Bill and Lorena’s relationship climaxes with a twist

There is more to True Blood then meets the eye and often scenes require a closer look after we have recovered from the first shock and awe to really understand what we just saw. Black and white don’t exist in “Bon Temps”, only various shades of grey and the controversial Bill and Lorena scene that the True Blood team presented to us in “It Hurts Me Too” is without a doubt one of those scenes that spark discussion because there was so much going on in just a few short minutes.

The season 2 flashback scenes of Bill and his maker Lorena left us wondering what their relationship was really like. Bill is a young vampire, turned against his will and suffering unimaginable under the burden of his fading humanity and the loss of his beloved wife and children. He had no other teacher and companion than his maker Lorena to whom he was bound by blood and simply because she was the only one he had left in the world. Although Lorena obviously lacks any leadership skills I do see a certain similarity between her and Armand from “Interview with the vampire”. Armand tells struggling vampire Louis: “We must be beautiful, powerful and without regret.” Louis declines Armand’s invitation to stay with him, Bill, unfortunately, did not have that choice and sees the last remains of his humanity slowly stripped away from him by his maker who fully enjoys being a vampire and who has no respect what so ever for human life.

Considering the enormous differences between Bill and Lorena it is no surprise that their scenes together are so powerful and filled with a great contrast of motivations and emotions. Although they come from completely different places in both vampires, remarkably, emotions seem to be the only thing Bill and Lorena do have in common. Having feelings is considered a great weakness in vampire society, but both vampires let their emotions decide where their feet will take them. In Bill’s case it is not an easy path and has led to the violent outburst we witnessed in “It Hurts Me Too”.

What do we see exactly in that scene? Bill is about to retire for the day, Lorena comes to his room. He tells her that he will never love her; she kisses him and from that moment on it becomes violent. Bill throws her on the bed, tears off some of her clothing while screaming that he will never love her and penetrates her forcefully. Lorena is obviously turned on and groans in pleasure; Bill grabs her head and turns it 180° breaking her neck while he keeps thrusting. Blood drips from her mouth as she says: “Oh William, I so love you.” Bill screams in agony.

Reading back what I just wrote I am like WTF!? Kudos to Bill’s creativity though for inventing a new Kama sutra position that will be known as “Twisted Bamboo”.

But how much does this twisted sex scene really have to do with sex? Not all that much in my opinion. In several interviews Alan Ball has said that they might as will hang a sign in the writers’ room that says: “It’s the emotions, stupid!” And it’s the emotions that rule this scene, all the rest is a mere expression of all the bottled up feelings that led to this explosive turn in the relationship between Bill and Lorena.

Good-Ole-Bill has left the grey bathrobe behind in Hotel Carmilla where he was more than happy to just cuddle with Sookie and he has been replaced by Bad-Ass-Bill who, tormented to the bone, desperately tries to find a way out of the lose-lose situation that he has been maneuvered in by king Russell. But in the end Lorena is (again) fully to blame for this situation, it was she who recommended Bill to the king and pointed out to him how important Sookie is to Bill. As a reward for Bill’s cooperation obtained by threatening Sookie’s life, she planned on forcing Bill to watch while she killed his human lover. Bill sees no other way out to protect Sookie and himself then to renounce his queen and pledge loyalty to the king of Mississippi.

If he didn’t understand Lorena’s lesson the first time about how vampires only bring suffering to the humans they love, I can assure you that he got the message this time, loud and clear. The circle is complete: again he is stripped from whatever humanity he has left and again he loses the woman he loves and it is again all because of Lorena. Lorena who claims to love Bill, but wouldn’t recognize love if she got staked by it.

The picture season 2 painted of Bill made us almost forget that he is not human, but vampire. There is light in him, but also great darkness just beneath the surface and Lorena has the capacity to bring out the darkest darkness in him.

I wasn’t surprised when the word “rape” was mentioned in the reactions to this particular scene. But a violent sexual act isn’t automatically rape. The definition of rape is: forcing another person to submit to sexual acts without his/her consent. Lorena wasn’t forced; she initiated it and accepted everything that Bill dished out to her. Don’t forget that she is physically much stronger than Bill and could easily have snapped his neck or turned any of his body parts 180° around had she chosen to do so. Except for the re-adjustment of her neck, her body wasn’t violated. To me it felt, even though it was Bill acting out, that his body was violated and I doubt that he will ever feel clean again.

