By Elaine Bergstrom
For those who missed last night’s season premiere and are getting rather excited at the prospect, no, Lafayette has not joined the ranks of the fanged undead. The word “nosferatu,” as Frank Langella-as-Dracula and any vampire expert can point out, also means “not dead” and so is Lafayette (the best supporting character in the series, in my opinion). But he is in a nasty situation as Eric has likely targeted him for the demise of Eddie, the lovably meek vampire Jason and his now-dead girlfriend finished off late last season.
But the True Blood creators, who left us believing that Lafayette was no longer among the living, should not be surprised if fans cry foul at being so misled (even the official press releases on the HBO media site did not list Nelsan Ellis, who plays Lafayette, among the returning cast). And wouldn’t seeing him chained in the cellar at the end of last season by whatever in the heck had pulled him off the top of that dumpster been a better cliffhanger? Perhaps, like the main characters in the series, we should have had faith.
Faith is the core theme of the series. For Lafayette, it’s just holding on to the faith that he will get out of that cellar. For Sookie, it’s the faith that she can lead a normal life in spite of her strange gift. And she finds it fulfilled in Bill, whose presence lets her be normal. For Tara, this season it will be finding it in herself rather than in Mary Ann, the woman who has befriended her — and who may be a monster. For Sam, it will be learning to have faith in people, if only so he can tell the truth about Mary Ann. For Jason, it will be learning that there are false prophets, and hatred is their message. For Bill, well, Bill has found his faith in Sookie. “You are my miracle,” he tells her, just before he says, “I love you” and things get all bloody wonderful.
I’m not sure what bratty new vampire Jessica’s faith quest will be. Poor little fangette, so new, so hungry. My wish is that she hook up with Jason. Those two seekers have a lot in common.
All this being said, last night’s episode was a bit tepid, a lot of set up for what is to come but little real action beyond Lafayette’s plight and that wonderful love scene between Sookie and Bill. I’m glad she forgave him. He didn’t deserve her anger after what he did for her.
Rumor has it that this season the storyline will move away from the plots of the Charlaine Harris novels. This is good for Harris, as fans of the TV series can sink their teeth into her novels without having to worry that reading the book will spoil the series. And for the series writers, it means freedom from storylines that might have worked well on the page, but don’t play well on the small screen. The shift worked well for Dexter. Hopefully, it will here as well.
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Photo credit: HBO