True Blood (season 1)
|True Blood (season 1)|
DVD cover art
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Original release||September 7– November 23, 2008|
The first season of the American television drama series True Blood premiered on September 7, 2008 and concluded on November 23, 2008. It consists of 12 episodes, each running approximately 55 minutes in length and was, for the most part, based on the novel Dead Until Dark, the first entry in The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. The story takes place in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, two years after vampires have made their presence known to mankind, and follows telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse as she attempts to solve a series of murders that seem to be motivated by a hatred of vampires.
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is a waitress with telepathic abilities. Stephen Moyer plays her love interest, vampire Bill Compton. Sookie works for Sam Merlotte, played by Sam Trammell, owner of Merlotte's bar and a shapeshifter who has a crush on Sookie. Rutina Wesley plays Sookie's best friend Tara Thornton, begins bartending at Merlotte's after quitting her job at the Super Save-A-Bunch. Also working at Merlotte's are Tara's cousin Lafayette Reynolds, played by Nelsan Ellis, a short order cook and hustler, and Arlene Fowler, played by Carrie Preston. Arlene is a thrice-divorced waitress with two children who, over the course of the season, becomes engaged to Rene Lenier, played by Michael Raymond-James, a Cajun labourer who works on a road crew.
Ryan Kwanten plays Jason Stackhouse, Sookie's brother, a labourer on a road crew and ladies' man. Jason's sexual relations begin to die, one after the other, and he is suspected of being a serial killer. Jim Parrack is Hoyt Fortenberry, Jason's co-worker who admires Jason's abilities with women. Lois Smith plays Adele Stackhouse, Jason and Sookie's grandmother who has looked after them since the deaths of their parents. Lizzy Caplan plays Jason's love interest Amy Burley, who begins a relationship with Jason because of a shared addiction to vampire blood, or "V". They kidnap Eddie Gauthier, played by Stephen Root, to use his blood.
In the vampire community Alexander Skarsgård plays Eric Northman, the Sheriff of Area 5, which includes Bon Temps, and owner of the vampire bar Fangtasia. Working for Eric, both in the bar and under him as Sheriff, are Pam, played by Kristin Bauer, and Chow, played by Patrick Gallagher. The bartender Longshadow, played by Raoul Trujillo, is killed by Bill to protect Sookie. As punishment for killing a fellow vampire and to replenish the vampire ranks, Bill is taken to the Magister, played by Željko Ivanek, and forced to sire Jessica Hamby, played by Deborah Ann Woll. Jessica is cared for by Eric but when he grows tired of her he leaves her with Bill.
In the middle of the season Tara's mother, Lettie Mae, played by Adina Porter, undergoes an exorcism to rid herself of what she terms her "demons" - her addiction to alcohol. The exorcism is administered by "Miss Jeanette" an alias of Nancy LeGuare, played by Aisha Hinds. Following her exorcism Lettie Mae kicks Tara out. Following a crash and DUI, Tara is taken in by Maryann Forrester (who initially presents herself to Tara as some kind of social worker), played by Michelle Forbes. While staying with Maryann, Tara meets "Eggs" Benedict Talley, played by Mehcad Brooks, to whom she feels a strong attraction.
The central mystery of the season begins when Maudette Pickens, played by Danielle Sapia, is killed. William Sanderson plays Sheriff Dearborne, who places his only detective, Andy Bellefleur, played by Chris Bauer, in charge of finding the killer. Bellefleur suspects Jason Stackhouse, and that suspicion grows after the murder of Dawn Green, played by Lynn Collins. Andy's cousin Terry, played by Todd Lowe, works as a cook at Merlotte's.
Other minor characters include Mack and Denise Rattray, played by James Jean Parks and Karina Logue. Bartlett Hale played by Cheyenne Wilbur, Sookie and Jason's pedophile great-uncle. Coroner's assistant Neil Jones played by Kevin Michael McHale, and vampires Malcolm, Liam and Diane played by Andrew Rothenberg, Graham Shiels and Aunjanue Ellis.
The international conflict between vampires and humans is played out in the background, but two minor characters are introduced who become major characters in the second season. Michael McMillian plays Reverend Steve Newlin and Anna Camp plays his wife Sarah. They head the anti-vampire church the Fellowship of the Sun following the death of Steve's father, who was supposedly killed by vampires. A representative of the Fellowship of the Sun approaches Jason Stackhouse while he is in jail in the final episode of the season.
