Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: True Blood "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

Non Spoiler Review:
Turn! Turn! Turn! kicks of season five of True Blood, catching us up with Sookie and Lafayette's struggle to deal with Tara's apparent death. But Bill and Eric are faced with an imminent strike from the Authority after they dispatched with Nan. Sam suffers the wrath of Marcus' pack. 

There was a lot to deal with in this episode, primarily the future of Tara, which bookends the story. Like every premiere, there's several new character introductions and new storylines kicked off—particularly the Authority and the werewolf situation look to figure prominently.

It's tough to gauge True Blood premiere's just because it has so much to catch up on. In fact, it was so packed, I completely forgot Russell Edgington was on the loose. Some worked. Some didn't. Terry and Arlene and Andy's stories are the least interesting when overshadowed with Bill and Eric's travails. So it remains to be seen how everyone's arcs will unfold. But it was good to be back in the swing of things, and this episode had no fairies whatsoever, so that was a big plus!

Spoilers Now!
Bill leaves a voicemail for Jessica that he has to go away for awhile and the house is hers. Meanwhile Eric vampire-cleans up the mess (that being Nan) of his office. They abruptly sense Sookie's danger, sparking from Eric a "Fuck Sookie! She rejected us both." So they agree to ignore it (yay!). Unfortunately as they leave the mansion the Authorty has already arrived and imprison Bill and Eric in silver netting, stuff them in a trunk and drive off.

Lafayette comes downstairs to find Sookie cradling Tara, just as Pam (conveniently) shows up looking for Eric. Sookie begs her to leave, but Pam wants her to tell Eric she's sorry. Lafayette asks her to turn Tara into a vampire, but Pam suggests even if she were do such a thing, her wounds are pretty damn serious and she could rise up damaged. With little choice, Sookie agrees she'll owe her one. Pam would therefore like Sookie to fix her problems with Eric. 

Reverend Steve is at Jason's doorstep, and swears he's not there to hurt him. He hasn't been taught anything about being a vampire, as he was turned as a punishment and woke up in a hole in the ground with a strange woman who ran off. But Steve does know a thing or two, and manages to glamor Jason to invite him in, ties him and gags him, and glamors him to remember asking him to put the tape over his mouth. Steve then confesses he didn't care Jason slept with Sarah so much as she got to sleep with him. Yes, Steve is a gay vampire, and he admits he's in love with Jason.

Jason is flattered, but doesn't swing that way, and that enrages Steve who is about to attack if not for Jessica arriving (conveniently), claiming Jason is hers. He lets Jason go or he'll suffer the true death. Jason then takes back his invitation and sends Steve on his way.

Sam is surrounded by wolves looking for Marcus, but shifts into a hawk and flies away. He goes to warn Luna and Emma that the werewolves will soon be after them. Despite Alcide killing Marcus, Sam refuses to sell him out given he helped with his brother. The wolves have followed them, and faced with threats against Luna and Emma, Sam admits to killing Marcus and goes willingly.

Sookie and Lafayette lay Tara out with Pam in a grave. Pam (arrayed in Wal-Mart yellow sweat suit) admits she's made someone before, but it didn't end up so well. They bury them together and wait to see what happens.

In the trunk Bill and Eric conspire to escape by puncturing the gas tank and end up blowing up the car.  Bill is injured but Eric insists on leaving with him. When it looks like the driver will shoot them, his partner, Nora, turns on him and kills him. Eric recognizes her, and after a long kiss explains she's his sister. But not that kind—Godric was their maker.

Nora is a high ranking member of the Authority and took the opportunity to save Eric when she learned they were being captured. Plus, she knows Bill saved them from the necromancers, so the Authority is out of step with everyone in punishing them. She had already arranged for the car to be ambushed prior to their stunt. They go to ground in a shipping container on the docks to await escape the next day.

Sookie cleans up Debbie's body. Lafayette suggests she just call the police and say it was self defense. But Sookie confesses it wasn't. She knew she didn't have to shoot Debbie but she did anyway. Next Sookie and Lafayette go to clean up Jesus' body. But the body is gone from his living room.

