Recap 5.1 True Blood “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

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Pam: “There is dirt in my bra.”

True Blood is back! Gooey, exploding corpses and gratuitous nudity (mostly male) everywhere.

Could Eric please come by and clean my apartment?

I was thinking that if there was a hint of life in Tara, Bill and/or Eric would show up (in response to Sookie’s distress) and save her. I didn’t expect it to be Pam, and I didn’t expect them to make Tara a vampire. As we neared the end of the episode, I thought, no, please don’t do something as cliched as having Tara’s eyes open at the last moment. Popping out of her grave like a jack-in-the-box was better, and yes, Pam as Tara’s mom was unexpected and interesting (and it’ll probably be hilarious), but couldn’t they have just written Tara out? And how come vampires can bring people back from the dead?

Lafayette lost the two people he loved most at the same time, and I was worried that he would indeed take his own life. The way Sookie and Lafayette supported each other through their mutual grief and despair was the best part of this Tara thing. But what happened to Jesus’s body? Did a vampire come by and turn him, too? (I want to make a quip about him turning up in three days, but I’ll restrain myself.)

After four seasons at each other’s throats, it was great fun to see Eric and Bill bonding the way they did: killing in tandem, trapped in a car trunk as “Silly Love Songs” was playing (which reminded me of a scene in Forever Knight), and wordlessly deciding together on an explosive escape attempt. And surprise — I liked Eric’s “sister” Nora immediately. Too bad her undercover status with Authority was just blown when they were taken captive.

True Blood Season 5 - Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Lucy Griffiths

Speaking of fun new vampires, it was great seeing Steve Newlin coming out of the closet, not once but twice. (We all knew he wasn’t that interested in Sarah’s pudding.) Steve said he was changed by a strange woman, and Pam said that Tara wasn’t the first vampire she’d made. Can we come to the obvious conclusion that Eric ordered Pam to turn Steve?

Poor Jason now has vampires coming on to him, right and left. Okay, “male, female, and otherwise.” While Jessica was hanging out with college kids, partying in Bill’s “palace” and having a blast (yes, she’s a cherry bomb), Jason was turning down passes from pretty college girls. Jason has grown up so much and become so likeable. Is he actually in love with Jessica?

Meanwhile, Sam was ready to sacrifice himself to protect Luna and her daughter Emma as well as Alcide, which was really cool of him. (I guess the character assassination of Sam that included a double murder is now officially over.) Much like Sookie and Lafayette, it was nice to see that their experiences have made solid friends out of Sam and Alcide. And the pack stuff was intense. (Really. Marcus’s mother chowing down on his intestines? Did they have to do that? Do actual wolves do that?) I usually find the werewolf stuff dull, but a power struggle might be interesting. As long as Alcide continues to come out on top.

So the one big thing I came away with was, wow, that was a whole lot of set up, a plethera of plotlines. Can they do justice to this many, or will this season be like the earlier ones — so much going on that the characters I love most don’t get enough screen time? Specifically — couldn’t they just eliminate whatever is going on with Terry and Arlene, and make them the supporting characters they were supposed to be? And why didn’t they write Tara out completely?

At least I am happy to report that, as a major fan of the books, I didn’t recognize any of these many, many plotlines. Not one. I was ready for that, so yay.

Bits and pieces:

— Sookie admitted to Lafayette that she wanted to kill Debbie. Sookie’s experiences have changed her.

— Massive cleaning job in the Stackhouse kitchen, where way too many people have died. Lemons on top of ammonia on top of bleach. Was that Debbie’s tooth on the floor?

— The zombie spell on Pam died with Marnie. Good.

— Many many naked guys. Even Chris Bauer did a nude scene, and Holly’s two sons walked in on them. Wade and Rocky. Wade and Rocky?

— Bill and Eric got pseudonyms they didn’t get a chance to use: Marcellus Clark and Ike Applebaum.

— Apparently, the fire that burned Terry and Arlene’s place (which was really Sam’s, since he was their landlord) had nothing to do with the ghost stuff. Terry’s friend Patrick lost everything in a fire, too.

— In this week’s hair report, LaLa got rid of all of his hair, something people in mourning often do. Jessica had a green streak. Everyone else looked pretty much the same.

— Russell Edgington is out of the cement and on the loose. Can’t wait to see him.

Quotes:

Sookie: “I’ll owe you one.”
Pam: “One what?”
It was mostly Kristen Bauer’s delivery that made that one funny.

Steve Newlin: “I swear it to you and I swear it to God, I am not here to hurt you. All I want is to talk.”
Jason: “See, you say that, but I seen your fangs. And I’ve been around the block enough times to know that fangs are basically like twin hard-ons.”

Pam: “I’m wearing a Walmart sweatsuit for you all. If that’s not a demonstration of team spirit, I don’t know what is.”

