The Bill Chronicles: True Blood Episode 5.12 – Save Yourself
Season 5 has come to an end with what is probably the bloodiest finale ever in the history of True Blood. The Bill scenes had me on the edge of my seat throughout the episode because it has been clear for the past couple of episodes that his storyline would not have a happy ending this season. I was pretty sure that Bill would not come to his senses in the arc of season 5, but I never expected the cliffhanger scene that Alan Ball has left us hanging with for the next 10 months.
Let’s start from the beginning. While Bill awaits his breakfast being brought up to him, he continues to hear the call of Lilith in his head urging him to drink all of her. Bill is still hesitant and seems unsure what to do. He is not pleased at all when Sam Merlotte turns out to be his breakfast and blames the guards for not smelling the difference. Sam explains that Luna’s daughter was kidnapped by Steve Newlin and they just want to get her back. But according to Bill, Sam knows too much now and he can’t trust him on his word that he will never tell. Bill pops his fangs ready to attack Sam, when the shifter does his thing and shifts into a fly and flies off. Bill tries to catch him, which turned out to be a pretty funny scene with Bill jumping around from the chandelier to the wall and back, but Sam escapes through the ventilation duct.
In the meantime Eric has staked Russell and is now at Sookie’s trying to convince her to come to the Authority HQ because she is the only one that might get through to Bill, having a faerie vagina and all.
Bill calls all the security guards in the main chamber and lectures them on how security has been breached and the remaining chancellors and the blood of Lilith has been put in jeopardy. He calls the blood God’s blueprint for vampires. He orders the guards to scour every inch of the building looking for rats, mice, flies and cockroaches and killing whatever they find.
After the guards have left the room, Bill and Salome remain alone. She asked him if he has seen Kibwe and he confesses to her that he found him in the blood shrine earlier, where Kibwe was about to drink the sacred blood because Lilith appeared to him and told him he was the chosen one.
“So I killed him. Because Lilith appeared to me.” Bill kneels in front of a very anxious looking Salome. “She said you were chosen. She told me to serve and protect you. She said you were the prophet for the new age.” Bill bows his head in submission. Salome is overwhelmed by her emotions, she is jubilant now that she is officially the chosen one and has Bill to serve her.
And he does just that in the next bedroom scene of them together. “My beautiful prophet.” Bill is playing Salome like a fiddle, telling her exactly what she wants to hear and giving her a false sense of security and making her believe that she can trust him completely. Not so smart for someone that old, it’s not like she wasn’t betrayed before by someone she trusted and she played the exact same game on Roman.
Eric and Nora bring back Sookie, Jason and Tara to the Authority HQ, tied and gagged in the back off a pickup truck. Bill sees them coming in on the security monitor. When he sees Sookie gagged in the back, he knows that the shit will hit the fan soon, big time, and he looks concerned and tense. He also sees on the monitor that Salome is going into the blood shrine, he watches her intensely: it’s showtime. Salome runs off with the blood vial when Eric, Nora, Sookie, Jason and Tara storm out of the elevator and start shooting vamps, causing the security protocol to initiate.
While Sookie and Tara free Jessica and Pam from their cells (nice kiss ladies!), Bill goes to Salome in her chamber where she is all dolled up for the occasion to finally drink the blood of Lilith. She realizes that Bill wanted this for himself but Lilith in her wisdom wanted the strongest. Salome is ready for the rapture and she drinks all the blood while Bill watches her with a sly look on his face. The fact that he doesn’t make any attempt to stop her, made me understand that it was not Lilith’s blood she was drinking. Bill continues to look at her, closes his eyes for a moment and a smile comes over his face, he has won.
While Salome vomits blood all over the carpet, Bill sits on the steps to her bed, stake in hand and explains to her how her monumental narcissism caused her to be so impatient for the rapture that she didn’t even smell the silver he had put in the blood she drank, which was of course substitute blood. Bill put the real blood in another vial. Salome knows that she has lost and she stretches out her arms as Bill straddles her, putting the stake in position on her heart.