Cast and characters
- Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
- Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton
- Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte
- Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse
- Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton
- Chris Bauer as Detective Andy Bellefleur
- Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds
- Jim Parrack as Hoyt Fortenberry
- Adina Porter as Lettie Mae Thornton
- Carrie Preston as Arlene Fowler
- Michael Raymond-James as Rene Lenier
- William Sanderson as Sheriff Bud Dearborne
- Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
- Lynn Collins as Dawn Green
- Lizzy Caplan as Amy Burley
- Lois Smith as Adele Stackhouse
- Stephen Root as Eddie Gauthier
- Todd Lowe as Terry Bellefleur
- Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pamela Swynford De Beaufort
- John Billingsley as Mike Spencer
- Alec Gray as Coby Fowler
- Aisha Hinds as Miss Jeanette
- Dale Raoul as Maxine Fortenberry
- Graham Shiels as Liam
- Raoul Trujillo as Longshadow
- Laurel Weber as Lisa Fowler
- Jeremy Denzlinger as Wayne
- Aunjanue Ellis as Diane
- Kanin Howell as Chuck
- Michelle Forbes as Maryann Forrester
- Danielle James as Randi Sue
- Michael McMillian as Reverend Steve Newlin
- Caleb Moody as Royce Williams
- John Prosky as David Finch
- Stacie Rippy as Cindy Marshall
- Andrew Rothenberg as Malcolm
- Danielle Sapia as Maudette Pickens
- Jessica Tuck as Nan Flanagan
- Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby
- Avion Baker as Young Tara
- Tara Buck as Ginger
- Patrick Gallagher as Chow
- Labon K. Hester as Young Jason
- Karina Logue as Denise Rattray
- Melanie MacQueen as Faye Lebvre
- Kevin McHale as Neil Jones
- Tess Alexandra Parker as Rosie
- James Jean Parks as Mack Rattray
- John Rezig as Deputy Kevin Ellis
- William Schallert as Sterling Norris
- Zenali Turner as Young Sookie
- Cheyenne Wilbur as Bartlett Hale
- Patricia Bethune as Jane Bodehouse
- Michael Bofshever as Orry Dawson
- Mehcad Brooks as "Eggs" Benedict Talley
- Zeljko Ivanek as Magnus the Magister
- Mariana Klaveno as Lorena Krasiki
- Adam Leadbeater as Karl
- Judy Prescott as Sue Ann Merlotte
- Stewart Skelton as Minister
- Martin Spanjers as Young Sam
- Sharon Tay as Sharon
- Tanya Wright as Deputy Kenya Jones
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|1||1||"Strange Love"||Alan Ball||Alan Ball||September 7, 2008||1.44|
|It has been two years since the invention of the synthetic plasma TruBlood that has allowed vampires to make their presence known to mankind. In the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, 25-year-old waitress Sookie Stackhouse struggles with being telepathic and not being able to control hearing the thoughts of everyone she sees. That is until 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton walks into Merlotte's bar where Sookie works. She is immediately drawn to him, and so are Mack and Denise Rattray, a couple of local thugs who later attack Bill with silver and try to drain his blood so that they can sell it on the black market. But Sookie rescues him and drives the Rattrays away, after which she learns that not only is Bill equally interested in her, but that she cannot read his thoughts as his brain is technically dead. Meanwhile, Sookie's hard-talking best friend Tara Thornton is fired from her job when she mouths off to her boss and a customer and Sam Merlotte hires her as the new bartender. Meanwhile, Sookie's brother Jason Stackhouse has a sexual interlude with a young woman named Maudette Pickens, who enjoys rough sex with vampires. She shows Jason a videotape of her with a bald-headed, tattooed vampire and later she videotapes them having rough sex. The next day, Jason is arrested by Sheriff Bud Dearborne and Detective Andy Bellefleur for murder of Maudette, who was killed the night before. Sookie's grandmother Adele asks if Sookie thinks she can get the vampire Bill to speak at her Descendants of the Glorious Dead meeting. And at Merlotte's that night, Bill agrees to meet her in the parking lot after work to discuss the favor. Sookie gets into a heated argument with Sam and Tara, who believe that getting involved with a vampire could be very dangerous and Sookie tells them both to stay out of her life. After work Sookie and Sam make amends with one another and alone in the parking lot, Sookie is suddenly and savagely attacked by the Rattrays, out for revenge.|
|2||2||"The First Taste"||Scott Winant||Alan Ball||September 14, 2008||1.79|
|The Rattrays are brutally beating Sookie as she bleeds on the ground. They are about to kill her when Bill suddenly intervenes. He kills both Rattrays and takes Sookie to the edge of a lake, where he offers her some of his vampire blood, which has special properties that allow her to completely heal instantly. Sookie asks him about being a guest speaker at her grandmother's next meeting and he agrees to that and to call in on her at her house the next evening to meet her family. Meanwhile, Jason is shown a videotape of him with Maudette and it turns out that Jason thought he had choked her to death during sex, but that she was only fooling around with him. Sheriff Dearborne and Detective Bellefleur aren't entirely convinced Jason didn't kill Maudette, but he is eventually released. Tara returns home from work to find her alcoholic mother passed out on the couch and she asks her flamboyant