Season One, Episode Two, of True Blood
The second episode of True Blood immediately opens up on the scene where we left off; Mack and Denise Rattray thoroughly enjoying their ass kicking contest, while poor Sookie pretty much lays there and takes it. It can’t get any more ‘damsel in distress’ than this. Sookie’s friend, the border collie appears to bark at Mack, who goes for his gun to shoot the dog, who’s distracting Mack from his manly display in front of his wife, who is in turn, distracted from her own display of …well, she’s just a mean fake redhead with a grudge, so I guess we’ll refer to it as Biblical vengeance. Just as Mack is about to shoot the dog, Sookie manages to move her arms enough to grab his leg. But before she can even say, “Oh god, not Lassie!”, Mack goes flying through the air, and Denise is left for a moment to consider her untimely demise before she also defies gravity, and then… proves Newton correct after all. A dusty cowboy boot appears, accompanied by some blue jeans, and a hand reaches down for Sookie.
And then the theme song plays! So get out of your chair, and wiggle your ass to Jace Everett’s anthem for True Blood, for two reasons; one, you know you want to, and two, True Blood is on, hurray! By the way, interesting bit of trivia about this song, Bad Things, by Jace Everett. Originally, the singer said, the song was about kicking some guy’s ass after he ripped him off. I can’t actually remember the video or find it now, where I picked this little tidbit up, so if you can find it, feel free to send over a link to me in the comments. Anyway, supposedly, the original chorus was, “I wanna do bad things to you” not “with you”. I guess that kind of makes it even sexier! Another interesting observation; before True Blood made the song famous, it was almost impossible to find a Bad Things video on YouTube. Which is why it was so easy for me to find the interview with Jace Everett in the first place. Now it’s buried under all the fanvids; maybe I’ll find it in time for the next episode review, but until then, let’s get this show on the road.
If the first sex scene with Jason and Maudette wasn’t enough for you, well, this is your lucky day! Because we’re treated with a second helping of… the exact same sex! This time courtesy of the video Maudette recorded without Jason’s knowledge, which Jason, the local Sheriff, Bud Dearborn, and Detective Andy Bellefleur, are all watching at the moment. Once Jason has popped his cork, or in the case of this redneck little town, a better phrase might be, ‘unscrewed his cheap metal cap’, –anyway, it does look as if he might have killed Maudette, because she doesn’t do a whole lot of moving around once he’s finished. Poor Jason grabs his shit and makes for the door in the video, while Jason in the Sheriff’s office just hangs his head, and tries not to cry. Then there’s an exhalation, and… a laugh, from the television screen. That skanky bitch! Apparently, Maudette didn’t just like to screw, she liked to screw with. Can’t help but wonder if maybe whoever strangled her to death was someone else who didn’t think much of her sense of humor. “…One more knock-knock joke, and I swear to god, woman!”
Once again; poor Jason, –Maudette calls him a moron, before she switches off the tape. Jason’s not a moron! He’s a cute, well-built sweaty sex machine; he doesn’t need to have above average intelligence, common sense, or a perfected system for tying his shoes. Well, not exactly Academy Award winning material on her part, but it seems to have brought Jason close to a standing ovation. He throws up his hands and lets out a cheer of, “I didn’t kill her!” while Andy Bellefleur, who probably knows the same thing, tries his best to look unconvinced, and manages a “Well somebody sure as hell did.” Then there’s a quick cut scene over to Sookie being carried, all bloody and gasping for air, by none other than Vampire Bill Compton. His face appears in short glimpses as it would, perhaps, to anyone being carried through the woods, after having been nearly beaten to death, though we cannot actually say for sure. Anyone else might be looking at their watch, asking if the scene was necessary, and wondering why it only lasted a few seconds, if it was?
After a quick check on Sookie being carried through the woods, we’re back at the Sheriff’s office, waiting to hear Bud and Andy’s reason for holding Jason for twelve hours, for a crime they already had a pretty good idea he didn’t commit. Jason is telling them about the video he saw of Maudette and the “bal’headed” vampire, and Bud Dearborne makes the mistake of asking whether or not it was the same vampire his sister was messing around with, only to be set straight by Jason, who displays the brotherly compulsion to protect his sister’s reputation. But since Jason doesn’t exactly know what the hell he’s talking about, and has never met Bill (but oh, he will, just wait!), he can only honestly follow that up with an “I don’t know”. But all the other videos are missing from Maudette’s apartment, and the only one left was the one of Jason and Maudette. Andy concocts a half-baked theory, that he shares with Jason, that ultimately ends in his own guilt. At the end of the dialogue, Jason’s eyes un-glaze, a bit like a puppy who suddenly sees a squirrel, until he realizes that Andy is referring to his guilt in the murder. Jason reassures the two lawmen that he isn’t that smart, and from the private look they share, it can only be concluded that they concur.
