True Blood

Season 4 Episode 1

She's Not There

12
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 26, 2011 on HBO
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

8.3
out of 10
Average
383 votes
  • She's Not There

    9.0
    She's Not There was a superb episode and season 4 premiere of True Blood. I really liked how the season picked up where Sookie left off and after discovering a shocking truth Sookie returns home to find many things have changed. With a time leap it was nice to get a glimpse of all the major characters and a taste of what is currently going on with them. I wish there would have been more information or story line with the fairies in the beginning of the episode or at least Sookie talking about where she had been and what happened. The season seems to be shaping up nicely as there were definitely a few shocking and surprising moments in the episode. I really look forward to watching the next episode to see how circumstances develop in the True Blood universe!!!!!!!
  • True Blood stumbles a bit in its premiere

    7.2
    I nearly rated this episode lower than it was now, but I had to recognize the audacity and (sometimes) insanity of "True Blood." Here's a show that is gritty, violent, sexy, gory and refuses to play by the rules. The characters are as fun as ever and the plots are, as usual, pretty minor right now but can be expected to explode at any second. The Season 4 premiere had plenty to enjoy and was certainly full of what made the first three seasons so enjoyable.

    Well… perhaps not quite. Despite any entertaining moments and the occasionally surprise or typical twist at the end, the episode sometimes felt rushed, lazy and sometimes lame. You don't end an episode, especially a season finale, with five plots cliffhanging and then jump forward a year in the future to explain what happened. Sure, as the episode went on, the time jump became easier to stomach, but something about it, at first, didn't sit right with me.

    Let me back track: the episode begins by showing us where Sookie was taken. At first, it seems like some sort of fairy safe-haven, but it becomes clear right away that these fairies aren't as happy-go-lucky as they seemed last season. Just as last season somewhat hinted at, fairies and vampires don't exactly get along. The opening sequence proves that point after Sookie learns she's been brought into an alternate plane that speeds up time and consists of weird/disgusting fairies who hate vampires. Sookie returns (with her long-lost grandfather, surprisingly played by Gary Cole) to discover that a year has passed in those ten minutes she spent in Fairyland. Lots has changed: Jason is a police officer and runs that weird farm that Crystal was once in charge of. Eric and Pam are trying to turn Fangtasia into the friendly face of vampirism, Bill is now King as opposed to Sophie-Anne, Lafayette and Jesus have begun seeing a weird pagan group that's run by a strange woman named Marnie (Fiona Shaw does an awesome job here), Andy is on V now and Sam is in some sort of anger management session for shifters like himself. Uh, and Tara is apparently a lesbian prize-fighter now.

    Technically, the premiere does what a good premiere should do: it sets up new plot points, begins the process of picking up the pieces of last season's finale. It's exciting, darkly funny and sometimes pretty good. But it also does what episodes of TV should NOT do: hastily fly through a half-dozen plots, meaning we have no chance to truly reconnect with our favorite characters, and it treats the year-jump as if nothing happened. Sookie starts working again and everything is basically the same. Sure, things have changed superficially, but these characters haven't really learned anything or don't really act any different.

    That being said, I'll stop ragging on the show and say what I do like: while I hated the idea of witches before, and I think the show has a long way to go before it can make Lafayette and Jesus' plot worth it, the idea of Marnie learning how to raise the dead (despite being random) is something that could create good tension between vampires and witches. Also, while I was frustrated about the jump in time and the way it left things sort of all over the place, I do like the idea of Jessica losing control, of Jason having to deal with the danger in that ridiculously insane camp and of Bill's new reign as King. Tara and Andy… not so much interested in them, and everybody else falls somewhere in the middle.

    The real challenge of the show now will be to take everything they introduced here and keep ratcheting up the quality until the show finds its groove again. Some people will say it was never lost… I personally think it's dropped a bit in quality, but I have high hopes.
  • A New Kind of Fairytale...

    9.5
    An interesting twist on True Blood's mythology starts when the recently introduced supernatural race of fairies begin to claim their own, some like Sookie's grandpa and Barry the Bellhop are nothing but pleased to move in with their respective godparents, Sookie the vampire sympathizer, not so much.