cousin Lafayette, who is also the Merlotte's cook, to take her to a party. He agrees. Jason meets up with an old flame and another Merlotte's waitress, Dawn and the two spend the night together. The next morning, he discovers vampire bite marks on her neck. Sookie learns that the police found the Rattrays' bodies in the wreckage of their trailer and have ruled that they were killed by a freak tornado. Sookie also notices throughout the day that her sense of smell and taste have been enhanced by Bill's blood. That night Bill meets with Adele, Jason and Tara at Sookie's house. He takes her for a starlit walk and they share their first kiss. The next day Dawn heads for work, leaving Jason tied up on her bed. At Merlotte's, Sookie learns that Reverend Theodore Newlin, founder of the anti-vampire church the Fellowship of the Sun, along with his wife and daughter were killed in an accident. Questioning just how far vampires are willing to go, she races to Bill's house to ask him about the incident where she is set upon by three strange vampires, including the bald-headed man seen in Maudette's sex tape.|
|3||3||"Mine"||John Dahl||Alan Ball||September 21, 2008||1.81|
|In order to save Sookie from Malcolm, Diane and Liam, who are about to feed on her, Bill claims Sookie as his human, declaring "Sookie is mine." With Sookie safe, for the time being at least, Malcolm offers to let Bill feed on Jerry, a young human the trio carry around with them as a toy. Bill is about to feed, but Sookie looks into Jerry's mind and sees that he has Hepatitis D, an infection that infects only vampires. Now robbed of his chance at revenge for the loss of his boyfriend to vampire blood addiction, Jerry attacks Sookie, but Bill stops him and knocks him out. Diane wants to know how Sookie knew about Jerry's intentions, but Bill manages to get the group out the door before they can ask any more questions. The incident leaves Sookie shaken and with doubts about her relationship with Bill. At Merlotte's, Sam and Tara close up for the night and share a few drinks. They talk about being lonely and come to an arrangement, whereby they will have sex just once. Dawn returns home and her little game with Jason quickly turns into more rough sex. However, knowing that Dawn has been with vampires causes Jason to lose his erection and the two have an argument about sex with vampires, which results in Dawn threatening Jason with a gun and throwing him out of her house, all of which is witnessed by Dawn's neighbor. Bill pays a visit to Malcolm, Diane and Liam and tells them to leave Sookie alone. They criticize him for his mainstreaming and suggest that the Great Revelation was not a good idea. Tara returns home and is attacked by her alcoholic mother Lettie Mae, who calls her a whore and scares Tara out of the house. She drops in on Lafayette, just as a state senator is leaving his "appointment" and asks for a place to stay. Sookie has a dream in which Bill takes her virginity and, after a discussion with Adele, decides that she should give Bill another chance. Jason goes to Lafayette's house to get some Viagra, but ends up with a vial of vampire blood. Lafayette instructs him to take only one or two drops of blood at a time. To get it, Jason has to dance on camera for Lafayette's website and Tara gets a much appreciated view of Jason's performance. Sam asks Sookie to swing by Dawn's house, as she did not show up for work. Sookie obliges and finds Dawn's dead body sprawled out on her bed.|
|4||4||"Escape from Dragon House"||Michael Lehmann||Brian Buckner||September 28, 2008||1.82|
|As Sookie screams for help, Jason shows up with a bouquet of flowers. Dawn's neighbor answers Sookie's calls and, upon seeing Dawn's body, accuses Jason of killing her and he storms off. Later, a large crowd of police and onlookers has gathered, including Arlene Fowler, another Merlotte's waitress, her boyfriend Rene Lenier and Hoyt Fortenberry, both of whom work on Jason's roadworks crew. Sam, who owns the block of houses, shows up to comfort Sookie just before Mike Spencer, the county coroner, and his assistant Neil bring Dawn's body out. Andy Bellefleur takes Jason in for questioning again and Jason, remembering that he has a vial of illegal vampire blood on him, swallows the whole thing. Halfway through his questioning, the overdose of "V-juice" gives Jason a severe case of priapism. He is rescued from the cops by Tara and, after she takes him home, Jason tries to rid himself of his erection, but nothing will work. Adele asks Sookie to read the townspeople's thoughts in order to find any evidence that will clear her brother's name. Desperate for relief, Jason goes to Merlotte's to see Lafayette, who cannot help him. After deducing Jason's use of V-juice, Tara insists on taking him to the hospital. In order to help in Sookie's investigation, Bill agrees to take her to a vampire bar in Shreveport named Fangtasia. Sam warns Sookie of the dangers of hanging around in such places, but she ignores them and goes anyway. When they arrive at Fangtasia, Bill and Sookie are admitted by an old vampire acquaintance of Bill's, Pam. Sookie describes the bar as being like an attraction at Disney World. At the hospital, Jason lies to the doctor about taking any drugs and, not wanting to risk a drug reaction, the doctor uses a large syringe to drain the blood out of Jason's penis without anesthesia. On the ride home, Jason sleeps and Tara