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Telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) and vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) are no longer a couple.
In the season 3 finale, vampire Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) made Bill confess to Sookie — who can't read vampire minds — that he let her get beaten nearly to death when they met because he wanted to feed her his lifesaving blood, which comes with the side effects of her having a raised libido and his being able to sense her emotions. Bill also admitted that the vampire Queen of Louisiana, Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood), had sent him to Bon Temps to ''procure'' Sookie, but once he found out that she was part fairy — meaning her blood is like crack to vampires and will allow them to safely walk in the sun for a limited time — he vowed to keep her safe because he loves her for who she is, not what she is. Sookie now questions their entire relationship and can?t trust him. Bill was last seen in a fight to the death with Sophie-Anne, having vowed to Sookie to bring death to every vampire who knows she?s fae.
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Sookie is now in a fairy plane.
Distraught over Bill's betrayal — and Eric having used her in his revenge against Russell (Denis O'Hare), the vampire King of Mississippi (more on that later) — Sookie disappeared with her fairy godmother, Claudine, to some place where she would be safe and not feel alone. Thanks to HBO?s eight-minute sneak peek at the season 4 premiere, we know the fairy queen has been harvesting the humans with fae blood in them because she wants to close off that plane — after Bill breached it last season — so vampires won't feed on fairies to the point of extinction, as they almost did once before. When Sookie and her grandfather Earl (Gary Cole), who'd been there for 20 years eating the blissful ''light fruit,'' try to leave, a fairy fight breaks out. Sookie and Earl are able to jump into the portal before it closes, but Earl was warned he shouldn't go because he had eaten the fruit.
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The American Vampire League is on major damage control after Russell, vampire King of Mississippi, pulled out the spine of a news anchor on air.
The AVL, led by power-suit-wearing Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck), is the face of the movement for vampires to have the same rights as humans. After Russell's televised murder and threat (''Why would we seek equal rights? You are not our equals.... We will eat you. After we eat your children''), the AVL's message is that vampires are as different from one another as humans are. It seems tension between vampires and humans will continue to run high in season 4. Russell was last seen being buried alive in cement by a vengeful Eric. Russell and his pack of wolves killed Eric's family 1,000 years ago when Eric was still human. Russell believes if supernaturals unite, they can conquer the human race sooner — which is why he has no problem leading a wolf pack addicted to vampire blood (or V, as it's called on the street).
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Eric wants Sookie. Badly.
Eric, owner of a bar called Fangtasia in Shreveport and vampire Sheriff of Area 5 in Louisiana, doesn't really care about humans, but he does, in his own way, care for Sookie. He's used her telepathic skills multiple times, most notably to help rescue his maker, Godric, from the Fellowship of the Sun in season 2. It was seeing Eric drop to his knees, cry, and beg Godric not to commit suicide in the sun that makes Sookie think there's something good in Eric. It's Eric tricking Sookie into drinking his blood (thank you for those foreplay dreams), and using her to get at Russell, that makes her not trust him. After he killed Russell's lover Talbot, Eric's plan was for him and Russell to both feed on Sookie's blood and die handcuffed in the sun once her blood wore off. Sookie, however, saved Eric, and Eric had her save Russell because he realized the true death would bring Russell peace. Hence the bury-him-alive backup plan. Bill was also there when Russell was buried, and pushed Eric into a second cement grave. But Eric escaped in time to make Bill confess his original intentions to Sookie. Sookie now wants nothing to do with Eric. ''Go back to hell where you came from, you f---ing dead piece of s---'' were her last words to him. But we know Eric won't let her go — not after that hot lip-lock they shared when he thought he was going to die and told her his biggest regret in 1,000 years would be not having at least kissed her.
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Jason (Ryan Kwanten), Sookie's studly, clueless, brother, is in love with werepanther Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher) — and now pseudoleader of her inbred pack.
Jason fell for Crystal before finding out that she was a meth dealer's daughter, a member of the Hot Shot werepanther pack, and promised to her half brother Felton for a lifetime of procreating. Jason, an aspiring deputy on the Bon Temps police force, found out that the DEA was going to raid Hot Shot, which had started selling V as well. He and Crystal went to tell her kin to get rid of the stash, and Felton shot his and Crystal's father dead. He took Crystal and the V with him when he left. Crystal begged Jason to watch over her people, which he said he would do. When we last saw Jason, he was getting chewed out by Sheriff Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) — who was hiding a vial of V in his desk — for screwing both their careers.
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Tara (Rutina Wesley) has left Bon Temps, hoping to start a new life free of vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and her mother.
