Category: True Blood

'True Blood' recap: Out of the darkness and into the light

'True Blood's' Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll). Credit: Art Streiber / HBO

What a way to end an episode -- vampire Jessica opening the front doors of Bill's mansion, allowing the blinding bright light of the mid-day sun to come streaming in over the threshold, just seconds before the screen goes black. Sunday's "True Blood" installment, "Cold Grey Light of Dawn," was undeniably one of the best of the season so far, with Jessica's life (or is that undeath?) hanging in the balance as Jason raced to save her from the spell cast by the returned necromancer Antonia and her coven, which includes a heartbroken and mighty angry Tara.

The spell, the same one Antonia successfully invoked centuries earlier, is, of course, designed to draw all vampires in the immediate area out into the open to meet the true death. Bill -- having learned from his now-deceased sheriff (and Antonia's rapist turned supplicant) that the witch had returned by taking possession of Marnie's body -- predicted that she would attempt to cast the spell and instructed his subjects to either leave the state or to voluntarily bind themselves in silver before going to ground for the night.

Jessica, though, who was chained beside the king in one of his underground cells, broke out of her bonds and struggled to meet the call of the curse, ignoring Bill's pleas to her to free him so he could join her. Let's hope that gunshot we heard offscreen wasn't the sound of one of the guards stopping Jason from coming to her rescue...

Although Antonia's point that "Vampires are not immortal, they are only harder to kill" is absolutely true, Bill's plan worked to protect most of the vamps we know and love. Pam spent the evening first terrorizing Tara and her girlfriend -- stopping only when she realized she was being filmed by a crowd of onlookers -- then undergoing some sort of supernatural chemical peel after one of the gapers hilariously wondered if she might be a zombie.

Eric, on the other hand, spent the episode with Sookie. First out in the woods where they're spotted by newly initiated werewolf pack members Alcide and Debbie, then on Sookie's living room floor and in her bed. The happy couple did find time for some conversation, too, perhaps the most poignant moment coming when Eric asks Sookie if she wants him to regain his memory. Would she/will she still feel the same way about him? She struggles for an answer.

(Not that anyone's asking, but I, like Pam, am really starting to miss classic, cocky, chaining-people-up-in-the-basement-of-Fangtasia Eric. This new version is a little too sweet. Anyone else with me?)

This being "True Blood," there was plenty of emotional turmoil to go around. Debbie's having a difficult time containing her jealous feelings toward Sookie, who occupies a whole lot of space in Alcide's thoughts, and Jason's having just as much trouble fighting the feelings he's having for his best friend's girl. Andy Bellefleur's awkward, truncated date with Holly signals that that pairing might be over before it had even begun, which could be for the best -- her position in Antonia's powerful circle might not leave her a lot of time for romance.

Lafayette and Jesus are living with the knowledge that Lafayette is a medium (back home at Merlotte's he's already seeing dead people as he spots the woman who's been visiting Arlene's baby, confirming that she's a spectral presence of some sort). And Sam and Luna attempt to pick up the pieces of their budding romance after they realize that it wasn't actually Sam but Tommy whom she slept with last week.

Rightfully irate, Sam nearly strangles his no-account brother and throws him out of his life for good. Somehow, I have the feeling he's not going to go quite so easily or quietly.

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-- Gina McIntyre

Photo: Deborah Ann Woll plays Jessica in "True Blood." Credit: Art Streiber / HBO

'True Blood' recap: Full moon fever

Alcide

When there's a full moon in the Bon Temps sky, seems that just about anything can happen.

And Sunday night it did.

Yes, Team Eric, our Viking vampire god and his part-fairy protector have taken their relationship to the next level, and to think, Bill is to thank for it all. It's the king who walks in on Eric and Sookie on the couch at the start of the episode, after a rotting Pam has let it slip that Eric's lost his memory and has taken cover at Sookie's. The vampires tussle before Eric realizes Bill is his king. Bill restrains him and places him in the basement detention center he's built in the same cell with a veiled, mournful Pam. Sookie objects, but Bill informs her that for once, it would be wise for her to stay out of vampire affairs. 