reminisces about their childhood together, when Jason would protect her from her mother's drunken violence. It seems that Tara is in love with Jason. At Fangtasia, Bill and Sookie are summoned by Eric Northman, a thousand-year-old Viking vampire and owner of the bar. Sookie shows him pictures of Maudette and Dawn and Eric reveals that he slept with Dawn, but rejected Maudette. Sookie senses that a human is being fed on in the bathroom just before a police raid on Fangtasia, and she, Bill, Pam and Eric manage to escape just in time. On their way back to Bon Temps, Bill is pulled over by a police officer and the situation gets out of hand when Bill glamours the officer. Sookie is afraid Bill is going to kill him, but instead he simply drives off after warning the officer to be careful the next time he pulls someone over on suspicion of being a vampire. Sam lets himself into Dawn's old house and rolls around in her sheets, sniffing and writhing.|
|5||5||"Sparks Fly Out"||Daniel Minahan||Alexander Woo||October 5, 2008||1.74|
|Bill's car arrives outside Sookie's house, and the two have an argument about their encounter with the police officer and Bill confesses that, had she not been there, he would have fed on the officer. Bill promises to never call her again and leaves. Sookie asks her gran about her problem and Adele suggests that she not be afraid or suspicious of him just because he is different. Tara is furious at Lafayette for selling V-juice to Jason and makes him promise to apologize. When Jason stops by, however, Lafayette convinces him to give vamp blood another try and instructs him on how to take it properly. At Merlotte's, Sam seizes his opportunity with Sookie and asks her to go with him to the Descendents of the Glorious Dead meeting and she agrees. Her suspicions about Tara and her brother are also raised when she learns that Tara lied to the police in order to give Jason an alibi for Dawn's murder. That night at the D.O.G.D. meeting, a large crowd has gathered at the church to hear Bill's speech. Among them are three rednecks named Chuck, Wayne and Royce, who are stirring up some trouble. Adele introduces Bill and he recounts the story about the loss of his friend Tolliver Humphries during the Civil War. The Mayor of Bon Temps presents Bill with a photograph of his long-lost wife and children, which stirs powerful emotions in Bill. After the meeting, Sookie and Sam go out for coffee. Everything is going well until the conversation turns to vampires and Sam insists that Bill is dangerous, no matter how she feels about him. At Merlotte's, the trio of rednecks continue to stir up trouble when Royce sends back a burger, saying it has AIDS. This causes Lafayette to fly into a rage and slams the burger in the boy's face. Jason, Rene and Hoyt are dining not far away and Hoyt fails to pick up a girl named Randi Sue. A very-stoned Jason professes his deep love for Tara, who is smart enough to wait until he is sober for this conversation. Bill is paid a visit at his house by Sheriff Bud Dearborne and Andy, who question him about the murders. Bill insists that no vampire could resist a body full of human blood, and since the victims were not exsanguinated, the murderer could not be a vampire. After they leave, Bill remembers how he was turned into a vampire by a woman named Lorena as he was making his way home to his family. She allows him to see them one last time from a distance, but assures him that his old life is over. Tara catches Jason having sex with Randi Sue in the alley behind Merlotte's, which infuriates her. Sookie takes a cab home from her dismal date with Sam and finds her Gran lying on the kitchen floor, dead and in a pool of her own blood.|
|6||6||"Cold Ground"||Nick Gomez||Raelle Tucker||October 12, 2008||1.67|
|Sam and Bill, both very protective and territorial, promise to watch over Sookie, who refuses to leave the house her grandmother and she shared. As soon as Mike Spencer has Adele's body removed, Sookie is in the kitchen scrubbing up her Gran's blood. Andy and Bud discuss the case and although Andy regrets releasing Jason Stackhouse, Bud doubts he could murder his own grandmother. The next day, Sookie holds a wake for Adele in the house, which is full of nosy townspeople. Sookie loses it when Maxine Fortenberry attempts to make room in the fridge by moving the last pie Adele made before she was killed. Tara and Lafayette take Sookie upstairs and tell her not to worry about entertaining the people downstairs and to just feel whatever she's feeling. Sookie confesses that she doesn't think she is feeling anything at all. Jason, oblivious to his Gran's death, shows up at work stoned on V and learns the news from Hoyt and Rene. He races over to the wake, storms into Sookie's room and smacks her square on the face, screaming that it was her fault. Tara pushes Jason out, telling him she doesn't even know who he is anymore. Tara tries to comfort her, but the damage is already done. Outside, Andy confronts Jason and practically accuses him of murdering Adele and Jason shoves Andy down as though he weighed nothing. Gran's funeral the following day is more or less a disaster. Jason invites his and Sookie's estranged uncle Bartlett, which aggravates Sookie. Tara's mother Lettie Mae shows up and makes a speech about a woman she barely knew, Jason continues to struggle with his V-juice addiction and Sookie makes a fool of herself when she cannot block