The big theme of this week's True Blood are vampire makers and how tough it is being a newbie in the vampire world. When Pam flashes back to how she was made, we understand how significant the bond between maker and "child" really is, which is particularly important for Tara, whose survival may depend largely on that bond. Jason is also realizing how he became the way he is in one of the show's more interesting revelations.
Meanwhile, Sookie reveals her big secret to Alcide, and Bill and Eric are still embroiled in a Sanguinista scandal, but at least they take their shirts off, so it's not a total bore. But to get specific about the best and worst points of the episode, just read more.
- Best character development: Jason briefly forgets his shame about breaking up a family when he runs into a former teacher he slept with when he was younger. He seduces her again, but regrets it almost immediately, realizing that his premature exposure to sex was actually damaging. It's the most growth we've seen for Jason, whose promiscuity has always been played for laughs. He even rejects Jessica when she shows up at his door for a quickie, and when he admits what's going on with him, she insists on staying and lending him her ear, determined to be his first real female friend.
- Coolest fake technology: The Vampire Authority plotline is still boring, and not even Salome's twin seductions of Bill and Eric can make it interesting. However, I do like that Big Love's Tina Majorino pops up to put some weird Tony Stark-like harnesses on Bill and Eric that can kill them at any moment if they step out of line before delivering Russell Edgington.
- Best origin story: I was disappointed with Pam's flashback last week, but this week we see more, and it's much juicier. Eric picks her out at the brothel to sleep with, and after they have sex, she asks him to make her a vampire because she's afraid of getting old. Eric refuses and explains that being a maker is way too much commitment to him. Desperate, she slits her own wrists to force Eric to save her by turning her.
- Best hijacked flashback: Oh, hey, Bill and Marlena, what are you doing here?! As an added treat to Pam's flashback, we meet Bill in 1905 San Francisco with his maker, and they're having a great time sucking the lifeblood out of a prostitute. They have a run-in with Eric, who almost gives Bill the true death for his insolence, but Marlena begs Eric to spare Bill because he's just a newbie. How far they've come! At odds in 1905, wearing training bra harnesses together in 2012.
- Worst reminder of last season: I guess I just thought that with Jesus dead, and we'd never have to revisit the whole warlock thing — especially that freaky mask. Unfortunately, it makes an appearance this week, when Lafayette is briefly possessed and empties a load of bleach into the soup at Merlotte's. He catches a glimpse of the yucky mask on his face in the reflection, and the spell is broken — for now.
- Most damaging confession: Sookie is forced to come clean about killing Debbie to Alcide when Alcide sees crazy vampire Tara at Merlotte's. He's understandably angry that Sookie killed his former fiancée and then lied to him about it. And now that Debbie's parents and Sheriff Andy know that something happened to Debbie, will Sookie face more consequences than just Alcide being angry at her?
- Best maker moment: Well, it's a good thing for Tara's sake that the maker bond is so powerful, because the bummed-out newborn decides she wants to end it all when she seeks out a tanning bed to commit vampire suicide. As much as I'm not sure how much I love Tara as a vampire, I felt relieved when Pam senses that she's in trouble and realizes she must save her. In classic Pam style, she says simply, "You stupid b*tch."
What did you think of this week's True Blood?