Review: HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Season 4, Episode 1: ‘She’s Not There’

The waiting is over!  The much anticipated fourth season of True Blood has finally arrived!  We can now know the fate of our beloved characters in Bon Temps, Louisiana.

We’ve already seen the first 8 minutes of this episode.  You can read our review of this early preview here.


After we leave creepy fairy land, it appears that Grandpa Lumburgh won’t last much longer because he had eaten the light fruit before they jumped into the portal.  After he visits Sookie’s grandmother’s grave, he hands Sookie his pocket watch before he turns into ash and disappears.

 Sookie comes home to find, according to her brother Jason, that she has been gone for twelve and a half months.  Her house has been sold, and she learns that after major search attempts to find her, most of her family and friends had presumed her dead.  After dark, she gets an unwelcome visit from Bill, shortly followed by Eric; who claimed to be the only one who never gave up hope that Sookie would return. Bill orders him to leave, and after a verbal lashing from the Sheriff, Sookie is left alone with Bill.  They exchange some awkward, emotionally charged words before he tells her he’s glad she’s safe, and takes off.

 We then start to see just how much things have changed while Sookie was away, and not just that her screw up little brother became a police officer.

Jesus is still with Lafayette, who looks like Mr. T.  Jesus is apparently a part of a coven, and Lafayette finds himself in the middle of a seance with a group of witches.  We are then introduced to the apparent leader, Marnie (Fiona Shaw – Harry Potter), who, in the middle of a trance, stops and beckons for Lafayette to come to her.  Marnie then starts to have a fit and she turns into Eddie, the gay vampire Lafayette used to have sex with in exchange for V to sell.  She seems just lovely.  Jesus desperately wants Lafayette to be a part of his witch culture, despite Lafayette’s resistance.

 Arlene has had her bab (fathered by serial killer, Renee); who is apparently decapitating Barbie dolls.

Tara it would seem has moved away to join some sort of female ultimate fighting ring; and she is not just fighting the other females, if you know what I mean.  And she’s going by the name “Toni.”

 Jessica and Hoyt are still together and attempting to be domestic.  They’re so cute, fighting about things like dinner.  Hoyt does not acknowledge his mother, who never approved of Jessica.

 Speaking of Hoyt’s mother, she is now carting around Sam Merlotte’s younger brother like her own little perfect child.  She parades him all around Merlotte’s, taking care of him while he recovers from a gun shot wound in his leg, inflicted by Sam himself.

Sam has been finding solace with a support group of sorts.  If becomes clear very early on that this is no ordinary support group.  I think I was clued in when they all took their clothes off, turned into horses, and galloped off into the moonlight.

 It appears that they are still trying clean up the mess that Russell Edgington made when he slaughtered a news anchor on national television.  Inside Fangtasia, Nan, head of the American Vampire League, is spooning words into Pam’s mouth about how safe and reliable vampires are in hopes that the American public will change their minds about the undead creatures.  Frustrated, Eric steps in to finish the broadcast.  Cut to Bill kissing the public’s ass at a ribbon cutting ceremony.  Both of these displays are unsettling to me, especially Eric’s.

 And apparently, Andy Bellefleur is addicted to V!

That’s all a lot to take in!  But you know True Blood, it doesn’t disappoint. Not long after we are brought up to speed on the lives of the characters that things start to unravel.

Upon bringing food to Hot Shot, Jason is brought in to “fix the icebox.”  Classic murder ruse.  Of course as soon as he sticks his head in to see what’s wrong with it, they kick him inside and lock it.

 It looks like Lafayette finally decided to give those witches another chance.  And good thing he did, too.  This Marnie character is turning out to be a real nut job.  She brought a bird back to life.  Maybe with all that power she could bring her denim jumper back in style.

And before we have to say goodbye, we learn two very strange and unsettling truths:
1. Bill is apparently the new King of Louisiana!
2. Eric bought Sookie’s house, so he could own her.

 All in all, a pretty good start to the new season.  It definitely set up a couple of good story lines, and I look forward to what the future holds for the season.

I give it four out of five bears.

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