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The Bill Chronicles: True Blood Episode 5.09 – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Last week I was convinced that Bill was masterminding a brilliant plan to overthrow the Authority and save the world. After last night’s episode if feel as lost as Bill claims to be. Or Bill is a true strategist who is playing a high stake game, or he is joining a religious cult under the influence of intoxicating blood and a born seductress. I believe he has fallen for Lilith.
My beloved Bill, what hast thou done?
Bill is not perfect, never has been and never will be. He has made mistakes and has acted in a questionable manner on various occasions: out of love, to save his ass, for revenge or for power, but never have we seen him stray off the righteous path for religious reasons.
The Bill Compton character has always been the target of a lot of hate from the team Eric camp and sending Bill down this particular road, will increase the number of haters and alienates this large group of fans even more from his character to a point where any form of redemption has become completely impossible. The characters are there to serve the story and not the other way around, but I truly hope that Bill will find his way back in a manner that will take the bitter taste away, otherwise it’s just brutal what they are doing to his character.
We all have our favorite characters on the show. Bill has made me a Stephen Moyer fan and because of Bill’s constant struggle with his double-natured personality, he will always remain the most interesting character on the show for me. But I did struggle last night to stand by my man in this episode and I haven’t felt like slapping him this hard since he acted like Sookie’s lapdog in season 2. Kudos to Stephen Moyer for bringing out all these emotions.
The upside of Bill turning to the dark side is that it reveals another layer of this hugely complex character and just like in real life nobody is entirely good or bad, we are all at least 50 shades of grey, and that’s exactly why it remains a joy to watch Bill struggle, fall, grow and get up again.
When we pick up the episode, we see that Bill’s plan to blow up the Tru Blood factories has been set in motion. Tru Blood factories are being blown up and the first signs of chaos are starting to show on the streets. The Authority members celebrate with a human prisoner bound on the council’s table. “Praise Lilith”, Bill says at the sight of this meal. Eric looks at him in wonder, not being able to figure out what Bill is up to. Bill looks at the prisoner with a disconnection in his eyes that we have not seen before from him. After saying grace all members, including Bill and Eric feast on the poor prisoner.
Eric teams up with the techie Molly and together they plan an escape from the compound. He wants to know what game Bill is playing, but Bill reveals that he has no game plan and that he is lost.
“What if God is a vampire? We both saw Lilith”.
“We were high. I don’t know what is in that blood but we need to stay away from it.”
“I am lost. I don’t know who to trust. Everything I believe in had been turned upside down.”
“What about Sookie? Is she just food to you now? …… I didn’t think so.”
Eric tells him that he can have his religious crisis somewhere else, because they are getting out of there and Bill has to procure Salome’s blood to open the door of the elevator.
Bill is lost, more lost than he has ever been since Lorena turned him. Apart from Jessica, he is alone in this world. He has lost Sookie, his miracle that brought him back to life. So much has happened between Bill and Eric in the past, that this new bromance cannot take away everything that has happened between them over the years. I think Bill realizes that he was drugged drinking Lilith’s blood, but seeing the vision of the vampire goddess rise up from the blood in combination with the firm belief of the others who shared the experience with him, made him doubt his own beliefs like he has never done before.
In the next scene we find Bill in the nude in Salome’s bed. She tells him that he has been chosen to be her Adam and they will birth the new world together. Bill is still doubtful. “What if I don’t want to be chosen?” Salome tells him that he has Lilith’s blood inside him, that will be his guide. Bill and Salome start to have sex and Bill gets a vision of Sookie. I find Bill’s reaction rather disturbing and not a good omen of things to come. When he sees Sookie lying under him instead of Salome, he bites her and drains her to the point of death and the vision changes to Lilith and back to Salome again.
This is the second time Bill sees Lilith after drinking vampire blood, could it be somehow related to Salome? Is it her blood that causes the hallucinations? Nora told Eric that she wasn’t a convinced believer until Salome slipped her into the room with the vial during daytime and let her taste from the blood of Lilith. It’s all related to the blood. Eric was right to say that they have to stay away from it. But it’s too late for Bill, the second vision of Lilith has taken away the last doubt in his heart. He looks in wonder at the blood on his fingers.
Molly, Eric and a drugged Nora arrive at the elevator ready to escape, using Nora’s blood to open the lock. Bill shows up at the last moment, Eric thinks he will leave with them, but he betrayed the escape plan to Salome and she is waiting in the elevator with the guards.
