Attention Truebies! Are you ready to do bad things again? True Blood comes roaring back to HBO with the premiere of it’s 5th season tonight, and just in case you need a quick refresher course on all the sex, death and mayhem, we’ve got you covered.

So where to even start with Bon Temp’s sex-crazed creatures of the night? In effort to save you some confusion, and myself a migraine, we’ll do this in character groups.

Sookie, Eric and Bill

At the start of the season, it turns out that Sookie’s been transported to the Fairy World to join the rest of her fae brethren, guided by her fairy godmother Claudine. The Fairy World is beautiful and there are also humans there. Sookie runs into Barry the Telepath, as well as her grandfather, who insists he’s only been there a few minutes, even though Sookie thought he’d been dead for years. The fairies keep offering the humans this glowing fruit and when Sookie senses that something is awry, she refuses the fruit and makes a break for it. Turns out the Fairy World isn’t as beautiful as it looks and the fae turn into horrible-looking goblin-like creatures. Sookie and her grandfather escape, but since the man had already died in the human world, he turns to ash in front of Sookie’s eyes. Sookie returns to her home only to find that it’s been sold. She finds Jason, who tells her that she’s been gone for a year and everyone thought she was dead. She makes up a lie, saying she was “undercover” for her vampire friends. As it turns out, Eric is the one who’s bought her house, and, by proxy, wants to make Sookie “his.” He’s even built himself a vampire cubby hole in her house. Sookie hires Portia Bellefleur to try and buy her house back.

During Sookie’s absence, Bill has become the King of Louisiana, after killing Sophie Ann. Sookie looks to werewolf friend Alcide for help, but Alcide’s shacked up with a newly-sober Debbie. Debbie wants Sookie’s forgiveness for that, you know, trying-to-kill-her during season three’s Vampire v. Werewolf standoff, and Sookie grants it. Eric and Bill are working with the AVL, trying to bolster the vampire public image after the Russell Edgington debacle (in which he tore out a newscaster’s heart on national television.) Eric finds out that a local Bon Temps coven is practicing necromancy in attempts to deal with the vampire threat, and orders them to disband. The leader, a timid woman named Marnie, is suddenly possessed by the spirit of a woman who was tortured, raped and used as food by vampires during the Renaissance, and casts a spell upon Eric, causing him to lose his memory. Sookie finds him wandering down the road without his shirt or shoes, and takes him home once she realizes that he doesn’t know who she is. After consulting with Pam, Sookie agrees to hide Eric in her house.

Eric has the self-control of a teenage boy without his memories and Sookie struggles to keep him a secret after he kills Claudine for her fairy blood. But she seems to be beguiled by this newer, softer Eric, who doesn’t seem to recall being “evil.” Just when it seems that Eric and Sookie might finally get some, they’re interrupted by Bill, who doesn’t know about Eric’s recent withdrawals from the memory bank. Bill takes Eric into his custody, but Eric quickly escapes and finds Sookie in the woods. After four seasons of will-they-won’t-they, Eric and Sookie make love in the woods. Soon after, Bill forces all the vampires in his inner circle to be silvered during the day, because  Antonia/Marnie and her coven, which now includes Lafayette, Tara and Lafayette’s boyfriend Jesus, are going to force all the vampires to meet the sun and kill themselves. The plan fails.

Bill tries to make negotiations with Marnie in a graveyard, but a fight breaks out, during which, Sookie is shot. She is rescued by Alcide and Bill heals her with his blood. After this, Sookie realizes she’s in love with both Eric and Bill. Marnie tries to use Eric to kill Bill and Sookie is able to use her fairy powers to restore Eric’s memory before he can complete the task. The war between the witches and vampires culminates when the vampires try to burn down Moon Goddess, where the hostage witches are located. The fight comes to a stalemate when Antonia’s spirit is unbound to Marnie and Marnie is killed. Marnie later possesses Lafayette and uses him to seek vengeance on Bill and Eric. Before she can burn them at the stake, Antonia and Sookie’s Grandmother appear to escort Marnie to the afterlife. Sookie begs Gran to stay, but Gran tells her “We’re all alone in the end.” before departing.

Afterwards, Sookie tells Bill and Eric that although she loves both of them, neither of them are going to win her affection, because she doesn’t want anyone else getting hurt. She returns to her house and tries to reconcile her ailing relationship with Tara. When a jealous, drunk Debbie returns, thinking that Alcide has left her for Sookie, she fires a gun at Sookie. Tara pushes her out of the way and is shot in the head. We leave Sookie holding Tara’s body and screaming for help. Meanwhile, our dejected vampire boys have teamed up against a recently fired Nan Flanagan, who no longer represents the AVL. Bill and Eric stake Nan and her guards.

Sam and Tommy

Meanwhile, in an almost wholly unrelated story, Sam and Tommy are trying to mend their testy relationship, which ended in the third season with Sam shooting Tommy. It turns out that Tommy has been taken in by Maxine Fortenberry, who is trying to turn him into a good wholesome boy. Sam is in an “anger management” group, which turns out to be a group of shifters who get together, drink wine, talk about their problems and then turn into their desired animal and run around in the woods. Sam’s taken a particular liking to one of the shifters named Luna. As it turns out, Luna isn’t just a shifter, she’s a skinwalker. She can turn into other people, and earned this power by killing her mother.