Tara, Sookie's best friend with a notorious need for anger management, has had a tough life: an alcoholic mother (Adina Porter), who now thinks she's found salvation and love with a married preacher; a season 2 boyfriend so emotionally scarred by what he'd done under the control of a maenad that he was determined to die (Jason thought he was threatening Andy and shot and killed him, which Andy took responsibility for in a cover-up); and a psychopathic vampire kidnapper whom she drank from and had sex with so she could escape in season 3. We thought she was on the road to recovery when she slept again with Sam (Sam Trammell), the owner of Merlotte's, who is Sookie's and her boss, in the season 3 finale, but she couldn't handle finding out that Sam was a shape-shifter — and she decided to start a new life somewhere where she doesn't have to deal with "supernatural freaks." She was last seen driving out of town.
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Sam may or may not have just shot his brother Tommy (Marshall Allman).
In season 3, Sam found his birth family and rescued his shifter brother Tommy, who had been doing dogfights to support their deadbeat parents. Tommy began to work as a busboy at Merlotte's. Shorthanded on waitstaff, a drunk and pissed-off Sam asked his brother to take orders, and Tommy, not ready to admit he didn't know how to read, said no. Sam fired him and told him to get out of his life. Tommy left — but not before taking the money Sam had killed for in 2003, when he was scammed out of the cash he'd get for stolen jewelry. Sam was last seen firing a gun in the woods at Tommy, who refused to return the money because he didn't know how to make a living in the world after Sam had abandoned him.
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Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) has a boyfriend, Jesus (Kevin Alejandro), who is a male witch and knows Lafayette has an untapped gift.
Lafayette, Tara's cousin and the cook at Merlotte's, has had his own troubles: As a former seller of V, he'd been held captive by Eric and his second-in-command, Pam (Kristin Bauer), in the basement of Fangtasia. His schizophrenic mother, Ruby Jean (Alfre Woodard), is in a mental hospital. Lafayette is now dating Jesus, a nurse who cares for his mother. Jesus was against Lafayette selling V, because as Ruby Jean had told her son, Lafayette is powerful, and all that energy he has could go dark if he let it. And yet, Jesus did V with Lafayette, and the two went on a freaky mind trip and saw their ancestors practicing magic. Lafayette then began hearing and seeing things that people wanted to hide, like the blood on Sam's hands. Jesus said the same thing had happened to him when someone taught him magic. We know from season 4 promo footage that Jesus introduces a reluctant Lafayette to his coven, which has a run-in with Eric.
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Vampire Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and former mama's boy Hoyt (Jim Parrack) are moving in together.
After a breakup, Jessica, the vampire Bill was forced to make after staking a vamp attacking Sookie in season 1, and Hoyt, the nicest guy in Bon Temps, have reunited. She saved him from a fatal bite from jealous pit bull Tommy by feeding him her blood. Jessica admitted to Hoyt that she couldn't survive on Tru Blood (bottled synthetic blood) alone and that after their breakup, she'd accidentally killed a trucker because she hadn't been taught how to drink from humans properly. Hoyt told her to drink from him. He also told his anti-vampire mother, Maxine (Dale Raoul), and rebound girlfriend Summer (Melissa Rauch) that he loved Jessica. He proved it by surprising Jessica with a small fixer-upper for them to move into together. It came with a creepy baby doll.
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Arlene (Carrie Preston) and Terry (Todd Lowe) are still going to have a baby, despite her best efforts to abort it.
Knowing the baby she's carrying is the spawn of Rene, the man who turned out to be a serial killer of women who are friendly with vampires in season 1, Arlene just tried to end the pregnancy with help from Holly (Lauren Bowles), the new Wiccan waitress at Merlotte's. Holly gave Arlene a potion that would abort the pregnancy — unless the child was meant to be born. Apparently, it is. Terry, a shell-shocked war vet who works in the kitchen at Merlotte's, knows the baby is Rene's but has told Arlene he wants to raise it as his own. (''I want to marry you, and together we will surround that baby with more love than it can handle.'') He's a sensitive, good-hearted man who's been known to weep openly over how perfect things are in his life now. Which makes us nervous.
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Werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello) has worked off his family's debt to Eric. His sexual tension with Sookie remains.
Alcide's father owed money to Eric, who'd given him a loan. Accordingly, when Eric needed a werewolf to escort Sookie to Mississippi so she could try to rescue Bill from Russell and the V-drinking wolves who'd kidnapped him, he called on Alcide. The bonus: Alcide's ex-fiancée Debbie (Brit Morgan) had just started banging the head of Russell's pack, Cooter (Grant Bowler). Eventually, Sookie freed Bill. She killed Bill's maker, Lorena (Mariana Klaveno), and Alcide killed Coot to do it. Debbie, who had truly loved Alcide at one point and wanted a child with him (only he didn't want to bring more wolves into the world), was last seen failing to kill Sookie back in Bon Temps. Alcide was last seen settling his father's debt by transporting Russell when Eric and Bill buried him in cement at one of Alcide's father's construction sites.