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Where We Are Entering Season 6 of True Blood

Oh, True Blood, how do I love thee; let me count the gays. While I've enjoyed my time in Game of Thrones land these past few months, I am so ready to return home to Bon Temps and hang with my other favorite blonde who keeps the company of beasts. (Spoilers follow this parenthetical!)

As we prepare to feast on a fresh batch of episodes rolling out on HBO this Sunday, we’re still reeling from the late-season-five losses of two dear souls: the insatiable vamp Russell Edgington, who met his end after Eric caught him in a moment of Gatsby-esque faerie revelry, and lapsed fang-banger Hoyt Fortenberry, who insisted that Jessica glamour away his memories of their relationship before decamping to Alaska to live, presumably, in Jewel’s old car. We’re not as sad to see some other folks go (good riddance, Mr. Beardy Jeans Jacket Werewolf Guy!), but they did get off kind of easy, what with all the vampire-generated chaos afoot in the wake of the worldwide destruction of True Blood factories. But whither will they go Sookie and her crazy pals as we head into season six? Let's take a quick look at the many story lines in play.

Sookie and Bill
At long last, True Blood will answer the age-old riddle about what happens when a fairy-fingered waitress confronts her demon-monster-vampire ex-boyfriend who has resurrected himself from a blood fondue. After telling Sookie that anything romantic he’s ever done for her has been a lie, Bill is now apparently the second coming of the all-powerful vampire deity Lilith, hereby dubbed Bilith. Sookie has a transformation of her own to ponder, as her finite faerie powers seem to be diminishing. It seems unlikely that they'll ever get back together, but I continue to root for Sookie and Bill anyhow so that real-life couple Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer’s twins will grow up knowing that their parents stayed together even during that difficult period when Daddy was a combination of Lords Vader, Voldemort, and Licorice.

Eric and Nora
To paraphrase my personal hero Taylor Swift, I don’t know ’bout you, but I need more bonking from these two. Like, I wouldn’t mind seeing an entire episode this season in which these nuts re-created the James Deen—Farrah Abraham video, only with more HD and birth control. After laying waste to the Authority’s bunker, Eric and Nora seem to have two major problems in addition to Bilith: (1) rage-prone Pam, deeply devoted to her maker, is only just now learning of Nora’s existence, and (2) Nora turns into the Tasmanian Devil every time Sookie is within a ten-foot radius.

Jason and Jessica
The actors who play Sookie and Jason’s ghost parents are great, but can we all agree that we need less of them? That duo reminds me of an undead Karmin with reversed hair colors. Now that Jason keeps seeing them and hearing their fanger-hating ways — and knows they were murdered by a vampire named Warlow — he has decided he wants nothing to do with Jessica, who is also coming to grips with the news that her maker has become the devil incarnate. Still, I have hope for Jason and Jessica, at least until Hoyt earns enough coin at the Ace Hardware in Anchorage to afford the gas money home.

Lafayette
My favorite scene of season five was the one in which Lafayette made Cajun margaritas for Arlene and Holly. It was just great to see our favorite short-order cook twerking after all of that Jesus nonsense he went through. Not that I didn't love Jesus, but the frequent appearances of his decapitated head and stitched-up mouth were getting increasingly hard to deal with; is it too much to ask that Lafayette find an intact and able-mouthed boyfriend up in here soon? If not, I'm going to need a vat of those margaritas, stat.

Pam and Tara
As much as I loathe the undercurrent of slave-master politics that has been at play ever since Pam turned Tara, even I have to admit that their kiss in the season finale — after Tara had rescued her maker from imprisonment in the Authority bunker — was hot. It remains to be seen just how this relationship plays out, although Alan Ball has said that a wrench will be thrown into this machine, which makes me hope that he is referring to a trinket purchased at Babeland. Over the past five seasons, Tara has dated a suicidal Maenad minion, a homicidal vampire stalker, and a body double from Sucker Punch — all of them after she dated Sam Merlotte. If you're dumb enough to throw Sam Merlotte over for that nightmarish triptych, you really do need someone like Pam to knock some sense into you.