Tommy visits his mother and after spending a nice day with her, is accosted by his father, who wants to use him for dog fights again. During the fight, Tommy strangles Joe Lee and accidentally kills his mother, and is now a skinwalker himself. He gets Sam to help him dump the bodies. Tommy learns of a natural gas well under Maxine’s house and wants to figure out how he can get some of the money. He figures out his skinwalking powers and uses it to impersonate Sam, living out his life at the bar, which includes firing Sookie and having sex with Luna. His lack of exposure to the power makes him extremely ill and Sam is forced to take him to the hospital when he finds him passed out in Sam’s trailer. When Sam finds out what Tommy did with Luna, he orders him to get out. Tommy steals some of Maxine’s things and leaves.

Luna’s Ex Marcus, a werewolf who wants custody of Luna’s daughter, is extremely hostile towards Sam and challenges him to a confrontation. Tommy, pretending to be Sam, accepts his challenge. At Marcus’ shop, Marcus easily bests Tommy, violently beating him. Alcide steps in and tries to take Tommy to the hospital, but Tommy just wants to be taken to Merlotte’s. In the back room, Sam tries to save his brother, but Tommy ultimately dies of his injuries. Sam swears revenge on Marcus. Luna calls Sam, begging for help. saying that Marcus has tried to take Luna’s daughter and Sam and Alcide intercede. After a brief fight, Alcide snaps Marcus’ neck. Later, Sam buries Tommy and says goodbye to Luna. After she leaves, Sam is stalked by werewolves.

Jesus and Lafayette

Jesus convinces Lafayette to join Marnie’s coven, because he senses that Lafayette has inherited a gift for magic, just as Jesus does. After the coven erases Eric’s memory, the two flee to Mexico to see Jesus’s grandfather, who is also a brujo. They discover that Lafayette is a medium and can see spirits. After they return to Bon Temps, Lafayette is possessed by a Creole woman haunting Arlene and Terry’s house, who never got to see her child and wanted to say goodbye. Jesus and Lafayette help the woman find peace in the afterlife and believe that they can do the same for Antonia, who has completely possessed Marnie.

They help Sookie and Tara get the rest of the hostages out of Moon Goddess by earning Antonia’s trust. Jesus is able to get through to Marnie, but finds out that her power trip against the vampires is what she wanted, as opposed to Antonia, who just knew the magic. They are able to unbind Antonia from Marnie using a dead girl Marnie had killed. When it seems as if everything is put right, Marnie’s spirit takes possession of Lafayette, and uses him to steal Jesus’ magic. She concludes by slitting his throat. Lafayette is saved when Gran and Antonia intervene. Lafayette has one brief goodbye with Jesus’ spirit and is left with his heartache and guilt.

Jason, Jessica and Hoyt

So remember the meth lab werepanthers in Hot Shot? Well, they’ve named Jason the new Ghost Daddy of their community, which Jason thinks is cool until he’s kidnapped by Crystal and her inbred relatives, tied to a bed, bitten by werepanthers, and repeatedly raped in order to create new werepanthers. Not cool at all. Jason convinces one of the young girls (who is being forced to have sex with Jason to do her part) to release him so he doesn’t die of his infected panther bites. Jason escapes, kills Felton and manages to get to the highway before passing out on the side of the road. Luckily, he’s rescued by Hoyt and Jessica. Jessica heals Jason with her blood and the two let Jason rest at their house for a few days.

Speaking of those two crazy kids, Jessica and Hoyt have been living together for over a year, but its not quite working out. Jessica isn’t too crazy about being Hoyt’s domestic girlfriend and cheats on him at Fangtasia. Because he’s now had her blood in him, Jason can’t get Jessica out of his mind and feels extremely guilty for having sex dreams about his best friend’s girlfriend. He’s also paranoid that he’s going to turn into a werepanther and eat people, and Jessica finds him having a panic attack in the woods. The two realize that they have feelings for each other, blood or no blood, and both of them struggle with the guilt of potentially hurting Hoyt. Jessica tries to break up with him and he throws her out of the house. Jason isn’t much help, turning her down when she needs a place to stay. Finally, she turns to her maker, Bill. Hoyt gives Jason a box of Jessica’s things, marked ‘MONSTER’ in sharpie and tells him to take it by Bill’s. He does, with the hurtful message marked out, and the two end up having sex in Jason’s pickup. Jason tries to help Hoyt, but Hoyt lets his depression and hate fester.

During the showdown at Moon Goddess, Pam tries to use a rocket launcher to destroy the store, but the magical barrier causes it to backfire and explode. Jason, trying to help Sookie, is blinded and potentially paralyzed. Jessica rescues him and heals him. Later, Jason confesses that he always liked her, blood or no blood. On Halloween, Jessica comes to Jason in a bangin’ Little Red Riding Hood costume and explains that after what happened with Hoyt, and her dissatisfaction with that kind of relationship, all she can give him is sex. Jason doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with that. She leaves. Later, Jason gets a knock on his door, and, thinking it’s her returning for round two, opens the door (while fully nude) to find a vamped out Steve Newlin in front of him, fangs extended.

The Miscellany:

  • Tara has a brief stint as a cage fighter in New Orleans. She goes by Toni and has a brief relationship with another female fighter.
  • Pam spends much of the season rotting from the inside out, thanks to a hex cast by Marnie
  • Debbie struggles with her sobriety and has a brief fling with Marcus, feeling jilted by Alcide
  • Bill has a brief fling with Portia Bellefleur, only to realize that they’re technically related by blood.
  • Andy has a brief fling with a vampire blood addiction.
  • Arlene is convinced that her baby is evil, because it’s Renè’s, who was, you know, a serial killer.

Hopefully, this gets you up to speed for tonight’s premiere! True Blood airs at 9 PM EST on HBO.