The Cheat Sheet: Who's who in 'True Blood' Season 4

However strenuously Sookie objected to Bill's treatment of Eric, she certainly would have gone to greater lengths to rescue Eric had she known that Bill planned to phone Nan Flanagan and ask that he be allowed to impose the true death on his supposedly uncontrollable subject. Although the authority grants that request, before Bill can carry out the sentence, he has a change of heart. He's struck by Eric's calm acceptance of his fate and his sincere pleas to tell Sookie what she meant to him -- that he was born the night she found him on the side of the road.

In the end, Bill decides to free not just Eric but also Pam, honoring another of her maker's wishes. Eric finds Sookie in the woods, and the two make love. Pam, on the other hand, finds Tara and her girlfriend Naomi -- who's driven in from New Orleans to learn the truth about "Toni" -- and, well, the encounter doesn't appear headed for a happy ending.

Naturally, the transformative power of that full moon reached far and wide across Bon Temps. Marnie has now become fully possessed by the spirit of the wronged sorceress Antonia. The episode's flashbacks spell out the witch's very long list of reasons to hate vampires, and she takes immediate advantage of her new physical form to subdue the ancient rival who confronts her inside Bill's lair. Things don't look so good for the undead.

Lafayette, too, becomes host to a spirit, but a benevolent one, which arrives just in time to save Jesus' life. Jesus is bitten by the snake he had brought to his grandfather to satisfy the shaman's demands for an animal sacrifice, but Lafayette is able to heal him mystically, even if he's not certain of the mechanics of the thing. It's obvious, though, that Lafayette does possess great power.

Tommy, meanwhile, manages to shift into Sam, if only for long enough to fire Sookie from Merlotte's (he does sort of have a point that she misses a lot of shifts and always brings drama into the bar) and to sabotage his brother's budding romance. That is, he sleeps with Luna without actually mentioning that he isn't really Sam, then rudely throws her out before he morphs back into his own body and slumps to the floor. By the time Sam finds Tommy, it's not quite clear if the boy's likely to make it.

Sam, though, already had had a bad enough day with his investment properties burning to the ground, thanks to those matches catching fire at Terry and Arlene's place. The couple wakes up with the bedroom fully engulfed in flame and escapes outside to find all three children -- and one creepy doll -- safely outside. Arlene is convinced that it's Rene's spirit tormenting them, but it's hard not to think that the woman spied only by her smiling infant son might just be part of the problem.

But the more things change, the more they stay the same, in one case anyway. Jason Stackhouse is still human. Turns out, the Hotshot clan had it wrong, according to Alcide and Debbie Pelt anyway, you can't actually turn someone into a were-anything. It's hereditary. So, despite Sookie's brother fretting away that he was going to lose his humanity -- but maybe secretly longing for a little supernatural mojo too -- seems there was nothing to worry about.

Except maybe that new love triangle that seems to be brewing between him and Hoyt and Jessica, who manages to reassure the former football star and resident ladies man that he is quite special just as he is. 

Guess love is just in the air... 

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TCA 2011: 'True Blood' creator Alan Ball to return for fifth season

-- Gina McIntyre

Photo: Alcide lurking in the woods in Sunday's episode of "True Blood" Credit: HBO

TCA 2011: 'True Blood' creator Alan Ball to return for fifth season

Trueblood “True Blood” creator Alan Ball said Thursday at the TCA press tour that he will be returning to the HBO vampire drama for a fifth season.  But never say never.

“Well, everything ends,” said Ball, whose resume also includes HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” “There will be an end for me on the show at some point. I just closed a deal to do another season. I don’t have any desire to leave because I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in my life.”

Ball was joined onstage by stars (and real-life spouses) Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, who play Sookie Stackhouse and Bill Compton, respectively.

And how could he leave now?  Ball said he's already planning stories for the characters in Season 5. He teased that viewers will get a glimpse into how one of the vampires was made and the mythology of the show will be explored. HBO hasn't officially announced the fifth-season renewal, but maybe it will be more inclined to do so now that Paquin has dared Ball to come up with something she'd say 'no' to for the show. The challenge is on.

