Three episodes in and it’s already clear that some very strange things are afoot in the sleepy, supernatural hub that is Bon Temps. Aside from the magical children, and the still-yet-to-show Warlow, we’re now faced with possible daywalking vamps, rampaging weres and, most terrifying of all, a Jason-less True Blood. Things couldn’t be more strange in Louisiana.
Yes, after several hundred head injuries, it would seem that what’s left of Jason’s brain has finally given up the ghost. Or at least, that’s the most obvious possibility. Given that Bon Temps as a whole appears to be entirely distrusting of the medical profession – literally no one goes to the doctor – chances are that Jason’s sudden descent into unconsciousness actually has a supernatural cause after all. Could it be that Jason is special in ways that don’t involve a special bus? Of all the show’s long-serving characters, Jason has done the most to deserve a reward, and it has been a while since anything fun has happened to him. But mostly, a medical cause just doesn’t bear thinking about – the place just wouldn’t be the same without him.
Speaking of things being the same, let’s give Eric Northman a warm welcome back. It’s fantastic to finally have him back to his big, bad vampire-self – no diet Eric, no Sookie-loving and definitely no Authority-chasing – and while he may never grace the throne at Fangtasia again, the Sheriff is most definitely in the house. And no a moment too soon; Sookie-loving or Authority-chasing Eric would have been next to useless in the fight that is clearly on the cards. Given that the ex-Rev Newlin is spilling his guts in a feeble effort to save his own, Big Bad Eric’s wholehearted return, coupled with his incredibly sincere need for a scrap, should keep the Sheriff well and truly amazing for the foreseeable future. The internment camp, however, is most definitely not amazing. Even in this entirely fictional context, even the very small glimpses of it make for incredibly uncomfortable viewing. Considering that internment camps on US soil – never mind anywhere else – are still within living memory, it’s a brave show that uses this singularly disgusting war crime as a plot device. All of which means that the line has to be trodden very carefully indeed; it’ll be interesting – or horrific – to see just how brave True Blood can be.
Someone who’s not being so brave – at least where actual appearances are concerned – is the yet-to-make-a-move Warlow. Despite this deeply unlikeable trait – it’s hard to be scary if no one has seen you; you might as well be the closet monster – he’s at least proved that he wants the faeries gone as badly as the rest of us. Having gorged on faery blood – mercifully wiping out the faery population in the process – it seems this non-bravery will continue with his new-found daywalking powers, enabling the allegedly all-powerful, incredibly scary vamp to drop in at lunchtime. Given that Billieth has had the same – if less violent idea – it looks as if a Billeth/Warlow showdown could well take place in the dazzling sunshine. If a showdown, rather than an alliance is indeed on the cards, it’s difficult to know who to pull for. Warlow, despite his designs on Sookie, has done us all a favour with regard to the faery slaughter; Billeth on the other hand, is in his own way, attempting to save our fave vamps. Problem is, as the VUS has started to discover, the road to hell is paved with the bodies of liberal do-gooders who were prepared to do things most sane people simply would not. And if it turns out that Billeth is indeed in the Bellefleur kidnapping business, sympathy for s/he will be in short supply.
So, while it’s still early days, the prospect of the big bad - once thought to be Warlow - actually being the human residents of Louisiana is a mouth-watering one. Having set out their stall, not only with the internment camp, but with the wonderfully true to life, nutjob ex-Mrs Steve Newlin, and her declaration that politics is the best place to do God’s work – the battle for the soul of Louisiana will be a bloody, dirty one. Luckily, bloody, dirty battles are Eric’s specialty. Unluckily, with the special anti-vamp weapons in the hands of the locals, and the weres in pack-survival mode, let’s hope that the rag-tag band of vampires that Eric is in charge of manage to stay out of sight. What a shame that Tara doesn’t know what’s good for her…