True Blood returned with a strong season 4 premiere on Sunday, titled “She’s Not There”. I didn’t watch it early, although I was given the chance. I wanted to enjoy the premiere with everyone else. Let me just say there were a lot of moments where I found myself going, “WTH?”. There is so much to tell you about this episode, but if you haven’t watched yet and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading NOW.
Everyone else, jump ahead with me and check out my recap and review of the season premiere.
We open the episode with Sookie in Fairyland with her so-called godmother, Claudine. It’s a really strange moment, especially when she sees Barry the Bellboy, and then her grandfather, who has been missing for 20 years. All the humans that are in fairyland seem to be eating some glowing fruit that makes the fairies seem all nice and pretty. Sookie is a smart cookie at times, and she realizes that the fruit is wonky, and she starts to see the fairies for the creepy creatures they are.
Sookie tries to send a telepathic message to her grandfather, but it’s heard by everyone, and the Queen, named Mab, attacks Sookie. Bring on the light. Sookie’s crazy light powered hand blows the queen backwards, and suddenly, all the fairies are scary looking and the fairy world looks like it’s rotting.
We find out that Mab (aka the Queen Fairy), wants to seal the human world off from Fairy, especially because Bill managed to come into Fairyland and endanger them. Luckily, a few outlaw fairies help Sookie and her grandfather Earl get back to Bon Temps. I would have said back to the normal realm, but let’s face it, Bon Temps is anything but normal. 😉 Unfortunately, due to the fact that Earl ate the glowing drugged fruit, he was unable to return home safely. Once on the earth plane, he started to age suddenly with all the years he’d missed catching up to him all at once. He turned to dust after visiting the graves of Sookie’s parents and grandmother. It was really sad and sudden for the beginning of the show.
Sookie heads home, all confused and out of sorts, only to be surprised by a bunch of construction workers who say she can’t go into the house. She obviously doesn’t listen, and they call the police. Surprise, the officer that comes turns out to be Jason (*side note* didn’t he look delicious in that uniform… yum.), and he’s shocked to see Sookie alive.
Jason informs Sookie that she hasn’t been gone only 2 hours, she’s been gone 12 and a half months. That’s a big “what the hell” for me, but I think I can warm up to the time warp. She explains her crazy journey into Fairyland to Jason, who seems really sceptical. My problem is that he can believe in vampires, shape shifters, witches, and even a maenad, but a magic fairyland seems unreal? Really? I would think seeing how strange his life has become, he’d be more accepting of strange phenomenon. She proves it to him by giving him the watch that their grandfather wanted him to have.
Sheriff Andy shows up just as Bill is there to see Sookie, and Andy is pissed off, to say the least. He’s acting erratic and going on about his budget being blown and some plaque he wanted to win. Bill smoothes it over, saying that Sookie was on official vampire business, but it was so dangerous, he had to keep it a secret. He promises to repay Andy for the money used from the budget. Andy leaves with Jason, and we then learn that he is actually using “V,” and that’s why he’s crazier than usual. Andy as a druggie is far more amusing than regular Andy. Big improvement, in my opinion.
Bill is telling Sookie he is so glad to see her, blah, blah, blah, when the always entertaining and gorgeous Eric shows up. Eric goes on about how all Sookie’s family and friends gave up on her, but not him. He never stopped believing she’d return. Bill then acts all bossy and orders Eric to leave. The strangest thing happens, because he does. Since when is Mr. Southern manners in control? Another what the hell moment for me.
Skip to Lafayette with his boyfriend, Jesus, and their trip to a coven of witches that Jesus has been attending meetings at. There, Layfayette meets the crazy uber-witch, Marnie, whose gift to summon spirits ambushes Layfayette. She seems to channel the spirit of Eddie, the gay vampire, V-supplier, who Lafayette used. The one who was staked by Jason’s girlfriend Amy in season 1. Layfayette is understandably creeped out, and he gets out of that place fast, but not without blaming Jesus for telling Marnie about his past. Obviously, another supernatural doubter in the midst, because he doesn’t believe it’s really the creepy spirit. It always amazes me how shocked people on this show are when they come across some new supernatural thing, because of the insanity that takes place all the time, you’d think it’d be old news by now.
I didn’t know whether to laugh at the next scene or be scared… maybe both. We get to see Arlene and Terry’s child, baby Mikey, who is sitting on the floor, surrounded by decapitated Barbie dolls. Perhaps he has more of his biological father in him than one would like? I don’t know about you, but I find storylines that deal with demonic children freakier than most.
