The good news? Tara is still around.
The bad news? Vampire-hating Tara is now one of the undead, having been turned by a rather reluctant Pam.
Vampire Tara is super fast, super hungry, and super pissed at Sookie and Lafayette for letting her be turned. I would have hated to see the gorgeous and uber-talented Rutina Wesley leave this show, so I'm glad Tara's still around. I hope Tara can come to embrace vampire life - er, unlife. (She was last seen trying to fry herself in a tanning bed, but I have a feeling Pam will feel compelled to save her.)
Speaking of badass women, I'm loving that Season 5 is treading on folkloric ground, bringing in the vampire Bible and the story of Lilith's creation. Whether Lilith will appear as a character on the show remains to be seen, but we've already seen the biblical Salome (Mark 6: 14-29)* appear as a chancellor of the Authority. The hypersexual, savvy Salome seduced Bill, then Eric, then her fellow chancellor (played by Christopher Meloni) in episode 3.
I'm also loving the cold, gleefully powerful Christopher Meloni character (quite a change from his passionate, moral outrage-prone character on Law and Order: SVU) and the fact that we're finally getting some background on Pam. In the books, she was an innocent young Victorian woman (sometimes described as looking like a grown-up Alice of Wonderland fame), seduced by a cad before she encountered Eric. On True Blood, she's the madame of an early 20th century (1905) brothel, pondering her mortality and begging Eric to turn her. I'm not gonna lie - I love cynical, angry, scary Pam.
Scary Pam doesn't even have time for Jessica's shit, and Jessica herself is a badass-in-training vampire princess. Jessica's a little clueless, a little distracted by her own sexuality (especially now that she's scented a male fairy), but she's coming into a sense of her own power.
Arlene needs to chill the fuck out, though, before Vampire Tara eats her for real. I get that Arlene's stressed out, since Terry's leaving her for an indefinite period of time for some mysterious reason and their relationship is coming apart, but bitching at Lafayette is not the way to deal with it. Lafayette has enough of his own problems. He sees dead people, and now his cousin's a flipped-out vampire.
I like Carrie Preston better as Grace on Person of Interest.
Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson are adorable together. As Lady Gaga might say, there's something about this cool Iowa guy...there's something about, baby, M.E. and I.
*In The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker devotes an entry to Salome. She writes, "She may have been identical with the sacred harlot Mary Magdalene, or Mary of the Temple, whose so-called seven devils were the same underworld gatekeepers to whom the dancer gave her veils....some said she was the midwife who delivered the holy child [Jesus]. Salome was present with all three Marys at the death of Jesus (Mark 15:40). Obviously she was also involved in the death of John the Baptist, which seems to have been not a murder but a ritual sacrifice....Though only a fragment in its present form, the story of Salome presents evidence for the survival of the Tammuz-Ishtar cult in Jerusalem, where periodically someone died in the role of the god, and the women raised the ancient lament for the victim in the temple (Ezekiel 8:14)."