Episode Title: "Whatever I Am, You Made Me"
Writer: Raelle Tucker
Director: David Petrarca
Previously on "True Blood":
In the woods outside of the Stackhouse residence, the newly turned Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) recovers from her silver mist injuries and she is stunned by her emerging vampire senses. But when her cousin, Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) and Sookie Stackhouse ( Anna Paquin) run out to help her, Tara flees. Tara comes across a stranded motorist and she almost feeds on the hapless woman before catching sight of her reflection. Tara offers a weak apology to the woman and flees again. In the Vampire Authority headquarters, Dieter Braun (Christopher Heyerdahl) offers to execute Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).
However, Kibwe (Peter Mensah) and Salome (Valentina Cervi) suggest that Bill and Eric be allowed to redeem themselves by trapping Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) over the vocal objections of Dieter, Rosalyn Harris (Carolyn Hennesey) and Alexander Drew (Jacob Hopkins). Ultimately, Roman (Christopher Meloni) agrees to Bill's proposal before having them led out and Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) escorted in as the new public face of vampires to deal with Russell's return. However, Roman is less than impressed with Steve's arrogance and impresses upon him what will happen if vampires are dragged into a civil war with humanity.
At Fangtasia, Sookie goes to see Pam (Kristin Bauer) in the hopes of getting her help to find Tara. Pam reacts with indifference, threats and she physically pushes Sookie into a table before Sookie responds by stunning Pam with a magical fairy blast. At Merlotte's, Tara comes across Sam (Sam Trammell) and asks for his help. Inside the restaurant, Tara guzzles True Blood like there's no tomorrow and refuses to explain how she was turned. Before she passes out, Tara asks Sam not to call Sookie or Lafayette or tell them where she is. Back at the Vampire Authority, Bill and Eric are fitted with tracking devices that can also kill them remotely through the iStake app.
At the police station, Sheriff Andy Bellefleur (Chris Bauer) learns that his ass is a local star after a naked picture of himself was posted online by the sons of Holly Cleary (Lauren Bowles). Soon enough, the parents of Debbie Pelt come into the station asking about their missing daughter. Later, Sam is unable to keep Sookie from reading his mind and learning that Tara is hidden in the walk-in freezer. In the supermarket, Sookie's brother, Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) comes across Mrs. Stealer (Melinda Page); a former teacher of his with whom Jason had an affair in high school. After learning that Mrs. Steeler is now divorced, Jason manages to seduce her again.
Debbie's parents confront Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello) and accuse him of having something to do with her disappearance. Angered, Alcide tells them that Debbie relapsed to V and that he caught her cheating on him. Even Sookie is questioned about Debbie by Andy; which alarms Lafayette. In Fangtasia, Pam dreams of her past with Eric when she was the madame of a brothel. Eric leads Pam into the chambers of one of her girls as she is drained by Bill and his maker, Lorena (Mariana Klaveno). Eric easily overpowers the younger and more savage Bill as Lorena pleads for Bill's life. Eric forces the duo to apologize to Pam for her troubles and to compensate her for draining her girls. Drawn to Eric, Pam reciprocates when he moves to kiss her.
In the present, Jason seems horrified that he slept with Mrs. Steeler again and he runs out of her home. Elsewhere, Salome shares her history with Bill and seduces him. Sometime later, Salome also seduces Eric after mentioning that she knows that Nora (Lucy Griffiths) is his vampire sister. In a local store, Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) sees Claude Crane (Giles Matthey) and she is intoxicated by his scent, but Claude runs away before she can catch him. In Fangtasia, Pam is amused when Hoyt (Jim Parrack) enters the club in a ridiculous outfit and she flashes back to her first time in bed with Eric.
