True Blood: The Monsters We Make, We Own

Categories: TV Party

Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood -- which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston.

There's a very interesting metaphor going on right now in True Blood that's been heretofore fairly buried as the show somewhat hamfistedly put into place several plotlines that were, truthfully, a little poorly thought out.

However, there's some evidence here in episode 3 that it could all pay off with the exploration of an amazing and necessary lesson, that we pay for every scar we inflict on another in our care.

Obviously this ties in most with the fact that Tara (Rutina Wesley) has been turned into a reluctant vampire by Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) by trading favors with Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten). The Sookie and Lafayette side of the story isn't really driving the show past second gear, but the glimpses into Pam's past, her meeting with Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), and the manner in which she became a vampire by giving him the choice of saving her or watching her die is damned compelling.

Throughout the series, Pam has been portrayed as loyal to her maker in a way that transcends most other vampiric relationships. She appreciates the gift of her unlife, something that we now know saved her from an inglorious death as an aging prostitute, and has withstood torture in order to spare Eric every pain she could.

Yet when faced with the burden of her own offspring, someone caught in similar life-threatening circumstances though not someone she cared about as Eric obviously cared for her, she rejects the role. She rejects the need to own her own actions, and it's not until the very last scene that it dawns on Pam what the act of abandonment is, and how you cannot deny the wounds you inflict on another, or turn away when they fester uncared for.

Police found a girl in Kansas City, Missouri, this week. Her mother had been, for some deranged reason, locking her in a closet without food or water while periodically beating her.

Quotes from the child portray her as a soft, innocent thing, as I'm sure she is, but what is born from that level of complete disregard for a life in your care? What do you send out into the world maimed to live, and what do they have to do to survive?

This idea permeates every relationship in the fifth season. Eric and Bill (Stephen Moyer), who are continuing an excellent run as buddy cops for the vampire Vatican, make the acquaintance of the Biblical Salome. She tells Bill of her childhood, how her mother sold her teenage virginity to Herod in exchange for the head of John the Baptist, who had insulted her mother.

From that cold, callous exchange of a daughter's body for personal gain is a legacy of misogyny, fear of women and a whole lot of institutional anti-feminism. All because of one mean bitch.

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