'True Blood' Gay-Cap: Ep. 4.01 - Tara's Got a Taste for the Ladies?

The nine-month wait for Season 4 of True Blood proved to be worth it as the foundation for plenty of twists and turns (both in the sack and out) was highlighted by Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) new lust for the ladies (and new identity as a lesbian cage fighter named Toni). Series creator Alan Ball says "We felt like it was time for Tara to stop being the victim. It was time for Tara to really take charge of her life in a way that would be surprising and would give us some fun places to go story wise."
By: Leslie Dobbins
June 27 2011 5:22 PM

The grueling nine-month long wait for the premiere of season four of True Blood proved to be well worth it as the foundation for plenty of twists and turns (both in the sack and out) was highlighted by Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) new lust for the ladies.

Let’s back up for a moment…..if you remember, in the season three finale we saw Tara, ready for a major life change after being brutally attacked, stalked and drained by a vampire. In one of the most memorable scenes from the episode, we see her heading out of Bon Temps, sporting a new do and a new attitude.  

Now fast forward a year and we find Tara living in New Orleans, apparently moonlighting as a female cage fighter from Atlanta named Toni. And Toni/Tara clearly takes all of her frustrations out on her poor opponents in the ring. Except there’s the twist, and it’s a good one, we find that her opponent this episode is also her girlfriend. 

Now, this storyline must have come as a complete shocker for avid True Blood fans as you can recall Tara’s many failed attempts at making it work with a few of the men in town, including Sam (Sam Trammell) and Eggs (Mehcad Brooks). 

According to series creator Alan Ball, Tara’s new life is really not that surprising at all. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ball says, “We felt like it was time for Tara to stop being the victim. It was time for Tara to really take charge of her life in a way that would be surprising and would give us some fun places to go story wise. We thought, if somebody has been through something like that, maybe they would be prompted to create a whole new life and identity. And why not?”

Well, we can’t wait to see where this is storyline is heading. Thank you Alan! 

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In other news, our favorite damsel in distress, Sookie (Anna Paquin) fresh off her breakup with Bill (Stephen Moyer), finds herself in a fairyland full of happiness, light and tasty golden apples. Cue the harps, just stay with me here……

Well, it doesn’t take long for that light to turn dark and for the apples to end up resembling forbidden fruit. An evil fairy queen shows her true face and most of the fairies, except for Sookie’s fairy godmother (Laura Pulver), turn to monsters. They chase Sookie and her grand daddy (Gary Cole) out of fairyland. Sookie and grand daddy return to Bon Temps and we quickly find out that since he ate the golden apples, grand daddy can’t live in the realm of reality anymore, and as a result he evaporates right in front of Sookie’s eyes. But before he goes, he hands Sookie a pocket watch for Jason. 

Sookie, having lost yet another member of her family, returns to her home to find that it’s been sold and no longer belongs to her. How did that happen? Well, we find out that the 15 minutes that Sookie thought she was gone actually turned out to be 12 ½ months and her brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) thought she was dead. He sold the house because he couldn’t keep it up.  

Jason, now a cop in Bon Temps, has undergone his own transformation of sorts, he appears to be pretty healthy and of sound mind. Gasp…..Don’t get me wrong, he still says some pretty stupid things, but for the most part, he has a job, isn’t a suspect in any unsolved murders and is no longer a slave to the drug called V. A step up!

That is until he is thrown into a broken freezer and locked inside by one of the members of the ware-panther colony that he was left to take care of after his girlfriend Crystal (Lindsay Pulsipher) was kidnapped at the end of season three. 

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Speaking of V, former town dealer and kitchen cook Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and his now boyfriend Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) serve as the catalysts for introducing this season’s antagonists (as if Sookie and the crew need any more), the witches. They drop in on a coven led by Marnie (Fiona Shaw). Lafayette is skeptical at first but when Marnie starts speaking as Lafayette’s former client/lover Eddie (season 1), he runs from the shop. 

During the short scenes with the coven, we are introduced to a member named Katerina (Alexandra Breckenridge). She will, no doubt, become important this season as we see that she is the intriguing connection between the witches and the vampires. We follow her to a guarded compound that closely resembles Russell Edgington’s, the King of Mississippi and Louisiana’s (Denis O’Hare) palace. 

How could that be…..Russell was pushed into a vat of concrete last season? Katerina enters the mansion, heads into the office and we find Bill, behind the desk, sitting in Russell’s chair.  What?!?!  Well, since Bill was last seen fighting Queen Sophie-Anne (Evan Rachel Wood), we have to assume that he won the battle. Is Bill the new King of the Vampires? And why is he working with the witches? 

Season four isn’t wasting any time in building up Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bill’s rivalry for vampire world domination and Sookie’s affections. We see both Eric and Bill greet Sookie when she returns from fairyland. Eric takes the opportunity to point out that he never gave up on Sookie, unlike Jason and Bill, two men who claim to really love her. Oh, how sweet…

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Eric then returns to Fangtasia where Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) is attempting (and failing miserably) to show her human side while filming a promotional PR video for the AVL (American Vampire League). Eric is asked to step in and is quite charming.

Cut to Bill delivering a speech at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of a local senior center. You can see that the creators are setting up Eric and Bill, the Ying and Yang, one a sincere, handsome face….the other a politician. 

Lastly, we get to sexy vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) and Hoyt (Jim Parrack). It seems like the honeymoon is over for these two lovebirds, who are shacked up and playing house in a modest home in Bon Temps. In an attempt to smooth over tensions after an argument, Hoyt suggests a date night at Fangtasia. 

From the get go, Jessica is clearly having too much fun teasing the vampires and fangbangers at the bar. While dancing provocatively for the benefit of the club and the viewers (thank you again Alan), you can see that Jessica’s storyline this season is going to be one filled with plenty of sex and exchanges of bodily fluids. She is clearly fighting her vampire urges and it seems as though Pam is positioning herself to be a mentor (and maybe/hopefully more) to the young vixen. 

The premiere episode of the season definitely served its purpose, it laid the ground work for the remaining 11 episodes, and it definitely left us wanting more.

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