So why did he do it? Pure and total frustration, anger, complete disgust and loathing and a “pinch” of hate towards Lorena and him as well to complete the cocktail. That is the recipe that sent him over the edge and made him lose all reason and self control.

Bill obviously did not enjoy the act itself. So how come he was physically capable of penetration? Well, vampires are very sexual beings and get easily aroused for various reasons, violence being one of them. He was probably thinking: “If this is what you want, this is what you’ll get, you bleep bleep!”
To underline that this scene has very little to do with sex, there is hardly any nudity: no bare breasts or butt. The lack of naked skin symbolizes the detachment: Bill has no interest in her breasts, lust is not the catalyst of his arousal and he doesn’t remove his clothing to avoid the intimacy of skin against skin. He cannot bear to look at her face and after hitting her over the head with a plasma TV and burning her to crispy bacon, he turns her face away from him as the cherry on the cake of her humiliation. The contrast with his tender, passionate love making with Sookie couldn’t possibly be any bigger.

And that brings us to Sookie, the woman he loves and would give his undead life for. Saying that he cheated on her with Lorena is simplifying the situation to black and white again. I don’t see it as a betrayal towards Sookie. Firstly because this act had nothing to do with love or sex, secondly because Bill doesn’t consider himself to be Sookie’s any longer, she is lost to him. She just doesn’t know it yet.

19 Comments

  1. I keep seeing reasons for why Bill reacted the way he did each time I watch, from losing Sookie to hating Lorena and everything in between. I think there are probably 100 reasons (or more) why things happened the way they did, and Bill’s scream at the end is also open to interpretation. I think part of it was horror at what he’d done, but also horror at realizing that he will never be rid of Lorena. He can brutalize her, set fire to her, smash her head in with a television set, and she still won’t take the hint. In human terms, she’s the personification of the ex from hell who just will. not. go. away.

    Great summary of a truly epic scene. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting any of it for a long time, that’s for sure. Stephen and Mariana were awesome throughout.

  2. Great review, Shad. I know I won’t soon forget that scene of revenge sex. My husband called it “revenge sex.”

  3. Wow Shad, so well written your review, spelling it out clearly…… so sad for Bill and for Sookie. Thanks!

  4. So well put. I have agonized over this scene since Sunday night. You nailed it. I felt his primal scream at the end was because he just slipped away from his humanity that he has strived so hard for and fears it is lost orveer (lets hope not)! It wasn’t sexual, it was F you.

  5. The entire storyline of Bill mourning for his dead child, losing his wife (again), losing his re-gained humanity, losing the love of his undead life, and the pain and torment that he felt in his heart almost had me in tears. I agree with you, Shad. Bill did not rape Lorena. I am a rape victim. My rapist was a mind-warped coward who thought he had power over me and the rape was an act of power & aggression. If anything, it was Lorena who raped Bill over and over again emotionally. Bill’s act was simply giving in to his aggressor(s), but the pain and torment is written all over his face.

    I would be curious as to what Stephen drew from to portray that anguish, pain, and rage as eloquently as he did. He was fabulous.

  6. I’ve been reading some other “hate” speech this evening regarding the Bill and Lorena scene. Apparently the old dinosaur group, NOW (the National Organization for Women) is speaking out against True Blood and specifically the Bill and Lorena scene calling it “abuse” against women. This would be laughable if it didn’t make me so angry. First of all, NOW hasn’t been relevant since the 1970’s during the failed ERA amendment, so obviously they are using this as some sort of way to get publicity for themselves. Secondly, apparently, they must have Dan Quayle working for them, because someone forgot to let them know that this is something called a TELEVISION SHOW, and it is not real life. (The reference to Dan Quayle stems from when he referred to CBS’s Murphy Brown as being a single mother back in the Bush Sr. presedential era) And lastly, as a survivor of rape and a woman, I wish that instead of picking on a television show like True Blood, that the National Organization for Women would go do some REAL work on REAL women’s issues like equal pay for equal work, abortion rights issues, rape and violent crime victim’s rights acts, homeless women’s needs, etc; but no…they’ve got to make a grandstand and pick on True Blood. Do us all a favor, NOW, and shut the hell up and go away!! We know the difference between reality and fantasy, and our fantasy is Bill Compton. What could be healthier than that??