Eric feels betrayed, but Bill truly believes he is saving him. Just like Nora, he believes that the faith in Lilith is the right path for Eric and all vampires. “You have been chosen by Lilith, this is what God wants.” When Eric is taken away, I see a look of regret on Bill’s face. He knows that the time has come for Eric to choose sides. He has already been replaced as sheriff of Area 5 and his life is at risk.
Bill has become a believer and needs a deprogrammer to help him break free from the cult and the power of the blood. On Twitter many demand the staking of Bill before the season is over, but if we would kill every poor soul who is misguided by religion there would only be a handful of people left to walk the earth.
Bill has never lived in a nest, he has never felt the pressure a group can put on the individual. Mass hysteria is very powerful and since Bill is stumbling in the darkness right now, he is especially vulnerable to the cult of religion. When people are lost, in doubt and fearful, they turn to religion for reassurance, security and a sense of purpose. It’s a classic. As a human Bill believed in God, he lost everything when he was turned, including the religious lighthouse to guide his way. He got Lorena instead who corrupted him and pushed him to embrace his vampire nature. Now Salome strips him of his humanity by making him believe that he was chosen by Lilith to be her Adam. Bill might be more susceptible to Lilith’s blood and the pressure put upon him because he is still very young vampire in comparison with Salome, Eric and Nora.
I can understand Bill’s struggle, but I have difficulty wrapping my brain around a Bill who loses his humanity, his compassion and respect for human life so easily. He has worked too hard to make his way back from what he was to the vampire he has become, to lose all that because of a drop of blood and a vision.
Last season it was Eric to fall under a spell and change personality, this season it’s Bill’s turn to show a different side of his character. Only time will tell how and when we will get the Bill back we know and love. It makes for a hell of a ride, that’s for sure!
Bill plays things close to the vest, I'd like to see him in a coup, overthrow the incumbents & become the head of the Authority, making Jessica, Pam, Eric & Tara part of his cabinet. Or maybe he is really going down that rabbit hole and only Sookie can save him. Either way Stephen is a great actor and I am on the edge of my seat to see which direction the writers are taking us.
Wow, what an episode! Great recap. I am scared for Bill and his humanity, but I'm also excited to see our Bill return to form and hopefully this season. If I have to wait until season 6 for the real Bill to come back to us, I'll need to be committed. The Bill/Sookie/Lilith/Salome was one of the most disturbing things i've seen on this show, btw. That said, I have rewatched it incessantly since Sunday night! The rest of the ep wasn't particularly rewatchable - lots of plot, little substance - but that scene was so crazy and layered it needed to be rewatched for multiple reasons. I hope, unlike Eric's stagnant and ultimately unimportant amnesia arc last season, that Bill's arc with the Authority, Salome and Lilith is a way to explore Bill in ways we haven't seen...and eventually give us back our fave vampire with even more layers. And, I'm sure, regrets. What was it Bill told Sookie? I'm a vampire, we're supposed to be tormented. Oh, Bill, you have no idea!
I don't trust the producers, the writers or even Stephen himself, quite frankly, to care as much as the fans do about making Bill's character consistant. They want always to try something new and something that is interesting for them. However, I adore Stephen and Bill is by far the most handsome and compelling character on television for me. I literally lean off the edge on my seat when I watch True Blood so that Bill fills my eyes and ears. What happens happens. What I want means nothing. I will just appreciate his talent, face and voice (and when we're lucky his body) and decide at the final minute of the final episode of the final season if they took me on a journey or took me for a ride.
It's easy for some Eric fans make assumptions and not read between the lines. I've seen the sex scene a few times because it struck to me as Bill had an "ah-ha" moment. I have a theory but with True Blood, there is no one clear answer. I believe Bill envisioned Sookie because he loves her and, it would make the "love-making" believable to Salome. Once he tasted her blood it he went on a short "Lilith Trip", if you will, and he made a connection with the source of the blood. Despite what happen, I cannot turn my back on Bill. After 5 seasons, I still have faith in him.
Great article! I feel that same way about Bill - have always been on Team Bill - between the books and Moyers' portrayal it was a done deal. (Eric's gorgeous - just have to put that in there...). Anyway - I really really hope our Bill comes back. It'll be up to Sookie "Nancy Drew" Stackhouse as always!
I do recall Bill being in a nest with Liam, Diane and Malcolm, but only briefly.
Recalling Bill's face when he sat in Salome's bed, waiting for her to join him. He looked resigned to what he had to do (get some of her blood). I'm still confused as to whose blood he tasted ... Salome's or Lilith's. Is Salome's blood potent enough to induce a Lilith hallucination? No matter. Tasting the blood seems to have trapped Bill, and sent him plummeting into a dark abyss.
