"I don't think Jesus would mind if somebody was a vampire."
Sookie Stackhouse
"The First Taste"
Series True Blood
Season 1, Episode 2
True Blood 1x02 001.jpg
Air date September 14th, 2008
Writers Alan Ball
Director Scott Winant
Producers Alan Ball, Brian Buckner, Bruce Dunn, Bill Johnson, Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo, Nancy Oliver
Starring Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Chris Bauer, Nelsan Ellis, Jim Parrack, Carrie Preston, Michael Raymond-James, William Sanderson; with, Lynn Collins and Lois Smith
Episode guide
"Strange Love"

"The First Taste" is the second episode of season one of the HBO television series True Blood. It was directed by Scott Winant with a script written by series creator Alan Ball. It first aired on Sunday, September 14th, 2008. In this episode, Bill Compton repays Sookie Stackhouse's previous assistance by rescuing her from a revenge-driven Mack and Denise Rattray. Healing the wounded waitress with his own blood, he leaves her with temporarily enhanced senses. Sookie invites Bill over to the Stackhouse residence to meet her grandmother and brother.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Sookie bleeding

Mack and Denise Rattray want revenge against Sookie Stackhouse for running them off the previous evening. Ambushing her outside of Merlotte's, they knock he to the ground and begin kicking her repeatedly until she is spitting up blood. While she lays in anguish, the neighborhood dog comes out and begins barking at the Rattrays. Mack pulls out his gun with the intent of shooting the dog, but Sookie manages to trip him up. Before Mack can even land, something rushes by, slamming him into a tree, snapping his neck. Seconds later, Denise is hurled through the air and flies several yards before meeting her own end as she crashes into the ground. The dog, seeing that Sookie is now safe decides to leave. Moments later, Bill Compton appears. [Scene cuts to opening theme song].

At the police station, Sheriff Bud Dearborne and detective Andy Bellefleur make Jason Stackhouse watch the videotape they recovered from Maudette Pickens' apartment. The video shows Maudette and Jason engaged in rough sex. After appearing to choke her, Maudette's body goes limp and Jason believes that he has killed her. The video however, reveals that moments after Jason ran out of the apartment, Maudette stopped pretending to be unconscious and went over to turn off the video recorder. Jason is relieved to see this, for he now knows that he didn't kill her. Jason tells Dearborn and Bellefleur about the video that Maudette showed him with the vampire. He also mentions the bite marks on her thigh, suggesting that perhaps the vampire may have been responsible. Bellefleur and Dearborn wonder if the vampire on the videotape is the same man that Sookie has been seen with.

Meanwhile, Bill takes Sookie to a remote area and forces her to drink his blood. She doesn't want to out of fear that she might become a vampire, but Bill insures her that she won't. Sookie drinks blood from Bill's wrist and slowly begins to heal from her wounds.

Tara Thornton returns home and finds her mother drunk and passed out on the couch. She picks an empty vodka bottle off the floor and disposes of it. Depressed, she telephones her cousin Lafayette who is on his way to a party in Monroe. Tara wants him to pick her up. She just can't spend another evening looking after her inebriated mother. Lafayette agrees to come pick her up, but warns her that she might have to find her own way home, "in case I get lucky", he remarks.

Jason & Dawn[edit | edit source]

Dawn Green

Later in the evening, Jason is finally released and goes to his ex-girlfriend Dawn Green's house. He barges in, flops himself on the couch and begins drinking a half-empty bottle of beer. Emotionally, Jason is a wreck as he tells Dawn how he spent the entire day believing that he had killed Maudette Pickens, even though Andy had proof that he was innocent.

Back in the woods, Bill licks blood out of Sookie's open head wound. She revives and he once again asks the pressing question, "What are you?" Sookie tells him that she is telepathic, but for some reason, she cannot read Bill's mind, which is part of the reason why she is attracted to him. She doesn't have to keep her guard up around him.

Lafayette and Tara go to the party in Monroe. Tara keeps to herself until a partier named Terrell comes over and begins hitting on her. Tara has no interest in him, so she spins a story about a husband who is an assassin. Her fabrication is convincing enough that Terrell decides to move on.

Back in Bon Temps, Bill walks Sookie home. She asks him about when he was made a vampire and whether he fought in the war. When he reveals that he did serve in the Civil War, Sookie asks him to speak to members of her grandmother's organization, the Descendants of the Glorious Dead. Since he knows that this would make Sookie happy, he agrees to do it. He arranges to come by the house just after dark the following evening. Sookie turns away for but a brief moment, but when she turns back Bill is gone.

The following morning, Jason wakes up in Dawn's bed. He looks over at her and notices vampire bite marks on her thigh.