    In Sookie's head what's been only 10 minutes turns out to be a year - which should explain why her grandpa has been gone by 20 years despite he swears he only left last week - the fairies reveal a pretty nasty bad side once that Sookie tries to leave, killing Sookie's grandpa in the process.

    In the midst of this whole political takeover, Bill makes a great King of Luisiana with Eric as an even better spokesma...err person. Hoyt's mother has a new baby boy in the form of Sam's brother, which works perfectly for Sam, and Hoyt is now officially living with Jessica. Of course, Jessica being Jessica only has big sister Pam to watch over her, but no one can have it both ways for long in this show so either Jessica chooses her man or she embraces her nature, you know, like Arlene's baby is doing.

    In what is perhaps Eric's most passionate display so far, the vampire also embraces the new fairy in the sanctity of their own home. See, he bought it during the year Sookie was gone, no longer bound to Bill and no longer food, as far as they know, the fairy is finally his own.
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Exciting, intriguing and well produced Sookie driven story ruined by Razzie-award editing and a flood of rotten arcs

    6.0
    One year has passed since the last time I watched True Blood. Bad Blood, the season 3 premiere, didn't convince me to stick around but I thought checking out She's Not There should at least be entertaining. I was right but there're things that will never change and it seems the show keeps carrying the issues that have prevented some of us from becoming fans.

    The recap was enlightening and I'll never get tired of the wicked title sequence. However the inexistant editing is annoying and definitely turned me off. One minute it's about humans and vampires, the next you see horses running in the woods. What's the point of covering so many anecdotic arcs ? Of course they'll inevitably collide but compared to shows like Game of Thrones I can't help thinking that the novels adaptation is hasty and mostly focus on the superficial elements instead of serving us some warm substance to satisfy our needs. From the baby, who has nothing in common with Dexter's one, to Lafayette you could axe half the contents and it wouldn't change anything. Yes because all we really care about are charismatic characters like Eric and Jessica. Last season she nearly convinced me to watch the second episode, Beautifully Broken. But apparently nothing much happened on her side and sadly her arc seems quite predictable. In fact it's also the case for some others.

    Now that we have crucified the dead editor, spoiler alert - killed in my previous review, it's time to report what went right about the premiere. Let's start with… the beginning ! Sookie a fairy ? Now that ruined my entire theory of her being the stereotyped character of the pretty blonde next door. I supposed it was revealed in the finale, Evil is Going On, and I can imagine how the cliffhanger must have been jaw dropping for the long time fans. The twisted development of her arc was fantastic and served by a vivid production full of black light and exciting surprises ! If only the others were in the same vein, at least as long and not butchered by you know who. To sum things up Sookie is the only excuse you need to glimpse Anna Paquin's freshness. It's a dead bird ? It's a witch flying on a broom ? No it's #@%*& Sookie ! Paquin is okay but it's really Deborah Ann Woll who should make you KO. K like Kiss of Eternal Life™ ! O like in "Oh mistress Jessica please drink me hardly and fill me with immortality" ! It was also bittersweet to have Pam back and it's always a guilty pleasure to peep through Fangtasia's door. I also noticed a hot geek who should really intrigue you, specially considering the ending, but the sapphic interracial – add your list of forbidden fruits – sequence seemed misplaced and as a huge fan of Archer I can only complain about it.

    So my opinion is mixed but even if it surprises me I think this fourth season has some potential. Despite all its flaws I still enjoyed the premiere. The entertaining and interesting scenes were too short and not numerous but they're the ones you will viciously dream about. Even Bill did his part this time and learning about his real mission regarding poor Sookie was almost shocking. As for Jason be prepared for the impossible ! Moreover now I realize how well edited the Bill speech and Eric interview sequences were. Great job my dead friend but you'll have to step up your game before we decide to disnail you from up there ! Ready for the upcoming installment, You Smell Like Dinner ? I am and I bet you will !
  • Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

    6.5
    After an opening stint that resembled a sequence you'd expect from Charmed (albeit, a really awesome episode of Charmed); Sookie finds herself on planet earth once again, away from all of that pointy-eared nonsense, only to discover things have changed. Drastically.