The hit series, which is up for four Emmy awards this year, is currently airing its fourth season. And Moyer offered a reason to keep tuning in, saying Kristin Bauer van Straten (who plays vampire Pam) has a line coming up that is one of the greatest of all time.

Set the DVR?

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-- Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) in "True Blood." Credit: HBO

'True Blood' recap: Mystics, mayhem and making out on the front lawn

True Blood - Holly
 Thou shalt not kill is one of the most widely accepted of the Ten Commandments — it's hard to find people who think murder should be sanctioned (except maybe on Showtime's "Dexter," but that's a conversation for another time). Still, it's difficult to grieve for Joe Lee Mickens, he with the penchant for unclean underwear and brutal dogfighting, who is killed by his son Tommy at the start of Sunday's episode. 

Tommy strangles Joe Lee with a choke chain before bashing in his head. Unfortunately, Melinda comes between them during the scuffle  and Tommy inadvertently deals her a fatal blow as well. Panicked, he decides to head to Sam's for help, throwing the bodies in his van. The brothers opt to dump the remains in the swamp, but on their way, Andy Bellefleur (hopped up on V, naturally) pulls Sam over for speeding. Spotting blood on the door, he demands Sam open the back of the van.

When he finally agrees, Tommy, who had been at the ready to brain Andy with a shovel, has transformed into an alligator, scaring the bejesus out of Andy and giving the Merlotte boys the perfect cover for their ride to the swamp. They're simply taking a lost gator back home.

The Cheat Sheet: Who's who in 'True Blood' Season 4

Tommy and Sam do have a moment of fraternal connection, though, when Sam reveals to his wayward sibling that he killed two people who stole from him, figuring that if they could break a commandment so could he. And just as Tommy and Sam are bonding, Marnie is finding a different kind of connection to the spirit that possesses her to perform powerful magic. Turns out, according to one of the four remaining sheriffs that King Bill convenes to talk anti-spell strategy, she's a necromancer named Antonia who was burned at the stake in 1610, at which point she summoned the local vamps from their daytime slumber out into the sun to meet the true death.

Hearing the tales, Pam becomes overwhelmed with her desire to harm Marnie, who by this time has escaped from the woods where she performed the rotting spell that disfigured Eric's progeny, given Sookie a reading in which her departed Gran warns her not to give her heart to the man with whom she's falling in love — ahem — and been abducted by Bill's strike-force security team. (When did he get those holding cells and cameras installed in the house again?) Pam starts to list the witch's offenses and lets word slip that Eric has had his memory erased and is hiding out at Sookie's. Bill takes the news looking confused and wounded, though arguably less wounded than he would have been had he known that at the same moment Eric and Sookie were locking lips on her front lawn.

Of course, that was after plenty of sweet-natured bonding, which began after Eric has a disturbing dream in which his departed maker Godric is instructing him in the ways of vampirism. He tells Eric that he is a creature of death who is incapable of love and encourages him to feast on Sookie's delicious blood. Waking, Eric goes into Sookie's room and tells her about the nightmare, asking if he can remain with her until morning. She agrees, provided he keep his hands and his fangs to himself. "I will never hurt anyone as beautiful as you," he tells her.

But he learns, before too long, that he has caused her great pain — it's an enraged, terrified Tara who enlightens him. Tara had been telling Sookie about her girlfriend Naomi and how she'd been lying to her, and Sookie, nervously glancing around the room as the sun set, knowing that Eric would be likely to emerge at any moment, encouraged Tara to go to her immediately to confess everything. The support session is cut short when Eric does emerge, and Tara pointedly calls Sookie a hypocrite for extolling honesty when she's hiding someone in her house who turned her over to Russell Edgington, tricked her into drinking his blood and locked Lafayette in a dungeon for days on end. Eric is crushed to know his capacity for cruelty, but Sookie insists that there is goodness in him. And before long, they're kissing.

