"True Blood" -- "Whatever I Am, You Made Me": The Only Thing I've Ever Been Great At
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"True Blood" — "Whatever I Am, You Made Me": The Only Thing I've Ever Been Great At

By Sarah Carlson | TV Reviews | June 26, 2012 | Comments ()


The biggest disappointment of the "Whatever I Am, You Made Me," the third episode of "True Blood's" fifth season, may be that the harnesses Eric and Bill are forced to wear are not S&M related. That or the fact the show isn't actually a period piece. (You know my love for cravats.) Even with iStakes strapped to their chests and threatening their existence, however, these vampires don't shy away from their one liners and buddy cop appearance -- made all the more fabulous with matching track suits. I said last week that "True Blood" is at its best when it examines the inner workings of the supernatural world, namely the vampires, and I stand by that. But I should clarify: The series is at its best when it sticks to telling supernatural tales and embraces the ridiculousness that comes with them. That's what we're seeing with the plight of Eric and Bill as the two mug it up for the Authority (and actors Alexander Skarsgård and Stephen Moyer clearly relish their jobs of bearing fangs and taking off their shirts, repeat). Their scenes along in the past and present with Pam's, Roman's and Newlin's have been the highlights of the beginning of this season.

Now if only there was something we could do about Tara. She may have opted for true-death-by-tanning-bed, but it's doubtful Pam will let her finish the job. Pam revisiting not only how she met Eric but how she forced his hand in 1905 to turn her has reminded her of her duties toward Tara, whether she wants them or not. "If you had any idea what kind of life awaits me, you wouldn't hesitate to turn me," Pam said to Eric then, fearful of a future of disease and decrepitude. "And if you had any idea the kind of responsibility that comes with being a maker you wouldn't dare ask," he replied. "Would you toss a newborn baby in a gutter? Abandoning a new vampire is no different." Tara certainly needs guidance; there aren't enough bottles of Tru Blood in the world to help ease her transition, and her determination to run from Sookie and Lafayette isn't helping. She's right to be angry with the choice they made, and I can't blame her for wanting her second life to end. But somehow that seems to be yet another decision that isn't up to her. Tara really is the most abused character of the series.

Seeing Pam's origins as a vampire is far more interesting. The level of debt and in a way gratitude she feels toward Eric for turning her separates their bond from the ones most camps share with their makers. It also explains her growing contempt for Sookie for coming between them. Sookie can use her fairy powers all she likes, though -- at the end of the day, she's basically alone. If Pam steps in to help Tara it won't be because Sookie asked. And while Sookie should be worried about what Alcide will do now that he knows she killed Debbie, she has other problems brewing. The fairies are back. Namely, Claude (Giles Matthey), the brother to Sookie's fairy godmother, Claudine, whom Eric killed last season. Their blood is just so irresistible to vampires, and Jessica is quickly enamored with the smell. So what are the fairies up to? Out for revenge over Claudine's death? Back on Earth to take Sookie away to Faery? Let's hope they stay in this realm; Season Four's venture to the magical and twisted Garden of Eden-like fairy hangout was one too many steps past the ridiculousness that works best for the show.

Scattered thoughts/Favorite lines:

  • Great to see Tina Majorino (Napoleon Dynamite, "Veronica Mars") join the cast as Molly, the tech-savvy vamp who understandably makes several comments about the beauty of Eric and Bill. She's right -- they are too cute to be goo.

  • Jason's revelation regarding the way he uses sex and how it stems from his affair as a student with a teacher, Anna Draper Jill Steeler (Melinda Page Hamilton), is a nice development. (I bet it was the fact that her cat is named Prince Charming that set him on the course to questioning just what in the world he was doing.) Ryan Kwanten is probably the most under appreciated actors of the cast, so the more range Jason is given, the better.

  • Andy and Holly are pretty adorable. Enough said.

