New Show Recap: True Blood, Episode 5.07, “In The Beginning”

I ain’t been to med school or fairy school or nothin’, so if you can put it in terms a late man could understand I’d appreciate it.

Oh, Jason Stackhouse. You are an adorable dummy.

If last week was treading water, “In The Beginning,” this entry in our beloved True Blood, is a cannonball off the high dive. Bear with me – analogies aren’t really my thing. Most this season has been a long excuse to get Bill and Eric back into a scene with Russell so that Denis O’Hare could chew all the scenery. And now that it’s happened, oh, it’s just so good. Let’s get right to it, yeah?

Russell

Russell gets his own entry this week because almost everything awesome in this episode revolved around him. Whether it’s his hitman-ing of poor Detective Stabler, or his night vision Nosferatu hissing, or his dramatic reveal in Salome’s chamber – our man makes not a single misstep.  He strings Eric up on a post, gets caught in a silver net for shows, fakes a come-to-Jesus (Lilith) moment, rips the head off another Counselor (and then kicks his remains into a decorative water feature), trips balls off down Bourbon Street, flirts with wee-gay Reverend Newlin (who also scores with his “I’m just a tree in the wind” line), and crashes karaoke before kicking off a killing spree.

I mean, clearly he’s a bad guy and his religious conversion is a bunch of bullshit, but the screen glows every time he’s on it. He needs a web mini-series, stat.

The Authority, Bill, Eric

REALLY, SALOME? YOU WERE THE LEADER OF THE SANGUINISTAS ALL ALONG? WHAT A SURPRISE THAT WAS NOT AT ALL TELEGRAPHED SINCE YOU WERE INTRODUCED!

There’s some convoluted reasoning given about how Salome had to dig Russell out because none of the Counselors could kill Roman because it’s a sin, but since she’s in charge now, she just forgives Russell and rebaptizes him in Lilith’s name. At least that’s how I understood it. It’s just a couple of empty sentences to get from point A (why isn’t Russell in a cell) to point B (balls-tripping in New Orleans). Something something something, Bill and Eric join us, something something, power sharing, something something, let’s drink the sacred blood of our founder.  I feel like this wasn’t the most thought-out plot point of the season.

Gif courtesy of truebloodgifs.tumblr.com

What’s left of the Authority, plus the baby-eater in the cell but not including Mac from Veronica Mars (and if I were her, I’d feel really left out of everything. I mean, they included the baby killer but didn’t ask their IT girl) goes out to trip all over Bourbon Street. (It’s not Mardi Gras – timeline wise, they’re in November.) The motley crew does a credible job of looking like a bunch of college kids who took their first hits of LSD at a party – Eric has a nice bit where he’s petting Nora’s hair – and threaten a cab driver. Then Bill piggybacks on Eric to the karaoke killfest, where Lilith may or may not have actually shown up, and a vision of Godric does appear to remind Eric that slaughtering people and bathing in their blood is, like, not how he raised him. For some reason, Godric did a much worse job of raising Nora, because she thinks it’s totes OK to invoke an ancient goddess during a blood orgy.

 Sookie

The heroine of this piece wakes up in the fairy bar to discover that, being only partly-fae, her powers have an expiration date. For whatever reason, she and Jason believe every single thing the fairies have to tell them – that their parents were killed by vampires, that they aren’t harvesting humans, that if Sookie uses up all her abilities all that will happen is that she’ll be a vanilla mortal.

She has a heart to heart with Sam about if he’d give up his shifterness if the opportunity presented itself, which was a quietly moving scene, but somewhat selfish if you consider the circumstances (hanging out in the hospital where his girlfriend is recovering from being shot in the stomach). Our gal has had a really rough 18 months (give or take), what with everyone wanting to kill her all the time and how she’s screwing up everyone’s lives, so it’s no surprise that “vanilla mortal” is looking really appealing right now.

Despite knowing that Russell is still alive and might come and eat her, Sookie stands in front of her house and shoots off blasts of light into the sky, trying, desperately, to have a normal life.

Tara, Pam

Apparently, Tara told Pam to make her a pole dancer instead of a bartender, which, frankly, seems out of left field, but they’ve hardly ever been consistent with her character. So obviously she’s doing vampire gymnastics when Lettie Mae shows up in her church dress to visit. As has been established by the show, Lettie Mae is the worst mother in the history of mothering. She’s not there to mourn over her daughter’s death or to bring her home. She’s there to disown her dead daughter for embarrassing her by becoming a vampire. She’s a minister’s wife now, now that she’s no longer a home-wrecking, demon-possessed, alcoholic, and she has got an image to uphold.  These heart-wrenching scenes with Lettie Mae have always been the strongest insight into Tara’s character and this one is no different – she always seems so much realer to me after they’re done.

Pam checks in on her progeny to offer the kind of cold comfort Pam specializes in and they’re both surprised when their encounter ends in a hug.

And the big question of the night? What the hell was up with Pam’s hair? Did she time travel to the ’80s? Is she on her way to a Vixen reunion concert? Who the hell crimped all that?

Terri, Arlene, Holly, Patrick

Fine! Fine! It’s a major plotline this season, so I’ll include it in the main write-up. Also, I figure this has to pay off soon.

