I feel like I have to disclaimer this, Portable’s first ever True Blood recap, with a confession; after what can only be described as a mediocre-bordering-on-shit Season 4, I wasn’t actually planning on watching Season 5. With so many well written characters (can anyone say, “Pam, bitch please”?) and opportunities to explore some really interesting subtext (Vampire rights? The consequences of Jason Stackhouse’s repeated rape? The politics of werewolf patriarchy and ingrained misogyny/domestic violence? The fact that Sookie is a fucking fairy? Alcide’s body, for crying out loud?)

Three things changed my mind: The news that Christopher Meloni a.k.a Elliot “Best Detective Ever” Stabler would be starring; the last five, and in my opinion, only good minutes of season 4, wherein everyone got their face blown off; and Alcide’s body, for crying out loud!

And you know, in the first five minutes of the first episode of Season 5, I didn’t feel like I’d made a mistake. Between Bill and Eric dealing with the bloody aftermath of their “assassination” of Nan Flanagan, and Lafayette and Sookie resolving the only way to save Tara ”Miss U Like A Hole In The Head” Thornton was to turn her into a vampire, Season 5 hit the ground running; not in the least due to the early introduction of Pam, a character that has been so criminally underused in the past one must wonder exactly what we’ve done to offend Alan Ball so badly he tortures us with this Pam-withholding. Even more encouraging for the season to come is that Pam, albeit with a generous dose of attitude — “What’s to say she wont rise out of the ground totally and competely fucktarded?” — agrees to sire Tara in return for Sookie using her “Super Snatch” to exert influence over Bill. Hopefully, now that Pam is Tara’s Baby Mamma, we’ll see more of her, otherwise, Scout’s Honor, I’m quitting True Blood.

Suffice to say, Tara, now joined in the ranks by the eternally pathetic Lafayette, is one of the most (if not the most), painful characters on the show. I can’t imagine it would escape an idiot that giving her eternal life is somewhat of a misstep (I would’ve let the bitch die, just sayin’), and I’d venture a guess that Sookie’s terrible fake cry at the end of the episode is a testament to how awful Tara really is. Because let’s face it, we’ve all seen Sookie cry before, and each time has been infinitely more convincing than Anna Paquin’s melodramatic sobbing over Tara’s grave. Lucky for us, it looks as though Tara is undead-alive and about to bitch slap her for being so annoying. Fingers crossed for episode 2!

It doesn’t take long to get into the nudity either, with some new sexy-babe werewomen hot on Sam “Werewolves Killed My Brother And I’m Protecting Alcide” Merlotte. Sam does martyr so very well, it seems a shame that he shouldn’t always be suffering for some noble cause, although the introduction (are they new or have they just dropped out of my head since last season?) of all these new werepeople is confusing — what happened to Marcus’ entourage of beefy males and why aren’t they the ones avenging him? And does the ritual feeding from Marcus’ dead body count as cannibalism or not, given that the pack takes wolf form to feast? Could it be possible that they’re all just on bath salts?