“Lilith chose wisely.” Bill drives the stake through Salome’s heart. He rises and takes the vial out of his pocket and the moment he is about the open it, Eric and Sookie storm into the room.
Bill assumes that Lilith appeared to Eric as well and he is there to claim the blood for himself. But Eric only saw her savagely obliterate his maker.
“She’s a mad god, Bill. She’s nothing but destruction. Don’t do it.” When Bill won’t listen, Sookie steps in. “Bill this isn’t you.”
“What the fuck do you know about me? For all you know, everything I did while with you was an act calculated to elicit a particular response.” Sookie looks at Bill in horror, this is not the Bill she knows, the man she loved and whom, she knows, loved her deeply. Bill is ice cold and calls her an abomination. Sookie walks over to him and says: “Bill, you are stronger than this. You are capable of sympathy and kindness and generosity. You are unique among all the vampires I have met. Don’t throw that away.” Sookie has tears in her eyes.
Bill stares at her and starts a monologue that much resembles what I said about Bill feeling liberated in last week’s Bill Chronicles. “I have spent my entire life as a vampire apologizing, believing I was inherently wrong somehow, living in fear – fear that God had forsaken me, that I was damned. But Lilith grants us freedom from fear.”
When Bills starts quoting the vampire bible Sookie and Eric realize that they will not be able to convince Bill that what he is doing is wrong. Sookie gives it one more shot: “If I ever meant anything to you at all…”
Calm without taking his eyes off her, Bill tells Sookie: “I told you the first night we met….vampires often turn on those they love the most.”
Not exactly correct. That first night he tells Sookie that “Vampires often turn on those who trust them”. Can we understand from this alteration that Bill still loves Sookie deeply?
Love or not, Bill opens the vial and drinks all the blood of Lilith. Eric and Sookie watch in shock as he empties the vial. Just seconds later Bill starts to convulse and blood starts streaming from his eyes and pouring out of his mouth. Something is terribly wrong. “Oh God”, he moans in pain and fear. Bill’s face becomes a mask of streaming blood. “OH GOD” he screams in total distress. Bill’s head explodes and what is left of him falls to the floor in a pool of vampire goo and blood. Our beloved Bill has met the true death and is no longer.
For a moment there I thought Alan Ball had pulled a Nate Fisher on us again.
Eric stares in shock and disbelief, Sookie starts to sob and holds on to Eric for comfort. Holding her, Eric looks at the pool of blood on the floor and notices that it is starting to move. He points it out to Sookie and together they watch as Bill rises up from the pool of blood in full terminator style; naked and all covered in blood just like Lilith was. He looks at Eric and Sookie and growls at them viciously, fangs out. “RUN!” Screams Eric to Sookie and they both speed out of the room.
What is Bill now? His body disintegrated in a pool of goo, so he did indeed die the true death, but there is no way of telling who this transformed Bill is, what he will be like and what he is capable of doing. Is he like Lilith? All covered in blood he sure resembles Lilith, but we have no idea who or what Lilith is either and there is no telling if Bill will be like her.
Lilith could only be seen by those who tasted her blood, but reborn Bill could be seen by Sookie, so he probably is a completely new entity.
Alan Ball told TVLine that Bill is still Bill but he is a transformed Bill. He is not a completely new person. It’s not like his memories or his experiences have been left out and he’s just a baby.
Stephen Moyer told TVLine that it would be safe to assume that what we thought was Bill is no longer Bill.
As usual anything is possible on True Blood and we will just have to wait and see what will happen with Billith. It is at least very reassuring that we will not have Lilith in a Bill suit. We will all speculate endlessly about all the possibilities of what Bill will be like in his new form and I am pretty sure we will come up with some very plausible and some bat shit crazy theories. Maybe he will be the villain of season 6, maybe there is a cure, maybe he will transform again, he already did it twice in his life now. There is no telling what will happen next.
