'True Blood' review: Everyone this week had a 'Right To Sing The Blues'

After last week’s lark of an episode, this Sunday’s True Blood played for keeps. Written by series creator Alan Ball, it explored the way all of this season’s major characters seek love and control, and tend to lose both. 

It was an episode entitled “I Got A Right To Sing The Blues,” and nearly everyone in it did. Eric had to pretend, in the opening moments, to not care for Sookie while he was in the presence of Russell (and is Denis O’Hare, for such a physically slight man, imposing his great power as an actor on this role, or what?). Dispatching Bill to the “slave quarters” to allow Lorena to have her way with our hero, Russell turned his attention to Sookie, intrigued to know more about her powers.

Russell and Sookie engaged in a game of asking each other questions about their origins and abilities, and it was both cleverly amusing and menacing. They were taking the measure of each other.

Two other couples were busy in more romantic matters. Jason was rolling around on the ground with Crystal, when the latter sniffed the air and jumped up, saying, “I gotta go.” I think she smelled that “finace” we met a bit later on. Lafayette and Jesus continued their flirtation, making out in Lafayette’s car; their quick, teasing kisses were languidly romantic.

Unfortunately, another couple, Bill and Lorena, were engaged in an intimacy that may have once been rooted in love but has rotted into a death-wish. As Russell observed, Bill “has been [Lorena's] drug of choice for some time now.” Indeed, for hundreds of years: Having pinned Bill to the ground like a butterfly in a lepidopterist’s tray, Lorena slit Bill from throat to sternum, and prepared to slice him up. He begged her to “do it quickly,” but not before acknowledging the tragedy of Lorena’s existence: That she was once someone capable of smiles and light “instead of darkness.” Her tears may have been red upon hearing him, but her sorrow, knowing Bill was correct, was true blood.

Another couple: Tara and Franklin. Yes, Franklin was good for one big laugh: Pouncing on tied-up Tara, he yowled gleefully, “You haven’t even noticed that I shaved!” Tara was faking passion in order to plot her escape, and when Franklin commanded her to “Feed on me!” we saw her grimace but then take some lusty chomps. A bit later, Franklin sated, Tara sent a mental message to Sookie, telling her, “I’m gonna get us outta here”… and made good on her promise by bashing in Franklin’s skull with a mace.

Still another couple: Russell came upon Queen Sophie Anne, fresh from a session of scratch-off-ticket playtime, and proposed to her again, this time his entreaty carrying some weight. He promised to settle all her debts, and so she grudgingly became his betrothed.

Sam and Jason each had to make discoveries. Sam has tumbled to the idea that those scratches on Tommy’s back aren’t from the beatings of his father, but, it now seems clear after a conversation Tommy had with his mother, and another that Sam had with Sheriff Andy, that Tommy shifts into a pitbull and is used in illegal fights.

Jason, meanwhile, had to discover something about himself. He came upon the hot-shot quarterback having back-seat sex with a girl, and rousted the kid out of the car with cheerful vigor. But when he said, “Here’s the difference between you and me… ” he had to pause, because he realized there’s almost no difference — he’s just a barely grown-up version of that cocky quarterback, and that self-revelation threw him.

But the episode circled back to its bleeding heart: Bill still alive but gravely hurt, Sookie at his side — “Please don’t be dead” — ending with Lorena biting deep into Sookie’s neck.

Stray silver-bullet observations:

• Sookie’s imitation of Bill has now been equaled by her imitation of Eric. (Brava, Anna Paquin!)

• Russell saying that Hitler was right about there being a “master race,” but “Adolph” didn’t have the right one — his words as creepy as anything he’s actually done.

• I hope Lafayette and Jesus can patch things up, despite Jesus finding out that his new lover-man deals in V.

• Arlene and Jessica in the restaurant, taking advantage of a picky eater: fine comic relief.

• The return of the political element — TV news debate of the right-wing’s attack on vampire rights; Russell mentioning that the American Vampire League would work with the IRS against the Queen if it would tamp down rumors that “vampires are running Wall Street” — all of this was most welcome.

What’d you think?