  • Is Lafayette -- or anyone -- concerned about what happened to Jesus? I get that Tara's new vamp state has him distracted, but let's hope the whereabouts of his lover's body doesn't go unresolved. We do know, however, that Lafayette can still access the deceased brujo's dark magic, as evidenced when he poured bleach into the gumbo at Merlotte's. At least the appearance of that mask on his face lets him realize he's up to no good. Helpful.

  • It's good to know that John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed by supporters of the Sanguinista movement and that much of the violence of the Arab Spring uprisings can also be attributed to those against mainstreaming. "True Blood" is having quite a bit of fun with history this season.

  • Pam: "What are you looking at? Go back to dry-humpin' each other and buyin' my overpriced drinks, or get the f**k out!"

  • Molly: "Just imagine it's a training bra." Eric: "It's been a long time since I wore one."

  • Sam (thinking): "Look at her boobs. Boobs. Boobs. The way the smells. Think about that! Anything but the walk-in. Shit! Walk-in. Walk-in. Walk-in. Damn it!"

  • Sookie: "Can I give you a hug without you thinking about my boobs?" Sam: "Probably not."

  • Lafayette: "These beans as cold as titties in a brass bra!"

  • Salome: "The human Bible is little better than US Weekly."

  • Pam: "Honey. The eyeliner, the desperation. They'll eat you alive in here." Hoyt: "That's what I'm hoping for."

  • Pam: "An honorable vampire. Isn't that a contradiction?" Eric: "No more than an intelligent whore, yet here we are."

  • Jason: "I ain't some mechanical bull you can come and ride on whenever you feel like it!"

  • Bill: "You know what they say about gentlemen? They don't brag about sloppy seconds."

Sarah Carlson is a TV Critic for Pajiba. She lives in San Antonio.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Final got caught up with the DVR...

    Okay, so where the hell is Jesus' body? Shouldn't that be troubling Lafayette? I guess his only remaining living...er... undead loved one would possibly take precedence over the... not living actual dead one? ("Dead actual... this is Undead actual...")
    Maybe we are in for a Jesus zombie...

  • Mrs. Julien

    I don't follow the show, but that header pic has made me laugh 17 times today. Thank you!

  • Jezzer

    So far we're three for three as far as good episodes go. I'm terrified that this streak cannot continue. Nice to see Jacob at TWoP is using his recaps again to score points off of forum members he disagrees with. That douchebag is a Klass Akt.

  • DarthCorleone

    Also, right now I'm very confused by the Authority, the Sanguinistas, mainstreaming, and vampire fundamentalism, in terms of who believes what and who is loyal to what. Am I supposed to be confused?

  • Kind of like trying to get a handle on Mitt, eh?

    In my opinion? 'Mainstreaming' is a propaganda front for a 'Sanguinista' agenda. [notice the similarity to 'Sandinista'] Mainstreamers are like closeted gay Republicans, spouting the party line on one hand while taking a 'wide stance' on the issue in private. They only want to convince us mortals of their good intentions, not actually PRACTICE what they preach. Torture, 'exsanguination chambers'...sounds like the Contras to me!

  • Ginger

    I'm sorry, but NO mention of shirtless Meloni?? Because THAT was delicious.

  • elirt
  • mona_sterling

    Oh my.

  • Ginger

    ...I'll be in my bunk.

  • DarthCorleone

    Are you sure that's Tina Majorino? We thought that actress looked familiar, but she's not listed on the IMDB. I wasn't looking in the program credits.

  • jamie pants


  • Gretchen

    This has been one of my favorite True Blood episodes ever. Probably a combination of learning more about vampire politics, seeing Pam's flashbacks, and the fact that it wasn't all about Sookie, for once. And I LOOOOOOOOOVE Vampire Steve Newlin. What a great development for that character. I also like Vampire Tara--I think this will be a good change for her. Let's face it, her life was miserable. Once she acclimates to being a vampire, I think she'll do a lot better.

