TRUE BLOOD Recap: “In The Beginning”

by     Posted 2 years, 8 days ago

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Last week I mentioned how True Blood is a show that can convince you, as Holly confirms to Arlene, that a smoke monster could well be the cause of your house fire and not the demon baby “like we thought.”  But this week, after praising the turn True Blood made in the first half of the season towards fun – if still completely illogical – happenings, we came to the sentence “my wife will drink the blood I collect from your brain.”  And that is when I wrote “game over” and put my pen down.  The frantically paced fallacies overwhelmed some of the better stories, yes, but the real problem is that there are simply too many stories.  True Blood refuses to kill anybody off, yet feels compelled to give everyone their own individual and separate journey.  A few minutes here, a few minutes there, and it all adds up to a mess.  Hit the jump for the specifics of the night and to find out why Terry is in no mood for irony.

I think the level of nonsense on display tonight can only be described in terms of my patented Ruby Jean Scale of Crazy.  She has the electricity in her, y’all. 1 Ruby Jean = “Ain’t nothin gonna hurt me when I got on my warpaint.”  5 Ruby Jeans = “Ok severed head of Jesús with your mouth sewn shut, I’ll tell my Lala what you said.”

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The Authority, plus Bill and Eric, get high on Lilith’s blood: 3 Ruby Jeans

They are vampires and it’s just vampire blood, what could go wrong?  First of all, where are we in time?  Apparently it’s Mardi Gras, or maybe every day is Mardi Gras when you’re high on a vampire demi-god’s blood, I don’t know.  What in Lilith’s name was happening here?  Could the cold open have been any more disorienting? So many questions, practically no answers.  Salome reveals herself to be sanguista which everyone should have seen coming a mile away.  Eric retains his disgust over the proceedings, but you can feel Bill slowly slipping into complacency, as he is so oft want to do.  Bill may be the greatest self-preservationist since Gaius Baltar.  At least we have Russell.  Two seasons ago I was ready and willing for him to kill everyone on the show in a bloodbath of glory, but I backed off on that desire after this season started proving itself.  I rescind.  Russell, sir – I give you the floor.

true-blood-season-5-joe-manganielloGiving an eight-year-old V: 2 Ruby Jeans

JD is a crazy redneck werewolf hooked on V.  It’s not a stretch to imagine him peddling it to Emma.  It also helped establish that Martha will be on Alcide/Luna’s side in the future, which is a great thing because she’s kind of a badass when she’s not eating her own son’s corpse and growling at people with her life-long chain-smoker voice.  The werewolf politics are an interesting bit of world-building, especially some of the history and Alcide’s ascension in the pack.  Unfortunately, Alcide himself is as boring as dry toast.  Though I’m happy to see some tension between him and Hot New Lady Werewolf, who is so far the most balanced woman he’s been attracted to, his whole Rambo gear was eye-roll-worthy, and his general countenance is a snooze-fest.

Sam sniffs out a killer: 1 Ruby Jean

Alcide took the crown from Sam as Most Boring Story tonight, as Sam actually had some interesting things to do.  He’s finally using his powers for good (they are essentially super powers, and I like that someone is finally doing some good with them).  I was hoping the mystery of the Shifter Murders would have lasted a little farther into the season, but like the clunky revelation of JD as a V addict ten minutes after he was accused of it, Hoyt joins up with them in their hate group and Sam sniffs out the local leader within moments.  The interesting argument — and it is interesting — about humans feeling marginalized and not special in a world where about 90% of the population seems to have a magical gift was ruined by it being championed by some murderous redneck fools who will all be killed off probably in the next week or two.  And speaking of fools, is there anyone who is more easily lead astray than Hoyt?  No wonder his Mama kept such a tight watch on him, it’s amazing he can get through the day having tied his shoes and eaten, let alone be a productive member of society.

true-blood-season-5-nelsan-ellisLaFayette gets his mouth sewn shut: 4 Ruby Jeans

Let me just cut to the chase here: what in the actual fuck.  First of all, LaFayette has clearly taken some classes at the Littlefinger School of Teleportation, because he got to Mexico in about three hours.  Secondly, I have to hand it to Jesús’ crazy grandfather – sewing your enemies’ mouths shut is a good way to keep them from persuading you to release them, etc.  What you don’t prepare for is that the woman who up until now has quietly put up with your batshit crazy self and is carrying some kind of demon baby within has decided to draw a line when it comes to drinking some stranger’s brain blood.  Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.  Or, you know, a sudden stabbing by your baby mama in the middle of a satanic ritual with the head of your grandson sitting casually atop the microwave behind you.

