"I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" is not for those with weak stomachs. Not that other True Blood episodes are remotely PG, but the rest don't generally include flesh being torn, fingers twisting inside open wounds, or heads being bashed in. And I thought it was over the top when Bill melted a vampire's face with silver last episode.
The episode starts off with Russell dragging Sookie and Bill back to his mansion, where they're met by Talbot, Lorena, and Eric. Bill makes a valiant effort at staking Russell (after first dispatching one of the guards) but the 3000-year-old vampire swats Bill away like a fly. While Lorena is distressed, first at Bill's betrayal and then at being ordered to kill him, Eric is acting like he couldn't care less about Bill or Sookie. He calls Sookie "it" when referring to her and ignores Bill's pleas to save her (as well as her pleas to help Bill).
When Talbot storms off in a fury about Russell's lackadaisical attitude toward the continual destruction of the mansion (swearing in Greek, to my amusement, prompting me to finally look up the actor, who--surprise, surprise--is Greek), Russell instructs Eric to take Sookie to the library to wait for him. In the library Sookie berates Eric for claiming to care about her and then throwing her to the wolves (well, technically the wolves' master). He makes it clear that he's got more important things to worry about than her. Just as she's letting him know she will get him back for what he's doing, Russell arrives and orders Eric to leave.
Russell and Sookie then have an odd exchange. He actually agrees to answer one of her questions for every question of his she answers. I guess the King of Mississippi is nothing if not indulgent. From him we find out he's not the king of all vampires and that he has "many" crowns (really, Sookie--that's what you asked first?), and that Lorena will kill Bill if she knows what's good for her, but she'll take her time with it. He also lets Sookie know that Bill's been keeping a secret file on her and her family. From Sookie we find out that she still doesn't know what she is ("alien" is one theory), her grandfather was the same way, she has no idea what the light from her hands is about, and the chain she threw at Rattray way back in the first ever episode wrapped itself around what's-his-name's neck (I thought she was just skilled). Satisfied (for now) Russell has Sookie locked in one of the guest rooms while he runs an errand with Eric.
Meanwhile, Lorena starts torturing Bill as a prelude to killing him. This is not a fun scene, and anyone with any kind of heart at all will feel for Bill. So of course, Lorena is only worried about herself. But she's insane so we can't expect too much of her.
Tara is enduring her own form of torture, tied to the bed and forced to play eager lover to the seriously unbalanced Franklin. (I also need to interject here that silk pj's do not work on Franklin--they'd might as well have put him in 'yummy sushi' pajamas.) After finding out that Sookie has been captured, leaving Franklin free to "marry" (i.e., turn) Tara, she shows a sudden and unusual interest in drinking Franklin's blood. She claims she wants to have the most incredible sex a mortal could ever have, since it's her last night as one. He seems to like that idea, telling her to bite him (possibly the first time anyone's ever said it and meant it literally). The scene of Tara's blunt teeth tearing into Franklin's neck is pretty disgusting. They could have toned that one down. At least he seems into it. Franklin later tells Tara that once she's turned there won't be any pain or fear or rules. I have to wonder what's up with Tara's extreme reluctance. Okay, Franklin wouldn't exactly be the ideal maker, but I think immortality might make up for it a little.
Anyway, as Sookie starts breaking down in her room/cell, she hears Tara's voice. Tara's managed to contact Sookie telepathically, and tells her they'll get out of there as soon as the sun comes up. They'll figure out how later.
En route to their errand, Eric flirts shamelessly with Russell and asks how he can tolerate the weres. Russell claims he despises them, as all vampires do, but he finds it beneficial to use them. His ultimate plan? To conquer humans and take over the world. He makes a frighteningly good case for it, but clearly all the vampires of Mississippi are short a couple of bricks. He also unknowingly confirms that he was the vampire responsible for killing Eric's family. Eric is still playing nice, though--for now. And he helps Russell finally break Queen Sophie-Anne and get her to accept his marriage proposal. The lessons here? Watch your spending; scratch and win lotto tickets are not the key to financial solvency; in a man's world, even a Queen is a slave (deep stuff).
The next morning, Lorena is still torturing Bill, refusing to sleep as he nears his end. How sweet. Of course, she also lets Coot and Debbie use him like a juice box, but whatever. Interestingly, Bill makes reference to Lorena's "evil" maker. It could be nothing, but I wonder if we'll get to meet him in some future episode. Hard to imagine a vampire more horrible than Lorena.
Meanwhile, as soon as she can, Tara creeps out of bed and, taking a mace off the wall (why does the decor in the guest room consist of weapons?) bashes Franklin's head in. Yeah, it's as horrible as it sounds. She then takes off to find Sookie. The thing is, Franklin didn't turn into a stringy pool of blood. Is he actually dead? I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him.
Back in Bon Temps, things are just strange.
While dealing with an annoying and difficult customer, Arlene and Jessica end up alone together late at night. It doesn't help Arlene's anti-vamp stance that Jessica's fangs pop out when Arlene cuts her finger (Jessica, chagrined, claims she hasn't eaten). When Arlene whines that this has been the worst night--among other things all her customers stiffed her, Jessica (who's responsible for the dearth of tipping customers) decides to glamour the annoying customer. Jessica makes her leave all the money she has with her to Arlene before sending her on her way (with a minor pit stop in the ladies' so Jessica can have a snack). Why is Jessica being so nice to Arlene all of a sudden?
