True Blood's season five premiere picked up right where season 4 left off, with Tara a bloody mess and a shotgun hole through her skull in Sookie's kitchen. Bill and Eric both registered her distress as they were cleaning up Nan's untimely demise from the floor of Bill's office, but as she'd just dissed both of them, they did not come to her aid. Instead, it was a surprising Pam that showed up at Sookie's with the one possibility of resurrection for Tara: to turn her into a vampire. Both Sookie and Lafayette begged Pam to do the deed, with Sookie promising that she'll be in Pam's debt and fix the rift between her and Eric. It will certainly be interesting to see how that plays out, especially since I'm sure Pam's definition of 'favor' is a colorful one! Much like the tacky yellow sweatsuit Pam donned to crawl into the dirt with Tara - I'd say that's definitely taking one for the team, given Pam's usual couture.
Perhaps if Bill and Eric had gone to Sookie's aid, they would have missed their kidnapping by the vampire Authority, who knew of their treason almost instantly (how does that work?). They were bagged in silver and tossed in the trunk of a black sedan, which I rightly predicted they would be busting out of sooner rather than later. Let's face it, when teamed up there is little Bill and Eric could not accomplish. They need not have bothered, however, as one of their captors turned out to be Eric's sister, Nora, who was planning to free them a few miles later. They promptly made out, you know, as siblings do, and Bill had to withstand listening to them have the sex after waking up for the night. Nora is pretty high up the foodchain in the Authority, but I'm sure her position is a little less firm since all were recaptured again at the end of the episode.
I certainly feel for Lafayette, awash in grief over the death of his boyfriend, Jesus. As you'll recall, Lafayette, inhabited by the demon spirit of Marnie the witch, impaled Jesus and 'took' his magic. When he and Sookie went to bury the body, it was missing - what's up with that? Lafayette sat alone in his fabulous house and cried...poor thing. His one-liners are still a little bit intact, as he said the cops would surely believe that Sookie had acted in self-defense when shooting werewolf Debbie (thank God she's dead, I hated her guts and had no idea why hottie nice guy Alcide was with her); she's a white girl, after all! Sookie said she had time to think and still pulled the trigger - Amen, girlfriend. You did the world a favor.
My favorite scene of the night was at Jason's house. In the wake of his post-coital bliss with Jessica, he opened the door expecting her back for more when instead he was greeted by newly-turned baby vampire Reverend Steve Newlin from the Fellowship of the Sun cult in season 3. Turned as punishment for his vampire-hate crimes, he glamoured Jason into inviting him in (Jason did initially refuse to look at him - he's learning, bless his dumb but sexy heart) and told him he was a gay vampire American (loved the phrasing here!) and in love with one Jason Stackhouse. Jason very politely told him he didn't swing that way, and Newlin's rage was cut short by Jessica's arrival as she declared him "hers" and snapped Jason back to his senses as he disinvited the creepy reverend from his house. I'm sure he'll be popping up to make more trouble later on.
Alcide stopped by to tell Sookie that Russell Edgington, former king of Mississippi, was out of his concrete prison and on the loose. One more thing to deal with, but I love Russell. He's a great bad guy! Maybe he and the newly liberated Newlin will get together? Disgusting pairing, but it could happen.
There was also a rather pointless scene with Jessica, left in charge by Bill in his absence (surely he didn't actually appoint her Queen of Lousiana?) decided to have a bit of a frat party. She declared she didn't want to be exclusive with Jason and started humping some frat rat, but he seemed to control himself and told the sorority girl who'd latched onto him that he wasn't going to have meaningless sex with her. Someone is trying to grow as a person - it seems his fight with bff Hoyt has changed his slutty ways!
Jason's fellow police comrade, Sheriff Andy, was a bit slutty himself, sleeping with Wiccan waitress Holly, and her boys walked in on them during the morning after. I never need to see that much of Andy again, for the record. Our other favorite Merlotte's waitress, Arlene, was hosting Terry's Marine-vet friend Patrick at their house. The freshly-arrived-in-Bon-Temps Patrick (played by Scott Foley! Yum!) has something weird about him as well, and he and Terry got into it because a number of their Marine troop have suffered house fires and Patrick doesn't believe it's coincidence. More to come on that, I'm sure.
Finally, tracking the whereabouts of Sam Merlotte leads us into a world of pain - since Sam had witnessed Alcide's murder of fellow werewolf and pack leader Marcus, the pack was after him. Sam agreed to accompany them if they left his lady love, Luna, and her daughter alone. They beat the snot out of Sam, and he eventually led them to Marcus' grave, where Alcide and Luna showed up and told the truth. A couple wolves bowed down to Alcide as the new pack leader, but several rejected him. Then dead Marcus' wolf mom started to eat his guts. Lovely.
Finally, Sookie and Lafayette sat vigil at Tara/Pam's underground hole. Pam indignantly climbed out ("there is DIRT in my BRA"), but Tara did not. While most fans were probably praying for Tara to stay dead and buried as Sookie wept over her lifeless body, they did not get their wish. Tara leapt up in the final seconds of the episode and grabbed Sookie, going for tasty-smelling faery blood, I'm sure. Perhaps Tara will be less stupid and annoying as a vampire, but I am not holding out hope!
My Thoughts & Questions: kind of a low-key premiere, but we needed all the set-up to establish the season, I suppose.
Shouldn't there be a Prince or Princess of the various areas, to take charge of things and prevent baby vamps like Jessica from throwing frat parties in the mansion? I did enjoy the full Rock Band party they had going on, though. I wonder what instrument Bill plays, hehe.
Does Lafayette still have all of Jesus' magic in him, or did that leave with Marnie?
What secret abilities is Iraq vet Terry hiding, if any? Or his old buddy Patrick?
Won't Pam be hilarious as Tara's maker? Maybe she'll impart her sense of fashion on the perennially troubled Tara. I'd sure like Tara to lighten up a bit. I see why they kept her - as Sookie's remaining friend and the show's only woman of color, it was kind of necessary. They couldn't rob Sookie of yet another important person in her life; same for Lafayette.
Episode Rating: 5 out of 10 silver bullets
Next week, stayed tuned for Chris Meloni's turn as the new Authority in town!