Across the country, vampires have “come out of the coffin” following the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood. In Louisiana, Sookie Stack house, a waitress with telepathic abilities, falls under the spell of sexy, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton whose thoughts she can’t read. After saving Bill from the Rat trays, a pair of ruthless “vampire drainers”, Sookie tests the limits of Bill’ s gratitude when the two are left alone in the dark. Meanwhile, Sookie’ s best friend Tara goes to work for Sam merlette at his bar and grill, while Sookie’ s roguish brother Jason finds himself in hot water when a “fang-banger” with whom he’s been intimate meets a tragic end.
One of the barmaids from Merlotte's is murdered and all signs point to Jason as her killer. Also evident is the fact that she had been around vampires, and Sookie knows just where to go to find out who the girl had been with. Bill introduces Sookie to Fangtasia, the biggest vampire bar in Shreveport, and Eric, the oldest vampire in Shreveport. Her search could lead her into territory she never thought she'd cover.
A shocking murder outside Merlotte's has Bon Temps reeling. Meanwhile, Sookie's relationship with Bill is tested when she learns about Jessica, and of his involvement in her uncle's death. Sam recalls a shape-shifting encounter he had with Maryann as a 17-year-old. Jason gets a sudden windfall that allows him to pay for a leadership retreat with the Fellowship of the Sun. Two adversaries find themselves sharing a mysterious dungeon and, possibly, the same fate.
Sookie is forced to babysits Jessica, as well as the romantic inconveniences the teen vampire's presence creates. At the Light of Day leadership conference, Jason makes an impression on its ambitious leaders, Steve and Sarah Newlin. While one of his fellow campers, Amanda Jane with her band, the God Rockets, livens the spirits at camp with their hit single, Jesus Asked Me Out Today. Maryann casts her spell on Merlotte's patrons.
Bill and Eric team up to save Sookie from a mysterious creature. Jason has second thoughts about the Light of Day retreat anti-vampire agenda, but Sarah and Steve counter his doubts with flattery and promises. Sam leaves town after alienating everyone. Jessica heads over to Merlotte's, where a smitten Hoyt falls for her. Tara is attracted to Eggs but is rudely interrupted by a fog.
A wounded Eric plays Sookie for a sucker, to Bill’s dismay, and ends up getting inside her head. Later, Sookie and Jason bond over their recent adventures. Blaming Eggs for Tara’s bruises and bizarre behavior, Lafayette and Lettie Mae try to figure out a way to pry their kin from Maryann’s clutches. Hoyt defends his relationship with Jessica to Maxine, to no avail. Jailed by Bud along with a group of Bon Temps revelers, Sam looks for a way to escape and avoid capture by an increasingly obsessed Maryann. In Dallas, Eric and the vampires defend their recent actions to Nan Flanagan and are shocked when Godric decides to take the fall for their PR disaster.
Sookie, Bill and Jason return to a Bon Temps turned upside down by Maryann. Lured to Merlotte’s by Arlene, Sam and Andy find cold comfort in their refuge from a group of bloodthirsty revelers. Bill discovers that traditional vampire techniques don’t work on Maryann; Hoyt and Jessica try to keep a lid on Maxine’s madness; and Sookie tries to push through the darkness consuming Tara. With all hell breaking loose, Jason takes the bull by the horns to rescue Sam, at least for the moment.
With the crisis in Bon Temps careening out of control, Bill seeks out the advice of Sophie-Anne, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana, but must exercise patience before she gives him critical information. Meanwhile, Sookie and Lafayette find that protecting Tara from herself is more difficult than they anticipated; a desperate Sam turns to an unlikely source for assistance; and Jessica tests Hoyt’s allegiance to Maxine.
Bon Temps reaches a fever pitch as Maryann prepares for her ultimate bestial sacrifice, conscripting Sookie to be Maid of Honor at the bloody nuptials. Meanwhile, Sophie-Anne warns Eric to keep the lid on Bill's inquisitiveness; Jason leads Andy into the heroic abyss; and Hoyt struggles with Maxine's endless stream of insults. Deliberating on what may be his final move to save Sookie and the town, Sam places his trust, and his life, in a most unlikely ally
Sookie joins Alcide at a raucous engagement party for his former fiancee. Bill "procures" dinner for Russell and Lorena. Sam brokers a deal with Tommy and his parents. Andy gets a promotion and draws Jason's attention. Arlene is irked by Jessica's arrival at Merlotte's. Eric is given a deadline to locate Bill. Franklin takes Tara on a road trip.
