The season premiere starts us right where we left off, with Billith scaring the crap out of Eric and Sookie. The pair manage to escape outside to meet an awaiting Nora, Pam, Tara, Jessica and Jason — or as Nora describes them, a “rag-tag band of fuck-ups.” Inside the Authority headquarters, Billith rips open any thing or vampire in his path, including a gas pipe that subsequently sets the entire headquarters on fire. Billith emerges from the flames just before the crew drive off. Jessica asks, “Is that Bill?”, to which Sookie replies, “Not anymore.”
Identity played a huge role in last night’s episode, titled “Who Are You, Really?” That rag-tag band of vampires and humans escaped the Authority with a whole new sense of self-reflection that will guide their roles in the impending chaos this season.
For Eric and Nora, this meant internalizing the new war on vampires. In the car the group tune in to a live press conference from the governor of Louisiana. Post Luna’s on-air reveal of the Authority’s human rights abuses (can we call it that?), the governor is pissed. He took an oath to protect the people of Louisiana, not vampires. With Louisiana having one of the largest vampire populations in the country, he enforces a state-wide vampire curfew (no vampers outside after sundown) and a mandatory closure of all vamp-owned businesses. Oh, and he encourages humans to go ahead and buy guns to defend themselves as well. This means war. With Lilith possibly reincarnated, the Authority dismantled and no Tru Blood in sight, Eric and Nora realize they might’ve single-handily sewn the seeds for the vampire-human conflict themselves and are in a world of hurt on their own accord. Their next step? Kill Bill.
Nora glamours Jason to find out what he knows about Warlow. From this exchange we learn Warlow was Lillith’s progeny, per the Vampire Bible. Jason, tired of being “brain-raped” by vampires, threatens to kill Nora, then swears off his sister and runs off, feeling betrayed by Sookie after she defends her vampire friends over her own brother.
Sam, Luna, and Emma escape the Authority as well, but Luna’s health doesn’t hold up. Is this the primary character death we were warned about? I hope so. I doubt anyone will miss Luna. With Emma in tow, Sam finds Lafayette back at the diner, upon which Sam learns the media are freaking out (rightfully so) over Luna’s on-air shifting. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the nation catches up with the fine folk of Bon Temps and learn about shifters.
Back with our rag-tag bunch, Bill summons Jessica. Eric tries to block Jessica, resulting in a blood-vomiting, body-wringing baby vamp thrashing in pain on the ground. Apparently, Bill’s new powers are something neither Eric nor any of us have ever seen, and he’ll most likely explore these in the episodes ahead. Sookie, always the defender of vampires who are more than capable of protecting themselves, escorts Jessica to Bill. Eric orders Pam and Tara back to Fangtasia (that name never gets old), while he and Nora fly into the night.
Back in Bon Temps, Alcide, fresh off his win against JD partakes in the age old ritual of eating the previous packmaster. In his new power position, Alcide attracts the aspirations of a she-wolf named Danielle. Rikki is none too pleased. The three eventually end up having a three-some in the woods (hello again, naked Alcide!), with Rikki reminding Alcide that she’s his number one chick. I don’t trust Rikki, but it’s too soon to tell if she’ll even be a prominent character in the episodes ahead.
As a bit of comic relief, we find Andy, Arlene, and Terry trying to cope with Andy’s new fairy quadruplets. Andy questions his ability to be a good father, and Arlene reassures him that his questioning alone means he’s on the right track. Later in the episode, the trio awake to four toddler aged girls, after having put four infants to sleep just hours before. Looks like these girls have a case of the Benjamin Buttons.
Jason ends up hitchhiking and catching a ride with a creepy old dude. You’d think he’d be more careful about who he chooses to ride with, considering his hate for vampires, but good old simple Jason hops right in with this creeper and begins sharing his life story. More on this later.
Sookie and Jessica arrive at Bill’s house. Bill is Bill again and he just wants to talk. After Eric and Nora fly in with failed attempts to stake Bill, Sookie successfully manages to stake him in the struggle. Surprisingly, Bill does not turn to vampire goo. He calmly removes the stake, letting his ex-friends know that he means no harm, he’s still Bill Compton, but he just sees everything differently now. Sookie is not convinced. She felt Bill die (due to the large amounts of his blood she drank in previous seasons) and isn’t sure who the man standing before her is, but knows it’s not Bill Compton.
In a show of solidarity, Jessica unexpectedly stands by her maker and orders everyone to get out. Afterwards, Bill tells Jessica she’s the only one he can trust — what with him dealing with his new found vampire-God-like powers and all. The only question is, can Jessica trust Bill? She seems to grapple with that question as well.
Eric, Sookie, and Nora make their way to Sookie’s house. Eric is impressed that Sookie would stake Bill for him, while Sookie questions herself. Eric assures her that to him, she’ll always be “that girl in the white dress. The one who walked into my bar.” With that, Eric gives Sookie back the deed to her house and Sookie promptly rescinds her invitation to Eric into her home. Eric is very human and emotional these days. Nora senses this too, aptly pointing out that her brother’s kryptonite is “that fairy girl.” Eric warns her not to stir the pot.
Back at Fangtasia, Pam and Tara continue their tug-of-war as lovers and frenemies. Tara says “It’s just me and you now,” but Pam, upset by her crumbling relationship with Eric, snaps at Tara, reminding her they’re not in some fairy tale love story. The Feds bum rush Fangtasia, mandating its closure. Tara (way ahead of herself here) attempts to defend Pam with guns pointed at her chest and winds up getting shot by what I assume are UV light guns.
Later, our pal Jason learns that his new-found friend is actually Warlow, who warns “you cannot keep Warlow away from Sookie”, before disappearing into the night. Meanwhile, the contract Sookie’s grandfather drew with Warlow glows by Sookie’s bed, which can only mean he plans on cashing in very soon.
In the final scene we find Bill being summoned himself into his office, where three Lilith-like vampire goddesses inhabit Bill’s body.
With the line between good and evil so frequently blurred on this show we find all of our protagonists at a crossroads with their sense of self. Is Bill in control of his new-found powers or is he really just a vessel for the evil that is Lilith? Will Eric’s love for Sookie be his Achilles heel and how will he and Nora deal with the impending war? Will Sookie ever be able to return to being “the girl in the white dress”, uncomplicated by vampires and love and vampire-love? Will Pam and Tara figure out their new-found relationship and will Jason ever be able to feel anything beyond hatred and betrayal?
Everyone seems to be grappling with a some sense of trust — of themselves and the people (vampires) around them. The biggest question is whether the humans can be trusted this season as much as the vampires, as the power dynamic will be reversed with the governor (and humankind) assuming the role of villain this season.
What did you think of the first episode? Share in the comments below and tune in next week:
-because Eric admitted that he’s in love, people!
-because one can only hope that Lafayette gets more air time next episode.
-because it’s sure to be as good as something “deep fried dipped in sugar and fried all over again.”