True Blood: Like a Hole in the Head

True Blood S05E07: "In the Beginning"

Listen up, citizens of Bon Temps: "Normalcy" won't get you anywhere! At least not with us, the viewers. A recurring concept that's graced many of the hundreds of plotlines over these five seasons has been an otherwise not normal character attempting to shed what makes them special in the interest of, I don't know, growing old boringly? Take Sookie, who in "In the Beginning" decided that all her problems in life revolved around her Fae heritage and therefore attempted to empty her faerie battery permanently. Um, no offense, girl, but those powers have gotten you out of tons of jams. Plus the mind-reading thing just seems like a good life skill. Also better off abnormal: Tara, whose vampire life has made her a far better and more compelling character than ever. Keep it weird, y'all!

Now, I'm not arguing that there's no place for non-supernatural human beings in Bon Temps; Jason would not have been better off as a were-panther. I'm just saying that there's no place for normalcy. Wishing things were more boring is not a desire I can particularly relate to. Don't we ALL wish our towns were slightly stranger? We come to True Blood for wish fulfillment and escapism, not some declaration that boring = good. So this is why "In the Beginning" was one of the best episodes of True Blood in recent memory: Except for Sookie, everyone just embraced the craziness of their lives and we got a consistently batsh*t yet entertaining hour of television out of it. Yes, True Blood, yes!

Alright, let's mercilessly grade these storylines!

 


ORIGINAL FANGSTA (Eric, Bill, Salome, Russell, The Authority, and Lillith)


After last week left a decided question mark over whether Roman actually died, the first shot of this week's episode answered that definitively: Roman was now a puddle of guts. As you could imagine, the immediate aftermath of Russell Edgington's coup was just straight-up insane!

In one of True Blood's all-time best cold open sequences, an absolute panic broke out in the world's fanciest basement as the lights cut out, several characters hit their knees to pray, Russell attacked Eric, and Authority troops descended upon Russell with silver netting. But everything was filmed with strobe lights in a shaky-cam panic and it was hard to really get a grasp on what was happening. So good!

Although things calmed down, storywise this plotline continued to keep us on our toes. In what had to be the least shocking "twist" since Dexter Season 6, it turned out that Salome WAS INDEED the orchestrator of Roman's destruction. She was Sanguinista through and through and had been the one to free Russell. Her reasoning was dicey, but had something to do with how prophecy dictated that only Russell would have the strength/ability to kill Roman? I don't know nor care because them's just details. All I knew was pretty soon Salome was fully in charge of the Authority, she'd pardoned Russell and made Nora her right-hand woman. At which point they started doing SHOTS of Lillith's blood.

As it turned out vampires had a V of their own! That's right, Lillith's blood got them totally EFFED UP and in a truly great scene they were high out of their minds roaming around on Bourbon Street!

I loved this part, where they all stood in tableau to intimidate a cab driver who'd made the mistake of honking at a gaggle of stoned vampires:

Eventually the roaming band of ancient partiers descended upon a karaoke bar where they killed and consumed an entire family of preppie blue-bloods (even a child!). Clearly the spirit of Lillith was one that encouraged carnage, but whoops! Speak of the devil.

Oh, hey Lillith! That's right you guys, the original biblical vampire suddenly reappeared ON A KARAOKE STAGE, full-frontal nude and ready to party! This show.

As if the events of this plotline weren't insane enough, suddenly Godric (yay!) appeared to shame Eric for succumbing to peer pressure. Or something. I mean, yeah obviously this Lillith stuff is bad news, but can you be more specific, Godric? How exactly is Eric supposed to fight off his ancient supernatural progenitor?

Great plotline. The best. It made all the occasional earlier lameness of the Authority totally worth it.

Grade: A+



GLOW BUGGIN' (Sookie)


When we last saw Sookie, she'd attempted to throw a sputtering glowball at Claude for having the audacity to imply that a vampire killed her parents, but then she got zapped by a half dozen faeries. This week she woke up on a fainting couch in the club with a couple of faeries using their faerie doctor skills on her. Once Sookie woke up, they informed her that because she was only half-Fae, she had to be careful in how she used her powers or else they'd deplete completely and she'd be merely human.

Season 5 Sookie has been particularly sassy so far (I love it), so she wasn't totally bowled over by this band of skinny dicks in felt vests. But the events of the awful nightclub did put an idea into her head: Maybe intentionally depleting her powers would make vampires less likely to hassle her all the time. Which, fair enough. And after a couple of well-written, very meaningful conversations with both Jason and Sam, Sookie decided that's just what she'd do.

At episode's end she was out in the backyard throwing faerie light into the night sky in a scene both poignant and incredibly ridiculous. Very True Blood.

The events of Sookie's plotline weren't heavy on twists and shocks, but rather on character moments. Her long conversation with Jason about their parents, then later with Sam about being a supe proved that this show can be just as compelling in its quieter moments as its ludicrous ones. As a viewer I definitely object to Sookie's wish to lead a "normal" life, but this episode went a long way (including lots of flashbacks!) to demonstrating why she'd be so tired of the drama. Well done.

