Recap True Blood 4.01: “She’s Not There”

By  |  15 Comments

Eric: “Who would you rather trust? A vampire or a politician?”

Everything felt different. Maybe because everyone had different hair.

Not that that’s a bad thing. And I mean the story differences, not the hair. It just wasn’t what I was expecting after the five hundred cliffhangers they left us with last season.

Sookie

The resolution of the previously goo goo fairy silliness was surprisingly satisfying when the fairies turned into extremely creepy-looking monsters. How were they going to “harvest” the hybrid humans? Recruit them? Eat them? What is going to happen to Barry Bellboy? Was Claudine part of the “resistance,” like her brother?

As soon as they started offering Sookie that lumiere fruit, I knew things were going to be bad; there are myths that if you eat food in the underworld, you can never leave. (Which makes me think the fae were recruiting, not looking for snacks.) Smart of Sookie not to fall for it. Our brief acquaintance with the not-as-lucky Earl Stackhouse was surprisingly touching. Probably because he was played by the wonderful Gary Cole, who can handle any role from hero to idiot and make it work.

Sookie’s honeys

So what’s next for Sookie, other than part-time work at Merlotte’s and lying to her friends? She’s isn’t going back to Bill. I hope. Bill is King? How the heck did that happen? Last season, they left us with a face-off between Bill and Sophie-Anne. Did he kill her? How could that possibly translate into Bill becoming King? Wouldn’t he be executed by the Vampire Authority for regicide?

Eric was apparently the only one who believed Sookie was coming back, and cared enough for her that he bought her house — and even spent a ton of money fixing it up for her. Of course, he had an ulterior motive. He’s back in her house, and now she can’t make him leave. Why was he acting like such a jerk about it? Sookie won’t take that “you are mine” crap lying down, pun intended. You’ll never get her that way, Eric.

Witches

The witch stuff is in the books, of course, and I knew it was coming since they were obviously setting it up last season. One thing that bothers me about True Blood is that the episodes are too dense and there’s too much going on, which means the stories I’m most interested in don’t get enough air time. It was smart of the producers/writers to move several characters we already know — Lafayette, Jesus, Holly — into the witch part of the plot. We even have a spy for the new King hanging around the coven. I hope that’ll mean less story fragmentation in season four, fewer tangents, and a stronger focus on the stories that interest me.

Marnie is certainly super creepy, even with the silliness of resurrecting her parrot. Was the poor bird pining for the fjords? (Are there Monty Python fans in the TB writing crew?) Anyway, great casting there. Shudder. I mean Marnie, not the parrot.

The gang at Merlotte’s

I got bored with Sam’s story last season, but seeing him handling his rage by running (so to speak) with other shifters? Loved it. I have no idea how Tommy ended up with Hoyt’s mama, but they deserve each other. I bet Tommy is faking how bad his injury is in order to keep getting money out of Sam. Sort of can’t blame him. Tommy has never had a good example to follow, or a decent home to give him stability. And Sam really blew it with Tommy.

Tara. Or as she is now known, Toni from Atlanta with a brand new career. Eh. Glad she landed on her feet. But if she won’t come back to Bon Temps for her best friend, I’m not thinking a whole lot of her right now, hot new girlfriend or no hot new girlfriend.

It’s interesting that the honeymoon may be over for our lovebirds Hoyt and Jessica. That egg scene made me gag. And it’s clear that she’s going to be chowing down on a fangbanger sometime soon. Loved the way Pam was looking at her. 🙂

Speaking of too many subplots, I enjoy Terry and Arlene as supporting characters, but I’m very not interested in the Rosemary’s Baby subplot. Even though the doll decapitation was funny. Very Dexter.

And finally… Jason

The biggest surprise was that Jason finally grew the heck up. He’s not only a cop, he’s a good cop. He was trying his best to keep Andy’s V addiction under control (which is valiant but hopeless, as they’ll tell you at Al-Anon, since you can’t fix somebody else — you can only fix yourself). He even kept his promise to the still absent Crystal and helped the “Deliverance extras” in Hotshot. That altruism just bit him in the butt, so to speak. I actually care about Jason now. Who knew that would happen?

I’m glad the time slip wasn’t more than a year. That’s long enough for some serious changes, but not so long that we’re disconnected. (For a moment or two, I was worried that it had been so long that Jason was married and had children or something.) Maybe I was ready for a change, because I enjoyed this episode. I liked the pacing, and I’m very encouraged by the different flavors of seasonal set up. It may have been their best premiere yet.

Bits and pieces:

— Alexander Skarsgard’s name just got moved from the long alphabetical list in the credits to the top tier of the cast. And yay. About time.

— I gotta repeat, great casting of Sookie’s grandfather, Earl. Gary Cole even looks like Anna Paquin and Ryan Kwanten. We knew Earl for five minutes, and I nearly cried when we lost him.

— The queen of the fairies is Mab. Maybe she knew Shakespeare.

— Barry Bellboy has a male fairy godmother named Lloyd. Maybe “godmother” is a title without gender implications in the fae dimension.

— Sookie’s house has really changed. Bill’s house has *really* changed.

— Eric’s Fangtasia commercial reminded me of why I love him. Pam’s Fangtasia commercial reminded me of why I love her.

— The “Moon Goddess”, where the coven hangs out, reminded me of the magic shop on Buffy. So did Jessica dancing uninhibitedly on the dance floor at Fangtasia.

— I want Lafayette to be happy, but I don’t trust Jesus or his motives. Especially since Lafayette clearly has a lot more power than the other witches. Except for Marnie.

— Lafayette now knows what happened to Eddie. I think.

