EPISODE 5: 09 EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD OR: WHERE DID BILL GO, AND WHO IS THAT IN HIS BLACK LEATHER JACKET?
If last week’s episode shook me up, tonight’s was an earthquake! What the hell just happened? Can Lilith’s hallucinogenic blood travel through time and space, causing me to see things, or is someone skinwalking as Bill Compton, ‘cause this can’t be him!
Episode 9 opens with a televised report of an explosion and fiery destruction of a Tru:Blood factory in Texas. The new Authority chancellors, including Bill and Eric, are standing around their conference table, with its lighted center, a naked man tied on top of it. He’s squirming, fighting against his chains, his screams are muffled by the gag in his mouth. Salome is smiling ear-to-ear. Nora is declaring “In celebration of our holy war we shall feast.” At Russell’s request, Steve Newlin recites a comic diddy as “grace.” Salome recites an incantation in ancient Aramaic. There’s a synchronized “click” as all fangs drop down, and everyone dives into their communal celebratory meal. The poor man’s pointless struggling fades as the beginning credits roll.
Next we see the cute computer geek girl, carrying a metal briefcase, walk up to the elevator, which does not accept her blood DNA, and refuses her access. As she returns her briefcase to its locked cage, Eric suddenly appears. He asks her how they can escape, and she says she has a plan, but it will probably get him killed. His response is so Eric – “Sounds perfect.”
In the next scene, Bill enters his room, along with Eric, who immediately needles Bill into letting him in on his scheme, as he mockingly exudes “Hey, I have an idea! Why don’t we blow up all the Tru:Blood factories and start a civil war? Praise Lilith!” Then, in all seriousness, “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing …” Bill interrupts “It’s no game.” Eric counters “Shut up! There aren’t any cameras in here. You’re laying it on a little thick, aren’t you? You’re as crazy as they are.” Bill answers “What if they’re not? I saw Lilith. We both did.” Eric says “I don’t know what’s in that blood, but we need to stay away from it.” Bill replies “I’m lost. I don’t know who to trust. Everything I’ve ever believed in has been turned upside down.” Eric challenges Bill “What about Sookie? Is she just food to you now?” Bill is silent. Eric continues “I didn’t think so. You’re more of a Mainstreamer than I’ll ever be. And whatever religious crisis you’re having you can have it somewhere else. We’re getting the hell out of here.” Eric discloses a plan of escape, giving a specimen pipette to Bill, who realizes what it’s for. “You want me to steal Salome’s blood? What about your sister?” Eric tells Bill he’ll handle Nora. He says they will escape tomorrow morning, before dawn. Screams are heard from a distance, and Eric quips “We better get back to slaughtering people in the name of God.” He walks out, leaving Bill staring at the pipette in his hand.
The following scene opens with Nora kneeling in front of the pedestal which displays the crystal and gold vial of Lilith’s blood, enclosed in a glass case. Eric walks up behind her, and the two vampire siblings have an earnest and emotional conversation, as Nora explains to Eric the beauty of her belief in Lilith, and how she will help him understand and believe himself. Eric is visibly touched. He kisses Nora, telling her he doesn’t want to lose her. They are apparently reconciled.
Now comes what for me may be one of the most distressing scenes in the entire True Blood series, and one that I am having a hard time even discussing. It opens in a deceivingly lovely way, with Bill on Salome’s bed, sitting against the headboard – naked! And oh, what a lovely sight he is! Salome, on the far side of her lacey, see-through curtain, is dancing, moving her voluptuous body seductively, relishing her new status, as the one who has brought this new era of Lilith to vampires. She’s clothed only in gold jewelry and a red gauzy wrap around her hips and thighs. She climbs onto Bill and whispering in her intensely sensual way, tells him that he’s been chosen to be her “Adam” and start a new world order. Bill’s reply gravely asks “What if I don’t want to be chosen?” To which Salome answers, “You have Lilith’s blood in you!” There is passionate kissing, a vamp-speed switch to Salome lying under Bill who rips her gauzy wrap off and mounts her. OMG, he’s so hot! Frenzied sex ensues, but within seconds, as Bill looks down at Salome, he sees Sookie, all light and sweet smiles, gazing up at him, whispering “Bill.” Immediately Bill’s fangs drop. Opening his mouth in a feral grimace, he lunges at Sookie’s neck. At first she smiles, reminding us that she trusts Bill completely. But this is different. Horribly and sickeningly different. Bill is ravenous. He’s growling. He’s gorging. He doesn’t stop. Sookie is struggling. Her smiling, trusting face has changed to one of pain and panic. She punches his back with her fists. Her feet are kicking the bed … then they are twitching involuntarily … then they are still. Bill raises up from his goulish feeding, only to see Lilith, bathed in blood, smiling up at him. In a flash, Lilith attacks his neck, as he bites hers. She raises up from him, only to become Salome again, who is now fucking him sitting upright, a wild, unearthly look in her eyes.
I can hardly believe what I witnessed. Bill has disappeared down the rabbit hole. He’s lost all sympathy, all caring, all love. He’s devolved into Lorena’s ideal – a heartless killer, without mercy or principle. I don’t want this to be real.
The final scene of the episode starts with Eric leading Nora through a door, as she asks him “Where are you taking me?” They enter a stark, bare room, where computer-geek girl is waiting. Nora is stunned. She starts to ask Eric what is happening, when he grabs a syringe and injects her neck. She immediately loses consciousness. He picks her up, carries her to the elevator, and applies her finger to the DNA detector. As he does so, he asks his young accomplice “Where’s Bill?” Just then, Bill appears from the door behind them. Eric turns, saying “You had me worried there for a minute.” Bill, standing very still, gazes evenly at Eric, giving him a slight smile. The doors of the elevator open, and there stands Salome, accompanied by armed guards, who immediately surround Eric and computer-geek girl. Eric’s fangs are bared. His expression is one of bare ferocity. He faces Bill, and with uncontrollable rage, shouts “You fucking traitor!” Bill’s response, posed in a zealot’s self-satisfied tone, explains “I’m doing this for you. I’ve been chosen by Lilith. This is what God wants!” The closing shot is Eric’s face – angry, incredulous, and at the end, devastated.
And that pretty much sums up how I feel. WTF? I am having a difficult, if not impossible, time accepting that Bill could be manipulated by a hallucinogenic drug, or by Salome’s mind-games, or by the loss of his beliefs and ideals, or by all of the above, to attack and drain Sookie, the person for whom he has proven he would go to the true death. How did Bill become so lost? Where is his rescue? Who can devise an escape from the grips of this cult-mentality? How will I, how will all of us, cope with this overwhelming heartbreak, this devastating loss? Bill must be saved.