There will be lots of spoilers in this post so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, proceed at your own risk.
To say that I felt the season 4 premiere of the HBO hit series “True Blood” was a bit weird is an understatement. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, but wow…WEIRD.
At the end of last season Sookie – having just found out that vampire love Bill betrayed her – decided to take a trip with Claudine to the land of the Fae (Fairy). Season 4 starts out with Sookie entering Fae, where she runs into Barry the Bellhop and her long, thought-dead grandfather Earl Stackhouse. Earl, who doesn’t realize he’s been “dead” for the past 20 years, is distraught over the fact that what seemed as days to him has meant that he has missed out on being in Sookie and brother Jason’s lives, and that wife Adele has grown old and passed away without knowing he was okay. All of this, however, doesn’t matter as the true nature of Fae land comes to light.
While talking with Barry, Sookie takes notice of the behavior of other humans who are visitng the world of Fae (one can only assume that these other humans are also part-Fae as Sookie is). When presented with a strange “light” fruit, Sookie gets suspicious and has a mental (telepathic) conversation with Earl, where she panics and decides that they need to escape. Her thoughts are overheard by all of the Fae, and Mab – who is apparently a leader of some sort – reveals the true nature of the visit to Sookie: the Fae are dying out and need to harvest the humans with Fae blood. Mad tries to force Sookie to eat the fruit and when Sookie refueses (by blasting Mab with her strange new powers), the true face of the Fae is shown, and they are not the perfect, beautiful people they appeared to be.
At this point, the scene gets kind of corny, with a fight/chase scene that could have been pulled straight from an old “Star Trek” episode. Claude (Claudine’s brother) helps Sookie to escape through a portal that leads back to her world, and although Earl is not supposed to go (anyone who has eaten the light fruit cannot go back to the real world), he jumps in with Sookie to make sure she is safe. Sookie and Earl land in the cemetary, where Earl dies atop his late wife’s grave.
Sookie returns to her home, only to find out upon Deputy Jason’s arrival that even though she was only in the Fae world about 10 minutes, almost 13 months has passed in the real world, where the city of Bon Temps has declared her missing. This revelation will lead to viewers seeing the many major changes that have taken place since Sookie’s disappearance. Among those changes:
Jason is now the responsible Sheriff’s Deputy, while Sherrif Andy Dearborn is now an addict of V (vampire blood)
Tara has left town, traveling to different cities every few months and channeling her rage as a cage fighter. Oh, and she also is now in a relationship with a woman who apparently thinks her name is Toni and that she’s from Atlanta. As sad as it is, it’s nice to see that some things (Tara’s inability to have a dunctional relationship) haven’t changed.
Lafayette and Jesus are still kicking it strong, although it seems that things are not great with them as Jesus is still pushing Lafayette to explore his “witchy” side. Adding to the tension is the addition of Marnie (Harry Potter’s Fiona Shaw), a witch who likes to channel dead vampires and bring dead birds back to life. (Side note: am I the only Harry Potter fan who absolutely cracked up when she cried about her dead bird, Minerva? Maybe McGonagall got tired of being a cat all of the time). Although she was a bit…off in this first episode, big things are rumored for Marnie in season 4.
There’s trouble in paradise with Hoyt and Jessica. The two lovebirds had made the decision to move in together at the end of season 3, and our first glimpse of them in season 4 shows that the honeymoon is clearly over. They have an unusually human argument about Jessica’s lack of skill in the kitchen, followed by a “make-up” date at Fangtasia, where Jessica flirts with a fangbanger, flees to the restroom out of guilt, where she is cornered by Pam who teases her about her dilemma.
Arlene has given birth to Rene’s child, and is still convinced that baby Michael will inherit his murderous father’s tendencies. She comes home and finds that the baby has taken all of the heads off of his sister’s Barbie dolls, and prompty has a panic attack. “What kind of child beheads Barbies?” she asks her now-husband Terry, who replies, “Boys.” I couldn’t agree more, Terry. Arlene’s fretting will probably do more damage to the child than his dead father’s DNA.
Bill is now the vampire king, although not much is said about when or how this came to be.
During Sookie’s “disappearance”, Jason sold the Stackhouse property, saying that he was too sad at being reminded how everyone else was gone to hold on to it. Turns out the mystery buyer was none other than Eric, who uses his ownership to his advantage by inviting himself into Sookie’s bedroom, telling her with a toothy declaration, “You are MINE”. Wonder what lil’ ole Miss Stackhouse has to say about that? Guess we’ll find out next week.
Speaking of next week, HBO has made the second episode immediately available for HBOGO subscribers on their website.