Terry and Patrick confront the Smoke Monster from Lost. The Man In Black not reached for comment: 0 Ruby Jeans

Ruby Jean is taking a nap and can’t be bothered to deal with this fail of a plot right now.

true-blood-anna-paquinSookie gets rid of her fairy powers: 2 Ruby Jeans

It may be a little crazy, but it’s not shocking.  It’s typical Sookie.  Yes this “power” has been a burden.  But there are so many ways to use it for good.  Further, it’s the only thing that protects her from vampires or evils of any sort.  Keep it around just for that!  It’s fading anyway.  And just because you’re suddenly all-human doesn’t mean your problems are close to being solved.  In fact, Sookie, your life won’t change at all except now you won’t be able to helpfully hear thoughts or protect yourself.

Lilith rises from the blood: Infinity Ruby Jeans

There is not enough time to detail the amount of crazy involved in that scene, which I was distracted from immensely because of the CGI merkin Lilith was sporting.  And Godric?  Really?  If Godric is able to dispense advice from beyond the grave (apparently there is a beyond the grave, note), he should really do so more often, like maybe warning Eric about Nora and Salome in the first place.  But since when has logic ever had a place in this show?

Grade: C-

Next Week: Bill stays with his new friends, Sookie attempts to get rid of her powers for good, and a seance is held for the woman who created the Ifrit.

true-blood-rutina-wesleyMusings and Miscellanea: 

– I feel like I was on a train that derailed this week.  Still hoping things get sorted, but this episode left me uncertain.

– Great moment of Tara/Pam bonding tonight, even though it was essentially one-sided.

– Jessica and Jason’s fight was sudden and bizarre, and him shooting her in the head left me to wonder how she healed so quickly.

– “Respectfully, your son doesn’t have a grave … because you ate him.” – Sam

– Ahhh, so it’s a hate group. “If it was called the love group then no one would join!”

– “I’m like a tree in the wind, just happy to be included.” – Steve Newlin

– When will Arlene learn that the notion of a smoke monster is the least-crazy thing happening in Bon Temps now?  Woman get a clue!

– Great reappearance by Sheriff Dearborne, who in the moment of my grief over this show reminded me I should rewatch Deadwood. And apparently if you are an older man, Bon Temps is the place to get laid.  The retired Sheriff was getting some time with his experimental male enhancement ointment while his wife is away gambling, and even the Coroner has cause to give everyone a TMI report of his doings.

– “Suicides are for Muslims, and you’re better than that.” – REALLY Patrick?  And you’re better than that, True Blood.   Ifrit, please just eat him already.

– When did Luna and Sookie ever meet before her visit to the hospital?  I know that’s a small thing to nitpick on with everything else that happened, but it bothered me nevertheless.

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  • Edward Lee

    Dude … seriously? TRUE BLOOD has been a narrative mess for, like, three seasons now.

  • Daniel

    Why do you guys recap this crap and not Breaking Bad anymore? Who makes these decisions?

  • HBO Fanboy

    The quote that you have up for Sam, is actually from Alcide.

  • LEM

    Sheriff Dearborne is probably the one in charge of the hate group.

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  • Katie

    This episode felt like an unorganized garage sale. A whole bunch of things that could potentially be interesting, once you cleaned them up, all dumped outside on the front lawn. It’s like the writers walked away and said to the viewers “here, you sort it out.”

    “REALLY Patrick? And you’re better than that, True Blood. ”

    I completely agree with this assessment. That line was really, really heinous. I get that it’s supposed to be an indication of the character’s personality, and not the show’s world view, but it was terrible. Even more terrible? There hasn’t been as much backlash to it as I thought there would be.

  • sbg

    Sounds like one to skip

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