True Blood' season 2, episode 1

"God damn you Bill Compton. I love you!"

Oh, Bon Temps. It's good to be back. Season two of HBO's "True Blood" premiered last night in all of its B-movie glory. We picked up right where season one left off — with Tara and Sookie mid-scream at the sight of a foot dangling from the the backseat of Andy Bellefleur's car. It appeared at first that the red toenails belonged to Lafayette. (He'd been shown painting them in one of last season's final episodes shortly before being attacked at the dumpster behind the bar.) The foot, however, belongs to Miss Jeanette, the ipecac-and-peyote-mixing voodoo swamp queen. Poor thing done had her heart ripped out.

Lafayette, meanwhile, is in some dank drippy basement dungeon chained at the neck to a series of giant gears with a handful of other prisoners. Soon, Royce, one of the Bon Temps rednecks responsible for burning down the vampire nest, is added to the group. We eventually find out that it's downstairs at Fangtasia and it quickly becomes clear that all of the prisoners are down there to pay for the misdeeds they've done to vampires: Royce for the triple murder and Lafayette for dealing V, most likely. When Royce asks Lafayette how long he's been down there, Lafayette responds through his 5 o'clock shadow that he has no idea. Now, I've always thought that the passage of time on "True Blood" felt a bit ambiguous (no one ever really seems to grieve — except Sookie over some cereal or pie — and it's unclear how long Bill and Sookie have been "dating" among other things), but last night's episode picked up at the exact moment season one ended — the same night Lafayette disappeared, right? (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) That would mean he'd been captive for all of 45 minutes or so.

The mysterious Maryann is back again. The papaya-loving temptress had a real zinger upon meeting Tara's mom outside the police station: "I've always wondered what it would be like to gaze into the eyes of someone so devoid of human compassion that she would abandon her own child when she needed you most. Just as I thought — emptiness, nothing inside." Damn! Pray on that Lettie Mae.