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Comments (194 total) Add your comment
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  • Sarah El

    Good follow-up to last week’s homerun episode. I really enjoyed it, and I also hope that Lafayette and Jesus can patch things up! They are the most adorable couple on the show.

    • me

      Ken Tucker is an anal cancer. I gave up on this show mid season. Fans are so in love with temselves. I could just not remove enough if my brain to enjoy it anymore.

      • nc

        Based on this comment, I think you have removed enough of your brain.

      • olly

        not true. still can’t enjoy the show. Go reply though. You are too smart to watch too.

      • kp22kc

        Last night’s show was the “mid-season”. There are only 12 episodes and that was #6. When did you give up? 9pm last night?

      • Liz

        I admit that it was a slow start. But it’s getting better. Don’t give up on it.

    • Hutchy

      The show has hit it’s stride, mostly. The problem is, its 65% of an amazing show and 35% completely tedious. There were audible groans of frustration in the group I watch with every time they cut to Jason’s going-nowhere plot. Everything having to do with the vampires is kicking serious butt. Everything else is going nowhere, and I’m getting whiplash cutting back and forth between these intense, well acted, dramatic, violent, suspenseful scenes……and then Jason grabbing some QB out of a car, or Sam staring at his dad in grungy tighty whiteys.

      • The Truth

        Agree, I keep hoping Jessica’s feeding urges get out of control and end the misery that is Sam’s parents and brother. The writers need to shift Jason back to the comic relief. There he was a funny loser instead of just a loser.

      • ElSol69

        You can add — Jesus & Lafayette to the going nowhere plots — I get it Vampire Rights as a metaphor for Gay Rights… But don’t put something in for the sake of putting it in, connect it to the main premise of the supernatural! They could have spent those five minutes of Jesus and Lafayette with the Magister + Pam thing or with the far more interesting Jessica as an abandoned newbie vampire! The secondary characters Terry, Lafayette, Hoyt, even Jason are interesting because they’re ‘normals’ dealing with the supernatural… not just for themselves.

      • The Real truth

        I would say more like 80% tedious and with issues 20% entertaining.

      • Storm

        I agree. For the most part, I enjoyed last night’s episode. Great twist, cool gore, and all the story lines are getting better except for Sam and Jessica’s, but that is just because I can’t really see how they are going to pay off as big OMG moments. Anyway, I just have to add when did “True Blood” become a Comedy or Dramedy. I mean, the thing that I loved about the first season is that even though you had all of these supernatural elements, the human characters (and to a large extent the vampires) seemed grounded in reality. Right now, the humans are OVER THE TOP and the vampires even more so. Don’t get me wrong. I still loved the episode. The teaser for next week was killer (no pun intended), so maybe I shouldn’t complain. But, honestly, when “True Blood” has been funny in the past, it was because an awkward moment or reaction developed out of a fairly honest interaction or just great dialogue or awesome acting. But until this season we never had CONTRIVED funny moments like Lorena (the Queen) obsessing over scratchers or just about everything that Jason Stackhouse has done this season. Jeesh! BTW TB writers, on the Jason plot line, just get to the reveal on the girl already!!!

      • Zakry

        I disagree. I guess some folks have not grasped that TB is about the residents of Bon Temps, not just vampires (you have telepaths, werewolves, shapeshifters, etc and you still haven’t grasped that)? Lafayette and Jason’s girl storylines have just started and they are “going nowhere?” Who was that talking about removing part of his brain?

      • NanBoleyn

        I agree! Jason is BORING! Keep his screen time to a minimum bc dumb isn’t funny for long.

        I went, “Huh?” when Russell said Bill had been Lorena’s drug of choice for hundreds of years when Bill was only made less than 200 years ago. Stuff like that bugs me.

      • Hutchy

        Zakry, it isnt that I dont grasp the concept. Yeah, I get it, True Blood is about Bon Temps somewhat. That means absolutely nothing to me when being forced to sit through another scene of Jason Stackhouse eating ink and limboing under a paper clip rope. Some storylines have higher qualities then others. Personally, I enjoy the Jessica and Arlene/Terry storylines in small doses, and can tolerate (barely) the Sam stuff. However, the Jason stuff is just pointless and boring compared to the vampire stuff, and having to cut away from compelling, suspenseful action to see Jason mooning over some chick is infuriating.