Grade: B



THE SADDEST POLE DANCER IN THE SOUTH (Tara, Lettie Mae, and Pam)


A small but particularly powerful storyline involving Tara's mom ended up being one of the more emotionally complicated scenes this show's ever had. For one thing, how are we supposed to feel about seeing Tara up on that stripper pole? It just seemed weirdly wrong for the once self-assured cage fighter from last season becoming this object of lust in the vampire world. She looked good though!

Anyway, Tara and her mom have had a long, difficult history, but it became clear that Lettie Mae was still the hypocritical jerk she'd been for the past few seasons. The home-wrecking, former abusive alcoholic was now trying to keep up appearances as the preacher's wife, so when she arrived at Fangtasia in the middle of the night in her church dress, it was clear things wouldn't go well for Tara.

It turned out Tara's mom had arrived to basically disown her in person. Thanks? Anyway, we could tell by Tara's steely gaze that she was probably shattered inside, but channeling it into anger. Pretty soon Tara's fangs were out and she was basically chasing her mother away. I think we were supposed to be happy for Tara for standing up to her mother, but it definitely felt like an empty victory to me. It was just very sad! And anyway, let's be real, the only true victory in the room was Pam's hair:

Once again Pam's involvement elevated a storyline to greatness: In this case, she used her vampire hearing to eavesdrop on Tara's conversation and by the end of it looked visibly proud of her progeny. Then later in a surprisingly tender moment in Pam's office, Pam attempted to reassure Tara that in 100 years she'd forget all about her mother. That probably sounds like cold comfort to you and me, but it seemed to cheer Tara up. The scene ended with a nice moment where Tara quickly hugged Pam and for a split second Pam seemed touched and even maternal. But then of course she came to her senses and ordered Tara to get back on the pole. Oh, Pam.

I loved this plotline so, so much.

Grade: A



HATERS (Hoyt, Sam, and Andy)


Ugh. So, did you know that hate groups actually call themselves hate groups? I did not! I guess I always figured they misguidedly felt they were doing good work, but in the case of the newest hate group in Bon Temps, these dudes had more or less embraced their bad reputation. Yeah, this plotline went pretty much where we all expected it to. After Hoyt had been saved by these masked murderers it only took about ten minutes and a cold beer before he'd renounced all involvement with vampires (including Jessica) and seemed hellbent on joining in on the murder. Oh Hoyt, what's become of you?

One highlight of this particular thread was when Andy Bellefleur paid a visit to former Sheriff Dearborn, whose abrupt retirement remains one of my favorite True Blood moments. Andy just wanted to get some advice or encouragement from his old boss, but Bud had a jacuzzi and a floozie he needed to attend to. Not sure if we'll ever see him again, but I loved seeing a familiar face from the past (there'd be more of this to come in other storylines).

But the investigation into the hate group didn't end with Andy. Sam was putting his supersensory skills to work as well! And this was seriously the best and funniest thing Sam's done in years:

Haha WHAT? He was just flat-out rolling around on the ground in front of a Sheriff's deputy! It worked though, as he uncovered a stockpile of Obama masks in the ammo shop's back room. Later on, he also sniffed out a hate group member working a day job at the hospital. So, you know, make Sam the new Sheriff maybe? He's getting results!

Honestly, this plotline was mostly setup for some future confrontations. Now that we've met the members of the gang, I'm somewhat less interested in their story. It's almost too much of a bummer to witness, you know?

Grade: C



BAD TRIP (Lafayette)


Speaking of bummers, Lafayette took the worlds most ill-advised road trip to track down the brujo who'd somehow screwed Jesus out of resting in peace. Immediately upon arrival at the dude's Mexican shanty, he discovered Jesus' severed head on a hand chair (!) and a shotgun pointed at his own.

And then this happened:

Yeah, that was just awful. Where was the ghost of Marnie when you needed her! Anyway, this was only a brief scene, but just when the elderly brujo was ready to murder Lafayette (to somehow transfer his magical essence into the unborn child of his girlfriend), the pregnant girlfriend rose up and stabbed the man-witch SO MUCH. She then sort of cut through Lafayette's lip-stitches, but it's seriously unclear what was going on with her.

This was an unsettling sequence, but I appreciated how efficiently it was handled. Poor Lafayette!

Grade: B



TYPICAL MARRIAGE ISSUES (Arlene, Holly, Terry, and Patrick)


I'm on record as not totally loving this particular plotline, but something about this week's installment got me really invested. I think I just loved the scene where Arlene and Holly watched Arlene's wedding video. Not only did I enjoy seeing a pregnant Arlene toasting her wedding with a can of Pepsi, the video was filmed between Seasons 3 and 4 (which skipped a year on the timeline), so a lot of formerly happy faces were there: Jessica and Hoyt were still in love; Jesus and Lafayette were there too. I don't know, it was just nice to see everybody in that context again.

But the conversation between Arlene and Holly was top-notch also. After Arlene explained to Holly that Terry had left them because a smoke monster-demon was chasing him, she lamented that he had gone insane and there was no saving him. But Holly, using an undeniable bit of reasoning, reminded Arlene that they lived in Bon Temps, so what if there actually WAS a smoke monster-demon after Terry? If there was even an iota of a possibility that Terry wasn't crazy, would Arlene want to be the kind of wife that didn't have her husband's back? Seriously, that was just a good point on Holly's part, and a rare moment where a character legitimately acknowledged that skepticism doesn't really have a place in Bon Temps anymore. Quit pulling a Scully and get with the program, Arlene!

