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'True Blood' Recap: Loyalty Reigns

Pam and Tara learn to embrace their new roles, Alcide proves his devotion to Sookie – and the fairies return

July 1, 2012 10:05 PM ET
true blood tara
Rutina Wesley as Tara in 'True Blood.'
John P. Johnson

There were no farewells in "We'll Meet Again" (the True Death of Authority Chancellor and "kid" vampire Alexander Drew notwithstanding), but the WWII-era song was an appropriate title for this week's episode because it centered around several characters letting go of one kind of life – and embracing a new version of it. Pam is now Tara's maker, rather than Eric's progeny, placing her in a position of power she never even fathomed in her first century as an immortal. Tara began to accept her thirst for blood, and her place in the Bon Temps vampire community, thus drawing her farther away from her human loved ones. And Sookie or Drunk Sookie, I should say, because it was as if we were introduced to an entirely different (and entirely awesome) character once she raided Gran's liquor cabinet – answered the wishes of millions of Team Alcide fans when she decided to give werewolf love a go.

Vampires

The Authority's conditional release of Bill and Eric – so that they can hunt down Russell Edgington – felt like an afterthought in this episode because it was the developing relationship between Pam and Tara that drove the vampire plot. To her initial disgust, Pam is physically incapable of ignoring her newborn. Her speed-bookkeeping interrupted, she zips over to the beauty salon and stops Tara from deep-frying herself in a tanning bed by pulling the old reliable "As your maker I command you. . . ." But Pam's concern for her progeny is genuine, especially once she takes a gander at Tara's charbroiled skin. I guess after her little facial-decomposition incident last season, Pam's a tad more sympathetic to these kinds of cosmetic mishaps. This may be the only time Pam has ever exhibited any sort of love or sentiment for anyone, besides Eric, and it's of a different, gentler nature. Like the love of a mother for her daughter.

Pam takes Tara back to Fangtasia, by which time Tara's burns have completely healed. (Drat, her drippy skin had me hoping for a Dr. Ludwig appearance.) Bill and Eric are waiting. Bill tries to give Tara a vampire pep talk, but she's not having any of it. Vampire or human, she's just as bitter as she always was, only now she hates Sookie too. And who could blame her? "There will always be some fool there to take a bullet for her," she snipes. At least by now, Tara has changed out of the blood-stained clothes she's been wearing since the end of last season. Unfortunately, it's just into a red Fangtasia T-shirt. Here's hoping we don't have to wait much longer for Tara to enter her hot, sexy vampire phase – I'm dying to see what the costume designers are going to do with her.

Meanwhile, Eric's reunion with Pam isn't going so well. Since only four people knew Russell's whereabouts (Bill, Eric, Pam and Alcide), Eric suspects Pam was involved with the 3,000-year-old vampire's escape – placing her in a choke hold to prove his point. Although Pam is insulted that Eric would trust Bill and "a werewolf" over her, she insists she would die a thousand times before betraying her maker. Her pleas are enough to convince Eric that she is innocent, but a couple of days later, amid bloody tears, Eric releases Pam from his control in order to protect her from Russell's warpath. Eric gives Pam an even greater task, however: Nurture his legacy. "I need you to live when I'm gone," he says. He reminds her that she is now a maker, and as such, "Our blood will thrive." That's a lot of pressure on Tara, but still, she may just be the badass they need.

Pam's first order of business is to teach her progeny how to feed off of humans. She presents a very willing fang-banger named Melanie, but Tara, still grappling with her quickly dissipating humanity, resists until Pam commands that she take a bite. Once Tara's fangs have sunken into Melanie's succulent neck, Pam gently guides her through the process so she doesn't accidentally kill the girl – and speaks the words Tara has been longing to hear her entire life: "No human can hurt you any longer." Tara has been emotionally destroyed by her mother, a lunatic maenad, a psychopathic vampire and a tyrannical witch. She's never really recovered from losing Eggs, and of all the True Blood characters, her deal always seemed the rawest. As Pam purrs, "This is who you are now, the top of the chain," it's like mother's milk to her. For once, Tara has a reason to live, to no longer be afraid.

