I was expecting a lot from this episode and was disappointed. It wasn’t terrible, but it just didn’t live up to my hopes. That said, there were some nice little touches.
What I loved:
- Let’s start with what I loved, loved, loved. Check out the way they framed the first glimpse we have of Pam in bed with Eric in 1905, with Pam turned towards the outside of the bed and Eric running his fingers over her shoulder and arm from behind:
(Thanks to Askarsgard.com for this screen cap from 5.3, “Whatever I Am, You Made Me.”)
This mirrors the way they framed the first shot we have of Sookie’s initial dream about Eric after she has his blood in season 2:
(Thanks to true-blood.net for this screencap from 2.9 “I Will Rise Up.”)
The similarities do not end with the look of the shot. With both Pam and Sookie, the discussion with Eric revolves around whether or not he should make them a vampire. Pam is making the case for why she should be turned although Eric is reluctant because of the solemnity with which he holds the maker/progeny bond; in contrast, Sookie, is arguing the case for why she would not make a good vampire while Eric is trying to persuade her that she should be turned.
So, what does it mean? Well, hell if I know, friends, but that they took time to set it up this way seems significant to me.
- Loved that Eric takes being a Maker so seriously and that he feels it is the highest bond there is. “Becoming a maker is an eternal commitment. Greater than any marriage, deeper than any human bond.” I think that comparison was very deliberate foreshadowing of a marriage/vampire-human bond with Sookie that is going to challenge his maker/progeny bond with Pam. Yes, I know I am in crazy fanfiction writer mode there, but I’m going with it for now.
- Loved that Bill and Lorena were draining the prostitutes (as I predicted, woohoo!) and that Lorena was scared out of her Victorian boots in dealing with Eric.
- Enjoyed it when Tara told the girl she attacked that she was sorry for trying to bite her.UPDATE: I didn’t think of this yesterday, but someone else pointed it out. A BRAND-NEW BABY VAMP stopped herself from biting a woman. She had self control. Um, Bill Compton, explain again why you couldn’t control yourself in biting Sookie in the back of that van?
- Loved the zipping vampire guards hauling off Eric and Bill.
- Steve Newlin as the new Nan Flanagan!
- Pam’s response to Sookie asking for help. As usual, Pam speaks the truth about Eric’s business with Bill always being about Sookie. At least up until now.
- The numerous shout-outs to Charlaine Harris’s version of Bon Temps: the Elvis sighting, Curl Up and Fry (although I believe it is Curl Up and Dye in the books), and Tracey’s Togs (Tara’s Togs in the books.)
- Molly the vamp tech installing the i-Stake (with app.) “Knows who you had for breakfast and where you go to ground.” Ha! BTW, click the pic if you want the full animated gif. It is being slightly funky in some browsers.
- Tara passing right out when the sun comes up. Awww, baby vamps.
- Andy and the Facebook photo and his wonderful little chat with Holly about it. That was very nicely done and actually gave me a tiny bit of investment in Handy. The whole convo was funny and sweet and natural — yay on you, Raelle Tucker!
- Terry’s (lack of) explanation to Arlene about where he is going with Patrick. Am I the only one who could imagine Eric and Sookie having that same conversation about where Eric was going with Bill? “Well, don’t expect me to be here when you get back.”
- Jessica being “just friends” with Jason and his need to work through why he uses sex the way he does. “I ain’t some mechanical bull you can jump on and ride when you want to.” You go, Jason Stackhouse.
What I have mixed feelings about:
- Salome the seductress. I was amused when she seduced Bill. Not so amused when she seduced Eric. I know sex is not a big deal to vampires, yada yada, and I love looking at half-naked (or all naked) ASkars as much as the next woman, but Eric being a total manwhore is kind of depressing to my Sooric shipper heart.
The only thing keeping me from really being grumpy about it is that I suspect that Jason Stackhouse is not the only male on the show who is using sex to avoid dealing with uncomfortable feelings. (Bill probably is, too, but it only means something to me if it is Eric.)
The only good thing about the whole Salome thing? We didn’t have to watch Eric bang her, which is an improvement over Nora. And Eric got to bang her in the bedroom rather than in the industrial dungeon like Bill. That’s got to count for something. I also appreciate that Salome comments on Eric’s being so cold because he was only recently hurt. “I heal quickly.” Right, Eric, right.
- I’m torn about Pam’s tricking Eric into turning her. It breaks my heart that he didn’t choose her, which was the myth we all believed. But he was kind enough to do it when he realized she would die if he didn’t.
- Jason having had sex with his teacher back in the day. Doing the math in my head, he had to be no more than 15 or so, right? Maybe even 14? Just, ewwwwww. And she seemed like someone who left teaching after she had a baby by another students or something. That said, it explains so much.
- Eyeliner Hoyt. So dark, but it makes me sad. The commentary on HBO Go indicates that Hoyt is going to go full Goth by the end of the season.
- BAMF Sookie. Sookie is not the same person she was before she killed Debbie Pelt. She is cool, controlled, a much better liar than previously, and perfectly willing to blast the hell out of Pam with her fairy power just because she’s annoyed with Pam’s attitude.
I should be pleased because I think that this supports my theory that something happened during the blood exchange with Eric that makes Sookie more Eric-like and Eric more Sookie-like. But darn, she’s a lot harder to like this way. What is charming on Eric comes across as grating on Sookie. There is probably someone’s master’s thesis in cultural or gender studies in that observation.
- Tara trying to off herself in the tanning both is kind of brilliant. If only she weren’t being so annoying that I enjoyed the idea for a moment.
What I hated:
- Tara’s ongoing bad attitude. Tara is mad at Sookie and Lafayette for turning her. I get it. Tara has always been pissed off about something and now she just has something new to be pissy about. I was hoping for some kind of change in Tara besides that she had fangs. I hope she gets over this and moves on to something besides pissed off vampire soon because, bored now.
- The vampire kid is annoying. I now hope that he is a traitor and they stake him soon.
- Pam, Pam, Pam. Have you learned nothing about being a Maker from Eric? He is Best. Maker. Ever and you are doing the equivalent of dumping the baby in the gutter? I want to respect you, so please pull your head out of your behind.
- This is probably blasphemy, but I didn’t think ASkars did a great job in the flashbacks. I know he needed to be more formal because of the period, but it came across as stiff. And then he alternated with being too laid back and 21st century for someone of 1905. The oddness of it took me out of the story so that I kept seeing Alex, not Eric.
- Anyone else wondering if that teacher’s cat hissing at Jason is important?
- I don’t know what to make of Salome. She seems to have an intimate relationship with Roman and yet, she appears to be withholding things from him to judge by all these sidelong looks.
- When Salome talks to Eric about his maker, she describes Godric as “glorious” at least “until he lost his way.” Does she mean because Godric met the sun or because he was obviously interested in mainstreaming? Since I think she may be a closet Sanguinista, I think she didn’t care for kinder, more Buddhist Godric.
- If Salome was turned 2,000 years ago, she cannot be Russell’s maker. I had wondered about that. But there is still Lilith…
- There must be another fairy portal because the place where Claude disappeared was nowhere I recognized. So, is this a secret one that Mab doesn’t know about?
- I don’t know if I believe Nora’s “confession.” Which is disappointing because I want her to be a Sanguinista. I also do not understand why she would want to not tell anyone that Eric is her brother, especially if Salome already knows. WTF is up with that? There has to be something else going on that we don’t know about.
- What does Salome want with Eric and Bill? What on earth can they offer her?