True Blood is back! And holy hell, we've missed this cheesy sex-calamity that makes us cry, makes us laugh... but most of all, makes us cross our legs uncomfortably when we have to watch it with other people in the room. How was the very first episode of the fifth season of True Blood? Infinitely better than any single episode from last year. But let us explain it to you, pro/con style. (With spoilers.)
Every time someone says "The Authority," drink!
Pro: We're back and jumping head first into the shallow plot pool, right where we left off. But that's OK — because as the first episode goes forward, the fifth season is slowly starting to shake off that nasty fourth-season skin, so we can move on, into bigger and better stories! But first, Vampire Eric needs to Vampire Zoom all over the room and clean up what's left of Nanners. So yeah, this show isn't really being written for newcomers anymore. We're picking up right where we left off: in an inexplicably complicated plot about vampire politics. Meanwhile, Bill mugs for a phone call, and tells Jessica she can use his crib while he's gone — which, in True Blood talk, means: "Feel free to hump all over my house."
Pro: But then this happens. Bill and Eric realize that Sookie is in danger! This is their response.
Vampire Bill: "Suukeh?"
Vampire Eric: "Fuck Sookie."
HOORAY, BABY ERIC IS DEAD! Long live Vampire Asshole Eric! Already this season is better than last year. Why? Because Eric isn't wearing basketball shorts and he just told Bill, "Fuck Sookie." Wahoo! Glad to have mean SOB Eric back in the game.
Pro: Silver Faced. The Authority has caught up with Eric and Bill.
Pro: Meanwhile, Tara is still dead!
Pro: Pam shows up at Sookie's house looking for Eric. While there, she reveals that someone has cast the ploticus convenientitus on her, and now decaying curse has died with Marnie. So, middle finger to that story line. Eh, True Blood?
Con: Pam is conned by Sookie's "super snatch" and agrees to turn Tara into a vampire. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO!
Pro: At least Pam got in a little Pam-ism, saying that since Tara has lost most of her head she might wake up "completely and totally fucktarded." Which... *makes scales with hands.*
In other news, excellent Wal-Mart sweat suit moment.
Pro: THEME SONG. CLIMAX. RINSE. REPEAT.
Pro: Naked Jason greets a newly vampiric Rev. Steve at his door. Oh man, they are totally going to bone this season.
Pro: The first new character is a naked werewolf. (Not Meloni.) She's pissed about Marcus being dead (remember him? Of course you don't, he was the worst... not Tara the worst, but the worst). Sam turns into a hawk and flies away. Oh my God, I missed this show.
Pro: Naked werewolf girl goes to Luna's house, and says "Hoot Hoot Merlotte" — a very normal greeting. She threatens Luna and her kid, and then Sam and her walk off like this. Amazing.
Pro: "I did not care so much that you slept with Sara, [more] that she got to sleep with you. I'm a gay vampire american." Ahem. FUCK and YES. It is taking every ounce of restraint I have not to fill the rest of this recap with 1,000 pros followed by "Ah HA!" links. To all those who called me crazy, I say: Crazy like a fucking Fox!
But from the heart, I'm really glad we all got to experience this together.
Pro: I must hand it to Rev. Steve that little head-tilt on his personal outing. Nice touch. Great moment, completely hilarious from start to the "I love yoooooooou" exit. Sweet, ridiculous and strangely genuine.
Pro: Does anyone else think Jason has given this speech before? So glad to have Jason and his eternal "wanna-go-for-a-walk" puppy head-tilt back.
Con: The Vampire Authority is listening to "Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney and Wings. Can we go back to the Vampire Outing?
Pro: Meanwhile actual silly is happening in the back. Bill and Eric are on the fast track for a summer of vampire bromance, starting with graph-faced shenanigans in the back of their kidnapper's truck. It's like the Vampire Apple Dumpling Gang — only this gang has sex with their relatives.
Pro: "That's my sister, actually." Vampire Eric after face-fucking his "Vampire Sister" Nora. OH ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho, True Blood, we see what you did there! "Sister."
Con: Back at the ranch, we all say goodnight to the little trailer-trash princess. Let's hope she gets to keep what she kills.
Pro: Sookie doesn't want to report the death of Debbie Pelt to the police. Because even though this is the second time Debbie has tried to kill her, and she brought her own gun into her house, Sookie thought bad thoughts. So she doesn't want to get caught by the thought police. Ha, of course.
Con: New character Nora is actually a Chancellor of The Authority (new vampire politics jargon!) and says things like, "It will be the True Death of me." This is not how you get into our good graces, Nora.
Pro: And he fucking hated that goddamn chair too. You told me to keep on breathing — HOW?!
Pro: Andy and his girlfriend do it! Go Andy. Even angry sheriffs need love too. Plus, you look great, Andy!
Con: What's-her-face's kids are just more characters for the character bonfire.
Pro: Sookie has a flashback in the shower, because True Blood is contractually obligated to show Anna Paquin in the shower at least seven times a season.
Con: Sookie remembers her childhood on the playground with Tara... possibly doesn't accurately remember what Tara or herself look like.
