Alexander Skarsgard and Kristin Bauer van Straten

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of True Blood. Read at your own risk.]

Sniff, Pam and Eric have broken up!

Though they were never actually a couple, it was still heartbreaking in Sunday's episode of True Blood to see Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) set Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) free, relinquishing his rights as her maker after succumbing to the reality that he probably won't be walking this earth for much longer. (But, I mean, come on, there's no way they're going to kill Eric, right?)

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Still, we never expected the culmination of Pam's origin story to lead to the separation of the best vampire duo on television (Sorry, Salvatore Brothers). Pam's flashbacks, however, provided a parallel between her and new progeny Tara's introductions into the vampire world. Pam forced Eric's hand when she slit her own wrists, while Pam was forced to sire Tara (Rutina Wesley), the acid-tongued best friend of Sookie (Anna Paquin), who Pam spent the bulk of last season trying to kill.

TVGuide.com turned to Bauer to get the scoop on this season's Pam-heavy story lines, including what happens now that Pam is free and what kind of maker she'll be to Tara — let's just say it'll be a rocky mother-daughter relationship. Get the scoop:

How did it feel finally learning Pam's backstory this year? You've said for years you've really wanted to see it.
Bauer:
For years! Right? Alex and I have been asking, "What's their story?" and they would always sort of pat us on the head like little petulant children and joke with us and never tell us anything. So to actually read it and have it explained so well, that she's gone through hard times, so that's why she's so unsympathetic. She went from understanding vulnerability to being the top of the food chain and never looked back. I feel like the way they did that backstory explains who she is so well and also explains so well, to me, her relationship with Eric.

Were you surprised that Pam essentially forced Eric's hand by slitting her wrists?
Bauer:
Yeah. I was surprised, but I thought that was the best. I realized I couldn't have come up with a better way, because she — even more than Eric almost — loves being a vampire. She is the most committed. It was so economical, that move, to show how ballsy she is, how much she wanted a way out of her old life and would be the most committed to the new life. I thought in that one gesture it explains so much.

How will she deal with her newfound freedom?
Bauer:
I'm still figuring that out because [at least until Episode 12] she's putting on a brave face. Just because he released her doesn't change the fact that he's her one person, so she's ballsy and brave, but it's very hard for Pam. I don't think that she ever pictured her life without him. That's the structure of her world. It's like any huge change, or divorce or a death. You don't really know how to start rebuilding. I feel like that's Pam's year, is trying to figure that out, and as we're shooting and I'm waiting for scripts I'm still trying to figure that out.

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We saw a maternal side to Pam last season with Jessica and now we're seeing that more with Tara. What can you tell us about what's in store now that she has her own daughter?
Bauer:
And was sort of forced into it, in a way! And spent all last year trying to kill her! [Laughs] These two chicks hate each other, but Pam does have so much integrity. She has her code of honor and her integrity and never breaks it. She's one of the most honest characters as well. She's going to be a bit of a tough-love mother and a bit more animalistic. She's not going to be über-caring, to say the least. It's been a really fascinating year to watch that battle between wanting to kill this girl, but now she's her progeny. It's an interesting arc. And I'm waiting to see how they resolve it for the year, I don't know.

Will she still try to help Eric in trying to take down Russell despite being freed?
Bauer:
Yeah. For eternity, if she has the option, she'll be trying to be with Eric and make sure he's okay. She can't help it. It's her dad. There's a very paternal connection, and the way that it was made felt, to me, like it really explains how he's saved her.

Were you upset that Eric freed Pam?

True Blood airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.