True Blood Review: “In the Beginning” (Episode 5.07)
Last week, I mulled over the possibility that the True Blood writers were running out of ways to top themselves. I spoke too soon.
“In the Beginning” opens in complete chaos following the death of Roman (Christopher Meloni). Russell is recaptured, but we’ll use the term loosely; he’s soon free and frolicking while blathering on about his love for Lilith. Mainstreaming is looking so yesterday with Salome now leading the Authority charge. Good news for vamps, however, as she’s looking to share her power. Bad news for everyone with a heartbeat, since humans are starting to look more and more like tasty hamburgers.
Sookie is kicking it in fairyland after being zapped by her Fae fellows, who have some bad news for her. Sookie’s fairy juice can and will run out, if she’s not careful about how it’s used. But after learning the truth about her parents’ death, a normal life is starting to sound pretty good.
Sam is still hunting down the supe-shooters, who coincidentally drafted Hoyt into their hate-club. Hoyt, showing no backbone of his own, adopts their agenda almost instantly. We get it, Hoyt. You just want to feel accepted and loved. Still, couldn’t you have just gotten a dog or something?
In one of the episode’s seriously strange moments, Lafayette visits Jesus’ creepy brujo grandfather, Don Bartolo. Grandpa does indeed have Jesus’ head, and some freaky stuff is about to go down. Things don’t go so well for Gramps, though, and several knife wounds later, the problem is solved. For now.
There’s a brief building on Arlene and Terry’s love with a cheesy wedding video, right around the time that Terry’s lame Ifrit makes another appearance. Tara’s a stripper—excuse me, exotic dancer—now, and Pam is turning out to be a decent vampire mom. Alcide is training for a fight against JD with the help of his new wolf babe, while Martha is trying to protect Emma from a soon to be V-ed out wolf pack.
The episode begins to snowball into well-established “WTF” territory as it nears its end, starting with Bill, Eric and the remaining Authority members sipping on the blood of Lilith and launching into a weird, ecstasy-like trip. They stumble through the streets yelling and crash a karaoke wedding. Back in Bon Temps, Jason and Jessica get into a bloody fight. Sookie starts shooting fairy light bombs into the sky in an attempt to drain her powers, which doesn’t seem like it will end well. Meanwhile, the wedding has turned into a bloodbath, ending with the appearance of none other than Lilith herself.
“In the Beginning” may be one of the series’ most bizarre, slightly disturbing episodes, but as for a well-written story? Not so much. Salome’s confession was a long time coming. It’s harder to believe that everyone is accepting Russell’s sudden change of heart so readily, even if it is great to see Denis O’Hare back in action. There’s been a great deal of talk about Lilith, but her Carrie-esque arrival felt a little off. If summoning her was as simple as getting blood-high and eating everyone in sight, why has it taken so long for her to appear? If she truly is signaling an “end of days” scenario, her entrance deserves not only more elegance, but also more weight than the last two minutes of the episode. The gratuitous amounts of blood and slaughter, the full frontal—this is shock value at its finest.
In a show like True Blood, does the shark exist? Maybe not. It’s socially aware and funny, but it’s great because it’s unpredictable. It’s dramatic to the point of excess. It’s raw. But the line between True Blood and truly ridiculous is starting to blur. We’ve jumped so long ago that it’s as if that moment never existed at all. Perhaps that’s the point.
Fun Fact: Female full frontal, a True Blood first! But somebody get that girl tic-tac. She’s got some serious dragon breath.
Quote of the Night: “I’m like a tree in the wind. I am just so happy to be included.”