Summer is almost here and you know what that means! True Blood, people, and it starts up again on June 10 with season 5. Though if I'm being honest, I'm just not as psyched about it as I was last year. I'm not sure what happened, but somewhere during season 4 things just got bad. While thinking about the new season I went back and read what I wanted to happen last season, and most of it actually came true, but the execution was just off. The sad thing was, they had all the parts to make it really cool, but it just wasn't.
There might be some book spoilers here so proceed with caution.
• For starters, there were no more viking flashbacks. We didn't have to be succumbed to looking at Alexander Skarsgaard in a horrible wig sexing up the peasant girls in any clichéd hokey memories.
• I also was hoping that they'd clean Sookie's house up which was still a wreck from season 2 and lasted throughout season 3. Having Eric buy her house while she was in the fairy realm was cunning of him since he wouldn't have to be invited inside anymore nor could he have the invitation rescinded. Well played, Northman.
• They also got rid of Sophie-Anne and made Bill the vampire king of Louisiana. This was a pretty big departure from the book and one that I loved. For one, Evan Rachel Wood didn't do Sophie-Anne any favors, she was bland and uninteresting. I also had trouble believing she was a queen because she had no real menace or charisma (things royalty need to have), unlike Russel Edgington who had it in spades. And for two, it was great to see Bill in a position of real power which brought something different to his character besides being Sookie's obsessed protector and one true love.
• I wanted to see Tara get a story line where she gets to be somewhat happy for once. Over the seasons her character has gone from strong-female with a chip on her shoulder to whiny victim who never stops complaining. In other words, she's depressing as hell. She's had some pretty horrible things happen to her, so why not let her be happy for a little while? It was believable that she would join up with the witches against the vampires but in the end, I wish she would have gone rogue or stayed dark instead of being manipulated into yet another horrible and diabolic plan. And what does she get in the end? She gets half of her head blown off in a season finale cliff-hanger. Either she is dead or the vampires she hates will have to save her with their blood. Poor Tara, she's the show's punching bag.
• Jason's stint as a sex slave for the werepanthers was disturbing, even for this show. And unlike the book, his bites haven't led to him becoming a panther-man during the full moon. Maybe he will eventually, maybe he won't, but I hope we never see Hot Shot meth land again or its inbred inhabitants.
• Sam's story lines have always been pretty meh, but his last one takes the cake. His new romantic interest was pretty boring and I'm not really sure what the point of it was. We got introduced to "skinwalkers" who are shifters who can shift into other humans but only if they kill someone. Tommy accidentally figures this out but in the end it doesn't matter because they killed him off. At least we can say that Ma and Pa Mickens will never be seen again as they are alligator food at the bottom of the swamp.
• Book 4 has always been my favorite in the Sookie series so I was really looking forward to seeing Eric in the romantic role for the season, but the show killed it. As in murdered it. I loved the memory-erasing spell and his hiding out in Sookie's house, but I didn't like that having Eric's mind wiped also meant that his sarcastic nature and wit was gone as well. The book at least maintained some humor with Eric's brain-warp but the show just turned him into a sad mope. And the love triangle became the last thing I wanted to see on the show (well, besides the inbred werepanthers), which is so very sad because I flew through the book to get to these parts. Sookie and Eric were sadly, totally lame, especially when they were tripping out on vampire/fairy-blood in an imaginary snowy forest complete with an animal skin-covered bed. I mean, what was that? Maybe my expectations were high but it was really a huge let down. Another reason might be because Sookie and even to a point, Eric, are more likable in the books, which is the exact opposite for Bill as he's much more likable in the show.
• The witches were very intriguing at first. A spanish Inquisition-era sorceress (Antonia) inhabits the body of a modern day wiccan suffering from low self-esteem (Marnie). Together they used necromancy to compel vampires to rise during the day and meet the sun, which was a really cool idea. And in the beginning it seemed like they even had a good reason for doing it, seeing as Antonia was raped and burned at the stake by vampires hundreds of years ago. But somewhere in the middle of it all things got convoluted. At first it was Antonia using Marnie's body to enact revenge but eventually it switches and Marnie traps Antonia inside of her to use her powers while she takes things to the extreme. When or why the switcheroo happened is never really answered. Also, the big hurrah really bothered me with the dead citizens of Bon Temps coming back to help defeat Marnie, mainly because Gran was really depressing, talking about how we're all alone and wearing the same nightgown she had on when she was killed. So in the True Blood universe you have to spend all of eternity in the clothes that you died in? That sucks.
• Jesus's "brujo" story also had both good and bad parts. For starters I really loved that Lafayette got to enjoy having an awesome boyfriend who was genuine and extremely good-looking for awhile. And he didn't have a hidden evil agenda, which is what I was afraid of last year because I didn't want Lafayette to turn into another tara, someone who has one traumatic event happen to them after another. And in the end that's exactly what it was, because Lafayette stabbed poor Jesus while Marnie inhabited his body. That's beyond traumatic. That's sadistic on the writer's part. Poor guy. I'm really going to miss Jesus, even his weird blue demon head that pops up during spells. I am however glad that we won't have to watch him exorcise anymore ghosts, because watching him help Mavis and her baby cross over to the other side as he cast her spirit out of Lafayette looked like one of the cheesier episodes of Ghost Whisperer.
Things I hope for:
• I hope they explain why the fairy realm looks like Joshua Tree and why all the fairies turned into trolls. Is this their true nature? Or is it an illusion?
• It looks like Chris Meloni is on board for season 5 and fans seem to be pretty excited about it. I've never watched Law & Order so I'm not that familiar with him but I hope he makes for some fun TV watching.
• At the end of last season we saw that Russell Edgington had broken free from his concrete grave in a parking garage. It will be good to have him back because he is desperately needed. No one does evil quite like Russell.
• I hope Tara is just mostly dead and not all the way dead so that she can be saved with vampire blood. I didn't really like her character that much but I didn't want her to die ... I just wanted her to have a few sentences of dialog where she's not whining. I also hope she stays for Lafayette's sake because that poor guy just lost his hot boyfriend and he can't lose his cousin too.
• The triangle between Sookie, Eric and Bill is getting tiresome. I hope they stay apart for most of the season so some of that original tension could build up and make things interesting again. Or better yet, how about having her hook up with Alcide this season. He sure could use some love after his vampire blood-addict girlfriend got her head blown off.
• I hope the secondary story lines don't bring the others down like they have in previous seasons. There are just so many people on this show and they each have their own story arcs. I hope that in the end everyone comes together to fight for the greater good, much like they did with Mary Anne in season 2.
• And finally, I hope that Jessica and Hoyt Fortenberry get back together. I just love those two.
Please tell me your thoughts on season 4 and your hopes for season 5 in the comments. I'd love to see what other people are thinking.