True Blood Season 4, Episode 1 Review – “She’s Not There”

June 30, 2011 by  

Spoiler Alert:

Anna Paquin as Sookie (4.1) Finally! After months of blood-thirsty anticipation, we were treated to the first episode of the fourth season of HBO‘s True Blood“She’s Not There.

*Spoilers* if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

So… you spend a few minutes in the Faerie World, catching up with Granddaddy Earl (Gary Cole) and you get back to Earth to find a whole year has gone by. A whole year. Wha???

Up until now, True Blood’s timeline has been difficult to keep up with. While we’ve been watching the series for three years, in Bon Temps it’s only been three months (give or take.) Remember – Rene was killed at the end of season 1, but Arlene just found out she was pregnant with his baby in the middle of season 3.  So to pick up a whole year after last season makes for some interesting discoveries. And as we learned, a whole lot can happen in a year.

To me, I think the biggest surprise (at first) was Jason. Now officially a cop and helping out the kids that Crystal left behind, Jason seems to be on the straight and narrow. Bill and Eric both arrive at nightfall to check on Sookie, though neither of them stay long enough to explain their current whereabouts. Jessica and Hoyt are dealing with domestic life, while Sam is meeting with a group of shifters. Jesus convinced Lafayette to check out his witches’ hangout – “It’s not a coven” – where we meet Marnie and fellow witches. Arlene’s baby, named Mikey, is having a blast decapitating Barbies and Andy Bellefleur is hooked on V.

Tara‘s story was the biggest change from where we left her last season, I think. Now a cage fighter in New Orleans, Tara has taken on a romantic relationship with her fighting partner. And we see the tangled web of lies Tara’s been weaving, probably in a desperate attempt to completely demolish any memory of her former life.

And how about Tommy? Taking Hoyt’s place, he seems to like the life of a Momma’s boy. His testy exchange with his brother appears to show thier relationship isn’t in a great place right now.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the faerie opening on its own. It wasn’t until the time lapse was revealed that it all made sense. It makes for a convenient plot device, making the audience figure out what’s going on and not boring us to bloody tears with exposition.

When Eric reveals that his “company” bought Sookie’s house, I felt I should have known. I already had some suspicions when Portia revealed the real estate company didn’t have an actual office, but I didn’t think about it leading back to Eric. Very clever.

My favorite part of the whole thing was the last few minutes. Seeing Bill in his new position of authority and Eric craftily figure out a way to make Sookie his, I was in True Blood heaven.

Season 4 – you have my attention.

What did you guys think?

PS – I haven’t read all of the books, so I can’t say how well the story is following the novels. If anybody can help me out, I’d be happy to hear about it.

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  • Hey Everyone and Jaxx,
     We’re baaaack and Im so looking forward to S4 of TB.All the storylines are great.Hmmm.Lets recap-Bill is king-I agree this will not help Bill w/Sookie.Eric buying Sookie’s-Hell if I had a land lord like him I’d seriously reconsider his offer and jump his bones!!!Andy becoming addicted-1 is too many,1000 never enough-The witches were cool.Arlene and Terry dealing w/Rene’s baby-wow,interesting.Love the new Tara.Jason in the Hottshott community-I smell trouble!!!-Sam’s storyline was good.I applaud AB for all this.
    more.more more.Please
    I already saw episode 2 can’t wait for 3.

  • Hey Jaxx, I haven’t had a chance to check out the second epi yet, but I agree.  I loved the way the first Epi ended.  I must admit, I did feel kinda bad for Jason. I loved Tara’s story line.  I am not really sure I liked the Bill plot yet. I don’t think his new position will help him with Sookie, in fact, I think it will play into Eric’s plan. We will See!  Hi Jaxx! 

    • Jaxx

      Hi Ladies!!!  Nice to be back.  You are right Bill is not helping his situation with Sookie, he is essentially pushing her into Eric’s arms, but don’t forget it’s over 1 year for everyone else but Sookie.  This is still an hour old to her.  It seems Bill has been corrupted by power over the past year, but still has a special place for Sookie as he did cover up for her with Andy and Nan. 

      Eric will always be Eric, but he was just as sweet as ever with Sookie, stating that he was the only one who knew she’d be back and making sure her house was fixed up when she did come back.  Eric being Eric again I’m sure he has ulterior motives too, but for those who read the books, could the person in high places by Niall????  Is that why Eric knew Sookie would be back?  Has Niall been in contact with Eric already and asked him to protect her and we just don’t know about it yet???

      What do you think??  I so hope we continue reviewing every episode.  It’s so nice to talk with others and get other opinions of events. 🙂

  • Jaxx

    I agree.  I’ve read all the books, some twice.  I’ve read the short novellas in between too.  I think the core story plot is there.  In the books Bill is absent for most of book 4, having vamp business in Peru.  I like the way they incorporated Bill in the series, but in the books QSA has a bigger role down the line.  Hmmm, the writers are definitely going to have to do some rewriting there, especially if we get as far as the vampire summit in Rhodes.  But, they are clever people, I’m sure they’ll figure something out. 

    I also read some direct quotes from Alan Ball saying he will, for the most part, follow the Eric/Sookie story of book 4.  Can’t wait to see how much is followed.  Glad to see Tara has a new storyline.  Her getting constantly abused in some way, shape or form was getting old.  I like the reborn Tara and hope she stays.  Sam is always a good guy in the books so for me that is the biggest change, seeing a dark side of Sam, which isn’t necessarily bad.  His family is mentioned in the books, but not the TV family.  Want to see where the Alcide/Sookie story will also go.  They never quite made it to a couple in the books but there was always an attraction with those two.  Of course, Laf and Jessica has free range as Laf was gone after book 1 and there was no Jessica, so anything goes with these two characters.  Jason’s story seems to be following the book story, for the most part, except he is not in charge of the Hot Shot community in the books.

    The fae was a big part of the books, more towards the last couple though.  I think we are incorporating some of the latter books and characters sooner, especially Hunter, who didn’t show up until book 9 or so.  I guess TV is different and you need to adapt or jump ahead to explain certain things.  I’m okay with it. 

    So far, Season 4 is great and I have watched episode 2 already which revealed some of the unanswered questions from the first episode.

    Hope this helps.

  • I love the show, but as to your question about whether it follows the books? It’s a completely different story line.Based on viewing the newest episode, I’d say the similarities are: faeries (and Claudine in particular) exist (though they don’t show up so early in the series), Portia Bellefleur exists (though she’s described more like a female Andy as far as looks), Bill is out of Sookie’s life and Eric is in (hopefully they still incorporate the best Eric storyline EVER in this season, it seems like they will), and there are witches. 

  • I loved the first episode.  I have to admit that while I don’t know if I am a fan of the whole farie thing, I do like that a year has passed in Bon Temps.  It is going to be interesting to see what happens this season and I can’t wait.  How did Jason become a cop, we left season 3 with him being hauled into the station for tipping off the people in Hot Shot.  Andy becoming addicted to V, that is just great.  I have read the whole series of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and although the show doesn’t completely follow the books, it does have the spirit.  Right now without giving alot away, it really follows Sookie, Eric and somewhat Jason. and the witches to a degree.