Season Four of True Blood was not the best season (One), but far from the worst (Three). The story is very straight forward and despite the idea of a witch coven threatening all vampires there is never any real sense of a grandness. Yes, our favorite characters are in danger all the time, but the threat seems localized to the county. And the lower scale of the threat allows this season to explore relationships. We’ve had big stories and character development, but this season is really about the links between the characters, romantic and plutonic.

At the end of season three Sookie disappeared into the faerie demi-plane. She mingles in what looks like a fey hipster themed NYC lounge where they hand out glowing fruit. Seriously, would you ever eat any food that illuminated like a lamp? Apparently only Sookie has any sense, must have got that from her grans and not from her grandpa who is sitting in Chez Fey having not aged a day in the last 20 years. Hello! And when she gets back to Bon Temp after about an hour in hipster hell, everyone thinks she’s dead, or was dead before she showed up again. What was a short period of time for her was a year for everyone else. And that’s just the first episode.

Sookie Stackhouse
So, getting back from fairyland and finding out she lost a year and everyone thought she was fang fodder is just the beginning. She has no job and no house. Yup, Jason sold the house to some numbered corporation in the Caribbean. Shortly after her reappearance both Bill and Eric show up to see her. She’s still mad at Bill for lying to her and still doesn’t trust Eric. Jason tells Sookie she probably shouldn’t mention the fairyland excursion and a concocted story about vampire business for the now king of Louisiana Bill just alienates her more from the people of Bon Temp. Now they think she was irresponsible for not telling them and they all worried for nothing. Sookie’s self pity parade comes to an end when she runs across a vacant looking Eric wandering down the road shirtless. He hadn’t just lost his shirt, he’d lost his memory as well.

And this little plot twist allows Sookie to get close to a very sweet and very nice Eric. She feels a need to protect this softer Eric. But babysitting a 1000 year old vampire with no memory isn’t as easy as it seems and so Sookie leans quite a bit on Alcide. This has many ramifications. Alcide is worried about Sookie and her involvement with vampires. This upsets a now sober Debbie, which puts a strain on Alcide’s and Debby’s on again relationship. Debby tries to build bridges with Sookie to ease tensions with Alcide. Bill is forced to watch as Sookie falls in love with new improved Eric. And what we have is a love quadrangle, Sookie, Eric, Bill and Alcide. And it gets muddier before it gets clearer.

Sookie spends most of this season trying to get Eric’s memory back, which puts her into the path of a witch possessed by the spirit of a necromancer who was abused and killed by vampires almost 500 years ago. Sookie basically has to protect a very naïve Eric and even Bill from a possessed Wiccan bumpkin.

During what should have been a meeting between Marnie/Antonia and Bill for peace, Sookie is gravely injured, Eric is taken and Alcide rescues her. It doesn’t help that Debbie followed Alcide. After getting trapped with the psychotic Marnie and watching Eric and Bill almost kill themselves for her she unleashes her faerie lightning to break Marnie’s spell protecting the witch hold out from the vampires.

Afterward Alcide has a chat with Sookie that neither of them should listen to their heart as it only gets them in trouble. She has a meeting with Eric and Bill and basically says that while she loves both of them she isn’t going to be with either of them.

Bill Compton
Bill was promoted to king of Louisiana for killing the last regent, who was breaking so many vampire rules. Other than having blood drink sex with whom ever he wants, the job is pretty thankless. He’s effectively a bureaucrat who does what he’s told. He is happy when Sookie returns and accepts that she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. Bill sends Eric to deal with a necromantic witch coven which ends up with Eric’s memory being erased. Bill convinces the Authority to issue the true death on the blank Eric, but doesn’t pass judgement because the new Eric makes Sookie happy. He breaks off a relationship with a local lawyer (and cousin to Andy Bellefleur) after realizing she is a distant descendent, awkward! Bill then focuses a lot on his relationship with Jessica giving advice, but not passing judgement. He must have been reading some parenting books between season. Prince Compton really steps up this season and does the right things for the right reason even if the outcome isn’t as expected. By the end of the season he has gotten back into Sookie’s good books even if she just doesn’t want a relationship with either him or Eric. Finally he and Eric stand up to Authority mouthpiece Nan Flanagan who has said the Authority will be coming after them. Bill and Eric working together without Sookie coming between them could be very interesting.