Sookie showers up and reminisces about her friendship with Tara, then gets a visit from Alcide. He explains Russell Edgington is on the loose, even though she thought he was dead. He wants her to stay with him because Russell will be coming after her. Sookie explains she can't, and he won't want her to once she tells him why. She starts to come clean about Debbie but Lafayette comes down the stairs and tells Alcide to leave, given they don't need his protection.

Holly's kids, Wade and Rocky, walk in on her and Andy in bed together. He decides it's time to leave so heads off to Merlotte's for lunch with Jason. Jason goes over to try to make peace with Hoyt, but all he gets is more grief. Meanwhile, Judge Clements comes over to speak with Andy. His son Ronnie got a speeding ticket and asks for a favor to get it lifted. Andy acquiesces. Clements pays for lunch.

Terry's friend Patrick has breakfast with Arlene and the kids. Terry is edgy having him in the house and talking about how Terry used to be in Iraq. When the subject of the fire comes up, it piques Patrick's interest, and he later confronts Terry about it. All the men in their platoon suffered from unexpected fires, too. It's about what happened in Iraq. Terry grabs his throat. He realizes Terry isn't the one who's doing all this, but wants to know if he'll help find out what's going on by locating another member of their group. Terry doesn't know where he is, so Patrick leaves.

Jessica has a college party at Bill's when Jason abruptly shows up. But both are clear that all this business about him being hers was just for the reverend's benefit, and they're still in their open relationship. Yet both get jealous when each flirt with someone else. Jason ends up leaving and driving his girl home, realizing he has feelings for Jessica. 

The werewolves are torturing Sam for information. Martha explains when their pack master dies there are things they have to do. They need his body in order to honor Marcus. She promises no harm will come to Luna or Emma if he gives it to them. Martha and her wolves dig up the spot Sam has indicated and uncover Marcus. Alcide shows up with Luna, who told him what happened. Alcide admits to killing Marcus. Martha is Marcus' mother as it turns out, and transforms and begins eating the body, as do the rest of the pack.

Eric and Nora have sex before they part while Bill awaits outside. But Eric still has his phone and it's Alcide informing him about Russell. Nora, Bill and Eric rendezvous with her friends, who give them their new papers—Bill and Eric will now be Marcelus Clark and Ike Applebaum. Eric says goodbye to Nora but gunfire kills everyone around them. The Authority has arrived.

In some unknown location a victim is dragged down a hallway and tossed into a chamber to be consumed by (what is certainly) Russell Edgington.

Lafayette and Sookie wait at the gravesite at nightfall. Pam rises first, unsure if it worked. Sookie digs out Tara, but sees she appears dead. Sookie breaks down, but Tara rises and comes after her. She screams.

The Verdict:
A Bill and Eric team up in which they reconcile their differences this season is especially appealing, so I'm excited to see where this Authority storyline goes. Undoubtedly they will let the two go after Russell and somehow get absolved of Nan's death. It was also refreshing to see both unwilling to leap to Sookie's aid this time around.

Tara as a vampire was completely expected, so the jury will be out on how they pull this one off because she can swing wildly between awesome and annoying as hell. However, it meant more Pam, so that's a good thing, and the idea that she's her maker should lead to some great exchanges. And Pam really did steal the show with her yellow Wal-Mart sweat suit.

Martha looks like an interesting addition, and I'm anxious to see more of the werewolf culture this season, especially with what it will mean for Alcide killing the pack leader. Does he automatically take charge now? I hope they don't stretch out the truth about Debbie for too long.

Jason's exchange with Reverend Steve seems just a throwaway scene, if only to set up more drama between him and Jessica. Though her party at Bill's mansion was another fun moment. Another subplot completely off the radar is Terry's Iraq backstory, as is Andy's dilemma with local politics, but who knows, it could all spring into something down the road. 

So a good start to the season, if not a tad thick with subplots. Hopefully next week will be more focused on the Authority and werewolves.

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