True Blood fans!  It's that time again.  We're heading back to the decadent deep South and the small town of Bon Temps.  Back to the sultry evenings, sexy vampires, werewolves, shape changers, fairies and witches.  Oh right.  And sex.  After last season's backwards head coupling, who knows what we're going to get!

(Check out more of our gif recaps here)

Now, many of you may have seen the first 8 minutes of the season, since it's been posted just about everywhere.  How many of you found your nose wrinkling and eyebrows lifting by the end, thinking things like, sure, we knew there were fairies at the end of last season, but wow, they live in a shiny place?  Wait...these are evil fairies that feed people fruit that glows.  Hold on, Sookie's granddaddy Earl is that guy from Office Space?  “I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to stay in the fairy realm and eat lumieres this Saturday.”  But hey, Stephen Root was on the show too.

Well, we're certainly in for a change up this season.  Not only is Gary Cole living with the fairies, but Aunt Petunia from Harry Potter is a witch!  I'll be recapping True Blood for you this summer, and as I've said in my earlier pieces, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.  I read them all and I do respond.  So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, let the blood bath begin.

Sookie and her fairy godmother Claudine (who really hasn't helped very much...I mean, she's been in mortal danger every other episode for years now) appear in the land of Fairy, where everyone is stunning and dresses like they're sexy aliens in a episode of classic Star Trek.  Sookie runs into Barry the bellboy and fellow telepath with his male model/fairy godmother. They're offered glowing fruit of light (sounds like something you'd eat in D&D for a +1 to health or something), which makes our fair lady nervous.  And suddenly she spies...granddaddy Earl, who thinks he's been hanging with the pretty people for a few hours.  Well, it's actually been 20 years, granddaddy.

When she tries to communicate telepathically to Earl that this is a big ole trap, Queen Mab (who you may remember from a certain Romeo and Juliet speech) shows up to blame Sookie for letting a vampire into their realm.  You see, fairy blood is like vampire crack and the bloodsuckers almost destroyed the entire fairy race.  You'd think they'd come out with True Blood: Fabulous Fairy Flavor.  They'd make a killing.  Anyway, now they're harvesting humans and trying to close the portal between realms.  Sookie's power turns Mab back into her...less moisturized form and transports them to some sort of desert.

Fairies may not be all that attractive when they're not glamoured, but they can shoot glowing attack balls out of their hands.  One friendly fairy (the brother of Claudine, Sookie's godmother...which makes him the very, very hot Claude from the books...not seeing it yet) helps Sookie and Earl escape, bringing them to the lip of a portal/canyon.  This is still looking like a Star Trek episode to me.  Anyone else?  While Mab blows balls of fire and starts to collapse the portal, Claude tells them that, only Sookie can go back because she's on a no glowy fruit diet and he wants to be able to go back to the human world, which used to be theirs too.  They jump...

...and land in a graveyard.  Ah Earl.  We hardly got to make any Office Space jokes before you gave Sookie a watch for Jason and croaked!  But, we finally get to see Eric and Bill...for a second as they realize dessert, I mean Sookie, is back.

And how long has our time traveler been gone?  Remember what happens in Fairy?  Sookie comes home to find her house being repaired.  Jason (in cop clothes, but still hot) tells her she's been gone thirteen months!  Everyone thought she was dead and her house is up for sale.  Jason doesn't believe her fairytale (yes, I meant to do that) until she gives him the watch.  He tells her to keep her mouth shut because everyone will think she's crazy if they learn the truth.  Yes, because a world with vampires and a town that was possessed by a maenad would totally think that fairies were super out there.

And then, at long last, the vampires show up.  Bill is all mopey about the fact that he couldn't feel her for so long.  Also, everyone thought he killed her.  Eric (drool) shows up and tells Sookie that everyone else lost hope...everyone but him.  (Oh, please weigh in on whether or not you're Team Eric, Bill or Alcide!)  He leaves, and Sheriff Andy shows up, pissed off that our lady's disappearance cost him a safe town plaque.  Bill covers for her...anyone else notice that we're half way in and no one's gotten naked?  After a tearful goodbye, he leaves.  And we find out that Andy is using V!  Wait, what?

