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True Blood Season Premiere Recap: New Vampires and Bloody High Stakes in Bon Temps

True Blood, Season 5 John P. Johnson/HBO

No one said it was easy to live in Bon Temps. True Blood loves to go out with a bang, and Tara's (Rutina Wesley) gunshot wound to the head was just one in a long list of True Blood-style cliffhangers we were left with at the end of last season.

Is Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) free? Is Tara dead? We have lots of ground to cover, so let's get right into it. Want to know what trouble Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) got up to in the season premiere of True Blood? Find out now: 

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WHAT WE LEARNED

Turning Tara: Sookie and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) are determined to save the dead/dying Tara. Luckily for everyone involved, Pam (Kristen Bauer van Straten) shows up. Oh Sookie, don't you know better than to owe a favor to a vampire? While they wait for Tara to turn, Sookie has to clean up the kitchen. Can we just point out that we'd never want to prepare food in that room. Far too many people have bled out in there.

It's been a while since we last saw them, so it's easy to forget that this is the world's worst day for these unlucky friends. (P.S.: Jesus' body is missing.) And things only get worse when Tara opens her eyes. Is this going to be a good or bad thing for the character of Tara? True Blood takes every opportunity to shy away from killing off it's characters. Despite a crazy amount of bad things and bloodshed, hardly anyone dies and stays dead.

Sibling Savior: Not to be outdone by HBO sister shows Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, True Blood joins the pseudo-incest game with Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) and his "sister." We really like to think that this show has reached a point where it can make fun of itself. Between some hilariously disturbing jokes and Lafayette rejecting all supernatural creatures, they might as well embrace the often-ridiculous subplots and be in on the joke. Frankly, the show is most entertaining when you accept the satire. 

Not as funny: Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric are so completely a totally screwed this time. If the Authority is as bad as all we've heard it is, Eric's charm and Bill's Southern drawl will not get them out of this mess. 

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Wolf Politics: Sam (Sam Trammell) is a wanted man. Apparently there are consequences to killing a werewolf pack master. Sam will have to pay the iron price—actually he might be about to get out of this whole mess if he would just turn over Alcide (Joe Manganiello). This episode was actually very informative. Like, we know Alcide could be the new pack master. Oh, and werewolves eat the dead bodies of their own. Super gross. 

Old Friends: We're torn. We love Scott Foley, but aren't exactly enjoying this new Terry (Todd Lowe) storyline. Scott Foley—yes, we know the character has a name—is in town and acting purposefully creepy. Apparently that house fire wasn't caused by a friendly ghost, but is tied up with Terry's combat experience. No good can come from pyromaniac seeking justice.

Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) is another person who shows up in Bon Temps like a bad penny. But what's the best way get your jugular ripped out? Reject the newly turned and notoriously insane vampire who is spilling his heart. Thank God for Little Red Riding Jess (Deborah Ann Woll) is coming to the rescue of Jason (Ryan Kwanten).

Rewind Moment: Like a 1990s action movie, Eric slow-motion kisses his "sister" while a car burns in the background, natch.

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ONE-LINERS

"I am wearing a Walmart sweat suit for you all. If that's not demonstration of team spirit, I don't know what is." —Pam

"I think that that's why I started acting the way that I did—all murderous and whatnot." —Newlin

"I finally have the strength to say, I'm a gay vampire American." —Newlin

"We're done with all the supernatural bulls--t. You heard me? No vampires, no witches, no ghosts, no maenads. And no motherf--cking werewolves." —Lafayette

"It even smells clean. Like lemons on top on ammonia, on top of bleach." —Alcide

"God, I wish there was somewhere else to eat in this town." —Andy

"My dead heart beats for you, the least you could do is try." —Newlin

Did you like the season premiere of True Blood? Think Tara will make a good vampire, or should Sookie have let her rest in peace? Head to the comments!

(Originally published June 10, 2012, at 7 p.m. PT)

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