Jessica Hamby returned to us all “back, and all grown up” according to her own self-aware assessment.
As True Blood season 5 came and went, Deborah Ann Woll once again reprised her ever-evolving role of Jessica Hamby. While older vampires like Pam still have every right to call her a baby vamp, us humans can see that she’s grown a lot since she was sired.
In fact, Jessica also said, “I ain’t a baby vamp no more.” So what was she? A thrill-seeking teenage vamp! Which meant having fun, partying and shoving those break-up woes far away. It was time for an over-haul.
Forgoing those familiar and laid back plaid shirts and jeans, Jessica upped her glam factor by wearing platform pumps and short dresses. Since her Dad was out of the house, she took advantage of her ability to spread her wings like the rich, unsupervised teenager she was. While she couldn’t do certain rites of passage, she had become interested in maturing. Even if, sometimes, her version of maturing meant wearing colored hair extensions.
She never missed a chance to flaunt her power-by-extension to those who wanted to be insubordinate. After all, by her logic, she was the Queen/Princess of Louisiana. And what good is being a princess if you don’t have someone bow down to kiss your hand every once in a while?
Jessica was intent on having fun, playing quarters and entertaining local moronic frat boys. Of course, she couldn’t stop Jason (Ryan Kwanteen) from coming by. He even managed to play some rock band with her.
It was a care free time for our gal. All puppies and rainbows. (Of course, vampires probably don’t care much about rainbows…)
She was so happy she practically glowed.
She managed to become friends with Jason, and even helped him out of a tight situation with the good ol’ Reverand Newlin (Michael McGillian) who wanted to buy Jason from her. Being a good friend, Jess wouldn’t hear of it. Operation intimidation was in effect!
To embrace her vampire un-life, Jessica hung out at Fangtasia more. And though it looked like she might have a new friend in bay vamp Tara (Rutina Wesley), things got heated when Tara started sucking on Hoyt in a bathroom stall (scandalous!) And the fact that Jessica stopped that made Hoyt (Jim Parrack) believe there was still hope for their relationship… which was not on Jessica’s agenda. Oh, Hoyt. Poor, dear, sweet Hoyt.
Jessica just wanted to be a vampire with no cares!
True love with Hoyt was no longer in her cards. Especially when he dressed like he was going to sing in a Fall Out Boy cover band.
Meanwhile, Jason was trailing her around like a puppy. A really cute puppy.
One of the most heartbreaking moments of True Blood season 5 came when Hoyt asked to be glamored into forgetting both Jessica and Jason ever existed in his life.
It seemed for a moment that Jessica would refuse Hoyt, but in the end she gave in to his enormous request. And then he took off to Alaska. (Where there might be even more vampires, since they don’t mind the cold…)
Jessica let him go. This was incredibly painful. But she was also in the midst of coming to terms with her feelings for Jason. Which meant she was no longer against the idea of being with someone who wasn’t a vampire. There was less time for rebelling, so her true, more balanced nature began to surface. She was once again a girl with a big heart showing on her sleeve.
Bill (Stephen Moyer) collected his progeny. With armed guards.
Although Jessica had escaped religious lunacy from her biological family, now she had it coming from her vampire sire. Bill became very pro-Lilith.
In fact, you could say there was a cult mentality going on. And when Jessica wanted to warn Sookie and Jason about Russell, she was surprised to see that Bill no longer cared. Rather than try to reason with him like a little girl, she tried to pull the wool over his eyes with some stealth tactics. This attempt to get word to Jason made Bill decide to test Jessica by demanding that she turn Jason Stackhouse into a vampire. Gulp. She had two armed guards follow her for her task.. No getting out of that… or was there?
And as she tried to send a silent message to Jason, he wasn’t getting the double meaning. But it worked out, and she didn’t kill him. (Whew!) Though, she revealed that her true lovey dovey feelings did lie with him.
To escape Bill, she ran to a reluctant Pam ( Kristin Bauer Van Straten) at Fangtasia. She traded info on Eric for some leniency, and managed to get Pam to take her seriously enough to hide her for the night. The survival instinct is strong with this one!
Jessica was also the one who noticed that Tara had a thang for Pam, in fact. She’s observant. And rather than focusing on being a brat and acting out because she hates the world, she’s started to have more compassion and insight for others.
Our red-haired heroine also admitted she had no friends, and Tara still seemed like a good candidate. Except she phrased it in a way that didn’t come off like Tara was her only option. Even though… she kinda is. Well, unless Pam secretly does have a passion for braiding hair while gossiping about George Clooney’s latest girl about town. Even Pam would have to admit that Clooney’s got allure.
Making the painful choices, moving on… that’s our Jessica Hamby. Even though she still blew off some steam from time to time, she became a far likeable character in True Blood season 5, don’t you think?
What do you expect will happen to Jessica on True Blood season 6?
You can find Deborah Ann Woll in the movie “Ruby Sparks” on Netflix soon, as well as the upcoming projects “Highland Park”, “Meet Me In Montenegro”, and “Rosaline” with Lily Collins.
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Follow TV Critic Jessica Rae on Twitter @ThisJessicaRae.
jessica true blood pics | jessica hamby true blood pics | True Blood photos by John P. Johnson and Lacey Terrell for HBO