By Ken Tucker
Updated June 27, 2011 at 08:35 PM EDT

The same weekend that New York state legalized same-sex marriage, True Blood guru Alan Ball revealed in the season premiere that, over the course of a one-year time-jump since last season, Tara had (a) become an MMA-style cage wrestler, and (b) found comfort, happiness, and sex in the arms of a woman (a work colleague, the nicely trim fighter Naomi).

All well and good, since Tara has endured more than her share of unhappiness over the course of this series, much of that unhappiness at the hands of the attractive, irresistible, but possessed Eggs. With Naomi, the biggest risk Tara would seem to court is a too-strenuous grapple in the sheets. Still, the season premiere had numerous examples of what’s become a True Blood cynosure: Ostensibly good sex leading to danger or unhappiness or both.

• For instance, Sookie’s affair with Bill has turned out quite poorly, with the result that our Sook is now justifiably angry and distrustful. So far, she’s also nursing a grudge against Eric, as who would not, if one returned from a year-long sojourn to Fairy-land only to find that the guy who lusts after you and says he “never gave up” on you now owns your house.

• Arlene and Terry’s baby is an example of procreation yielding a kind of devil baby that scares the heck out of Arlene and perhaps even leaves open the question of who the child’s real father might be. (Subtext: Promiscuous sex is bad.)

• A year into her relationship with Hoyt, the metaphorical bloom is off the red rose that is Jessica. They’re squabbling so much, the girl wants to bust out a little, engage in a little blood-letting eroticism at Fangtasia. I was going to write that the subtext of this is that monogamy squelches desire, but the hell with subtext: Pam just comes right out and says as much, with a dismissive laugh, to Jessica in the Fangtasia men’s room.

• As for Jason, he may have acquired a certain professional maturity as a deputy, but he’s still thinking with his nether-parts in re-entering the backwoods world of Crystal. I think he expected a hotter time visiting her than being knocked out and locked in a freezer. Check back next week for further elucidation on this.

Nope, the pursuit of sex is not paying off for the denizens of Bon Temps. Which is an interesting message for a series that built its rep on its summer-time-escapism steaminess.

Twitter: @kentucker

Episode Recaps

True Blood

Sookie, Bill, Eric, Lafayette, Sam and the other residents Bon Temps deal with vampires, werewolves, fairies, and shape-shifters—not to mention romance and drama

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