      • L

        Agreed. Jason Stackhouse and Crystal bug…and that cheesy enya music in the background…uh no.

      • Kate

        @Zakry, the characters still have to do something of worth to be interesting. True Blood reminds me of Dexter in that the central storylines are killer, but they don’t really know what to do with the supporting characters. That being said, I love all things Lafayette, so will have to disagree with Hutchy on that one.

  • Ted

    I think this season is so dark and wonderful. Next episode they are Bringing in Claudine via Sookie’s coma. I think her coma will be game changer moment for her as it might cause her to become wiser.

    • MCS

      Youre pretty much the biggest moron ever. Thanks for the spoilers idiot.

      • april

        @ MCS – I believe the warning in KT’s article regarding spoilers also applies to the comments section. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read it. Duh!

      • james

        @April– You believe wrong April. And yes, Ted is an *sshole.

      • james

        You believe wrong April. And yes, Ted is an *sshole.

      • frankilinsgirl

        maybe some people don’t care about spoiling the show for others…I know i don’t.

      • RC

        MCS – did you not watch the preview’s for next week’s episode? Not really a spoiler since it was on the preview’s. Who’s the MORON now!?!?!?!?!

      • TW

        Ken Tucker’s comments about spoilers refers to the episode which aired last night, not future episodes. “True Blood” is unique among most TV series because it follows a series of novels quite closely and those who have read the books pretty much know what’s going to happen on TV for years to come. Since many people choose to only watch the TV series or read the books after their corresponding seasons have aired, it’s only fair to limit discussion to what’s already had a first run air on HBO. I’m sure that there are some message boards out there for people who’ve both read the books and are watching the series and want to have discussions which take both into account.

      • RC

        TW – Alan Ball has many times stated that does not and will not follow the book’s storyline, which has been proven in Season 1 & 2. Ex. – Lafayette doesn’t die like in the books
        – Mary Ann (the Maenad) is killed by Sam instead of her killing off 3-4 humans including Eggs like in the 2nd book.
        – And also Godric is Eric’s maker unlike in the books.

        Therefor, no one actually know’s what is going to happen on the show….Alan Ball will come up with his own plots and twists for this season and more to come.

      • toodles

        How about this spoiler. The show stinks this season and it had spoiled itself.

      • Tarc

        @MCS – Actually, the only moron is someone that goes to an entertainment spoiler site, and then expects not to be spolied.

      • timmy t

        Love it when people come on the boards and complain about spoilers. Don’t want to get spoiled? Stay off the boards. Morons.

      • Lee

        Further to RC’s comments, there is no Eggs in the book series…there is no Jessica…Sam never meets his adoptive parents and there is no younger brother…Tara is a periphery character…Terry is a Vietnam vet, not Gulf War…Sheriff Bud doesn’t quit…

        Point being, the books are a great breeding ground for these stories, but they aren’t the script for the script.

        Yes, devotees of the books can make a better educated guess as to what’s next, but when dealing with the turns AB has taken, there is a lot we are as in the dark with as you all are.

      • Hooch

        Also – Ted’s comments were not a “spoiler” based on the books. Lorena doesn’t bite Sookie in the books, and doesn’t go into a coma. He got that from next week’s preview which ALREADY AIRED. Unless you mean, that he gave away the girl’s name from the preview? How much of a spoiler is that really?

      • Jessi

        Actually Lee there is a character named Eggs in the book series, he dated Tara. The series just took his character and expanded it.

  • Barry

    When vamps are made they stay that way forever. Therefore, Franklin could have shaved all he wanted to but his stubble would have always been there.

    • Shai

      Then why was Pam able to give Eric a hair cut at the beginning of season 2. Obviously some of the “traditional” rules of the vamp mythology don’t apply in this series. Not that that’s a bad thing.

      • me

        Because this shos was written for pretentious ignoramuses and most wouldn’t catch the mistake you just caught. I caught too many and abandoned ship. I still like to come here to see who is congratulating themselves on their trying to be in the cool club.

      • Liz

        Alan Ball said that in his world, vampire’s hair grow, because not only does it continue to grow a bit when you’re dead, but also because he wanted to be able to change a character’s hair, for them to not always have the same head.