Photos: 'True Blood' Season 4 gets bewitched

It's mostly troubled romance — is there any other kind in Bon Temps? — for the remainder of the locals. Jason has a pretty disturbing sex dream about Jessica/Hoyt after ingesting Jessica's healing blood, while Arlene and Terry continue to be dumbfounded by the evil presence in their home, calling in the Rev. Daniels and his new wife, Lettie Mae, for some divine intervention, as Terry quips "like in 'Poltergeist.' " The plan doesn't work too well, though, with a book of matches mysteriously igniting as the couple fall asleep.

Lafayette and Jesus travel to see Jesus' shaman grandfather, who we learn in flashback forced his grandson as a 9-year-old to kill a goat to attain mystical power. Jesus figures that's exactly the kind of power they need to harness now to ward off angry vampire attacks and they travel to Mexico to meet the grizzled magic man. He tells them he'd been expecting them, yet seems anything but welcoming.

Unwelcome too is the intrusion of the new Shreveport pack master into Alcide's affairs, not to mention Portia's sexual advances toward Bill. The vampire glamors his distant relation so that she will no longer find him attractive. In fact, she now has an uncontrollable desire to scream and run away when she sees him.

Wonder if Bill would have the same reaction if he were to learn what's happening over at Sookie's house right about now?

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— Gina McIntyre

Photo: Lauren Bowles as Holly in 'True Blood'; since she doesn't get much screen time this episode, seemed right to include her in some way. Credit: HBO.

Comic-Con 2011 kicks off: now with more TV goodness

Comic-Con: Sarah Michell Gellar in 'The Ringer' It's the most wonderful time of the year — that is, if you're a fanboy or girl in San Diego this week. That's right: Comic-Con has officially started. And this year's confab isn't too shabby, with Steven Spielberg making his first appearance to discuss his motion-capture movie "The Adventures of Tintin." And, of course, there's the unveiling of Andrew Garfield as the new Spider-man.

ComiconBut TV is also proving to be a big draw at this year's sold-out event.  Ballroom 20, Comic-Con's room dedicated to television, will feature panel presentations from HBO's "Game of Thrones" and "True Blood" and AMC's "The Walking Dead." 

And several studios are planning to screen pilots, including J.J. Abrams' "Alcatraz" and "Person of Interest," and Kevin Williamson's "The Secret Circle." There's also "Terra Nova," "Once Upon a Time" and "Grimm." 

If you weren't lucky enough to score a ticket to the annual geek pilgrimage, rest easy. Our sister blog Hero Complex has reporters on the floor to cover as much of the madness as possible. 

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-- Yvonne Villarreal
Twitter.com/villarrealy

Photos: Top: Sarah Michelle Gellar in "Ringer." Credit: The CW. Bottom: Sorana Caldwell (left) and Gilia Melendez walk Comic-con in costume. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times.

'True Blood' recap: 'You drank the whole fairy -- Now you're going to your room'

  Photo: Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) gets cursed by Marnie (Fiona Shaw) in "True Blood." Credit: HBO You know you're in for a good "True Blood" episode (and plenty of fantastic dialogue) when Nancy Oliver's name is on the script. The Oscar-nominee delivered yet again with Sunday's "I'm Alive and On Fire" -- which nearly neatly summarized what happened to our drunken Viking after he downed all of Claudine's intoxicating blood and decided to go skinny dipping in the sunshine. That, of course, was after he made a few adorably inappropriate advances toward Sookie and took off in a flash, leading Sookie to call upon Alcide (who disrobes and assumes wolf form) to help her track Eric down.

The vampire isn't too pleased to have his sunbathing interrupted (lest anyone have forgotten, fairy blood enables vamps to walk in the daylight, if only for a limited amount of time) -- let alone have a wolf-turned-large-naked man standing beside his lady protector. The shirtless growling/fang-baring stand-off that ensues wins the prize for most amazingly awesome homoerotic moment in Season Four, no question, with Sookie trying to get her two suitors to calm down and back to her house before Eric gets a tan from which he won't recover.

