I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Spoiler Alert: True Blood Season Four

Season three of True Blood left a lot of open ends for us to wonder about until the fourth season arrived. Well, the fourth season begins in less than a week, so we'd better get a few things on the table.

Every season of True Blood to date has begun immediately after the events of the previous season. While there are a great deal of issues that we need to see resolved immediately, I actually think that this is the most likely season to have a time lapse. The reason the time lapse thing can work is because Tara left town at the end of the third season, so it would make sense for us to return to Bon Temps when Tara returns to Bon Temps. It could be interesting to see the consequences of these events a month or two afterwards, when they've had a chance to come to fruition. I'm not holding my breath on the time lapse thing, though. True Blood works really well when it is immediate.

One of the biggest things that happened at the end of the third season is that our good old friend "Vampire" Bill Compton challenged his queen, Sophie-Anne Leclerq, to a fight to the death, in order, we are supposed to believe, to protect Sookie's identity as a fairy. Sophie-Anne mentions that she is about twice as old as Bill, which we understand to mean twice as powerful. But Bill mentions that he no longer has anything to lose. Let's not forget also that Bill and Jessica trained for quite some time in the course of this season while as far as we know Sophie-Anne has just been sitting around playing Yahtzee, and probably cheating! Also, Bill has probably drank the most fairy blood of any of the vampires, which could give him an advantage. There are enough reasons on table for Bill to defeat Sophie-Anne and potentially become king of Louisiana.

Another strong possibility is that Sophie-Anne rips Bill apart. As soon as Sookie disappeared into the fairy realm, I began thinking: Why would Sookie come back? As pissed as she is at Bill, I wonder if his death would give her reason to come back into our world. The reason why this came to mind as the biggest reason Sookie would return to Bon Temps is the fact that Russell Edgington seemed tobelieve that fairy blood can resurrect a vampire who has experienced true death. That's why he carried the remains of his beloved around with him. Of course, there are plenty of reasons for Sookie to come back. Perhaps the fairy realm is in trouble and the two dimensions need to team up. Perhaps she needs to look after her cousin Hadley and raise her fairy child Hunter in order to protect himself from vampire detection. Perhaps fellow fairy Barry Horowitz needs her help. Perhaps any of her friends need her help. Sookie's coming back. Nobody doubts that.

Perhaps the biggest twist in season three was when Sam Merlotte shoots his brother Tommy Mickens. We don't see what happens to Tommy, whether he turns into an animal and gets away, whether he's shot in the shoulder or the leg, or whether he's shot in the head. I find it hard to believe that Sam would murder his brother, so I'm just going to bet on the fact that he didn't. What I'm really interested in with Sam are a couple of things he said in the first season. When he described himself as a shifter he placed two limits on himself: 1. that he cannot change into another human being because humans are too complicated, and 2. that he needs a model in order to shift. Sometimes rules are made because that's just the way things are, but sometimes rules are only proposed because nobody has ever broken them. Since Sam said these things before he'd ever really spent time with someone like him, I think it is a little hasty for him to set these limits. I think there's a chance that we might see Sam change into another human (most of our genetic makeup is indistinguishable from that of other animals) or perhaps something that he's imagined. And that's what I'm excited for with Sam.

Season three also surprised us by putting Jason Stackhouse in charge of a large group of people on the outskirts of town. These people were originally taken care of by a xenophobic family of were-panthers, but now Jason's the sheriff of sorts. Unfortunately for Jason we know that these people are not very cool with outsiders, so I think we can expect that they're going to at least attempt to change Jason into a were-panther. Will they succeed? I don't know. Will this be a major plot point for season four? I have no doubt. I hope they have some room for were-wolves too, because it seems like the only not terrible suitor for Sookie is now Alcide Herveaux, the were-wolf. He and Sookie are clearly interested in one another, and of course his former were-girlfriend is unaccounted for, because we totally have to have some sort of love triangle going on at all times.

One of my favorite stories follows the love affair of Hoyt Fortenberry and Jessica Hamby, a simple boy and his vampire girlfriend. Hoyt's mother Maxine and ex-girlfriend Summer showed their opposition so heavily that they have taken up arms against the vampires, which is kind of messed up. Expect this situation to blow up. As if that weren't enough, there's some sort of voodoo doll in the house that Hoyt and Jessica are going to move into.

And that brings me to what I expect to be the overarching theme of the fourth season. The fourth season is going to be the season of the witch. We've seen some fake witches, and we've even seen some that might not be fake. But Lafayette has certainly shown himself to be attuned, and his boyfriend Jesus has even been trained in magic. He's a bruha, or a witch. I expect that Lafayette and Jesus are going to come a little more to the forefront. I hope they're going to be the heroes who fight dark forces with their magical powers, but I do have some fear that they're going to become some sort of villains themselves.

But I guess we can't know anything for sure until the season starts up again this Sunday. And after that I'll begin my episode by episode run-down of True Blood. See you then!

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