|Season 1, Episode 01|
|Air date||7 Sep 2008|
|Written by||Alan Ball|
|Directed by||Alan Ball|
"The First Taste"
Two years after vampires have "come out of the coffin," the life of 25-year-old waitress Sookie Stackhouse is changed when 173-year-old Bill Compton walks into Merlotte's Bar and Grill in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Meanwhile, Sookie's friend Tara Thornton comes to work at Merlotte's while Sookie's tom-catting brother Jason finds himself on the wrong side of the law.
"Bill? I thought it might be Antoine, or Basil, or-or-or like Langford, maybe. But, Bill? Vampire Bill!"- Sookie to Bill
At night on a rural Louisiana highway, a frat boy and his girlfriend Kelly notice a convenience store sign for "Tru Blood" and pull into the lot. An interview with American Vampire League spokeswoman Nan Flanagan is playing on the television. The couple ask the clerk about Tru Blood and vampires. The Clerk plays a prank on the couple pretending to be a vampire. When the clerk reveals that it was a joke the male feels comfortable enough to ask if the clerk can find the drug-like vampire blood, "V", another patron reveals himself as a vampire as he bares his fangs to the couple causing them to flee. He then steps up to the counter, pays for his Tru Blood and sternly threatens "If you ever pretend to be one of us again, I'll kill you."
At Merlotte's Bar and Grill, a local favorite for residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana, Sookie Stackhouse serves beer and burgers to her customers.She hears snippets of their private thoughts as she attempts to suppress her apparent telepathic ability. Her boss, Sam Merlotte, pulls her aside mid-service to let her know that her friend Tara Thornton is on the phone. Sookie takes the call only to find out that Tara, a bit of a hothead, has quit her job at Super Save-a-Bunch after blowing up at a customer and is coming to Merlotte's for a drink.
Another waitress, Dawn Green, warns Sookie that Mack and Denise Rattray, two problem customers, are sitting in her section. Sookie takes their order and brings it to the eccentrically clad cook, Lafayette Reynolds.
Elsewhere, in a private residence, Jason Stackhouse and Maudette Pickens are getting frisky. Suddenly Jason finds bite marks on Maudette's inner thigh and demands an explanation. Maudette reluctantly admitted that she had indeed been to a vampire bar, where an unknown vampire paid her to have sex with him and let him bite her. Maudette admits she felt the expirience was strange and kind of scary. When Jason askes her to explain she admitted another omission, she had actually filmed the ordeal. Maudette intrigues Jason and convinces him to watch the sex tape of the experience. They then go about re-enacting the vampire sex tape, bondage hook and all. Unknown to Jason, Maudette has a hiddden video camera taping the whole thing.
Back in the bar, Tara arrives and starts complaining about needing a new job. As Sookie steps into the discussion, she gets distracted when Merlotte's first vampire patron enters quietly. Transfixed and unable to hear his thoughts, Sookie volunteers herself to serve his table. She walks over and is obviously drawn right away. She smiles and blushes as she takes his order. The patron orders a Tru Blood. As the Rattray's overhear this, Sookie apologizes that they're out of Tru Blood. Sam and Tara look on with concern. The vampire decides on a glass of red wine, not to drink, but as "a reason to be here" since there was no Tru Blood. As Sookie leaves the table, the Rattrays lean in to introduce themselves.
Getting more and more cozy with the vampire, their intentions are unclear until Sookie, reading their minds, discovers that the couple plans on draining the vampire's blood for drug use and money since vampire blood goes for several hundred dollars an ounce. Tara and Sam assure her that a vampire can take care of himself, but When Sookie notices the Rattrays have left with the vampire, she runs to the parking lot. The Rattrays have snared the vampire using fine silver chains which have burned their way into his skin and begun draining his blood.
Sookie sneaks up on them and smacks Mack in the head with a big chain. When he turns on her with a knife, Sookie throws the chain, wrapping it around his neck. Picking up Mack's dropped knife, Sookie's focus turns to Denise who collects her wounded husband and leaves promising, "This ain't over."
Sookie rushes to the vampire's side and frees him from the silver chains. She's shocked to watch his burns disappear before her eyes. After thanking her and probing her boundaries about the drained vampire blood, he introduces himself as "Bill," which Sookie finds to be an amusingly plain name for a vampire. Bill asks her to keep his weakness to silver a secret, and she agrees before abruptly returning to work. Sam waits for her outside the bar, after convincing Tara to mind the bar while he's away. Later Tara manages to talk her way in to a permanent job as bartender.
