.

'True Blood' Recap: Second Chances and Ulterior Motives

Pam's backstory is further revealed, Salome exercises her power and Tara's rampage continues

June 24, 2012 10:05 PM ET
true blood
Kristin Bauer van Straten in 'True Blood.'
John P. Johnson

The origin stories continue with "Whatever I Am, You Made Me," which finally gives us a look at how Pam was turned. But the episode makes broader strokes in both the human and supernatural worlds, as Jason has an ephiphany about his oversexed lifestyle and Alcide wrestles with his were loyalties. But, continuing the Season Five trend, it's really the origins of the vampires, both political and biological, that are the most captivating.

Vampires
After allowing quick comments from the Chancellors, the Guardian/Roman tells Salome to stay after dismissing the others with "bless the blood." "The only thing more dangerous than a martyr is a 3,000-year-old vamp who hasn't fed in a year," he explains to Bill and Eric, adding that he won't have his mainstreaming agenda thwarted by Russell Edgington's continued existance. "We'll bring him in, or we'll die trying," Bill promises.

Roman orders his underlings to "send in the new Nan Flanagan!" And in walks a kiss-ass Steve Newlin. "It is an honor to be of service," he grins, and Roman proceeds to explain, "Nan Flanagan, may the cold bitch rest in peace, went on CNN and told everyone Russell Edgington met the True Death more than a year ago." Steve's task is to do damage control, and he's a little too overeager and ballsy for Roman's likingwhen he says humans are 100% motivated by fear. "All they want is to feel safe ... So you tell me what you want 'em to believe, and I'll sell it to 'em." Roman is aghast he's mocking humans, the race that birthed all vampires into existence, but Salome maintains Steve can be valuable if they give him a chance, thanks to his religious right connections. "I was new once. All I wanted to do was feed, fuck and kill. Took me centuries to realize humans aren't just talking meat," Roman reflects, educating his underling on the Sanguinista faction. "They believe in nothing, they've learned nothing from history. If we do not evolve – if we continue to behave like fucking savages, humans will rise up ... right now, this council is the only thing preventing a civil war. That is why I need you, Steven." Steve pledges he won't let him down, cocky grin and all. Is there an ulterior motive? Or is he just riding high on his vampire wave still?

Bill and Eric are each affixed with high-tech harnesses. "There's an app for that," the tech vampire explains. Seriously. The harness tracks their every move, and one push of a button on the app triggers their destruction. "So, do yourselves a favor, and don't fuck around. You guys are too cute to be goo," she warns. They may not be fucking around, but Salome is certainly having her share of fun, seducing first Bill, then Eric. We learn that she's actually that Salome – the biblical one who helped deliver John the Baptist's head on a platter, which leaves Bill and Eric wondering what her actual motives are. She claims to Roman that her motives were purely to determine whether they were Sanguinistas. They're not. "Sanguinistas are unshakeable in their beliefs. Mr. Compton is still looking for something to believe in, and Mr. Northman only believes in himself," she explains.

Speaking of Sanguinistas, Nora confesses to being one to save Eric and Bill and avoid confessing her relationship with Eric. But it may not matter, as Godric had told Salome that Eric and Nora were vampire siblings. But Salome does not relay this to Roman, at least not now. "I think we can trust them," she says of Bill and Eric as Roman approaches her, confidently saying that nothing will thwart his plans for mainstreaming as long as Salome is his secret weapon. It seems quite right that Bill's observation that Salome always gets what she wants – the question is, what does she want? And whose side is she really on?

Meanwhile, Pam continues to mourn her missing maker, and we finally get to see how she came to be a vampire. Back in 1905 in San Francisco, Lorena and a newly turned (read: too big for his britches) Bill were responsible for feasting on the women at Pam's brothel. She looks on as Eric schools Lorena in overstepping her boundaries: "It's the lady you owe the apology to." "And $500 for every girl you drained," Pam adds. Eric tasks Lorena with getting Bill under control as they zoom off, leaving Pam and Eric. Their post-coital conversation turns into Pam casually asking Eric to turn her, leading to negotiations that are close to home for Pam's current predicament: "Make me and leave me," she begs, after Eric refuses to turn her despite her protestations that women of her kind become pariahs in old age. "Would you toss a newborn baby in a gutter? Abandoning a newborn vampire is no different. Becoming a maker is an eternal commitment." She gets what she wants by slitting her wrists and forcing him into turning her: "Let me walk the world with you, Mr. Northman, or watch me die." For a woman as self-reliant as Pam was (pre- and post-turn), Eric is her undeniable weakness. One has to wonder if it was him or his vampire status (or both?) – would the same thing have happened with another vampire? And how intriguing is it that 1905 Eric and 1905 Bill swapped personalities with their present-day nemesis?

Humans, Shifters and Vampires
The only time Tara isn't rife with anger at her current existence is when she's gone to the ground, as are the moments when she discovers the sharpness of her senses: the detailing of the cosmos, the sensory overload out in nature ... But her self-loathing always wins – she stops herself from killing an innocent girl after catching a glimpse of her reflection in the girl's car, despite having not fed. She goes to Sam, who feeds her endless bottle of True Blood after endless bottle of True Blood and puts her in the walk-in freezer after promising not to reveal her whereabouts to Sookie or Lafayette. That plan is destroyed the second Sookie shows up for work that afternoon and read's Sam's thoughts, which go something like "Boobs, boobs, boobs. Think about anything but the walk-in . . . shit!"

"She was going to die! The less you know about that, the better, for your own good. If you hate me, it's fine," Sookie explains in a panicked rush. Sam allows that he understands why Sookie turned Tara after wondering if he should have done the same thing for his brother. "The way I see it, you gave Tara another chance. It may not be the kind of life she had in mind, but it's up to her now what she wants to do with it." Such foreshadowing, Mr. Merlotte. Despite Lafayette calling Sam's plan akin to "keeping a pet gator in a bathtub," there's no human loss in Merlotte's – unless you count Tara's dream of killing Arlene or her actually waking up and slicing Lafayette's arm. Sam, Sookie, Alcide and Arlene walk in to find Lafayette on the floor and Tara emerging from the freezer. Sookie tries to play dumb; Tara calls her out on it. Such is the problem with turning your best friend into a vamp. "All I can think about is ripping out y'alls fucking throats out," Tara says, every word laced with venom. "So stay the hell away from me, for your own sakes, or I swear to God I'll do it." But Tara's never been one to lash out physically against others, and her path of self destruction takes her to downtown Bon Temps, where she breaks into the beauty store, gets inside the tanning bed and turns it on. Miles away, at Fangtasia, Pam's maternal instinct kicks in as much as it possibly can. "You stupid bitch."

Favorite Couple: Salome and Bill/Eric. It's not so much Salome's undeniable seduction skills as it is how Bill and Eric react to them that makes their scenes stand out.

Winning Species: Fairies. Vampires keep holding strong, but the fairies make a brilliant – and brief – return just when you think they've have stopped creating craziness in Bon Temps ... and you know it means more is just around the corner.

Losing Species: Werewolves. The infighting and drama doesn't bode well for any of them, and we didn't get to see Emma the wolf cub again.

Previously: Don't Fight Authority

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