out the townspeople's thoughts and tells them all to "shut the fuck up!" When the funeral is over, Lettie Mae approaches Tara and tells her that she has a demon inside of her that makes her drink and she needs money for an exorcism. Tara thinks this is ridiculous and storms off. Sam takes Sookie home and she tells him that she wants to be alone, but Sam doesn't and neither does Tara. Finally alone, Sookie takes the pie out of the fridge and finally lets out her grief as she eats it, sobbing over every bite. Tara takes Sam back to her hotel room and they have sex. Afterwards, Tara starts to feel conflicted about her mother's problem and leaves Sam alone in the room. Sookie races to Bill's house, Bill hears her footsteps and sweeps her up. In Bill's house, they strip naked and Bill's fangs extend. Sookie tells him she wants him to do it, and Bill buries his teeth into her neck and starts to drink.|
|7||7||"Burning House of Love"||Marcos Siega||Chris Offutt||October 19, 2008||2.10|
|After taking Sookie's blood and her virginity, Bill and Sookie soak in a warm bath. She feels comfortable enough to reveal a very dark secret. When she was a young girl, she was molested by her uncle Bartlett and she fails to notice the hateful, frightening look on Bill's face. A desperate Jason tries to score more V from Lafayette, who throws him out saying he will not sell anymore to someone as irresponsible as Jason. He goes to Sookie's house and tries to take some of Adele's old silver to sell, but Sookie stops him. Tara attempts to smooth things over with Sam, and is interrupted by a call from a bank, where Lettie Mae is making a scene, accusing a loan officer of being a bigot for not giving her a loan for her exorcism. Tara drags Lettie Mae away, but not before she offers to have sex with the loan officer in exchange for the money. After this, Tara agrees to pay for Lettie Mae's treatment. Jason winds up at Fangtasia, desperate for V, and foolishly attempts to buy from the vampire bartender, Longshadow. A young woman named Amy Burley overhears and, pretending to be his girlfriend, gets Jason out of danger with a promise of V. Tara and Lettie Mae go into the woods to a woman named Miss Jeanette, a witch doctor who lives in a rundown bus and, after handing over nearly five hundred bucks, Lettie Mae gets her exorcism. Just as they are leaving, Miss Jeanette tells Tara that she has a demon too, a worse one than her mother and that if she ever wants to lead a happy life, she must have it exorcised. Tara laughs this off and they leave. At Merlotte's, Sookie's mood gives the previous night's events away and both Sam and Arlene are very judgemental of Sookie's decision to sleep with Bill and let him feed. Sookie tells everyone in the bar to mind their own business. In the dead of night, Bill hunts down uncle Bartlett, murders him and dumps his body in the river. Merlotte's is crashed by Malcolm, Diane and Liam who menace the patrons of Merlotte's but Bill shows up in time to stop them from hurting anyone, but only if he goes with them and stops messing around with humans. Bill agrees, leaving Sookie heartbroken. Amy and Jason wind up at his place, do V and wind up in bed together. Chuck, Wayne and Royce, furious at the trio of vampires, plot to kill them. Sookie tries to get Sam to intervene, but he refuses to get involved and, at the break of dawn, the three rednecks set fire to the house in which Malcolm, Diane and Liam are residing. Sookie searches Bill's house, hoping to find him, but she does not. Getting desperate, she races to the vampire trio's house, but arrives to find rescue workers pulling four burnt coffins out of the charred remains of the house.|
|8||8||"The Fourth Man in the Fire"||Michael Lehmann||Alexander Woo||October 26, 2008||2.07|
|Sookie thinks Bill was killed in the fire, while Jason wakes up with Amy, thinking they had sex, but it turns out that they were simply V-tripping. Jason opens up to her about his parent's tragic deaths. Tara is amazed at Lettie Mae's seemingly instantaneous recovery and fights with Sookie about Bill. That night, Sookie takes flowers to Bill's grave. As she is walking back, she is attacked by Bill and they have sex. The next day, Jason introduces Amy to Merlotte's and she is hired as a new waitress, but Sookie tries to warn her about Jason. Tara lashes out at her mother's born-again Christianity and, after sleeping with Sam again, snaps at him. Sookie and Bill babysit Arlene's kids and Rene proposes to Arlene, who accepts. Mike Spencer, the coroner, identifies the fourth body in the fire as Neil, his assistant who was secretly a "fang banger". Sam is interrogated by Bud and Andy. Sam claims that he comes from a family of naturists and runs naked through the woods once a year to honor them. But Andy checks and finds out Sam was lying. After talking with Lafayette, Tara starts thinking that she may need an exorcism. Jason sees Amy's darker side when she reveals that she needs more V, but Lafayette won't sell it to him. They decide to follow him and discover that he gets his V-juice from a gay vampire, Eddie. Bill finds Eric in his bathtub who needs Sookie to work for him. Tara goes to Miss Jeanette to get her exorcism. After Lafayette leaves, Jason and Amy kidnap Eddie and shove him into Jason's truck. Sookie reluctantly goes to Fangtasia, where Eric uses her telepathy to find who has embezzled. Sookie learns that a woman named Ginger knows the money was taken, but her memory has been wiped, which means a vampire must have stolen it. At that moment, Longshadow attacks her.|