Eric Northman
Eric loses his memory when sent by Bill to check out reports of a witch coven with a necromancer. This kinder, gentler Eric gets closer with Sookie the way the old Eric never could. New Eric also is obedient to his king to the point of accepting true death if that is what is best for the vampires. Bill changes his heart because he wants Sookie to be happy and if puppy dog Eric can make her happy then he will step aside. New Eric runs into Sookie’s faerie godmother and drains her, which leads to a comedic interlude of a drunk Eric swimming au naturel in daylight. A not so funny confrontation between naked Eric and naked Alcide probably launched a thousand slash fictions. During a botched peace meeting Eric is stolen by the witches and made to assassinate Bill on TV. Sookie’s faerie magic breaks Marnie’s spell and restores Eric’s memory. Later with Sookie stuck behind Marnie’s barrier in a bookstore he is willing to kill himself along with Bill to save her life. Pam intervenes with an RPG which doesn’t end well for anyone and especially not for Jason. Marnie casts a spell that forces the vampires to walk into the barrier which is basically pure sunlight, but Sookie breaks Marnie’s spell again with a fairie blast. Jesus channels a dead coven member’s soul to break the link between Marnie and Antonia which causes the barrier to fall and the vampires storm in and kill Marnie. Pam is sent away by Eric for risking Sookie’s life in the RPG incident and Pam is super jealous of Sookie. Marnie comes back to possess Lafayette who is a super medium and sucks out all of Jesus’ mojo and kills him before grabbing Eric and Bill and intending to burn them. Sookie, Tara and a witch bring back all the sympathetic recently deceased to reason with Marnie to give up her crusade and go to the after life. In the end Sookie tells Eric and Bill that while she loves them both she won’t pursue a relationship with either. I’m guessing Eric will spend the off-season thinking about what he had and lost with Sookie and if he can change or convince her to give him another shot.

Jason Stackhouse
Poor Jason, he is abducted by the hillbillies from Hot Shot, bitten to become a werepanther and then raped by every menstruating female of the clan. The were panther clan are convinced that Jason is a mythical figure who will help repopulate their dwindling numbers. In the end they are just a bunch of crazy hillbillies. While escaping from the Deliverance rejects he is severely injured and Hoyt and Jessica come across him. Jessica feeds Jason her blood to heal him. And we know the side effects of drinking a vampire’s blood.. sexy infatuation. Hoyt and Jessica are already on a rocky road and things aren’t gonna get easier when Jason starts having sexy dreams of him and Jessica. When Hoyt ends his relationship with Jessica, Jason is reluctant to start up with her and ruin his friendship with Hoyt. When Marnie casts her spell Jason saves Jessica from walking into the sun after breaking free of her bonds. Jason is still reluctant to admit his true feeling towards Jessica until he is almost killed in the siege of Marnie’s bookstore. Jessica gives him blood to save him again and afterward Jason tells Hoyt he slept with Jessica. For his trouble he gets beaten down pretty badly by Hoyt, but never fought back. Afterward he accepts his feelings towards Jessica who he said he would have been attracted to even if he hadn’t have drank her blood. He also accepts Jessica’s terms of a more casual relationship based on sex as she isn’t ready to commit to a proper relationship. (Isn’t Jessica Jason’s dream girl? Casual vampy sex and an unlimited supply of V.) Shortly after making love to Jessica the missing Reverend Newlin shows up on Jason’s door, a vampire.

Lafayette & Jesus
This season’s big bad is probably created because of this magic couple. Jesus convinces Lafayette to join a wiccan coven and explore his untapped magic. The juice of these two seems to supercharge the circle and give life back to a dead bird momentarily. This seems to attract the attention of a malevolent spirit (Antonio) who then possesses their coven leader Marnie. A mole in the circle tells the vampires about the necromancy and Eric is dispatched to deal with the coven. After Marnie/Antonia send Eric packing sans memory the circle gets bold and decides to take out all the vampires starting with the local ones. Jesus then realizes there is some bad juju going on and takes Lafayette to the last person he wants to see, his grandfather. His grandfather is a powerful witch, but uses questionable methods. To help unlock Lafayette’s power he poisons his own grandson so that Lafayette is possessed by the spirit of Tio Luca who heals Jesus. Jesus pissed off at his grandfather’s methods again returns to Bon Temp to deal with Antonia. Back in freakville, Lafayette is possessed by a spirit obsessed with Arlene’s baby. The spirit mistakes the baby as her own. Jesus talks the spirit into coming to grips with the fact that she and her baby are dead and possessing Lafayette won’t help her. This just illustrates how easy it is for spirits to possess Lafayette and how awesome Jesus is. Marnie/Antonia meanwhile have put up a barrier around the Moon Goddess Emporium and Jesus makes his way through the barrier. Marnie is impressed by his power, while Jesus and Lafayette realize that Marnie is the malevolent spirit and not Antonia, who is just being used for her power. After Marnie kills one of the coven in a weak argument of self-defence, Jesus channel’s the dead girl’s energy to boost his own mojo and rip Antonia out of Marnie. This leaves Marnie with next to no power and the vampires rush in after her barrier collapses and put a bullet in her brain. Shortly after Marnie’s spirit inhabits Lafayette’s body, sucks out Jesus’ mojo and kills Jesus. Lafayette/Marnie easily captures Eric and Bill and intends to burn them like Antonia was. Holly (the good witch), Tara and Sookie summon the spirits of the deceased to convince Marnie to give up her empty vendetta. Lafayette is left knowing that his hand killed the one person he truly loved, but Jesus’ spirit comes back to tell him he is fine and is OK with everything that happened. Besides, jesus is a spirit and Lafayette is a medium so they can see each other anytime. Seriously, is Jesus not so aptly named?