Around closing time, Jason enters the bar, appearing nervous and looking for Sookie. Tara, taken with Jason, softens and says hello, but she immediately scoffs when Jason starts flirting with Dawn. Sookie goes home and tells her Gran about meeting Bill, tactfully leaving out the part about the parking lot brawl.
The next morning, Jason comes by the house to reprimand Sookie for fighting with the Rattrays, as word is already making its way around town. She shoots back that they were going to kill Bill and threatened to kill her. Though Jason doesn't understand why she'd want to help a vampire, this ends the argument. Over breakfast, Gran answers a phone call and hears that Maudette Pickens was found strangled in her apartment. Jason seems angry and frightened at the news.
Jason leaves for work, but later the police pull up to his road crew to question him about Maudette. Sheriff Bud Dearborne and Detective Andy Bellefleur feel him out before eventually telling him they found a video tape of him having sex with the victim on the night of the murder.
As Sookie puts on her make-up before work, Gran asks her whether she thinks Bill was around during the Civil War. Her historical group, the Descendants of the Glorious Dead, would certainly love to hear a first-person account of the war. Sookie, amused, promises to ask. She gets to Merlotte's just in time to hear all her co-workers discussing Jason's arrest. Frightened and furious that she's the last person to know, Sookie demands that Jason's friends, René Lenier and Hoyt Fortenberry, fill her in on the details.
Just as she becomes so worked up that the thoughts in the room start to overwhelm her, Bill walks into the bar. After Sookie greets him, he asks if he can visit her at her home. She consents and then remembers her Gran's request and asks him to meet her after work to talk. Bill agrees but, feeling uncomfortable under the gaze of everyone in the bar, decides to leave. As soon as Bill is gone, Sam pulls Sookie into his office and admonishes her for associating with a vampire: "What do you have, a death wish?"
Before she can finish her retort, Tara bursts through the door and delivers a similar message. Hearing their thoughts, Sam's love for her and Tara's concern for Jason, Sookie finally loses her cool. Yelling that she can take care of herself, slams the door on her way out.
Late that night, as she's leaving work, Sookie walks to her car in the parking lot, looking around for Bill. The Rattrays jump from the shadows and knock her down, kicking her viciously. They have every intent on killing her, but all she can do is curl into a fetal position as she spits up blood.
- "Tru Blood" takes its name from the brand of synthetic blood that the Japanese have patented in Harris' novels. Vampires can actually drink it, thereby bypassing their need for human blood.
- In the first scene featuring Sookie's grandmother Adele Stackhouse (Lois Smith), Gran is reading the novel Last Scene Alive by Charlaine Harris, creator of the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series of novels that inspired True Blood.
- In the opening credits, there is a brief glimpse of an old Victorian house. It is actually the "Florentine", an over 100 year-old former club and home in Shreveport, Louisiana. Gas Light Players did a fall haunted house there in 1999, called "House of Terror".
- Michael Ruscio & Andy Keir won an award from American Cinema Editors for Best Edited One-Hour Series for Television for the year 2009
- The scene in which Sookie meets Bill won the Emmy Award for Breakthrough Performance
- When the couple drive to the all-night garage they see a sign reading "We Have Tru Blood". In this sign, the letters R, E, D are highlighted in red, spelling the word Red. Red is for blood. True Blood.
- The pilot was shot in the Summer of 2007. Actress Brook Kerr originally played the role of Tara Thornton, but when the show was ordered to series she was replaced by Rutina Wesley.
- An unidentified woman is seen in the woods watching over the fight between Sookie and the Rattrays. It is implied that the unidentified woman is responsible for the telekinetic choking of Mack. This is confirmed in Season 3: the woman is Claudine, Sookie's fairy godmother.
- About 2.1 million viewers tuned into the premiere episode, with 1.4 million coming from the original 9pm broadcast and an additional 700,000 viewers from a 10:30pm rebroadcast.
Bloopers and continuity errorsEdit
- When Lafayette and Tara are talking at the bar Lafayette has a coffee cup. In one shot the handle of the coffee cup is facing left and in another it is facing right.