With Mr. Northman safely squared away in downstairs, Alcide takes Sookie to task for living with someone so dangerous -- Eric is slowly beginning to understand that he wasn't always the nicest guy -- but she chastises him right back, given that he's reunited with his formerly dangerous ex-girlfriend Debbie. They agree to a truce with an embrace that seems a little bit more than friendly.

Meanwhile, of course, Lafayette, Jesus and Tara are frantic to find a way to restore Eric's memory before Pam can make good on her threats to harm them. The trio goes to see Marnie, insisting that she must reverse the spell she cast, but the witch can't manage to summon the spirit that took hold of her when she performed the initial incantation (that powerful sorceress, we learn, was burned at the stake in Spain hundreds of years earlier).

Until, that is, Marnie and the trio, believing they've found a spell that will do the trick, venture out into the night with Pam, and the impatient vampire berates Marnie once too often. Then, the ancient witch possesses Marnie and spits out a curse at Eric's progeny that leaves the flesh on her face mottled and rotting. Screaming, Pam flees into the darkness.

Continue reading »

'True Blood' recap: Sookie, Snooki, lost memories and one dead fairy

  Pam Wow. Where to even begin?

So, Jason Stackhouse is still tied to that bed frame up in Hotshot, and now, thanks to some certainly illegal Mexican Viagra, that old, stained mattress is the site of -- yes, I'll just go ahead and call it -- the most unsettling sex scene in the history of the show this side of Bill's head-turning romp with Lorena last year. Midway through his migration from human to werepanther, Sookie's brother is called on to begin his child-fathering duties by a desperate Crystal, who's excited to replenish the ranks of her pack with some outsider blood. But really, did the young 'uns have to stand in the background and watch the procreatin' take place? That's just not anything you want to see.

Better to think about our newly amnesiac Eric Northman, who agrees not to bite Sookie -- or touch her without her permission -- after she offers to help him recover his sense of himself. She takes Eric back to her home (which, of course, he doesn't recollect having purchased) and invites him in -- admonishing him not to track mud on the rug. She offers to find him something of Jason's to wear, which, of course, seems silly as there's no possible way Eric and Jason are the same size, but I digress.

In any case, Sookie phones Pam to tell her about Eric's condition, and the vampire arrives at the house terrified for the safety of her maker. Pam is convinced that Bill sent Eric to deal with the witches' coven, knowing full well that he might not make it out of the encounter alive (or is that undead?). Pam convinces Sookie that she needs to hide Eric for the immediate future, and Sookie reluctantly agrees.

As for the witches who cast that spell, Lafayette believes his best course of action is to go to Fangtasia and beg Eric's forgiveness, though Jesus and Tara are convinced that doing any such thing is tantamount to suicide. Ignoring their advice, he ducks out of his shift at Merlotte's and heads to the club, where Pam intends to torture whatever information Lafayette might have out of him. But before long, Tara and Jesus arrive to rescue him, Tara brandishing a gun loaded with wooden bullets as Jesus suggests that the circle might be able to reverse the spell if Lafayette is released unharmed. Pam tells them they have 24 hours to bring Marnie, the leader of the coven, to her or face, well, rather dire consequences.

Continue reading »

'True Blood' recap: Werepanthers, witches and psychopathic frat boys, oh my!

Marnie

Out with the old, in with the new, indeed. 

Eric's teasing notes to Sookie nicely summarized this week's crazy happenings in Bon Temps: Jason is on his way to becoming a werepanther after being attacked by Crystal and Felton (here's hoping he makes it off that extremely unsanitary mattress very soon); Jessica is picking up boys who are not Hoyt at Fangtasia; Bill is having graphic sex with ladies who are not Ms. Stackhouse; and now, our dear Viking has no memory of who he, or Sookie, or anyone else, might be.