Tara
After last season and especially her Franklin captivity Tara just bailed when Sookie went missing. We pickup with her in the big easy, New Orléans, as a cage fighter. This is probably the perfect job she has ever had, making money by beating people up. Wait, there’s not a single dude in the crowd and then she starts playing tonsil hockey in the alleyway with the opponent she just beat. Yes, Tara re-invented herself and switched teams. Everything is perfect until Lafayette texts her that Sookie has returned. Tara races back to Bon Temp telling her sapphic lover she has to go to a family funeral. It isn’t long before Sookie and Tara are fighting because Sookie hasn’t sworn off vampires. With nowhere else to go she tags along with Lafayette and Jesus and ends up getting mixed up with the witch coven. Tara thinks that casting spells on vampires like Eric Northman will end up with them all dead. Her New Orléans lover finds her and confronts her about her fake name and past. Tara says she loves her but sends her packing to protect her. While wandering home and waiting for Pam to attack and kill her she runs into Marnie/Antonia. Antonia and Tara have similar experience with vampires, all negative so they agree to take on the vampires rather than wait for their deaths. This places Tara on the opposite side of Sookie who is fighting for the vampires. But as time goes on Tara realizes that Marnie/Antonia is not only out of control, but is not any more moral than the vampires. She and Holly start to plot against Marnie after the possessed medium locks the circle in the Moon Goddess Emporium. Holly and Tara temporarily escape but then are pulled back into the magic store. After Jesus breaks the barrier the circle is free. On Halloween Tara, Sookie and Holly must confront Marnie who is wearing Lafayette. They successfully summoning the Bon Temp deceased to convince Marnie to give up her vengeance. Debbie who is using V and blames Sookie for taking Alcide from her confronts Sookie and shoots Tara in the head. Sookie shoots Debbie in the head in retaliation. Is Tara actually dead… for good?!?

Sam Merlotte & Tommy & Folks
After shooting Tommy last season, the brothers seem to have an uneasy truce. Tommy lives with Mrs. Thortenberry who is using him as a surrogate for her son Hoyt who is living with the vampire Jessica. Sam has a shifter support group and has his eye on a pretty public school teacher Luna, who is very evasive until he gets her to open up a bit. Luna is a skin walker, a shifter who killed a family member (her mother in child-birth) and can assume the form of not just animals, but of people as well. Further she has a daughter from a failed relationship with a werewolf. The daddy werewolf is very possessive and doesn’t like Sam moving in on what he still considers his. Having a falling out with Sam, Tommy finds his mom who he believes is now alone. When his controlling father comes back and almost chokes him (so that he’ll go back into the dog fighting ring) Tommy turns the tables and kills him. In the ensuing chaos Tommy’s mother attacks him and he accidentally kills her too. Having no one else to turn to he calls Sam, who helps him move and dispose of the bodies. Can you say gator food! Sam and Tommy are supposed to go running on a full moon as a bonding exercise, but Sam has to deal with a fire that destroys Arlene and Terry’s rental house. Tommy finds he can shift into Sam and uses this to fire Sookie from the bar and grill and to take advantage of Luna’s desire to take her relationship with Sam to the next level. After having sex with Luna he sends her packing rather dismissively. Sam comes home to find Tommy near death’s door and takes him to a hospital unaware of tommy’s betrayal. Tommy later tries to steal Maxine’s mineral rights by assuming her identity. Sam still unaware of what has happened finds Luna and wonders why she has been avoiding him. They both quickly realize that Tommy had pretended to be Sam and left a wake of destruction in his fake Sam path. Sam confronts Tommy and disowns him, again.

