Review and Recap: 'True Blood' Season 6 Premiere: Who Are You, Really?

True Blood star Stephen Moyer, who plays vampire Bill Compton
True Blood star Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton) directed the season 6 premiere

The True Blood season 6 premiere episode titled, "Who Are You, Really?" started and ended with a fast, furious rush, and a focus on Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and his reincarnation as the newly super-empowered “Billith.” When faerie waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), aged vampire Eric Northman (Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd) and their supernatural pals aren’t running from “Billith” and scratching their collective head as to what his motives might be, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) is running into the arms (or, at least the car) of new character Niall Brigant/Macklyn Warlow (Rutger Hauer), the very vampire who killed his parents.

With the number of True Blood season episodes reduced from 12 to 10 this season (to say nothing of the fact that show runner and originator Alan Ball is gone), there is a greater need to cram every show with bloody action and emotional interplay amongst its still growing cast of characters (including werewolves and the newborn faerie babies), and do it quickly.

Directed by Moyer, “Who Are You, Really?” (S6, E1) isn’t solely about the questionable changes within Bill now that he’s flooded himself with the life fluid of the vampire goddess Lilith (a naked, blood-soaked fire starter one second, a calmly devoted maker the next). The titular query could be what Jason demands of his sister Sookie when she defends vampiress Nora Gainesborough (Lucy Griffiths) from his wooden bullets, or when she stakes Bill mere moments after telling baby vamp Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) that she’ll always love him. It could be what Pam De Beaufort (Kristin Bauer van Straten) demands of her maker, Eric, when he follows the lead of the sibling he’s only just reacquainted himself with, rather than his progeny.

It could be what many of us wish to know from Louisiana Governor Truman Burrell (a particularly icy Arliss Howard), who one minute condemns his state’s vamp population to ridiculous curfews, unemployment and vigilantism, then the next, makes deals with True Blood’s bottlers for higher productivity.

Lastly, that’s the question that arises when the mysterious Niall Brigant/Macklyn Warlow (played to slow, creepy perfection by Hauer) appears from the shadows to pick up a disillusioned, hitchhiking Jason, who ends the episode attempting to kill his arch-nemesis only to find himself alone at the wheel, in this season’s first big cliffhanger.

If the rest of season 6 maintains the tone set in "Who Are You, Really?", it will be a return to the True Blood that first glamoured fans in season 1.

True Blood airs on Sundays at 9/8c on HBO

Photo ©HBO

Posted on Monday, June 17, 2013