It will be a very long 10 month wait, especially for us Bill/Stephen fans. Speaking as a Bill fan, I mourn the loss of the Bill we have loved for so long, as at this point he seems to be lost to us forever. It is the end of an era and we will all need some time to wrap our head around that and come to terms with it.
Speaking as a Stephen fan I am looking forward to see what crazy stuff there will be in store for him next season. It will be a whole new challenge for Stephen to sink his teeth in and I am sure he will do a phenomenal job as always. Is it June 2013 yet?
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I have read your great recap, Shad, and all the comments. I have just started posting about the finale, because for several days I couldn't even consider dealing with it. I literally cry every time I watch Bill in that last scene. It just breaks my heart.
I agree with the sentiments voiced here Alan Ball said in an "inside the episode" that he thought it would be "interesting" to have Bill go dark this season. Interesting? Well, the term I would use is devastating. Why this complete negation of the Bill we have known and loved for
4+ years was deemed necessary is beyond me. I can only view it as a contrivance made to lend import to the season-long diatribe against religious zeal and the cult mentalty.
I have an uncomfortable feeling that perhaps Alan Ball, painfully aware of internet criticisms of his so-called preference for Bill, decided that he would take his Bill with him on his departure from the series. If that is so, then I am supremely disappointed, for he has left us Bill lovers without the heroic figure he created We now have a feral, ferocious and foreboding fanged figure, drenched in blood and bereft of love or compassion. That's no way to treat Bill, and it's no way to treat us.
Shad, thanks for the weekly Bill recaps! They've been great reads and give us Bill fans lots to ponder.
Forgive me in advance for the length of this post.
I'm still trying to digest this finale. IMO, Bill's descent into religious fervor never rang true to me in all aspects. Yes, he was vulnerable, having lost Sookie, but watching him turn into a zealot grew more disturbing and upsetting with each week.
Maybe because it happened so quickly, or I was just blinded by the Bill Compton of previous seasons, I dunno. But, this turn has shocked me. I watched week in and week out for a sign that he was going to snap out of the hold the religion had on him. That memories of Sookie or Jessica would set him back on the path. I even figured he'd listen to Eric about things were getting to weird and out of hand. I watched the finale expecting a change that would give us our William Thomas Compton back.
I enjoyed watching him play Salome. When he told her he put liquid silver in the vile, I got excited. Bill's plan to end the madness was near! The charade was over! A change was on the way.
Well, we got a change. Bill following through on his plan to drink the blood of Lilith. And then his words to Eric and Sookie? I watched in shock, as he harshly told Sookie that he found what he was looking for. I was speechless as he drank the vile. Literally. And it only got worse. Too see him explode in a puddle of blood and guts was almost too much to watch. Our William Thomas Compton was gone!
But wait! Something is happening. It's pretty scary to see the Viking Eric Northman look on in horror as a rebirth was in process. Same with Sookie's reaction. Out of the blood, we see "Bill" reborn. As what, I have no idea. Billith? What the heck??!! I still can't comprehend it. It was that shocking.
As a Billsbabe, I will never give up on Bill. That is not in doubt. This is True Blood, where obviously anything goes. Like I said, I'm not able to comprehend why the writers took this turn. I may even stop trying to figure it out. But, I'm already envisioning the ways in which the writers can turn this around and release Bill from whatever he has become. The Bill Compton of old is the heart and soul of the show in many ways. The fans know it. The writers know it. Surely, they can give him back to us in some way before this series comes to an end. You don't spend seasons superbly developing this complex character and having fans invest time and passion only to throw it away, right?
In ending, I will say that Stephen has acted his behind off taking this character into the deepest pit of darkness. He has been awesome and I'm sure that he'll continue to step up to the plate and deliver great performances. But, please TB PTB, give us our Bill back!
