This week’s episode of True Blood was so mediocre it barely warrants talking about, but luckily, between Terry’s shady army past, Pam and Eric’s “break up” and Christopher Meloni’s awesome presence, there were a few noteworthy moments.

The overarching theme of the season seems to be developing as the relationship between a maker and their spawn, with Pam, a first time “mother”, attempting to navigate the ups and downs of being new vampire Tara’s teacher. Likewise, Bill plays an authoritative and affectionate father figure for Jess, and both seem to be fairly straight-forward child/parent relationships. What’s really interesting, however, and somewhat moving, is the relationship between Pam and Eric.

It’s rare that True Blood inspires any real stirring of emotion internally, but there was something very tender in Eric renouncing his mastery over Pam in order to protect her and their blood line. A noble moment for both characters, the severing of their supernatural connection as maker and progeny was portrayed without the usual ham and melodrama that True Blood normally applies to loss. Instead it was dignified and intimate, and served to add a very poignant layer to one of the few True Blood relationships that is actually evolved past irrational “need” and gratuitous sex.

Similarly, there was a distinct moment in Terry’s flashback where I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention, and even a welling behind my eyes at the sight of the mound of dead civilians. Although when the shooting began, I felt like I was playing COD (yes I’ve played COD, what of it?) with the surreal gun firing sounds and shouts of “Where are the hostiles?” “I can’t see the enemy!” amidst flashes of white and a shroud of smoke. So while the episode was fairly lacklustre overall, these two scenes were powerful enough to ensure I was at least marginally emotionally invested in the outcome, and indeed to plough forward with the season.

Also stepping in to save the episode, and indeed it seems like maybe the whole season, was Christopher Meloni. Having been given an absolutely rubbish plot with The Authority (does anyone else find it really hard to care about this?), Meloni is charismatic and powerful on screen, and completely commanding in all his scenes, no matter how boring the subject matter or how cheesy the lines. I mean, I was absolutely terrified when he killed that vampire kid/council member.