The wait is over! "True Blood" returned for its fourth season premiere on Sunday and audiences got a big character jump, cage fighting and the return of a love triangle. Catch up with your favorite characters below, but be warned: spoiler alert!Stackhouse time warp:
Like other season premieres of "True Blood," which usually take place minutes or days after the events of the finale, this picks up right after Sookie gets transported to fairy world. Audiences saw the bulk of the beginning sequence weeks ago when HBO released the first six minutes of the premiere. Sookie's brief time in fairy world ended with a battle between fairies who want to keep their human/fae relatives from returning to earth, where they're vulnerable to vampires. There's something about Sookie that just causes people to fight.
She jumps into a canyon with her grandfather, played by "Office Space" star Gary Cole, and it turns out to be a portal back to Bon Temps. Her grandfather flickers out of existence because he ate poisonous fruit and Sookie mourns him for 4 seconds before returning to her home to find it under construction.
One of the construction workers warns Sookie that he's going to call the cops for trespassing but she's all like, "Go ahead call them." Sookie promptly starts crying again at her kitchen table, a.k.a her favorite crying spot. Moments later there's a knock at the door and Jason pops in wearing a police uniform. Big thanks to Alan Ball for putting Ryan Kwanten, who plays Jason, in a police uniform! A lot of fans must be happy about that.
It turns out he didn't entirely mess up his police career after the DEA raid in Hot Shot went bust because of him. Jason explains to Sookie that even though she believes she was gone for fifteen minutes in fairy world, she's been missing and presumed dead for 12 and a half months! So while he was frantically grieving, he sold the house to some financial company called AIK.
Not since season 3 of "Alias" has a character time jump been this interesting. It's one thing to have time pass for an entire cast, like when "Desperate Housewives" jumped ahead five years, but when one person doesn't realize that over a year of their life has passed by while others have moved on without them, it adds an extra vitality to the story. It also lets the characters evolve and jump to brand new story lines instead of just letting the current ones fizzle out.
We also quickly learn that Jason has grown up a lot in the past year with his sister was missing. Not only is he a responsible police officer, but he's the one keeping Sheriff Andy Bellefleur in check because of Andy's addiction to V. He is also still taking care of the orphans at Hot Shot. The last we see of Jason in the episode is days later, when brings food to Hot Shot people and a bumpkin locks him in a cooler.
Bill and Eric and life in the "Post-Russell Edgington world"
Feeling her human presence back in Bon Temps, both Bill and Eric rush to Sookie's house, but even though a year has passed to them, Sookie's heartbreak is just a few hours old and she is still sick of vampires. Even Bill's new hair cut, which Eric remarks with a "nice bangs" quip, doesn't mend Sookie's relationship with Bill. It's obvious she still has feelings for him but she pushes him away.
Bill, meanwhile, covers for Sookie to Andy Bellefleur who is angry that tax payer money and his personal time was spent looking for someone who might have just skipped town without telling anyone. Bill says she was on confidential "vampire business." It's enough for some to look the other way.
During the year and a half Sookie was gone, Bill has become an upstanding citizen for the vampire cause and working (and maybe fooling around) with Andy's pretty lawyer sister Portia to build a senior citizen's center. Oh yeah, Bill the new vampire king of Louisiana. Guess he won the fight with Sophie-Anne after all.
As for Eric, who must be miffed he has to answer to Bill now, he's still taking charge of Fangtasia. Pam tries to shoot a PSA for the vampire cause but Nan Flanagan is not charmed by her at all. Eric does his own extraordinarily charming version in one take. He later jets back to Sookie's place while she's trying to get dressed and reveals he's AIK and he bought the house because he never believed Sookie was dead. He also bought the house just to be able to say, "Sookie, you are mine!"
And the rest:
Ok let's get the biggest shocker out of the way. Tara is now "Toni," a mixed martial arts cage fighter (!) in New Orleans and tells her girlfriend (!!) that she's from Atlanta. During a love scene she sees a text that Sookie is back in town but decides to just stay where she is for now.
Lafayette is still dating Jesus, who is trying to get him to explore his witch side. Lafayette's not too into the new coven Jesus tries to recruit him in. He gets creeped out the first time when the head witch, Marnie, conjures up the spirit of his late vampire buddy Eddie (who Jason's old flame killed). He visits the place a second time and helps the group bring Marnie's dead bird to life. Oh and Bill has a spy in the coven group.
Hoyt and Jessica are fighting like newlyweds even though they haven't tied the knot. She doesn't cook and he is angry because he comes home to an empty refrigerator and is tired of Jessica literally draining him every night. They go to Fangtasia where Jessica is overpowered by her vampire urges for new blood and struggles to keep her urges in check.
Speaking of Hoyt, his mother has taken in Sam's little brother Tommy, who is nursing a broken leg. Guess Sam did shoot him. We learn that Sam is paying for his physical therapy. He is also attending "anger management classes," which is really just him and a bunch of shape shifters having dinner parties and running around as horses into the night.
Oh and Alcide ... wait never mind. Alcide wasn't in this episode. Boo.
Lastly, Arlene and Terry are still living together and for the most part they're happy, until Arlene arrives home and sees her new baby boy -- whose biological father is season 1 serial killer Rene -- sitting in a circle around Barbie dolls whose heads he yanked off. This kid is trouble.
What did you think of the premiere? Sound off below!