Monday, July 23, 2012

My Review of True Blood's 5x07: "In The Beginning"

Written by Brian Buckner
Directed by Michael Ruscio

Russell (to Bill/Eric): “I’m not gonna hurt you. I just wanted to make an entrance.”
Nora: “Russell, enough.”
Salome: “Put your fangs away, we’re all friends here.”

Anyone remotely surprised that this is all down to bloody Salome and Nora? Nope, didn’t think so but with Roman no longer with us and confirmation that Salome was the one who dug up Russell, at least this whole Authority and Lilith has managed to progress more in this episode than in the previous ones we’ve had.

A part of me would like to take a moment to commemorate Roman though. Not because he was a good character but rather because he was a wasted one, played by an excellent Christopher Meloni, who basically deserved better than what he was given. Thankfully though, the loss of Roman did mean gaining back Russell and he continued to be a delight in this episode.

I loved his attempt of trying to make peace with Bill and Eric in this one. He had the perfect chance to kill the both of them and he chose to forgive them instead. Whether or not, he’s being genuine, I’m not sure but to his credit, Russell has managed to inject some much needed fun into all this Lilith rubbish that Salome and Nora have been dithering on about for the last while.

Seeing the rest of the Authority (minus Dieter, whom Russell killed) fall in line and get high on Lilith’s blood along with Bill, Eric, Russell, Steve, Nora and Salome also made for a fun episode. Seeing them gatecrash an engagement party when they weren’t terrifying cab drivers showed the formation of the inevitable humans vs. vampires war we’ve been told about and it seemed that one vampire has been put in the middle.

Out of everyone, Eric has shown to be the least convinced by the whole Lilith stuff and it made sense that Godric visiting him while everyone saw Lilith in their blissed out state would happen. Godric seemed pretty determined that Eric should save Nora but in this episode, he seemed barely able to tolerate her after her role in Russell’s return had been revealed. I’m also wondering myself if saving Nora will ultimately end meaning killing her. Somehow, I can’t see either Salome or Russell making it out of this season alive but with Nora, it’s somewhat harder to tell.

Something else that’s rather harder to tell would be Sookie’s actions. I can understand her craving to be normal but going against Claude and Claudia’s advice and trying to run out of her finite fairy powers does seem like a rather reckless thing to do. With any luck, Jason might actually be able to talk some sense into her. Then Sookie can return the favour and talk some into him in relations to vampires.

Jason might have a right to be furious that vampires murdered his parents and he might even have an issue with Jessica feeding but at the end of the day, the guy she was eating from was a willing victim and Jessica has more than proven that she’s not a sadistic killer either. Hell, Jason managed to shoot her in the head and her reaction was to have him escorted off her property. That’s more than a merciful response even if Jessica did bite him first though.

Keeping with the supernatural issues, it’s nice to see that the supernatural killers plot has become more interesting. Continuing to involve Sam, Luna and Andy is one thing but actually having Hoyt join up with these sick bastards was a development I didn’t think we’d get. I really want Hoyt to snap out of his Jessica angst and fast because it did look like his new friends were going to lead down a very dark path.

Also being led down a dark path – did we really need to see Tara on a stripper pole being disowned by Lettie Mae? Lettie Mae may be the worst mother a child could have the misfortune to have but it broke my heart seeing Tara being shattered by her rejection and while I understand Pam’s discomfort with affection, even I wanted her to be just a tad nicer to Tara for once. All of a sudden, maybe it’s not so great for Tara to be a vampire after all.

Also in “In The Beginning”

Chris Meloni’s name has been removed from the opening credits. Roman, we hardly knew you at all.

Russell (to Eric): “You and me, together at last.”

Arlene/Terry’s wedding video had some nice appearances from Jesus with a body while Patrick managed to persuade Terry not to kill himself. The Ifrit also didn’t kill them on sight either and there were loads of flashbacks to past events in this episode.

Claudia: “You’re safe.”
Sookie (to Claude): “Like hell I am. You’re one of the bitches that zapped me and you ain’t much better.”

Bud seemed a little too eager to rid of Andy. If you take that with the fact that his new love is called Sweetie, well, you get where I’m going with this, don’t you? If not, think of “Dragon”.

Kenya: “Is there something you need to tell me, Mr Merlotte?”
Sam: “No!”

Alcide: “Respectfully, Martha, your son doesn’t have a grace because y’all ate him.”
Martha: “Don’t get all literal on me, Rambo.”

I liked Martha protecting Emma from JD in this episode (what kind of moron offers a child V?) and the Alcide/Rikki training scenes I enjoyed for other reasons.

Lafayette (to Jesus’s grandfather): “I spit first, you sick fucking fuck.”

Sookie (to Sam): “Say you can trade in what you are and give away everything that’s special about you for a plain old regular life, would you?”

Now that Jesus’s evil granddaddy is out of the picture and we’ve found the former’s body, I do hope Lafayette gets back to trying to repair his relationship with Tara. Oh and Steve clearly fancies the pants off Russell as well. He wasn't particularly subtle about it.

Salome (re Lilith): “Tonight, everyone in this room will drink from her.”

Tara (to Pam, re Lettie Mae): “Can you believe this shit? I fucking hate her but I’m crying for her anyways.”

Standout music: Russell (Denis O’Hare) singing “You Light Up My Life”. Alan Ball clearly has a thing for that song, given that he had Claire (Lauren Ambrose) sing it in Six Feet Under as well.

Godric (to Eric, re Nora): “This is wrong. You know this but your sister does not. Save her, my son.”

Chronology: From where “Hopeless” left off.

“In The Beginning” finally brought a sense of urgency and chaos to the whole Authority and Lilith plots (where was Molly when they were getting high?) and for that alone, I am grateful for this episode. It’s good to have some proper chaos back on the show now.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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