    Time shifts, when done right, can be awesome. Take BSG, for example -- the one-year jump into the future, replete with questionable wigs and fat suits, added so much tension to an already tension-filled series, and allowed otherwise boring characters to gain some credible street cred, that it made the opening episodes some of the best the series had to offer.

    True Blood's jump is fairly hit or miss. Mostly miss, if I'm being honest. But it also makes sense to a certain extent. By allowing plots that had been stewing all last year new life (literally in Arlene's case), it can propel some story-lines forward adding some much needed momentum to the show.

    It's just...it feels like I'm playing catch up to a series I just latched onto and not a show I have been following for 3 years. And so, instead of doing a proper review, I'll just throw scattered opinions at you of what I think of everyones new status:

    - Andy is lookin' pretty buff, aint he? V looks good on him. Obviously he's heading down a dangerous path, but I really don't care when there's the possibility of seeing him trip out on V!

    - Jason seems...normal?! I'm not sure why those inbreds locked him up in that freezer. I don't really give a rats either. Hotshot never worked in season 3. Drop this or make something happen!

    - Rofl @ Pam, calling Hoyt a tree!

    - Speaking of Hoyt, things seem a little on edge with Bons Temp's cutest couple. Me no like. Their fight felt extremely forced in an episode that could have used a few less plots to bring us up to speed and hammer home how different everyone is...

    - Time has changed. We get that. How many characters kept bringing that up? Annoying.

    - Tara is now a cage fighting lesbian named Toni. I smell a spin-off. But really, this was probably the hardest storyline to chew. She's my favourite character on TB, and yes, her decisions make sense: cage fighting because she doesn't want to feel victimised anymore; and lesbian, because she was horribly brutalised by a crazy vampire, and her boyfriend before that could turn into a dog. I get it. Men suck. But to have it all thrown at me at once? Hold the extra sauce, ya dig?

    - Bill is king now. Uhm, ok....

    - Wait, WHAT?

    - Witches. Wooo! Witches FTW.

    I'm probably missing a ton of other new twists to shake season 4 up. The only person unscathed by all of this timey wimey nonsense is Sookie, which is a relief. SOMEONE is still remotely normal, as fairy hybrids go.

    I wasn't expecting this time jump, I clearly have to warm to it. But I'm not going to lie, it certainly offers up quite a few exciting new avenues that could really make this an awesome season in time.

    Welcome back, True Blood! This may not have been your finest hour, but any episode that has Jessica dancing like THAT, is OK by me.
  • She's Not There...

    8.5
    If a show in recent history has found a stranger way to come back to our screens, I need to see it, because the return of True Blood made me feel like I was watching Lost all over again. Before getting into exactly what wrinkled my brain about the premiere of the fourth season of the show, it's probably a good idea to recap last season's events and how they lead up to what we got given last night. The third season as a whole introduced us to an awful lot of things in the world of True Blood, the most notable of those being the vampire hierarchy and the fact that Sookie is a faerie. The finale left us with a mass of information to take in, and several cliffhangers, again, notably: Sookie's distain for the fact that Bill had been a servant of the vampire queen since his arrival in Bon Temps and that Sookie was headed off into faerie land with her faerie godmother. The trip to faerie land - or at least what we think is faerie land - is where we picked up. Sookie had crossed over, much like Bill had after drinking enough of her blood to do so. In the seemingly peaceful realm of the fae, Sookie sees her grandfather - a man who has been gone for over 20 years. After a short conversation between the two, we come to understand the difference in the way that time works over there - essentially that minutes are months (think Inception) - something that becomes quite focal once we understand what is really going on. Sensing something is amiss, Sookie refuses to orders of the leader of the faeries, and when she has no choice but to use her powers to protect herself, the shroud of the seemingly perfect world around her falls. The "faeries" that have brought Sookie, her grandfather and several other humans to this world, are not in fact faeries at all, but some kind of goblin-esque (I will refer to them as goblins) creatures with similar powers to real faeries. To keep in line with the reveal of the goblins, the world that Sookie is standing in is obviously not home to the true faeries - or at very least, they really are faeries, but it's not all that it's cracked up to be because they're horrendously unattractive and live in a baron desert, not a forest of forbidden fruit. There's a dispute between the goblins that inhabit the realm about whether or not there should be a connection to Earth, given that Bill managed to cross over - one that turns fairly physical. The chaos allows Sookie to escape back to the real world with her grandfather before he dies after having eaten the aforementioned fruit. Surprisingly unaffected by her recent experience, Sookie heads home to find that things aren't quite as she left them - her house is fixed up, and despite her claims that she is the owner, the builders working on the house call the police on miss Stackhouse when they disagree. Sure enough, law enforcement arrives, but instead of Sheriff Andy, now fully-fledged Deputy Jason shows up. It's at this point that we learn that Sookie has been gone for over a year.