Elsewhere, Jason and Crystal are getting cozy together in the woods. Things are going pretty well until suddenly Crystal is upset and crying, saying this isn't right. Jason promises he'll take care of her forever, which seems fine by her, until a moment later when she's sniffing the air and then announces she's got to go. She tells Jason he'll never see her again and he needs to forget her. Uh, okay. Of course he ignores her and shows up at her house the next day carrying flowers and wearing his high school letterman jacket. It turns out the skeezy guy who answers the door is Crystal's fiance, but Jason's bigger concern is that she pretends she has no idea who he is and tells him off in no uncertain terms. Jason leaves but ends up taking out his frustration on the cocky high school quarterback (the best one since Jason himself) in what seems to be a pretty pointless scene. I have to believe this rivalry subplot between Jason and Jason junior is going somewhere, but honestly, I don't care. I watch True Blood for the vampires and other supernatural beings, not to get a dose of jocks being dumbasses.
Okay, I also watch for Lafayette, and things seem to be progressing nicely with him and Jesus (pronounced hey-zoos, by the way). Lafayette admits he always wanted to get away from Bon Temps, but somehow always ends up coming back. Jesus mentions he's been around the world with his peripatetic mom. When Lafayette asks about his dad, Jesus shares that no one knows who his dad is because his mom was raped. Interesting, in light of his name and all. There's a nice shot of the two of them kissing in Lafayette's car as the camera pulls out. Then they head over to Lafayette's place. Jesus also seems to have some intimate knowledge of esoteric subjects, commenting on Lafayette's shrine, specifically a couple of the "powerful" gods placed there (I'm not positive, but I think he's making reference to Santeria). Just as things are getting serious between them, the sound of hollering and breaking glass interrupts. A bunch of rednecks Lafayette was trying to convince to sell V a couple of episodes back have decided to go on a homophobic rampage, starting with his car. The rednecks are idiots, though, so it takes about 30 seconds for Jesus and Lafayette to deal with them. Unfortunately, during the altercation it comes out that Lafayette is a dealer, something Jesus is surprisingly judgmental about. He tells Lafayette to take him back to his car.
As for Sam and his family woes, he finally realizes that Joe Lee and Melinda have been supporting themselves by making Tommy shift and participate (as a pit bull) in dog fights (Melinda used to do it until her back was shot). After finding out from Andy where the local dog fights are held Sam takes off after the Mickenses.
In Mississippi again Tara finagles her way into Sookie's room where the two of them beat the guard into unconsciousness. Then they run. Of course, Sookie refuses to leave without Bill, so she sends Tara in search of a vehicle while she wanders aimlessly hoping to find where he's being kept before she's found by one of the werewolf guards. Luckily she gets tipped off by Coot and Debbie, obviously high on V, traipsing out of the building where Bill is. Tara meanwhile does run into a wolf, but (also luckily) it's Alcide looking for Sookie.
You'd think Sookie would be more cautious once she finds Bill, but she's so wrapped up in making sure Bill is still alive (never mind that he's still more or less man shaped rather than puddle shaped) that she doesn't even pause to consider someone else might be around. Lorena comes out of hiding and throws Sookie against the far wall, blaming her for all that's happened. The next moment Lorena is on her, sinking fangs into neck. And Sookie screams. Anyone else getting tired of Sookie screaming? Because I sure am. It doesn't even serve a purpose--she's not screaming in pain, or for help--she's just screaming like some B-movie relic. I'm not a fan of either book Sookie or show Sookie, but at least the book version knows how to keep her mouth shut.
Anyway, all in all a decent episode. I like the dog fighting subplot, and you know Eric's revenge (when he takes it) will be sweet. I'm also intrigued by Jesus and hope we get to see him again. Some of the other bits I could do without, but we'll see where they ultimately go. Halfway through season 3 already--say it isn't so.
Appearance: Pale humans with red-rimmed eyes and snakelike fangs that extend or retract at will.
Strengths: Super speed, strength.
Weaknesses: Stakes, sunlight, silver, blood loss, maces.
Mythology: The older the vampire the stronger they are. If a vampire stays awake during the day, they'll invariably become sick, bleeding from their eyes, ears, and nose.
Sookie: I will never, ever forgive you for this.
Eric: Aw, it thinks we're equals.
Sookie: Why are you even here? I thought you had other things to deal with.
Eric: I do, and I need to think, so please don't take this the wrong way but shut up.
Sookie: Eric, please, I'm begging you--
Eric: [clapping his hand over her mouth to silence her] Thank you.
Sookie: [imitating Eric] Sookie, I'm risking everything to tell you this 'cause you mean so much to me. You make me feel almost human--
Eric: [fangs out] You mean nothing to me, understand? Nothing.
True Blood, Season 3 Episode 6 "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues." Written by Alan Ball. Directed by Michael Lehmann. From HBO.