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True Blood: I Got a Right to Sing the Blues

Russell: "Tell me what you are."
Sookie: "I'm a waitress."
Russell: "Yes, and I am Marie of Romania."

When I begin a review, I usually start with the prevailing theme of the episode. This one was such a violent jumble that all I could think of was half-naked men and a whole lot of blood. And did you notice that all of the violence was inflicted by women? Not what I would consider a valid feminist theme, but it was a nice change of pace.

Again, I have to give gold acting stars to Stephen Moyer. I'm definitely not a fan of torture scenes, and since it was an integral part of the third book, I knew it was coming. But instead of the usual torture scene cliches, Bill kept Lorena off balance by showing compassion for the human being she once was. It wasn't exactly charitable; I'm sure he was trying to get her to kill him. But again, instead of a one note performance of vicious unreasoning evil, Lorena reacted with tears. She was horribly upset and confused. It was effective and even sad, seeing two vampires who once loved each other come to this point. Surprisingly well done.

And how appropriate that Lorena tortured Bill in the slave quarters, since it said a lot about their relationship. Completely different from Eric's relationships with both his maker and his progeny. Is Russell Lorena's maker? They've never said, have they? Did I miss it?

As Lorena was tearing into Bill, Tara was tearing into Franklin. When she went for the spiky medieval mace thing, I kept thinking, no, Tara! Grab the axe and chop off his head! Even though I really didn't want her to kill Franklin, and I somehow doubt that he's dead. And he's not going to be happy with Tara after this. I mean, he shaved for her and everything.

Sookie's conversation with Russell was interesting, but lacked a conclusion. At least she held her own, even in the face of possible torture. (That tough girl theme again.) We did learn that Russell is three thousand years old and clearly, he hasn't lost his voie de vivre. And we know his ultimate agenda now. Like Lex Luthor, he wants to kill a lot of people and take over the world, make it like it used to be in the good old days before overpopulation, pollution and climate change. Good luck with that, Russell. I don't think the American Vampire League will approve. Or then again, maybe it would.

It's hard to tell how Eric feels about anything or anyone, with some obvious exceptions. He loved Godric. He loves Pam. (Only Eric knows what he thinks of Bill.) I believe Eric cares for Sookie, and only acted like she meant nothing to him so that he wouldn't give Russell a hostage. And of course, he wants revenge on Russell. So it seems unlikely that Eric just changed loyalties and turned gay all of a sudden. Gee, could it possibly be a ploy? Russell appears to be falling for Eric's seductive wiles, but who wouldn't? How far is Eric going to take this? I can imagine that a vamp as old, cold and smart as Eric isn't going to flinch at seducing a man he despises to get what he wants.

Jason's new love affair ended abruptly when he took flowers to Crystal's door and discovered she already had a fiance. Jason should move on, although I doubt that he will. While they were having splendor in the grass, Jason observed that Crystal was really warm. Weres run hot. Aha. And what was the point of Jason beating up that kid who reminds him of himself a few years ago? Okay, I might have answered my own question there.

You know what? I'm not interested in Jason and Crystal. Moving right along.

More dueling redheads! Jessica showed compassion toward Arlene, who can't seem to help being prejudiced against the undead. And just when I thought Jessica was evolving, she bit that nasty woman in the ladies' room. At least she didn't kill this one, so good for Jessica. I just wish she were getting more screen time this season.

We were right about Tommy and the dog fighting, although I didn't see Mama coming. The fact that it's a really sick family business makes sense, though. Poor Mama. Joe Lee has got to go down.

Bits and pieces:

-- Russell and Talbot have been married for seven hundred years? Russell acts like a devoted husband, but I wonder if he just goes through the motions. Would he be capable of killing Talbot and feeling nothing?

-- Russell the gay vampire king keeps proposing to Sophie Ann, the gay vampire queen. This time (with Eric's encouragement), she finally said yes. Those two crazy kids might just make it work. Are Russell and Talbot legally married? What's a little bigamy between royals?

-- Hadley was mentioned but not seen. I bet Russell would have been interested if he'd known Hadley was Sookie's cousin. Was she listed on the family tree?

-- Lafayette's endearing little love affair was over before it began when Jesus learned that Lafayette was a V dealer. Why introduce Jesus and Lafayette's mother if the story's over? I'm sure it's not. Jesus revealed that he has no idea who his father was, and that his mother was raped. That seemed like an interesting tidbit for a character we might not see again.

-- Considering what a small amount of V did to Jason, why didn't Coot and Debbie O.D. on Bill? Maybe weres don't O.D.

-- That brief bit on television featured Nan of the American Vampire League and Rep. David Finch, the guy that Lafayette blackmailed a season or two ago.

-- After Sookie and Tara took down a were guard and escaped (more girl power), Alcide showed up as a white wolf. That seemed odd. You'd think he'd have curly black fur.