|9||9||"Plaisir d'Amour"||Anthony M. Hemingway||Brian Buckner||November 2, 2008||2.35|
|Longshadow reaches for Sookie's neck and is about to bite, when Bill stakes him from behind, spraying Sookie with blood. Eric warns Bill that there will be consequences for killing a fellow vampire to save a human. Jason is clearly distressed about having kidnapped the vampire Eddie, but he and Amy take him back to Jason's house and chain him up in the basement anyway. The two immediately start using Eddie's blood to get high. Meanwhile, Tara is not entirely convinced she needs to have her demon exorcised. Miss Jeanette gives her a test: look at herself in the mirror and if she can count backwards to ten, she's wrong. Tara later tries it, but is interrupted by her mother. Tara later confesses to Sam that she might need an exorcism and he offers to pay for it. Sookie and Bill return from Fangtasia to discover that Sookie's cat has been murdered. At Merlotte's the next day, Sookie snaps at Andy for not having found the killer that is after her and Sookie finds some comfort in Amy, and the two start to bond. At home, Jason shows a small kindness to Eddie and the two get to talking about Eddie's past as a human and why he wanted to be a vampire. Eric, Pam and Chow, Longshadow's replacement, drop in on Bill and inform him that he must go before a vampire tribunal to be tried for his actions. The four of them drop by Merlotte's, where Bill asks Sam to watch over Sookie in his absence. Eric delivers a stern warning to the patrons of Merlotte's about becoming too comfortable around vampires. A warning delivered pointedly to Chuck, Wayne and Royce. After a tearful goodbye, Bill and Sookie part ways. Distraught, Sookie and Tara reconcile their broken friendship. But it seems short-lived when Sookie walks in on Sam and Tara making out, and runs out. A few minutes later, Sam goes after her, but is intercepted by Andy, who confronts him about lying about the naturist colony. Sam disappears into the bar, and a border collie runs out straight past Andy. Sookie goes to Bill's house, and the dog shows up there. Sookie decides to keep him with her, and names him Dean. Against Amy's wishes, Jason takes some TruBlood to Eddie. Sookie insists that Dean sleep on the bed with her, and she falls asleep. She stirs in the middle of the night and finds at the foot of the bed, not a dog but Sam, completely naked.|
|10||10||"I Don't Wanna Know"||Scott Winant||Chris Offutt||November 9, 2008||2.39|
|Sookie jumps out of bed and races into the bathroom, screaming that Sam is the murderer. He follows her and confesses to being a shapeshifter, even shifting into the dog and back right in front of her. Later, he and Sookie discuss their situation and, after Sookie asks him how many more supernatural creatures there are in the world, he says that there are more than she could imagine. Sookie storms off, angry about having been lied to. Tara goes back to Miss Jeanette to get her exorcism, during which she is fed a strange solution which makes her hallucinate a young version of herself, which represents all the negative feelings Tara is trying to exorcise. Tara kills the hallucination and Miss Jeanette comforts her, telling Tara that it is over. Amy discovers Jason's deception, but decides to forgive him, even going so far as to say they should start treating Eddie more like a member of their family. Tara returns home to share the good news with her mother, but Tara's celebration is short-lived when she discovers that Miss Jeanette is a fraud who fed Tara and her mother ipecac and peyote. Tara decides to hide the truth from her mother. Lafayette is paid a visit by the state senator seen in Mine. He is looking for V, but Lafayette has something more physical for him. Sam reminisces about the first time he ever shapeshifted as a teenager. When he returned home from school the next day, his adoptive parents had packed up their things and left. That night, there is an engagement party at Merlotte's for Arlene and Rene and almost the whole town turns out, but Sookie is lonely there without Bill, who has been taken before a vampire tribunal, where a ruthless Magister deals out justice. Tara has too much to drink, fights with Sam and storms off. On the road, she swerves to avoid a naked woman walking a large pig and ends up being arrested. Andy gets closer to the truth about Sam, Sookie has a vision of a young woman being murdered and the killer suddenly strikes at her, but she manages to escape his clutches. Lafayette learns that Jason did something to Eddie and lashes out at him for being reckless. He and Amy return home arguing about Eddie. Jason wants to free him, but Amy is scared of him and of losing Jason, so she stakes Eddie right in front of Jason. The Magister hands down a creative punishment for Bill: he must turn a young teenager named Jessica into a vampire. And although Bill pleads with the Magister, the sentence is handed down and the episode ends with Bill feeding on her.|
|11||11||"To Love Is to Bury"||Nancy Oliver||Nancy Oliver||November 16, 2008||2.67|
