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'True Blood' Season Premiere Recap: Eric (Finally) Stakes His Claim Over Sookie

Mon, June 27, 2011 7:41am EDT by Andy Swift 2 Comments

Sookie battles scary fairies and clingy ex-boyfriends on the June 26 season premiere!

The fourth season premiere of HBO’s True Blood began and ended with Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) in her usual brand of sexy danger, though for two very different reasons. Kicking the episode off was the eight minutes of fighting fairy action we’d already seen online, with Sookie and Grandaddy Earl (Gary Cole) narrowly escaping the massive human harvest and returning to Bon Temps. But our blonde, fairy-blooded heroine didn’t quite end up exactly where she expected.

It turns out more than a year has passed since Sookie and Claudine disappeared off to Fairy Land last season, and while some things never changed — Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) are still behave like dogs fighting over a bone whenever they’re in Sookie’s presence — just about everything else about the home she knew has done a complete 180. Like Lorena’s head.

For starters, Jason (Ryan Kwanten) is now officially an officer of the law. Sookie seemed just as surprised as the audience when she encountered her dopey older brother in uniform upon her return. But it was Jason who got the real surprise when a visit to Hot Shot, where he now serves as the unofficial mayor, when a couple of inbred shapeshifters locked him in the freezer. (Click here for my interview with Ryan, in which he discusses Jason being “very much on death’s door.”)

Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) has managed to become even more of a style icon by adopting a Mr. T mohawk! He also started joining boyfriend Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) to his secret witch meetings, led by this season’s apparent villain Marnie (Fiona Shaw.) I’ll openly admit I pee myself at the very thought of Marnie, as the woman was able to coax her followers into reviving her dead pet bird — albeit very temporarily. It’s nice to see a female villain back in the picture, after last season’s male-dominated plots. I expect great, and terrifying, things…

Meanwhile, across town, Sam (Sam Trammell) has a new group of shape-shifting BFFs — and one of them is Naomi’s mom from 90210! But I digress… He and his merry band of animorphs apparently get together to use their powers recreationally, this week transforming into horses and riding off into the night. (Cue the Rolling Stones.)

But it’s Tara (Rutina Wesley) who appears to have changed most of all. When we caught up to her in the premiere, she was cage-fighting far, far away — and celebrating her big win by kissing her girlfriend! Yes, it turns out Tara is the straight-gone-gay character we’d heard about in spoilers, and she wasted no time getting to her first sex scene. (As Mrs. Garrison would say, “Scissor me timbers!”)

The 12-month time jump thankfully meant Arlene (Carrie Preston) finally popped out René’s demon spawn, and it looks like he’s developing just as darkly as Arlene expected. I’m talking Barbie-dolls-decapitation dark.

OK, now back to Sookie. Just when she thought she could settle back into town, she got one more surprise — and it’s sure to up the show’s sex quota even more, as if that were even possible. Eric now has the deed to Sookie’s house in his possession, but he owns much more than just that. As he reminded her, fangs out, in the episode’s final moments: “You. Are. Mine.”

— Andy Swift

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