The fangs all here: Bill (Stephen Moyer), Eric (Alexander Skarsgard)… (Lacey Terrell/HBO )
Just how many subplots swirled about in tonight's season premiere? I think I lost count at 32.
While it's always good to meet new characters (like Vampire Authority rep Nora, who gives off a distinct Rachel Weisz vibe) and see others get extended time (always good to see Pam!), the Bon Temps community is getting a bit crowded -- and a bit hard to follow.
You're not sure what you're supposed to care about most: Sookie, who used to be the main character and is now often shifted to the background? Eric and Bill, who apparently have now become best friends (bonded either by Sookie rejected them both or by working together to kill Nan?) Lafayette and his many hairstyles?
Still, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" (the episode title should give you an immediate clue about Tara's fate) did a pretty decent job at answering some lingering Season 4 questions -- and set us up for a Season 5 battle from what appears to be many enemies.
Let's start with Sookie. The episode picks off right where we left off at Season 4 -- and I mean right off (no fast-forwarding a year thanks to a Sookie trip to Fairyland). We even see some of the action from the season finale, with Debbie Pelt being shot by Sookie and Tara running in front of her best friend to deflect Debbie's shot.
Sookie's on the floor cradling her best friend, who looks damn near dead. Lafayette, who, it must be noted, recently murdered his boyfriend Jesus when his body was taken over by witch Marnie (you got that?), is overcome with grief.
Suddenly, Pam appears, desperately looking for Eric. She notices the carnage and says, "Color me impressed. You guys know how to party." Aw Pam, I've missed you and your sassy one-liners.
Lafayette and Sookie urge Pam to turn Tara into a vampire to save her life ("Turn her? I don't even like her," Pam deadpans).
"You'll have to try. I'll owe you one," Sookie says. Somehow this deal works, though I'm not sure what exactly Sookie will have to do for Pam in the future? Help get Pam back in Eric's good graces? Buy her a new leather outfit? Surely this will come back to bite Sookie at some point this season.
Pam rips open her wrist and starts to feed Tara. Later, it's time for Tara vampire making, and a big hole is dug in Sookie's backyard to bury Tara and her would-be maker, Pam.
Pam has changed into an ugly yellow sweater and sweatpants for the occasion (clearly Pam won't get her usually stylish duds dirty for Tara).
"Aren't you supposed to be holding her or something?" Sookie asks to a reluctant Pam.
"I am wearing a Walmart sweatsuit for y'all," Pam says. "If that's not a demonstration of team spirit, I don't know what is."
Point taken, Pam.
After burial, Sookie cleans up the Debbie Pelt mess in the kitchen. Alcide comes by to check in on Sookie/casually mention that Russell Edgington is back from his cement crypt. You know, just an average Bon Temps Tuesday. He urges Sookie to hide out from Russell at his house, but Sookie says she can't and if Alcide knew why she can't he'd understand (oh, all Sookie did was kill Alcide's ex Debbie).
Then it's time for more death clean-up. Sookie drives Lafayette to his house to tend to the dead Jesus. Jesus, last seen in a chair, is not at the house and Lafayette sort of has a breakdown about the whole thing.
To be fair, if your boyfriend is a practicing Wicca who once took you to Mexico to meet his grandfather who summoned the Santeria-esque powers of his ancestors, you shouldn't be too shocked when his dead body vanishes.
Meanwhile, back at Sookie's place, both she and Lafayette bathe (separately) and while Sookie remembers childhood memories of Tara, all Lafayette can concentrate on is the pink razor sitting before him. He doesn't do anything about it, but it's not too shocking suicide is on his mind. However, it's tough to see someone as strong-willed as Lafayette being so distraught.
Later, they wait, after dark, for Tara and Pam to hopefully emerge with a welcome bottle of Tru Blood. Sookie sees a hand raise up, but it's Pam, who complains about the dirt in her bra.
"Did it work?! Tara, wake up! Wake up! Wake up!" Sookie says digging down by her head. She finally reaches Tara's face, which looks very, very dead.
Lafayette appears and begins to cry and shake his head.
Suddenly -- and I mean so suddenly that I jumped out of my chair -- vampire Tara jumps out the ground and immediately begins to attack Sookie, who lets out a giant scream.
Which begs the question: Which type of vampire will vampire-hater Tara be? Will she remember Sookie and will Pam, who pretty much hates both Sookie and Tara, be a helpful maker? Will she be even more angry than usual (which is saying something for Tara)?
Well hell, at least she's back. Watch ya neck, Sook.
Bill and Eric: Vampire Friends Forever: Where were Bill and Eric when Sookie was in trouble with Debbie Pelt? They were a bit preoccupied with cleaning up the murdered Nan (which we see Eric do in 1980s-movie-montage-style fast-forward motion).