Pro: HEY, ALCIDE!
Pro: "Definitely didn't kill your ex-girlfriend" face.
Con: Pink Lady Razor OF DEATH. I don't think I've ever seen a show zoom in on a more depressing inanimate object with such aggressive musical emotional manipulation. I'm surprised they didn't put a bar of "Forever Alone" soap next to it. Yikes.
Pro: Sheriff Andy says a mouthful, "God I wish there was somewhere else to eat in this town," at Merlotte's.
Con: Excellent, another new character. Judge Clemens, everyone.
Con: Hoyt is back, and looking, well, OK. He's been through a lot, and he's supposed to look like Hell. Also, someone should tell him that calling Jason a "Girlfriend fucker" isn't really as mean as you think it is. Rather just announcing to the world that your girlfriend slept with Jason, which...
Pro: "Sorry doesn't go back and fuck the only girl that you loved." Much better.
Pro: Lala has new allegorically important hairdo!
Pro: Never forget Lala is fabulous, but he is also tough as hell. "Don't fucking growl at me!" Gif via Tempella.
Pro: Apparently the werewolves stopped to get Sam some pants.
Con: Another new character, because fuck it! This is Martha, Marcus' Mom. We were all really attached to Marcus, right?
Con: All the folks freaking out online about the two vampire "siblings" fucking. First of all, Vampire Bill already had sex with his family — and second, where was this outrage when an entire family of underage werepanthers were falling all over Jason, rapidly chaffing meat stick? Heaven help us, Princess Eric does something "seemingly" gross. Your collective online pearl clutching was the ultimate Alan Ball story-troll. They were literally calling each other "brother" and "sister," while thrusting into each other... too easy.
Con: The fact that Eric and his Sister were literally calling each other "brother" and "sister" while thrusting into each other. I know we don't deserve nice things because we watch this show, but I don't need to watch two pretend siblings (or Vampire Siblings whatever) pretend climax because they're hot for fake sibling sex. You're making these characters act this way because you want the audience to be disgusted by it. But it doesn't mean anything. It's so fake and gross, and like the TV show equivalent of SNL's "Don't Make Me Sing" sketch. "Watch me bang my fake maker brother, ooooh so bad."
Pro: However I do love that Vampire Bill has to wait outside while they have sex. Oh, wet blanket Billy, will you ever have fun again?
Pro: Bill puts on his Vampire Cool Guy face when Vampire Eric delivers this line: "We fight like siblings. But we fuck like champions."
Pro: Loving Jessica's new college girl attitude. Drinking, the streak in her hair, party games, aw to be young and have an ass like that.
Con: The whole thing turns into an ad for Rock Band. True, this isn't the worst Rock Band-esque plug I've seen, my obliviousness to the ham-fisted sponsor plug was taken from me by Vince Vaughn, as he gyrated around the movie Couples Retreat strumming his fake guitar joystick and drowning the loving memory of Swingers in brow sweat. But this moment, on True Blood, just felt dirty. And there was a plot point in this episode about siblings boning.
Pro: However, the moment did give us this gif.
Anyways the whole idea is Jason is in love with Jessica and Jessica is probably in love (or maybe just in lust) with Jason. And they like to sing "Cherry Bomb," because Jessica has red hair, and subtlety has never been True Blood's strong suit.
Con: Can't get into Terry and Noel from Felicity's storyline. Sure it was fun when additional character Patrick Devins raised his eyebrows and the music went all "Shhhhhhhwah" whenever Terry or Patrick says the word "fire." And evidently we're going to start talking about The Iraq War, so important stuff! But first, more werewolf ass.
Pro: Arlene telling Terry to "cut this shit out," and not being terribly frazzled about her husband fighting Patrick behind Merlotte's.
Con: The werewolf cult finds the body of the very important character Marcus, and eats him. Great. Just great.
Pro:Bill and Eric become Marcellus Clarke and Ike Applebaum, respectively. They're in the Vampire Witness Protection Program. AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! They even say "your papers." Oh God, I'm never going to stop laughing.
Con: The Adventures of Ike and Marcellus are cut short by THE AUTHORITY! Which brings that to 8 total mentions of "The Authority" by name in this episode.
Pro: The season premiere ends in what is probably the longest cliffhanger to date for this series. Instead of ending with "OMG, Sookie was shot and is probably dead," only to open the next episode with, "Nope, she's fine." This episode allowed a cliffhanger about a major player to make it through all the way to the end. Restraint!
Con: The cliffhanger was tied to Tara being dead. She's not dead. She's alive and is now a vampire. Welcome the most miserable vampire of Bon Temps.
It's just not fair. Tara is alive, we had to sit through a million new character introductions and not a single one of them was Meloni. It was a lot of catch-up, specifically aimed at folks who are already watching this series. I know because my roommate sat down when he saw boobs on the TV and got up immediately when one of the characters turned into a hawk and flew away. It wasn't bad — but it's still not third season good yet. But we have faith, and time. A whole summer's worth.
P.S. Isn't great that Vampire Eric is evil?
Screencaps via Home of the Nutty.