Despite Eric's attempts to dissuade her, Pam begs him to make her a vampire as well. When Eric refuses, she fatally slashes her arms and dares him to turn her or watch her die. Eric bares his fangs and approaches her. Back in the present, Nora is tortured until she admits to being a part of the Sanguinista movement that opposes the Authority. Jessica shows up at Jason's place hoping for a hook up, but Jason tells her that he's done using sex to feel better about himself and asks her to leave. But Jessica insists upon staying to talk with Jason as his friend, if not his lover. Back in Merlotte's, Tara dreams about killing Arlene (Carrie Preston) before Lafayette tries to give her some True Blood.
Meanwhile, Alcide comes to see Sookie and warns her about Debbie's disappearance. Alcide is taken aback by Sookie's lack of concern before they investigate a loud noise from the kitchen. In full view of everyone, Tara condemns Sookie and Lafayette for having her turned and hints at Sookie's role in Debbie's death before Tara flees. At the Authority headquarters, Bill and Eric realize that Salome seduced both of them. At that moment, Salome gives her report to Roman and says that neither Bill nor Eric are Sanguinista members. She then draws Roman into her arms. Back at Merlotte's, Arlene mouths off at Lafayette; which brings his demon side to the surface.
Demon Lafayette pours bleach in the gumbo, then dumps it out when he reverts back to himself. Outside, Alcide finally gets Sookie to confess that she killed Debbie after Debbie fatally shot Tara. But Alcide is angered over Sookie's deception and he storms off as she calls after him. In Bon Temps, Tara passes a tanning salon and decides to break in and use the tanning bed to commit suicide. As the UV lights activate, Tara screams out in pain. Miles away in Fangtasia, Pam senses the distress of her progeny and curses Tara under her breath.
So far, the most interesting part of "True Blood" season 5 has been the character development for Pam and Jason. In particular, Pam's flashbacks also showed us another side of Bill that we hadn't really seen before. It seems that the good Mr. Compton was once callous and bloodthirsty as even his maker, Lorena had more humanity than Bill. For lack of a better word, Bill was a savage and his behavior in the past may explain why Pam and Eric don't have a lot of respect for him in the present day.
It's still enjoyable to see Bill and Eric as reluctant partners in the present and it was very funny when they realized that Salome had seduced them both. If this partnership between them breaks apart over anything, it's going to be over Sookie. But in the meantime, they're fun to watch together. The motives of the Vampire Authority are also a little clearer. Neither Roman nor the Sanguinista movement appear to have humanity's best interests at heart, but the Authority appears to be the lesser evil... for now.
The more surprising part of the episode was that Eric didn't choose to turn Pam, instead she forced it upon him by threatening to let herself die without it. Eric must have cared enough for Pam to make that eternal commitment that he said he didn't want. It's not a direct parallel to the current situation between Pam and Tara, but the closing scene suggests a deeper connection between the two women than they would probably like to admit. Pam may despise Tara, but I don't think that she'll stand by and let her only progeny kill herself.
In previous seasons, Jason's exploits have gotten on my nerves. But it's been entertaining to see Jason question himself and slowly realize how he empty he is inside... even if he can't fully articulate the reasons behind it. Jessica's decision to stay with Jason struck me as a Mary Jane Watson moment and it may signal that she's a better match for Jason than any of his past loves. As for Hoyt, it was pretty hilarious to see him in that outfit at Fangtasia, but he's clearly on a self-destructive path. His love for Jessica may have been real, but Hoyt's desperate attempt to recreate that with any random vampire is probably going to be trouble.
Andy and Holly even had a nice moment together when they realized how well they fit together despite their collective shortcomings. Note to Alan Ball: this is not an invitation to give Andy and Holly their own storyline like Arlene and Terry.
Claude's reappearance suggests that the fairies are about to reenter the show in a big way. And if you recall the fourth season, Andy was seduced by a fairy named Maurella and he seemed to promise himself to her. That's bound to come back to bite him... so to speak. The return of Lafayette's inner demon and Steve Newlin's new job are also some promising angles.
It still doesn't feel like "True Blood" has hit the ground running this season. But the gradual improvement is encouraging.