True Blood season premiere recap: War Time
The battle has begun, but which side is Bilith on?
True Blood has long been about the battle between humans and vampires, and how power corrupts. But this season 6 opener, directed by Stephen Moyer, established that those themes are reaching a bloody crescendo.
We opened with the final moment of last season’s finale, Bill seemingly reborn as Bilith, as seen from his perspective. Sookie said “F—,” and he saw the light in her mouth. Then Eric told Sookie to run and off they went. Did you notice the way Eric held her hand, and then had her run in front of him? And the way he asked her if she was okay when they finally got to the elevator after she slipped and fell in dead vampire goo? Only Sookie would be okay after that face-plant. Naked bloody Bilith shut down the power and killed a guard. Sookie produced a small ball of fairy light so Eric could beat his way through to the elevator shaft. Meanwhile, Jason took out an Authority guard firing on him, Pam, Tara, Nora, and Jessica from above. The guard’s liquified bloody corpse rained down on Jason like he was in Flashdance. I hope this is a season of splatter! Nora offered Jason praise, but he’s still in anti-vampire Rambo mode, so that turned in to a pissing match until Pam interrupted and asked “Bitch Sergeant” who she was and why she was telling her what to do. So Eric never told Pam about Nora. Nora just said she was someone who promised Eric she’d escort this “ragtag band of f—ups to safety.”
As those folks worked their way upstairs, Sam was already pulling Luna outside. She said she was just slowing him and Emma down. She made him promise to keep Emma safe with him. As soon as he did, Luna died. Sam picked up Emma and ran as she yelled, “Mommy, no!” Ah. Still prefer her in puppy form, though. There was an Authority guard on Luna in seconds, so it’s good she’d made them leave her.
Someone, presumably Bilith, set the Authority compound on fire, and while Jason and Pam wanted to go back for Sookie and Eric, respectively, Nora insisted they had to keep moving, too. Just then Eric and Sookie pulled up in an SUV, and everyone jumped in. Another smart move, because the building blew. Jessica asked about Bill, and Sookie shook her head no. They heard the Bilith screech and drove off — but then they stopped to watch Bilith walk out of the explosion. Jessica asked if it was Bill and Sookie said, “Not anymore.” Then Bill levitated. Christ. They sped off and Bilith darted upward. Credits!
The Scooby Gang assumed Bilith had let them go, unless, as Jason noted, “he’s flying over our heads like a naked, evil Superman.” Timely! And it made me remember how I was recently thinking that the Tudors trio of Henry Cavill, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Natalie Dormer could’ve been a great Bill, Eric, and Sookie in an alternate universe. Nora assumes Bill has been reborn in Lilith’s image, but Eric said we still have no idea WHAT Bill is. Then we listened to the car radio, which took us to a live press conference outside the home of the human governor of Louisiana, Truman Burrell.
NEXT: “Shut up, Jason”
The Governor said he took an oath to serve and protect humans, not vampires, but that he had nothing against the vampire species until now: They’ve killed 246 of his human constituents since the Tru Blood factory bombings last week. To take back the streets, he instituted a state-wide vampire curfew saying they had to remain indoors or underground after sundown. He also said he was shutting down vampire-run businesses, and he encouraged humans with the financial and legal means to do it to purchase as many guns and wooden bullets as they can because they still have the right to defend themselves and those they love. This could be the most socially relevant True Blood season yet. A member of Human for Vamps threw a blood bag at the governor in protest asking him to stop the bloodshed. He quoted Andrew Jackson: “Peace above all things must be desired. But blood sometimes be shed to obtain it on equitable and lasting terms.” Jason was all for this, of course. In unison now, “Shut up, Jason.”
Pam was worried about her s—, which Nora thought was a wee bit shallow considering the world was about to end. Eric pulled over to have a private talk with Nora, and Pam asked him, “Who the f— is Mary Poppins, and can I please kill her?” That’s when Pam learned Eric had a sister he never told her about in the 100 years they’ve been together. She felt betrayed, like once again he lied to her and didn’t trust her. Eric told Pam to get over it and have his back or to get out of his face. She’s not bound to him anymore. She has a choice. “A–hole,” Tara said.
Eric wanted to know from Nora if there’s anything in the Book of Lilith to explain what they just saw. She said she’d never read about a resurrection, but that it only took one drop of “Lilith’s blood” to make her forsake her family and Bill drank the whole damn vial. If Lilith is walking the Earth in any form, it had to be destroyed. Jessica knew they were talking about killing Bill. She darted off, and Sookie told Jason that Jessica needed him. He wouldn’t go to her. Pam, meanwhile, crushed some sand castles (classic!) on the beach we didn’t realize they’d stopped at, and Tara went to her. Pam said she hated the beach — “fish piss and sand in your cooch” — but Tara knew what was really bothering her. She told Pam love doesn’t have to be a competition between her and everybody else. Pam started to cry and wanted Tara to leave. Instead, Tara put her arm around her, and Pam eventually put her head on Tara’s shoulder and sobbed. Enjoy that tender moment now, folks. You know with our Pam it will never last.