Shad, I would be remiss if I did not thank you for the excellent work you've done on the Bill Chronicles all season long. Your devotion to the character of Bill Compton shines through each episode chronicle. A heartfelt "thank you" from me.
Thank you Shad for you excellent Bill Chronicles and expecially this one, I know it was very trying given the circumstances.
Once Bill took that first hit of "L" it has been down hill for him and his mainstreaming ways and now here we are with a transformed Bill into some possible evil entity only the writers know what he is. Yes I am shocked and mourn the S1 Bill I fell for the minute he said "Good evening Miss Stackhouse" in his distinct Southern drawl, my heart still speeds up just thinking about it. *swoon*
Please don't be mad at me but I am seeing this from a pragmatic standpoint - for a show to be viable characters cannot remain static and the Bill/Sookie/Eric love triangle cannot be reworked over and over again nor can every episode end with a Bill and Sookie fade out of a hot sex scene, though I wish it could. hehe
So the producers and writers MUST make these spectacular paradigm shifts from time to time to keep the show moving forward. Hoyt was another example of this and after he found peace they shipped him off to Alaska, well I'd rather have Billith than Bill in Peru or hanging out in Sookies bushes (as in the books)!
I'm not happy but I'm learning to adjust and accept Bill the way he is for I am Team Bill and a Stephen Moyer fan forever.
Lastly Steve's acting throughout S5 was award worthy and no doubt he will deliver in S6.
Thanks Shad for your terrific weekly recaps of Bill's activities.
Seeing Bill meet what I thought was the final death was brutal to say the least. I would have gone bat sh*t crazy if they ended the episode with Bill in a puddle. So he has been resurrected with his memories intact so says AB. I take that as a positve because it confirms Bill has not ceased to exist,he has transformed and all is not lost.
I have tremdous faith in Bill .
Bill is and has always been unique so I would not sell him short. That’s the mistake several older stronger vampires have made over the years and look where they ended up. Never play poker with Bill Compton.Just because Bill looked fearsome and roared like a lion doesn’t automatically mean he will be evil . Looks can be deceiving and so can the TB folks when they are trying to steer us in circles.That was one hell of a transformation the likes of which has never been seen . It is going take more than a wacky dancing Fae elder to deal with Warlow. I’m guessing Bill will be involved with his new found power that I assume he has, after all he was resurrected.
No disrespect to the other cast members but Stephen/ Bill is the golden goose of True Blood.Bill is most talked about and most complex character of the series so his story reflects that by being the most intriguing and pivotal.Whatever path Bill takes Stephen is more than up to the task to get him there and I will follow every step of the way. Truly a remarkable actor.This hiatus is going to be a long haul.
Billsbabes everywhere! Have Faith! We are talking vampires, werewolves, faeries and shifters! The possibilities are endless! I believe our Bill is still 'in there.' Vampire god Bill is brilliant and wise and undefeatable for Season 6! Even 1000 year old Eric is running from him! lol ~ Sookie's 'light' can take us anywhere! It took our Bill to FaeWorld ~ a place that no vampire had EVER seen before! But Bill was there! We saw Gran again, talking to Sookie and telling her it's o.k. to be alone for a while. And we have seen Godric numerous times, even tho he meant the sun in Season 2. So....remember, anything is possible on True Blood! Now here comes in Season 6.... Andy [who is related to Bill] has half~Fae children! Will Vampire god Bill think his relatives are an 'abomination?' And here comes Warlow. He was 'promised' to possess Sookie centuries ago in a blood~etched 'contract.' Obviously, Warlow intends to breed with Sookie to produce a unique Fae child, born of Sookie's special Fae bloodline. Since Warlow wants Sookie so badly, have we been shown ALL of Sookie's powers? Who can possibly save Sookie from this horrible fate with Warlow? It would have to be 'someone' even more powerful than Warlow himself! Any ideas, Billsbabes? LOL ~ Please don't give up hope! Maurella said there are faery powers that are a 'lost art.' Salome was afraid of the faeries influence for some good reason. And so is Lilith! 'Good' always triumphs over 'evil.' And the 'Light' always illuminates the 'Darkness.' And as we all know, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE on True Blood. Our Bill is on a fantastic journey! And so is Sookie Stackhouse! It isn't over yet! ;)
I really think they had to do this to Bill so he can save Sookie in Season 6 from Warlow. He is the only one that can. Yes, the entire Season 6 will be about Bill being evil, but if that's what it takes to see him redeeming himself in the Season 6 finale, then by all means. Side note. His fangs are huge!