At the Stackhouse residence, Sookie and Gran watch a news program. A woman named Nan Flanagan, spokesperson for vampire rights and chairwoman of the American Vampire League engages in a debate with Reverend Theodore Newlin. Newlin is a fanatic and believes vampires are evil. After a heated exchange, he refuses to even speak directly to Nan. As the debate concludes, Sookie turns the television off. She begins eating breakfast and notices how much her senses have increased. Tara comes over to the house to visit and borrow some of Sookie's clothes. She tells Sookie that Jason was let of jail. As if on cue, Jason enters the kitchen and begins eating breakfast. Adele receives a telephone call from her friend who informs her that a tornado touched down at Four Tracks Corner and demolished the Rattrays' trailer, killing both Mack and Denise. Sookie's eyes widen, for she knows the truth about the Rattrays' death, and deduces that Bill must have staged the tornado incident to explain their deaths. She politely excuses herself and drives off to Four Tracks Corner.

When she arrives, she sees the ruins of the overturned trailer. Branches and debris are strewn everywhere and there is a strip of yellow police tape blocking off the area. Moments after she arrives Sheriff Dearborne and parish coroner Mike Spencer arrive on the scene. Dearborne warns Sookie that this is still a crime scene and that she has no business poking around. He asks her about her recent altercation with the Rattrays, and Sookie defends her actions by citing that she was defending a friend of hers. Mike Spencer unwittingly insults Sookie by asking her if her grandmother lets her associate with vampires. Sookie snaps at him and stomps back to her car.

She returns home, but as she enters the house her newly enhanced senses pick up a foul odor. She asks Gran about it, but Gran doesn't smell anything. Sookie finds the source of the bad stench, a tiny piece of food beneath some furniture. Gran eyes her warily, but quickly changes the subject. She tells Sookie that Jason and Tara will be present when Bill Compton comes to visit. Sookie is not pleased about this and doesn't feel as if she needs to be protected from the vampire.

Nocturnal visitor[edit | edit source]

Bill meets the Stackhouses.

As night falls, Sookie cleans up the house. She goes out on the front porch and begins sweeping when suddenly Bill appears. She learns that a vampire cannot enter one's private abode unless being invited first. Sookie finds this fascinating and formally invites Bill into her home. Bill meets Gran, Jason and Tara. Gran is completely infatuated with Bill, but Jason and Tara are not impressed. Bill tells them how he knew old Jonas Stackhouse, the man who originally built the Stackhouse home back in the 1850s. Tara asks Bill point-blank if he owned slaves. Bill doesn't flinch at the question and reveals that his father owned two slaves, a house slave and a yard slave. Bill asks Gran's permission to take Sookie for a walk. Jason interjects, saying that he doesn't feel as if it’s a good idea. Gran defends Bill and tells Jason that she will not tolerate rudeness in her house. Bill and Sookie leave.

They talk at length and Sookie brings up the issue of the Rattrays. She asks Bill how often he has killed in the past. He says that he has been forced to take a life from time to time and that he has also killed by accident, but with the production of Tru Blood, there is now less of a risk of him having to kill. He mentions that if need be, he can "glamour" someone into letting him drink their blood. Sookie asks him about the side-effects of all the blood she drank from him. He tells her that her senses are keener and that her sexual appetites will be more intense. Also, he will always be able to feel her presence and know where she is at all times, which could come in handy if she's ever in danger. Sookie then asks him about "glamour" what he meant by it. Bill explains that he can hypnotize people and force them to do things they would not ordinarily do. Sookie asks Bill to glamour her, but he is not comfortable with it. She presses him and he finally relents and tries to hypnotize her. To both of their surprise, it doesn't work.

Sookie tells Bill about her abilities and how she first developed the power to read minds when she was seven-years-old. Her parents were greatly concerned and took her to a child psychiatrist. The doctor knew the truth, but refused to accept the notion that Sookie had telepathic abilities. She was diagnosed with A.D.D. Bill asks her how her parents died and she tells him that they were killed in a flash flood shortly before her eighth birthday.

They continue walking until they pass through a cemetery that leads directly to the old Compton house. Bill tells her that he has been doing the majority of the home renovations himself, but has been having difficulty finding an electrician who would be willing to work at night. Sookie tells him that she could make some calls on his behalf. They stop and look at each other for a long moment and the attraction between them grows stronger until finally they begin kissing. Both of them are caught up in their passion, but Bill gets too excited and his fangs pop out. Fearful that he might lose control, he tells Sookie that he should probably walk her home.

Drama at Merlotte's[edit | edit source]

Rene defends Sookie's honor.

The next day, Jason spends the afternoon with Dawn having sex all afternoon. By the time Dawn has to get ready for work, she has Jason tied up to her bed posts. Jason wants to have one more go at it, but Dawn teases him and reminds him that she has to leave. She promises that she will be back by midnight to untie him then leaves the room. Jason doesn't appreciate Dawn's prank and tries to get free. As he hears her car pull out of the drive way, Jason grows angry.

At Merlotte's, Tara continues to serve her customers. Not exactly a "people person", she criticizes a woman named Jane Bodehouse and tells her that no matter how much she drinks, she will never find a man willing to take her home. On the other side of the bar, Sookie waits on customers and picks up the thoughts of a young man fantasizing about eating food off her breasts. As Sookie turns away, the man grabs her buttocks. Rene Lenier is present and grabs the man's arm, forcing him to apologize to Sookie. Sookie is flustered by the experience and goes into the back. She comes across Arlene and accidentally hears her thoughts as well. Arlene is late and is worried that she might be pregnant. Sookie gives her a hug, but Arlene pushes her away, offended by the fact that Sookie was listening in on her. Sam calls Sookie into his office. Sookie apologizes for listening in on people's thoughts and reminds Sam that she cannot always control her power. Sam invites Sookie to listen in on his thoughts, but she doesn't want to. She says she would have to quit if she ever learned what was going on in Sam's mind. Sam assures her that she will always have a job at Merlotte's for as long as she wishes to work there.

