As long as I’ve been a Truebie, Vampire Pam has been my favorite. The sarcasm. The big red lips. The badassery.

Can we go on ahead and call this year’s “True Blood” “The season of Pam?” She’s the character making this rather uneven season bearable for me. We’ve learned that, as she alluded to Lafayette a couple seasons ago, Pam was once a hooker, or rather, a madam, in early 20th century San Francisco. While I prefer the more empowering Pam story of the Charlaine Harris books, I do like the layers this history gives Pam. She is no longer a wise-cracking caricature, but a character. Before she forced Eric to turn her (and got some sweet, sweet Viking Vamp lovin’), Pam was living the reality of pre-feminist woman. Like many women without husbands or means, she was forced to be a sex worker and knew when she grew old and no longer useful, society would hate her for it. There is a lot of sadness and loss behind that ice-cold facade. This, of course, is why Pam is the perfect person, er, former person to raise up baby vamp Tara. The pair have more in common than meets the eye.

Speaking of Tara, I need Pam to ride to her rescue with a quickness, cause I’m not down to watch another season of Tara in distress. Lawd, “True Blood” loves it some suffering black folk! Last night, Tara continued raging, drowning her sorrows in True Blood and trying to meet the true death. And Lafayette had some sort of brujo magic flashback and almost served up poisoned gumbo to Merlotte’s patrons. (Um, by the way, where is Jesus’ body? Y’all didn’t forget about that, did you?)

I wish the show would let Sam and Tara be closer friends. It was nice to see Sam trying to do right by his former lover, but annoying to see him absolve Sooks for her selfishness. Sam is always going to choose Sookie’s interests over Tara’s. But it seems Tara will get a shoulder to lean on. My greatest wish is that by season’s end, Pam and a newly empowered Vampire Tara will make a midnight snack out of Sookie Stackhouse. I know, I know … it’s not going to happen, but a girl can dream.

Maybe a better tag for this season’s “True Blood” is “strong, wronged women.” Pam, Tara, and Jessica are on their own. The script is tossing around figures like Lilith and now Salome. Over at Vampire Authority headquarters, Salome, who in Christian lore is a symbol of dangerous, female seductiveness, did a little seducing of Eric and Bill, or as I call them, Vampire Hot Viking and Vampire Mopey Confederate. Methinks, in this case, despite her protestations, Salome is not as misunderstood as she claims. I suspect she is both a Sanquinista and behind the reappearance of Russell Edgington. Mark my words.

On a shallow Team Eric vs. Team Bill note, how fun was it seeing Eric own Bill in that flashback? Now, that’s the assured, powerful Eric Northman I like to see, not last season’s neutered puppy in board shorts.

One of the show’s failings is the way it trivializes real history and real societal problems for the sake of a story line. Ex-King Russell is said to be the Sanguinista’s “Osama bin Laden.” *eye-roll* And last night, we learn that Jason Stackhouse was molested by a teacher as a teen, which sparked his adult promiscuity. There is zero chance that “True Blood” wants to do any real exploration into the effects of sexual exploitation on young men, so why go there? Is there no other (better) way to spark Jason’s awakening and cement his friendship with Jessica?

As for the rest of the episode, to steal a bit from Pam …

Blah, blah … fairies … blah … Debbie Pelt … blah … Hoyt in guyliner and leather pants …

This is finally getting interesting.

Quote of the week: It’s Pam’s, of course — “Go back to dry humping and buying my over-priced drinks or get the fuck out!”

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