|As part of the vampire ritual, Bill buries Jessica's body in the ground, waiting for her to turn. After being attacked at Merlotte's, Sookie once again has Sam stay with her for protection and the two start growing much closer in Bill's absence. Jason helps Amy clean up the mess Eddie's death left behind and demands that she get rid of every drop of V-juice in the house. The next morning, Sookie searches for the young woman she saw in her vision. With Sam's help, Sookie tracks the woman (named Cindy) down to a pie store. They learn from one of the patrons that Cindy was a fangbanger and that her brother, Drew Marshall, disappeared shortly after her death under suspicious circumstances. Jason confides in Rene and Hoyt about Amy's V-juice habit. Sam and Sookie persuade a difficult police officer to give them information on Drew Marshall, and he promises to fax a photo through to the Bon Temps police station. After seeing his state senator friend on television campaigning against vampire and homosexual rights, Lafayette confronts him about his lies. Amy cooks Jason a nice meal and the two make up. On the way home, Sookie confides in Sam that she thinks she is in love with Bill, but expresses doubt over his loyalties to his fellow vampires. Jason and Amy decide to do V together one last time and while they are passed out, the killer sneaks into their bedroom and strangles Amy to death. Meanwhile, Jessica awakens and crawls out of the ground. Bill tries to impart his wisdom about being vampire, but she turns out to be a disobedient, overly-excited pain in the neck. Lettie Mae refuses to bail Tara out of prison because she is a danger to her soul. They leave on bad terms. Jason wakes up to find Amy dead and calls the police. Bill, needing to get back to Sookie, leaves Jessica with Eric. Tara is bailed out of prison by a woman named Maryann Forrester, who takes Tara into her lavish home. At Sookie's house, Sookie and Sam wind up sharing a kiss just as Bill walks in and attacks Sam. Seeing Bill's vicious side, Sookie rescinds his invitation into her house and slams the door on him. Jason is taken into police custody, saying he doesn't want anyone else to get hurt. A gossipy and distracted secretary is on the phone, and doesn't notice the fax of Drew Marshall's photo before burying it under a pile of paperwork, not before revealing the photo to the audience who discover that Rene is the killer.|
|12||12||"You'll Be the Death of Me"||Alan Ball||Raelle Tucker||November 23, 2008||2.45|
|Sookie explains to Jason that she believes she has found the identity of the killer who has been murdering the women in Bon Temps, but Jason has her dismissed from the jail, refusing to listen to her. Maryann continues to comfort Tara and talks with her about her problems, gaining her trust. A representative of the Fellowship of the Sun named Orry visits Jason in prison and gives him some literature about the Fellowship, and tries to convince Jason that even if he did kill the women, his motive was pure because they were all supporters of vampires. Tara meets Benedict "Eggs" Talley, another person who Maryann has taken in under the pretense of helping him rebuild his life. The two of them begin to become interested in each other. Sookie, working at Merlotte's, becomes overwhelmed with the insulting and hateful thoughts all of the townsfolk are thinking about her brother and asks Sam for permission to leave. She finds she is unable to start her car, and as she gets angrier Rene shows up and offers her a ride home. Sam finds Rene's vest and, smelling it, realizes there may be a connection to Rene and the murders. At Sookie's house, Sookie discovers that Rene was the killer by reading his mind and tries to shoot him, but Rene has emptied her gun. She runs into the cemetery with Rene following behind. Bill risks his life by emerging into the sun to try to go to Sookie's aid, but he is quickly weakened and seriously injured by the burning. Sam appears and, in the form of a dog, bites Rene to distract him. Sookie attacks Rene with a shovel, ending in his decapitation. Sam and Sookie discover Bill, weak and burning, and quickly bury him. Later, Sookie is comforted by her friends and by Jason who has been released from prison following the discovery of the real murderer. Bill appears at her doorstep, completely healed, and the two share a tender moment. At Merlotte's, Andy Bellefleur is upset and depressed after his failure to solve the case, and begins drinking. While cleaning outside, Lafayette is attacked by an unknown entity. Afterwards, the Merlotte's staff help Andy to his car, which he believes has been moved, and they discover a dead body on the back seat.|
Series creator Alan Ball had previously worked with premium cable channel HBO on Six Feet Under, which ran five seasons. In October 2005, after Six Feet Under's finale, Ball signed a two-year agreement with HBO to develop and produce original programming for the network. True Blood became the first project under the deal, after Ball became acquainted with Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mystery books. One day, while early for a dentist appointment, Ball was browsing through Barnes & Noble and came across Dead Until Dark, the first installment in Harris' series. Enjoying it, he read the following entries and became interested in "bringing Harris' vision to television". However, Harris had two other adaptation options for the books when Ball approached her. He said she chose to work with him, though, because "[Ball] really 'got' me. That's how he convinced me to go with him. I just felt that he understood what I was doing with the books."
