True Blood S05E03: Whatever I Am, You Made Me

This week’s True Blood felt like consolidating our learnings from last week, just to make sure we caught all the Vampire Politics chat. This week’s pros: Jess/Jason, Past Pam/Past Eric, the continuing buddy comedy going on at Authority HQ; cons: Tara, Sookie, Stop Being Mean to Lafayette You Guys, The Fact That Neither Terry Nor Hoyt Have Anything Cool To Do. Calling it now: one of these guys will be the ‘major character’ to be shuffled off this year.

Let’s start off with the good stuff. This is totally Pam’s year. From the little touches (Vampire Texting, Vampire Paperwork) to the bigger storyline, she’s being more than renumerated for the lousy melty face thing from last year. San Francisco got a little too Romance Novel this week (even by True Blood standards), as we visit a remarkably clean and photogenic brothel which has no men in charge of it because ~empowerment~, but then they trot out a bit of a clunker of a racial stereotype and we shake our heads and go oh, True Blood. Just because you’re in1905 doesn’t mean you gotta keep the attitudes, you guys!

We learn that Pam not only stood up to 1905 Vintage Vampires Bill and Lorena, who kept murdering her ‘merchandise’ and demanded cashbux in damages (cool), but forced Eric to turn her to save her from death, in a weird not-quite echo of her progeny (problematic). This feels like a let-down for a bad-ass character, who loses a lot of her apparent ballsiness by literally giving up her life when she has already demonstrated her capacity for dealing with a lot worse, reasoning that she doesn’t want to be an old madam in charge of a brothel. This thread loses further impact by the fact that Eric is off galavanting with Salome (of John the Baptist Fame) at the Authority Sleepover Club while Pam pines away at home.

Not really sure I buy Jason’s new ‘I’ve seen the light and shagging everything with or without a pulse isn’t enough anymore’ turn, particularly when it’s triggered by a random encounter (entirely of his own making) with his old schoolteacher. It feels a little like it’s talking to the fandom about the whole Panther People Rape thing from which JS has made a swift and sterling recovery. Meh. It’s a little harsh on the lady, who barely features in Jason’s emotional arc, but it’s by no means the dumbest thing the show’s done. On the plus side, looks like we’re going to get some Jesson hangout fun and the show attempting to prove men and women can be friends! Provided they’ve done it a bunch of times first! Yey?

Considering the literal years of build-up, finding that The Authority is basically a boardroom and the penthouse suite of the Vampire Hilton in a basement is a wee bit meh. On the plus side, there’s Tina Majorino as a (shock) short-haired quirky tech lady, and her scene with Bill & Eric is about as cute as attaching Battle Royale collars for vampires could hope to be. Later Salome monologues about her sexually fraught past the way literally every character on the show has to do at some point, then has sex with both Bill and Eric to gain their trust (Eric: ‘Are you lonely? Is this how you make friends?’), and what we take from this thread is that Salome can tell whether our boys are Sanguinista (that is still a dumb word, TB) by the sheer sleuthing power of her lady business, so that’s fine. And to no-one’s particular surprise she’s Christopher Meloni’s Vampire Pal too and this episode sure likes getting her into sexy situations! Anyway, blah blah Christopher Meloni’s torso.

Could TB lay off Lafayette for a little bit? There’s a moment when Sookie is trying to get him to calm down and be a good little accomplice to murder and tells him to go out and be his fabulous self. And I remember that self. Back in season one, before the show started pooping on him and he could get Jason to dance for drugs and was generally unstoppable. I don’t much care for this whole demon-possessed thing either, just seems like more ways to avoid making him the force he used to be in Bon Temps. Shrug.


So, The Sookie Problem. It falls to our friend Pamela to highlight how often our hero gets her messes cleaned up by other folks, and her impatience with her is kind of understandable. Considering all the stuff Pam has just dealt with emotionally, for Sookie to march in and inform her that everything with her and Eric and Bill is ‘done’, it really does seem kinda small potatoes. And then she does a quarter-circle back+punch and fairy-hadoukens Pam across the room. Dick move, Stackhouse!

The episode basically wraps up (save for the inevitably copout cliffhanger) with Alcide being pretty upset that she murdered Debbie, even though Debbie tried to kill her and did kill Tara. Alcide is gone, and for the first time in forever there aren’t any supernatural hunks chasing after Sookie. Feels weird!

In brief:

  • Steve Newlin is the new Nan Flanagan, and I am so pleased. Hooray for Vampire Steve.

  • Sam counters Sookie’s mind powers by thinking about her boobs and how she smells.
  • More fairies. Sigh.
  • Terry is going away to have his little side-plot. They even give him some great Terrylines to remind us of how cool he used to be.
  • Hoyt in eyeliner. Poor Hoyt.
  • Sherriff Andy and Holly are a thing. Okay.
  • Officer Kevin! Yay!
  • Eric and Bill’s faces when they realise they’ve both slept with Salome. Weird pals.
  • Terrible Nora has gone full Dick Van Dyke. True Death please, table one.
this has never happened in Surrey or any other Home County
  • Tara decides to commit Vampire Suicide by tanning booth, which is simultaneously ridiculous and fantastic, and Pam’s face is my face.

So another pretty decent bit of schlocky tv fun, and but for a couple of questionable storylines it seems like everyone is enjoying themselves out there. There are some nice little touches, and a couple of great shouts (ahem Newlin ahem), enough to get me back next week at the very least. Next week: demons and fairies and werewolves, oh my.

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