— We finally met Portia Bellefleur, and they cast Courtney Ford, who has been showing up in a lot of my favorite shows lately.

— I was hoping for news of Russell Edgington. Maybe later.

— In this season’s hair report, ooo la la. Bill went black, Eric went shorter (and thankfully, once again blond), Arlene went darker and shorter, Lafayette went Mohawk and it looked good on him. Jason acquired whiskers, and Jesus lost his. And Tara rethought her extreme makeover in last season’s finale.

— Pam in leather. Mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm. Toasty.

Quotes:

Claudine: “I’m your… godmother.”
Sookie: “I have a fairy godmother?”
Claudine: “It’s not all fun and parties. Some of us have to work.”
Sookie: “Okay, if your job is to look after me, can I just say, you suck?”

Lafayette: “Smells like where old air fresheners go to die.”

Arlene: “Decapitating Barbie dolls? What the hell kind of baby does that?”
Terry: “Boys! Regular, ordinary, curious boys. When I was a kid, I used to put squirrel heads on lizard bodies and invent new animals.”

Pam: (deadpan) “The blood is warm, and so is the service.”

Eric: “We’re always more than happy to serve humans here at Fangtasia. And I don’t mean for dinner.”

Pam: “Toilets are for humans only. Do I need to explain why?”

Pam: “That tree with the plaid shirt. He has a name?”

Eric: “You. Are. Mine.”

I’d say a solid three out of four ex-parrots. And I’m so happy True Blood is back,

Billie Doux
BillieDoux.com

I'm a hopeless sci-fi geek and huge fan of shows like True Blood, Lost, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I write episode reviews and articles about many of the shows that I love. All of my reviews are at DouxReviews.com

15 Comments

  1. Liz

    June 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I’m happy you’re back, Billie! Great recap, as usual. 🙂

    • lmcc281

      June 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      I have two questions….1. why’s with the fairies turning into down right scary looking trolls? and 2. anyone else who has comcast notice that they aired episode 2 for season 4 at the same time as episode 1? I was curious and of course didnt want to wait till next week so i watched it. I’m assuming it was an error on comcast’d part. Don’t worry i will not spoil the surprise for anyone else for next week.

      • Liz

        June 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

        Customer who have Comcast, Dish Network and Direct TV all got to see episode 2 right after this one aired. It was HBO’s way of promoting the show and allowing people who have plans over the coming holiday weekend, the ability to still catch the episode. This is the only one they will do this with as far as we know. It was not an error.

        As to your question about the fairies, it’s True Blood! Nothing is as it seems. 😉

  2. RonnieQ

    June 28, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Two quick question:
    1) First, Earl said that it was just last week when he saw Sookie at her birthday, and then later said he was only in Fairy land for a few hours. So to him, was he there for a few hours or a week?
    2) Why is it that this season Sookie was in Fairy land for a few minutes and a year pass in Bon Temps. However, in season 3, when Bill was there for a few minutes talking to Claudine, only an afternoon pass. And when Sookie was in the hospital and first went met Claudine, it seemed like little time passed at all. It just all seemed a little inconsistent.

  3. Suzanne

    June 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

    I am absolutely loving the new season. There is one small thing I just don’t understand. As we learn from the 1st episode, what felt like 15 minutes for Sookie was in actuality a little over a year. How then if we follow the idea that time stands still in the fairy world did Bill not lose days, weeks, or years when he somehow entered the fairy world due to having Sookie’s blood?

    • Billie Doux

      June 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

      Hey, Suzanne: That’s a good point. And I just realized that it didn’t happen when Sookie was in the hospital, either. I think it’s because Sookie and Bill were both in a sort of antechamber in the cemetery. They hadn’t yet entered the fae dimension through the portal under the water.

      • Dana

        June 28, 2011 at 10:47 am

        Bill actually mentions in episode 9 of season 3, when he meets Sookie after leaving the fae land with Claudine, that “it felt like only a few minutes but then I realized it was past 11”. I”m guessing that they had plans that far back to make time different in the faery world and bon temps.

        • Liz

          June 28, 2011 at 9:02 pm

          Good catch, Dana!

  4. Anne

    June 28, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Already saw episode two, don´t worry I won´t give anything away! But all I have to say is that a lot of the questions and comments that I have read here will be answer! Episode two is even better!!!!!!

  5. Namz

    June 29, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I love True Blood. Enjoyed the 1st episode, can’t wait for the 2nd!

  6. Abbey

    June 29, 2011 at 3:44 am

    Is miss phelgm actually Sophie Ann? They look a like. I don’t think Sophie Ann died just working under cover.

    • lmcc281

      July 3, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      They do look alike….i thought that too. As mentioned above a lot of the questions being asked here will be answered in episode 2.

  7. Jamie

    July 1, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Portia sure turned out a whole lot prettier than her brother!

  8. Robyn

    July 3, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Arlenes Baby…..for some reason I don’t think the little cutie is evil….think is the ghost of Renee/Drew Marshall haunting them

    King Bill…..maybe it’s because I read the books but Bill has always seemed like an opportunist, remember how he was when he was with Russell…I know he was held against his will but he was ready to take advantage of the situation…oh and now I know why Eric left when bill told him to…at first I thought he was respecting bill and sooks privacy but in reality he was following orders from his king

    Ercic “Sookie You Are Mine!!…..your right this probably won’t work on Sookie but it damn sure worked on me…Eric I am yours!!

    I won’t comment on episode 2 but I cant wait for the recap!! Most of all I can’t wait till episode 3….in the mean time I’ll be searching for a fairy portal so the next week feels like 3 minutes and it’s July 10th @ 9 pm

    • Robyn

      July 3, 2011 at 7:52 am

      Please excuse all of my typos!!!