For his party, Terry nearly suicided after having yet another run-in with the Ifrit. Personally, I thought he handled the Ifrit correctly by telling it off real good and calling it a smoky "piece of sh*t". But Terry had clearly had enough and next thing we knew Patrick was trying to get him to lower the revolver he'd been pointing at his chin. The one tactic that seemed effective, though, was reminding Terry that he didn't want his kids to think Terry had given up on them. That seemed to work, and pretty soon Terry had a new resolve to handle the Ifrit like a man.

Much like the Sookie plotline, this story didn't have huge events, but the sheer emotions on display were top-notch. I can't believe how compelling I found these characters' dilemmas to be this week, and I hope the show will continue to keep me interested.

Grade: B



JUST SAY GRRR (Alcide, Martha, and J.D.)


While any subplot in which Alcide practice-tussles in a barn wearing a bandana gets an automatic B, this plotline was pretty much beside the point this week. Something to do with Martha attempting to get Alcide to stand down because J.D. was a good pack master and deserved the role. When Alcide reminded her that J.D. was a V addict, she denied it vehemently.

That is, until she caught J.D. offering Emma some!

Ooh, Martha was pissed! It definitely looked like Alcide had a new ally in Martha.

Here's the thing about Martha. I understand that she's not the most popular character on the show, but she's slowly becoming one of my favorites. This episode was a big turning point for her, when it became clear that she was probably not behind Luna's shooting, and that she actually did have a moral compass that precluded giving V to small children. So yeah, the more Martha proves that she's a good person, the more I dig her. I just hope this plotline will have more going on in future weeks and she'll get around to the ass-kicking I know she's capable of.

Grade: B-



THE END IN FRIEND (Jessica and Jason)


In a thread that would parallel Sookie's, Jason had an introspective journey of his own. He still seemed pretty frazzled about the fact that his parents had allegedly been murdered by a vampire and it was clear he was still wrestling with the idea that he was supposed to peacefully coexist with creatures that had caused him so much pain. So when he showed up at Jessica's mansion (while she was in the middle of sucking on some dude's thigh), it had a measure of poignancy: He was turning to his closest friend for advice on how to deal with her kind. But when Jessica tried to reassure Jason by making out with him, Jason tasted the blood on her lips and went crazy on her. (Get some Binaca, girl!)

The scene took a turn for the truly troubling when Jessica then angrily chomped on Jason's neck, he pulled out his gun, and SHOT her in the head. I know vampires can't be killed this way, but that doesn't mean I ever need to see characters I love shooting other characters I love in the head at point-blank range. Really troubling stuff. So yeah. It looked like Jessica and Jason were no longer friends.

I can't not like a Jason-Jessica plotline, and this one had just enough shock value to make it memorable. So as much as it all bummed me out, it still qualified as "good" in my book.

Grade: B+



CONCLUSION


Loved this episode. Want to watch it again right now. This was True Blood firing on all cylinders, amping up the crazy while also paying attention to its more emotional aspects. Sure, certain plotlines weren't nearly as interesting, but considering EIGHT of them were crammed into an hour, it's amazing how much this episode held together. If the season gives us a few more episodes with this kind of entertainment value, it's likely that Season 5 could be considered one of the great ones. Fingers-crossed!

Overall Grade: B+


QUESTIONS:

... Which face from the past were you most excited to see?

... How long did it take Pam to crimp her hair like that?

... Isn't shooting a vampire in the head kind of harsh?

... Ugh, Bourbon Street, am I right?

Comments (117)
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I miss your reviews Price. Lilys are fine but I like your layout better.
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i think this was their best episode yet this season. However, I want to see more Tara Pam scenes. Terry's smoke demon still bores me. Why is it taking so damn long? Do what you go to do already and avenge the damn woman and keep it moving.
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this episode had just what i liked about the series: believable absurd moments stretched out over (eventually too) many plot lines that had some poignancy towards building relationships between characters. jessica getting shot in the head by jason in the heat of argument was one of my favorite moments of the series. was going to stop watching but that, scenes with sookie, the vamps, pam and tara, lafayette, emma's grandmother and arlene's wedding video changed my mind. i don't expect the next episode to be as good but i'll be tuning in.
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Why am I still watching this? Oh also, smoke monster!
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Frankly, I cannot see TB sustaining this level of quality throughout the rest of the season. It's actually amazing that we're at episode 7, yet the writers still haven't drop the ball yet and got all of us interested. But I really don't see it lasting. Still, best episode of the season - with 3 shows left, that saying something.
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"And anyway, let's be real, the only true victory in the room was Pam's hair" True, true...
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This was an A grade ep in my book, but everything else is pretty spot on.



