True Blood: Glad the wait is over!

Jess here, taking a look at the fang-tastic premiere of True Blood.

TRUE BLOOD: 4.01 “She’s Not There”

True Blood aficionados (Truebies, if you will), the world over will vouch for this: HBO didn’t mince words with their countdown campaign for season four. Waiting sucks, especially with the many mouth-watering questions season three’s finale left us hanging with. So, before I take a look at this past Sunday’s episode later this week, it’s time to reflect on the premiere.

Luckily, HBO did a pretty good job of filling the painstaking gap with captivating shows like Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, and Treme. Personally, they helped ease the pain while I mused over whether or not Sam really shot Tommy, if Bill would defeat the Queen in that Matrix-esque duel of centuries-old vampires, and what exactly was up with that Eden-like faery land that Sookie was whisked off to, among other things.

We jump back not into Bon Temps, but to another plane of time and space where faeries rule a Garden of Eden. Finally, a place where those with the damning sixth sense of telepathy can all peacefully co-exist, right? Not so much. Our cynical Sookie (once bitten, twice shy, ha) holds off on indulging herself on the illuminated apples going around. She spots her Grandaddy Earl, who we don’t know much about (other than the fact that he disappeared 20 years ago, and is played by Lumbergh from Office Space). Something just isn’t right about the fruit, and we soon learn that, true to Sookie’s instincts, the faery realm is indeed too good to be true. The faeries are tired of vampires seeking out their blood, and are using the fruit to seal off the faery world from the human world forever. Chaos ensues when Sookie rebelliously denies the fruit (Grandaddy Earl was not quite as discerning) but is narrowly avoided when a faery-turned-goblin creature shows them the portal back to the human realm (it just involves jumping into a rocky abyss. No biggie). I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ll see of the faeries, but that was enough for the time being – just a glimpse into their dark side.

With that leap of faith/desperation, the Stackhouses plunge through time and space, landing back in Bon Temps 12.5 months into the future. Grandaddy Earl, having eaten the fruit, cannot survive, and dies unceremoniously by Adele’s grave. Before he passes, he gives Sookie a present to give Jason – an engraved pocketwatch. This later provides evidence (yet again) that no, Sookie is not losing her mind, things in Bon Temps are just as messed up as they were when Sookie disappeared. I don’t know why these people ever think they can return to normalcy. Honestly. But that also begs the question – is Sookie a magnet for this stuff, or is she just the lens through which everyone else is finally able to see what really goes on in town?

It’s hard to find anyone whose panties aren’t in some sort of twist about her disappearance, which is understandable. Sheriff Andy Bellefleur’s rage can be excused for the now because he’s so hopped up on V. Bill returns with lightning speed and puppy dog eyes, while Eric plays it cool by remarking, “Everyone who claims to love you – your friends, your brother, even Bill Compton, they all gave up on you. I. Never. Did. ….Nice place.” Ouch.

[Read more after the break!]

Sookie returns to her newly renovated home (a shame, because animal blood is so ‘in’ this year) to discover that it was put up for sale by Jason (now a police officer) and bought by the mysterious AIK Corporation. What’s more, Tara has up and left, Arlene and Terry have their new baby boy/Rene’s devil spawn, oh, and Sam will only put her on part-time at Merlotte’s out of spite. Okay, then. At he’s partaking in anger management, which thus far consists of drinking and frolicking with fellow shape shifters. But that’s a storyline that will no doubt develop as we learn more about these new shifters. You won’t find me complaining, because I believe in equal opportunity nudity in television (ladies, am I right here? Enough with the topless women).

We find Lafayette still with Jesús. Just when you thought lovable, colorful Lafayette has caught a break by finding someone to love, Jesús turns around and drags him into the world of magic. More specifically, it’s the Moongoddess Emporium, where “old air fresheners go to die.” (Thank you Lafayette for being so quotable). In this coven of witches, we’re reintroduced to the witch who tried giving Arlene an herbal remedy to abort her pregnancy (more proof that Sam really needs to start running background checks on new staff – remember Daphne?). Just another bunch of seemingly normal people who happen to like to dabble in Wiccan, but we’ll learn later that Marnie, the head of the bunch, has more serious intentions with their spells and rituals. They’re all harmless until bringing a dead bird back to life. Creepy, yes. The epitome of their powers? No.

As for Jessica and Hoyt, trouble is a-brewing on the homefront. And it has more to do with mere appetite differences. It will be interesting to see how their relationship plays out. While we’ve experienced human/vampire relationships in Sookie and Bill (and Tara and Franklin, yikes), this seems like it will play out in a more pure way. Hoyt’s just a country boy who fell in love with a vampire, and Jessica is still an adolescent vampire struggling with her new lifestyle and the primal urges that come along with it.

Oh yeah. And Bill is now King of Louisiana. Guess he won the duel. What does this new title come with? Home renovations, snazzy wardrobe, and that’s right, power. But why does he have a spy in the Moongoddess witch coven reporting back to him?

What’s more, we finally see Bill becoming a match for Eric Northman, after three seasons of consistent one-upmanship between the two. In the battle for Sookie’s blood, however, Eric gains the upper hand after buying her house. Sneaky. Leave it to him to find the loophole in her rescinded invitation to enter her home. So now we wonder – will she become his personal fountain of youth in exchange for protection?

I really enjoyed the premiere, although I felt as though it attempted to do too much. A bit more mystery may have been nice. For those seeking instant gratification (or a reward for surviving without the show), the second episode was available immediately on HBO Go. However, self restraint aside [pats self on the back], I needed to digest the premiere, so I waited until its regularly scheduled time to view. Waiting may suck, but I personally prefer it to be spaced into equal installments. (HBO, other Truebies thank you.)

Episode 2 review is coming later this week. But first I ask you fellow Truebies – did you watch, or did you wait?

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