And now we know why we got so much male nudity in the season premiere -- everyone stayed clothed in this hour. Did the episode drag a bit because of it? Yes. But at least all the story lines the writers are taking their sweet time setting up promise to be juicy.
Let's start with Tara. What I'm liking most about this arc: It's giving Pam, her maker, a reason to flashback to meeting Eric. But even that is moving slowly -- we've yet to see him turn Pam. What we saw was that in 1905, Pam was a madam in a San Francisco brothel, and she'd lost at least one working girl to vampires. One night walking home alone, she was followed by a man. She told him she was off the clock, and he pulled a knife on her. "That’s right, whore. I like it when you struggle," he said. This was years after Jack the Ripper had terrorized London. Could he have fled to America, where a tux and top hat-clad Mr. Northman stopped him from attacking Pamela by slitting his throat? (Alexander Skarsgard licking a bloody finger like he'd just had a piece of fried chicken was very Eric. Reminded me of him sucking on an artery from Marnie's freshly removed heart.) "You're not afraid," Eric said to Pam. "I'm no stranger to dead bodies," she told him. "The streets can be dangerous at this hour. A lady should really be more careful," he warned. "If I meet a lady, I’ll let her know," she answered. He smiled. You could already tell he liked her. He apologized for getting blood on her lovely dress and, I believe, dropped some coins down her cleavage to cover it.
What I'm not loving about the Tara arc: How long it's taken Tara to do more than rage. Maybe I'm spoiled by the speed The Vampire Diaries moves, or maybe I'm just remembering back to how chatty Jessica was after Bill turned her, but I've had enough of Tara zipping around the house, destroying stuff, and crouching on the sink as though she was Spider-Man (okay, that I'd definitely like to see again). I get that Tara, unlike Jessica, doesn't want to be a vamp. I just want to see her express it in a different way. Pam commanded Tara not to bite Lafayette and Sookie and to stay in the house, but they had to get her into Eric's cubby before sunrise. Lafayette eventually cut himself with a large knife and while Tara drank, Sookie used silver chains to subdue her so they could move her. Lafayette knew this wasn't a life Tara would have wanted -- that he'd had Pam turn Tara because he didn't want to be alone -- and he considered staking Tara in her sleep. Sookie talked him out of it, promising him it would take time, but Tara would be (mostly) herself again and they could make a life for her. When the sun fell again, Tara rose and told the two of them she'd never forgive them and bolted.
Sookie had made a trip to an anti-vampire store called Stake House and bought silver air misters that were installed on the porch to keep Tara from leaving. They made Tara scream when she attempted to flee, but she kept moving. So I guess those are more like vampire alarms -- at least you'll hear them coming/going. Now I think the Tara story will get interesting.
NEXT: Christopher Meloni's ears suddenly seem pointy