is why he was eating the light fruit.

    edit: Sorry, Sofiel_67 beat me to it.

  6. Celebitchy says:

    Thanks Sofiel, that confused me and I will edit that part. I thought that was her fairy grandfather and they’d somehow made that character into her actual grandfather too. That’s what I get for laughing through the first part of the show.

  7. Sofiel_67 says:

    No problem! I actually enjoyed the episode, which is surprising since I spent last season fast forwarding through much of it.

    And I’m all for Eric never speaking above a purr again.

  8. mln76 says:

    It was good after the fairy beginning. I was glad they didn’t start immediately in the same place with all the characters. Tara is already less annoying.
    And Eric was really hot.
    My only problem I can’t get HBO Go it’s not available with my internet career yet :(

  9. Praise St. Angie! says:

    sofiel, I think the “harvesting” was of all of the part-fae…like Sookie. the “crown” said “we’ve planted enough seeds” as in, they’ve mated with humans enough. now they need to bring them back to the fae world.

    ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!!!***

    Also, Celebitchy, the FULL 100% fae that helps Sookie in the books is her great grandfather. her half-fae grandfather is the one that mated with Gran (Adele) and disappeared. In the books, the man that Gran was married to is not fae. and it’s her grand-daddy that appears to help her out every so often.

    also, I think that Bill is the King because he either killed or “vanquished” the Queen. and Portia is NOT his lover in the books. That is Selah Pumphrey who I’m guessing is not in the show. also, in the books, the Bellefleurs are actually descendants of Bill’s.

    yeah, I’m a fan…

    EDIT: no, CB, I think you’re right. I think they changed who her grandfather is…that is, WHERE she gets her part-fairy from.

  10. Samigirl says:

    I forgot to add, while all of us girls (and my poor, poor husband) were watching the show, we all kind of thought that it looked like AP is slowly but surely closing up the gap in her teeth. Did it look like that to anyone else? I swear her gap looks smaller.

  11. constance says:

    @Sami. Lawd I hope she gets the gap fixed. I know it’s her “I’m not every blonde- I have a gap” defense, but I find it so distracting on top of her poor acting.

    I’ve found myself fast forwarding through a lot of last season, and I’m not thrilled yet about S4. Oh well, Askars needs more movie deals!

  12. CC says:

    SPOILER ALERT FOR BOOKS:

    Actually, Portia is Bill’s great-great-great-great-great granddaughter. If they made them love interests on the show AND took that route…EEEWWWWWW

  13. Samigirl says:

    @CC-We know Portia and Bill didn’t hook up in the book, so I doubt they will make them do that in the show, what with the ick factor and all. Bill always knew Portia was just using him, but he didn’t mind bc it pissed Sookie off. When I saw Portia on the show for the first time, I assumed it was Selah Pumphrey. She’s so attractive. I remember her from Dexter. Pretty woman, definitely. Portia Bellefleur?
    NO.

    Also, one of the women at my house last night is a Super Lesbian. Seriously. And SHE thinks ASkars is hot. That mans hotness knows no boynds.

  14. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    I’m shocked so many of you enjoyed last nights episode. I’m annoyed with the direction they’re taking with Bills story line. Looks like they’re setting him up to be this seasons villain.

    @praise st. Ange, if you remember, Bill did date Portia briefly in the books.

  15. Celebitchy says:

    Spoiler for books
    I have a crap memory for the books. So Portia and Bill didn’t end up hooking up? I thought they at least dated. – now I remember that he found out that she was his heir and gave money anonymously to the bellefleurs. There was so much going on with the books.

  16. Praise St. Angie! says:

    morticians, they didn’t actually “date”.

    ***MORE BOOK SPOILERS***

    it was a ploy…Portia needed to have some sort of sexual “flavor” (dating a vampire) so she would get noticed and invited to the sex parties; she thought she’d find a suspect in Lafayette’s killing to clear her brother who was suspected of the crime (Lala was found in Andy’s car in the Merlotte’s lot.)

    but she wasn’t ever really his “love interest”, as CB said. they DID “fake-date”, for sure, but Selah was his “lover” in the books.

    too specific? :)

    EDIT: how glad am I that they didn’t kill off Lala in the show?! He’s one of my favorite characters!

    EDIT2: for CB – here you go…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Southern_Vampire_Mysteries_characters

  17. hairball says:

    After the fairy story in the beginning I loved the show. Very clever with the sookie being gone one year.

    LOVE love that Eric owns sookie’s house now. I do think Stephen moyer is a very good actor. Their being married in real life does not distract. You do really see them as bill and sookie.

    I also.watched episode two on hbo go and I am HOOKED. LOVE LOVE the Eric and sookie scenes. SEXY as hell and sweet. Someone mentioned rape above. Eric would never rape sookie. LOVED e.pisode two. Eric is so SEXY. God I love that character.
    Sorry to see Sam’s character is still off. Arlene’s baby plot might actually be interesting

  18. hairball says:

    And Eric and sookie better have sex this season!!

    I hate being addicted to a show.

    If Alex skars and Kate whatshername are doing it. That is one lucky girl. And if he acted like Eric in bed – holy crap.