Meanwhile, Tara asks Dawn about whether she is getting back with Jason or not. Dawn doesn't commit to an answer, but does take note of Tara's intense interest in Jason's life. She picks up on the fact that Tara still likes Jason.

Sookie prepares to leave work. As she walks past the bar, she sees a television news broadcast which reveals that Reverend Theodore Newlin and his wife Yvette and young daughter were killed in a terrible car accident. Something about this broadcast strikes a chord in Sookie and she is reminded how a vampire will often stage accidents to cover up their actions.

She leaves work and goes to the Compton house to drop off information from the electricians she contacted. As she walks up the drive way, she sees a black Lincoln Continental with a vanity plate that reads "Fangs-1" and several vampire-related bumper stickers. She nervously knocks on the front door, but it is not Bill Compton that answers. Instead, she is greeted by three hungry vampires.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Principal Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Crew[edit | edit source]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode is rated TV-MA.
  • Actor Jim Parrack is credited in this episode, but does not make an appearance.
  • A tabloid paper found at Lettie Mae's house contains a photograph and the headline "Angelina adopts baby vampire".
  • The moderator during the Reverend Newlin/Nana Flanagan is real-world correspondent Sharon Tay playing herself. She is credited only as News Show Moderator, but is addressed by her first name in the episode. She appears again in "Nothing But the Blood".
  • Sam Merlotte has a painting of a Collie on his office wall. This foreshadows a major revelation in Sam's background in later episodes. Director Scott Winant made it a point to focus on the painting before the scene change. [2]
  • Reference is made to the VRA, which stands for the Vampire Rights Amendment. It was first mentioned in episode 1 and is one of the major political plot points of the series.
  • In the scene where Jason is having sex with Dawn, his reflection in the mirror clearly shows that he is wearing underwear even though he is supposed to be completely naked. The part where he points to himself in the mirror in triumph was not in the original script and was improvised by actor Ryan Kwanten. [2]
  • When Bill goes to visit the Stackhouses, Jason's truck is seen outside parked next to Sookie's car. When Bill and Sookie leave, the truck is gone even though Jason is still in the house.
  • The TV moderator's name is Sharon, which is also the actresses' first name, Sharon Tay. She is identified only as Show moderator in the closing credits of this episode.
  • Hallock W. Beals' character is credited as "jerk at bar" in the end-title credits. However, his character is actually sitting in a diner booth and never approaches the bar at all.
  • Actress Anna Paquin opted to not use a stunt double for the scene in the beginning where she is being kicked and beaten by Mack and Denise Rattray. Paquin stated that she enjoys playing in fight scenes or scenes where her characters get beaten up. [3]
  • A prosthetic arm was used in place of Stephen Moyer's actual arm in the scene where Sookie Stackhouse drinks his blood. The prosthetic was operated by Daniel Q. Rebert. Anna Paquin actually consumed a copious amount of fake blood, which she admitted was quite bland and disgusting. [3]
  • In the flashback scene, Sookie Stackhouse is eight-years-old. The novel, Dead Until Dark, establishes that Sookie is twenty-five at the start of the series, making the year that her parents died 1991.
  • This is the first appearance of Mike Spencer, who becomes a recurring supporting character on the series. He makes seventeen appearances on the show in total. He appears next in "Escape from Dragon House".

Bloopers[edit | edit source]

  • In the scene where Jason is having sex with Dawn, his reflection in the mirror clearly shows that he is wearing underwear even though he is supposed to be completely naked.
  • When Bill goes to visit the Stackhouses, Jason's truck is seen outside parked next to Sookie's car. When Bill and Sookie leave, the truck is gone even though Jason is still in the house.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Jason Stackhouse: I never met that vampire. I never met any vampire and I hope to hell I never do.



  • Sookie Stackhouse: Please, Jason. You don't even have enough sense to know when to pour piss out of a boot.


  • Bill Compton:You have to invite me in. Otherwise, it's physically impossible for me to enter a mortal's home.


  • Sookie Stackhouse: Other people suspect or they think I'm psychic. Most people just think I'm crazy.


  • Lafayette Reynolds: You might gotta find your own ride home, just in case I get lucky.
  • Tara Thornton: Whatchu mean if you get lucky? Your standards are so low you always get lucky.


  • Bill Compton: May I ask you a personal question?
  • Sookie Stackhouse: Bill, you were just licking blood out of my head. I don't think it gets much more personal than that.

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Credited, but does not appear in this episode.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Winant, Scott; True Blood: The Complete First Season; DVD; Audio commentary.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Paquin, Anna; True Blood: The Complete First Season; DVD; Audio commentary.
  4. Southern Vampire Mysteries; "Dead Until Dark".

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