In the climactic closing moments of Episode 2, "You Smell Like Dinner," the members of Marnie's powerful coven -- which includes Lafayette and Jesus -- join hands and summon some seemingly dark presence to take control of Eric, who, at the behest of King Bill, has paid a visit to the Moon Goddess Emporium to inform the witches that their circle will be permanently disbanding. Admittedly, he did ask nicely (well, nice for Eric anyway) before he ended up drinking Marnie's blood and threatening to do worse to Tara, who was attempting to stake him.

It's not long before Sookie -- who'd grown tired of waiting at Fangtasia to confront her new landlord about his presumptuous decision to build himself a "cubby" in her house -- finds him wandering down the road, shirtless and lost and wondering why it is exactly that she smells so good.

That, of course, is where we end up. Where we begin is with poor Jason regaining consciousness and finding himself tied to a rusted bed frame with HotShot's Timbo licking the blood from his head wound. (Strange how that seemed so much less icky when Bill did the same thing to Sookie way back in the show's first season. And Jason describing himself as "more of a Band-Aid kind of guy"? Hilarious.)

Continue reading »

'True Blood' Season 4 premiere recap: The queen is dead, long live the king

Bill-True-Blood-season-4

Bill Compton, king of Lousiana?

The season premiere of "True Blood" had plenty of surprises: Sookie's been gone for a year? Tara's a lesbian living in New Orleans? Andy Bellefleur's seriously hooked on V? Jason Stackhouse seems to have spent even more time at the gym during hiatus? (Seriously, how is that even possible?) But King Bill might top them all.

Vampire politics was quite the hot topic tonight, what with a glad-handing Bill speechifying at the local old folks home (appropriate, he points out, since he is the oldest resident in Bon Temps) and Viking Eric Northman recording a priceless PSA intended to depict nightclub Fangtasia as merely a good-for-the-local economy establishment. Clearly, it is a post-Russell Edgington world — as AVL spokeswoman Nan Flanagan so astutely observes — and we are all just living in it. 

As for the living, well, let's start with Sookie. After being brought to the plane of the fae by her fairy godmother, Claudine, she runs to her Grandaddy Earl, strangely unchanged since she last saw him, and she quickly surmises that the garden of unearthly delights is not quite all that it's cracked up to be. She wisely avoids consuming the light fruit she's offered and manages a narrow escape back to Bon Temps. She brings Earl with her, though the poor man doesn't last for long.

Heading home, she discovers her house has been sold by a distraught Jason, who's now a serious lawman tasked with minding a whole mess of inbred orphans up at the Hot Shot settlement now that his girlfriend Crystal has run off with her half-brother/fiance, Felton. (Shudder.) Naturally, Jason is overjoyed at Sookie's return, as are Bill and Eric, both of whom rush to see her at sundown. Concerned that she might be committed were she to tell anyone that she'd been vacationing in the world of the fairies, Bill asserts that she was attending to top-secret vampire business on his behalf. 

That, however, doesn't play particularly well with Sam (though he still agrees to give Sookie back her old job) or Andy, whose addiction seems to have spiraled out of control. We do meet Andy's sister, Portia, for the first time — she's the attorney Sookie hires to help determine how to get her place back from the real estate holding company that now owns it. But of course, it's really Eric who's bought the house, giving him the freedom to enter at will and catch Sookie in all manner of compromising positions. Which he does at the end of the episode, telling her with sinister, fang-bearing glee, "You are mine."

(Advantage: Team Eric.)

Continue reading »

Can witches beat vampires? The new season of ‘True Blood’ gets bewitched

Something wicked this way comes with the fourth season of “True Blood,” which premiered on HBO last night. In the season opener, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) ventured from Bon Temps to meet her, um, fairy godmother, and it looks like she may be pursuing a romance with Eric, according to costar Stephen Moyer. (Watch a preview above.)

TV witches: The funny, the spooky and the ugly But an equally intriguing storyline has Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) flirting with his witch-like characteristics. Season 4, based loosely on Charlaine Harris’ soapy novel “Dead to the World,” brings more witches into the mix, and Sunday's premiere had Lafayette being persuaded by hunky boyfriend Jesus (Kevin Alejandro) to join a coven.

