True Blood – Season 5, Episode 1 “Turn! Turn! Turn” Review

Rating: 8

Oh, yeah. Nan Flanagan is dead. Welcome back to True Blood, everyone. Ah, how I’ve missed this show. As a brief reminder, here are all of the very important plot points that we should probably keep in mind for this season:

As previously stated, Nanners is dead; Steve Newlin is a vampire; Alcide killed Marcus, who had been secretly sleeping with Debbie; Sookie killed Debbie after she shot Tara in the head (good for you, Sook); Lafayette was possessed by an indentured servant (to show us that Lafayette can be possessed, of course); Lafayette was further possessed by Marni—you know Marni, the woman who made us all scream “The sun!” for weeks on end—and killed the adorable and magical Jesus; Lafatette was possessed yet again by the demon which had previously possessed Jesus, which is very scary and colorful; Sookie and Eric had a brief fling while he acted like a 5-year-old with no memory; Eric and Bill had a bonding moment as Sookie denied both of them her affection; some sergeant showed up to talk to Terry after his house burnt down; Arlene and Terry have a demon spawn baby fathered by Renee; Andy and Holly have been courting one another; Jason had sex with Jessica, Hoyt disapproved; Tommy died at some point, Sam will probably get over it quickly; and once upon a time there were fairies at the beginning of season 4.

Alright, now that we’re all caught up, let’s review, starting at the top: Eric is cleaning up dead Nanners while Bill makes a very important phone call to Jessica: he will be away on very important King Vampire Business and she can use the house. All the while we get to bask in the glory that is Eric’s super-speedy cleanup crew of one. Reminder: Vampires move unnaturally fast. Let’s move on.

Back at Sookie’s, we get to relive the horror that is Tara being shot in the head, this time from Lafayette’s perspective. Lafayette is probably the most convincing character here, since Sookie is just too far-gone for me to care about her at all any more. The two of them howling like idiots while Tara died in their arms did make me get all teary-eyed, though. I love Tara, and I really don’t want her to be dead. This is probably the plot that I’m going to struggle with the most. She’s been through so much… Maybe death would be the best way for her to find peace? Fortunately for me, True Blood disagrees.

Enter Pam in all of her gawdy glory. Lafayette wisely suggests that Pam make Tara into a vampire and Sookie chimes in to agree. Clearly the vampire-hating Tara needs to become a vampire, and the vampire who has tried to kill her on many varying occasions should become her vampire maker. That can’t possibly end poorly, now can it?

I’d made a bet with a friend about True Blood. He’d said that Tara would become a vampire and I said that a vampire would simply heal her with their blood. Of course, we both guessed that either Eric or Bill would completely disregard Sookie’s wishes and do it themselves to win her over. Never would I have ever guessed that Tara’s immortal enemy would be the one to do the deed. Thank you, True Blood, for surprising me once again. I never would have written it that way, and I’m so glad that you did.

Sookie and Lafayette put Tara in the ground newly fed and convincingly dead. Queue Pam’s usual catty self, and we’ve got ourselves some might fine entertainment. I can’t get enough of the Wal-Mart jumpsuit that Pam is in, and I hope that you will all join me in the eternal joy that is Pam’s demonstration of team spirit.

Pam admits to having once been a maker, and how she sort of messed it up before. Could she have made Steve Newlin, the vampire who was left without a maker? Incidentally, Steve Newlin being a vampire is just about the greatest thing to happen ever. I could not think of a better side character to be given the gift of the fang. I like how Newlin enters Jason’s residence, and I super like how he glamours Jason into thinking that he asked to have his mouth taped over. Newlin’s confession that he is a Gay American Vampire just about floored me. (Just so you all know, I did, in fact, call it. I know that you don’t know that I called it, but I did. So everyone owes me 25 cents, because I don’t bet more than a quarter on anything. And I called it.)

I’m not thrilled that Newlin tries to force Jason to love him, because more than anyone I would think that Newlin would sympathize with that entire idea. Surely he loved his wife, Sara, but not romantically. As a conservative, gay Christian who was married in order to cover up his homosexuality, shouldn’t he sympathize with the concept that someone of a different orientation couldn’t simply make himself love him? It’s clear that they’re just trying to show how crazy Newlin is, since he claims that he became all-murderous and whatnot because of his repressed homosexuality, but I expect more than just violence from him. I’d like to see a newly out character being more than just angry. It’s a stereotype to have a vampire act all, “If I can’t have you, no one can,” and I’d like to see this show try to break away from that a little bit more rather than encouraging it, especially for a gay character.

Jessica’s Season 5 entrance was breath taking and awesome, and I am glad that she laid claim to the helpless Jason. Jason is just so dumb, and it’s adorable. Praise must be given for Newlin’s pathetic exit, though. Bravo, good man. Bravo.

Now we have the Jessica and Jason conundrum. I understand that she wants to have her fun, but she’s not communicating very well with poor lovesick Jason. After all, she saved his life and he’s had her blood, so he’s bound to be attached to her magically and otherwise. I don’t think that she owes him anything, but she could definitely try using her words. I wouldn’t mind that one bit.

In other news, Hoyt is still pissed off at Jason for sleeping with Jessica. He’s even taken to calling him bad names. I miss Hoyt Thortenberry, America’s Sweetheart. Could he please go back to being America’s Sweetheart?

Bill and Eric seem to be starting their own bro-show, which I’ll dub Bro Time with Bill and Eric. They escape in an explosion while wearing cool leather jackets right before we meet the obnoxious Nora, who is Eric’s vampire sister, whom he macks on and makes love to while referring to her as such. Yuck. Thank you, True Blood, for continually showing me creepy sex things. Bill hangs out while Eric and Nora fight like siblings and do the nasty like champions, and the dynamic duo are later given fake names. This is the best part of the episode, and I would like to invite everyone to laugh with me at the name Ike Applebaum. I couldn’t possibly think of a better new identity for Eric. Could you? I will laugh forever and eternity.

Finally, we have Arlene and Terry. I don’t really care to talk about this because Terry was once nice and is now mean to both Arlene and the kids. This should stop right now. Thank you, Arlene, for telling Terry to cut it out. I could not agree more.

Oh, did I mention that we meet a gazillion unnecessary characters in this episode? Let’s break it down: We have the pleasure of meeting Judge Clemens, a man who apparently has a speed-freak son, a weird sense of humor, and the money to pay for two officers meals (but not enough to pay for a speeding ticket). We’re also fortunate enough to meet Holly’s annoying boys. These characters are worth wasting our time over, though, because they gloriously took a picture of Andy Bellefleur’s surprisingly nice rear-end. We meet nameless attractive werewolf lady whose nipples are always conveniently covered up by her hair, and Martha, the grief-stricken mother of the former pack master of the Shreveport werewolves, Marcus. Next there are all of the unnecessary and nameless college coeds who are now best buds with Jessica, who appears to be going through her freshman year in college phase. (Dear Jessica, I love that annoying blue streak in your hair and the product placement scene of you singing Cherry Bomb on Rock Band.) Lastly, we are told of someone in The Authority named The Guardian on countless occasions. I’ll bet that he’s important.

Thank you, True Blood, for an invigorating and intriguing first episode. Just try to keep the plots to a minimum, okay?

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