'True Blood' Season 4 premiere: The future's so bright

true-blood-bill-season-4.jpg "True Blood" returned for Season 4 on Sunday (June 26) and in typical "True Blood" fashion, the writers threw a curveball our way with a time jump. When Sookie was taken to the fairy world by her "fairy godmother" Claudine, she discovered that time works differently there and when she returned to Bon Temps, she'd been gone over a year.

Time jumps are a bit of a contrivance for shows, but they sure are fun because they basically let the writers do whatever they want with the characters without having to, well, get there on screen.

So where did this time jump put our "True Blood" characters?

Sookie returns from the fairy land and of course everyone is freaking out because they all thought she was dead. We were delighted to see Gary Cole as her granddaddy and wish there was a way to keep him around, but we'll take a smidge of Cole just the same.

In love triangle news, Eric bought Sookie's house and claims he's the only one who didn't give up hope on her. Bill has been named the Vampire King of Louisiana and has under his employ a wiccan named Daisy.

Jess and Hoyt are living in "domestic bliss." It cannot be easy for them as a couple, but we're so glad to see them making a go of it. And Jesus and Lafayette are still going strong, though Jesus keeps pushing Lafayette to explore his magical powers and to join a coven. We still don't entirely trust Jesus - there is just a constant feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop with him.

Jason Stackhouse is a full-on sheriff's deputy and Sheriff Andy is hooked on V. That should go well. Also, Andy's sister is a new supporting character, played by "Dexter" alum Courtney Ford. We aren't sure being Andy's sister is a step-up from being a serial killer's daughter, but we're excited to see the actress in Bon Temps.

Tara has left Bon Temps and heterosexuality behind. She is now a super-sexy, ripped cage fighter in New Orleans with a girlfriend, which is fun and something we hope they explore. Considering what happened to her, it makes a lot of sense.

Arlene and Terry are raising little Mikey, who Arlene is just convinced is evil. Thankfully Terry is there to counteract her crazy. Sam has found some new friends who are shapeshifters and are helping him with his anger issues. His brother Tommy, in the wake of being shot, is now apparently living the straight and narrow and hanging out with ... Hoyt's mom? Didn't see that one coming.

And finally, there are some witches in town. Fiona Shaw is the leader of a local coven, which both Daisy and Jesus belong to and which Jesus is pushing Lafayette to join. With Lafayette's power, the coven manages to bring a dead bird back to life. Even though it is only for a few minutes, having power over a dead creature may give the vampires pause.

Shaw should be an awesome addition to the cast. Lauren Bowles, who plays wiccan Holly, tells us in an interview that "there's just not enough like superlative adjectives" to describe Shaw.

And just in case you were wondering, Shaw is probably most well-known for her "Harry Potter" turns as Aunt Petunia, but she's always held a special place in our heart as the crazy headmistress Tom Selleck encounters in "Three Men and a Little Lady."

What did you think of the premiere, fang fans?

Photo/Video credit: HBO