Bill and Sookie have arrived at a moonlit pond or creek, where the damage to Sookie is pretty evident; she exclaims, with much gurgling and blood spew, that she can’t feel her legs. Bill, ever the romantic hero, takes this opportunity to bite a decent chunk out of his own wrist, and offer her the blood, so that she can heal. Gasp! Is he pulling a Lestat?! But no, he reassures Sookie, and the rest of us, that this won’t turn her into a vampire, and god damn it, if you want to live… More gurgling, moaning, and bloody fluid exchange commences. Why are all the head movements necessary? I guess we’ll have to ask someone who often drinks straight from the vein.
The show cuts over to check on Tara now, and her home life pretty much sums up her attitude problem; her mother, passed out on the couch in a dirty trailer, strewn with magazines and liquor bottles. Then again, it might be all the sugar she’s adding to those Lucky Charms, while she’s calling Lafayette, and persuading him to take her to a party so she doesn’t have to deal with her alcoholic mother. The guys over at General Mills were probably jumping for joy when they found out their children-oriented product was being promoted by appearing in an HBO series with plenty of blood, nudity, and horror for the kiddies. Tara heads off to the party with Lafayette, and while all the white people in Bon Temps are either drinking vampire blood, sitting in Merlotte’s Bar looking both lethargic and inebriated, the black people are getting down and dirty, as only southern black people can. Despite the fun everyone else at the party is having, Tara sits quietly assessing the chances of her gay cousin Lafayette taking home a straight guy and converting him. With all the grace and charm of a Life Alert commercial featuring the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” lady, Tara deters the guy trying to hook up, and resumes her brooding on a…couch, in the backyard.
Jason heads over to Dawn’s house in the middle of the night for some sympathy pussy, so with tears, and many sad little man sobs, he of course, seals the deal with Dawn. The two indulge in some post-trauma sex, and Jason appears to have recovered, as he includes his own finger-pointing, “You’re the man!” pose in the mirror as he’s man handling Dawn at mach speeds. But in the morning, instead of discovering he’s ‘accidentally’ slept with a man, or Dawn’s twin with a hairlip, he discovers instead vampire bite marks near her throat.
Meanwhile, back at the pond, Bill is politely licking blood of Sookie’s face, so it appears, although chivalry is dead, it’s still walking around, being romantic, and tonguing blood off of pretty girls. When Sookie wakes, Bill asks for the third time, ‘What are you?’ and finally, Sookie answers honestly, telling Bill of her telepathy, and the lifestyle that accompanies it. Such as men wondering if her pubes are blonde too, or hoping that with her they can have a lifestyle that doesn’t include gay fantasies about Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal. Sookie discovers that she’s completely healed, and like the rest of us, considers the medical possibilities of ‘V-juice’, but Bill cautions her on the subject, for good reason. An all out humans vs. vampires war is a tenuous possibility, and a discovery like that might push things into chaos. Bill takes Sookie back to her car and despite being less than enthusiastic about reliving his war memories, he agrees to speak for her Gran’s club, the Descendants of the Glorious Dead, because it will make Sookie happy, and she invites him over the following evening, to speak with her Gran.
In the morning, Sookie sits in the kitchen watching the news, while Fellowship of the Sun blowhard, Reverend Newlin, accuses the American Vampire League of bribing politicians, and being unholy demons from the depths of Hell. Nan Flanagan does her best to debate with him, but the childish man refuses to speak with her, since she’s basically a representative for the Antichrist, in his opinion. The Fellowship of the Sun doesn’t have much coverage in the first season, except at the end, when Jason is shown joining up and clapping along with the devout fundies. It’s basically a church, and a hate mongering organization that focuses its ever-prejudiced eye on vampires. When the newsreel ends, Sookie remarks to Gran that the sausage she’s eating tastes “more complex” than usual. Apparently, V-juice has heightened her senses, including taste, as she describes to Gran being able to taste the dirt the herbs grew out of, see the farm the pig lived on. Before Sookie can describe the pig shit the animal rolled around in, Tara thankfully walks in, and distracts Gran as well, from her staring at Sookie as if she’s on “them mind-alterin’ substinces’. Jason strolls in as well, and soon they’re all having breakfast together, rather cozy, until Gran finds out over the phone that a tornado touched down in the Rattray’s trailer park, smashing just their trailer, and them along with it.