    I know bill isn’t perfect but I do like his genuine love for sookie. It is very touching to me at least.

  19. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    ***BOOK SPOILERS***

    @praise st. Ange, I forgot about that little subplot (re: bill and Portia dating as part of a cover to help Portia infiltrate the orgy scene). I read the earlier books a long time ago. However, what stuck with me was that he dated her to make Sookie jealous, but that Portia began to have a genuine affection for Bill (which lead to her jealousy of Sookie).

  20. DanDan says:

    Meh…I am so over this show. I don`t find Eric nor Bill sexy on TV. I much prefer them in the books. Awful…just awful.

  21. Chloe says:

    Okay, I still haven’t seen it and I’m not even looking at the article and the comments. I only came to do this:

    *squeak!*

  22. lucy2 says:

    The fairy stuff was awful, and very WTF? And I could do with never again having Sookie sobbing in the graveyard.
    Other than that it was pretty good, mostly due to Eric, Lafayette, Pam, and Jessica. Interesting shift with Bill’s character vs. the books, but I guess they had to give him something to do!

  23. aenflex says:

    Sofiel_67: – he was half.

  24. Taytay says:

    You seriously think Eric is hot in the books? He’s a harlequin caricature in the books, terrie

  25. Linda says:

    I don’t like where they are going with the fairies, Claudine is such a huge part of sookies life and shes a tall blond drink of water in the books, bad portrayal in the show. I can already tell they are going to spend way too much time on the witches just like they did with the maenad. I’m happy they are sticking with keeping Sookie away from bill though. And I miss game of thrones!

  26. the original bellaluna says:

    Who is Portia Bellefleur in relation to Sheriff Andy Bellefleur? (Or is that not his last name?)

    The fae were harvesting half-faes, like Sookie and her “real-life” grandfather – like I said when I saw the first 3 minutes on HBO.com: “Don’t eat the light fruit!”

  27. JuJuBee says:

    This show, for me at least, has totally jumped the shark. The fairy stuff was major eye rolling and sloooooooooooow. Sookie gone a whole year? They seriously need put Tara’s character down like a lame horse. Now she’s a lesbian cage fighter? Still with the angry black chick deal. Seriously?! I think I watched my last True Blood episode last night.

  28. the original bellaluna says:

    Is it wrong of me to think it’s very adorable (albeit creepy) that Eric bought Sookie’s house? He never believed (or so he claims) Sookie was dead. I think he knew she’d still want to live in “her” house, even if he denies it. That was his underlying motivation – trying to win her, and “own” her.

  29. Jen34 says:

    Askars is about as hot as a guy can get, and I relish every moment he is on screen. I also love that he bought Sookie’s house. However, I’m a sucker for Bill because he really loves Sookie. I hope this doesn’t turn into one of those LOST-like love triangles.

  30. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    You guys should know that True Blood is not an adaption of the books, its BASED on the books. Alan Ball isn’t gonna completely follow the storyline in the book.

  31. 4Real says:

    It SUCKED up until the very end and ERIC made me want to watch next week. But, very disappointing for a season premier.

  32. Steph D says:

    I really like this show and the 4th Sookie Stackhouse book is my favorite out of all. It’s Alan’s show, so they can do whatever they want, but I was secretly hoping that they would open the show like how they opened the 4th book…with Eric running around dazed and shirtless until Sookie finds him and helps him.

    SO HOT!

  33. MsGoblin says:

    OMG. The last scene with Eric.

    The moan heard around the world!
    :::swoon:::

  34. rina says:

    @original bellaluna In the books, Portia is Andy’s sister.

    I thought that the 1st episode was meh and a bit disapointed that not 1 thing in the episode remotely had anything to do with the book and was pretty much rediculous.
    I was able to watch the 2nd episode when it came on HBO demand at midnight and was relieved that it got much better. It is nice to see Tara and Sookie not yelling at everybody. I thought Terry and Arlene were hilarious and we finally got to see Eric shirtless!

  35. olivia says:

    How is it possible that Sookie who is probably the stupidest girl in the world first noticed what was happening in fairy land?

  36. UKHels says:

    I’m v jealous you can all watch this but I’m kinda concerned that ASkars is the only reason I’m looking forward to S4 – fast forwarded through a lot of S3 :(

    when you’re watching just for one hot man (no Jason, Alcide, Sam, etc. don’t do it for me AT ALL) then it’s a bit depressing

  37. JM says:

    Though I’m happy the show is back, for a premiere episode, it was more meh for me. Once again, we’ll be juggling umpteen plots in a cast of thousands. I didn’t particularly like how Eric told Sookie he owned the house. Yes, loved the growl & the compliment on her body but claiming her as his & showing fang…just felt off.

    However, I was able to see ep.2 and it does get better. The real creep to watch this season is Bill and you’ll see why in ep.2.

    Sam/shapeshifters, Tara/cagefighting, Arlene/demon baby are going to take up far to much precious screen time this year.

    I’d go back to the books but Charlaine Harris has done her own job mucking everything up so I guess I need to start reading Game of Thrones. That show was EPIC from the opening scene in episode 1 to the final fade in episode 10.

  38. ghoulish_moose says:

    The episode was meh apart from the last few mins.

    I started liking this show a little less since they screwed season 3 up so much. But it’s still watchable…mostly thanks to Eric. Bring on that sexy dominance! =D

  39. Canuck says:

    Did anyone else notice that not only did he buy her house, but he kept her car in the driveway? Can I say “Awwwwwwww” now?

  40. AZ says:

    Just watched the episode.
    That last scene with Eric… I just died.

  41. Jag says:

    Haven’t read the books. The opener was okay. (Eric saved it all.) I was waiting for werewolves, since last I remember, they were trying to kill Sookie. The witch thing isn’t my cup of tea. Guess we’ll see how it goes. (And I hate that my cable provider hasn’t agreed to be a part of HBOGo, so I have to wait. grrr)

  42. Amanda G says:

    I know it’s only the first episode, but I was kind of bummed. It appears as though they are going to stray A LOT from the fourth book and that disappoints me because it’s my favorite one! Loads of Eric in it. So sweet that he bought her house though. I figured that out in the beginning.

    And how lame was the fairy world?

    @SamiGirl – no the gap is still huge. She is such a pretty girl until she smiles.

  43. Erin says:

    I hated the fairy part as well as it looked like something out of a bad sci-fi movie. The witches is a MAJOR part of book 4 so hopefully they will keep on with that. New Orleans was also featured in book 4 so I’m thinking that’s why they placed Tara there.
    The most exciting for me was Eric’s clip at the end…Jesus that was HOT! Hopefully they will follow the books there…

  44. Canuck says:

    @Erin: The fairy fight scenes were so much a throwback to the original Star Trek series. A Ball must have grown up watching that, I’d be almost willing to wager $$ on it.

  45. hairball says:

    When they cut to scenes of Andy B or Jason, Tara, and Sam, I’m just like ‘ugh’. Esp with Sam. Wtf happened to that character? I used to love his character.

    The above just take time away from Eric-Sookie-Bill-Lafayette. When the whole series is done, it’s not even that much of Eric etc.

    The witches were a MAJOR part of book 4.

    Has anyone read “Dead Reckoning”? I flew through the other books. But this one, I just can’t really get into it.

    I hate feeling addicted to a series, I really do.

  46. Canuck says:

    I read Dead Reckoning and ended up feeling ripped off.

  47. bigchili says:

    I liked episode 1 but I really loved the end of episode 2. (Thank you HBO GO!) I’m a huge fan of the books & book 4 is my favorite too, so I’ve been really excited for this season. And even though there are too many story lines going, it looks like it’s going to be a good season. And really, you can’t go wrong watching ASkars no matter what AB decides he wants to do on the show.

  48. bigchili says:

    Hairball & Canuck – I didn’t enjoy Dead Reckoning as much as some of the other books in the series, but I think I can see where it’s leading to for the last two books in the series & I’m pretty excited to see if it’s going where I think (hope!) it is and to see where the series ends.

  49. carolinna says:

    i think you have been stalking my mind.. ! i felt the same way about this episode.. when i was watching the beginning i thought i was watching harry potter.. but as it went on it got so much better

  50. lola lola says:

    Loved the new episode but where is Alcide?!? Sorry, I’ve never found Eric or Bill sexy…but Alcide? For him I will buy the series….

  51. Jamie says:

    I just finished “Dead Reckoning” and also feel cheated.
    It’s little more than the next installment in the author’s book series. AND, it’s so long now between these books that I forget or confuse what’s happened with what is on the series.

  52. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    @the original Bella, I guess you got your free HBO?

  53. pnwperson says:

    it was slow I fast forwarded through a bunch of boring stuff.

  54. Shay says:

    I liked the opening of the show but what I thought was just overdone sex (for attention), was Ruta’s lesbian kissing scene and bedroom scene. I didn’t see the point of that and it doesn’t necessarily offer an opening for her character in the next episode.
    I was more dawn to the preview of the next episode.

  55. Canuck says:

    @Bigchili, @Jamie: Bigchili, where do you see it going? Jamie, yes. Another installment in which the actions and reactions of some of the characters were 180 degrees from how they have been developed so far. While I like that CH doesn’t make any of her characters perfect, I found it insulting that 1) she can’t follow continuity in her own series and some of what happened made no sense whatsoever in relation to the other books. 2) She “cleaned house” character-wise in such a lame and stupid fashion. 3) What she seems to be turning Eric into.

  56. RHONYC says:

    Episode 2 is already on HBO Go (man, i love my iphone!) and it is gooooood.

    i have my summer addiction. i am a very happy lady. ;-)

  57. telesma says:

    Aside from all the other stuff, I’m having significant difficulty with one of the plot points.

    How is it Jason had the legal ability to sell her house when she’d only been gone 13 months? Did he have power of attorney or something, because otherwise, if the house was paid for, I can’t see how it could have been sold until she’d been gone quite a while longer and he’d been through the courts to settle her estate and get the rights to the property. That should have taken at least 7 years without a death certificate.

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