True Blood S5 E1 Recap/Afterthoughts

True Blood is back Truebies! As always, True Blood Season 5, Episode 1 kicks off with a flashback to Season 4, which is helpful given how many things they try to cram into this show. The overall pacing of the episode was not too fast and not too slow. The crew did a good job spacing out various events and placing emphasis where needed. I have to say for  a season opener, it went off with a bang. 😉

Disclaimer: If you haven’t seen the episode, I would recommend NOT reading any further. This post will contain spoilers.

Sookie’s Dilemma

Last season left us with Sookie distressed and clinging to the lifeless body of her best friend, Tara. Tara had been in the house when Debbie Pelt showed up to murder Sookie. As Debbie fired off her shot gun, Tara leaped in the way and took the shot meant for Sookie. With little time to grieve, Sookie attacked Debbie and without much hesitation fired the butt of the gun through the chin of Debbie. Sookie quickly goes back to Tara, cradling her, and crying out for someone to help. What we didn’t know at the time is that Lafayette was in the house. Woken up by the gun shot, Lafayette enters the room of the grizzly scene.

Analysis: Did Tara take the fall for Sookie because she wanted to save her friend? Did she do it to repay Sookie for rescuing her? Did she do it because she felt guilty for getting involved with Marnie? Did she do it because Tara still had suicidal thoughts and she thought would be the way to end everything but do it with some purpose?

However, Sookie and Lafayette are surprised when Pam shows up looking for Eric. Pam could care less about the bloody scene she had happened upon.  Before Pam can split the scene, Lafayette and Sookie plead for her help.  Sookie has to promise to help Pam out with Eric and owe her favor to be collected on another occasion.

Analysis: Is Tara going to be the same Tara when she awakens as a vampire? We all know she despised vampires more than anything? Will Tara be the same victimized person she was before or will she emerge and follow a new set of rules? Will Tara strike out at Sookie and Lafayette? Since Pam will be her maker, what kind of relationship will they have? Remember, Pam wanted to kill Tara.

Best Scene: Pam wearing a yellow Wal-mart sweatsuit.

Awesome Quote: “I’m wearing a Walmart sweatsuit for y’all. If that’s not demonstration of team spirit, I don’t know what is.”

Love Triangle: Jason Stackhouse, Jessica Hamby, and Steve Newlin

True Blood doesn’t shy away from nudity.  When we meet up with Jason again, we find him standing naked and greeting a new and vamped out Steve Newlin. Jason, ever the sucker for a sob story, is beguiled and glamored by Steve Newlin. Poor, poor dumb Jason. Steve let’s himself in and sets Jason up for his big reveal.  To many of us, I really don’t think it comes a shock that Steve Newlin is gay and professes that the only thing he regretted about his wife sleeping with Jason was that he couldn’t himself. However, we are well aware that Jason doesn’t swing that way, and he does, in his own way, try to gently let Steve down. However, Newlin isn’t having that.

He is all about to take Jason by force when Jessica shows up to the rescue. Jessica warns Newlin that with Bill out of town, she’s in charge. He had better listen to her or face the true death. As Jessica makes her threat, Jason revokes Newlin’s invitation and he goes flying out the room leaving behind a desperate, “I love youuuuuuuu.” Since Jason is already there and naked, Jessica decides to have some fun.  Welcome back True Blood.

Later on, we find Jason popping up on Jessica’s doorsteps while she having a party with some college kids. It looks like Jason and Jessica are enjoying themselves. However, it would seem that Jason is jealous of Jessica’s flirtations. Jessica warned Jason that she wasn’t into being exclusive.  As Jessica flirts and kisses another guy, Jason takes off with one of the college girls. However, he reveals his heart and explains that he doesn’t want to be a jerk like has been in the past. He’s just going to take her home.

Analysis:  When Steve Newlin encounters Jason, he reveals that  (1) his maker was a woman, (2) his turning was punishment, and (3) his maker just took off on him and left him to find on his own.  So, who is Steve’s maker? My bet is on Pam. Eric told Pam that she needs to become a maker because she hadn’t done it before? Before Pam goes to ground with Tara, she reveals that she has sired a vampire.  Since Steve messed with Eric, it seems only fitting that she punish him by turning him.  I doubt she really wanted to hang around Steve Newlin so she took off.