Alcide and Sookie turn to an alpha-wolf "packmaster" for advice on how to deal with Russell's minions. Tara considers a proposal from Franklin, who's completed his mission for Russell; Joe Lee breaks his promise to Sam and Tommy; Lafayette learns the meaning of patience from Jesus, his mother's orderly; Jason meets his match in a mysterious girl named Crystal. An heirloom reminds Eric of his past and his ongoing thirst for vengeance.
Spurned by Eric, Sookie fears the worst for Bill, whose fate now lies in Lorena's hands. Fueled by a night of bloody passion, Tara executes a desperate plan to stave off Franklin's advances. In Bon Temps, Tommy finds it difficult to leave the family nest; Jessica gets her fix from a Merlotte's customer; and Jason's romance with Crystal hits a snag, as does Lafayette's with Jesus. After revealing his master plan to Eric, Russell pays a visit to Louisiana in order to start executing it.
Sookie's attempt to rescue Bill has unforseen consequences. Meanwhile, Jason seeks the truth about Crystal. Sam must step in when Tommy gets involved in a dog fighting ring, all thanks to Melinda and Joe Lee's quest for money. Eric figures out how to get the information he wants from Sophie-Anne. Debbie plans to get even with Alcide while Russell ignores the Magister.
While Sookie must rethink her relationship with Bill, he reconciles with Jessica. As Russell decides what he's going to do next, Sophie-Anne relocates her residence. Jason offers a challenge to save Crystal while Ruby Jean pays Lafayette a surprise visit. A new waitress starts at Merlotte. Eric's allegiance to Russell is proven. Alcide's family emergency puts Sookie in a vulnerable position.
The Vampire Rights Amendment is close to being ratified so Nan confronts Eric at Fangtasia about the whereabouts of the Magister. Russell vows revenge against all his vampire and human adversaries. Bill discovers the truth about Sookie's true identity. Unexpected help arrives as Jason goes up against Felton and Calvin. Arlene is overcome by a sense of futility about her future while Tara meets up with a new ally and with someone who caused her pain in the past. Sookie meets a new family member. Hoyt addresses his real feelings head on.
Sookie is warned about the dangers she will have to deal with. Dark memories surface for Sam. Arlene must ask Holly for help while Jason faces unexpected dealings with Tara and Crystal. Jesus' interest in V's qualities is aroused. Arlene seeks out Holly for help. Russell vows to inflict punishment on his enemies. After precautions, Eric satisfies a wish.
Bill wants to earn back Sookie's trust but once again brings her close to danger. Eric tempts Russell with "ultimate vampire dream". Jason tries to comprehend what he's learned about Crystal. Sam alienates everyone but Tara. Jessica and Hoyt take their romance up a notch. Lafayette struggles with new demons.
Sookie journeys away from Bon Temps; Eric and Bill try to win back the human public; Jason learns that no good deed goes unpunished; Tara finds refuge in close quarters; Sam bonds with his own; Hoyt and Jessica debate the dinner menu; Jesus urges Lafayette to join a coven; and Terry tries to alleviate Arlene’s fears about the baby.
Sookie adjusts to Bon Temps' new realities; Bill reveals pieces of his past; Eric crashes a witches' meeting; Jason gets his wounds licked; Andy struggles with his addiction; Sam learns of Luna's special talents; Jessica satisfies her blood cravings; and Arlene witnesses strange behavior from her family.
Sookie makes a deal with Eric and reconnects with Alcide; Bill punishes an errant vampire and counsels a guilt-ridden Jessica; Jason is cast as a reluctant savior; Tommy eyes a scam and alienates Sam; Marnie flexes her newfound powers; Pam delivers an ultimatum to Lafayette, Tara and Jesus; Eric spoils Sookie's faerie reunion.
With Marnie empowered by spirits of the dead, Bill issues an unpopular order to save vampires from the light. Eric embraces his amnesia; Luna discovers Sam’s not the man she thought he was; Lafayette expands his consciousness; Pam gets a body peel; Andy’s date with Holly doesn’t go as planned; Jessica has doubts about her future with Hoyt; Alcide and Debbie join a new pack.
