Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Review of True Blood's 3x06: "I Got A Right To Sing The Blues"

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Michael Lehmann

Eric: “You mean nothing to me understand? Nothing! I’m very close to getting something I’ve wanted ever since I was still human. Do not get in my way.”
Sookie: “I hate your fucking guts, Eric Northman. I promise I will pay you back for this.”

There’s also a great line in this episode where Russell frankly told Sookie that there was a fine line between feisty and delusional. If there were ever an apt description for the character of Sookie Stackhouse it would lie in that line, which is why it’s highlighted later in the review.

For two and a half seasons now, Sookie has towed the line between bravery and recklessness and while there have been plenty of examples of both in nearly every episode so far in the series; this one seemed to go to town on the matter on Sookie’s penchant for rising to the occasion and leaving herself without a paddle.

In terms of leaving herself without a paddle, Eric had to literally silence at one point in the episode because she wouldn’t shut up. I don’t want Sookie to be meek and do as she’s told but it should’ve been obvious to her that Eric was playing a long game with Russell, hence the coldness he displayed towards her in this episode.

But Sookie had to keep pushing it and at one point, Eric actually had to be a complete bastard towards her in order to get her to pipe. I don’t doubt that Eric is on Sookie’s side for a moment but there are more things he has to worry about and for that, it makes me grateful that Sookie’s isn’t the be and end all for Eric.

Even Russell found himself sort of put out by Sookie’s density in parts of the episode. Okay, so maybe asking if he was the king of all kings isn’t the worst thing that Sookie could’ve uttered but it did seem silly at the time and she was a little too quick to overplay her hand as well. Did she really think a couple of tears were going to get Russell to prevent Lorena from killing Bill?

Still, I did like the twenty question segment with Sookie and Russell and god knows, I want more screen time between the two of them in later episodes. Russell asked all the right questions in regards to Sookie’s abilities and she answered them because she was smart enough to realise that she had no choice in the matter. Plus some of the comments she made in order to convey her own confusion about her abilities made me laugh. Would actual aliens work on this show? Highly unlikely!

However to add insult to injury for Sookie was that not only did Russell keep her captive while he left but he certainly took pleasure in telling her that Bill had been spying on her all along for Sophie-Anne’s benefit. I kinda wished that we had seen Sookie react more to the revelation but I’m guessing there’s plenty of time for that in later episodes, right?

As for Sookie wanting to rescue Bill, maybe it was reckless but did fans really expect her not to? Never mind the fact that she’s besotted with him. If it had been Jason, Tara or Sam who were being tortured in the slave quarters, I don’t doubt for a second that Sookie would try and go to their aid too. I didn’t see Sookie risking her life for Bill as a shipper thing but more a commentary on her loyalty and given what she just learnt about Bill, it does show certain strength to her character as well.

That being said, I also completely expected Lorena to still be in the slave quarters and to finally attack Sookie. Lorena’s wanted to do it since Godric humiliated her and Sookie presented her with the perfect opportunity. Funnily enough while the situation looks bad for Sookie, it’s only going to be worse for Lorena.

If Sookie and Bill themselves don’t get the opportunity to stake Lorena, then I’m pretty sure that either Tara or Alcide might get the chance. Personally I’m hoping that Tara does it if Lorena’s death doesn’t go the same way as “Club Dead”. However for some odd reason though, I actually felt a little bad for Lorena in this episode.

When she was torturing Bill, there was a clear distress over it and even when Debbie and Cooter (could those two be any more trashy?) were feasting on him, Lorena didn’t look totally happy with it either. Even some of Bill’s comments about Lorena suggested that she wasn’t always as pathetic and psychotic as she is now. I almost wish we could’ve seen that side to the character.

Speaking of sides, I adored Tara in this episode. I loved how she seduced Franklin one minute and then caved his skull in with a mace the next so that she could rescue Sookie. This is the kind of Tara that we need to see more of. Maybe Tara does have darkness in her but she’s also smart, brave and resourceful and this episode definitely highlighted these attributes all the more. Plus I just liked seeing her rescuing Sookie instead of the other way around. It keeps things in my opinion.

Also interesting are Russell’s increasing machinations. Not only did he manage to get Eric into coercing Sophie-Anne into accepting a marriage proposal but he also expressed a desire to overthrow humanity. I like that Russell thinks big but if Maryann couldn’t succeed permanently with having humanity bend to her will, it’s unlikely that he will either.

Plus it’s obvious that he’s being set up for a fall. Eric might have vengeance on his mind but Talbot’s comments about Russell being surrounded by sycophants is very telling because the second a large amount of these sycophants decide to rise up, Russell will definitely have some major problems on his hands.

As for Sophie-Anne, I went from hating her guts in the season premiere to actually feeling a little bad for her again. No-one should be forced into a marriage (and I did notice the irony of a gay man asking/forcing a lesbian woman into marriage) and the fact that she was calling out for Hadley when Eric decided to restrain her shows that she has some humanity. That being said, she was dumb enough to try and frame Eric and now it’s come back to bite her in the ass so my sympathy for her is a little limited in some regards.