But the question remains – was Pam telling the truth to Eric about Russell? When she whispers to Tara, "[Humans] are yours to savor," it sounds an awful lot like Sanguinista talk.

Humans, Weres and Fairies

Sookie's confession to Alcide in Merlotte's parking lot about Debbie's death didn't do too much to ease her conscience. After Alcide drives off in anger (more because Sookie kept a secret from him, not over the fact that she shot his ex-fiancée in cold blood. Seriously, this girl literally gets away with murder), a thoroughly spooked Lafayette lays into Sookie for her loose lips. He calls her the "angel of death" and spits venom at her for "leaving a trail of bodies behind." This tirade was most likely spurred by Lafayette's minor brujo demon possession earlier that evening/last episode (bleach gumbo, anyone?), which, while scary, just goes to show that Jesus hasn't truly left Bon Temps.

BTW, is it me, or is this the first time since Season One that Sookie has actually worked at Merlotte's for a full shift?

Lafayette and Tara do have a point when it comes to Sookie's role in Bon Temps' high body count. So you can't blame Sookie for snapping – and going to Jason's house to turn herself in. "I'm sick of lyin' and coverin' and ruining people's lives!" she pleads to her brother. But Jason, who has become more clear-headed with each passing episode, goes all Don Draper on his sister: "This conversation never happened," he tells Sookie after she spills her guts over Debbie's death, Tara becoming a vampire – and Lafayette's role as her accomplice.

Except the conversation did happen, and Jessica was there to hear the whole thing. As she's proven so far this season, she may not want to be tied down to one person, but that doesn't mean she's not fiercely loyal to her friends. The next evening, Andy takes a call from Debbie's parents, ostensibly concluding the search for their daughter (Alcide told the Pelts that Marcus Bozeman killed her), but now that he's off the V and back to being a good detective, Andy tells Jason that he still smells a rat. Jess, sensing Jason's fear, bursts in and glamours the sheriff into completely forgetting about the name Debbie Pelt.

But Sookie is hardly out of danger. She narrowly misses getting herself killed after Lafayette-as-demon chants some brujo spell onto her car, causing the brakes to fail – anyone else notice how she just walked away from being thrown out of a moving vehicle? Maybe it's the fairy blood. So she takes solace in Gran's liquor stash, and we are treated to the indelible image of a wasted Sookie Stackhouse singing "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)." Alcide stops by and admits that he lied to the Pelts to protect Sookie – between that revelation and several Orange Marzipans, Sookie's all in for a were hookup. As they begin making out, a shadowy, forlorn figure watches from outside the window. It's Bill, and he's crushed to see that his beloved has moved on. (Good, I don't want to see them back together yet, if at all.) But it sounds like he may be letting his jealousy steer his decisions. He tells Eric (who shows up as well, naturally) that he's going to use Sookie in their hunt for Russell: "I don't think we'd give her a choice." Not so sure using force will have her running back into your arms, Bill.

Finally, the fairies' brief appearance last week was indeed foreboding. It looks like they're back in full force to wreak havoc on Bon Temps and to steal back their long-lost kin. Jason and Andy are invited for a dudes' night out by Judge Clements, only to be taken through a portal (in the field where Jessica chased the sweet-smelling male fairy last week) into what looks like Moulin Rouge 2012. Except the courtesans are fairies and Sookie and Jason's cousin Hadley (a.k.a. Queen Sophie-Anne's former lover) is one of the employees. In her excitement over seeing Jason, Hadley lets it slip that the club is a "fairy safe house," oh, and that Jason and Sookie's parents weren't killed by a flood – they were killed by vampires. Before Jason can extract more information out of her, two male fairy bouncers eject him and Andy out of the club (and out of the portal), but not before unleashing a heavy dose of light power onto both of them.

Favorite couple: Pam and Tara. Pam is the furthest thing from warm and fuzzy, but she may just be the best mother Tara has ever known.

Winning Species: Werewolves. For the sole reason that they won over the heart of Sookie Stackhouse, at least for the time being.

Losing Species: Shape-shifters. We're down just two now – the other half of Sam and Luna's shifter support group receiving inexplicable, identical gunshot wounds to the head this episode. 

Previously: Second Chances and Ulterior Motives

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