Monday, June 27, 2011

'True Blood' season 4 premiere

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Hes gonna do bad things to you
Just when you're about to lose all hope in television, "True Blood" returns. Oh sweet, sweet "True Blood," so full of man candy, tight cop uniforms and fresh hairstyles that we couldn't care less about poorly rendered CGI goblins and time-warp vortexes. Ahh, Sookeh!

"True Blood" fizzled to a close in season three, Sookie disappearing with Claudine into a flash of light. We picked up last night not on the island, but on the other side of the light pulse in a magical fairyland full of psychic bellhops, missing grandaddies and renaissance fair regulars. The crowd is feasting on lumieres - low-hanging glowing light fruits. Sookie's offered a fruit, but before she eats it notices her grandaddy Earl, long since disappeared. Earl doesn't recognize her because, well, it's been 20 years since they last saw each other. Only this is news to him - Earl thinks he's been gone just a few hours, not two decades. But they catch up quickly - Gran's dead, so are mama and daddy. Really? Dang! - and Sookie observes her faerie brethren feverishly chowing down on the light fruit.

Suddenly things are starting to feel much more cultlish than magical: Sookie sees the fruit's infested with maggots; the rooms glowing facade melts away to reveal a desolate desert wasteland. Sookie realizes she's entered some kind of Willow-meets-Mad Max alternate reality and tries to mind-tell Earl, except here everyone mind-talks. Sookie and Earl flee the Queen Mab's light bombs and human harvesting by jumping into a gaping black hole in the ground - the tried and true method of escape for all those ever stuck in a parallel universe.

They reappear in the cemetery and Earl rapidly begins to age. Before disappearing into a poof of faerie dust he hands over his pocket watch to Sookie to give to Jason, saying "A man ought to own a good watch." We all acknowledge the irony of his statement, and then POOF! Bye bye granddaddy.

Sookie returns to Gran's to find the house much cleaner than Maryann left it, but also full of strangers yelling at her for trespassing. The gardener (or porch cleaner or whatever he was doing) makes good on his threat to call the cops and when the police arrive we see it's Jason, his biceps bursting out of his slim fit sheriff's uniform that he clearly bought in the kids section at Party City.

Jason's shocked to see Sookie sitting in the kitchen - turns out that one hour of faerie time is approximately 12 1/2 months of human time. Everyone figured Sookie for dead, and pinned her death and disappearance on Bill. Sookie explains to her brother about the faeries and the goblins, the light fruit and the bellhop and grandaddy - finally convincing him when she hands over the watch. Jason smartly advises her to keep all the faerie stuff and time travel to herself. Although at this point in Bon Temps, I think it'd take a lot more than a time travel story to sound like "the crazy one." He then tells her he's sold the house to a mysterious-sounding company called AIK. I think we know where this is going.

Their conversation wraps up just as the sun sets and Bill and Eric arrive almost simultaneously, having sensed them some Sookie back in BT. Bill laments that he thought she was dead, "It's been more than yeauh since I have felt yuh presunce." Eric interrupts, "Well, I knew you were't dead." In a quick-witted exchange, the power struggle between the two Manpires is quickly reestablished, Eric positioning himself as forthright and honest if not honorable, and Bill as lovesick but untrustworthy — and increasingly smarmy.

Andy Bellefleur rushes over to the house when he hears Sookie's alive and has an emotional break down a la Renee from "Mob Wives" (fast forward to 4:50) - "I thought you were dead! We dragged the lake for you! You're the reason I lost the state safety award! You owe me a plaque!"

Bill takes the blame for her disappearance, saying she was off on "important vampire business." Yeah, you heard me. Important vampire business. Sookie runs with it to cover up the time travel stuff and Andy leaves basically convinced and jonesin' for some V.

But hold on a sec before we go any further — Bill's alive? And in charge ("Your majesty")? When we left him, he and Sophie-Anne were suspended in mid-air, fangs out, ready to fight to the death. So how did he defeat Sophie-Anne? You'd think if he won the fight he'd finish her with a true death, but we know Evan Rachel Wood's back this season so maybe he's got her caged up somewhere? If so, this will be the third mortal enemy in a row Bill hasn't reduced to a pile of goo. Probably not the best plan for longterm survival in Bon Temps.

Lafayette and Jesus ("he's a witch, who's a nurse, who's a dude") are still an item. Jesus drags a reluctant Lalo to the Moon Goddess Emporium so he can meet his coven and we're introduced to this season's main villain Marnie, played by Fiona Shaw. Marnie channels Eddie, the murdered merlot-swilling V addict from seasons' past and full on freaks out Lafayette. But he returns a few days later anyway with Jesus for a spell circle. The group brings Marnie's dead parrot back to life, and it takes flight for a brief second before plummeting to the floor. "I'm sorry about your bird," Lafayette says to Marnie. "It's OK. It doesn't matter," she replies with a creepy witch lady look. Talk about harvesting humans - Marnie's DEF got her eye on Lafayette.

Back at Gran's, Sookie showers and disrobes, flinging her bathrobe over her shoulder after removing it (because that's just how girls do alone in their rooms at night) and Eric is there to catch it. He bought the house, and therefore Sookie. Ha! Next week: Sexy time!

Checking in with our other friends: Tara's sporting a new identity, Toni from Atlanta, cage-fighting in New Orlean's French Quarter, and shacking up with a chick named Naomi. Vampire/human couples are just like us: Watch as Hoyt and Jessica fight over who should cook dinner. Now watch Hoyt slurp up a plate of raw eggs. (Oh, Eggs!) Arlene and Terry had their demon baby. While waiting for Crystal to return, Jason's still tending to the pack of feral mountain children. How do they repay him? By locking him in a freezer. Hoyt's mama adopted Tommy and Sam's letting loose with equine orgies enrolled in anger management classes.

Just like the first day of school, almost everyone's returned sporting a new do: Bill's gone much darker, his jet black hair potentially foreshadowing evil deeds yet to be done (or already done?). Jason added some low lights to his blond locks and has also got a little bit of the creeper stache/soul patch combo happening, which we're trying to ignore. Tara's hair has grown out from that sassy bob she gave herself at the end of season three. Sam's sandy brown hair is inflected with bits of gray - very distinguished. Lafayette's working a mohawk and Tommy actually showered.

QUOTES and NOTES:
One of the gals at the coven is vampire spy, as she visits His Majesty Bill Compton after the parrot incident. The issue at hand being, per the previews, that if witches can control the dead, they can control vampires.

New gal on the block - Andy's sister Portia Bellefleur (Courtney Ford aka suicidal journalist Christine from "Dexter") who clearly has the hots for Bill too. Catfight pending.

-Sookie: "I have a fairy godmother? If you're supposed to be taking care of me, can I just say that you suck?"

-Nan Flannagan: "I have proof — scientific. People are way dumber than they think."

-Terry: "We were all thinking the worst - especially Arlene."

-Arlene: "Decapitating dolls? What kind of baby does that?"
Terry: "Ordinary curious boys."

-Sam: "How's that rehab I'm paying' for goin?"
Tommy: "Good probably need a few more months. How are those anger management classes goin?"
Sam: "Probably need to start going more often."

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