      • Barry

        Because he had a movie role in real life. He should have stayed a blond like in the books. But then Bell has deviated so much from the books already.

      • Jon

        Not that I care if the characters change appearance on the show, butttt… Alan Ball is wrong. Your hair and nails do not continue to grow when you’re dead. That’s an old wives’ tale.

      • nat

        Hey “me”, whose the pretentious one creeping on the boards of a show you claim to not watch just to be a jerk? What a sad person you are. You don’t like the show? Thats fine by me. Just don’t come on here and insult people who do, moron.

    • J

      Hey, they can tinker with the mythology all they want as long as they don’t start sparkling.

      • kim in kentucky

        YES YES YES!

      • Zaiyah

        Wow! That’s a really neat awsnre!

    • DiMi

      That’s only in the anne rice novels. They stay the same age in other mythologies but may be able to change appearance.

      • cr

        In the books vamp hair no longer grows, so if you cut it off, it stays cut. That’s CH’s mythology, one that AB has chosen not to follow.

    • Kato

      No, he could shave it off, but it would just grow back the next day while he was dead.

      • Brodie

        Oh no – mine does the same thing!

    • Vegas25

      AB previously said that because hair and nails actually continue to grow after death, the TB vamps can change their hair just like humans. It grows like it normally would…

      • Riss

        AB is wrong and should know better. After we die we begin to dehydrate and there is an illusion of growth when the skin retracts, but our hair does not keep growing.

    • Sean S.

      Hate to break it to you, but vampires aren’t real and,for that reason, there is no rule on how they must evolve/behave. Any writer can mold a fictitious creature to their own storytelling whims.

      • Holly

        Exactly! It has always annoyed me when people say vampires can’t be this and can’t to that. They are fictional creatures! They can do or be anything.

      • Marc

        Thank you for saying what I was thinking lol this is fiction here people lets lighten up a bit and enjoy the entertainment lol.. Because that is what it is… ENTERTAINMENT… If you are not entertained please tune in to something more relevant to your tastes… Nothing wrong with that lol.. I think AB is doing a great job interpretting the books while keeping the best moments from them in tact :)

      • Hooch

        That’s what the Bon Temps residents used to think too!

  • tim

    I almost thought Tara would be a vamp

    • tg

      I almost thought I might almost think of an almost clever comment.

      • Desmo

        And yours is? Clever that is.

      • nc

        But you didn’t.

    • Barry

      Just think…if that happened we would be free of her whiny character for 3 days while she turned.

      • DiMi

        I don’t think outsmarting and seducing a vampire, bashing his head in, and saving your best friend from vampires and wolves is whiny. YOU are the one that sounds whiny.

      • Steph

        Her character would have been much more interesting as a vampire. Franklin Mott could have stuck around, which would have been awesome.

      • Kate

        Don’t count on Mott necessarily being dead. Stupid Tara used the mace rather than any of the other implements on hand which would have nicely decapitated him…
        He wasn’t exactly a puddle on the floor the last time we saw him.

      • Riss

        @Kate – I thought about that when she threw the mace down and left the room. Why wouldn’t she make sure he was decapitated or use one of the other weapons to stake him? I think Franklin will definitely be back.

      • Eddi

        aZg5iA Cool! That’s a clever way of looking at it!

  • james

    Love the show and have enjoyed the season thus far but this episode was boring/annoying.

    • TIME

      YOUR ANNOYING

      • anon

        *YOU’RE ANNOYING

      • VikingQuest

        My annoying what?

  • Cold Fever

    I miss Franklin already :( …that stubble was sexy.

    • JBDuRone

      I agree the stubble on Franklin was indeed sexy and much needed for his menacing ways – adds that “bad boy” I don’t give a darn edge. Actually without the stubble he looks more average/regular even. I think I’d like Tara as a vamp.

      • LafayetteCalledTARAaHookah

        I think Franklin is not dead! He’ll heal. Without the stubble, Tara will see him in a different light! She was kissing someone last week…Dunno if it was Franklin though..

      • L

        Maybe it’s just me, but I just dont find Franklin sexy. He grosses me out! Now Eric Northman in that blue sexy…Now we’re talking.