Something else that’s rather limited is my patience with Jason and Crystal’s storyline. Six episodes in and it feels like very little has actually happened. She’s honed the mystery act down fairly well and even cheesed off Jason by having a fiancée but apart from Jason being put out and acting like a dick with Kitch, he could’ve been very easily written out of this episode if I’m being totally honest. Also please tell that there is actually something up with Kitch because if there’s not, then Jason is just being an asshole for the sake of being one and that is something I could do without and I also detest the depiction of the Hotshot community as a bunch of violent, homophobic, meth dealing thugs. I was so happy when Lafayette smacked the shit out of a few of them who bashed up his car.

Also in “I Got A Right To Sing The Blues”

This is the first episode to be written by Alan Ball this season and I have a feeling that it might be the only one as well.

Sookie: “If you kill him, I will kill you.”
Lorena: “Oh please, please try without that sanctimonious prick Godric to save you. I would just love to rip you open and wear your ribcage as a hat.”

It looks like Lorena’s been watching some Buffy in her spare time because that is quote of sorts from the episode “Becoming Part 2”.

Jason: “I ain’t letting you go.”
Crystal: “Ain’t nobody owns me.”
Jason: “When am I gonna see you again?”
Crystal: “Never. This can’t happen again, it’s too dangerous.”

Jesus: “Bitch, my name is Jesus, bro, the polar opposite of Satan.”
Lafayette: “It better be.”

I might be in a minority but I actually understand Jesus’s discomfort with Lafayette being a drug dealer, though the god talk was interesting and we learned about Jesus for me to think he’s gone for good.

Russell: “Honey, there’s a fine line between feisty and delusional. You’re not in any position to bargain.”
Sookie: “You don’t know that.”

Sookie: “There is a queen?”
Russell: “Oh sweetheart, you really don’t know anything, do you?”

Sookie talked about the incident with chain around Mack Rattray’s neck but upcoming spoilers indicate that wasn’t her doing entirely.

Bill: “You’ve always enjoyed making people suffer.”
Lorena: “And there’s nothing wrong with, especially when you’ve been made to suffer as I have been.”

Tara: “Untie me. Two hands are better than none.”
Franklin: “Why you wicked little strumpet.”

What were the card games that Eric and Talbot were playing in this episode and did Lorena allude to Russell being her maker? That would be interesting if he was. Plus Talbot’s been married to Russell for 700 years.

Talbot (to Russell): “Deep down my darling, you’re a very weak character.”

Russell: “If all the supernaturals would stop squabbling and unite, we could conquer the humans in a matter of days.”
Eric: “Is this you plan?”
Russell: “I prefer to call it my dream.”

Sophie-Anne’s attempts to get the IRS off her back was to blow her money on scratch cards and hope for the best. That made me chuckle a lot. And Alcide’s wolf is a timber colour.

Sophie-Anne: “Momma’s feeling lucky tonight.”
Russell: “Momma couldn’t be more wrong.”

Sophie-Anne: “They have no dominion over me, I am a queen.”
Russell: “Please. I’ve known some of the finest queens that have ever lived. You my dear girl are no queen.”
Sophie-Anne: “Go fuck yourself.”
Eric: “No, sweetheart, you go fuck yourself.”

This episode revealed that Melinda and Joe Lee were forcing Tommy into dog fighting and I liked that Sam took off to try and save his brother. Plus the scenes between Arlene/Jessica and that irritating customer this week were funny, even if Jessica did feed off the customer.

Debbie (re Bill): “Come on, let’s just have a little taste. He’s gonna waste on the floor like that.”
Lorena: “Of course. Suck whatever’s left right out of him.”

Melinda (to Tommy): “Sam may be blood but he ain’t family and he ain’t never gonna be.”

Standout music: Billie Holiday’s “I Got A Right To Sing The Blues” during Lorena’s torture of Bill.

Lorena (to Sookie): “Well, isn’t this heart warming? This is all your fault.”

Chronology: From where “Trouble” more or less left off.

Not one of the best episodes of the season but the ending is amazing and “I Got A Right To Sing The Blues” is at least forwarding some of Russell’s storylines if not many others. With six episodes left, we do need things to pick up the pace but other than that, this is another enjoyable episode.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Inna said...

Thank you for that review. I agree with almost everything in it, except for one thing. I think that Jessica killed that customer, because when we were shown her leaving the bathroom the "glamour" sound effect was played in the background the whole time, and when Arlene turned around Jessica was there. (And she also said "... and nobody was killed" as if she felt guilty.) I'm pretty sure that Jessica glamoured Arlene into thinking that the customer had left, when she hadn't. What do you think?

shawnlunn2002 said...

I didn't think about that actually but it's a good point. I suppose if Jessica did kill the customer, then we'll find out next week but I think myself that she's glamouring people to snack on without killing, given that she was horrified to have killed that trucker guy and that without Bill, she's had to find out things in regards to being a vampire elsewhere. Plus Pam did tell her about how to stop before someone dies but it's a good theory. Thanks for the comment.