Back to Jason and Jessica, it’s obvious that Jason is in love.  However, what about Jessica? Does she really have feelings for Jason but she’s scared of hurting someone else like Hoyt? Is it just lust for her or she trying to pretend she doesn’t have feelings?

Sam’s Shifting Realities

Last season left Sam confronted by wolves. It turns out it’s Marcus’s pack and they are looking for him. Sam gets grilled but before the wolf pack can lay its hands on him, Sam shifts and goes to find Luna. He warns them to get their stuff and run.  However, before they can escape, the pack is already there. They threaten Luna and her daughter.  Sam won’t snitch on Alcide and confesses that he did it.

The pack tortures Sam in order to find out more about happened to Marcus. Soon Marcus’s mother shows up and threatens Luna and Emma again if Sam didn’t show them where her son’s body rested. Sam agreed as long as they didn’t hurt Luna or Emma.  Upon finding Marcus’s body, it’s pretty clear what is going to happen to Sam. However, before the execution commences, Alcide steps out of the woods with Luna. Alcide confesses and reveals that it was him that killed MarcusAlcide’s words ignite friction and fracture within the group and Martha transforms and tears into the flesh of her son. It must be a were thing to eat their dead. Gross!

Analysis:  What will be the fate of the pack? Will Alcide take the reigns of leadership? If so, will he be challenged? There are lot of unanswered questions. One of them also being how will Alcide react once he finds out that Sookie popped a cap in Debbie’s brainpan? No matter what Debbie has done, there is a deep affection for the good Debbie that Alcide always believed existed in her. However, Debbie carved her fate deeply into the backs of others. She couldn’t stand well on her own two feet and when she did, she wandered aimlessly into the grip of addiction and a maddening jealous rage. This season looks to be a difficult one for Alcide, a were war on the horizon and the vampire world in Bon Temp/Shreveport is topsy-turvy.  Russell Edgington is loose.  Sookie is always getting into some trouble and he’s invariably connected to her crazy now, whether he likes it or not.

Vampire Bromance

Bill and Eric were once at each throats, now they have both been dumped by Sookie and now wanted by the Vampire Authority.  Common woes and foes have shoved these two unlikely-to-ever-be-friends together. While Sookie is in the midst of dealing with Debbie Pelt’s untimely visit, Bill and Eric have just offed Nan Flannigan (Jessica Tuck) and preparing to go into hiding to avoid the Authority.  Before they leave,  Bill makes a quick (not really – Bill is as tedious as ever) call to inform Jessica that he will be gone for a while, but she can play while daddy is away, and meanwhile, Eric is busying himself cleaning up.  When both Bill and Eric realize Sookie is in trouble, Eric says, “Fuck Sookie!” However, as events escalate, Bill can’t help but want to rescue her.  He goes to flee but becomes ensnared in net of silver. Soon Eric is bagged and both are shoved into a silver-laced trunk.

Bill and Eric are too old and crafty to be kept in the trunk. Bill uses a umbrella to puncture the gas tank to cause an explosion.  As both are trying to flee, they are confronted by an Authority henchman. He’s taken out by his female colleague, who happens to be Eric’s vampire sister – Nora. Nora and Eric passionately kiss each other. Nora finds them a place to lay low and avoid the authority.  Nora is actually a chancellor of the Authority, but she would do anything for Eric. She get’s a call from her superiors and informs that they are in route. After her deception, Eric and Nora make Bill wait outside the shipping container while they get engage in sex (Don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming? It’s True Blood). No matter the weird brother-sister referencing, I think we are all happy that bad boy Eric is back.

Nora and Eric’s play time is ended by a phone call by Alcide. Alcide tips off Eric that Russell escaped. Now Bill and Eric not only have to worry about the Authority, they have to deal with a very pissed off, very old and powerful vampire – Russell Edgington. Things get worse when the Authority find them again and place them under arrest. Bill and Eric (and now Nora) are having the best of luck).

Analysis: True Blood hasn’t really offed any major players. Could it happen this season? Now, the Authority did put a hit out on Bill and Eric so why are they taking them in versus just killing them? Does the Authority have a special mission for them. The interesting thing this season is we will learn more about the inner workings of the Authority? How will Russell fit into events unfolding? Will Russell administer his revenge carefully or will he be spontaneous and unpredictable? In fact, will we see a calm.

