True Blood Season 5, Episode 1: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Airdate: June 10, 2012
Recap by: Sarabeth Pollock
The weather is getting warmer, the nights are getting shorter, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to laissez les bons temps rouler in Bon Temps, Louisiana, with the return of HBO’s True Blood. If you’re like me, you’ve finally picked your jaw up after the ultimate WTF!? moment in the Season 4 finale. Tara was lying in Sookie’s arms with half of her head on the floor. Bill and Eric sent Nan Flanagan to the True Death. Pam was licking her wounds after Eric chastised her. Sam and Alcide killed werewolf pack master Marcus (who was also Sam’s girlfriend Luna’s ex-husband). Jason and Jessica were trying to figure out what to do after their hookup, and Jason was also trying to mend his friendship with Hoyt. Lafayette killed his lover, Jesus, after being possessed by Marnie. Terry and Arlene’s son, Mikey, is back to normal now that the ghost who had been haunting him is gone, but now one of Terry’s Gulf War buddies shows up at Merlotte’s with unknown intentions. Sheriff Andy Bellefleur had sex with a woman in the woods who had a glowing finger. Steve Newlin, the former leader of the Fellowship of the Sun, shows up on Jason’s doorstep. He’s a vampire now. Oh, and it looks as though Season 3 villain Russell Edgington has freed himself from his concrete grave. Yep, Bon Temps is about to roll.
Season 5 begins at King Bill’s mansion. He’s on the phone with Jessica, telling her that he is going out of town and that she has the run of the house while he’s gone. Eric is flying around in the background trying to clean up Nan’s remains. It’s hard to picture the two former adversaries working together, but it’s rather endearing seeing them work in unison to clean up the house. We flash to a scene of Sookie pulling up at her house. She goes inside and Debbie Pelt is waiting for her. Then we return to Bill’s house. Bill senses Sookie’s fear and moves to assist her. Eric stops him, reminding him that not only did Sookie refuse him, but the AVL is going to be after them and they need to leave as soon as possible. Debbie shoots Tara and Sookie screams. Bill speeds out the door and into the arms of the waiting AVL troops. Eric is trapped in a silver net. Looks like Bill and Eric won’t be rushing to Sookie’s aid.
So much for that theory.
Lafayette hurries into Sookie’s kitchen and takes in the scene. Before anyone can react, Pam flies in and demands to see Eric. It’s his house, after all. She wants Sookie to tell Eric she’s sorry for disobeying him and she wants to mend their relationship. Lafayette asks Pam to turn Tara into a vampire. At first Sookie resists this idea, given how much Tara has suffered at the hands of vampires, but she quickly realizes that having Tara alive—in any state—would be better than losing her. She tells Pam she will owe her one. Pam is intrigued by this idea of having Sookie owe her a favor, but she warns them that turning Tara might not work and she could wake up and be “f**ktarded.” (classic Pam-inology) She agrees to turn Tara provided that Sookie agrees to help mend her relationship with Eric, in addition to owing her a favor. Sookie agrees.
Over at Jason’s house, Steve Newlin is on Jason’s porch and he’s a vampire. Jason refuses to let Steve in, citing his exposed fangs, which can only mean a vampire hard-on or a hungry vampire, neither of which would end up well for him. Steve assures Jason that he cannot glamour him because his maker didn’t teach him anything. He says he was turned as a punishment and he didn’t even know his maker. He woke up in a hole with a woman, and then she vanished. Just as Jason starts to feel sorry for him, Steve glamours him and gains entrance to Jason’s house.
Sam is confronted by a pack of werewolves who want to know where Marcus is. Sam shifts into a bird and escapes them, but he knows they’ll be after him.
Sookie and Lafayette dig a hole in Sookie’s backyard. While they grumble about doing all the digging, Pam grumbles about her yellow attire: “I’m wearing a Wal-Mart sweat suit, y’all. That’s the definition of team work.” She tells Sookie and Lafayette to bury her with Tara, and they do so, both of them hoping that it all works out. Clearly this is a matter of the lesser of two evils. Is it better that they let Tara die, or is it better that they find a way for her to live, even though she will be something that she despises?
Luna and her daughter Emma come home to find a naked Sam on their porch. Emma gets major props in my book for being so nonchalant about finding her mom’s boyfriend standing naked on her front porch. Must be a shifter thing. (Totally random aside: in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, Kristin Bauer van Straten talks about Alexander Skarsgard’s sex scene in Season 3. She and Anna Paquin did “about a hundred takes” and after a while Skarsgard was just walking around naked, which is not a big deal to the Swedes. To help with the awkwardness, she and Paquin started referring to his member as IKEA…”because he’s Swedish.” End aside.) Sam warns Luna that the pack will be coming after them both, and they need to leave at once. Sam refuses to betray Alcide, who saved them all by killing Marcus. The pack enforcers arrive at Luna’s house, and though Luna insists that Sam didn’t kill Marcus, Sam gives himself up, imploring Luna to tell Emma that he said goodbye.
