Stakes are high in Season 5 of True Blood

Yum (via Wikimedia Commons)

There’s been a coffin-shaped hole in my life for the last few months, but all is set to be well again with the Season 5 US premiere of True Blood, on June 10. It’ll be a while before we in Ireland get to see it, but here’s a sneak peek of the treats ahead for all us devoted fangbangers.

Last season, the focus shifted away from the vampires to the witches, ghosts, and shifters in Bon Temps, to True Blood‘s detriment. The result was a season that never really took off, with too much emphasis on irrelevant characters. By spending what seemed like ten minutes watching Tommy die, we got less time with Eric (for example. Cough).

Season 4 did have its moments; Jessica and Jason giving into temptation, Eric’s adorable amnesiac personality, and Bill discovering he had slept with his own great-great-great granddaughter. There’s not another TV show on earth that would have that last one as a plotline.

Well, where are the residents of Bon Temps now? Well, many single ladies might wonder what exactly is so special about Sookie Stackhouse (apart from that fairy blood, of course). She (Anna Paquin) has the ever so difficult choice between not one, but two, vampires; Bill (Stephen Moyer, her real-life hubby) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) as well as the upstart werewolf Alcide (Joe Manganiello). She listened her dead grandmother’s advice at the end of the Season 4 and decided to forgo the two vampire boys in favour of single life; well, until she shot Alcide’s crazy ex Debbie in self-defence. Screaming for help, we wondered who would come running.

Alexander Skarsgard (via Wikimedia Commons)

Her best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) got caught in the crossfire and ended up with a bullet in the head. We can safely (or maybe not) presume that it’s the tragic end to a tragic character who seemed to endure all the misfortune both the natural and supernatural worlds could throw at her. Tara became a lesbian last season, which almost always signifies a scriptwriter who has run out out of ideas for a character. Hopefully, there will be no miraculous returns for her, but the actress has confirmed that Tara will appear. Flashback only, I’m praying.

There is also a scheduled return for Jesus, Lafayette’s boyfriend, which might mean unfortunately we are stuck with the ghost story-lines in Season 5. I found this one of the most unsatisfying elements of the last season; it took great supporting characters like Lafayette and Arlene and gave them far more prominence than was needed. Hopefully both of these will be relegated back to comic relief next season.

Now one return I am looking forward to is the super-camp Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare). Last we saw of Russell, Bill and Eric had buried him in silver under concrete; but you can’t keep a good vampire down and we saw at the end of last season that the former King of Mississippi had escaped. There should be some more havoc wreaked by a character who was badly missed last season.

There are a few storylines that seem more than a little unpromising; Terry’s commander from Iraq comes to Bon Temps with a secret from their time in the army (yawn), and Sam and Luna continue on doing something which I can’t bring myself to care about. But going by the trailers that have been released, the emphasis seems to be firmly back on the vampires; Bill and Eric must protect Sookie from Russell, and we get to meet some new vampires from the Authority. Intriguingly, there’s Nora, who was ‘made’ by Eric’s maker Godric, making her a sister of sorts. We will also find out Pam and Eric’s back story. Pam is one of the best characters in the show, and I’m delighted we’ll see more of her.

Joe Manganiello (via Wikimedia Commons)

We will meet Claudette too, the late Claudine’s sister, and maybe find out more about Sookie’s fairy roots, a storyline which was rudely interrupted last season.

Jason and Jessica, who make a smoking hot couple, will continue being friends with benefits, and Jason receives a visit from his old friend Rev Steve Newlin, who is now a vampire.

I’m really looking forward to a return to form for this series, but who am I kidding? As long as Alexander Skarsgard continues stripping, I’ll be watching.

Watch the trailers for Season 5 here and here. Follow on Twitter @TrueBloodHBO, hashtag #waitingsucks…

This article appeared on on June 2 2012. I’ll be reviewing True Blood‘s new episodes, too. Stay tuned. 

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