    As one would expect, the rest of the episode is largely devoted to showing us how life has changed for our characters in the missing time period. As cliched as the idea seems, I really liked the direction that the show has gone. Having not read the books that the series is based on, I have absolutely no advanced knowledge of where this is going, but for now, Bon Temps is a pretty interesting place. Bill is the vampire king of Louisiana, and despite being much, much younger than Eric, he is now his superior. In the wake of Russell Edgington's public vampire on human violence, Bill and Eric have taken to the role of politicians of sorts, to seek a renewed coexistence between vampires and humans. Jessica and Hoyt have stepped up their relationship and have been living together for at least some period of time, and Sam did actually shoot his brother at the end of last season - but only in the leg. Tara - seen leaving Bon Temps at the end of last season - is still on the road and is now a lesbian cage fighter, whilst Lafayette continues to date Jesus - a man revealed to be a witch at the end of last season. Whilst the lack of advanced knowledge of the books limits me to speculation, the witchcraft is undoubtedly going to be something that the vampires are uneasy with and an obvious source of tension throughout the season. As I said before, the choice of the writers to throw us into the future works perfectly for me within the narrative of the show. Whilst I really have enjoyed almost every minute of True Blood thus far, an immediate continuation of the end of the third season would have given the writers no choice but to write scene-after-scene with Sookie hating Bill, crying about Bill, having angry yet sexually charged conversations with Eric and all around sucking up screen time to do nothing but whine. I enjoy a good emotional scene as much as the next person, but developing the story takes precedent and that is exactly what has happened here. "She's Not There" wasn't all exposition however, there were a couple of pressing plot points that will surely be the crux of at least some of next week's outing. Jason - keeping his promise to Panther-shifter Crystal - is still looking after her "family", and whilst the reason is unclear, they've seen fit to kidnap him after a year of him caring for them. The episode also ended on a cliffhanger note, with Eric revealing that he is the new owner of Sookie's house and that somehow means that he owns her too. True Blood is a difficult show to assess. Despite being close to an hour long in some episodes, the show often struggles to work out exactly what it wants to say. I had the fortune of not getting into the show until recently, watching seasons 1-3 on dvd in very rapid succession, having to wait only minutes to see the result of the various "WHAT!??!?" moments that the show has to offer. Now watching on a weekly basis, I can already tell that I'm going to be angry at my television come late Sunday evenings for the foreseeable future. When it comes down to it, "She's Not There" did what it needed to do - laying out the basis for the rest of the season - whether or not it is a good foundation however, only time will tell.
  • Excellent start to the season!

    9.0
    I can't believe that it's been a year since the last season of True Blood but now it's back and we can get back to all the drama rama that makes True Blood worth watching. The first episode for the season has laid the groundwork for a dynamite season. A year has passed on the show since Sookie did her disappearing act and alot of changes have occurred. Jason is an upstanding member of the community? Andy not so much anymore. Bill has apparently moved up the political ladder in the vampire world and Tara has taken a 180 in her personal life. Layfayette is moving deeper into the magic world and Eric seems to be up to his same old antics. I can't wait to see how this season plays out with even more shifters, magic and vampire politics. A great start!
  • It's back, with lots of changes.

    8.5
    I wasn't expecting a lot of what happened in this premier. I certainly didn't realize that it would flash forward one year. For the most part, I liked the changes and the show feels a lot fresher for it.