After reading so many of your comments I am feeling hopeful that Bill will find a way out. And Stephen will knock it out of the park in doing so.
I agree with Lynn. Bill knew it wasnt truly Sookie and shook it off so he could do what he intended to do at the request of Eric - get the blood of Salome to get Eric, Nora, Maggie and himself out. To me, it was a truly selfless act that has now caused a dark descent that could cost him everything he holds dear. Up until the very last moment I thought it was shown that it is not something he wanted - he even remarked to Salome that he didnt want to be the chosen one. The show is practically hammering it into us that is the blood taking over.
While I am not enjoying seeing Bill at risk , it will take more than this to really worry me about Bill. There is not a vampire on that show that has had more dire circumstances dropped in their lap than Bill and he is still standing.
He always operates intelligently and reveals his plan only on a need to know basis. we will see where it goes in the next few episodes. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.
Maybe I should be more comcerned but presently I am not. If for once he must rely on someone else to help him, all I can say it's about time they made themselves useful.
Stephen never fails to deliver and that is why he is given such complex stories.
I agree with Lynn's comment that when Bill saw Sookie beneath him, he knew it wasn't really her, and bit all the more ferociously into Salome's neck. I, too, hope we don't have to wait til next season for the real Bill to return.
Excellent review, Shad.
I'm still hanging onto the belief that our William Compton is not completely lost to the dark side. I truly believe that if you take away the blood, this spill will be broken. Bill's lost the love of his life. He's vulnerable. Lost. Perhaps a bit broken. Can there be an easier target for some good old fashioned brainwashing? Salome couldn't have picked a better person to ensnare in her trap. He's looking for something, anything to believe in. And now, because of this blood, he has it. Is it pretty? Nope. Not at all. But, it is what it is.
But, even if he's not playing some kind of game to take down the Authority (which I still see as a possibility), I can still see him clawing his way out of this darkness once he separates himself from the blood. I really do.
It's funny, its times like these that I wish Lorena was still around. She wouldn't allow this brainwashing of her William! lol
Excellent review Shad. I agree with you. A couple of things to mention, Bill did live in a nest before when he hung around with Diane, Malcolm and Liam back in the 1930's. Also, I am a firm believer that Bill is not lost. I may be naive myself, but I still think he's playing a part. When he saw the vision of Sookie beneath him, I am sure he knew that it wasn't really her and therefore bit with even more ferociousness. However, on all else, I'm with you in your opinions of what happened in this episode. I'm still hopeful that Bill will be vindicated, even it we have to wait until next season to see it (God, please don't let that be).
What an excellent recap by you, Shadaliza! You most always hit right to the nerve and core of the episode/story.
"Bill has become a believer and needs a deprogrammer to help him break free from the cult and the power of the blood. On Twitter many demand the staking of Bill before the season is over, but if we would kill every poor soul who is misguided by religion there would only be a handful of people left to walk the earth."
Your words are the exact same as my thoughts, but he is under the influence of a drug and Lilith is a hallucination imo, part and parcel of that "drug". I dislike that he can be hated so much simply for a writer's storyline, but he will be vindicated, I believe, since this IS A STORY and not a real live scenario. I really hope this drug induced hallucination is resolved by the end of this season and NOT held over until the next year: that's just too much for us Bill fans to be expected to endure. But we will endure no matter what, he is our Bill and he will come out on top of this story line just like he always has with all the other PSYCHO women who are drawn to his unique male superiority! He will be lost again and then found....just like his past has shown us. He is the Chosen One....we choose him as our Bill.... forever.... no matter what happens!
Your "Chronicles" are so well written, Shad! You said so much of what I've been thinking about this episode. I will be mulling these points over as the week progresses.
i am bereft. I am mourning Bill's descent into the quadmire of lies. flattery, and manipulation that is Salome. He is her trophy. She told Roman early on that Bill was someone who was searching for something to believe in. She is using that quality of Bill's character as kindling, to roast him in the flames of her megamaniacal power- lust. I believe, that he, just like John the Baptist, is meant to be sacrificed for her wordly goals of absolute power and eternal worship.
Yes, the story is the spine of the show. And TB loves to change up the expected, the predictable, and the "normal' for anything but. So we have seen characters behave in some bizarre and extraordinary ways. Having said that, Bill is the vampire who has struggled the most, suffered the most, and paid a dear price for his follies of the heart. He is not without fault, neither has he been spared the consequences of his actions. This turn is so disturbing because Bill has lost his self identity - he is without confidence in who he is, what he has become, how much he has overcome, and all he has learned along the way. He is adrift, ripe for the plucking, and has succombed to the temptation of belonging.