Also, I really didn't think Sookie would be able to change his mind. I had hopes, but I didn't think she could do it. When Bill had that crazy sex scene with Salome/Lilith/Sookie, it became pretty indicative to me that he was killing Sookie off his heart/mind and replacing it with Lilith.
I was not surprised or disappointed at all. In my opinion, it was quite predictable, that Bill would drink that blood and the fact, that he became some sort of semi-god vampire is reasonable. I think this his "change" is necessary for the next season, because screenwriters needed somebody that would be able to defeat Warlow and save Sookie ... I don´t know, if it´s true or not, it´s just my opinion of what should be in the next season ... Btw. I´m not fan of Bill and Sookie relationship, I hope Eric would be with Sookie as in books ...
I am glad for all the validation here of the utter ridiculousness of this episode. And really felt it the whole season. We got away from our great characters and story arcs including Bill, and turned them into caricatures of themselves. Very disappointed in AB (who's work I have always loved up until this season) and think that he must have been 'phoning' it in after he knew he was leaving. I can't see a way of bringing back Bill's character without it becoming even more ridiculous. Hope I'm wrong, but I agree that Season 6 should be the last if that's the case. Reminds of Season 5 of Dexter which I also loved up until that point. What is it about Seasons 5??!!
It's still hard for me to understand what happened in the final episode of this season. I thought that Sookie would be able to save Bill from the Authority and Lilith, saying those kind words to Bill, but instead of this he drank all the Lilith's blood and then he started convulsing and bleeding, until he became a pool of blood. We all thought he was dead, and then we realized that he rose up from that pool, like Lilith does, and I was completely shocked. I didn't know what was happening with him, really. And I have no idea what will happen in Season 6, if Bill will be able to redeem all he has done. Sookie still loves Bill, and I hope they stay together in the next season, although it seems very difficult. But please, I want my lovely Bill back. That southern vampire who stole my heart in Season 1. I look forward to the Season 6, and I have faith on Bill :)
Shad, first I want to say thank you for doing these recaps this season. Often it gave me another view on things that happen on the show.
In the last episode I said good bye to the vampire I felt in love in season one. I know my Bill never come back as the same. I don’t know if I can stand the new ‘Bill’ – whatever he is now.
I really can’t understand the writers especially Alan Ball this season. I still try to realize what was his intention to leave us alone with this mess.
I’m glad Stephen is such a great actor. His acting is phenomenal and even in the last scene I enjoyed him watching. But please give him another show and a chance to do some good movies!
i live in the philippines and here HBO has just aired the 8th episode ("somebody that i used to know"), but throughout the season i've been cheating and checking out this site to see what happens next. it devastates me that Bill Compton as we know him is gone (indeed he hasn't been the same, but the season finale is so irrevocable i feel like smashing things!). the first vampire that Sookie met, that first ever walked in at Merlotte's, that is like no other (indeed, who is ever like Bill?), that i love the most in True Blood, is gone. how can this be?
i try to find comfort at what Season 6 might bring. well, the new Bill is now stronger than Eric Northman (is Eric now the oldest strongest vampire the writers have allowed us to meet?) and that could bring interesting confrontations between the two. but i can't shake the feeling that a being like the new Bill can only end badly. it just makes me grieve more deeply.
i remember when after reading the 12 Sookie books and reading an interview by Charlaine Harris that she once thought of killing Bill in the fairy wars, i was so upset (and relieved that she changed her mind). and now i dread her 13th and final book. will Bill die there too? nooooo.....