Sookie went to Jessica, and they both admitted they still love Bill but are afraid of him. Sookie told Jessica how she’d watched him die and turn into something else — they have to let him go. But if Bill’s gone, Jessica said, she’s all alone. Sookie told Jessica that’s not true. Sookie was way more comforting than Jason ever could’ve been.
Speaking of Jason, Nora told Eric she thought the brother knew more than he was telling them. Eric sincerely doubted that — ha! — but since Eric didn’t know who Warlow is and Jason does, off Nora went. She glamoured Jason into telling her that Warlow is the vampire who killed his parents and had been floating in the air in Sookie’s bathroom. Eric interrupted, and Nora broke the connection. Jason said he was sick of bloodsuckers “brain-raping” him and threatened to kill Nora if she didn’t tell him where Warlow was so he could kill him. Jason isn’t afraid of dying now, so he didn’t back down when Eric threatened him. But Nora said she’s never seen Warlow. She’s just read about him in the Book of Lilith. He’s Lilith’s progeny, one of the first vampires. Sookie and Jessica came bounding over and Eric told Sookie their siblings weren’t getting along and the only reason Jason was still alive was out of courtesy to her. Eric is being so decent! Pam and Tara came over, too, and when Tara told Jason to listen to his sister telling him to stand down, he called Tara a “fanger.” Jessica said he’d been out of his mind all night. Sookie finally stood in front of Nora and said the bullet would have to go through her. Jason said Sookie was now as dead to him as the vampires were. He didn’t fire, but he ran off.
NEXT: Bill wants Jessica back
Jessica started to leave, too — because her body was being summoned by Bill. Sookie begged someone to stop her, and Eric tried to hold her back. Jessica projectile-vomited blood on Eric (“Lovely,” he said, and she apologized), and then she collapsed as it felt like Bill was squeezing her heart. “Well, honey, it’s been swell knowin’ ya. Good luck,” Pam said, assuming that Eric would agree this was not their business. But Nora said it was — Lilith incarnate would bring the end to humans and vampires alike. Deborah Ann Woll (Jessica) was so good this episode. She wailed and writhed, and Sookie said she was taking her to Bill with or without Eric. Tara was going to go with them if no one else was, but Eric stopped her. He told Pam to take Tara back to Fangtasia and wait for them there. Pam tried to stop him, but Eric told her to get out of his way. It’s clear, to us, that he’s just trying to protect Pam, right? And Tara, too, since she’s his line.
We finally cut to the wolf pack — and the members in wolf form devouring parts of dead pack master JD. One brought over a severed arm to Alcide, whose father, Jackson, told him the only way to officially become pack master is to inherit the flesh. And so Alcide, still in human form, bit into it. Gross. Suddenly feel a lot less like kissing Alcide. Martha, Emma’s grandmother, told Rikki, Alcide’s lover, that the V would wear off but power was the more dangerous drug. After Alcide tossed the arm, the wolf who’d delivered it to him rose in her naked human form and said she’s happy to serve the new pack master in any way she can. She dropped to her knees (to bow, people!) and introduced herself as Danielle. “God help him,” Martha said as Rikki bristled. Everyone, including shirt-tearing, snarling Alcide, got naked and turned into wolves.
Over to the Bellefleur house. Andy was outside avoiding his four “alien babies,” as Arlene called them. That was a nice scene between them, particularly for his use of “hogtits” and her sex ed speech (“When you stick Mr. Happy inside somebody’s hoo-ha without a raincoat on, babies come out”). At first, it seemed like Andy was just being selfish, he didn’t want the responsibility of children, which he hadn’t asked for (um, neither did Arlene and Terry in this case, Andy). But then the truth came out: He just had no time to read a book or take a “poop class.” He had no idea how to take care of them and feared they’d hate him or he’d hurt them. She told him any halfway decent parent should feel scared out of his wits. She said there’d be days when he’d want to stuff them back up where they came from (good luck finding Maurella!), but that most days, he’d be grateful for every moment he has with them because nothing is more rewarding in this life. The smiles they exchanged — so wonderful. They went inside, and together Arlene and Terry talked him through changing his first diaper. He introduced himself to that baby and said he was going to be her daddy. The baby cried. But still, a sweet moment!
