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04 July 2012 @ 08:48 pm
You were born into greatness  

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.




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 the end times Eric/Sookie. Especially now that Alan Ball has bowed out. Right now, the only thing from Dead As A Doornail that even has a chance of happening is Sookie telling Eric that she killed Debbie. The rest of it is completely off the reservation, and that's the way I like it. Next year, though, who knows? I don't really consider myself Team Bill anymore, but if death is not an option, I'll choose it over Team Eric every time. I know it's probably going to happen eventually, and I'm just going to have to choke on it, but I'll fight it tooth and nail all the way.

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."



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.


(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. ♥
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Miriam: Sanctuary: Smirky Helenmiri_d on July 4th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)

Except maybe Bill/Sookie stops being motherfucking endgame, which would be nice. But why are you so nooooot Team Eric? Other than the fact that Sookie is dumb and annoying to the power of a billion, why don't you like a relationship between her and Eric?
people hold candles, nora: tv | tb | sendlesswonder on July 4th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
WHAT ARE YOU DOING ANYWHERE NEAR THIS POST? But whatever. That's sort of true, but not really. There's a lot of stuff I could tell you.

Definitely no Bill/Sookie for the foreseeable future. Even Alan Ball's cooled off, and he's always been the biggest Bill supporter.

BECAUSE ERIC/PAM, THAT'S WHY. But I didn't like Eric/Sookie even before that, and I like it even less since reading the books. (I know you haven't read them, but bear with me anyway.) I actually like Sookie herself quite a lot most of the time, and I always have, but she makes Eric stupid. He's very susceptible to fairy blood, and he's not himself when he's with her. He would have to change so radically and so irrevocably for a legitimate relationship between them to be believable, and I can't stand the thought of that happening. Because okay. There are a lot of personality differences between Book Eric and Show Eric and between Book Sookie and Show Sookie. In the books, they're a lot more evenly matched, and it's a much better fit. (Book Sookie is fucking fierce, and I think you'd like her.) Plus, Sookie's fairy blood and its effects on vampires don't come into play until much later in the books (Eric doesn't even find out she's a fairy until Book 6.), so you don't have all the ulterior motive shenanigans going on. Eric/Sookie was Charlaine Harris's endgame from the first, and she paved the way for it very clearly. The show hasn't done that, not by comparison. But a lot of the shippers are old-school book fans who are desperate for Eric and Sookie to make sweet love to each other and live happily ever after, without actually caring whether or not it makes any kind of sense in the context of the show's canon. (Which it doesn't. At all. Especially post-S4.) Which, why would they care? It's not their canon. They're pissed off that they haven't gotten the faithful adaptation they would have liked, and I'm sympathetic to that. But the books are the books, and the show is the show, and very rarely and pointlessly the twain shall meet, and I don't appreciate my canon being fucked with for the sake of some checklist of plot points that's been drawn up to maintain a nodding acquaintance with the source material. That's why I don't like it.

(I think I had an out-of-body experience typing that. I take this show too seriously, and I apologise.)
Miriam: Harry Potter: Disciplinemiri_d on July 4th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
LJ thought that comment was so important, it sent me three separate email notifications.

I was near this post because I wanted to read your sweet Eric/Pam feels. THAT'S WHY OKAY. I LOVE YOUR ERIC/PAM FEELS ALMOST MORE THAN I LOVE ERIC/PAM.

Hahah it sounds like maybe I wooouuuuld like Book Sookie. Because right now, as I told you, it feels like Show Sookie is pulling a Bella Swan and has all these men just drooling and slobbering over her for no good or even apparent reason, when she hasn't done anything but be sort of hot and have alcoholic blood. Like, Pam, okay? So much hotter and smarter than Sookie. Why aren't there men/vampires falling over her (aside from, yes, at my point in time she's still Eric's progeny and they pretty much had an exclusive thing going and she hasn't been released? Though I thought he did in like 3x09 or whatever.)

This wasn't your point, but I think it's funny to compare the canon squabbling between Game of Thrones and True Blood. Like, I know it's only been two seasons, but I don't hear nearly as much bitching about deviating from canon from the GoT side, though when it does happen (the deviations from canon), I think everyone collectively has an aneurysm or a heart attack and sudden bouts of total insecurity about whether they'll be able to pull everything together when that's Such A Major Change (something about Jayne Westerling not even being in the books? Idr).

