True Blood: Whatever I Am, You Made Me Review (Mania.com)

By:Joel Rickenbach
Review Date: Monday, June 25, 2012
Source: Mania.com

True Blood is a show that trades on its trashy revelry without much apology. It can be at times goofy, provocative, exploitative and over the top. It can also be all those things at the same time. It's no secret  those things are what keeps the majority of the show's audience coming back. However, one of the shows actual secret weapons is when it decides to get downright serious. Blink, and one of those moments may pass you by, lost in all the blood, boobs and barbecue. I think True Blood's pinnacle thus far was the scene in season 2 where Godric decides to meet the sun. It was heartbreaking, wonderfully shot, and had some added weight thanks to the show's additions to the story. There's not a moment in this week' s episode that comes close to reaching those levels, but it has a much more serious tone, and quite a few memorable moments.
Last week we were given flashbacks to Pam's past that were welcomed, but a bit light on content or purpose. This week it all pays off. Surprisingly, Pam's flashback gives us the first meeting between Bill and Eric. Bill is young, brash and impulsive, and Eric is much more serious and refined than the trickster we've known him to be. It's a nice juxtaposition as Bill is now a rational king and Eric is a loyal friend and subject. The real attention grabber, however, is the lengths Pam will go to become a vampire. After her speech to Eric about the fear of growing old and wrinkly falls on deaf ears, Pam forces his hand by slitting her wrists. The threads are weaving together nicely, as this resonates with Pam's present day loneliness and regrets over Eric, and comes back twofold when she is alerted to Tara's attempted suicide. Even if her reaction is "That stupid bitch", we all know by now that's how Pam expresses affection. The other standout storyline is Jason's further adventures in trying to be a good person. He runs into an old school teacher, who we find out gave Jason plenty of opportunities for "extra credit" back in the day. He falls off the wagon at the first opportunity, but he quickly realizes his mistake. He figures out he has a giant hole in himself as a person, and he "fills it with sex". It's a little goofy since it's Jason, but it actually works really well. He even turns down a nighttime tryst with Jessica, which any straight man will tell you is nigh impossible.
There's some other juicy bits involving some biblical figures (and what a nice figure it is!), Reverend Newlin becoming the new "Nan Flannigan", and Sooki telling Alcide about what happened to Debbie Pelt. I honestly felt they would draw that out all season, so it's refreshing to see some serious forward motion. Overall the threads are weaving and tightening, and that's a very good thing.
 

Best Moment: Sam trying to block Sooki's mind reading powers.
Worst Moment: The kid council member attempting the word "Apostate".



Mania Grade: B
Episode: Whatever I Am, You Made Me
Director: David Petrarca
Written By: Alan Ball (creator), Charlaine Harris (novels)
Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Rutina Wesley, Sam Trammell, Christopher Meloni
Network: HBO
Series: