Welcome back, fangbangers! Mickey O'Connor here, ready to dive into the cesspool of platelets, fornication and biscuits with gravy that is True Blood. For this first episode, my recap will be pretty, well, recappy, since there is so much new ground to cover. But after this week, I'm hoping to keep things on the shorter side to put the spotlight where it belongs: on your brilliant observations in the comments section. Let's let the bon temps roulez!
True Blood's fourth season picks up right where we left off, as Sookie and her faerie godmother Claudine arrive in Faerieland. After but a few minutes — and odd reunions with Barry, the telepathic bellhop from the vampire hotel in Dallas (remember him?) and her Granddaddy Earl (guest star Gary Cole), Sookie makes a hasty exit from Faerieland. Sookie quickly discovers that her minutes-long sojourn lasted a year and two weeks out in the real world. What were our favorite residents of Bon Temps up to in the interim (besides thinking that Sookie had been killed by a vampire)? Let's find out!
When the contractors who are renovating Sookie's house call the cops, Jason shows up, in full uniform. So I guess Alan Ball decided to revisit this story line, and I for one welcome it. It's fun watching Jason's tiny brain separate the world into legal and illegal. His rehabilitation of Hotshot also appears to be well under way, though he exposits that Crystal has not resurfaced. On one of his trips to the shantytown, the locals show him their gratitude by bashing him over the head and locking him in a freezer. For those of you who think you know what happens next — based on the books — I can confirm that Ball & Co. will be deviating from the text for this story line. It'll definitely seem familiar, but with a twist.
Sheriff Bellefleur is a V addict! This is a surprising development, but it heightens his gruff irrationality in a very amusing way. Hey, guess what? Andy has a sister who's nothing like him! Portia Bellefleur (Courtney Ford) is a beautiful, confident upstanding attorney who sits on the Chamber of Commerce. She's really flirty with Bill in one scene, which you bookies will know is definite foreshadowing — really creepy foreshadowing actually. She's also helping Sookie get her house back from the shadowy new owner, a corporation with a P.O. box in the Caribbean. I love/hate her already!
Um, he has a mohawk now? But also... Laf has spent the intervening year resisting Jesus' attempts to get him to tap into his inherent supernatural potential. In this episode, Jesus introduces him to a witch's coven, led by Marnie (Fiona Shaw, who you might recognize as Harry Potter's crabby Aunt Petunia) and also including new Merlotte's waitress Holly and a woman we'll later learn is named Katerina Pelham. Marnie has a sad message for Laf from the lonely vampire Eddie. But Laf isn't really convinced — that is, until the group raises Minerva, Marnie's bird, from the dead.
ARLENE and TERRY
They got married! And baby Mikey is adorable, but maybe evil, as evidenced by his penchant for decapitating Barbie dolls.
Tara beat feet out of Bon Temps after staking her rapist vampire ex, and she's been just kind of wandering. Latest stop: New Orleans, where she's working the all-female cage-fighting circuit with her girlfriend — yes, girlfriend -- Naomi (guest star Vedette Lim). For some reason, Naomi calls her Toni.
JESSICA and HOYT
There's trouble in paradise for these star-crossed lovers. It ain't easy being a modern-day vampire-human couple. They keep separate hours, have different diets and Jessica, well, she's a little bored just being a desperate housevampiress. This is made most evident when, as Pam puts it, Jessica starts "eye-f---ing" a fangbanger at Fangtasia on date night.
Being a vampire living in a post-Russell Edgington world isn't easy, and now it's the job of Nan Flanagan, the head of the American Vampire League, to convince humans that vampires won't rip their spines out. "I have scientific proof that people are far dumber than they realize," she says, as they shoot a PSA at Fangtasia starring... Pam! The droll diva can't mask her contempt for the project, so Nan suggests Eric give it a shot. He nails it in one take.
Bill — who just broke Sookie's heart what seems like minutes ago to her —nonetheless covers for her, telling Andy that she was away on "vampire business" for him. In fact, Bill is acting downright diplomatic all around these days. And there's a reason for it: He's now the King of Louisiana. I know that wasn't spelled out explicitly in this episode, particularly since Sophie-Anne was nowhere to be seen, but trust me, he is. Further, Bill has a spy in the coven: Katerina Pelham, who, it seems, may also be his sometime companion if all that flirty "Your Majesty" banter is to be believed.
SAM AND TOMMY
So Sam shot Tommy, remember? It left him with a bum leg, and since Maxine Fortenberry is down one henpecked son (see above), she has invited Tommy to live with her while he convalesces. It seems like a good idea. He presents the picture of a reformed young man — polite, grateful, even pious. Yeah, I'm not buying it either, especially after his crack to Sam about anger management.
In addition to those apparently court-mandated classes, Sam has found fellowship in a lively support group who enjoys a nice meal and a cocktail before completely disrobing and turning into animals! It was kind of nice to see Sam find some kindred spirits with whom he can gallop through the meadow. Nicest of all is Luna (Janina Gavankar), a schoolteacher and fellow shifter who seems destined to be Sam's love interest this season. (Aside: So many nudity clauses this season!)
So perhaps not surprisingly, it was Eric who bought the house. He says it's because he was the only one who knew she would return, but really it was just so he could circumvent the "can't-enter-a-dwelling-without-an-invite" rule. He does so promptly, just as Ms. Stackhouse is exiting the shower. It also allows him to say an oft-repeated line on the show: "You are mine," he growls, as the screen fades to black. Well, for now! Wait until next week.
Let's hear it, fangbangers! What did you think of "She's Not There"? (outro version by Neko Case and Nick Cave, by the way).
Welcome back, fangbangers! Mickey O'Connor here, ready to dive into the cesspool of platelets, fornication and biscuits with gravy that is True Blood. For this first episode, my recap will be pretty, well, recappy, since there is so much new ground to cover, but after this week, I'm hoping to keep things on the shorter side to put the spotlight where it belongs: on your brilliant observations in the comments section. Let's let the bon temps roulez!