We’re now three episodes deep into the fifth season of True Blood, and the boys and girls from Bon Temps are doing exactly what they do best… they’re spinning the tires without going anywhere.
Let’s not even bother complaining that in 60 minutes we couldn’t even get one shot of Russel Edgington. Forget that. Put it on the backburner. They want us to shiver in anticipation for another week, or month, or season, fine, by all means, go wild. Tease up. Make our balls as blue as Neptune.
No story line is moving along! Tara reveals she’s a vampire to the Merlotte’s staff… inevitable. Alcide discovers the true reality of Debbie’s demise… inevitable. The faeries making a slow and quiet return… inevitable, no matter how little any of us care.
Terry off to go hunt pyro marines… boring. Andy and Holly doing the middle school dance routine… boring. Hoyt going goth to get “eaten alive,” as Pam put it… boring. Not to mention weird. Captain Jack pulled it off, Hoyt. But you’re no Johnny Depp.
The Rev becoming the new public face of vampires? Okay, yeah, I guess that could be interesting. Right now it’s not, but hey, maybe it will be. (Like when he ends up betraying Roman and The Authority and joins the Sanguinistas. Write that one down.)
Even Chris Meloni’s character, one of the two biggest reasons to be excited about Season 5, did little in last nights episode to push the story along. He compares himself to Martin Luther King and JFK… which obviously completely crushes Meloni’s chances of keeping his name in the credits for Season Six.
However, the biggest complaint of last nights episode has to be the revelations on Jason Stackhouse. What the audience discovered last night is that rather than being some sex-obsessed hound dog every frat guy on the face of the planet could look up to, Jason’s actually the victim of a very inappropriate teacher-student relationship. That’s not funny. That’s not awesome. That’s sad. Jason Stackhouse isn’t suppose to be sad! They took the silliest character and turned him into a victim. What’s to gain from that!?
The episode was not without its positives, to be fair, none more enjoyable then the continued revelations on Pam’s background and turning. The relationship as we’ve seen it previously offered little evidence that it would be Pam who wanted to be a vampire, as opposed to Eric wanting her to join him. Even the flashbacks from last episode suggested Eric had a special interest in his future protege, and as viewers who knew the endgame, the path seemed predictable. Instead, we see that it is “Pamela,” and not “Mr. Northman,” who forces the issue. One can hope we’ll get to see more on how that relationship developed to where it is now… but will we?
It is at that moment, when Pam tells her future maker he must either turn her or watch her bleed to death, that we see the usually unflappable Eric appear lost. Unquestionably the most powerful scene last night, and perhaps of the entire season. We already knew he cared about her, but that relationship could have been chalked up to decades of loyal service. It’s clear he cared for her even when she was human… something Eric Northman previously seemed incapable of.
Oh, and via the Eric-and-Pam backstory, we get a bonus of seeing the first time the former Viking met civil war veteran Bill Compton. That was fun, wasn’t it?
Things to look forward to: Eric and Bill Go Back to Bon Temps, with a team of Seal Team 6 vampire ninjas to help them hunt down Russell. Who will hopefully get to actually say something at some point this summer.