Sam arrived back at Merlotte’s, tucked sleeping Emma into a booth, and could sense someone was in the bar — it was Lafayette. They argued over why Lafayette was there: Protecting Sam’s investment. No drinking Sam’s tequila and sobering up on Sam’s office floor. Lafayette wanted to know whose blood Sam was wearing, and Sam wanted to know if Lafayette was drunk enough to forget he’d seen him. Lafayette poured himself another drink to be sure. “Is this about your girlfriend turning into Steve Newlin, ’cause that was the sickest s– I’ve seen on TV, and I watch Dance Moms.” BEST LAFAYETTE LINE EVER? Lafayette showed Sam how TV stations are replaying Luna and asking if she’s some other kind of supernatural species. Emma woke up, and Lafayette asked her what’s cookin’. “My mommy’s dead. I’m hungry,” she said. Lafayette took her into the kitchen to deep fry her something that made me want a funnel cake — and do something with her hair. HILARIOUS. Sam called him back out to tell him he was serious — Lafayette never saw them, Emma’s life depends on it. Lafayette said “wrong place at the wrong time” should be his middle name. Sam can trust him. Loved the way Lafayette told Emma to come with “Lala.” Isn’t that Lafayette’s mother’s nickname for him? That parenting instinct is kicking in. Sam had a moment to himself to cry.
NEXT: Sookie makes a choice, but Alcide doesn’t have to
Jason thumbed a ride with a wild-haired man, who said a little blood didn’t bother him and that the family he had long ago in Bon Temps is gone. Jason had his gun at the ready, but the only thing he fired off was his mouth. He told the guy his full story. I guess that’s what you do when you feel utterly alone and scared, but not the smartest move, Jason.
Sookie and Jessica arrived at Bill’s old mansion. Sookie was smart enough to make them each a quick stake, and they followed the blood trail through the house as I marveled at how great Jessica’s chest looked in that handmade V-neck. They saw a pile of red dust and thought perhaps Bilith was gone, but no, he was outside, clothed now as Bill in a Henley, and sitting on his porch. Sookie told him to stay back, but Bill stood and said he just wanted to talk. Nora and Eric swooped in, but Bill was stronger. Bill had stake-holding Eric by the throat — and Sookie staked Bill in the back, as Jessica yelled no. Bill suffered for a few seconds, then pulled the stake through his body out the front. HOLY S—. Now Bill wanted to talk. Fangs all in, Bill said he brought them there to show them he’s not a monster and won’t hurt them — unless they force him to defend himself again. He said he’s Bill Compton, but something more. He saw the fear in Jessica’s and Sookie’s eyes but said the man who put that there is gone. Sookie tearfully said he’s right, Bill Compton is gone, and if he really means them no harm he should leave Jessica and the rest of them alone — and leave Bon Temps and never come back. But his speech had worked on Jessica. She said she was staying there with him. When Sookie protested, Jessica bared her fangs. And then Eric did at Sookie’s defense. So hot. Bill made the porch shake and Sookie, Eric, and Nora left.
We cut to a car pulling into a bottling plant with the license plate TRUBLD1. I’m taking that as a Dallas shoutout. The governor was meeting with Ms. Suzuki, the head of the corporation that produces Tru Blood, to offer a government bailout. They’d seized this plant, and he was offering use of it free of charge to her until her own plants were operational again. He said he’d be a silent partner, so there was no PR nightmare. (Or, I thought, so vampires wouldn’t suspect he’d tampered with the bottles somehow to kill them? Do you think he’s legit?) He said his only goal is to get vampires back on Tru Blood so they can be law-abiding, tax-paying citizens again. The state needs revenue, and so does he, if he wants to be re-elected. I’m buying it, for now. They had a deal.
Back in the woods, Alcide and Danielle returned to naked human form and started to make out. Rikki caught them. Alcide apologized, and Danielle took the blame for starting it. Rikki walked in and began making out with Alcide. Danielle left, and Rikki called her back. I thought she was going to rip her throat out, but instead, she kissed her, positioned her between herself and Alcide, and made her drop to her knees. You got the feeling Alcide wasn’t going to be the only who got serviced by Danielle. “I’m your No. 1 bitch. Don’t ever forget it,” Rikki said. POWER PLAY! Rikki suddenly became interesting. But are we going to like Alcide this season?