      1. Oh, sorry, Shad, I think I missed your point when you said “they are encouraging”! Now I understand you meant NOW is asking people to write to HBO and protest about True Blood. Well, to that, I say “Fine.” People have the right to protest anything they want to protest. But before they do so, I hope they get their facts from a reliable source, and not from a bunch of old, washed up, angry leftover militant bra-burners from the 70’s. I am a left-of-center independent woman who grew up in the 70’s, and I am all for women’s equal rights, and MEN’s equal rights too. I have the right to watch what I want to watch and I have the right to watch True Blood without having it censored by anyone. Go get ’em, Alan Ball! I have the right to sit and watch Bill Compton have kinky sex with anyone he chooses (I just wish it were Sookie!!)

  7. Well and truly said, Shad. Kudos to you! Your post said it all. Okay, a few comments. I guess I’m just a wordy soul.

    The scene at the end … it was the result of cumulative experiences, layer upon miserable layer. Bill learned that Lorena had recommended him to Russell. Lorena told the king about Sookie. Now Bill is trapped … to keep Sookie safe, he must align with Russell and renounce his allegiance to Sophie Ann. The humanity that he has desperately tried to regain is slowly slipping away.

    Now here comes Lorena into his bedroom to taunt him. He loathes her for what she has done to him … stripped him of his freedom, his home, his humanity. Their heated words and her fierce kiss burst the dam of Bill’s anger, hatred and frustration and he struck. Was there penetration? It looked like it from Bill’s movements and Lorena’s moans of pleasure. I really couldn’t tell. What he did to Lorena was violent, angry and totally understandable. I don’t consider it rape. She wanted everything he had to give, and would have tolerated and enjoyed much more. With her superior strength she could have stopped him at any time. He remained fully clothed. No skin on skin intimacy here. Lorena didn’t deserve it. Bill’s tortured scream at the end told me he fully realized what he had done, and how far he had slipped from the humanity he was striving to maintain. In that moment Lorena had indeed won. But I fervently hope it will not be for long. Powerfully acted by Mariana and Stephen. I will not forget this scene any time soon.

  8. Really great points Shad. I love how you pointed out how it was Bill was violated. And not just his body, but his every fiber, his being. He has to pledge loyalty to a King in order to protect Sookie. His maker torments him to no end, trying to bring him to the dark side, a place he desperately tries to avoid. He made decisions that he has no choice but to make. The sex was simply a culmination of someone who reached a breaking point. It was gut-wrenching to watch him basically lose everything he held dear.

    What was even worse was how you seen that he feels responsible for the hurt he caused Caroline, and the hurt he knows Sookie will be going through once he makes that call in the next episode.

    I loved the parallel you made with Louis from Interview. Like Bill, Louis is the tragic figure, despising his maker and his existence. I’d make a similarity with Lestat and Lorena. Lestat was adamant that Louis kill without regret and accept the vampire nature (“do not doubt, you are a killer Louis!). Sounds so much like Lorena. In my head Louis and Bill should share a table at Merlotte’s, sipping on True Bloods! lol

  9. Thank you Shad for your insight into the whole Bill/ Lorena fiasco.
    I really enjoyed your article. I really don’t have anything to add, you basically said it all!

    I just hope that our Bill finds peace with himself so he can concentrate on getting out of this mess with the King and scoot on back to Bon Temps where he belongs.

    Stephen and Mariana really kicked ass in this scene. Stephen was right- it was a water cooler moment that won’t be easy to forget!

  10. Lorena is the vampire equivalent of herpes. Really. I love Bill, really I do but at this point if I were in his position I’d be the first one to meet the sun. That is not a life to be lead at all. Poor thing. Poor poor thing.

  11. An excellent synopsis of an unforgettable scene Shad. It broke my heart to see Bill in such pain. Bill has had such a long and arduous climb back to his humanity while being anchored down by a cruel demented maker. Others have thrown obstacles in his path time and again impeding his progress and causing him to stumble back. It is a testament to his character that he kept going when the odds were immeasurably and unfairly stacked against him. I think this episode shows us that even vampires have their breaking point and this was Bill’s. He is a real low place now but I have faith Bill in time will fight his way back up.
    Anyone that could not feel bad for him I have to question their humanity.

    Stephen and Mariana gave stellar performances.

  12. Sookie should forgive Bill, absolutely. Plus, he was having sex in a different zip code, so it doesnt count.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Send this to a friend