  • dizzylucy

    I wasn't that thrilled with the episode at first, but looking back over the review, it was better than I thought. Probably because there wasn't too much wolf stuff. I still think the show is way overloaded with separate story lines and characters though. They need to bring some stories together and clean house a bit.
    I am enjoying the Pam stuff, simply because I love Pam and she gets the most awesome lines.
    I LOVE that they gave Tina a very "Mac" like character. I forgot she was joining the show and it was a nice surprise.

  • Thijs

    Did they actually say vampires killed JFK and Martin Luther King, or was the Authority guy merely comparing himself to such leaders (which then prompted Salome to say she fears he'll be assassinated, too)?

    It's awesome that Tina Majorino is named Molly in the series, because she'll always be Molly to me. I saw Corrina Corrina way too many times when I was little.

    Also, Bubba reference!!!

    Am really digging this season... A little apprehensive about the fairies though.

  • I completely agree with the sentiment about mlk and kennedy. I think they missed the point... it was basically just comparing himself as Guardian and his movement to the civil rights movement. not saying that they were killed by vampires. sort of a "duh" moment to me, but you know... i don't have articles read by dozens of people ;)

  • jamie pants

    Winky faces don't make being a dick okay...

  • I think it means Roman suffers from delusions of grandeur. Somehow I don't think JFK and MLK employed the equivalent of an 'exsanguination chamber' or tortured people to test their loyalty. :D

  • HelloLongBeach

    Who made Steve Newlin a vampire? It's kind of dumb that the authority doesn't seem to care. Didn't King Russle take credit for that last season?

  • Thijs

    Didn't they say the Authority recruited him because of the effect he could have on the religious right?

  • Yes, Salome said they recruited Newlin. Some folk have taken this to mean that someone on the Authoritaay turned him but I don't think this is true. I think Jessica did it. Watch their interaction in the second episode when Newlin attempted to buy Jason from Jessica. She seemed able to telepathically send him mental images of Jason's rock hard ass and I don't think two random vampires have that kind of connection.

  • $27019454

    Did you write Authoritaay like that so we would say it like Cartman? Because I am, I do and I have been since the beginning of the references in TB.

  • hapl0

    Seeing Pam’s origins as a vampire is far more interesting.

    I was honestly disappointed. This is not the Pam I was expecting after all these seasons.

    The amazing rapport they have came from her bullying him into submission? Right.

    I don't care about Tara's new story line if it means shoehorning Pam into something I don't recognize anymore.

  • Pam is wonderful but I never expected her to be perfect. Her actions with Eric humanize her, for lack of a better word, and complicates their relationship in a very interesting way.

  • $27019454

    As an anti-Pam person (I just don't get the fascination with a self-absorbed, one-note bitch who can't apply lip liner to saver her life) I'm puzzled (or I would be if I were more interested in Pam...). That's it? That's the big unbreakable affiliation to some small-town bar owner who sits on a fake throne for backwoods tourists? Welll, OK then.

  • hapl0

    I expected complication but this is just too...boring? Her unflinching loyalty to Eric should have had a much grander back story than the simple exposition they gave us.

  • Well, it IS kind of grand when you think about it. Eric could have healed Pam, but given that he took the giant step of turning her I have to assume he loved her deeply even then. Eric must have realized that if he healed Pam she would only try again and next time maybe he wouldn't be around to save her. He turned her because he couldn't imagine a world without her. Yep, that's my head story and I'm sticking to it.

  • hapl0

    I'm just being like Pam here in that I don't get the fascination this show has for Sookie's fairy vagina and wish for a season long arc of Pam and Eric instead of that brief flashback. (I don't know why it's showing @sunny miller by the way)

  • RyanH

    This season is looking to be right up there with Season 3 for sheer greatness. Which would really establish a pattern of strong/weak/strong for Trueblood seasons.

  • Which actually follows the pattern from ep to ep. This is an issue of POV people, POV!

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