Of all the lovable lunacy that comprises every season of True Blood, perhaps the most astonishing fact is this: all three seasons have only comprised a couple months of actual time in Bon Temps.
But that changed on "She's Not There," as season four picked up twelve and a half months after events on the September finale.
Until the final few moments, this made for an episode that managed to feel both busy and slow. A majority of the hour was spent catching the viewers up on the state of various characters - and I tune in to True Blood for sex, violence and hilarious lines such as Pam telling Jessica she's "eye-fucking a fang-banger," not exposition.
Okay, so Jessica is living with Hoyt and lusting after humans... Andy is hooked on V... Sam has joined some sort of shape-shifter support group... Tara has taken on a new identity (and a new lover, mystery solved!) in New Orleans... Lafayette has new, magical friends... Arlene is scared of her son... Nan Flanagan must rehab the image of vampires... Jason is a cop and is now in an icebox... fairy time moves slower than an episode of The Killing....
That's A LOT to throw at us in one episode. Too much, really. But the jam-packed premiere was saved by these closing developments:
Bill is King of Louisiana?!? That would be an awesome enough surprise on its own, as Bill needs a storyline outside of merely protecting Sookie and it should be fun to watch him boss around Eric for a change.
But he also has some connection to/interest in the witches, clearly, as evidenced by the member of the coven who raced over to the mansion. He also could be getting it on with Portia Bellefleur, Andy's sister, Sookie's lawyer and someone I couldn't blame the vampire for going after. Actress Courtney Ford, call me!
Marnie can revive parrots?!? A great, eerie debut by Fiona Shaw as the head of the creepiest clique in town. Marnie is instantly a fascinating character because she isn't arriving on the scene with unexplained mystical powers and motives (cough... cough... Mary-Ann... cough... cough...). It looks like we'll actually watch her accumulate various spells and, I can only assume, devious plans to go along with them.
Sookie... is... Eric's?!? Wow. I knew the housing market was bad, but I wasn't aware they were offering such deals as ownership of the beautiful previous resident when you purchase these days. Think Eric got a low, fixed rate, too?
Seriously, though, what a smooth line Eric delivered upon seeing Sookie in the buff. What does it mean that she's now "his?" There's no way the show is hooking these two up already, this early in the season, right? And, if it does, how will the new King react? Fun questions to ponder.
I didn't dislike any of the storylines presented, I just didn't love the way they were all thrown at us so rapidly. But now that we're here and now that True Blood has returned, we can all just sit back and let the fun - and sex, and gore, and suspense - flow.
What did everyone else think?