True Blood: In the Beginning Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, July 23, 2012
If you told me two seasons ago we would see Bill, Eric, Russell Edgington and Reverend Steve Newlin palling around the streets of New Orleans, high as kites on some ancient vampire blood, well… I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s always the best thing about True Blood- Anything can and will happen.
I feel this is the best episode of the season so far, even if the D, E and F storylines are getting a bit thin. Despite not being the strongest season at just past the mid-way point, I will give it credit- it has slowly and effectively drawn out its underlying theme- the widening gap between Supes and humans, and the desire to be normal. The reason this episode works so well is it takes those themes and actually does something with them.
First and foremost would be Sookie. She finds out that since she is only half faerie, her powers are finite. Much to her delight, this means once her reservoirs of faerie light power… stuff is depleted, she will be human, or at the very least “Fae no more.” This is juxtaposed nicely with Bill and Eric’s plight. Roman is dead (a somewhat surprising exit for the much ballyhooed Christopher Meloni) and the sanguinistas, lead by Russell Edgington and Salome, have taken over the authority. They plan to honor their goddess, Lilith by ingesting her sacred blood. This is all bad news for Bill, who has championed mainstreaming for decades, but to survive he and Eric have no choice but to play nice. Besides, as Eric says “It’s Vampire blood, it should have no effect on us.” Cut to the aforementioned Bourbon Street acid trip. Think Jack Nicholson parading through the streets of Gotham to Prince’s “Partyman”. Within all this there could be a hint of how Sookie and Bill’s storylines collide- As Eric mentioned, Vampire blood shouldn’t affect them, but Faerie blood would. In mythology, there is a Lilith, who was the first wife of Adam, but was cast out of the garden of paradise, and either became the queen of the faeries, the queen of the underworld or both. Hmmmm…
Sam has really started to come into his own this season. He has a real purpose in protecting Luna and her daughter from the backwoods justice vigilantes, and is really using his powers as a Shifter to nice effect. He has a sobering scene with Sookie about if he would take an opportunity to be normal. It’s a great scene, and may just be Sam Trammell’s best work on the show.
This episode is full of great scenes- from Arlene watching her wedding video, to Hoyt joining the group of anti-supe vigilantes, Russell Edgington wedding crashing with some karaoke, Tara having a sad and terse encounter with her mother, Jason running towards the light of Sookie trying to expel her powers, and again Jason… well, Jason shoots Jessica point blank in the head. It’s one of the best and most surprising moments this show has ever had. More please!
Best moment: Jason’s reaction to being bitten by Jessica.
Worst moment: Alcide’s 80’s style training session.
Mania Grade: A-
Episode: In the Beginning
Written By: Alan Ball (creator), Charlaine Harris ("Sookie Stackhouse" novels by)
Directed By: Michael Ruscio
Cast: Anna Paquin, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten