This review contains spoilers.
5.1 Turn, Turn, Turn
Despite the UK weather desperately trying to convince us otherwise, summer is once again upon us, which, for those of us with a penchant for fangs, shifters and weres means it’s time for our annual trip to the deep south. Rejoice brothers and sisters, for the one True Blood has returned…
About bloody time. The last nine months have dragged on endlessly, and given the ongoing misery that is British weather, the timing couldn’t have been better. Is there a more perfect way to spend a rainy morning/afternoon/eternity than in the company of Sookie, Eric, Laf et al? Unlikely. At least, not in a televisual sense. Anyhoo, having waited nine long months for our next dose of True Blood, Turn, Turn, Turn did not disappoint.
As always with their season openers, the show wasted a total of zero time, dropping us straight into the action. Fast-paced and packed full of teasers and questions, season five’s premiere once again set the bar, not only for season beginnings, but hopefully, for the rest of the series. Five minutes in and Tara was already well on her way to being a vampire, and Eric and Bill had felt the long arm of the Authority, and they were the episode’s least surprising events.
Let’s start with newly gay vampire-American, the no longer Reverend Steve Newlin declaring himself to a naked Jason shall we? First off: no way he was turned as a punishment – whatever the reason the Rev was made, it can only mean trouble for the Stackhouses. Secondly: poor, poor Jason. The boy just doesn’t have any luck – apparently being pretty and ridiculously stupid can have very dangerous consequences in the southern states, which, given his history should really be something he’s worked out. Although, it’s more than possible he’s starting to – which leads to one of the other surprises of the episode. He might be dumb as a box of hair, but damn if he isn’t turning into the sweetest idiot in the village. As far as we’ve been led to believe, Jason Stackhouse has never said no to sex in his life; it’s just possible that Jason has finally discovered his conscience. Having said that, it’s also just possible that sleeping with your best friend’s girlfriend, losing your best friend and then said girlfriend, and then having a man who tried to kill you tell you he loves you could put even the most womanising of womanisers off sex…
Perhaps the juiciest surprise from the season opener is the likelihood that there will be more than one big bad this year. Clearly, the Authority are dangerous – for the time being at least, but then there’s Marcus’ terrifying mother, Terry’s weird Iraqi-fire curse and Jesus’ corpse mysteriously walking away having cleaned up after himself… And that’s before we even consider the crispy bag of megalomania that is ex-King Russell, once again on the loose and no doubt after the same vampires the Authority are now in possession of. With so many general threats, as well as the inevitable consequences of the vamping of Tara and Debbie’s head removal via buckshot, it’s going to be an interesting, complex season.
Most interesting of all – so far – from a character perspective is the newly formed Team Eric and Bill. With Eric back to his old fantastic self, this bromance can really get going – it has tons of hilarious vampire potential, so fingers crossed it lasts as long as possible. On a related subject, we can’t not mention the almost-incest angle. This could well turn out to be something quite interesting – Nora is high up in the Authority, and as that’s going to be big this season, she could well be our in – let’s not forget, technically, they’re not actually related. It could however, just as easily have been a suitably outrageous excuse to get the Skarsgard naked. That’s not a complaint, now – naked Skarsgard is naked Skarsgard – but surely we’re past excuses at this point? Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt for now – it’s about time we saw some more of the Authority, and anything that gets us there is just fine.
So, the long winter is over, and with the arrival of the new season the short, steamy, down-south summer can begin. Well worth the nine month wait, Season Five’s potential is delicious, if for no other reason than the return of the fabulously insane Russell. Welcome back to Bon Temps – we missed you!
Rating : 8/10