    • Bernice

      I REALLY hope that’s not it with Franklin. I have come to love and enjoy him these past few weeks. I want more Franklin. Sadly I think he’s done :(

      • april

        I don’t think Franklin is dead – to kill a vampire you have to either stake them or cut off their head. She only bashed his in, lol. He’ll heal.

    • Barry

      She didn’t kill him since she didn’t stake him. He’ll be back for his revenge.

      • melissa

        You would think that of ALL of the weapons on that handy-dandy weapon wall…she would have picked up the ultra-sharp HUGE AX and chopped off his head! but noooooo, i’m Tara and want to bash it in instead…lol

      • melissa

        how come Tara didn’t pick up the obviously HUGE and shiny ax and chop off Franklin’s head? silly girl…vampires heal!

      • lupa402

        Or instead of revenge, he’s turned on. He is a freak after all.

  • james

    By the way, Tucker asked what we thought…I kind of am still wondering what he thought? That was a pretty dry and straightforward recap.

    • tg

      Because Tucker is an anal cancer.

      • Desmo

        Troll.

  • Mark

    Do you think Franklin is dead? We were trying to figure out whether or not that would kill him. Will Bill be forced to sire another vampire?

    • TIME

      NO WAY,WATCH OUT FOR PISSED BIPOLAR VAMP TO RETURN WITH VENGENCE.

      • mn

        Caps lock – left hand side of your key board. Press it once.

      • mn

        Caps Lock – left side of your keyboard. Press it once.

  • Brian

    Another awesome episode. I can’t wait for the rest of the season. The preview for the next episode seemed like a movie trailer — epic. I’m loving this season.

  • Madd

    They should really rename the bar after Arlene. I’m pretty sure she’s the only one who actually shows up for work.
    As a fan of Eric and Sookie (especially in the books) I somehow find myself…wanting Bill and Sookie together. Bravo to Stephen and Anna.

    • Bernice

      Hahaha u are so right Madd. Arlene is the only one that works there. She most def needs a big raise. I missed Terry a little on this episode.

      • LafayetteCalledTARAaHookah

        Arlene’s fear of Jessica is hysterical! Lafayette works too..
        I think Russell is a sexy little man!!

        I loved when Franklin told Tara he didn’t like to be policed!! This guy is delusional ;-) I hate to say it but Franklin is Tara’s Yang!! That hookup is perfect chemistry. I think if the writers knew how perfect it would have been, they might have made Franklin less nutty and have a more “normal” relationship. ;-)

        Jesus is something and Lafayette selling V hits at the core..

        I actually felt Lorena’s pain last night!! And Bill……….Always perfect!!

        I’ll say it again, Tara needed to jump all over Alcide’s hot arrrse in those woods ;-)

      • Sarah

        You felt Lorena’s pain? How so?

      • JREO

        @LafayetteCalledTARAaHookah: “Jesus is something and Lafayette selling V hits at the core..”

        **SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS***
        I find this interesting, that there may be more than meets the eye to Jesus… do you think it is at all possible that Jesus may be Claude the Fairy?? If I’m smoking Lafayette’s good sh*t, what do you think may be up with him?

      • JREO

        @LafayetteCalledTARAaHookah: “Jesus is something and Lafayette selling V hits at the core..”

        **SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS*****
        I find this interesting, that there may be more than meets the eye to Jesus… do you think it is at all possible that Jesus may be Claude the Fairy?? If I’m smoking Lafayette’s good sh*t, what do you think may be up with him?

    • Liz

      The Sookie, Bill & Eric from the show are different from the books. And indeed, in the show (as in the books in my case), I DEFINITELY want Bill & Sookie together!

      • james

        You figured that out from only THREE seasons? wow!

      • Liz

        ? Go away.

      • Patricia

        I want Bill & Sookie together too- in the books and on the show. But I am in the minority.

      • nat

        Anyone want Alcide and Sookie together? I like Bill and Sookie, but Alcide is just so awesome. And attractive : )

      • Hooch

        I like the idea of her being with Alcide, because then at least she could have a somewhat normal life, where they both age and could have children. Can’t really see how you could stay with a vampire for very long once you passed pretty much 40 (maybe 50 if you age really well) and they were still in their mid 20-30’s prime.