Ball wrote and directed the pilot episode, double Emmy winner Scott Winant, Red Rock West writer/director John Dahl, Heathers director Michael Lehmann, former Deadwood director Daniel Minahan, The Sopranos director Nick Gomez, Pretty Persuasion director Marcos Siega, The Wire director Anthony Hemingway and Six Feet Under co-producer Nancy Oliver directed subsequent episodes, with Ball directing the finale.
Nancy Oliver joined Ball as a producer, in the same role she had on Six Feet Under. Ball wrote the first three episodes with Brian Buckner, Alexander Woo, Raelle Tucker and Chris Offutt writing two episodes a piece, Nancy Oliver wrote and directed the eleventh episode, which marked her debut as a director.
Buckner, Tucker and Woo were also credited as producers, Offutt was executive story editor for this season. Christina Jokanovich was an associate producer and Carol Dunn Trussell the line producer.
The first season of True Blood debuted at a very modest 1.44 million viewers compared to the network's past drama premiers such as Big Love which premiered at 4.56 million, and John from Cincinnati which debuted at 3.4 million. However, by late November 2008, 6.8 million a week were watching; this figure includes repeat and on-demand viewings. The season finale's viewership was 2.4 million. True Blood has reportedly become HBO's most popular series since The Sopranos and Sex and the City.
Awards & nominations
The series won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. Anna Paquin won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television series - Drama whilst the show was nominated for Best TV series - Drama. It also won best TV show, best horror actor for Stephen Moyer, Best Horror Actress for Anna Paquin & best villain for Alexander Skarsgård at the Scream Awards
|Title||Original air date||Total viewers
on Channel 4
|Rank on channel|
|1 (1.01)||Strange Love||October 7, 2009||1.91 million||#13|
|2 (1.02)||The First Taste||October 14, 2009||1.84 million||#14|
|3 (1.03)||Mine||October 21, 2009||1.67 million||#27|
Season 1 ending credits songs
Songs from the Season 1 ending credits in order by episode number.
- Little Big Town – "Bones"
- Vallejo – "Snake in the Grass"
- Charlie Robison – "Good Times"
- Lynyrd Skynyrd – "That Smell"
- Nathan Barr – "The Cabin"
- Mark Seliger's Rusty Truck – "Cold Ground"
- Cobra Verde – "Play with Fire"
- Eagles of Death Metal – "I Want You So Hard"
- Rufus Thomas – "Walking the Dog"
- Dr. John – "I Don't Wanna Know about Evil"
- Gillian Welch – "Pass You By"
- Crooked Still – "Ain't No Grave"
- "True Blood: The Complete First Season". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- Weprin, Alex (June 30, 2009). "Cable Ratings: HBO's Sunday Huge With 'Hung' Premiere: True Blood delivers series high ratings". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on July 4, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
- Berman, Marc (February 22, 2010). "True Blood Ratings". Mediaweek. Archived from the original on April 18, 2010. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (2008-10-01). "Bloody good bow for 'Dexter'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
- Kissell, Rick (2008-10-21). "CBS tops again with young adults". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- Kissell, Rick (2008-10-28). "NFL, 'House' helping Fox in ratings". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- Kissell, Rick (2008-11-04). "World Series scores for Fox in ratings". Variety. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
- Kissell, Rick (2008-11-18). "CBS wins weekly ratings race". Variety. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Kissell, Rick (2008-11-25). "CBS stays hot in November". Variety. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- "HBO Concludes Exclusive Two-Year Television Deal with Six Feet Under Creator Alan Ball". Time Warner, of which HBO is a subsidiary (Press release). 2005-10-31. Retrieved 2008-03-20.
- Fowler, Matt (2009-04-14). "Bloody Bites from True Blood Season 2". IGN. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- Show Tracker. "HBO's 'True Blood': Audiences don't bite", Los Angeles Times, 2008-09-03. Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
- TV Decoder. "‘True Blood’ Shows Ratings Growth for HBO", New York Times, 2008-11-23. Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
- "‘True Blood’ a well-timed hit for HBO", MSNBC, 2008-11-23. Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
- "BARB Website Ratings".
- "Music Season 1 - True Blood". TrueBloodWiki.HBO.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19.