SPOILER ALERT: This entry contains information through the most recent episode of True Blood, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (Season 5, Episode 1).
Following last week’s Game of Thrones finale, I was crestfallen: It sunk in that I have wait 10 months until the Season 3 premiere. Life will have to go on without Dany, Tyrion and Arya, and I’ll have to cope with a dragon and Robb Stark hair-free existence. Though I’ll see less of Joffrey, I still went through the requisite stages of grief: Denial, uncontrollable rage, and finally, acceptance (It’s going to be okay. Isn’t it? ISN’T IT?!)
Thankfully, something happened to stunt my depression. True Blood made its Season 5 debut. And while shows like Game of Thrones and Mad Men prefer slow burn tactics, steadily building toward late-season revelations, True Blood favors a start-with-a-bang approach, introducing chaos from the onset and making sense of everything (or at least a few things) later.
“Turn! Turn! Turn!” was no exception. Here are five takeaways from our long-awaited return to Bon Temps.
1. Eric Northman is back and better than ever. For most of Season 4, viewers were exposed to a different side of Eric, one defined by compassion and naivety. After being mentally brain-wiped by Marnie, he forgot everything, desiring nothing more than to incessantly please Sookie. In many respects, he was more zombie than vampire. He ignored his predilection towards glamouring, sex and violence.
If “Turn! Turn! Turn!” was any indication, that’s anything but the case in Season 5. After offering a curt “Fuck Sookie” in the opening minutes, Eric blew up a car with an umbrella, furthered his burgeoning bromance with Bill and indulged in ultra-noisy, raucous sex with Nora (portrayed by the beautiful Lucy Griffiths), his sister — Godric is also her maker — who works for the Authority. Eric even said, “We fight like siblings, but we fuck like champions.” That, unquestionably, is both the greatest and most disturbing thing I’ve ever heard.
Eric was later redubbed Ike Applebaum (the foil to Bill’s Marcellus Clark, and presumably a driver’s ed teacher) and has since been surrounded by a horde of vampire snipers. And though it’s of lesser importance, we also learned that Eric makes for a phenomenal maid. Did you see how quickly he cleaned up Nan Flanagan’s messy vampire guts? Record time!
2. Sookie and Lafayette are predictably unstable. To be fair, it’s probably understandable that both Sookie and Lafayette enter the season with emotional baggage. Sookie just watched her best friend take a bullet before blowing Debbie’s brains out (maliciously, we might add), while Lafayette recently gutted his lover, Jesus, after being possessed by Marnie’s vindictive, pissed off ghost. Undoubtedly, those are some pretty tough pills to swallow.
But this is True Blood, and fucked up is the norm. After four years of vampire-, shape-shifter-, werewolf- and fairy-induced madness, don’t you think these two would be better equipped for mental trauma by now?
Sookie’s misery could soon subside — Tara has successfully been turned into a vamp (more on this later), though Russell Edgington is now on her trail — allowing her to pursue her favorite pastime of seducing men with her “super snatch.” But Lafayette may be more disconcerting. He looked like the defeated basement prisoner Lafayette of Season 2, and even seemed to consider suicide, though, thankfully, he used Sookie’s pink razor to shave his head instead.
3. Jason Stackhouse is a wanted man…but not by Jessica. Oddsmaker time: Who is our favorite Southern man slut, Jason Stackhouse, most likely to bang in the coming weeks: Jessica, schoolgirl Cami or…Rev. Steve Newlin? Let’s handicap the choices!
The dark horse is Newlin, who not only returned from the dead in his finest Vineyard Vines get-up, but glamoured Jason, professed his love for him and — upon being rejected — went into full-fledged crazy ex-girlfriend mode, baring his fangs and preparing to trash Jason’s house. But the clear favorite is Jessica. She has already slept with Jason (in the back of a truck bed!), has taken to dressing like a sexed-up Little Red Riding Hood (which is completely and totally amazing) and is outrageously horny all the time. She’s pretty much the perfect woman.
Problem is, Jessica wants to keep things casual, which means hosting sorority slumber parties, belting out the lyrics to “Cherry Pie” on Rock Band and ignoring Jason’s Game Stop-approved lead guitar skills. And while Jason may currently be immune to surefire pick-up lines (“But we were rocking so hard!”), he’s bound to fall back into his think-with-my-cock mentality sooner rather than later.
4. Shit’s about to get real for the Bellefleur boys, and for Sam and Alcide. If Terry Bellefleur did overcome his Season 4 dilemma (be gone, demon baby!), he didn’t gain much resolution from it. His ex-Marines buddy, Patrick, has arrived to bring him a heaping dose of PTSD, and likely take his psyche to a whole new level of crazy that Arlene can’t be prepared for. Andy’s problems are less significant, but they’re no less intriguing: He was walked in on after screwing Holly and freely dismissed a speeding ticket for Jerry Jones Judge Clements’ son. The repercussions could be boundless!
As for Sam and Alcide, following their failed Spartacus routine (I killed Marcus! No I killed Marcus!), they need to avoid an enraged and bloodthirsty Wolfpack. I don’t know what kind of superpowers eating a former pack leader provides, but I assume they’re similar to the benefits of V: super strength, instant healing and a buttload of untamed testosterone. That could spell trouble, unless Alcide’s observant nose — “It smells like lemons on top of ammonia on top of bleach” — can save them.
5. Tara just became a mega-crazy-bitch vampire! If you thought that Tara was a balls-to-the-wall psycho as a lesbian boxer, think again. The Tara crazy scale has been upped to a completely different level: Tara is a vampire and she lost all of her memories. I can’t think of anything more terrifying — or amazing.
Better yet, Tara’s maker is Pam, everyone’s favorite uber-sassy vamp. And not only did she coin the phrase “super snatch” in the premiere, but she donned a flower-embroidered yellow Wal-Mart sweater. Incredible. If (and when) these two team up, they could form the most tantalizing, bitchy, undead tandem since…well probably ever.
Could Season 5 be True Blood‘s best ever? We’re about to find out. Can’t wait.