Gotta admit, I enjoy your reviews alot more than the usual reviewer's
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i found it a bit too much, its like the writers don't know what to write anymore. I think its better to end the series at this season.
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First off, for the most part I enjoyed this episode and agree with most of Price's review except Sookie just really grates on my nerves at this point. Now for a few comments on the comments: while I found Patrick's Muslam comment offensive there are so many shows nowadays that make total inappropriate comments and make fun of Christianity yet no one seems to take any offense; since when has much of anything on TB surprised us; of course Russel isn't taking any of the Sanganista stuff seriously, he is just going along for the fun of it and using them all to his advantage; and while I am usually not one to tell anyone else that if they don't like it stop watching I do feel Montana_Katana that if you find 5 more weeks is too much for you, you do know where the off switch is.
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Russell Edgington!!!!!! He is literally stealing every episode with his lines. Give him is own spinoff!. and Lillith aka Jessica Clark, she couldn't be hotter.
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Who cares about Terry, Arlene, Patrick & Holly! Wasted space bogging down a great episode!
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Despite a few issues with the flow of this episode, I thought this was the first episode in a while that touched back with why a lot of people loved this show. Wonderfully mad stuff.



Way too much hate on here for an episode that at the very least TRIED to capture the camp that's made this show what it is. I think people are holding it up to some ideal level that the show itself was never actually on.



Good review Price, I don't think I have ever agreed with you more. Though I still think Tara would've been better dead.
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This was crazy. Maybe too crazy. I generally like True Blood for its madness, but this s**t was insane!
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I liked most of the plots except the Sanguinistas thing; I could care less about them and I wish they would all go away.
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Worst episode in 5 seasons. What have the writers and producers done to this show? Maybe they are experimenting to see how long the fans will put up with this crap. I was embarrassed watching these 'powerful' vampires acting like kids who got in the liquor cabinet. They must have spent all of 5 cents on the Lillith special effects too. Lazy writing and lazy production.



ps Even with no lines Pam was better than most of the actors in this show.
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How dare vampires on a powerful hallucinogenic drug have fun... the nerve. :P
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I want them to have fun, lots of fun, but this, like the fairy club, was more cringe fest than hedonism.
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Tara. Abs.

That's good television.

And I understand that other characters were involved as well.
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Tara, worst character in TV history! I was really hoping she had died, but that silly Sookie had to bring her back as an even more annoying time consuming character.
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I would've agreed with you if this were season 3 or even 4, but the story with Pam and Tara is the one thing I'm invested in, and she's much more tolerable around Pam. Besides, everybody knows Lori Grimes is the worst character on TV, followed by Maria LaGuerta.
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She was, certainly, but I'd take Current Tara over Any Sookie any day of the week. Sookie's always set a low bar that Tara walked over weeks ago.
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I kinda liked Drunk-Sookie the night they found Russell.

Drunk-Sookie >>>> Regular Sookie
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Yeah, I highly doubt that is true.
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Does anyone else get completely distracted by the awful bad music and sound design?



Since last season the quality of the score drastically decreased. The last few episodes have been very hard for me to watch as the composer obviously ignored about EVERY existing rule for writing motion picture scores. Moods are changed rapidly, more than it is actually necessary by the situation, cliched sounds, blend-ins that don't make any sense......



Together with the writing, the cutting (it is also painful, just rewatch the scene with Sam catching that man in the hospital), photography and the acting (1 word: hategroup) you get the impression that the team behind this show wants it to be complete D-movie Fun Splatter Trash. Shame. This show used to have brains and guts. Now they're spilled all over the wall.
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I remember that I once loved the music circa Season One, but I admit that I didn't even realize they were still playing music. I seriously can't remember the last music outside of Fangtasia or one of the other bars that's played lately. That can't be a good sign, either, but better that than it annoying the hell out of me.
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This show was, is and will ever be batshit crazy and borderline trashy. Why do you remember the show having brains and guts ? I mean guts and gore for sure but brains?! Stop it, you making me laugh! And by the way you CAN analyse anything to death - but for Breaking Bad of course.
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When I say "brains" I mainly focus on the writing of the dialogue, scenography (and everything else which fills 95% of my post and which you failed to take as context to my final statement) than the fact that TB is/was actually trying to be an "intelligent" show - which a bunch of critics agreed on btw at the first season, there was undenyably some social criticism in this series and it wasn't all about guts 'n gore.



However. Believe me, I AM analysing Breaking Bad to death. Opposed to True Blood, which makes me forget its recent episodes the day after. And you can't blame that on me as you say yourself - that's the path the writers obviously want to take. Guts 'n gore and nothing to overanalyse.
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It's kind of an Alan Ball thing. He actually tries on the first season or two and then just coasts and loses focus after that. He did it on Six Feet Under too. I wonder if Mark Hudis will actually bring some focus back, because it sure could use some.
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Gotta disagree with you Price. Boring may not equal good, but neither does a vast array of crazy, nonsensical and increasingly confusing plots. Worst episode I've seen in a while.
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Well, if I ever wondered what Serena Williams looked like on a stripper pole (heh...'if'..), I got a pretty good idea now. Goddamn, Tara.



So Sookie's gonna be normal, righ--no, she's not losing her powers. I guess having an identity crisis is natural, though. Her Sookieballs (that are impossible for thousand-year-old vampires to dodge) have saved her more than once, but I wouldn't want to be in everyone's heads unless I wanted to rob everyone. And...nah.