Steve Newlin: “I’m a gay vampire American. And I love you, Jason Stackhouse.”

Eric: “We fight like siblings, but we fuck like champions.”
Come on. Did they have to jump on the incest bandwagon and have Eric call Nora his sister? She’s not his sister!

I don’t expect Chekov from True Blood. It’s what it is, and I enjoy it for what it is. (Basically, it’s like sexy popcorn.) Three out of four Walmart sweatsuits,

Billie Doux

(Billie Doux and her contributing writers review science fiction, fantasy and cult television shows at 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

33 Comments

  1. Kathy

    June 12, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Just my guess, but since we’ve already seen Jesus as a ghost, I don’t think he can be turned. Glad you’re back, Billie!

  2. Mandy B

    June 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

    I don’t know how Tara was able to be turned when she was already dead and missing part of her head as well. Right now she seems like wild animal. I am not sure how much of Tara is actually left in there. When Jessica was turned, she was still Jessica. I just don’t see it as a good sign for Vampire Tara.

    • robyn

      June 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

      The rules say even a little bit of life left someone can be turned….maybe Tara wasnt completely dead she might have had a faint pulse

  3. Abel

    June 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Pam did NOT turn Steve, in the interactive feature on HBO GO on the iPad it said that Pam turned a guy in 1906 and his name was Conrad or something like that.

    • Madeleine

      June 13, 2012 at 8:54 am

      I think his name was Colin, just as a side note.
      So good to have TB back!!
      Although I have to say I could’ve waived Tara’s resurrection, and I pity Pam for having to deal with such a “child”.
      What I don’t get is why people get upset about Eric calling Nora his sister (and the action between them), what else should he call her? I just loved that he refused – for once – to run off and save poor Sookie, I’m so glad this is over (and I sincerely hope it will stay this way).
      But why is he suddenly so caring towards Bill? It’s not that Eric needs him or owes him….
      Anyway, I can’t wait for next week.

  4. Tina L Gordon

    June 12, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Tara wasn’t dead, but dying, that’s why she was able to be turned…. I don’t think she’s going to be grateful to Sookie and Lafayette for letting her be turned considering her hatred for vampires… especially as they got her maker to be the equally feisty and prickly Pam…. That is going to be fun!! V””V

    • Mandy B

      June 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      You are probably right. I just remembered how Jessica tried to turn the dead truck driver, and it didn’t work.

  5. Dar

    June 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Tara wasn’t dead, just “mostly” dead….and Pam did point out half her head was gone, acknowledging that this might be a sketchy turning at best.

    • Dar

      June 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Actually, now that I remember it, that came up in the books as well….Bubba had only the faintest trace of life left in him when he was turned, which accounted for his general dysfunction and the cat obsession….

  6. Shelly

    June 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I thought this episode was excellent, I didn’t know how much I missed it 🙂 So good to sit back and watch some TrueBlood again. I agree with your review alot.

    I didn’t know people could be alive with almost half their head blown off o.O IMO Tara’s going to be a mad blood drinking zombie and they will have to put her down *yay!* At least this means we will see more of Pam.

    As for Nora the newbie I liked her. Eric and Nora are pretty hot together. They better step Sookies character up because Im not caring if E/S are together anymore at all, and neither does Eric it seems. And I can’t wait for Russell.

    Negatives:
    -The werewolf crap is so boring, I couldn’t care less if sam died and we got no explaination how or why. He just died – perfectly exceptable. Same goes with Alcide to pretty much.

    -Arlene and whats his army guy face. It doesn’t sound like their plotline supernatural anymore, so why is it in there? Not that I would care much if it was….

    • Liz

      June 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Please refrain from insulting the talent on this show. That’s not what we do here. I’ve already had to edit.

      And Shelly, there are not going to be any zombies. That was made clear by Alan Ball. Sometimes it helps to read through the material already posted here.

    • robyn

      June 13, 2012 at 10:09 am

      I dnt understand…when did sam die??

      • Liz

        June 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

        Sam didn’t die, Shelly only wishes he would.

        • Jay

          June 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm

          Just like the author of this article wished Tara had died?

          • Billie Doux

            June 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

            I don’t “wish that Tara had died.” She did die, in a plot-heavy scene in the final episode of the previous season. She was brought back, even though she was clearly dead, and that appears to have changed the “rules” of how vampires function on this show. I don’t think that it’s ever been possible, in the rules of this show’s ‘verse, for vampires to bring someone back from the dead. As someone else mentioned, didn’t Jessica try pretty hard to bring that truck driver back?

            You know, maybe Tara will be a more interesting character as a vampire. I’m willing to let the writers dazzle me.

  7. Rebecca

    June 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the review. I think Tara is a talented actress and she had a wonderful part in Season One, unfortunately, the writers haven’t given her much that is interesting. I don’t care for the Tara as a vampire plot. I hope she won’t be the TB version of Bubba.

