Caution: Possible spoilers ahead.
At the end of True Blood‘s Season 5, Tara Thornton and her maker Pam De Beaufort emerged from an underground lair jail cell and shared a passionate kiss. Fans rejoiced and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen for the pair on Season 6. After last night’s finale, I can tell you the answer: Nothing.
Tara, played by Rutina Wesley, was grossly underused this season, with appearances in the first two episodes and then brief moments in the following eight episodes. Her storyline consisted of trying to connect with Pam, who essentially froze her out because she was concerned about Eric, and then being imprisoned and separated from Pam, who didn’t seem to care what was going on with Tara and only about her own well-being. This isn’t necessarily surprising, as Pam is a sarcastic narcissist that has had to work for survival much longer than baby vamps like Tara, but viewers were being led to believe that if anyone was beginning to get into Pam’s lifeless heart, it was Tara.
Even after the women were released from the Vampire Camp there were imprisoned in this season, they didn’t do much more than frolic around with a group of otherwise straight couples making love in the sunlight. Their first conversation after being set free was, again, all about Eric.
Perhaps this season was different because it was the first in which creator Alan Ball was not at the helm. Out writer Angela Robinson wrote two of the season’s episodes. In 6.2 “The Sun,” Pam showed concern over Tara’s being shot with a silver UV light bullet, which Eric was able to remove. On “Fuck the Pain Away” (6.5), Tara and Eric working together to try and free Pam before becoming imprisoned themselves.
Now that it appears Eric has been burnt into eternal death, will Season 7 mean that Pam will spend the entire time sulking over her maker’s death? The future for Tara is even more uncertain: On last night’s finale, Tara had an emotional scene with her mother which might just lead to an untimely end for her, depending on if her mother is still hateful of vampires, her daughter being one, and is possibly infected with Hep V, which is an epidemic in Bon Temps.
If Tara does survive, she and Pam will likely head back to Fangtasia where they will try to put the bar back together. (Looks like it could be a new lesbian destination, if that’s the case.) But with Pam always threatening to release Tara, it seems like their relationship isn’t developing. Instead, it appears to be regressing, as Pam didn’t have any sexual relations with Tara this season but, instead, had sex with her Vamp Camp therapist in exchange for getting put back into general population and out of solitary confinement.
Earlier this summer, Vulture declared that Pam and Tara were part of the reason lesbians were having “the best summer ever.” Considering there wasn’t much development in their relationship, or of Tara in general, that only adds emphasis to the fact that though we might have had a lot of gay female characters on shows this summer, not all of them fared too well. Bullet perished on The Killing, Skins Fire killed off fan favorite Naomi, half of Under the Dome‘s lesbian couple passed away and now it appears that Laura Prepon will not be returning as Alex for much of Season 2 of Orange is the New Black.
Considering Tara Thornton is not a part of the original Sookie Stackhouse novels, there isn’t a set storyline for the show to follow, even if they were attempting to do that at all. But True Blood has been hailed as a great show for LGBTQ storylines, characters and themes and this season seemed to be the least queer yet. Besides a lack of Tara and no development of her relationship with Pam, Lafayette was also underused beside a minor arc in which he was possessed and attempted to kill Sookie. The focus was larger on Sookie’s relationships with Bill, Alcide and Warlow and substories of Terry’s depression/death, Andy’s fae daughters and Sam’s new girlfriend.
But what really makes it evident that there was nothing for us lesbians this season was the amount of straight sex scenes shown this season (Sookie and Warlow, Jason and Sarah Newlin, Jessica and her new vampire boyfriend). After getting a Pam/Tara kiss at the end of last season, maybe we expected too much. Mostly I think we just expected something—anything—and were given a lot of nothing.