NEXT: Pam and Tara fight about Eric, Eric makes peace with Sookie
At Fangtasia, Tara was trying to remind Pam that Eric had released her, so she doesn’t have to stay with him. It could just be the two of them. “You want to be Eric Northman’s punching bag for the rest of eternity, that’s up to you. But I didn’t sign up for that s—,” Tara said. Pam felt judged. She’d been with Eric for over 100 years, and what was Tara’s longest relationship? It’s Tara who’s turning love into a competition now, it seems. And Pam let her know theirs isn’t going to be an epic love story. She’ll never replace Eric, he’ll always win. So wait: Does that mean Pam wants to be romantic with Eric now? Or just that her bond with him is unbreakable because for Pam, it was always more than the actual maker bond?
At that point, guards broke through the door under order of the governor to close Fangtasia. Pam tried to sweet talk her way out of it, but one of them had his gun on her and made her kneel. Tara threatened to rip off his face, and though Pam told her to not to, too late. The guy fired something into Tara’s stomach, and she screamed.
Eric walked Sookie home and offered her money so she could leave and start a new life. She said there was no use running, she’d had so much of Bill’s blood, he could find her if he wanted to. Also, then we’d have no show. Eric said he never expected Sookie to stake Bill for him, and she said neither did she. Bill isn’t the only one who’s changed. She hasn’t turned out to be the girl she thought she’d be. Eric said to him, she’d always be the girl in the white dress he first met at Fangtasia. He opened the house door for her, to remind us he had a key because he owns the place now. She said she’d offer him a drink but she’s out of Tru Blood, and we were reminded even though they’re working together, they’re NOT together. He asked for a pen and paper instead. He used his own blood to sign the house back over to Sookie. It was the least he could do. And with that, she seized her chance to be the girl in the white dress again. She rescinded her invitation to Eric, and he gracefully glided out after the door opened. “Goodnight, Miss Stackhouse,” he said. To me, that meant Eric is going to respect her decision to stay away from him, just like he’d asked her to stay away from Bill. That’s what a sane, strong woman should’ve done. Still, as a TV viewer and frequent user of the Skarsgard Your Loins tag on our PopWatch blog, I would’ve liked to have seen her at least kiss solemn, sensitive, real Eric goodbye.
Eric just stood there and watched Sookie through the curtained door window, and we panned back to Nora, sitting on the porch. She wanted to know if they could use “the fairy” in their war against Bill. Eric said Sookie stays out of this, and they stay away from her. Nora was shocked to realize Eric loves Sookie. He said in another life he had. Nora said she wasn’t sure what Bill’s weakness is, but she’d just found Eric’s. He told her not to stir that pot. Is Nora just curious about the woman who captured her brother’s heart, or is she still willing to use Sookie against Eric’s wishes? Time will tell.
NEXT: Bill and Jason’s driver both remain a mystery
After we saw that Andy’s four girls TURNED INTO TODDLERS OVER NIGHT, we cut to Jessica in bed. Bill came in with warm Tru Blood to tuck her in. (It is Father’s Day, after all.) She went to set the glass down on the nightstand (apparently rationing), and it started to fall. Bill stopped it mid-air and raised it back up. Another new talent. Jessica wanted him to hear how much he’d physically hurt her when he summoned her, what a monster he’d looked like when they left him at the Authority, and how scared she is of what she’s walked into now. He sounded like real Bill when he said he had no answers and doesn’t know what or why he is. He told her the story of how power corrupted the initially decent Gen. William Sherman in the Civil War. He said that he needs her to keep him honest and in check so that his new powers don’t turn him mad — “’cause surviving a stakin’ is some heady f—in’ s—.” It’s when he added that Jessica was the only one that he can trust — pretty heavy-handed — that I really started thinking he might be playing her here. What do you think? How much of Bill is still in there?
When we caught up with Jason, he’d just gotten to the Bilith part of his story, and how he was sort of like the “gay boy” in The Sixth Sense now because he can see dead people — okay, just his parents, who have made him a little racist and scary. He saw them in the backseat of the car. He said his sister would put him in a straight jacket, and then who would keep Warlow from coming after her? The older guy said Jason couldn’t keep Warlow away from Sookie. How did he know Sookie’s name when Jason never said it? “Who the hell do you think I am, Jason?” the man asked laughing. Had Jason just told Warlow everything? Jason fired a shot, but the man evaporated. The old contract promising Sookie to Warlow lit up by Sookie’s bedstand. WHAT IS HAPPENING? (Spoiler alert: If you’ve read character descriptions, you know that guy’s not actually Warlow.)
Bill was reading when he was interrupted by images of fiery whipping and heard his name being called. He went to his office and saw three bloody Lilith-looking women, who shushed him when he asked who they were. They all three flew into him. He gasped. And scene! So maybe that had been realish Bill that Jessica was talking to. So confused.
What did you think of the episode? What are your theories? Do you still care about Bill? Are you rooting for Sookie to stay away from Eric? Go!