  • Dede

    No way do I think Franklin is dead. I wish that Alan ball can keep this character. James grain is marvelous. And welcome back fiesty Tara. So glad she wanted to leave Bill’s behind.

    • LafayetteCalledTARAaHookah

      Tara’s a Hustler and she gets it with Bill. She knows he loves Sookie but has Vamop issues..

      And why didn’t Tara jump on that Hot piece Alcide right then and there.. LMAO..

      • DiMi

        Alcide and Tara had more sexual tension in their one little moment than he had with Sookie after three weeks. Remember, his character loves the crazy ladies. I’d love to see an Alcide – Tara – Franklin love triangle or love scene – either one.

  • Nanna

    This episode really pissed me off. I hate being left in the mist of things and just wondering about every last little thing. Like Jason &. Crstyal. Tommy&sam. Lafeyette & Jesus.

    • foozlesprite

      Then this is not the series to watch, lol! Every episode/season ends with lots of cliffhangers.

  • Jack

    It was a really great episode tonight.

    • TIME

      BEST SINCE #10 LAST YEAR

      • trolly mctrollerson

        And last year was awful so I guess it was just mediocre.

      • James

        Trolly, he’s talking about the episode I Will Rise Up which had a brilliant scene with Eric, Sookie and Godric.

  • Natalie

    I kind of LOVED the adoring look Lorena gave Bill after Coot revealed how he had killed three of his werewolf buddies.

  • Jon

    This show is really hitting its stride. So far this season it’s been dealing in extremes — of sex, violence, romance, action. Each episode is like an adrenaline rush. This is by far the best acting Anna Paquin has done on the series. Her scenes with Russell — with that brave-but-barely-holding-it-together nervousness — and the obvious love and devotion she displayed for Bill — were absolutely amazing.

    For me, the scenes with Bill and Lorena were a little bit melodramatic. But the acting carried it through. That has been a constant this year: incredible acting.

    I was surprised to hear that Eric was older and more powerful than the Queen. This doesn’t make much sense to me. Why would he do her bidding “out of respect”? How did she force him to do anything? I always assumed he did it because he had to.

    • Liz

      He does has to obey her, because she is the Queen. (unless he betrays her, lol!). Just like Bill has to obey Eric, because he is the Sheriff. Like they have to obey the Magister.
      There are rules in the Vampire World… but you know, rules are made to be broken! :)

      • EV

        Yes, vengeance trumps rules. I think that Eric is going to try and take out Russell.

    • orville

      BOOK SPOILER

      Who knows? Alan Ball does what he wants. It is a change from the books. I believe that Eric isn’t quite as old as the series makes him (and doesn’t have near the backstory) and that Sophie is much older (she’s about 1500 years old or so from what eventually became France–her back story is a little tragic).

      I’m pretty sure that the show is coming down on the side of “do their bidding” because of vampire politics. Maybe the Magister would punish any vamp that didn’t follow the hierarchical rules? Meh–the show isn’t supposed to make sense, I guess.

      • amtj03

        Actually Eric is much older then the Queen if you read the books. Eric was a viking(means 500-900s), Sofie Ann was made a vampire in the 1000s. I believe in the book the King of Mississippi is like 500-700 old and Talbot is still human; Alan Ball changes everything. A vampire can become king or queen at any age, they just have to be ruthless. Sookie asked Eric why he was not a King and he said he COULD be, but did not want too. Eric is over a 1000 old in the book, but his family was not killed.

      • orville

        No, I think she was made a vampire before that. Remember, she turned the ‘Berts–and they were from before 800 Britain (possibly even before then). Saxons from way back. And she had been around a while before she changed them.

      • Cathy

        Hey, that’s the gretaets! So with ll this brain power AWHFY?

    • EV

      Godric came up to Eric’s knees but he was supposedly more powerful than Eric. Respect does seem to be a part of the vampire culture in the series: remember Eric’s outrage over Godric being yelled at by the blonde vampire reporter(?) when most likely Godric could have overpowered her? On the other hand, Russell –who also is knee-high to Eric– is not only King but three times older than Eric: a powerful combination of factors.

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