The theme of this episode is "You know we're not gonna kill this person, but play along." Lafayette, Eric and Terry. It bothered me most that for damn-near three seasons, Lafayette's been afraid of everything including his shadow, but to save his dead boyfriend, he's gonna do a solo trip into Grampa Brujo's house unarmed. All that guy does is disappoint.



Coming from a straight guy, Pam's hair was stupid. It reminded me of uncooked ramen. The whole time she was on camera, I was involuntarily chewing. After Lafayette, I thought they'd stop messing with people's hair. I mean...ugh.



Jessica and Jason don't really interest me that much together (because Jason doesn't interest me at all), but him shooting her in the head was pretty damn funny. Just dickish and funny. Jessica's friendships really aren't lasting long this season.



The hate group was...exactly what I expected. If anything, I'm mildly surprised they live in a house.



As for Lilith, again, as a straight guy, I never thought a full-frontal chick covered in blood could be so boring. She looked fine, she just didn't look...important. Or powerful. The Queen made a better first appearance, and she wasn't even nekkid. Maybe I'm just getting old, maybe it was because my GF was sitting right next to me, I dunno. Litlith is just gonna be...so very lame. Maybe if she gets nekkid again, I'll feel better.



Because my GF sure 'whoo-hoo''d for Alcide...as usual. I don't like the methwolves much, but Alcide's not bad, and I kinda like Martha, crap mother that she was. Like Shifters, Werewolves pretty much appear on this show when TB feels the need to kill a lot of extras, but I think I'll miss Martha when they kill her off. Depends on what she does to get herself killed.



I love having Russell around to remind everyone how irrelevant the Authority is. I really hope he doesn't get killed playing around with them. I feel like so much potential was wasted with them. I mean, it's not like they're gonna get better; they're dead.



Speaking of dead disappointments, I *hate* Godric so effing much. He was by far the biggest disappointment for me on this show, and that's saying a lot. 'Alot' a lot. He rode in on the Devil's Harley of Awesome, dripping blood and rocking tribal tats...and then he went out like a stoned, chinbearded hippie on a bed of hugs and kittens. That dude was brutal and brought Eric into the world (which I like, but didn't help for sainthood), and then commits suicide only to become an angel who now helps Eric with pansified pleas for peace and mercy. If he wanted to help save the world so badly, maybe he shouldn't have quit on it by killing himself. To sum up, Godric sucks.



And wth happened with the evil cajun baby?
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I've often wondered what Serena Williams looked like on a stripper pole.
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Damn right you have. Damn right.
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Serena Williams, good one. Tara has a body to kill for. Yeah, the only people that die on this show seem to be extras, and the authority members seem like extras now, even though they kind of were before anyway. Not a fan of Pam's hair on this episode either, but at least it was just for one episode. Not like we're going to have to put up with that hair the whole season like Lafayette's stupid hair last season, and even if we did, we only see her for two minutes in an episode anyway.
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This episode was a f*cking mes. Who the heck directed this? It has no flow whatsoever
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Alan Ball ??????????????



Bring him back....



the show has lost all charisma...



vampires have become spotty...





and enough with religion.... this is too superficial... they make tons bullshit... (Ronald D. Moor is the best !)

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great episode , asides from the Terry and Patrick plot. The line in which Patrick tells terry that suicide is for Muslims was very offensive and there was no need for that comment.
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I totally agree with you. Some writers need to actually be able to read first, then write what millions of people watch. That comment pissed me off, shows how much ignorance can spread and control too. Racist much!!! Get how sarcastic TB is and how they love to cross the lines, but that was just too much, just watched the episode - late - and I'm SO mad!
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Yep - I am all for outrageous but that wasn't even funny
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Fast forwarding through every scene that contains Tara makes this show so much better. Huzzah for DVR.



Jason shooting Jessica in the head was A++.
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For what it's worth, Tara's scenes have been quite good lately. At least ever since she tried frying herself in the tanning bed.



Even her hates are saying she's OK.
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"As if the events of this plotline weren't insane enough, suddenly Godric (yay!) appeared to shame Eric for succumbing to peer pressure. Or something. I mean, yeah obviously this Lillith stuff is bad news, but can you be more specific, Godric? How exactly is Eric supposed to fight off his ancient supernatural progenitor?"



Um, well first off, Godric has appeared before to tell Eric to do stupid crap, like not kill Russel (and in the end while that made for an interesting plot twist, it was kind of a dumb decision on his part). Also, it seemed apparent that through Godrics mumblings, what he was trying to get Eric to see was that Lillith wasn't really there...remember that shot where he was wide eyed and just before that he was glaring at his sister and where Lilith was but didn't see her? Godric was just trying to nicely let him know that he was tripping balls and to snap out of it.
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Except for a few seconds with Russell, and the fact that Hoyt was brought back to relevance in a part of Bon Temps where he's required to NOT wear makeup, this episode had nothing. I don't get why some of you think that this was better than the other episodes. Every one of them had one or two good scenes. Oh wait, the Jason/Jessica interaction was cool too. So I guess the episode had three things I liked.



The resurrection of Lilith could have been really cool, but the build-up to it over the first six episodes of the season made it impossible to care. I see two ways that the writers could have made it exciting: 1. Have our "heroes" discover that someone's trying to resurrect Lilith early in the season, and then fight like hell to prevent it, only to fail miserably. 2. Make it a surprise. Instead they made it lame and predictable, and used the worst special effect ever.



