By Justin Schultz
(Hey kids! You see that? Cracking The Books has added a new writer! Everybody give a warm welcome to Justin, hopefully you all love him. –Kelly)
This past Sunday, June 26th, the fourth season of the hit show True Blood premiered on HBO. The supernatural drama is one of HBO’s staples, always bringing in the viewers, giving good characterization, and addicting storylines.
The season four premiere was no different.
Warning, this article WILL contain spoilers for the season four premiere and occasional rambling about what I feel the season ahead will hold. If you have not yet watched this episode, or are not caught up on this series, please, avoid reading this article.
The season picks up right after the end of the third season finale, and as soon as the episode starts, it doesn’t slow down at all, and that’s just the way I like it.
The first fifteen minutes of the episode introduces us to True Blood’s interpretation of the supernatural staple, faeries. Before you laugh at the concept, give them a shot. Like most urban fantasy portrayals, the faeries of True Blood are somewhat attractive looking, and definitely have power to them, which mainly includes telepathy and some form of light magic. However, unlike the faeries of most urban fantasy, these faeries’ have an appearance heavily influence by folklore. They’re rough looking, to be kind, more ugly than anything else.
We see this perfectly when Sookie and her grandfather, Earl (who has been held in a euphoric trance by the Fae for over twenty years) try to escape from the realm of the Faerie before their leader, Mab, seals it off forever. While sealing off an entire realm may seem extreme to some, it makes perfect sense to Mab and her people, since the Fae have a special quality in their blood that allows for Vampires to walk in the sunlight. As Mab tries to stop the Stackhouse’s from escaping her realm for their own, the Stackhouse’s meet a small faction of Fae who resist Mab’s plans to seal off the Fae.
This small faction helps the Stackhouses escape through a giant endless hole, I mean portal. As the Stackhouses fall through the portal, we see Mab seal off the portal and the realm. It’s a damn near forgone conclusion that we’re going to see this side again, but that’s not too important at the moment.
You know what is important? What’s been happening in Bon Temps.
In some weird temporal switcheroo, we learn that it’s been over a year since the events of season three, and that means a lot has changed in our little Louisiana town. I personally love the fact that all of these characters grew up over the year, most of them changing in radically different ways.
Here’s a rundown of the changes that took place over the year:
Jason has definitely grown up in the past year, in the best possible way. Long gone is the horndog that was Jason Stackhouse. He’s been replaced by a Jason who is able to juggle being a police officer, taking care of a pack of werepanthers, and handling a V addicted boss in Andy Bellefleur.
Tara apparently ran away from our favorite Louisiana town to join a lesbian MMA fight club in New Orleans. Not much else can be said about this, since I already broke the first two rules.
Lafayette is still nailing Jesus (pun intended), who is trying to get Lafayette to accept his abilities as a witch. This of course involves going to visit a coven, which is led by the somewhat unbalanced Marnie. The witch subplot really starts to kick in when the coven, including a reluctant Lafayette manages to temporarily resurrect Minerva, Marnie’s dead pet/familiar parrot.
Jessica and Hoyt have moved in together and are living as typical a life as a Vampire who drinks from humans and her human boyfriend can live. There is obviously tension between them and that is perfectly showed in their “date night” at Fangtasia, where Jessica dances with no shame and eyefucks the shit out of a fang-banger. The always amazing Pam notices this and confronts Jessica in the women’s bathroom, letting her know that what she is doing is perfectly natural for a Vampire such as herself.
Eric and Pam are called upon by the American Vampire League to become spokespeople for the organization in a “Post Russell Edgerton World”. Both of their public service announcements are amazing in their own right. Pam’s dry and bored delivery is perfectly contrasted by Eric’s smooth and charming speech. Besides being a spokesman for the AVL, Eric has been busy as can be, since he bought Sookie’s house from Jason through a shell company in a move to further control Sookie.
Bill seems to have changed the most out of everyone over the past year. Now, Bill has claimed the state of Louisiana, filling the void that the death of Russell Edgerton left with his death. King Bill Compton is running his territory as intelligently as you would expect him to, judging by the fact that he has a plant in Marnie’s coven.
SPOILERS END HERE
As you can see, this season of True Blood has a lot of potential to be something crazy. I really recommend that you all watch this wonderful show. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea at first, but give the show a chance and I know you’ll be surprised. The show is solid, and this season will be no different.
If I had to give this episode a rating, I would give this episode a solid A-.