Back at Jason’s, Steve puts duct tape across Jason’s mouth and tells him that all he will remember is that he invited Steve inside and agreed to allow Steve to tape his mouth. Jason nods willingly, and when the glamour is removed Steve admits to Jason that it didn’t bother him that Jason slept with his wife, Sarah. It was more painful to him that Sarah was the one sleeping with Jason. All of Steve’s confused feelings led him to the violence that Jason experienced at the Fellowship of the Sun camp. That’s right. “I’m a gay vampire American,” Steve says, “and I love you, Jason Stackhouse.” It’s a classic Jason scene. I love how Ryan Kwanten plays Jason—Jason would be more upset that his Bon Temps High School football record is about to fall rather than be concerned that Steve Newlin is attracted to him. He tells Steve that he’s flattered and that it was the “nicest I love you from any male, female, or otherwise…but this dog don’t bark that way.” Crushed by Jason’s rejection, Steve tries to force Jason to change his mind when Jessica bursts in. Jason is hers, she says, and given that she’s older than Steve and she’s also the progeny of the King of Louisiana (she’s practically the Queen!), Steve must cede to her authority. He leaves, and Jessica flashes her red lingerie at the befuddled Jason, who is still reeling from all of the excitement.
Bill and Eric’s AVL enforcers drive into the night, Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs” blaring on the radio. Bill and Eric are tied up in the back, but Bill figures that they might just be called in for questioning, an idea that Eric quickly rejects. Together they manage to puncture the gas tank and set the car on fire. As they are thrown from the explosion, Bill is injured and tells Eric to go on without him. Eric won’t leave him, though. Again, I’m loving the camaraderie between them. Before they can get away, the driver pops up from the wreckage and moves to shoot them, and then he suddenly explodes. The female vampire from the car is standing there. In an instant, Eric has her in a passionate embrace. Her name is Nora, as it turns out. Bill asks if she is Eric’s friend. Eric casually replies that Nora is his sister.
Back in Bon Temps, Sookie and Lafayette work to hide the evidence of Debbie’s death. Lafayette tells Sookie that she could just call the police and claim self-defense, given that Debbie was in her house pointing a gun at her. Besides that, Sookie is a white girl so the police won’t even question her. But Sookie tells Lafayette that it wasn’t self-defense; she had possession of the gun and she made a decision to pull the trigger. How can that be self-defense?
At the dock, Nora explains that she is a chancellor with the AVL and that no one there knows that she is related to Eric. There are factions within the AVL that threaten to tear everything apart. She had arranged for their car to be attacked down the road, but the “stunt men” took things into their own hands and now there was no escape vehicle for them. She gets on the phone to call the AVL in New Orleans to say that there was a delay, that they were going to ground because the clean-up took a little longer than expected. She tells Bill and Eric that they cannot return to their previous lives or it will mean death to all of them.
The following day, Sookie and Lafayette return to Lafayette’s house to bury Jesus, but his body is gone. Lafayette tells Sookie that “people need to be said goodbye to” and he starts to talk to Jesus, hoping that he could hear him. He says that Jesus told him to keep going, but how could he manage to keep going with everything that kept happening?
In one of the lighter moments of the night, two boys walk into Holly’s house to find the good Sheriff, Andy Bellefleur, in bed. And he’s very naked. Holly wakes up and tries to console the boys, who are less than pleased to find their mother doing the deed with the sheriff on the couch they sleep on. Andy hurries from the house (once he finds his pants).
Terry’s Iraqi war buddy, Patrick, is bombarded with questions about Terry’s past over breakfast. Arlene’s daughter wants to know if Terry “was a badass.” Terry becomes agitated with talk of the past and insists that all that matters now are his half-cooked pancakes, so Arlene talks about how they’re staying in Andy’s house until they can get back on their feet after the fire put them out of their own house. The mention of fire catches Patrick’s attention, and he cautions that fires are not to be taken lightly, all the while glaring suggestively at Terry.
Sookie takes a shower and has a flashback of being ridiculed in middle school. Her classmates don’t want to pick her for their teams and she tells one of the bullies that she knows he plays with himself while he watches his sister take a shower. Horrified, the bully calls Sookie a freak and the taunting continues until Tara shows up and punches him. Sookie stares out the window at the freshly dug mound of dirt in her backyard as she reflects on how Tara was always there to defend her. Once she finishes her shower, Lafayette takes a bath. As he relaxes, he spies a razor.
