Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: True Blood "In The Beginning"

Non Spoiler Review:
Roman's death leads to a change in direction and new alliances within the Authority. Sookie learns some information that could change her life. Jason and Hoyt both make some decisions about their love lives. Alcide takes a shine to Rikki. Tara gets a visit from her mother. 

In the Beginning was one of the messiest episodes in awhile, and that's saying a lot. While I needn't go on about how much Pam and Tara's scenes steal the show, the vampire politics stuff simply went over the top by the end of it. Jason and Hoyt weren't just dumb, but both behaved out of character. Terry's story continues to drag. It felt like someone ate a True Blood script and threw it up on screen, complete with enough fairy blasts to fill a season of episodes.

Spoilers Now!
The lights go out, creating mayhem in the council chambers before the Authority guards arrive and silver Russell. Roman is very much dead.

The fairies are looking after Sookie testing her power levels, which are depleting. Hunter provides an infodump by explaining his family has been watching over her's for centuries. As she's only half fairy, her magic is finite and she'll run out. Sookie wonders if being human would be so bad. They offer to teach her more if she's ever curious to learn. She and Jason return to the Bontemps.

Sam gets the sent of the vigilante masks in the back of the shop. Then later at the hospital he sniffs out an orderly he recognizes from the shooting and punches him out.

Meanwhile, Hoyt is with his friends and is feeling more acceptance in their hate group than anywhere else. One gets a call that Junior has been killed (the shop owner). Hoyt joins them on their next ride after musing how much he hates Jessica.

Eric and Bill are back in their cell and realize they were used to deliver Roman's killer to him. Nora must have had an accomplice. They're summoned to Salome's chambers where Nora and Russell are waiting. Russell wants to extend the olive branch. Salome admits to digging Russell up, and explains she had followed Bill and Eric when they initially buried him (having learned what was happening from Nan). She wants to share power with all of them. Neither Bill nor Eric are willing to follow these fundamentalist vampires. The next night they're having a ceremony, so Salome wants to offer them the opportunity to participate.

Alcide and his new second, Rikki, spar for training. She suggests he use vampire blood to level the playing field, but he refuses, and much prefers to try to make out with her. Martha arrives to lecture Alcide about J.D.'s right to run the pack.

Arlene confides in Holly about Terry's claims of a smoke monster. Holly doesn't think that sounds so unusual. They watch the video of Arlene's wedding which occurred during the year gap. Meanwhile, Terry and Patrick remain out in the woods drinking. The monster appears and seems to mock them, then disappears. Terry realizes it's just tormenting them now, and wants an end to it all.

Lafayette goes to see Don Bartolo, but finds Jesus' head instead. Bartolo captures him because Jesus gave Lafayette the demon and he wants it back. He ties up Lafayette and sows up is lips and cuts his forehead to transfer the magic into his unborn son. But his girlfriend has other ideas and abruptly stabs Bartolo and kills him, then cuts Lafayette free. 

Tara's mother shows up at Fangtasia to find her in the middle of a strip show. She's offended Tara would do such a thing to her given she's a minister's wife, and so she's dead to her. Tara warns her she'll be seeing her again and shows her fangs. Pam later tells her she's a better dancer than a bartender, and her mom's a real bitch. Tara gives her a big hug. 

J.D. reveals to his pack that his vampire friend warns the end of days are coming—a war between vampires and humans. He wants to join the vampire side and offers them the blood. He gives some to Emma but Martha arrives and puts a stop to it, telling him she doesn't know him anymore. 

Sookie decides to deplete her powers so fires off random blasts into the sky. At the Compton mansion, Jason confides in Jessica what he learned about his parents. But he realizes she was feeding before he got there, and the guy is still there. He freaks out and says vampires are all the same. She gets mad and feeds on him, so Jason shoots her in the head (!). She heals and kicks him out. When he leaves he can see the light coming from Sookie's place.

Salome believes Lilith forgives Russell given he's had a change of heart. Salome offers everyone (the Authority members plus Newlin) to drink from the vile of Lilith's blood (though several, including Bill and Eric don't believe it's genuine). Dieter accuses them of blasphemy. Russell kills him. Salome drinks first and passes it around. They later go out on the street with a big blood high. They crash a wedding party and proceed to feed on the victims. As they kill the room, they watch a drop of blood fall to the floor and a woman emerges from the pool—Lilith. In the midst of the blood orgy Eric has a vision of Godric telling him this is wrong and to save Nora. That apparently shakes him out of his hallucination as he can no longer see Lilith.

The Verdict:
A big hot mess. In fact it has me worried for how the show can continue if it keeps up this level of crazy, coupled with bizarre character behaviour. Jason and Hoyt's turnabouts regarding Jessica just did not make sense.

As much as I love Pam (and her hair) and Tara's scenes, they alone cannot be the glue to hold the show together when they're surrounded by such outrageous plotlines that seem engineered more for effect than some grand plan. Who knows, maybe it will all come together in the end, but Jesus' business with Bartolo, the ridiculous antics of Hoyt and Jason, and then the icing on the cake—the fairy scene with Sookie testing her illumination? Argh.

Yes, Eric giving Bill a piggy back ride was cute, but it would seem the mainstreaming movement has taken an incredible hit. What's next once word gets out of the wedding massacre? The Authority is fully fundamentalist now, so is a vampire/human war on the way?

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