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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.