Welcome to Eric/Pam: The Essay. I wish I was kidding. Put them up there with Harry/Ruth and John/Helen as one of the ships I can talk endlessly and somewhat eloquently about for days on end.
This episode was heartbreaking in all the ways. That interrogation scene, ugh. STOP MAKING HER CRY WHEN ALL SHE'S EVER DONE IS WORSHIP YOU. I know it hurt him as much as it hurt her (Did you see how quickly his fangs retracted after he turned away from her? There was not an ounce of genuine anger there.), but it was still brutal. I loved that visceral reaction he had to her telling him to release her. He doesn't even want to think about it, but he suddenly realises he has to. Though not for any of the reasons she thinks.
"Congratulations, you're a grandfather." HOW ARE YOU LIKE THIS ALL OF THE TIME?
But oh my God.
ERIC CRIED OVER PAM. IT'S KIND OF A BIG DEAL.
AND HE CALLED HER PAMELA FOR ONLY THE THIRD TIME EVER. AND HE BURIED HIS FACE IN HER HAIR.
I don't think I've ever been so ambivalent about a scene in my entire life. I'm ecstatic and sick at the same time.
I love anything that reminds us of the fact that he's never released her. One hundred and seven years, and he still needs her with him. It's not like in the books, where Eric released Pam decades ago, but she sticks around anyway. This is completely mutual. (Alan Ball, you are my champion, and I don't know what I'm going to do without you.) And he's only released her now because he felt he had no choice. He can't be selfish. He has to put her first. With the exception of leaving Godric on that rooftop, this was probably the hardest thing he's had to do in his thousand years as a vampire. He had to force the words out of his mouth, as though it caused him physical pain to say them. And Pam, my poor Pam. She was as ready as she was ever going to be, but she still wasn't ready at all. Kristin's reaction was absolutely perfect. They both did an amazing job.
Having said all that, I have some concerns. First off, how much screentime are they going to have together now? I know that just because Eric released Pam doesn't mean she has to leave, but his reasoning behind it was to put some distance between them for her sake. Why would the writers bother if they don't intend to split them up? I'm all for Pam's continued personal growth, but between Tara and now this, it feels like too much too fast. For her and for us. And by us, I mean me.
Secondly, I feel like this is heralding
But my gravest concern is this: Eric can't protect Pam now. I know his desire to protect her was his motivation for releasing her, and in some ways, it was the right thing to do. Russell, the Authority (if it comes to that) and anyone else with an axe to grind would probably be less likely now to use Pam to bait Eric, and he won't have to worry about her running to his side and endangering herself to try to protect him now that she won't be able to sense when he's in trouble. But the other side of that is that he now can't sense when she's in trouble. So, if someone does decide to hurt her, there'll be very little he can do about it. The way it was in 3x04 and 3x07? It can never be that way again. He's released her. That's it. It's not like the bond that develops between a vampire and a human after they've exchanged blood a few times, that can be replenished when it starts to wear off. Now that this is done, it can't be undone. And that terrifies me.
Because emotionally, nothing's changed for either of them. They had feelings for each other before he turned her, and they still have feelings for each other now that he's released her. The bond was a formality. But even so, neither of them wanted it to be broken. If their feelings were likely to fade over time as a natural result of maker releasing progeny (which I'm not saying I would wish for, because I never, ever would), that might alter the landscape somewhat, but we know that's not the case. Lorena released Bill because he wanted to be released, but she was in love with him until the night she met the true death. Godric released Eric because he wanted him to be free, but Eric never wavered in his devotion to him. Release changes nothing, for maker or progeny. Even more so for Eric and Pam, since it wasn't what either of them wanted. They'd still protect each other, fight for each other, die for each other, no matter what. All this has done is make that more difficult.
I'm pretty sure I've contradicted myself about ten times. LET'S FLAIL OVER ALEX/KRISTIN INSTEAD. Saying some of the things that I've said, but being 100% more adorable about it.
What was it like filming the scene in which Eric releases Pam?
I wasn't warned that would happen, so I really cried while I was reading it in the script. Alex and I talked and he said, "It’s so sad!" and I said, "I hate it. I'm not going to do it. I'm not gonna film it." We went to executive producer Alex Woo, who wrote the episode, and complained. I went, "Why do I have to be released? I don’t want to be released," and Alex went, "I don’t want to release her." We argued with him about all the reasons Eric could protect Pam without releasing her, but they all just, you know, laughed at us and said "Action!" and we had to film it.
Well, you fought the good fight.
In the table read, I cried. In the rehearsal, I cried. When the camera was on Alex, I cried. I just thought it was so sweet and touching and emotional. I mean, the bond is going to be the same. Alex and I pretty much feel like the difference now is that Eric's just going to have to call Pam on her cell phone. She'll still give her life for him in a second. But yeah, I cried so much. My nose was running, and I said, "I know you're going to turn my tears red in post, but what are you going to do about my snot? Can you take out snot in post? Because it’s going to be hideous."
ASLDFJLA;SLDKFJLDSJ YOU TWO ARE KILLING ME. But I digress.
So, okay. The scene was beautiful in and of itself, and I understand why they did it up to a point. But the implications it has for the future do not sit well with me at all. I love it for what it is, but I hate it for what it means, I guess is the take-away.
Where do we go from here? I don't know, but I get the feeling the best has come and gone.
I LOVE YOU, VAMPIRE OTP. WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE FRISCO.
(PS. Because, unlike most people, I actually care about the other characters, some sidenotes. Being a vampire does slowly seem to be making Tara cool again! Hooray! I'm glad Hadley's okay. But Andyyyyyy. What about Holly? What happens in Faery stays in Faery, I guess? I can't fucking wait for them to cast Niall. I might be shipping Nora/Salome a little bit. Maybe. I don't know. And no one's more surprised about this than I am, but I am way, way down with Alcide/Sookie. It's poor-taste timing, but I'm still down.)
Happy Independence Day, American darlings. Enjoy the fireworks. ♥