How convenient! …and that’s what Sheriff Bud Dearborne and the coroner/funeral home owner Mike Spencer think too. For some reason, Sookie decides to drive over to the Rattrays’ torn up trailer. No doubt, to snag some of Denise’s Tupperware before the bulldozer gets there first, but also to see the damage one vampire can do first hand. The Sheriff and slipshod coroner drive up and advise Sookie to stay out of the crime scene, as well as away from the vampire, though with maybe a shade more subtlety, all the while implying that she’s headed down the path of the Whore of Babylon. Sookie brushes them off and heads home, where Gran is cleaning, and happy for a chance to show off her home. In another bizarre display of her intensified senses, Sookie sniffs out an old cracker; no, no no, I did not mean her grandmother! –and disposes of it as if it smelled like a dirty diaper. Gran informs her that Tara and Jason are also going to be present for the evening, which leads to a short conversation over how everyone is getting bent out of shape over her interest in the vampire. Sookie and her Gran reassure each other that Sookie is careful, and using common sense, before Gran goes back to cleaning, and Sookie goes up to her room to change out of her rather minimal clothing, for something a little more company appropriate.
Bill arrives in the standard, “Jesus Christ, you scared me out of my undies,” way that vampires tend to do, as Sookie is sweeping the porch. After the necessary ritual of extending an invitation, which Sookie finds highly amusing, much to Bill’s chagrin, the group gathers for sandwiches. Gran commits a rather awkward faux pas and offers Bill a sandwich, but the incident is easily dismissed. Jason, ever the belligerent dunderhead, smugly eats his sandwich as if whatever is inside it is the most satisfying thing he’s ever had the privilege to have in his mouth. Which it obviously isn’t, since we’ve already seen him have sex with the total hottie, Dawn, we know better. Jason and Tara, protective and playing offense are of course, very rude, and Gran shuts Jason up with the verbal equivalent of a good spanking. The evening goes fairly well though, despite the two brats, and Bill invites Sookie on a walk down the road, and as to be expected, Jason objects once more, and is once more shut down by Gran.
Sookie and Bill go out on their walk, discussing romantic topics such as smashing the Rattrays flat, and her temporarily heightened senses, Sookie then peppers him with questions about his supernatural abilities, of which they are few aside from strength, speed, and the fantastic qualities of his blood. Sookie asks Bill to display his one other ability; glamour, on her, but he says no. However, as with every male being alive, and apparently, even those not alive, the word “chicken” drastically changes things. But, much to Bill’s dismay, the glamour doesn’t effect Sookie, though she’s delighted, of course; probably because it makes him uncomfortable, which is proof that even vampires have to deal with the complexities of the female mind. Meanwhile, Tara and Jason share a tender moment, before Jason rushes off to pick Dawn up from work. After opening up, and shaking out some of the baggage from her youth, Sookie and Bill arrive at the old Compton house, where he lived over a century ago, and now lives in again. Sookie offers to help him find some contacts for renovations, which is a pretty subject apparently, because ten seconds later they’re rubbing up against each other like 8th graders at a dance. Inevitably though, Bill’s fangs pop out, and he cuts their make-out session short.
Apparently, Dawn held a grudge about Jason being late to pick her up, because in the morning, she plans to leave him tied up to her bed while she’s at work. How will the poor defenseless Jason Stackhouse escape? Well, it’ll probably involve a lot of profanity. Back at the bar, we’re barely introduced to Terry Bellefleur, Detective Andy’s none-too-close cousin with PTSD, and a veteran of some war, that cannot possibly be Vietnam; the guy playing Terry is absolutely gorgeous, and nowhere near his 50’s. There’s a bit of a weird moment when Rene almost breaks a guy’s arm for grabbing Sookie’s ass. Rene invades her bubble, and then claims Sookie reminds him of his sister… ew. Apparently, the incident got Sookie a little more flustered than usual, because she accidentally reads Arlene’s thoughts about being pregnant with Rene’s baby. After she hugs her, Arlene gets pissed and storms off, telling Sookie her private thoughts are none of her business. Sam invites her to his office to see what the problem is, and the conversation ends oddly, with him inviting her to read his thoughts.
Back in the bar, Sookie catches an unsettling glimpse of the news; Reverend Newlin, the anti-vampire activist arguing with Nan Flanagan only the day before, has been killed in a “freak accident” on the highway, along with his wife, and baby daughter. This doesn’t exactly set a very positive mood for her trip over to Bill’s that night. Another car in the driveway, proudly displays stickers stating “Vampires Suck”, “Honk If You’re a Blood Donor”, and a FANGS 1 vanity plate. Uh oh, looks like vampires with incredibly bad taste in bumper stickers are visiting Bill! Instead of going home or arming herself with plastic Halloween toys to sate them, Sookie does the unadvisable, and goes up to the door. She’s greeted by a black vampire woman who must have died in the 70’s, and refused to acknowledge any other decade after that. Vampire wannabe Pam Grier is quickly joined by two other vampires, one being the baldheaded, tattooed guy who does a very nasty looking trick with his eyes, that takes the focus off his rather long tongue. And that’s where they leave us!