Memory plays a big role in the second episode of the fourth season of True Blood. While Arlene and Tara try desperately to run from their past, Sam convinces his new shifter girlfriend Luna to share her most painful memories. We learn more about Bill from his punk rock tinged trip down memory lane, including the roots to his ascension as king. And Eric? Looks like he might have to do without his memories for the foreseeable future.
While the premiere episode of the fourth season of True Blood spent much of the time explaining what all the characters were doing after the one year time jump, the second episode settles into the present. Unsurprisingly, in Bon Temps the present is full of sex, blood and witches.
This season’s new storylines, especially those focused on the world of vampire politics and witchy voodoo, portend a season full of twisty curve balls. Already the show seems to be course-correcting its major mistake from last season, where it isolated all of the characters into their own separate storylines. Instead the audience was treated to some genuine interaction between the characters, including a nice scene between Sam and Sookie, a relationship that hasn’t seen any actual development since the first season. It was also great to see Tara back in spunky form reacting to the craziness of Bon Temps. After a few seasons of watching Tara be relentlessly victimized, it was great to see a more relaxed yet endearingly prickly Tara trading bon mots with Lafayette and flipping idly through a magazine during a coven meeting.
Jason… is What’s For Dinner
The episode opens with Jason tied down to a bed by his adopted werepanther hill-billy family. Right about now we can only assume that Jason is reevaluating his life choices and thinking how much better it was when he was constantly accused of murder or in a cult. He nearly talks them into letting his hands free when Felton intervenes. He’s back with hopped on V Crystal and they have a plan for Jason. It involves shirtless-ness, as all Jason-related plans inevitably do. It turns out Felton is shooting blanks and since Crystal needs to breed to propagate the pack, Jason is chosen as her new partner. Only one problem, both will need to be werepanthers to ensure a werepanther pup. Crystal frantically assures Jason that it will only hurt a little, seconds before she and Felton chomp down. Ouch.
Legends of the Skinwalkers
Meanwhile Sam is continuing to enjoy his meetings with his shifter playmates, especially gorgeous and mysterious Luna. He and Luna share a sweet, flirty chemistry as he urges her to open up to the rest of the group. When she finally does, it’s to tell the story of how she once shifted into her mother. It turns out, according to ancient Native American skinwalker legend, that shifters can transform themselves into a shifter they’ve killed. Since Luna’s mother died giving birth to her, she can assume her shape. Tommy overhears this potentially dangerous information and although he professes to want to patch things up with Sam, can he really be trusted?
Meanwhile things are tense on the home front for both Jessica and Arlene. Jessica and Hoyt continue to squabble, even after he defends her honor to protesters outside Fangtasia. Here, as always, Pam gets the best lines, decrying camera phones and social media for taking the fun out of being a vampire. It’s a shame because Pam would undoubtedly have an awesome twitter feed. “Bored by everyone, @BlondeViking should buy me Manolos for dealing with @SookieStackhouse.” After another heated argument Jessica storms out and feeds on the fang banger eyeing her earlier. When Sookie catches her in the act she does the best ‘you’re not even my mom!’ since those kids Julia Roberts got stuck with in “Stepmom”.
Meanwhile, Arlene is becoming more and more convinced that little Mikey is evil. When a blood vessel in her eye bursts while she stares at him, she loses it. Is Arlene being paranoid or are those the giggles and burbles of a future serial killer?
Bill continues to be remarkably interesting this season when not dragged down by his true love for Sookie. Instead we flash back to London in the 80s where actor Stephen Moyer gets to briefly ditch his insane Southern accent in favor of his natural English one. Bill’s look here combines the sartorial style of Sid Vicious with the eyeliner of Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s cornered in the street by Nan Flannagan, who notices his mercy towards humans and wants to recruit him to the American Vampire League. It turns out his work for Queen Sophie Anne was just to help the AVL infiltrate the monarchy.
Remember when Queen Sophie Anne and Bill faced off in the finale, flying up into the air in a way that was so cheesy and obvious that the wire work was practically visible? Unfortunately we don’t get to see them battle it out in the air, swaying on their wires like a high school production of Peter Pan. Instead the AVL bursts in and makes short work of Sophie Anne with wood and silver bullets. Nan then makes Bill king despite her suspicions that he’s holding back about Sookie.
Speaking of Sookie, she marches into his house moments after he gets it on with his covert coven agent to demand he do something about Eric owning her house. He agrees to do what he can and they dance awkwardly around each other in hurt and mistrust until Sookie leaves.
Eric Northman Bought My House and All I Got Was This Microwave Oven
Sookie spends all episode stomping around town trying to get her house back from Eric by any means possible. Eric wants to make her his, not only for obvious sexy sex reasons but also to protect her from other vampires. After a happy reunion with Tara, Sookie discovers that Eric has built himself a hidey hole in her house to sleep in, goes all black around the eyes and stomps off to Fangtasia. There she meets Pam, who continues stealing every scene in every episode with her deadpan line delivery and boredom with everything.
A Dead Body
Lafayette learns this week that joining witchy covens isn’t all fun and raising dead pigeons. Especially when your coven leader decides it’s time to raise dead people. This understandably freaks out the rest of the coven and causes Tara to flip close her magazine and immediately leave. “Yea, I hear you bitch”, Lafayette says drolly in what might be the funniest scene of the episode.
The coven’s dead-raising ways aren’t lost on Eric and Bill, who both understand that having a group of people able to control the dead is decidedly bad for vampires. Bill sends Eric out to go talk some sense into the coven, by force if necessary. As it turns out threatening a bunch of crazy, pigeon necromancing witches turns out to be a bad idea. When he grabs Tara Lafayette throws his power in with the other witches and coven leader Marnie’s voice changes. When the spooky effects die down, Eric stands in wide-eyed shock before speeding out.
On the road, Sookie sees a shirtless Eric walking along aimlessly and calls out to him. At what point exactly did he loose his shirt? Do the witches have magical shirt-removing abilities too? God love True Blood, if there’s an opportunity for nudity of any kind it will not be missed on this show. As she pulls up alongside him it appears he’s lost more than just his shirt; Eric’s lost his memory too.