Sookie tries to figure out how to fit both Bill and Eric into her life. Lafayette needs Jesus' help to rid him of the spirit that has taken over. Alcide is called upon by Marcus to help render assistance. Opposing ideas bring Bill into direct conflict with Nan. Marnie secretly plans out the strategy for her next step against the vampires in spite of Tara and Holly's apprehension about the outcome.
Bill needs Sookie to use her powers which results in breaking a spell. Jessica is implored to glamour Jason. Terry tries to help Andy with an intervention. Alcide reassesses his loyalties. Bill organizes the vampires to attack Marnie's Moon Goddess Emporium while Jesus, Lafayette, Sookie and Jason attempt to free Tara and Holly.
Sookie and Lafayette are reeling from Tara's shooting, but there is also the matter of cleaning up Debbie Pelt's blood. Meanwhile, Bill and Eric face a new threat from the Authority; Marcus' disappearance sends his wolf pack after Sam; Jessica parties with her human peers; Jason has a reunion with Rev. Steve Newlin; a visit from Terry's war buddy brings back his PTSD; and Alcide warns Sookie about Russell Edgington's return.
Eric and Bill try to keep their wits about them when they're put through the interrogation wringer at the Vampire Authority headquarters in New Orleans. Meanwhile, Pam recalls her first meeting with Eric in early 20th-century San Francisco; Alcide turns his back on Marcus' wolf pack; Emma's grandmother comes between Sam and Luna; Steve Newlin wants what he thinks belongs to Jessica; and Jason's womanizing comes back to haunt him.
The search for Debbie Pelt becomes official when her parents come to Bon Temps to ask Andy to look for her, but Sookie is afraid of what they—and Alcide—might find out. Meanwhile, Roman mulls Bill and Eric's proposal to do away with Russell Edgington, though Salome has her own separate vetting process; and Jason has an uneasy reunion with an influential teacher from high school.
Pam tries to be a good maker for her new progeny, but wonders what's to become of the relationship with her own. Meanwhile, Bill and Eric try to find out who else knew about Russell Edgington's disposal; Roman searches for a traitor in his inner circle; Sam is visited by some old friends; Terry and Patrick hunt for a former comrade; Alcide breaks some bad news to the Pelts; and a judge takes Andy and Jason to an exclusive club.
With time running short, Bill and Eric enlist Sookie to probe for clues on Russell's hiding place. Unable to deal with the demon magic inside him, Lafayette calls out to Jesus’ spirit for help. Patrick Devins and Terry are held hostage in the bunker of their Iraq War buddy Brian Eller. Jason wakes to a disturbing dream; Jessica gives Tara advice on adjusting to vampire life; Sam visits Luna with bad news.
The aftermath at the asylum leaves Sookie with an eerie sense of foreboding. At Fangtasia, Pam breaks up a vamp-girl fight, praising Tara for her tenacity. Lafayette visits Ruby Jean, who also received a disturbing message from Jesus. Fearing for his family’s safety, Terry blames his curse for his troubles with Arlene. Alcide challenges J.D.; Sam offers to help Andy investigate the recent shootings; Roman lays out his plans to take out Russell.
Salome reveals her true allegiances while Bill and Eric get a powerful taste of sacred blood; Sookie to wonders what her life would be like without faerie powers; Sam sniffs out several shifter shooters; Hoyt finds camaraderie in a new group of friends; Alcide prepares for the worst in his face-off with J.D.; Andy attempts to reconnect with Bud; Lafayette finds an unlikely ally searching for Jesus’ body in Mexico; Lettie Mae pays Tara a visit; and Arlene takes a sentimental journey as her concerns towards Terry deepen.
The start of the vampire holy war is a cause for celebration for Salome and the Chancellors, but Eric may decide to go AWOL; Sookie learns more about her parents' death from a deceased relative; Andy and Jason investigate the rise in shifter murders; Alcide recalls his induction into the pack; Arlene is drawn into Terry and Patrick's strange journey; Steve Newlin gets a new pet.
With vampire-on-human attacks increasing, the Authority attempts to woo public favor. Meanwhile, Nora tries to convert Eric to Lilith’s gospel. Jason finds a mysterious scroll; Elijah, the new vampire sheriff of Area 5, pushes Pam and Tara to obey a new mandate; Sam and Luna search for Emma; Russell seeks a higher calling.