Lafayette and his sweetie Jesus (god, I love them) appear in front of a store called Moon Goddess Emporium and head inside.  Lafayette is sporting a odd choice for such a fashion forward gentleman.  We find out that Jesus has been dragging his love to pagan fairs and meditation groups.  The woman here, he says, is the leader of his coven and more tapped into her magic than anyone he knows.  Here's Lafayette's reaction to the store:

The coven is in a circle and our witchy waitress Holly hugs Lafayette.  We learn that she's been trying to get him here for ages.  Aunt Petunia...I mean Marnie, is in a trance, contacting the dead (which apparently happens some nights...for the others, there is vodka, we're told).  She gestures to Lafayette and starts to do something that resembles coughing up a hairball.  Holly asks if he knows anyone named Edie...Eddie?  Oh yes he does!  Remember poor vampire Eddie?  Marnie channels him...shudder.

Now we hit Arlene and Terry's house, where her bouncing baby boy has ripped the heads off Barbie dolls.  You know your baby is a future serial killer if...  Terry tries to calm her down by saying that when he was a boy he would put squirrel heads on lizard bodies to invent new animals.  Does anyone else thing Arlene should examine her taste in men?

Meanwhile in New Orleans, Tara is wrestling women in a cage.  No, really!

What the hell happened while Sookie was refusing shiny health food?  Well, apparently, Hoyt and Jessica have turned into an old married couple, arguing about how she should cook him food since he's her own personal bar.  (Might be the funniest scene of the episode.)

At Fangtasia, Pam is having trouble convincing the public of their safety during a commercial filming at the establishment.  Eric takes over and we cut back and forth between he and Bill, (and our first glimpse of Portia Bellefleur) convincing the world that vampires are total fluffy bunnies.  After all, as Eric says, ''Who would you rather trust?  A vampire or a politician?''  Well, I'd say they're both just as likely to show their naughty bits in public.

To continue the catch up, Tara is hooking up with her sparring partner Naomi, who is calling her Toni for some reason.  And Tara seems...sane?  I guess the exercise is cathartic.

Back at Merlotte's, we learn that she's moved away with only postcards to let people know she's okay.  Sam (who's gotten a lot more prickly) gives Sookie her old job back.  Wow, there is more info in this episode than the first 3 episodes of Game of Thrones combined!  Jesus tries to convince Lafayette that he's only trying to help him discover his ''specialness'' and not luring him into a cult, while newly druggie Andy tries to shake him down for some V.  And wait...Hoyt's mom is taking care of Tommy?  My brain hurts.

Back to Tara and bed.  And now we're back to the show we know and love.  Mid-make out, Tara, aka Toni gets a text from Lafayette about Sookie and lies to her ladylove.

Now, if your head isn't spinning yet, here's more.  Portia, a lawyer, is banging Bill (or so it seems from the thoughts Sookie reads from her head) and helping our lady get her home back.  Jessica is out on a date with Hoyt at Fangtasia and gets schooled for “eye f*cking (not sure how little word pasties are supposed to disguise that little gem) fang bangers” by Pam.

Sam, meanwhile is in an unusual form of anger management.  They talk about their feelings, drink wine, get naked and run around as horses.  Jason is feeding the starving kids of Hotshot while Crystal is away and gets kidnapped.  Marnie shocks her coven when she changes a bird funeral to a Frankenstein's monster moment.  And...wait for it...someone calls Bill, “Your Majesty!”  Awfully clippy ending.  Juicy, sure, but clippy.

And finally, the moment we Team Eric members have been waiting for...Sookie, naked before bed gets a visit from Eric, who, feeling so strongly she was alive, actually bought her house.  And if he owns her house, he tells her, he owns her.  “Sookie.  You.  Are.  Mine!”

Well, after an hour of catch up, we finally get a pay off moment.  I've never been a fan of the first episode back when time has gone by in a show.  Too much “look at the nifty stuff that's happened.”  I'm not saying it's a gimmick by any means.  It's just a lot of info to take in when what I really want to see is my favorite characters back in their element.  That said, I'm intrigued to see where this shake up takes us.  So, let the discussion begin.  What did you think?  How did you feel about the time shift?  Book readers, how does this compare to your predictions?  Also, how much do you love Pam?