A few other things I didn't like about this episode:



It looks like Russell is going to be Lilith's dog instead of an awesome super terrorist and a serious threat to Bill, Eric and Sookie.

They brought back (a hallucination of) my favorite character Godric only to make him incredibly lame and boring.

The stories are still too disconnected from each other.

Everything that goes on in the Authority's headquarters, especially everything that has something to do with religion. (I still like the IT girl).



I'm glad that Alan Ball is leaving the show. I hope the new showrunner will focus on the conflict between humans and supernaturals, or at least come up with another main story for the season that will touch as many of the characters as possible. A few other suggestions:



Make Alcide a lesser character who doesn't appear in every episode. He can be the guy the main characters go to when they need some werewolf support.

Make Terry and Arlene lesser characters too. They don't need to be anything more than the people that the main characters go to for food, drinks and some conversation that lets the viewers know what's on their minds.

Use Steve Newlin more.

Make Andy less awkward. For example, kill that girlfriend of his (who's kind of useless anyway) and have the experience toughen him up. Kind of like Wesley on Angel.

Stop using those ridiculously huge false eyelashes.
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First, Price's Questions:

1. Godric, always Godric.

2. 0.03247 seconds. Vamp speed, duh.

3. Nope, it's right up there with neck-snaps.

4. Yes. Was that supposed to be a lame-ass Mardis Gras or is Burdon Street that jacked up all the time?

Next, On to my own belligerence:

Best One Liner: Martha referring to a bandana-wearing Alcide as "Rambo."

Honorable Mentions: Eric, "Vampire blood, what harm could it do?" (stoned Zombie-esque murdering weirdo, NBD.) Terry, "Stop Private-ing me!!" Tara, "Well, Lah-de-dah!"

Best Return: Godric. True Blood w/ Godric >>>>> True Blood w/o

Worst Return: Tie. Tara's mom, Jesus' grandpa, and Jesus' decaying/decapitated head.

Unnecessary Return: Viagra'd up former Sheriff

Best bit of humanity: Holly talking some sense into Arlene. Even if they didn't live in Bon-Temps-Crazyville, Terry having PTSD is still a legitimate thing.

Best character reasoning (that we all saw a mile out): Martha actually protecting her grandpuppy.

Improved Characters: Sookie, less Elena/Bella-ing and more sassing. Jason, re: entire episode.

Devolved Characters: Hoyt, re: entire episode.

Dumbest Idea: Anyone (real or in TB) who considers Sanguinista-Salome a "surprise twist." (Like TVD producers saying that the final scene of S03 was a "game changer that no one saw coming.") Smarten up executives/producers/Hollywood when your ENTIRE FANDOM has been discussing the "twist" all season and bemoaning slow pacing to reach "twist" then you are clearly doing something wrong. Also, using the sentence "Salome's true loyalties are revealed" in the official episode blurb was a great way to ensure that any dumb +/or casual viewer who HADN'T already joined us on the Salome = Sanguinista bandwagon was properly spoiled prior to the episode airing. Great job, guys.

Things I found myself distracted by: Any scene of Norah + Salome, kept mentally picturing Lilly's caption from weeks (months?) ago that said "Name All the Sanguinistas, Minus Me." The boring speech before Salome and Russell drank the Lillith kool-aid, kept mentally picturing Angel, Spike, + Cup of Perpetual Torment. (I really, REALLY wanted an off-hand Mt. Dew comment. So disappointed.)

ABSOLUTE WORST: Reading Price's line (not you buddy, you're great!) about "if the season gives us a few more episodes with this." and thinking that's an odd statement. Only to scroll up and see this is only episode 7/12. Followed by the sinking realization of: Crap, there's 5 more weeks of this shit, it'll never end.



and then, it got worse: Seeing that next week's episode is named after my current (and possible all time) least favorite song.less
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It's true, everybody knew Salome was the mastermind. Even so, it's not as bad as the Gellar twist of Dexter season six, which took until the end of episode 9 for them to reveal.
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I gave up on Dexter years ago.
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Oh...wish I did that too. Still, it was one of the worst twists, which is why I'm just a little more forgiving of the Salome/Russell thing.
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I'm glad Holly smacked Arlene with the "obvious" stick. In the last few weeks ALONE:

- Holly was held hostage by a ghost-posessed necromancer with puppet-Vampire lackeys and a sunlight forcefield around the store.

- Arelene and her family watched a friggin Ghost pop out of Lafayette and go to the afterlife. Said ghost kidnapped her child earlier that day.

- Their sassy short-term co-worker was now a vampire.

Yet she didn't want to believe that perhaps there was ALSO a smoke monster. After those few weeks I'd just assume it's true until I hear otherwise.
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I 100% percent agree how could she think her husband is crazy with Vampires, fairies, and shapeshifters running around everywhere, I can understand if she was from The vampire diaries but Arlene you are in True Blood nothing should surprise you.
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Even if they lived in Mystic Falls or here in real life, the man has PTSD. Maybe consider helping him find more treatment instead of just one awkward conversation and then goodbye forever.
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I wonder how the old sheriff is going to play into this. Someone mentioned the hate group, which I imagine is possible. After decades in Bon Temps he probably knows about "supers" and after his last episode he'd probably reached the breaking point.