    The opening with Sookie in the fairy world was definitely interesting, and the concept of time being warped there is something I hope is explored more. The rest of the episode saw her reunite with everyone, get her old house back and then finding out that Eric had bought her house, and she was know his. Good ending there, I can't be the only one who likes these two? Or at least better than her and Bill anyway.

    Speaking of Bill, he's changed a whole lot. Involved in politics, the vampire king and a new wife? Talk about a different Bill. I'm glad he and Sookie are over for now, this season should deal with other things. His involvement this season intrigues me. Jessica and Hoyt seemed to be on the rocks at first, but then they made up. I love them as a couple, so Jessica feeling trapped, shown by her little talk with Pam, is worrying. I'm not sure I want more trouble for them.

    Jason has changed loads too. Firstly, he seems far more mature here - even being the one trying to get Andy off vampire blood. But then he gets himself in a tricky situation, when Crystals people trap him in a freezer. Why? Who knows. He was helping them...interesting to see where this goes. Lafayette is involved in this witch stuff, which was entertaining and a little creepy.

    Tara, she's one to talk about. She moved away, became a wrestler and turned gay Okay...pretty random stuff. I really don't see why she's in a lesbian relationship, I mean is it actually going to develop her or any particular story? I hope so. Again, who knows where she'll end up this season. Sam's anger management turns out to be a group of shape-shifters and he goes off with them, as horses. I'm not a fan of snarky and bitter Sam. Please let him lighten up a bit. Arlene had her baby, and still thinks he'll be evil. This should be a funny and dark storyline.

    This premier was successful in getting me looking forward to the rest of season four. Let's see where everything goes from here.
  • Amongst Your Own

    8.5
    Sookie, after having agreed to go with Claudine ends up in fairy and finds her grandpa Earl, the other telepath in her family tree, and once she discovers the fairies intentions to seal off the human world and are taking humans prisoner Sookie escapes along with Earl. But Earl dies as he tried the glowy fruit that the Fae offer everyone so he ages to dust and since time is skewed between the worlds Sookie has in fact been gone a year and two weeks. This leaves many of last season's plot lines semi resolved or still somewhat up in the air. Arlene and Terry are trying to cope with Mikey, the new baby, and he shows violent tendencies. Jessica and Hoyt are in fact ok and reveal that Hoyt's mother did in fact try to kill her. But for Jessica it isn't enough to feed on Hoyt and she has another of her discussions on the nature of vampires with Pam which could easily become its own miniseries on how to cope in a vampire world. Andy is getting over his V addiction with helps from Jason who is in fact still watching out for the Hotshot people while Crystal is gone/hostage. Bill now holds a new seat of power and now that it's been a year since Russell Edgington's attack the AVL is doing lots of PR and diplomacy to assimilate more with humans as is so aptly portrayed in Eric's new commercial for Fangtasia under Nan Flannigan. This episode worked in a lot of ways and didn't with many things seeming thrown in or not elaborated on enough in a way that last year shouldn't have left us hanging. For instance Tommy all of a sudden being under the care of Mrs. Fortenberry, Sam being part of a shapeshifter support group, all felt a lot more tossed into the blender than much of the other more thoughtful stories such as Lafayette and Jesus's intro to witchcraft. Not a bad setup episode and it definitely served its purpose, but it's really cool I think the direction of liberties from the book by making Bill the King of the Louisiana since he apparently did do away with Sophie Anne last year, and apparently Sam shot Tommy in the leg (wish he was a better shot he could've rid us of him for good, I just don't care for Tommy I guess.) Welcome back True Blood even if you did jump forward, it's none the less great to have you back.
  • 401

    7.5
    I am not the biggest True Blood fan out there, but I think that changed with tonight's episode. It had me hooked from start to finish and served as a refresher course for all of these characters, which also helped some possible first time viewers out there.

    The Sookie scenes were well done in the fairy world, nice special effects and all. And a few twists along the way, always good to have that in a premiere.

    One of the main complaints I have heard about this show is that it is a little too graphic, but I didn't see that tonight, especially by HBO standards. I didn't really like how a character "switched teams" either.

    But this was a fun little episode and definitely a promising start to the season. I know that the end had me intrigued.
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