We get to see Tara in an ultimate fighting match in New Orleans, then we see her kissing the girl she beat earlier (Naomi) in the alley afterwards. So Tara, who is currently going by the alias Toni, is now a cage fighter and a lesbian? Fun times.
Let’s catch up with Hoyt and Jessica, who are now living together. Hoyt came home from work really grumpy and hungry, to find Jessica lounging around, watching TV. He asks if it’d be too much for her to prepare food once in a while, and she goes into a spiel about how gross human food is to vampires. Hoyt counters with disgusting line about how having his blood drank by her wasn’t appealing at first, but he got over that. Jessica, in true angry girlfriend style, marches into the kitchen and makes him some scrambled eggs… well, runny egg yolks with all the shells poured onto a plate. I admire Hoyt’s level of dedication to the argument to put that nasty mess of food into his mouth. Points all around. It’s like they’re an old married couple. They do make up, and later head out for a date night at Fangtasia.
Sookie heads into Merlotte’s to greet all her friends. Arlene, Terry, and Layfayette are happy to see her, but a little standoffish. Sam is relieved she’s home, but pissed off with her explanation of vampire business. He does agree to let her come back part time, so that’s something. I hope she tells him the truth, because she’s always been able to confide in Sam.
Surprise, Tommy is alive after being shot in the finale of season 3 by Sam. We find out he’s staying with Hoyt’s mom and acting all Christian. He’s milking his injury for what it’s worth, and we’d expect nothing less of him.
Sookie asks Layfayette about Tara, and he tells her she’s left town. Sookie is surprised, but happy, if she’s doing well. Later, we see Tara receive a text message from Layfayette, letting her know Sookie is alive. Tara seems thoughtful about it, but lies to her lover about what the message is about and says her place is with her.
We get to see Sam with a group of people having dinner and discussing their anger issues. They finish up eating and drinking wine, and take to the other high, running as horses. Seems the whole group are shape shifters like Sam, so I’m sure that’s going to bring some interesting stories this season.
The vampires have been doing a lot of public service announcements and charity work, trying to win back the trust of the public after Russell Edgington’s news broadcast last season. Bill and Eric are both working on winning the humans back.
Speaking of public service, Jason is keeping his promise to Crystal and is taking care of the people in Hotshot. Unfortunately, those people aren’t taking good care of him, because he gets hit over the head and shoved into a deep freeze. Why is Jason always ending up getting captured? Perhaps it’s his trusting nature, or the fact that he’s not always the quickest on the uptake. I still find it hard to believe he’d be tricked by the people of Hotshot. They don’t all seem to be playing with a full deck.
Layfayette finally agrees to return to a coven meeting again with Jesus. The group is attempting to give safe passage to the soul of Marnie’s dead parrot, when Marnie starts chanting something about bringing the bird back to life. She then yells at Layfayette to join the circle, to which he had been protesting up until now. When he does join, the power goes sideways and the parrot comes back to life, but only long enough to fly out of the circle of witches and then drop dead again. Marnie doesn’t seem to care about that. She is more enthralled with Layfayette, and she has one of those evil “I’m going to conquer the world” looks on her face.
Later, one of the witches from Jesus’ coven goes to see the vampire king, who turns out to be Bill. My, my haven’t we moved up, Mr. Compton? No wonder Eric had to listen to him. This is going to be a curious season.
In the final scenes, Sookie is getting dressed and is surprised by Eric. She thinks it’s a dream, but he assures her it is not. He tells her he doesn’t need an invitation into the house anymore, because she’s not the home owner, he is. He bought the house because he knew she’d be back. He says she’s now his. His fangs come out, and the screen goes black as we see him head towards Sookie. I have to say, I’m a fan of the Sookie/Eric relationship, so if this brings that closer to happening, bring it on.
A few last thoughts and reminders about this episode:
– We’re 12 months ahead of the finale of season 3, and it’s a different world in a lot of ways.
– Where were the werewolves?
– Those fairies are bad… and ugly.
– Glowing fruit is bad for your health.
– Marnie is all kinds of crazy, and Jesus still seems suspicious to me.
– Tara is experimenting with her sexuality, and is now known as Toni.
– Bill is the vampire king.
– Don’t turn your back on someone from Hotshot; they’re liable to put your ass on ice.
– Baby Mikey freaks me out.
Hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did. I really believe this is the start of a great new season, and I also believe that the writers are finally getting back on track. Check out an all new episode of True Blood next Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.