Alternatively, they could just be re-introducing him because Jason will be asking for help trying to figure out who killed his parents. And the old sheriff is probably the only one who might know some details / clues about their death.
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I feel bad for Jessica / Jason, that was one class-A fight they had. But it's not like Jason had silver / wooden bullets.

Seriously though, could Jessica have said anything more insensitive? Jason JUST told her that a vampire killed his parents and he didn't know how to react to that. So his best Vampire-friend shortly afterwards uses a Vampires/Humans as Humans/Beef analogy. Wow.

There's "speaking your mind" and then there's "stupid." Which is a shame because Guitar-Hero aside, Jessica has been quite mature lately.
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Price, I love your reviews, but when is Lilith Sparks coming back from that "honeymoon". It's been 3 weeks!



I agree with you, this was a great episode. Made last weeks almost watch able.
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Staff
Lillith Sparks will be back next week! Thanks for putting up with me, guys.
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Awwww :'(
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... and thank you for putting up with us. :)



Can't wait for your TVD reviews next season.
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Don't know if anyone else has thrown this out here, so i will. I think Sheriff Dearborn could be the 'Dragon' the hate group were talking to. Just seems a little bit weird that he has randomly popped up - just a thought. As ex-Sheriff, he could teach them how to use a gun, organise/lead them. I'm probably wrong, but you never know.
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the only thing that gets to me is Russell falling in with the whole Lillith worship. I would have rathered him remain like he was last week, just in it for the pleasure of killing. Rather than be on either side, he just be interested in his own goal, causing chaos and destruction. However, I did find it funny when he got up on stage and starting singing with the girl.
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I don't know... a LOT of his "all praise Lilith" scenes up until the "sighting" at the end appeared very energetic... but VERY insincere. Seriously, their chat in the bedroom and his "all praise Lilith" was both happy and yet energetic... almost to the point of sarcasm. And the apology after be-heading another Authority member was just flat-out sarcasm.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's just playing along until he can bring on the chaos.
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It is obvious Russell's taking the piss.... He believes none of the Lilith nonsense... I can't believe Salome+Nora didn't notice how much sarcasm there was in Russell's comments....
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I think the "hitting their knees to pray" was actually "get on the ground, because our security team are probably going to start shooting silver bullets everywhere"



Also, shame on you Price for no Eric/Bill piggy-back ride. That bit right there made me laugh my *** off.
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as soon as I watched that scene, i immediately started thinking about Price including it in his captions *so disappointed*
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I should have seen it first, but the Authority is bunk, because it has sense only for monotheists.The arch villain is Lilith and between the "time" she was created, the Guardian ( a Roman) and main chancellor is Salome ( a Jewish princess), no Mesopotamian vampires, Greek vampires etc....The second point is that ancient vampire blood triggers hallucinogens vampires, but more importantly, we now know that the main character is Eric and neither Sookie nor Bill as we would have previously thought. Goodrik has rejoined God when he died, and his salvation is now in the hands of his son /Eric against his sister, Nora who will eventually prevail against Salome if her power exchange with Lilith is any indication.

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I loooooved Russell in this episode! Especially the karaoke bar scene was just hilarious and fun! Russell is my favorite character on True Blood by far.
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is Lilith actually there or simply just something her blood is making all the vamps experience because right after Godric talked to Eric she disappeared
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I did think it could be mass hallucinations but how is it for all of them to feel and see Lilith exactly at the same time? Would be cool if Lilith were real though and joined the Season. More havoc is always welcome.
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I imagine fake... since Eric no longer saw her. Perhaps a ghost/spirit, hallucination, etc.



Either that, or she super-sped off camera to grab a coat. She did look REALLY cold after all :-)
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Your right ... the visions of Lilith are obviously fabrications of the Vampire mind while tripping on "Lilith blood", as Godrick showed Eric in the end. But let's be honest ... I've got a feeling a large dose of LSD would fuck up any creature supernatural or not, so the fact that thinks in the True Blood world can trip on different blood types is getting a little stale ... a plot line I thought they sort of abandoned after the first few triptastic seasons.
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Seriously? You think that's a good episode? I was bored to the tooth...



I also wanted to point out that not only is it incredibly moronic for hate groups to call themselves hate groups, but if a hate group is based solely on the notion of hating sups and embracing normals - Why on earth is their leader called DRAGON!?!?!?!?



That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard. And yes, obviously the sheriff is the head of their group. But that doesn't even cover the silliness of this episode.



The world's most powerful vampires acting up like a bunch of frat boys was just sad to watch. Not to mention, how are they picked? Seriously - What do Bill, Erick and the reverend have to do with it? And the reverend himself... Oh boy...



We all figured out he'd be Russel's boy toy from day 1, but when exactly did that happen? Their gaydar just flashed up and they hooked up? Pretty much the same idiocy that just tossed Jesus and Lafayette together.



I'm sort of glad this show is having a switch of production next season. Maybe it'll do something right to it.
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Bored? ... Where you on Lilith Blood bro? That was the best episode all season, hands down. You probably should find a different show then. Dude eating a chick out to death is enough to make this one a winner.
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What??? This was by far the single worst episode in all of True Blood history.
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I agree. The last scene was completely over the top - but not in a good way.