In my opinion (and this is said as I'm in complete mourning for the loss of our Southern gentleman, Bill Compton, because I feel he is truly lost) Season 6 has to be the last season. Unless by some miracle, Bill is brought back to us, I cannot see how they could go on without him. He is the very soul of True Blood.
You can think Eric is hot, you can believe that Sookie is the central figure, but BILL is what True Blood is all about. Alan Ball loved Bill, so it's even more tragic, to me, that he would sacrifice him in this way. I know that it makes more sense for it to be Bill than, say Eric, but please why did you have to do it? If he is what we think he is and he is some weird kind of Billith God, then please let there be some redeeming scene in the next season to let us see him again as he once was.
I'm still so sad about this and I don't know if I can forgive Alan Ball. Again, I know he was very daring in doing this to Bill, BUT come on, geez, not our Bill, I'm still as shocked as I was last night after seeing the episode. So sad. :'(
@lynnpd The whole Bill/Stephen fandom is still in shock. We were all so invested in this character, that it's very disappointing and hurtful that he was taken away from us like this. Maybe it is not all as bad as we fear it will be in season 6, but right now I am still pretty pissed.
Very well done, Shad. I am still trying to absorb the loss of the Bill that I have loved for 5 seasons. I am (hate to say "was") totally invested in Bill Compton, romantic and moody southern vampire, and in the Bill-Sookie relationship. I hope that some vestige of the Bill we knew is present in the blood-covered "god" who has risen up in such terrifying fashion. I have no idea what Season 6 will bring for this new incarnation of Bill. I can't begin to speculate at this point. Still, I know this will afford Stephen a terrific opportunity to show his considerable acting chops. If I can stop lamenting the loss of the vampire I have loved and am so invested in, I will enjoy watching what Stephen does as Lilith's creature (I can't call him 'Billith" ... can't go there).
Right now I need to back off a bit and let things sink in. In another post somewhere I mentioned going to a corner to lick my wounds. I'm still doing some of that.
At the end of this episode when he "dies", I was literally shaking. When it was over, I picked up the phone to call my husband with "OMG, I can't believe what they just did to my Bill!!" and I dropped the phone twice, my hands were shaking so much. lolI have very mixed feeling about what has been done. I like it because I want to see what Stephen Moyer can do with it. Having never heard the name Stephen Moyer before True Blood, but having gone back and watched his some of his movies, I am shocked that he has not hit super stardom by now. He plays an incredible crazy person and I think he can do so much with a "villain" role. He is a superb actor and gorgeous on top of that! But.....I am so invested in the character of Bill Compton, I'm not sure I want to see him act as a villain. And I am a diehard Bill/Sookie shipper and I think that by making Bill into this vampire god or whatever he's gonna be, it has completely obliterated the possibility of a Bill/Sookie reunion. Which naturally means she'll end up with Eric. I didn't like the pairing in the books (which I read after falling in love with True Blood Bill) and I don't like it now. I like Eric just fine but he's not the one for Sookie! Dammit! lolI just feel like it's the end of something and I'm not sure I want to see the beginning of this new something else. I'm actually pretty sad and shaken by the way things went. :(
Thank you Shad, for the recap. I'm still in shock over seeing our beloved Bill meet the true death in such a horrifying way. I'm mourning the loss of the unique vampire with the capacity for sympathy and kindness and generosity. It so hard for me to accept that he is gone. I will never forget him and will always look for glimpses of him in the future. I guess I cant help myself. Stephen made me love Bill. I only return to Season 6 because of Stephen's amazing acting.
Shadaliza girl, I feel your pain. I too was very pissed at what was done to my Bill! I still believe the real Bill would have been stronger and never..never would have been brain-washed in the first place!