True Blood

Season 4 Episode 1

She's Not There

14
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 26, 2011 on HBO
8.3
out of 10
User Rating
388 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Sookie distances herself from Bon Temps leaving Eric and Bill to try their charms on the human public. Sam bonds with other shifters, while Hoyt and Jessica argue about dinner. Lafayette is urged by Jesus to join a coven. Terry tries to dispel Arlene's distressing emotions about impending evil.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • 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!!!!!!!moreless
  • 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.moreless
  • 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.moreless
  • *** 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 !moreless
  • 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.moreless
Gary Cole

Gary Cole

Earl

Guest Star

Dane DeHaan

Dane DeHaan

Timbo

Guest Star

Rebecca Wisocky

Rebecca Wisocky

Queen Mab

Guest Star

Dale Raoul

Dale Raoul

Maxine Fortenberry

Recurring Role

Courtney Ford

Courtney Ford

Portia Bellefleur

Recurring Role

Lara Pulver

Lara Pulver

Claudine

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The company Eric owns that bought Sookie's house is called AIK. Alexander Skarsgård, who plays Eric, is from Sweden and AIK (Allmänna Idrottsklubben) is one of the oldest and biggest sports clubs in Sweden.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic - October 4, 2011 on HBO
      United Kingdom - February 5, 2012 on FX/FX HD

    • Featured Music:
      "Real Wild Child" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Tara's fight at a bar)
      "What's On Your Mind" by Soda Jerk (music plays outside the bar in the alley in New Orleans)
      "Better Get On" by Danny Wilde (Sookie is back at Merlotte's, Arlene welcomes her back)
      "Calling the Shots" by Misisipi Mike Wolf (Maxine enters Merlotte's)
      "What You Do To Me" by Blakroc (Feat. Billy Danze, Jim Jones, and Nicole Wary) (Tara and Naomi in bed)
      "Dues" by El Camino (Portia and Sookie talk at Merlotte's about finding who bought Sookie's house)
      "Xcess" by Slick Idiot (remixed by Schneider of Rammstein) (Jessica dances at Fangtasia while Matt watches)
      "She's Not There" by Neko Case and Nick Cave (end credits)

    • Lauren Bowles (Holly Cleary) and Jessica Tuck (Nan Flanagan) become series regulars with this episode along with Janina Gavankar (Luna) and Fiona Shaw (Marnie).

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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