- "Bad Things" - Jace Everett
(True Blood opening credits theme)
- "Y'all'd Think She'd Be Good 2 Me" - C. C. Adcock
(Intro scene where couple in truck see Tru Blood sign)
- "Goodbye, Good-Lookin" - Robbie Fulks
(Inside Merlotte’s, Sookie's first appearance)
- "Soulful Garage" - Southern Culture on the Skids
(Sookie talks to Sam while leaning on the bar)
- "Until I Wake Up" - Dishwalla
(Plays when Sookie sees Bill for the first time in pre-air screeners only, not in broadcast episode)
- "The Dreaming Dead" - Jesse Sykes & the Sweet HereAfter
(Sookie turns around, as Vampire Bill sits down at a table)
- "Strange Love" - Slim Harpo
(Sookie talks to Tara as she drinks her margarita)
- "Lake Charles" - Lucinda Williams
(After fighting off the Ratray’s, Sookie and Bill get acquainted)
- "Still Beating" - Josh Ritter
(Jason comes into Merlotte’s looking for Sookie, wants to go home with Dawn)
- "Dang Good Stuff" - Kim Lenz & Her Jaguars
(Jason interrupts Sookie’s sun-bathing)
- "Bill’s Entrance" - Nathan Barr
(Plays when Sookie is walking to Bill’s table during their second meeting at Merlotte’s)
- "Stumble & Pain" - Joseph Arthur
(Plays while Sookie & Bill are talking at table)
- "Bones" - Little Big Town
(Plays over end credits)
- This episode marks the first appearances of main characters Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton, Sam Merlotte, Jason Stackhouse, Tara Thornton, Andy Bellefleur, Lafayette Reynolds, Hoyt Fortenberry, Arlene Fowler, René Lenier, Bud Dearborne, Dawn Green and Adele Stackhouse.
- This episode also marks the first appearance of vampires who are publicly known to exist by all human members of the world.
- The character of Nan Flanagan makes her first appearance in this episode. She will have a recurring role for the first three seasons of the show and become a main character during its fourth season.
- Hurricane Katrina is referenced in the opening minutes of the episode. In The Sookie Stackhouse Books, Hurricane Katrina does not occur until before the storyline of the sixth book, Definitely Dead. The first season of True Blood is based on the first book in the series yet the timeline has been moved forward for the show.
The episode title and the song is probably a reference to the mysterious chemistry between Sookie and Bill the first time they look each other.
- "I'm sorry to break it to you, baby, but you are not my only source for a good time."
- (Seeing Bill for the first time) "I've been waiting for this to happen ever since they came out of the coffin two years ago."
"I'm not so sure you even have another side; you no account backwoods trash!"
- "Hey, you just shut your nasty mouth, mister! You might be a vampire, but when you talk to me, you will talk to me like the lady that I am!"
- "No, it makes me sick that they're getting a thousand bucks to lay there and do nothing while I bust my ass for ten bucks an hour plus tips."
- "That boy is sex on a stick. I don't give a good damn how stuck up he is."
- "They ain't scared of you, honey child. They're scared of what's between your legs."
- "Shit. Sam must've lost his damn mind 'cause you should not be allowed to work in no situation where you actually gotta interact with people."
- "I know every man, whether straight, gay or George mother-fucking Bush is terrified of the pussy."
- "You know, I read in Hustler everybody should have sex with a vampire at least once before they die."
- "You willing to pass up all your favorite foods and spend the rest of your life drinking slim-fast?"
- "Oh, if he does, I would love to have him to come speak to the Descendents of the Glorious Dead. You think he might want to?"
- "What are you?"
- "Oh, but you have many other very juicy arteries. There's one in the groin that's a particular favorite of mine."
- "May I call on you sometime?" [to Sookie]
- "I can bring you back to life."
- "Oh, this ain't rude. This is uppity. (slaps manager) That's for pattin' my ass too much!"
- "Fuck me? I'll fuck you, boy. I'll fuck ya and then I'll eat ya."
Sookie: "Oh, they’re just staring at me because my brother’s in some kind of trouble with the police. But Bill, did you know Maudette Pickens?"
Bill: "I did not. They are staring at us, because I am a vampire, and you are mortal."
Lafayette: "What are you doing here?"
Tara: "I work here."
Lafayette: "Oh no the hell you don't!"
Tara: "Oh yes the hell I do too you ugly bitch. You need to make peace with that."
|True Blood Season 1|
|Season 2 >> • Season 3 >> • Season 4 >>|
|#01 "Strange Love"||#07 "Burning House of Love"|
|#02 "The First Taste"||#08 "The Fourth Man in the Fire"|
|#03 "Mine"||#09 "Plaisir D'Amour"|
|#04 "Escape from Dragon House"||#10 "I Don't Wanna Know"|
|#05 "Sparks Fly Out"||#11 "To Love Is to Bury"|
|#06 "Cold Ground"||#12 "You'll Be the Death of Me"|