OK so last season on True Blood, Tara died, Pam turned her into a vampire, and they fell, if not in love, then deeply in like. Alcide took over as packmaster, Sheriff Andy became father to a whole litter of fairy babies, Jason sustained a brain injury which made him hallucinate his dead parents, and Bill drank the blood of the vampire goddess, Lilith, causing him to go all Alex Mack into a pool of blood, and then rise, naked and terrifying. Tru Blood, the manufactured substance that allowed vampires to stop feeding on humans was in very short supply, because radical vampires bombed the factories in an attempt to start some shit. Oh and there was a smoke monster subplot which was supposed to teach us about the psychological and moral casualties of an unjust war but ended up just teaching us that not every character deserves their own storyline. Sookie Stackhouse declared her nether regions off-limits to all supernatural beings, only to discover that she had been sold as chattel to an ancient vampire called Warlow.
There were a lot of questions leading up to the Season 6 premiere of True Blood, but they can really be summed up as: 1. Can the show survive without original showrunner Alan Ball? And 2. Does the show have anything left to say? Well 1. Yes and 2. “Naked, evil superman.”
From the very first shot, which is from Bilith’s blood-soaked point of view, we know something has changed. For one thing, when Sookie opens her mouth to register her alarm at her ex-boyfriend’s gross resurrection, she appears—to Bilith—to be full of white light.
He roars his terrible roar and gnashes his terrible (and suddenly much longer) teeth and chases Sookie and Eric all through the Authority compound, playing hide and seek for keeps.
Outside, Sam tries to drag his beloved Luna to safety, but, like every one of Sam’s loves/everyone with a one-season contract on this show, she expires in his arms, though not before commending her werewolf daughter to his care. Don’t die, Luna! We only got to see you naked 200 times!
Outside, Sookie and Eric scoop up Pam, Tara, Jessica, Jason, and Nora, and flee the scene, after all staring for a minute at Bill and his new, extra long fangs.
Then it’s on to the Best Fucking Title Sequence Ever, which I could recap on its own. Every week. Forever.
When we return to the action, it is to greet Louisiana Governor Truman Burell, who looks nothing like (actual governor) Bobby Jindal, yet seems to be cut from the same cloth. He announces that, in response to the Tru Blood shortage and resulting vampire attacks, he is instituting a vampire curfew, essentially putting them all under house arrest. He also closes down all vampire-run businesses, and encourages all citizens to buy guns. Lots of ‘em. So if you think this show is just about pretty people biting and kissing each other, watch this speech again. What True Blood has always been about is tolerance. People figuring out how to live beside those who are fundamentally equal, but also fundamentally different. And what this speech and this episode are about, is people giving up on tolerance. People picking sides and building walls and stocking up on ammo.
And that’s precisely what happens after the speech. Jessica is at odds with Eric and Nora for wanting to kill Bill, her maker. Jason sides against all the vampires—and Sookie, for always taking their side—and runs away. Pam ends up opposed to Eric and Nora, stung that his sister is closer to him than she is.
Pam runs away to the beach, where Tara follows her, trying to catch the rebound. The actual dialogue:
Pam: I hate the beach. Fish piss and sand in your cooch.
Tara: You know, love doesn’t have to be a competition between you and everybody else.
Pam: Fuck off. I mean it, Tara.
Tara: You just don’t want me to see you cry.
Pam: I’m not crying. All right, I’m crying, but it’s because I’m fucking pissed.
Tara just holds her with a patience that she has never before shown. Like she has finally found something worth defending, and getting sand all over her pants for.