Break out the champagne and Tru Blood! Finally, an episode of True Blood that didn’t suck.
Things happened. Lots of things happened and they were, by turns, exciting, heartbreaking, funny, and a welcome relief. And all this was without Russell. I was enjoying the regular cast so much, I forgot to wish for him to return and liven things up. It’s good to know that this show can still get my blood pumping when it reigns in the manufactured drama and just lets the characters be themselves.
The night belonged to Pam and Tara, hands-down. Right off the bat we get Pam commanding Tara to never attempt suicide again. Sure, it’s not quite as satisfying as Tara deciding this for herself, but after watching Tara self-destruct season after season, I’m glad Pam said what most viewers were thinking. Tara can still be a bitter, angry mess, but at least we’ll get less scenes of her trembling lower lip as she cries for herself.
Granted, Pam didn’t command her to be a better character, but it’s a start. I like vampire Tara. She’s keeping it real, especially when it comes to calling out Sookie on messing up everyone’s lives and always having some poor (usually preternaturally attractive) fool save her ass.
It really was open season on Sookie at the start of the episode. First Lafayette, then Jason’s look of disbelief at his sister’s confession, then Tara and the crowd at Merlotte’s.
We have seen Sookie get herself out of some sticky situations — tonight she jumped out of a possessed car— but yeah, she does play the damsel in distress more often than not. Watching Sookie throw a pity-party is somehow more enjoyable than watching Tara do the same. Maybe it’s because a part of me totally gets how some people can hate Sookie and the drama that clings to her. Not all of it is her fault, but, yeah, this season... she totally deserves to get hated on a bit.
And then she cries about it a bit, feels a little sorry for herself, then tries to set things right. And then gets adorably drunk on fruity cocktails and gets herself in over her head all over again.
The Debbie Pelt murder case was wrapped up rather neatly. Just like Tara said, not one, but two fools came to Sookie’s rescue on this one. Alcide is a true friend to get Debbie’s grieving parents to skip town. And Joe Manganiello is more than a very nice pair of abs. You could really tell Alcide was wrestling with his lie and his own grief. And lucky for Sookie that her brother is dating a vampire that can glamour the sheriff away.
Sookie really didn’t quite earn those fruity cocktails. How is Sookie going to learn to change her life-wrecking ways if someone else fixes her problems and rewards her with hot and heavy makeout sessions?
The most heartwrenching part of the episode belonged to Pam and Eric. For the past two weeks, we’ve been seeing Pam’s past and wondering where it would lead. Sadly, it wasn’t to a warm reunion with her maker. Quite the opposite. It’s become rare to see a tender moment between Pam and Eric the past two seasons, it’s just ironic that the nicest Eric’s been to her was when he was releasing her.
Roman forcing Eric to wear an iStake wasn’t enough to convince me that Eric is in danger of the true death, but Eric telling Pam to protect herself and carry on his legacy? That seems much more real. I loved the little moment between Bill and Jessica immediately following that. “I did well,” Bill says with pride as he sees the smart, very observant vampire he raised.
And I liked that Pam was all business in her next scene with Tara. I was wondering what she’d do. (Well, I think Pam would’ve fixed her eye makeup before getting down to vampire-training, personally.) Pam isn’t one to sit and cry for long. She’s a survivor. I loved her telling Tara something similar. That and that vampires are at the top of the food chain and humans are there to savor. Will this finally turn Tara into a fun person?
I’m still not quite in love with Andy’s comic relief scenes, but they paid off nicely this week and he even roped Jason into a storyline, too. How fabulous was that fairy-refugee burlesque show? That place gives Fangtasia a run for its money. And we got to see some familiar fey faces, like Andy’s former fling Maurella and Jason and Sookie’s ditzy cousin Hadley. The way she always says the wrong thing, you can kind of see her relation to the Stackhouses. I haven’t read the books, so learning that vampires killed Sookie and Jason’s parents came as a surprise. It’s been a long time since anyone mentioned them. Now this is a juicy mystery for Jason to go chasing after.
Elsewhere in Bon Temps:
- Someone’s bumping off Sam’s shifter friends. Guess he’ll have to pay Luna a visit to make sure she’s safe.
- What are we to make of Lafayette’s possession by bad rubber mask? It’s getting stronger.
- Terry and the dude from Felicity took a roadtrip and MY GOD WHO GIVES A SHIT?
- How convenient was it that the second traitor on the Council just so happened to be the worst actor? So long, brat. And is the vampire mainstreaming movement powered by Mac?
True Blood airs Sundays at 9PM E/PT on HBO.
Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com. She covers True Blood, Game of Thrones, and is also an avid gamer. She has also covered tech and TV for Geektress.com and Action Flick Chick. Follower her on Twitter @tdelucci