I’m not going to recap an entire episode of ‘True Blood’, but I am going to discuss one specific part of it. In order to do that I need to give you a quick crash course in the characters so you can follow along. Okay, Sookie is a waitress/mind reader/fairy that lives in the town of Bon Temps, LA. Vampires exist and have “come out of the coffin” and are mainstream with humans. In this town there are also shifters, werewolves, werepanthers, magic, and a bunch of other nonsense.
I’m going to focus on the vampire part of this show. See, according to ‘True Blood’ vampires can be “makers” – which means they drain you, give you their blood, go to ground with you (get buried), and then they teach you how to be a vampire. Apparently, it’s a very intense bond.
One of the main “maker” “progeny” relationships on the show would be Eric (maker) and Pam (progeny). They run a business together and have a very father/daughter/best friend relationship. Well, in 5 Episode 51 ‘Whatever I Am, You Made Me’, we see their origin. Pam was a hooker and madam and Eric was a customer. Eric is drawn to Pam because she really has no fear, she’s attacked (Eric saves her) and she doesn’t care that he just killed someone in front of her. He takes her in a room where two vampires are feeding on one of her girls an again, “NBD” for Pam, and naturally they hookup.
During some routine pillow talk, Pam asks Eric to make her a vampire. She doesn’t want to grow old because of “the life that awaits women like” herself. He declines stating he doesn’t want the responsibility of being a vampire parent. This is the scene I want to discuss.
Pam is not a spring chicken. She’s beautiful, but older, and she seems to have a good thing going in her century. She’s got money and killer clothes and a business. But she’s doing that thing that all women do where she’s looking in the future and predicting it. In her mind she ends up with TB or syphilis, alone, and exiled because no one wants an old whore. This is Pam’s fear and she …
… sees Eric as her way out of it. If he “turns” her she will remain youngish and flawless and unable to catch TB, or the syph. But Eric stays firm on not being a vampire daddy.
Pam takes matters into her own hands and slits her wrists in front of Eric, she turns to him and says “turn me or watch me die”. This moment struck me as three things:
1. Really dramatic and selfish
2. Really manipulative
3. Really stupid
Here’s why I think these things:
Slitting your wrists is always dramatic and suicide is always selfish that’s not rocket science. This move is manipulative for several reasons. Firstly, she is forcing someone else’s hand. She knows this is not something he wants to do so she will make him do it because it’s what she wants. I don’t think that is ever a good move and unless you’re a fictional character on an HBO show that’s never going to work out long term. You cannot force people into things. It struck me as stupid because she knows he’s a killer. She’s seen him do it, which leads me to believe that she thought this would work because she thinks (or knows) he has an emotional attachment to her and wouldn’t want her dead and we’re right back to manipulative.
The bottom line is that this scene upset me more than how awful the premise of the show is. It made it all very romantic, as in “Oh boy, he’s going to save her.” I’ve worked with suicide prevention and I’ve had suicide impact me personally many ways. It is not dramatic, it is not used to force someone into doing something you want them to do, it is not a long term answer, and it is not a way to get someone to save you.
Maybe I’m making this all too personal but I felt really disappointed that this was the route the writers took. It made Pam a completely different character. On the show she is a fierce, tough, brave woman and Eric admires, respects, and loves her deeply. This scene made her an obligation and manipulative and Eric a victim. He didn’t want her he just had to keep her. It changed the whole dynamic for me.
Who’s watching ‘True Blood’ and what were your thoughts on this? Am I being too critical or am I right that Eric and Pam are no longer Eric and Pam?