As if there weren't enough monsters in the "True Blood" menagerie:
"Witches? Oh great, now I have to deal with witches!" grumbles Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) when she learns about the latest threat to her peaceful (ha!) hometown of Bon Temps, La.
In this season's most promising storyline, a mousy Wiccan named Marnie (Fiona Shaw) cajoles her shabby coven—including Lafayette (still wonderful Nelsan Ellis) and his boyfriend, Jesus (Kevin Alejandro)—to become a circle of power necromancers. (A necromancer, by the way, does more than just see dead people.)
Series creator Alan Ball's addition of witches to the "True Blood" brew might not sit well with those viewers who complained last season that the series took off on tangents, what with all the vampire kings and queens, werewolves, backwater werepanthers and, in the season-ending cliffhanger, Sookie’s “family” of fairies.
Sorry, but I was giddy with laughter when Sookie disappeared in a poof of pixiedust. “True Blood” works best when its freak flag flies—as long as its core characters are along for the ride.
The season premiere (8 p.m. June 26, HBO; **** stars out of four) takes them on a rolicking roller coaster. Since HBO already has released the first eight minutes online, I’m not spoiling by telling you that Sookie finds out her fairy godmother (insert groan here, but I love it) and all the other spirits are not as sweet as they seemed.
Back home, Sookie’s brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), is babysitting the panther people. Tara (Rutina Wesley) has a new love and a slamming new gig. Sam (Sam Trammell) is working on anger issues with a shifter named Luna (Janina Gavankar). Wolfman Alcide (Joe Manganiello) is stull hunky. Sookie’s ex, vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer), has raised his profile in this post-Russell Edgington world.
And boy, does vampire sheriff Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) have a surprise for Sookie.
Skarsgard, sexier than ever, stands out in the episodes I’ve seen. Eric smirks, schemes and smolders like always, but he also shows a surprising amount of innocence and vulnerability.
What kind of spell is he under?