Since Sookie parted ways with Bill and Eric, will it be her promise to Pam that drives her to participate in a rescue mission of Eric and Bill? Will Eric and Bill need rescuing? Again, we don’t know the Authority has planned for them. Does the Authority have a desire to capture Sookie? So many questions…..

Terry and The Past He Wanted To Leave Behind

It doesn’t seem that Terry is meant to have an ultra happy home life. A war buddy named Patrick (Felicity’s Scott Foley) has come back into Terry’s life, and he asserts that Terry, his family, and the rest of his squad mates are danger. Mates have been losing their homes to fires and then disappearing.  There is a great amount of tension between Terry and Patrick. We don’t know yet their back story, but it would seem that Terry just wants to move on. He doesn’t want to have to deal with the pain of his past. Patrick is certainly a reminder of it. Tension builds and eventually Patrick reveals his concerns only to have Terry get upset and wanting him to leave. They get into fistfight and Patrick warns Terry before walking off.

Analysis: This storyline didn’t receive a lot of attention Sunday night, but I imagine more will be uncovered as the season progresses.  Carrie Preston, who plays Arlene Fowler,  says that Scott Foley’s Patrick could be benevolent or malevolent. There isn’t a lot I can offer other than if Terry has mixed feelings about Patrick then I would be concerned.

Side Stories

  • Andy finally got a little action with Holly. However, they are walked in on by her teenage sons.
  • Andy is confronted by a Judge and pressured to let his son off the hook for a speeding ticket. Andy, scared and out to protect his neck, caves into the Judge’s pressure.
  • Jason still feeling very guilty about sleeping with Jessica is ridiculed by Hoyt and his work mates. Jason attempts to apologize to Hoyt. However, Hoyt is threw with Jason Hoyt tells off JasonJim Parrack who plays Hoyt was asked in an interview – “Once the inevitable happens between Jason and Jessica, will we see a darker side to Hoyt?” Parrick says: Well, Hoyt’s father is dead and gone. His mother is dead to him. So he only has two people left: the love of his life and his best friend. And if they’re gone, what is there? That’s the kind of thing people kill people over, or destroy their own lives over. And Hoyt is somewhere between those two poles. He has nothing now. People took him for granted and misused his love. So I think we’re just barely scratching the surface of how dark he can go (Resource: LINK).
  • Alcide comes to warn Sookie that Russell Edgington (an old and powerful vampire who wanted vampires to rule humans) is alive and has escaped his concrete prison.
  • Sookie nearly confesses to killing Debbie, but Lafayette intervenes and kicks Alcide out of the house.
  • Lafayette and Sookie go back to Lafayette’s place to take care of Jesus’s body, but it’s gone! Who would have taken his body? Jesus’s grandfather from Mexico?  Maybe.  Is the evil that was contained in Jesus then transferred to Lafayette via Marnie responsible? Is Lafayette having instances of an alter ego? Has the evil escaped and working on its own? Did the evil go back and possess Jesus’s body? Did Ruby Jean escape the Asylum and take Jesus’s body? Is there something about her we don’t know? Does she have a gift?

Overall Opinion of Episode 1

I think the pacing was good. It was nice to have some past guesses about the direction of the plot resolved. I am looking forward to the progression of the characters and what is in store for everyone. At the end of the episode, Pam resurfaces but Tara doesn’t. As Lafayette pulls up he sees Sookie in despair. Both wonder why Tara hasn’t surfaced. When all seems lost, Tara shoots out of the ground and looks to attack Sookie. She is pissed, rightfully so – she’s become what she despised most! Great moment!

There really was only a couple of things about the episode I didn’t quite like:

  • The Brother-Sister thing between Eric and Nora – Yick! It was just weird and awkward.
  • The overhyped razor shot while Lafayette is soaking in the bathtub. Lafayette is a survivor. I didn’t believe for a second he would cave in and kill himself.
  • Tacky musical transitions
  • Anna Paquin’s aka Sookie’s over-the-top and unnatural-looking sobfest over Tara.
  • Lafayette has been reduced to Sookie’s sidekick.
  • True Blood still is operating on the conditions of adding more unnecessary side plots and characters I won’t care too much about (i.e. Judge Clemens that bullies Andy into forgetting about a traffic offense; Holly’s sons). I don’t see this changing.

Episode Rating: 4 Fangs out of Five

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