Sam goes camping with Luna and they finally make love while Luna’s ex tells Tommy that he wants to see Sam. Tommy says he’ll pass on the message, but instead shows up as Sam. The wolves beat him up badly and Alcide who is disgusted by the wolves behavoir tries to drive him to the hospital. Tommy knows he is dying and asks to be taken home, to Sam’s place. Sam rushes back and forgives Tommy and apologizes that he wasn’t a very good brother. Tommy is worried that no one will remember him when he is gone and Sam responds he’ll never forget him. Tommy dies and Sam and Alcide go looking for the head werewolf and Luna’s ex, Marcus. Luna calls and says her daughter is missing and that she fears Marcus may have her. When Luna’s daughter calls from Alcide’s house they rush over and find Marcus having an affair with Debbie. Sam beats Marcus in a fair fight, but leaves him to live because he knows it will eat Marcus up inside. Marcus grab Sam’s gun and Alcide crushes Marcus’ throat killing him. Alcide realizing Debbie is on V and betrayed who he is renounces and leaves her. Sam has a funeral for Tommy and only Maxine shows up. Mrs. Thorntenberry complains that Tommy was a manipulative and conniving person, but he had never been shown how to properly love or be loved.

Alcide & Debbie
Alcide and a cleaned up Debbie seem to be happy in Shrevport. Debbie wants to join the local pack, but Alcide doesn’t. Debbie is worried by Alcide’s blantant interest in Sookie’s well being, but Alcide points out he is in bed with one woman and it isn’t Sookie. Smooth Alcide! He reluctantly joins the local pack after getting off on the wrong foot with the pack leader. Marcus, the pack master, says there is something big going down between the vampires and witches and forbids the wolves from taking part on either side. Although Alcide and Marcus are getting to trust each other more Alcide saves Sookie after the peace meeting goes bad between Marnie and Bill. Debbie sees everything and it doesn’t sit well with her. Sookie is constantly leaning on Alcide to handle her various vampire problems. And even though Debbie is jealous of Sookie she tries to take the high road and become friends with her. Sookie remembering what Debbie was like when she was on V is rather cold, but tries so for Alcide. In spite of her new fragile friendship Debbie feels Alcide slipping away from her and ends up on V again. Marcus sensing a schism between Alcide and Debbie and having his own fall out with Alcide tries to seduce Debbie. Alcide and Sam find the two wolves together and after Alcide kills Marcus he breaks up with Debbie. While telling Sookie she should stop listening to her heart and start listening to her head and putting up the “I’m available sign” he gets an urgent call and rushes out of Merlotte’s
to an underground parked where a somewhat glamoured construction worker shows an excavated pit with silver chains on the side. Seems a vampire has “rescued” Russell Edgington from his concrete coffin.

Jessica & Hoyt
The realities of domestic life have settled in with Jessica and Hoyt. They seem to work on different schedules and are drifting apart. Jessica finds it hard to deny her vampire self and Hoyt is also finding it hard to ignore her vampire side. While they do love each other they don’t seem to be in love any more. Jessica gets more involved with Jason even before Hoyt calls it quits and says some words you just can’t take back. Jason and Jessica continue their dance of saving one another while not admitting their true feelings for each other. Finally after yet another near death experience Jason admits to Jessica he has always been into her, but didn’t want to lose his only friend (Hoyt) to be with her. After Jason mans-up and tells Hoyt his feeling about Jessica he just stands there and takes a beating by his ex-best friend. Seems Hoyt hadn’t moved on and was hoping to yo-yo with Jessica. In the end Jason and Jessica settle for a casual relationship that the old Jason would have loved, but the new Jason accepts as better than nothing.

Marnie/Antonia (The Big Bad)
Marnie is a local leader of some sad witches. No stereotypes were harmed in the types of people who are in her new age shop. At first there is this sense that Marnie is a kind and gentle soul until possessed by a vengeful spirit hellbent on destroying all vampires. It’s only at the end do we realized the spirit is the one who has forgiven, but can’t move on because Marnie harbours a deep hatred of powerful things… because she was powerless and ridiculed for so long. She spent so much time being bullied that given some power she become the ultimate bully. It’s one of the most pleasant surprises when we realize that the true villain is not Antonia, but quiet and polite Marnie who doesn’t stop her quest for vengeance even in death. Marnie is finally convinced to give up her crusade by others who are already dead. In the end the villain is convinced to leave non-violently, which is both neat and ironic.

Body Count

  • Tommy
  • Jesus
  • Debby
  • Marnie
  • Markus
  • Nan
  • Tara?

Finale
The season ends with Alcide realizing that Russell Edgington has escaped his silver and concrete confines. If this sets up Edgington as the big bad in season five, then next season will default to the worst season. You can’t rehash a villain from the worst season and expect miraculous results.

Iain McGregorTVbased on a book,Eric Northman,HBO,Season 4,Season Four,Sookie Stackhouse,True Blood,vampires
Season Four of True Blood was not the best season (One), but far from the worst (Three). The story is very straight forward and despite the idea of a witch coven threatening all vampires there is never any real sense of a grandness. Yes, our favorite characters are in...