Arlene and Holly commiserate over a viewing of Arlene’s wedding video (which would have taken place while Sookie was in fairieland). Holly is pragmatic about her friend’s worries. Sure, Terri’s PTSD could have blow up into a total lack of connection to reality, but they do live in Bon Temps, and it’s just as likely a smoke monster is chasing her husband around. Arlene finds this comforting in its own way.

Terri and Patrick have resolved themselves to allow the Iffrit to kill them. But they’re stymied when the Iffrit shows up and laughs at them before taking off. A despondent Terri puts a gun to his chin in a chilling scene, but he’s convinced to stand down and fight like a warrior for his kids.

 

Jason, Jessica

Jason tries to share his troubles with Jessica, who is his best friend now that Hoyt is out of the picture. She tries to convince him that vampires, even if they did kill his parents, aren’t all evil, and then kisses him with another man’s blood on her mouth.

Things go downhill from there.

He calls her either 1) a slut, if you think it’s about sex or 2) a glutton, if you think it’s about her feeding on other men. (Hint: It’s about sex.) Jessica overreacts in the way a teenaged vampire can, by attacking him with her fangs, so Jason shoots her in her head. He knows it won’t do anything to her but piss her off. And that it does. It looks like Jason and Jessica will not be horizontally mamboing for the foreseeable future.

And the rest

 

  • Hoyt takes up with the Obama-gang. He’s a hard read – is he going along with it because he thinks it’s smart to find out what they’re up to, or is he being suckered into a hate group because he’s so brokenhearted over Jessica? His excitement about going out on an Obama gang run in the later half of the episode seems to indicate the latter.
  • Sherriff Dearborn shows up for the first time in 3 seasons or so as Andy goes to him looking for advice. Since it’s entirely random – not that I don’t love Dearborn, I do – I’m going to bet he’s Dragon of the Obama gang.
  • Sam rolls around on the floor in front of one of Andy’s deputies and discovers the scent of a box of Obama masks in the back of the gun shop, which is a totally normal thing people do.
  • Alcide spars with his new second and then tries to make the sex with her. Alcide is kinda coming off like a dog this season – he tried to get Sookie in bed a day after she admitted to murdering his former fiancé, and a day after that didn’t work, he’s going to town on some woman he barely could stand at the beginning of the season.
  • Martha discovers what JD is up to after he offers her 8-year-old granddaughter some V. Cause he’s a scumbag.
  • Lafayette goes to visit Jesus’s brujo grandfather and gets tortured for his effort. Just before Don Bartolo can murder him, his pregnant wife stabs him into next week and carefully cuts the stitches from Lala’s mouth.

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[E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of powderroom.jezebel.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at slay@persephonemagazine.com. She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

17 thoughts on “New Show Recap: True Blood, Episode 5.07, “In The Beginning””

  1. The thing that trips me up is how they manage to mix in a few fantastic scenes/bits of acting with so much over-the-top and not even funny-campy stuff.

    Despite the crazy story lines this season, I have to say I am totally digging Sookie’s attitude change (except the extreme gullibility with the fae), and the cute Eric and Bill interaction.

     

  2. Something interesting I learned… I have a friend in the crowd scene (I’m waving at her now)!  Something (even more) interesting: the call in for extras was for Treme, or it insinuated it was Treme, or whatevs.  She thought it was for Treme (she’s in NOLA so that would have made sense).  And then they got off the bus to the set and were getting prepped and then she’s like “OMG ERIC AND BILL!!!”

    I wonder if they were worried that they would have gotten a ton of fan-peeps had they advertised “WANNA BE A TRUE BLOOD EXTRA?”

    So make sure you go to ALL HBO calls for extras if you want to stand near them…

     

  3. Do not diss Pam’s hair. That shit was killer! I “oooh’ed” every damn time she was on screen.  :)

    Also, the “In a hundred years, you won’t even remember her.” was probably the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. I may or may not have cried.

  4. So I try and read your recaps and the Pajiba recaps of this show after I watch each episode. Despite these crutches, I still have No clue what the F&*%K is going on any more. I thought it was confusing last season, but I official do not understand the plot. The Cause and Effect seems to be so loose that I just give up.

    More shirtless Eric please

    1. I thought the plot was a little more straightforward this year, but it went totally off the rails after Roman died. None of what Salome was saying made a real lick of sense. Her motivations were all muddied. There seems no reason for Russell to be there if he’s not causing chaos.

      Maybe it will congeal soon — there’s only 5 more episodes, so it’s got to happen soon.

      1. Things always seem to coalesce in the last few episodes, but man people saying that this is the best season are on crack. It makes no sense, the whole authority/sanguinista plotline should DIAH. Like what is that Shit?

        I am 100% sure they just created that awful plotline to bring Russel back (fair enough, he’ s the best villain ever). But wow. Just weak.

  5. Nah, not Sheriff Dearborn! Wasn’t he always too confused by everything to be part of a gang? I heard several people say they loved the last couple of episodes but I kinda lost my enthusiasm over it again .. Not even Russel could entertain me. Luckily Steve was around again. And Laffie.

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