He needs a reality check, an intervention, a slap-upside-the-head! He needs to be saved.
Shad your Bill Chronicle is so well writen and this episode was so shocking for all us Bill fans. Thank you for the paragraph regarding the Bill haters, I too have had this same concern but have not wanted to voice it for fear of being negative and accusatory towards the Eric side of the aisle. But regardless of Bill's characters deeds at the moment he will always be hated by a certain segment of the fandom and that is something I have learned to accept.
I agree with your assessment regards to Bill and would like to add my observations; could Bill's young age have something to do with his fall? Both Nora and Bill are younger and have fallen for Lilith's potent blood with Salomes guidance. I still also feel Bill's character lost his humanity overnight, way too fast.
Lots of 'food for thought' Shad. And even though the ep has left me feeling unsettled (because it's so hard to see Bill like this) I still 99% believe he's got a plan. And to make his plan work he has to convince Salome 100% that he is a true believer so that she will trust him with out a shadow of a doubt. I would ALMOST be willing to bet on it. :) And when Russell begins talking about that he WILL have the daylight...we know that Russell knows about Sookie.....that will set Bill off. He WILL NOT let anything happen to Sookie.
That 1% of me that is not sure of the above believes that he had a plan and maybe the blood HAS, temporarily, confused him. But I don't think it will last for long. I fully (well 99%) believe by seasons end we will all be cheering and breathing again. *fingers crossed*
I have talked on the forum about Stephen's amazing and subtle eye acting. It's all in the eyes. I think if Bill really were gone he'd have more of an emptiness, coldness, in his eyes. And yet we keep seeing sadness and regret. That tells me so much! And that is what makes me believe all I've said above.
As far as the sex scene.....Sookie is his humanity coming through and to be able to continue on with Salome he needed to bite viciously. Once Salome's blood gets in him he suddenly sees Lilith. Then when he is on his back and looks at the blood on his finger I think the realization hit him of Salome's blood and that it is causing the hallucinations of Lilith. My theory. :D
Very nicely done, Shad. Brava! I am as lost as Bill right now. He's in a drug (read "blood") induced haze where reason, sanity and humanity have vanished. His mindset is the result of the blood. It's painful to watch his turn to the dark side. I hope and pray he can find his way out of this morass before season's end. He's in need of some saving ... not sure who his savior will be. This latest development does give Stephen lots to work with as an actor, so that is a good thing. Still, it's hard to see Bill going in this direction. I will try to hold the good thought that he'll be brought back to reason and the light before he becomes totally unredeemable.
Great summary, Shad. I don't think Bill is having a religious experience as much as he's a victim of a drug-induced reality. He's not thinking clearly with all of that tainted blood in him. It is a huge departure for his character, which has always been on the side of humanity. Lilith's blood (or Salome's, as the case may be) has serious altered his mind and his judgement. Eric was spot on with his declalation that they needed to stay away from the blood. I don't know how our man Bill is going to redeem himself. Given that he sunk his fangs into Sookie in his dream state, I'm not convinced she'll have the power to turn him around. I can see Bill becoming a martyr or a Godric-like character, but I pray (hey, even to Lilith) that the writers don't kill him off. No matter what, I will be Team Bill forever.
Thanks for a beautiful summation, Shad, of everything I've been thinking and feeling over the past few weeks. Bill is truly under the spell of Lillith's blood, as much as Eric was under Marnie's spell last season. I don't know if Sookie's microwave fingers would be enough to break Bill free of Salome's grasp, but I'd sure like to see her try. All season long, the writers have been sending out echos, reminders of how Bill and Sookie are still connected. I hope they weren't just an cruel, empty tease.
@ThelLou If they take this plot into the next season it will be a very long wait and we will all be tormented.
Wiwa, you are so easy to please and so patient! those have always been attributes that you seem to embrace easier than I do. I am impatient, want everything for our Bill and I want it now! lol. love to see you again! We will take this ride together right to the very end!
@filmchick3 I love reading about all these different theories. LOL
@Willkill4Bill I find strength in your optimism, WK4B, it is true that he has had so many trials and foes to overcome that he has learned to keep all to himself until there is a "need to know" and that is the safest route. I know like you that he will prevail, it is the torture he endures that hurts to watch. It IS about time some others made themselves useful to him. I am hoping Jessica is his saving grace. He loves her without reserve, if anyone can cut thru the fog perhaps she can!
