True Blood Review: “In The Beginning” (Season 5, Episode 7)

I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this excited for an episode of True Blood, and even better, I can’t remember when the wait has paid off as well as this episode has. As season five reaches past its halfway mark, the seventh episode is easily the best so far. Maybe True Blood just had to gather some steam before reaching full potential, but thanks to fangers coming to the forefront again, In The Beginning is a near perfect episode.

Sookie once again takes a backseat this week, despite the revelation that her parents death was vicariously her fault. Before leaving the faerie night club with Jason, she is told that although she is half faerie and that her powers have begun to degenerate and will continue to do so until she is ultimately human again. Upon discovering this, Sookie doesn’t seem too torn up. Rather, once she gets home, she starts lighting up the night with her powers, hoping to become some semblance of normal.

Jason’s time wasn’t much more eventful either, although he did put a bullet through Jessica’s head after he finds her feeding on a stranger. The whole love-hate relationship seems stuck in neutral, but Jessica’s future isn’t exactly certain at this point, so maybe it’s a good thing that Jason is keeping his distance.

And why is her life in danger? Because Hoyt, the pathetic and slightly lovable loser, has joined up with the gang of redneck vigilantes that has been at work killing as many “supes” as they can. Not only does he grab an Obama mask of his own, but he also puts a big fat target on Jessica’s head. I’m hoping that she can make it until the end of the season, but seeing as there are about five more twist endings left, I’m definitely worried.

Luckily, before the hate group can gain any momentum, Sam, who joined forces with Andy last week, has already caught one of the killers. Unknown to him, he even killed their leader, fittingly named Dragon, who we all remember as Junior the store clerk. Apparently the stories about his work against the crew is spreading, giving him a superhero persona throughout the town. Anybody else smell a spin-off? Sam the shifter fighting crime in southern America!

Of all the storylines flitting around this season, Tara’s seems the most out of place, which is sad because I’m finally starting to like her (against my better judgment). Now a stripper at Fangtasia, she has a quick run in with her bible-thumping mother, who makes it clear that Tara is dead to her. Tara then turns to Pam as her new mother figure, which is an interesting change from their previously hostile relationship. But hey, stranger things have happened in Bon Temps.

Lafayette goes in search of Jesus’ body, but is nearly killed by his crazy grandfather instead. Remember the guy who made Jesus drink the goat’s blood and kinda started all this madness in the first place? He’s back, and this time he’s got it out for Lafayette. Sadly, we’re left with nothing more than the knowledge that Lafayette is tied to a chair and not in the safest of places right now. What are the odds he lives through next week?

Alcide and Terry both had extremely small parts in this episode, but with the vampire storyline (which we’ll get to) sucking up all of the awesome this week, that’s not a complaint. Terry and Patrick find the Ifrit again, but rather than kill them as they wish, it taunts the pair before disappearing, leaving them to suffer the wait. Alcide, who is busy training (and sleeping) with his second, tells Martha about J.D. using V. She doesn’t believe him until she sees him attempting to give some to Emma, at which point she disowns him. I guess Bon Temps doesn’t have a D.A.R.E program.

Finally, the vampires. Everybody’s favorite fangers come back in a big way this week, with Russell taking power in Roman’s place alongside Salome and Nora. This new council commands the group to drink from the vial of Lilith’s blood, which leads to one of the best scenes in the entire series: drunk vampires. Their nighttime drunken roams through the city lead them to a wedding that comes to a halt in a hilariously twisted way.

Like always, I won’t ruin this week’s ending, but there were at least two surprise appearances that will absolutely blow minds everywhere. I really can’t overstate how well done In The Beginning was, filled with compelling narratives, characters that are lovable again, and moments that rank with some of the best of the series. This amount of insanity with so many episodes left is promising, and now that True Blood has finally found its footing this season, I can’t wait to see what happens next.