- Lillith's appearing, the involved CGI, Godric... it was just too much.

- Noone of the Authority even considered the question WHY they should drink the blood nor what they think that would accomplish.

- I could not relate to Jason's overreaction.

- Hoyt's "transformation". Seriously? Even the biggest fans have to admit that this was just lazy and bad storywriting.

- Lafayette.... is this actually leading somewhere? Should there be a reason to invest in this storyline when it has nothing to do with any other character? And what happened to Merlotte's?! Who is running the bar, cooking and serving? Back in the old seasons taking a day of was always adressed. Now everyone is on some road trip.
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Woah, no dissing Bourbon st, what did it ever do to you ;)

it was actually a pretty damn accurate feel of a busy night in the quarter and I'd love to think that if there were vampires they'd be getting hammered here!!
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A good episode. Didn't love it as much as Price and some but didn't hate it either. There are three things that haven't been discussed much yet. First, I think Hoyt is just faking his interest in the hate group to try and discover who 'dragon' is and turn them all in. Actually joining the group would otherwise be a complete reversal of character (I admit this is not a show that worries much about character's internal consistency). Second, I think the old Sheriff is 'dragon'. He retired from the police to pursue more direct "justice". I base this on the fact that shows seldom pull old characters back without their having some greater significance. Finally, I agree with one of the earlier posts that Lillith isn't "real" (whatever that means in Bon Temps). That may be why she looks so cheesey in a show that otherwise does a reasonable job on special effects.
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Could "Dragon" be Sheriff Dearborn? I'm just curious as to why he was brought back out of the blue...
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Considering how well TB has handled surprise twists/secret alliances this season, you (and everyone else) are probably right.

If they wanted to go for interesting then they should have Russell or some other supe be the Dragon.
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My wife and I at the same time said immediately after the scene with Dearborn, "He's the Dragon!!!"
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Yeah, he's the dragon. Remember why he left? He was tired of the supes bs. So now he's doing something about it. Anybody disagree? That's cool. But this is what I am convinced will turn out.
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that was my 1st thought after seeing him. he retired cause he was tired of all the vampire crap, so makes sense that he would be a leader against them.
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Price, how come you didn't even MENTION Russell Edgington's entrance on the karaoke scene? That single moment set the tone for the entire scene. Russell's by far the most charismatic character on the show so far. There isn't a single scene he's in that he doesn't steal. The way he looks inside the cab on that small shot is just priceless. (Plus Bill piggy-back riding Eric deserves a nod as well!)



- Definitely the old sheriff. The only character that disappeared from the show NOT DYING. (i'm saying that as a hunch). He just went "f*** this, I'm getting away from this freakshow, bye byyyyye".



- I don't know. But I DID KNOW you'd go wild on that 'do'. I did!



- And hardcore. Wouldn't it be great if we could SHOOT OUR BEST FRIENDS in the head when we fight and be inconsequential?? What great stress relief!



- Lilith is starting her campaign like many politicians. Appeal to the masses through instant gratification. But I don't know if she's campaigning for the vampires or the viewers. I'm already voting for her, at least! Wait, what? What is she running for???
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my favourite part was eric giving bill a piggy back ride on bourbon street
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They were hilarious! This is the only show that can achieve such as brotherly moment between two charactters who aren't even brothers.
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That was just priceless!
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Mine too!!!!
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I didn't care much for this episode. I found it really boring. Although I did love seeing Godric again and Russell is always fun to watch. I did like the stoned vampire scene. Eric gave Bill a piggyback ride!!! O.o Awesome!
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Best line: "I'm like a tree in the wind, I'm just happy to be included" -Steve Newlin
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This episode had some memorable lines but Newlin made me burst !
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Loved Russell hijacking the karaoke... What a crooner!



And Steve Newlin is back... 'just happy to be included' - We love you in spite of your preppy outfits....



Real fun and insane episode though I could do without the efrit/ifrit whatever plot....
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The kareoke wedding/stoned vampires scene reminds me of the original "Lost Boys" in all the right ways.



Nice to finally see Arlene's wedding video
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lilith was never really there, in the last scene, we see an empty space where we thought there was a girl, i promise.

plus, how great was Lafayette we he spit in the dudes face, i love it.
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It was great until dude sewed his lips shut and carved into his forehead... that was anti-great and pretty disturbing.
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Best episode of the season but that isn't saying much.
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this Lillith storyline is getting kind of stupid, but the stoned vamps were hilarious, that maenad from season 2 was more interesting than this. and why did Lillith look so fake? Syfy looks more believable than that and that's just deeply saddening.



and the "hate group" storyline is one of the worst ever. this is basically trying to make a KKK type organization for people who hates the supes and it's stupid.
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It is stupid, and considering the FOTS crazy-church that Jason was around in S02 (03?) it's not even that original.
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the stoned vampires were the only thing I enjoyed in this episode, the rest was just so boring and lame and I feel like we've already seen similar plotlines in the show, like lafayette with the brujo thing (it's the same as last year) and the hate group is like the fellowship of the sun in season 2
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