@typeoneg Honestly Sookie had a weird smile on her face and she scared me showing up like that out of the blue.
@typeoneg i AGREE, Bill knew it was an hallucination. He knew it the moment he tasted the blood!
@Cherie B yep, Bill is the perfect candidate, Salome saw immediately that Bill was still looking for something to believe in and she gave it to him. She was always more focussed on Bill than on Eric. I always found it interesting that when Bill and Eric came back after capturing Russell, she only kissed Bill and not Eric.
@lynnpd Was he really part of that nest or did he just hang out with them? I don't remember, if he was it couldn't have lasted long.
@booboobear They are really putting the Bill fans to the test again this season. Being an Eric fans is easy, Bill fans have to suffer for it :D
@iamtrue2bill Salome is just as power hungry as Roman was. Interesting thought about John the Baptist, she won't think twice about sacrificing Bill to reach her goal or when she grows tired of playing with him.
@callonmebill I thought about that, but Steve Newlin really is a baby vamp and I believe he is just enjoying the ride, he doesn't really believe in Lilith.
@callonmebill We all experience the show and fandom in our own way, some focus on the positive and others on the negative. I do think however that it's a compliment towards the show and towards Stephen's acting that such strong emotions are being evoked with his storyline. Whether you love him or hate him, Bill Compton is the most discussed character on the show and again his storyline is front and center of the season.
@DeepPurple64 I hope he has a plan, but I think right now he doesn't, he might in the future, when he comes to his senses.
The eye acting of Stephen gets to me time after time, it's astounding what that man can communicate with his eyes only. I see the coldness in his eyes when he looks down on the naked victim on the table, he has it there. But that look when Eric is being taken away, that's regret and compassion. The Bill we love is still in there somewhere.
@Bills4me I think Bill will find his way back. It has to be all in the blood and it ain't just vamper blood in that vial, I am sure of it.
They better not kill him off! I will stop watching....
@typeoneg Yes, I think Sookie will come into the vampire story again in the next episode. I bet Russell hasn't forgotten about her and I fear Bill will face the ultimate test of his new found faith: Sookie or Lilith.
@Shadaliza It's what I love about True Blood. The possibilities are endless.
@Shadaliza @typeoneg that's an interesting thought.... so maybe Salome` can "direct" the hallucinations her blood induces? I think she must have been Fae or part Fae when she was turned (thus her blood and she can read minds, a nod to the books again>Sophie Anne in the CH series) so perhaps she read Bill's mind and just got the "hallucination" a tad off?
@Shadaliza @Cherie B Who would have ever thought that we would remember Lorena and wish she was still around? Bill remembered her and told Salome "I will not be bullied". He was aware at that time of what she was doing, just like Lorena had done. He is the perfect candidate for her brain-washing attempt: but she is as wrong as Lorena was if she thinks he will stay in her clutches.
@Shadaliza @lynnpd I remember he spoke of being "with" Diane once, right after she was turned, but it seemed as tho he was only testing the waters of his recent freedom from Lorena at the time and we didn't get a solid story on if he joined them or not. But I agree it was short lived, what ever it was. He has always had the "essential spark" that draws others to him like moths to a flame. If he is "planning", deep down inside his soul where the drug cannot go, we can almost see it in his eyes. There are some clues in his eyes that he is aware on some level and still doing that unbelievable acting; and the emotions on his face that we can see if we are watching. On some level, he may be struggling to rise out of that fog. I think he is definitely drugged but I am not totally convinced he isn't AWARE of the situation and on a deep level is struggling to rise up. Lorena sure would be a foe for Salome~ha!
@Shadaliza I respectfully disagree. Being an Eric fan is not easy, you have Eric always on your mind. I couldn't do it. ;)
And thanks for your Bill Chronicles, which I read and enjoy every week, even if I don't comment.
@Shadaliza yes, we do>but just like Bill will get thru this and come out the other side stronger and better like he always does, we will come thru this and be vindicated once again. Our man is the one! He is worth the testing.
@Shadaliza @iamtrue2bill Today I found out that the Christian Bible> Book of John has a quote that was used in the last episode: John 11:49-50 says (to parrot phrase) "the good of the many is more important than the good of the few". She is genuinely part of this historical reference to John the Baptist and she STILL believes she is more important than the whole human population! YES, she will sacrifice Bill and anyone else to gain her own agenda. I first thought that line was from Star Trek (ha ha) but it apparently is a genuine philosophy that goes back thousands of years, to Aristotle, to a life philosophy from India, and further back. Alan Ball must have a little book of phrases he likes to use!
@callonmebill No True Blood without Bill!