‘True Blood’ Season Premiere Review: “Who Are You, Really?”
‘True Blood’ season six spurts out its first episode of the year, as Sookie and the others attempt to determine what Bill has become in the wake of his rebirth, while Jason meets a mysterious stranger, and the Louisiana Governor makes his intentions to persecute vampires known..
Last season’s ‘True Blood’ finale “Save Yourself” left quite a few cliffhangers to be resolved, from Bill's resurrection to Alcide's new role as packmaster, so how does “Who Are You, Really” get the new season started? What will season six of ‘True Blood’ bring, now that "Billith" has risen?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about the ‘True Blood’ season six premiere, “Who Are You, Really?”
Bill arises as before, forcing Sookie and Eric to flee in the elevator until the power to the building goes out. Meanwhile, Jason and his vampire group fight their way topside, as Sam drags a dying Luna through another exit, and is forced to leave her behind when she finally dies. An explosion in the factory causes Jason to fear the worst of Sookie, before she and Eric miraculously pull up in an SUV, and lead the escape. Looking back, the group sees the monstrous Bill emerge from the explosion, before flying off.
With no sign of pursuit, the group listens over the radio as Governor Truman Burrell (Arliss Howard) announces in a press conference that vampires will be put under curfew with their businesses closed, drawing several protests from the crowd. As the group squabbles in the car, Eric pulls over and brushes off Pam’s questions about Nora as he decides their next move. Pam goes to console Tara, while Jessica balks at the notion of Eric searching for a way to kill Bill.
With no other leads, Nora glamours Jason to learn what he knows about Warlow, revealing in turn that Warlow appeared in the vampire bible as Lillith’s progeny. Once the glamour wears off, Jason pulls his gun and threatens to kill Nora, storming off when Sookie and the others rush to her defense. Suddenly, Jessica feels a deep, pulling summon from Bill that causes her to vomit blood if she ignores it, and Sookie volunteers to drive Jessica and ultimately face Bill.
Elsewhere, Alcide completes the packmaster ritual by eating the flesh of Marcus’ arm, while Martha and Rikki worry about the power going to his head before the group wolfs out and begins a run. Meanwhile, Andy leaves Arlene and Terry to take care of the four babies, believing himself to be unfit, while Sam returns to Merlotte’s to find Lafayette holding down the fort. Lafayette points out Luna’s transformation to have made the rounds of the news, before comforting Emma on the loss of her mother
Out on the road, Jason accepts a ride from a mysterious stranger (Rutger Hauer), and begins to tell the stranger about his family issues. Meanwhile, Jessica and Sookie arrive to Bill’s house to find him cleaned up, and calmly waiting for them on the porch to talk. Eric and Nora lunge to attack, finding themselves quickly overpowered, as Sookie drives a stake through Bill’s heart, to no effect. Wanting only to talk, Bill explains that his transformation hasn’t quite changed his identity, though clearly he has evolved into a new being. Sookie suggests he prove his complacency by leaving them all and vacating Bon Temps, but Jessica sides with her maker and threatens the others to leave the property.
Late one night in an abandoned bottling plant, Governor Burrell meets with a TruBlood representative to allow the company temporary use of the factory, hoping to return the balance of vampire cooperation and tax revenue. Elsewhere out in the woods, Alcide begins getting intimate with one of his female pack members, only to be interrupted by Rikki, who soon joins and reminds Alcide of her status as his top dog, so to speak.
Back at Fangtasia, Pam and Tara argue over her continued devotion to Eric, before a knock at the door interrupts them. A military squad enters to enforce the ban on vampire businesses, shooting Tara with an unknown weapon when she refuses to cooperate. Meanwhile, Eric walks Sookie home and drafts up a contract to return possession of her house. Sookie gently rescinds her invitation of Eric to return some normalcy to her life, while outside Nora teases her sibling for falling in love with the girl
Back at the Bellefleur household, Andy finds himself awoken by his rapidly-aging children, now walking and talking with full heads of hair. Meanwhile, Bill tucks Jessica in and asks for her help in keeping him honest while they figure out his new form and uncharted powers. Out on the road, Jason continues telling the stranger about the vision of his parents, and his intent to protect Sookie from Warlow. The stranger ominously insists that Jason won’t be able to protect Sookie, revealing himself as Warlow and disappearing into thin air when Jason attacks.
Back at the Stackhouse residence, the ancient scroll near Sookie’s bed begins to glow, while Bill begins having visions of vampires in pain. Voices call out to him, appearing as three nude, blood-covered women in his study, before phasing into him.
Well, that was certainly insane! It's a funny thing, to analyze 'True Blood' in an ongoing fashion, considering the stories always pickup moments after you leave them and simply keep churning along without an easily discernible sense of direction. Bill doesn't seem nearly as monstrous as we initially thought, while the Bellefleurs remain off in their own world raising alien babies, and Jason seems to have finally uncovered the mysterious Warlow. Maybe.
So, what does it all add up to? Well, as much as we might have liked to see Bill positioned as the new big bad for the season, it makes for a much more economical story to keep him grounded as uncertain of his identity and purpose. And while the character deliberately claims not to represent a new big bad, it's of much greater interest to follow the human side of things via Governor Truman Burrell, who clearly maintains his own duplicitous agenda for vampires.
As with most 'True Blood' premieres, "Who Are You, Really?" largely serves to reorient viewers as it handles some of the cliffhangers of the previous season, rather than provide any kind of strong foothold into where things might go from here. Certainly the ongoing mystery of Warlow will provide much of the narrative momentum going forward, while Bill discovers his true purpose and powers, and the more tangential characters deal with their own tangential conflicts. Not entirely satisfying for longtime fans of the series to be sure, but a decent way to drop us back into the action with a bit of fresh blood to quench our thirst.
Did you get your fill of fang-banging ‘True Blood’ action? What did you think about the premiere? Join the discussion in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for another all-new recap of season six's next episode, "The Sun,” on HBO!