HBO unleashed the first footage from True Blood season 5 last night, sending us into a tizzy of excitement and speculation. We’ve now screencapped those long-awaited 32 seconds to see what clues we can glean from all the action crammed into the promo. (See the full set of screencaps in the Gallery)
WARNING: TRUE BLOOD SEASON 5 SPOILERS AHEAD!
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Our first image is of Sookie and an unknown person digging what looks like a grave in her backyard. We never see her accomplice’s face, but from the build and clothing, it looks like Lafayette (he’s wearing that same hooded jacket later in the clip). So who are they burying? Tara or Debbie Pelt? That’s a mighty obvious hole in the ground, not really conducive to concealing the fact that Sookie killed someone, so my guess is that they’re burying Tara. Possibly in a temporary grave so she can rise again as a vampire?
Next we meet Nora (Lucy Griffiths) who walks in with two other vampires, possibly Bill and Eric (the heights and builds suggest those two, but it’s too dark to be sure). Assuming she’s with Bill and Eric, Nora is either acting in her official capacity with the Authority and taking them into custody following Nan’s death at the hands of the dynamic duo, or they are on their way to blow something up (see below). We know that Nora is a double-agent within the Authority, and that must come into play fairly early in the season since these scenes are likely from the first four episodes.
The trio screencap fades into one of Bill watching…something, with his fangs out. The lighting matches both a moment later in the video when Eric kisses Nora and the explosion at the very end of the clip, suggesting that all three are part of the same scene. Have the trio just successfully executed a plan against the Authority?
Terry and Arlene are up next, and it’s ominous. Arlene is in bed when she looks up to find Terry looming over her with a creepy look on his face. We’ve been told that Terry’s PTSD symptoms will cause problems for him this season, likely triggered by Patrick’s arrival at the end of season 4. Looks like Arlene is in for another stressful season.
Next we have a glimpse of Jessica getting intimate with a man who isn’t Jason. This is probably Zander, the frat boy she encounters at a party she and Jason attend in the season’s first episode. Jason also gets chummy with a college girl named Cammy at the party. Are they trying to make each other jealous? Spice things up? Who knows with those two.
And speaking of Jason, he has a surprise visitor, as we saw at the end of season 4. The Reverend Steve Newlin is back, and now he’s a vampire. Somehow he gets Jason to invite him inside, which can’t be smart, but this is Jason we’re talking about. What does Steve want with his former Fellowship of the Sun acolyte? As we see later in the clip, he wants a snack, and although Jason isn’t happy about it, he appears to be somehow incapacitated and unable to escape.
Sookie’s having a rough day. Surprise. The shot of her huddled in the shower isn’t anchored in context, but it seems reasonable to assume that it’s after she buried whoever in the backyard. She was covered in her best friend’s blood, and the blood of the woman she killed, so a long, hot shower is definitely earned. As are her tears. Will she also remember Sexy Shower Time with her previous vampire lovers, just to add to her heartache? I’m guessing “Yes”.
Also grieving is Lafayette, shown next wearing the same jacket as the man helping Sookie bury someone in the first scene. He’s just lost Jesus, and now his cousin Tara. How will his grief manifest itself? Last season Lafayette realized his supernatural powers; will his grief turn his magic dark?
Sam isn’t faring too well in this clip, either. Our first look at him is bloody and disheveled, and it appears that he’s surrounded by some tough guys. The aftermath of killing Marcus doesn’t look pretty. Later in the clip, Sam rips his shirt off. This is clearly for my benefit. But it also fits with the repercussions in the shifter community following Marcus’ death. My guess is that Sam has to engage in a fight of some kind, shifting into various forms, as punishment. The bloodied Sam could be the after and the shirtless Sam could be the before, or they may be different scenes entirely.
Next we see Pam. She’s dressed demurely in black, eyes red from crying, and the horrible face disfigurement is either under control or the curse disappeared when Marnie died. She’s seated in a chair in what looks like Sookie’s house, which is odd given the hatred she directed at Sookie toward the end of last season. Pam doesn’t seem angry or particularly menacing in this shot; has she come to reconcile with Sookie? Is she in need of a friend after her falling out with Eric, and Sookie is the closest she has to a girlfriend? Or is she there to turn Tara?
Next is a lovely but puzzling moment with shirtless Eric. He looks like Amnesiac Eric here, stripped of his usual pride and arrogance (qualities I admire in him, don’t get me wrong). He looks downright pensive, really. Thinking about how he left things with Sookie? There’s also someone lurking in the background of this shot, possibly Bill. It almost looks like Eric’s hands are restrained behind his back, but if that’s the case, why is Bill free and lounging against the wall behind him? Is this a scene where the vampires are being punished by the Authority, or is Eric just changing his shirt?
The longest single scene in the entire clip comes next as someone drags a body through a dimly lit corridor and delivers it to an unseen recipient as the voiceover ominously echoes Russell Edgington’s belief that humans are simply food for vampires. We never get a clear image of who is doing the dragging, and the person to whom the human is being delivered is never shown, but I think it’s a safe bet that Russell is hiding out, regaining his strength with humans provided by his minion.
Alcide makes a brief appearance, apparently facing off with someone. All we see is the back of a bald, black head, which isn’t much to go on, but my guess is that the challenge to become packmaster is heating up and Alcide is asserting himself. He could also be advocating on Sam’s behalf after Marcus’ death or maybe confronting someone about Debbie Pelt. Still, my bet is it has to do with the struggle for power within the Shreveport pack. [Updated: And I'd lose that bet! This is from the season premiere, and the bald man is Lafayette, as seen in the extended version of this scene, available on HBO GO.]
A very quick glimpse of Bill, Eric, and Nora in the aftermath of a very bloody battle – presumably against vampires if those piles of yuck are any indication – sure makes it look like Nora is helping the pair escape the Authority. None of them appear to be injured, though, so were they a part of the carnage? They’re looking up at someone who has witnessed the massacre; who is it? Roman?
And finally, in a very fast, very muddled sequence, we have someone getting knocked down and perhaps dragged off to be eaten, followed by Lafayette in Sookie’s house, I think in the bedroom Tara used, being startled by someone/something and pulling a knife as the clip cuts to Sookie screaming for all she’s worth. These are the final shots before the explosion (see above), and I think they’re Tara-related. I think that either Jesus or Tara appears to Lafayette in the bedroom. He’s already on edge, and automatically draws the knife. Sookie screaming…well, it happens so often that without proper context, that’s a real challenge. I wonder if it’s not from the very first scene in the first episode and she’s screaming because Tara is dead.
And that’s what I got out of the promo. How about you? See something I missed? Have a different theory? Share in the comments below!