Relationship crises are nothing new to telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), but she faces a new one of epic proportions as “True Blood” comes roaring back for its sixth season on HBO at 8 p.m. Sunday.
As fans of the show will remember, Season 5 reached its climax as Sookie's brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), led a daring raid on the New Orleans headquarters of the Vampire Authority, where control had been seized by the Sanguinistas, a rogue vampire faction that opposed mainstreaming with humans and worshipped a primal deity known as Lilith, the mother of all vampires. As carnage reigned throughout the complex, Sookie and charismatic vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) confronted her old lover Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), who in a fit of religious mania downed a large flask of Lilith's sacramental blood, then dissolved into the gruesome puddle of gore that generally signals that a vampire has gone to his “true death.”
Not so fast, though. As Sookie and Eric kept watching, stunned, the bloody pool suddenly began to coalesce anew, and a terrifying entity that appeared to be the angry Lilith now reincarnated in Bill's form arose from the goo and gave chase.
“Oh, yeah, all hell is breaking loose when we come back,” says actress Rutina Wesley, whose character, recently turned “baby vamp” Tara Thornton, is an active participant in the chaotic action of the first episode. “We all meet up and just get the hell out of Dodge, because ‘Billith' is no joke this season. Seriously.”
While Tara may be in fairly dire straits this season — yes, again — Wesley herself is tickled pink to be playing a character who got a fascinating reboot last season when her best friend, Sookie, made the desperate decision to have Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) turn Tara into a vampire after she was critically injured by a shotgun blast while trying to save Sookie's life. Given that Tara hated vampires more than anything else in the world, that decision infused this character with a fresh internal tension that changed her whole direction and gave Wesley some delightful new options to play with.
At least, once she recovered from her shock.
“When Alan (Ball, the series creator) first told me, I just freaked out,” the actress recalls, laughing. “While we were setting up to do another take, he just pulled me into a corner and said, ‘Hey, we're really excited about something, and I hope you will be, too. Tara's going to be turned.' And I was like, ‘What? That doesn't mean that I'm dying, does it?'”Once Wesley realized that Tara was, indeed, coming back as a main player, she began to get excited by the possibilities, especially given that Tara's maker was going to be Pam, a fan favorite who gets to wear outrageously sexy costumes and indulge in some over-the-top behavior, even by vampire standards.