-- Lorena was playing Billie Holiday's "I gotta right to sing the blues" during the ick scene. Have to acknowledge the other female Billies. There aren't a lot of us.

-- Franklin mentioned shaving in order to look nice for Tara. I guess that answers our questions about whether vampire hair grows. Eric's hair will grow back.

-- I don't usually mention costume, but I loved the queen's white suit and her Mister T strings of pearls. And the lottery tickets. Like Yahtzee, she gets fixated on the strangest things.

-- "Marie of Romania" sounded familiar, so I looked it up. There was a real Marie of Romania, course (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_of_Romania). Well, Russell is three thousand years old; for all we know, he was Marie of Romania. But I was remembering the verse by Dorothy Parker:

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.


Lorena: "I would just love to rip you open and wear your ribcage as a hat." Hello to the imagery! I'm pretty certain Buffy said that same thing to Whistler.

Customer: "And how are those prepared?"
Arlene: "Those are dumped out of a can into a big pot and heated up. Where do you think you are, lady? Red Lobster?"

Lafayette: "Well, that sucked. And not in a good way."

Sookie: "Once I threw a chain at somebody and it wrapped around his neck by itself, like that face crab thing from Alien."

Tara: "I want to have the most amazing sex any human can have before I give myself to you... and death."
Franklin: "Kinky."

I'd say three out of four spiky medieval mace thingies,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Painful chapter. Vampires at the front of all the important scenes for me. Full of vampire blood -too much, but well it's True Blood- and pain as the most relevant.
    Tara's is desperation more than pain, pain -if any in that scene- was Franklin's as well as the blood. With Bill -I agree Moyen was good at it- and Lorena there was blood and pain in both sides. Eric is in a kind of discomfort -that is covered anger- with a touch of pain -I cannot help to admire the light blue even spotted with blood, of course- I agree, he is trying to hide his 'closeness' with Sookie, to protect... her? himself? both? his gay 'approach'? We will know, I hope, soon.

  2. I’m having season two déjà vu. All the really fun and interesting stuff is happening elsewhere (in Jackson, Mississippi rather than Dallas, Texas) while back in Bon Temps we have to endure tiresome subplot after tiresome subplot. Thankfully there are no orgies this time but it honestly seems like Alan Ball haven’t got the foggiest idea what to do with everyone else when the central trio isn’t around.

    And seeing as the poor girl isn’t getting any decent screen time this season I do think we should seriously start petitioning HBO for a spin-off, The Misadventures of Jessica the Vampire Waitress.

    Also I though it was funny how because Alexander Skarsgard couldn’t make it to Comic-Con this year due to filming commitments they just brought out a cardboard cut out of him instead and the place still went absolutely ballistic. Good thing he didn’t show up in person, San Diego might’ve been laid to waste.

  3. Eric has turned out to be the Spike character, the one with the fanatical fan base. When the series began, the book fans were all waiting for Eric, who is arguably the most popular book character. Apparently, it's happened with the series, too. Skarsgard really is perfect for the part. For me, Eric in the series feels almost exactly like the Eric in the books.

    The books are in first person, which is probably why the non-Sookie plotlines don't always seem to flow as well. But Alan Ball did well with other stuff. Jessica isn't even in the books at all.

  4. Billie, you barely mentioned Tara! I really loved her manipulating Franklin in this episode and then kicking ass to save Sookie at the end. I think she's finally getting her pazzaz back.

  5. I actually like Eric more than I thought I would do because as you've mentioned, he is the Spike and Spike was a character that annoyed me in later seasons of Buffy and Eric seems to be getting more interesting, mainly because the writers aren't overemphasising on him and Sookie.

    This wasn't one of my favourite episodes but there were some brilliant moments including Tara being all kick ass which is something I want to see more of with her character.

  6. Yes, Hadley was on the family tree, along with a descendant, Hunter.

  7. During the torture scene Lorena mentioned the name Istvan. I'm guessing it was her maker.

  8. Ohhh thanks for reminding us Patryk, I remember thinking I needed to watch that bit again. I love that this show is so dense that you can keep noticing more with each rewatch :-)

  9. Sookie really needs to come up with a better answer than " I'm a waitress" She's been saying that like a parrot since the last 3 seasons. Its starting to sound like an automated answer to everyone around her. It grated on my nerves and I think she's a decent actress, if not a little overdramatic with the Louisiana accent. I've lived in Louisiana all my life and no one, and I mean no one, talks like that here. The others sound believable, especially Alcide and Jessica. She dramatization of the way people talk here is different and slightly unbelievable.

  10. Stephen Moyer was really amazing as well as Maria Klaveno. I just love Lorena.
    But I have serious mixed feelings about the episode because I just felt most scenes were off and made me cringe mainly Tara biting Franklin and Bill killing that vampire in the beginning. It´s just too much blood and it feels like they do it only for shock value and that feels wrong.


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