'True Blood' Season 4 Premiere Recap: One Year Later
'True Blood' Season 4 Premiere Recap: One Year Later
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The fourth season of HBO's True Blood premiered tonight, and it was like a new pilot. The show jumped on year into the future, putting many of the characters in new places, and the show brilliantly established the new order. True Blood also succeeded in introducing a number of new characters, most importantly the terrifying new witch Marnie, who is perfectly scary. Throw in some more classic Pam moments and you have another strong start to this oh-so-fun vampire drama.

But the season 4 premiere starts right where we left off, with Sookie being transported to the magical Fairy Land where she meets Barry the Bellboy, Grandpa Earl and the evil Queen Mab. Sookie quickly becomes suspicious because the fairies are harvesting people and forcing them to eat the light fruit, but when she fights back, she discovers that the fairies are secretly ugly like hobgoblins and live in a deserted wasteland similar to where the First Slayer on Buffy is from.

Sookie and Grandpa Earl escape the barrage of Glitter Bombs (which are far deadlier than the ones gay rights activists sprinkle on Republicans) with the help of Claudine's brother Claude (played by Neil Hopkins, Charlie's brother from Lost). They dive into a grand canyon and get back to the real world, but because Earl ate the light fruit, he quickly dies.

That's when everything changes, because Sookie is back, but because time is compressed in Fairy Land like the opposite of Inception, her 15 minutes in Fairy Land means she's been missing for over a year. So now we get to see Bon Temps one year later, and a lot has changed.

Bill: It looks like Bill gave up on Sookie and now he's working closely (maybe too closely) with the head of the Bon Temps Chamber of Commerce Portia Bellefleur to improve vampire-human relations. He's also the new King of Louisiana. Oh Bill, you were already at such a huge disadvantage physically to both Eric and Alcide, but your new career path officially takes you out of the running for Sookie.

Eric: The bad boy vampire is actually the good one, because while Bill and everyone else gave up on Sookie, Eric didn't, and to prove it, he bought her house. That gives him an all-access pass to Sookie. We also find out that he's very camera friendly, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's ever looked at him.

Tara: In the biggest change during the past year, Tara is now a lesbian cage fighter in New Orleans. I guess after Eggs and Franklin, she's had enough men in her life and wants to enjoy the sexy love of her hot Asian cage fighting girlfriend Naomi.

Lafayette and Jesus: Jesus is still trying to get Lafayette to be a better witch by dragging him to a coven led by Marnie, one bad-ass old lady who does a spell to bring a dead bird back to life. Obviously having control over the dead is a bad thing for vampires, and Bill is onto her because he has a spy in her coven.

Jason and Andy: In a complete role reversal, Jason is now a very professional cop while Sheriff Andy Bellefleur is addicted to V. If you're afraid that Jason suddenly became a whole lot smarter over the past year, don't worry, because on a trip to Hotshot to help the poor werepanther kids, he gets locked in an ice box. You poor, dumb, beautiful moron.

Sam and Tommy: Sam is still his surly self, but he's found help to deal with his issues by hanging out with a group of shapeshifters who like late night trots through the forest as horses. Tommy, meanwhile, is still milking his injured leg (from when Sam shot him) and staying with Hoyt's mama, who needs a new boy since her old one is shacked up with a vampire.

Hoyt and Jessica: These two have settled into domestic life, arguing about food and losing interest in one another. They're still an item, but Jessica has a bloodlust for other cute boys.

Terry and Arlene: Arlene had her baby, but she's terrified that he's evil like his murderous real daddy. Honestly, this subplot seems painfully annoying, and True Blood had better do something really cool with it, otherwise the show is just wasting Carrie Preston and Todd Lowe.

Pam: One year later, Pam is still Pam, the same lovably off-putting, sarcastic bitch she's always been. It's good to see that some things never change.

Next week on True Blood: Marnie's coven grows in power, Sam's new pal Luna reveals a shocking secret and we learn all about how Bill came to be king.

(Image courtesy of HBO)