“First Kiss” introduces two parallel storylines as an unlikely love story begins with flashes of sex and violence.
This recap of First Kill season 1, episode 1, “First Kiss”, contains spoilers.
Meet Juliette, your average mild-mannered teen drama protagonist. She doesn’t fit in, she fulfills narration duties, she’s a bit sexually repressed, and she’s gay. But Juliette has a secret, and not a particularly well-kept one. She has various crippling symptoms that require her to pop blood-red capsules on the regular. The pills are that color because they’re literally blood, and Juliette is a vampire, from a family of bloodsuckers whose existence is a well-kept secret.
First Kill season 1, episode 1 recap
This is the first way in which “First Kiss” sends First Kill veering away from the usual genre stereotypes. Another is that Juliette manages to fill both the popular and socially awkward archetypes at the same time by inheriting social status from her lifelong best friend, Ben Wheeler, a star athlete who also happens to be gay.
But the big “twist”, so to speak, comes around the midpoint. After Juliette sets her sights on new girl Calliope, aka Cal, we begin to fall into typical teen-drama patterns, with the hook being that we’re not entirely sure if Juliette is pursuing Cal for a sexual relationship or as the target of her titular first kill, a coming-of-age moment for vampires whose urges are too strong for the capsules to suppress. Perhaps it’s both. At a house party, a game of spin the bottle leads Juliette and Cal to a private room, where they begin to kiss and a little more besides. Juliette’s fangs come out, and she seems to plunge them right into Cal’s neck…
At which point, we switch to Cal’s perspective, including her narration. We learn how she’s from a family of monster hunters, and she also feels a little isolated, mostly because she’s somewhat behind the curve in the development of her monster-killing skills, especially in relation to her brothers, Theo and Apollo, both of whom have already racked up several kills while Cal is still waiting on her first.
It’s difficult to get a sense of First Kill’s otherworldly elements from this premiere. We know there are vampires, both “daywalkers” like Juliette and her family, and another kind that Cal encounters in a graveyard during a routine hunt with her brothers, halfway between a vampire and a zombie. But then there are actual zombies, or something close to them, which everyone refers to as “ghouls”. What else is in store here? We’ll have to wait and see what the CGI budget can handle.
But the crucial point is that Cal knows Juliette is a vampire. She can just tell. So while Juliette is plotting her first kill, so is Cal, and when we return to that saucy kissing scene, we see Juliette take a bite, and then Cal immediately stabs her in the chest with a vampire-killing stake.
Quite a cliffhanger.