Alcide shows up on Sookie’s porch. Sookie offers to get him some lemonade while he waits in the living room, but as she goes to the refrigerator she spies a tooth on the floor and covers it with her foot as Alcide walks in. She nervously tells him that she’s embarrassed at how dirty her kitchen is, which makes him laugh. He says she has an incredibly clean kitchen that smells like lemons covering up ammonia covering up bleach. Without preamble he tells Sookie that she has to leave, that Russell Edgington has escaped from his concrete tomb. Sookie insists that Russell is dead, and Alcide realizes that Eric and Bill never told her that they never actually killed him. Russell will be gunning for Sookie, Alcide says, and only he can protect her. Alcide doesn’t know that Sookie killed Debbie Pelt, and she tries to tell him that he won’t want to help her when he finds out what she did. But before she can tell him, Lafayette stops her. Alcide growls at Lafayette, but Lafayette holds his ground and tells Alcide that they’re done with all of the supernatural BS. Alcide begrudgingly leaves, and Lafayette remarks that the sun will be going down soon.
Sam’s cries can be heard outside the barn where he is being tortured. A middle-aged werewolf named Martha tells Sam that the pack needs to know where Marcus’s body is so that they can perform pack rituals. This is incredibly important for them. Sam doesn’t care about his own well-being…but Martha doesn’t threaten him with his own life. She threatens him with Luna and Emma’s lives.
Once the sun goes down, Bill waits for Eric to finish having sex with Nora inside the storage container. They need to be quieter, he tells them, because New Orleans is only sixty miles away. Eric’s phone interrupts them, and he tells an angry Nora that his phone is untraceable. “We fight like siblings, but we f*** like champions.” His good mood disappears when he answers the phone and hears what Alcide tells him. We can only imagine that Alcide is telling him about Russell’s reemergence.
The King of Louisiana’s house has been converted into a frat party. The college kids tell Jessica that she should consider attending their school, which has admission for vampires and special night classes just for them. (Could this be a subtle dig at the Twilight vamps?) Jessica thinks this is very funny. Why on earth would she want to go to school, she laughs. She’s a vampire. One of the guys flirts with Jessica, but the doorbell rings. It’s Jason, and he’s confused about their relationship. She saved him from Steve Newlin, and now she doesn’t want him anymore. Hoyt doesn’t want anything to do with him because Jason stole the only woman he ever loved away from him. Jessica tells Jason she was only trying to protect him and that she didn’t invite him to her party because some of the people were underage. Jason goes inside and offers to take his uniform off since he’s off duty and ready to party. He and Jessica sing along to “Cherry Bomb” on Rock Band, and much to Jason’s dismay Flirty Guy slips in and finishes the song with her. One of the girls offers to go home with Jason, but Jason’s conscience is clearly getting the best of him. He doesn’t want to have sex with her, he says, and that’s what they would end up doing if they kept going. He ends up taking her home instead.
Martha and the pack take Sam to where Marcus is buried. Martha, it turns out, is Marcus’s mother. She tells Sam he did the right thing. Luna and Alcide show up, and Alcide says that Marcus deserved what he got. Martha is angered by this, but the ritual must be completed. She shifts, and she starts to tear apart Marcus’s body along with one of the male werewolves.
Bill, Eric and Nora are on the dock. Nora tells them that they will be given new identities to help with their “extraction.” Bill will become Marcellus Clark, and Eric will become Ike Applebaum…but before they go anywhere, the vampires gathered on the dock are shot down and a voice on a loudspeaker tells the trio that they are surrounded and there’s nowhere to go.
The sun has set at Sookie’s house and she and Lafayette have gathered in the backyard. Pam rises first and complains, in typical Pam fashion, that she has dirt in her bra. The yellow track suit has done nothing to brighten her personality. Soon Sookie starts to dig. She reaches Tara’s face and starts to cry. Lafayette approaches. Sookie shakes her head. As reality sinks in, the dirt around them explodes. In the chaos, Sookie screams for Lafayette.
And the screen goes dark.
There aren’t many programs on television that can pack so much action into one episode. This season looks amazing and it can only get better from here. And then there’s the matter of the body that was dragged into the dark underground room. All we see is blood splattering against the window. Could that be Russell having dinner? Is it bad that I’m really excited to have Russell back?
What did you think, fellow Truebies? Did the season premiere live up to your expectations? Were your predictions valid? What do you think is coming our way? Post comments below or send me your thoughts on Twitter! Until next week….