The Cheat Sheet: 'True Blood' Season 4

“I’d say the witches certainly pose the greatest threat to the vampires that we’ve seen yet,” executive producer Alexander Woo told the Hollywood Reporter.

The coven of witches is led by Marnie (Fiona Shaw of the “Harry Potter” films), a witch whose plans could foil the entire vampire establishment when she goes head to head with the bloodsuckers. Alexandra Breckenridge (“Dirt,” “Family Guy”) takes on the role of Katerina, one of Marnie’s followers.

Shaw has signed on as a season regular, so we can expect to see quite a bit more of her storyline. The all-powerful witch pretty much goes after anyone who crosses her.

“I think what [the witches] represent is the power of the human spirit and sort of the power of life,” Woo added. “And they use that to perform their magic. Whereas vampires are the dead. They represent death, and it’s the contrast of life versus death with human versus vampire that I think is the crux of this season. And the very thing that allows the vampires to be animated is the thing that the witches can control.”

"True Blood" isn't the only upcoming programming bringing wiccan warriors back to the tube. Here's a look at some of the small-screen’s most memorable witches and a look forward to those who will join their TV coven. Click here for photos.

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— Nardine Saad
Twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Actors who play TV witches Katerina Graham, Melissa Joan Hart, Elizabeth Montgomery and Kevin Alejandro. Credit: CW / ABC / Nick at Nite / HBO

Do you know the way to Fairyland? 'True Blood' Season 4 premieres tonight

True-Blood-Season-4-Episode-1

And now, the wait is over.

The fourth season of HBO's addictive vampire series "True Blood" officially debuts Sunday night, meaning loyal viewers of the cable network's most popular current program finally get to catch up with Anna Paquin's Sookie Stackhouse -- who appears to have spent some significant time in fairyland during the hiatus. Thank goodness she knows better than to sample the seductive light fruit that seems to be all the rage among the guests of the fae.

Even with Ms. Stackhouse on an alternate plane, things in the supernaturally inclined burg of Bon Temps, La., appear to be just as charged as ever, with the emergence of a new coven of witches that is poised to rob handsome Viking Sheriff Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) of his identity, maybe more, this season.

"It's a completely different side of Eric," Skarsgard told The Times in an interview last week. "He doesn't know who he is so all that baggage is gone — 1,000 years of resentment and bitterness, the whole loathing humanity kind of stuff is gone. But there has to be an element of danger there still."

(For anyone who needs to catch up on what's happened on the show this far, there's a handy video recap and also a cheat sheet.)

With big changes in store for Eric and fellow vampires Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll), not to mention Sookie's living, breathing friends and relations including brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), who's about to get in touch with his animal instincts, it promises to be another dizzying season of paranormal activity.

We'll do our best to help you keep up.  

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Alexander Skarsgard loses 1000 years of emotional baggage

-- Gina McIntyre

Photo: Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman in "True Blood." Credit: HBO

 

 

 

'True Blood' star Alexander Skarsgard loses 1,000 years of emotional baggage

Skarsgard

"At 7 in the morning, I'm hanging from the ceiling in a Nazi uniform with fangs in [my mouth]," said Alexander Skarsgard, describing a typical day at the office in his role as sexy vampire Eric Northman in "True Blood." "I look over and I see [co-star Allan Hyde] there in his Nazi uniform hanging like a puppet. We're about to descend down to kill this wolf, you know? And that was the moment where we just looked at each other like, 'This is what we're doing for a living?'"

This season, Skarsgard's character is embroiled in a story line involving a loss of memory, revealing an appealing vulnerability. "It's a completely different side of Eric," Skarsgard promised. "He doesn't know who he is, so all that baggage is gone -- 1,000 years of resentment and bitterness, the whole loathing humanity kind of stuff is gone. But there has to be an element of danger there still. I didn't want him to become too much of a little puppy. ..."

For more on Skarsgard -- and the relationship between him and rival vamp (and Sookie-lover) Stephen Moyer -- read the L.A. Times Calendar feature.

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Photo: Alexander Skarsgard. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha /Los Angeles Times

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