This week’s True Blood heats up when Debbie Pelt’s parents arrive in Bon Temps and question her disappearance. Will they find out Sookie killed her? Meanwhile, Bill and Eric spend some quality time with seductress Salome. And Pam’s flashbacks reveal the truth about her vampire origins. Find out what else happened in our review of “Whatever I Am, You Made Me.”

The Players:

  • Director: David Petrarca
  • Writer: Raelle Tucker
  • Cast: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan  Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgard, Christopher Meloni, Chris Bauer, Kristen Bauer van Straten, Valentina Cervi, Jim Parrack

Episode Title: “Whatever I Am, You Made Me”

Gordon and Barbara Pelt visit Bon Temps in search of Debra. Sookie and Lafayette continue to reason with Tara, while Bill and Eric try to avoid the “true death” from The Authority. Andy and Holly’s relationship is exposed, and Jason is reunited with one of his old teachers.

The Good:

  • Plotlines Coalesce: Last week’s episode “Authority Always Wins” was overloaded with storylines that neither informed one another or built an overall plot. Luckily, “Whatever I Am, You Made Me,” merges them all into two major arcs centered on Sookie Stackhouse/Debra Pelt and the Authority’s reign. In fact, the Sookie/Debbie plight is paralleled as an example of Roman’s likening of the Sanguinista movement to the civil war. Humans and vampires must be regulated by the Authority or situations like the one between Sookie and Debbie’s parents quickly build tension.
  • Pam’s Flashbacks: Pam’s dreams and memories from her human life and relationship with Eric inform us of their present situation. It brilliantly adds a level of depth to Bill and Eric’s camaraderie, Eric and Pam’s separation, and slowly draws us into the upcoming Lilith plot.
  • Seductress Salome: The sheer amount of racy scenes in this episode make it the hottest of the season so far. Salome’s seduction of Bill and Eric to gain information for her real lover Roman provides us with a fascinating foil to Lilith. Salome has fierce willpower and must be in control. She’s the seducer, and we know the basis of the Lilith myth involves her insistence of dominating the bedroom.

The So-So:

  • Character Personality Changes: Lafeyette begins to see his powers, and returns to his old self. This is uneventful and a little distracting from the rest of the action. But we assume it’s building up to a more interesting development later on. And Hoyt in eyeliner at Fangtasia was weird, but mainly boring. SPOILER ALERT: Also, Tara’s decision to end her life was calm and decisive, which is completely unlike her. Once again, it’s uneventful, but ties in nicely with Eric’s comment about honorable vampires and intelligent whores existing in few numbers.
  • Jessica Becomes Lackluster: Jessica is supposed to be a rebellious baby vamp. The previews for season five built us up for her return with an official blog page and a badass set-up, which she lived up to in  ”Authority Always Wins” and “Turn, Turn, Turn.” But now she comes across as humorously desperate and eager to be nothing but pals with Jason. She’s gone from badass to homely. It’s sort of a letdown because she was climbing to Pam’s level of strength and sarcasm.

The Bad:

  • Cheesy Lines: This week, there were some potentially humorous lines wasted by clumsy sentence syntax. For example, when Jason says ”Crystal was a–*meow, meow*–let’s not go there,” the cat’s interruption is meant to be funny, but it falls flat. And Jessica and Jason’s discussion on how to be friends just can’t escape the same trap even though the scene had an oddly touching quality to it.

Overall:

“Whatever I am, You Made Me” regained the momentum, raciness, and clarity that season five has been lacking so far. It merged and paralleled various plotlines believably and intriguingly. There were still a few cheesy moments in tow, but we were glad to see the show re-vamped and returned to its former glory.

Rating: 7/10

True Blood airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Photo Gallery:

What do you think about the development of The Authority so far? Let us know in the comments!