by Chris Saccaro
Where last week’s episode of “True Blood” was a poor collection of random storylines, this week’s episode is where these storylines finally start to intersect, and prove that they have lasting weight. Even though the plots still haven’t progressed as much as they could have in this episode, their potential is finally being revealed.
This is especially true of the Pam/Tara relationship. Granted, Tara is still mourning the fact that she’s a vampire and Pam is still having flashback dreams of her human life–just as in last week’s episode–but now it’s all connecting. The flashbacks not only fill in the blanks of Pam’s human life and her encounters with Eric, they also provide a moral justification for Pam to care for Tara in her newborn vampire state.
While these flashbacks seemed out of place in last week’s episode (mostly due to the fact that there was just so much going on last week), this week allowed for the flashbacks to finally have a purpose. The scene in which Pam slits her wrists to coerce Eric into turning her, lest he sit there and watch her die, created an interesting parallel between her own coercion into turning Tara.
Tara becoming a vampire seems to be a catalyst for many of the other characters’ dramas this season as well. Now that Sam is (thankfully) free of his werewolf obligation, he gets involved with helping Tara, via allowing her to spend her days locked in the freezer at Merlotte’s.
As Lafayette says, doing this is like keeping a pet alligator in the bathtub. And by the end of the episode, the pet alligator has grown into an agitated vampire who cares little about the menial happenings of mortals, as Tara forces Sookie to reveal her secret to Alcide. Alcide is understandably furious, mostly because he is offended that Sookie wouldn’t trust him after he had her back this entire time.
Bill and Eric are still under arrest by The Authority. More info is slowly being revealed about this mysterious group, but the vampire politics is not handled well enough to keep my interest. I’m forced to wonder if delving this deeply into the politics of vampirism is something that this show can handle, especially when it’s paired up with the melodrama of Jason Stackhouse’s unexpected (but perfectly logical) underage sexual molestation or Sherriff Bellefluer’s nude photo scandal.
“True Blood” has always been a show about the melodramatic and supernatural happenings of the citizens of Bon Temps, with an undercurrent of vampire politics. However, this season seems to be bringing the politics to the forefront, giving it just as much attention as the show’s other shenanigans. This may be the reason that the show seems oversaturated with material. “Whatever I Am, You Made Me” did some much needed housekeeping by compressing storylines and giving them more of a purpose, but the political side of vampirism is competing with the more character based dramas of “True Blood,” which is leading to an awkward balance in storytelling.
Chris Saccaro is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.