Anyway, back to finishing season 3.
people hold candles, nora: tv | tb | e/pendlesswonder on July 5th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
Oh, that was my bad. I didn't proofread it very well, so I had to delete and repost. (I know I could have edited it, but  I hate the timestamp.)

ASLSKDKSHFJ;LKD WELL I CAN'T VERY WELL CHASTISE YOU FOR THAT. WOW. Have I mentioned how happy I am that you're into this?

It's a bit like that, yeah, and even I'm annoyed by it sometimes. At least Sookie has a sense of humor, so she's one up on Bella there. Like I said, more often than not, I like her on the show. Partly because Anna Paquin is a lot smarter and funnier than first impressions might suggest, and I've grown to love her over the past few years. Book Sookie is tough and sassy, and she cracks me up (case in point), but on a personal level, I find I relate to Show Sookie a lot better most of the time. (Except without the part where hordes of hot guys throw themselves at me. For shame.) But I do take a lot of pride and pleasure in the fact that Show Pam bagged Eric all by herself, with no supernatural assists, just by being fabulous as fuck. God, I love the flashbacks.

I haven't touched the GoT fandom, but that doesn't surprise me. The show has hardly deviated at all so far from book canon, so when they do, it's a bit more jarring and can leave you wondering why they bothered. But with True Blood, the show is so massively different from the books, and has been from the start, in so many fundamental ways - A-plots being completely changed, major characters being invented from scratch or killed off way before their time, etc. - that you can't really complain about things in isolation.  You'd have to throw the whole thing out and start over.

YES YES HURRY UP. On to Season 4. Now 75% more batshit crazy! With bonus Fiona Shaw! Plus then you can watch Kristin's panel from last year's Phoenix Comic-Con, which is pretty much my favourite con panel ever. There's an awesome Nelsan/Sam/Kristin/Michelle one you should see, too. (Kristin/Michelle BFFery is TO DIE FOR.)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on July 5th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Haha I knew you'd have a beautiful post over all of this. Man, I cried when he released her, that's how powerful that scene was. Ugh.

I'm hopeful that they wouldn't have spent so much time fleshing out their relationship to drop it after this episode, so I'm cautiously optimistic about what's coming up next.
people hold candles, nora: tv | b5 | dendlesswonder on July 6th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you. My magnum opus. I haven't written a post this long since the BSG finale. It was such a perfect scene. ♥

I didn't mean to sound so morbid. I shouldn't have started writing until after I'd calmed down. But everybody loves their relationship so much that the writers would be shooting themselves in the foot if they ruined it. So yes, cautious optimism.
Leahlimonatafic on July 7th, 2012 10:26 am (UTC)
Eric and Pam remain pretty much the only thing I care about and even that is in a very passive way, but oh man I could have teared up in that releasing scene if I wanted to. I tried it out experimentally and I was like, READY?, and my tearducts were all, JUST SAY THE WORD.

I didn't, but I probably would have if it were longer. HIT ME RIGHT IN THE FEELS.

I don't have a whole lot to say about the rest of anything. Literally. Claude is a disappointment, I thought Hadley was already dead, Hooligans is on a different plane lol okay, bribery and alcoholism and Alcide/Sookie and weird porch conversations? Why did they all turn up at Sookie's? IDEK.

When you said I feel like this is heralding Eric/Sookie - can you elaborate on that? :/ Also, I too read the books as being paved for E/S but lately it seems like they've taken a 180 in a much more anti-Eric/maybe even a little Sam direction. Thoughts?
people hold candles, nora: tv | tb | e/pendlesswonder on July 8th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
THAT WHOLE SCENE OH MY GODDDDDD. There wasn't a dry eye in the fandom, from what I've gathered.

Why did they all turn up at Sookie's? = Relevant question every fucking week, man.

Only that it sort of felt on some level like Eric/Pam was another obstacle they needed to get out of the way. Not that Pam would have been able to stop Eric any time he wanted to make a play for Sookie, but she does disapprove (obvs), and he does care what she thinks. But with Pam off doing her own thing, he'll be free to focus on wooing. Or rather, with Alan Ball off doing his own thing, the other writers'll be free to indulge whatever Eric/Sookie fantasies he's been cockblocking for the past five years. I don't know. I wrote it while I was wallowing in feels. We'll see. I'd love more than anything in the world to be wrong. I go back and forth a lot on so many aspects of this issue. Where they're at vs the books and how they changed it so Eric remembers the sexytimes and now the releasing and WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?