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True Blood (Season 4)

True Blood (Season 4)

By Patrick Samuel • May 15th, 2013
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
TRUE BLOOD, SEASON 4 (DVD)
Warner Home Video/HBO

Release date: May 21st, 2012
Running time: 720 minutes

Creator: Alan Ball

Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Deborah Ann Woll

True Blood, Season 4

When it comes to vampires, there’s no other show that does it quite like True Blood. Filling the void Joss Whedon’s Buffy, The Vampire Slayer left, Alan Ball’s series, based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries books by Charlaine Harris, came across like a more graphic and grown-up version of the show I loved so much from the late 90s, especially with its strong language and nudity. The archetypal characters were all there, but I’d never seem written or portrayed like this before.

In the show’s previous seasons we saw the human folks of Bon Temps facing all types of villains; from vampires and a badass maenad, to a pack of werewolves and even a religious cult. Yet through it all our main character, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), together with her brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), and her best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley), always managed to get through it.

We’ve also picked up on some strong hints that Sookie might not be completely human, much to the interest of the vampires she’s associated with, namely Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård), who’ve been vying for her affections since Season 1.

Season 4 picks up with Sookie entering the realm of fairies where she learns about her true nature. When she returns to Earth she’s shocked to discover that she’s been gone for a year and has been presumed dead. Things get weirder still when she finds Eric in an amnesiac state, unable to remember anything about his past life and all the terrible things he’s done as a vampire.

As Sookie begins to fall in love with the new and improved Eric, there are other things happening in Bon Temps and outside of it too. Tara’s been making a new life for herself in New Orleans and is in a relationship with a girl called Naomi, but when she hears of Sookie’s return, she decides to pay her visit, not expecting to find Eric living in her house.

True Blood, Season 4

Meanwhile, Tara’s cousin, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) and his boyfriend start experimenting with witchcraft and they join a coven lead by Marnie Stonebrook (Fiona Shaw). When Marnie announces her plans to resurrect a human, the rest of the group realise that’s a little bit too much magic for them and try to walk away.

The coven also attracts the attention of Bill, who’s now the King of Louisiana, and Nan Flanagan (Jessica Tuck) the spokesperson for the American Vampire League. Fearing Marnie will soon be able to compel vampires with her powers, Eric is sent to deal with her, which is how he ends up in his amnesiac state to begin with.

EPISODES:

  • She’s Not There
  • You Smell Like Dinner
  • If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin’?
  • I’m Alive and On Fire
  • Me and the Devil
  • I Wish I Was the Moon
  • Cold Grey Light of Dawn
  • Spellbound
  • Let’s Get Out of Here
  • Burning Down the House
  • Soul of Fire
  • And When I Die

With Marnie taking the lead as this season’s villain, she proves to be a formidable foe against the residents of Bon Temps when her real goal is revealed. Still, she can’t outdo the chaos that Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes) rained down in Season 2, but she gives her a good run for her money. As for the werewolves and shape-shifters, Alcide (Joe Manganiello) and Sam (Sam Trammell) end up on the same side when a wolfpack give Tommy (Marshall Allman) a brutal beating.

There’s also the unfolding love triangle between Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), Hoyt (Jim Parrack) and Jason to contend with. It’s a lot to cover in just 12 episodes, yet somehow Season 4 of True Blood manages to do it and still offer a few surprises, yet I couldn’t help but feel it was missing a really strong villain as Fiona Shaw didn’t quite leave me convinced.

Despite this, there were some truly excellent moments, such as the mid-season cliffhanger which left us wondering about Jessica’s fate, and seeing venomous Pam’s (Kristin Bauer van Straten) face decay as a result of one of Marnie’s spells.

However, it’s the season finale which left me shocked and in a state of disbelief, proving that even when the show’s villains might not impress as much as previous ones, the main character are the ones who really make True Blood what it is – truly, bloody delicious.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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