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True Blood – Whatever I Am, You Made Me

It was never going to be a matter of if, but when True Blood would deliver us its first “so what?” episode of the season. Episode three, “Whatever I Am, You Made Me,” was just that. Progressing the plot perhaps even slower than its already snail-like predecessors, Sunday’s outing just didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure, by episode’s end some storylines had moved from A to B, but even the ones that did were done in such a drawn-out fashion that I was almost angry at them for wasting my time on such little development. 

Not to be a complete downer, I will start with some positives by talking about the return to Pam’s past. Last week, I mentioned the potential for some development on the Pam-front, with Eric out of her life for the time being, but wasn’t certain whether we’d actually get any. To my surprise, it didn’t take us long at all to get back to 1905. What we saw this time was Pam’s second encounter with Eric after he saved her in last week’s flashback. Before she could repay the debt using her particular skill set, Mr. Northman smelled blood and so we found out what happened to the dead prostitute last time around: vampires (if there was any ambiguity). 

The following scene was the low-point of the flashbacks for me as two of the blood-suckers were revealed to be Bill and his maker Lorena. A completely unnecessary and highly coincidental occurrence, the scene loosely served two purposes. One, it allowed Eric to express the importance of being a good maker and two, it made me angry at the writers. In the very next flashback scene, Eric explicitly stated the responsibilities of being a maker, only further negating the need for the scene, but…what’s done is done. In the end, Pam, dissatisfied with her life as an aging human, forced Eric into turning her by slashing her own wrists. An interesting and slightly tragic twist to a story that has hopefully only just begun. 

Back in the present, Tara’s turning took a slightly more prominent role this week than any other plot thread, and it wasn’t entirely a bad thing. When Tara’s fate was revealed, I was worried that she was going to become whiney and annoying instead of appropriately self-loathing, and for 90 percent of the episode she was exactly that. For the other 10 percent however, she set about doing herself harm. No matter what I type, I’m not going to sound good saying that I want the character to kill herself, but as far as the story goes right now, it is what makes sense. 

Tara has never liked vampires, and since her turning she has spent her few speaking moments being angry at what she is and the people responsible for making her that way. In my eyes, the logical conclusion to her predicament is simply to off herself. As the episode wound down, Tara treated her UV-allergic-self to a nice tanning session, but I find it hard to believe that she’d choose that as a method of anything other than torture. If she had any sense, Tara could simply stake herself and get it all over with, but no, that would be too easy and realistic. Instead, I feel that we’re in for some mothering from Pam who continues to feel lost without Eric. 

While I think it’s in the show’s best interest to lose Tara, I haven’t seen where this mothering thread might lead. Last week, I suggested that there might be some room for development in that regard, perhaps softening Pam whilst strengthening Tara, but I’ll remain skeptical until I actually see the outcome. As time has passed, I have lost more and more faith in the True Blood writing staff to pull off anything convincingly, let alone managing to turn a suicidal vampire-hating vampire into just a regular old fang. Odds are that having saved Tara from one death already, the writers aren’t sending her anywhere soon, so for now I’ll just sit here with my fingers crossed that someone knows how to write a script. 

Slightly on the back-burner but nevertheless important, we spent a little more time with Bill, Eric and The Authority as the boys’ offer to take down Russell or die trying was considered. After the shortest of debates over the biggest of subjects, The Guardian decided to extend the King and his Sheriff the slightest bit of trust, having the two harnessed with irremovable stakes to ensure their obedience. As the straps were tightened, Steve Newlin’s continued role in the story outside of being a gay vampire-American was revealed: he is the new Nan Flanagan. 

With Nan having prematurely announced to the world that Russell Edgington is dead, The Authority is preparing themselves for damage control and, despite my dislike of the Newlin character, things could be headed in a positive direction. With a couple of solo scenes already, the various members of The Authority are hopefully being set up for some of their own scenes absent Bill or Eric. When Russell eventually returns or the Sangunistas make a move, it could be fairly interesting to see some of the barely-present vampire politics that we’ve been waiting a couple of years for now. The cast seems more than capable and the potential arc seems more interesting than a lot of what is making it to screen right now.

Elsewhere in The Authority’s bat cave, Nora continued to be tortured for information on the Sanguinista Movement. After slightly worse punishment than Bill and Eric received, she finally confessed her allegiance to the rebels when her brother’s life was threatened. What this means in the long-run is difficult to say; a confession from Nora means that she is set for the true death but neither Bill nor Eric is likely to allow that to happen without a fight. Further, Salome revealed to Eric that she knows of their relationship, having mentored Nora and being responsible for her rise in The Authority. With stakes to their chests I’m not sure how they’ll manage to pull it off, but it seems more and more likely that a double-cross is going to be required if Bill, Eric and Nora are going to make it out of this alive (they’re dead, but you get what I mean). 


As I went into B-story overload last week, I’ll keep it to the cliff notes this time: Jason crossed paths with an old flame and realized that sex doesn’t solve everything, Jessica met a man that smelled really good, Hoyt was in a dark place, Andy and Holly took it to the next level whilst Terry and Patrick headed off to find answers and the investigation into Debbie’s disappearance forced Sookie into telling Alcide what happened that night. When it comes down to it, personal preference is going to dictate your interest in any of that, but for the uninformed, let it be known that if you didn’t see any of it you wouldn’t be worse off. 

Rating
7.0

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