Sam and Luna
In the season-five finale, Sam and Luna shape-shifted into a fly and Steve Newlin, respectively, and then killed Rosalyn — but not before Luna shifted back into herself on national TV. This was the first public reveal of the shifter community, which bodes poorly not only for Sam but for the werewolves (we shall not speak of that other were community). Martha Bozeman, meanwhile, is still Emma’s grandmother, a fact that you can safely bet she's not going to let Sam forget. What I'm still trying to work out is how, after five seasons, it is credible that the gorgeous Sam Trammell would have trouble finding a relatively stable romantic connection to pull him out of this morass of suck. If a regular person put “shifter” on his OK Cupid profile right now, he’d have a ten dates by the end of this article.

Alcide and the Wolf Pack
When last we saw Joe Manganiello, he was putting his own “wolf pack” into an enlarger in the movie Magic Mike. After killing J.D. (a.k.a. Mr. Beardy Jeans Jacket Werewolf Dude) and giving his best Daenerys Targaryen unity speech, Alcide finally has a pack to lead, along with the support of his gruff dad (Robert Patrick). To what end this will involve Martha and Rikki (i.e., tan Rachel Weisz) is as good a guess as anyone’s, but as long as the skin-to-clothing ratio is still one-to-nil, we’re all fine here.

Steve Newlin
Steve Newlin’s most recent action was swooshing away after seeing Sugar Daddy Russell get staked by Eric (no, that’s not your cable provider's description of a RuPaul’s Drag Race episode). The American Vampire League speech he was supposed to give went horribly awry, thanks to Sam and Luna’s interference, so, to humans, he’s still known as the vampire who massacred all those frat boys with Russell. However, Steve’s image problem isn’t confined to humans like his dear Jason: because of the Luna debacle, it’s probably going to be tough for him to face other vampires, who will see him and wonder if he’s really a lithe Indian woman underneath it all. Oh, Steve, I know the feeling.

Arlene and Terry
The good news is that we are blessedly free of Terry’s ifrit and its Doritos Locos Tacos CGI. The bad news is that Terry, by way of a hairpin-bearing Arlene, had to shoot his buddy Patrick to settle the debt to Zaafira, the woman whom the men had greatly wronged in Iraq. There will certainly be fallout from this, but I hope that we eventually get back the old Arlene and Terry, who offered a needed comedic counterpoint whenever things got just a little too bonkers in Bon Temps. Carrie Preston and Todd Lowe 4 Lyfe.

Andy and Holly
Andy & Holly sounds like a WB show that got canceled before it aired. Andy and Holly on True Blood, meanwhile, have half-faerie quadruplets to take care of ever since that electric Demi Lovato clone climaxed on the pool table at Merlotte's in her best dress from Chico’s and left Andy with the fruits of her labor, literally. I love Andy, especially when he’s buff, and I love Holly, especially when she’s calling Andy a dick, but lord give me the strength to endure watching them care for not one but four Andy-faerie hybrid babies. 

Warlow
That leaves us with the biggest mystery for season six: M. Warlow, the vampire who killed Sookie and Jason’s parents and who, in a perfect world, would be played by Anthony Warlow instead of, well, I'll leave that to you to discover. In the books, the Stackhouses are actually killed by (spoiler!) faeries and there is no character named Warlow, so, like most vampires, we’re all in the dark here. Russell’s murder of the fairy elder apparently made Warlow's return possible and, according to the scroll Jason found in the Stack House, Warlow signed a pact in 1702 promising him the first fae-bearing female in the Stackhouse lineage. That would be none other than Sookie. If the terrifying lightning portals he seems capable of opening up all over town are any indication, Warlow is going to be one creepy Big Bad. Still, here's to hoping he turns out to be Maxine Fortenberry in disguise.

Photo: HBO