  8. Mairi

    June 13, 2012 at 9:13 am

    What was up with the werewolves eating Marcus’ corpse? I know that means something bads going to happen but I don’t know what it means. Did I miss something?

    • Liz

      June 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

      It must be some kind of ritual among the werewolves.

  9. robyn

    June 13, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I am pretty sure its Lafayettes mom that moved Jesus body….I read she was coming back this season so i bet she escaped the nursing home and came saw the body and cleaned it up.

  10. robyn

    June 13, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Billie, I love ur recaps but just curious what do u have against Tara??

    • Billie Doux

      June 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

      I don’t have anything against Tara. They just don’t seem to know what to do with her, and as a number of people have pointed out, it feels like they’ve changed the vampire-turning rules just to keep her in the show. I thought the plotline with Franklin Mott was terrific, but last season, she was just sort of there.

      • Jay

        June 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

        I disagree. I’ve enjoyed her on the show, her character has been an asset. I don’t understand the incessant whining about her”whiney” character.

        • Liz

          June 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

          I didn’t hear any whining from Billie, Jay. I get what she is saying and I’m a fan of Tara’s. It did sort of seem as if they didn’t know what to do with her last season. She had some key moments but all-in-all her presence there was pretty subdued.

          I’m also not a fan of turning Tara into a vampire but Mel and I talked about this in this week’s podcast and she actually said something that makes perfect sense to me. Turning Tara resets the character in a great way. Now is the chance to make Tara something more than a victim.

  11. Shannon

    June 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I loved the season opener so much, I’ve already watched it 3 times. Does anyone else…
    – Love La-La’s eyes when he was speaking with Alcide?
    – Love Alcide’s growl when responding to Lafayette?
    – Miss these amazing recaps? I love hearing Billie’s take on the show.
    – (and yes, I’ll admit it) Miss Jane Bodehouse?

    • Shannon

      June 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      PS – Tara’s mom and step-dad are going to freak out. Think they’ll bring her back? She’s an amazing actress.

  12. Jana

    June 14, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Great review as always, Billie. I always look forward to your recaps and I’m so glad your back again this season.

    • Billie Doux

      June 14, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Thanks so much for the welcome back! I’m enjoying all the comments.

      (Hi, my friend Jana!)

  13. Andrea

    June 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Just a note as far as books vs show, the fires at arlene and terry’s/sam’s sound a lot like a certain fire in book five… just leaving it at that, so as to not spoil it for anyone.

  14. Vamp_luvah

    June 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Woohoo! So glad for Billie’s review! There definitely was a lot going on in this episode. I’m glad they are giving new life to Tara (literally) bc Rutina is a great actress but yeah, I wouldn’t have been upset if she was gone for good. Jesus was a much bigger loss. I’m so glad Sam is the good guy again! I like him and the wolves and I love me some Alcide. I said this a million times last season and I’ll repeat again, it would be ok to cut out terry and Arlene’s scenes. Whoever said just let them be supporting character is damn right. It’s just too many plot lines. Finally, I’m hugely disappointed Eric gave Sookie the ole ef you. Yea she dumped him but geez it took less than an hour to get over it? Rebound whatever. I’m looking forward to Sookie finding comfort in the arms of a big, strong, tan, handsome, scruffy wolf. That might make me feel better about the break up(s)!

  15. Ree-Ree

    June 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    What I find funny is people, esp my group, are having trouble with the relationship between Eric and his “sister”. Yet no one seems to remember that Bill had a short fling with his grandchild. As for Tara, I hope she and Jessica become two of the worse vamps. I believe they can carry the show.

    I found this page last year and I am so glad that I did. Keep typing and I will keep reading!!

    PS I hope Sookie and Alcide do not hook up, he has enough problems on his own to have to deal with her’s!!!

  16. Stephy b

    June 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    It just seems like everyone is anti-Tara sometimes. I’m glad they brought her back. TB wouldn’t be the same without her. And the Goddess Pam as her maker!!!!! AH-MAZING!

  17. Bismack Biyombo a.k.a the next big thing

    June 17, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Hi,
    Please i’m looking for the name of the song that begins when Lafayette is talking to Jesus when he discovered his body wasn’t there. Lafayette says ” You told me to keep on breathin’, told me to keep on livin\'” while crying. Being there is a song, can anyone tell me the name of that song?
    Please please please please!

  18. CarinaT

    June 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Im excited with Tara being turned, it opens up all sorts of possibilities.

    Bill and Eric bromance is getting off to a roaring start. LOL. I wish Bill could remain king. He is so good at it.

    Im glad Alcide came forward to save Sam, but I dont get what Alcides problem is with his own kind. He must have some kind of trauma in his past.

    Terry is a sweetie, I dont know where this story is going but I hope he sticks around.

    Steve Newlin in love with Jason is hilarious.