Episode 5:06 HOPELESS-LY DEVOTED by Mary
This episode, midway through season five, is amazing and so befitting the best of Alan Ball.
We start out where episode 5 left off. Bill, Eric, Sookie, and Alcide are face to face with Russell Edgington, who is lying in the hospital bed where he has been healing since his resurfacing. There’s a noise, Alcide drops down, Sookie, et al spins around to see what’s happening, and watches Alcide being dragged out of the room by a large wolf. Sookie runs toward him, so do Bill and Eric. Werewolves appear, jumping out of hallway lockers (of all places!), Bill and Eric attack. This is Russell’s opportunity. He vamp-speeds to Sookie, cornering her. “You’re just what the doctor ordered. My tree fairie, vixen!” Just as he dives at her neck, Sookie’s hands spew forth her light-force, flinging her fanged attacker several feet. Russell laughs, but he is not amused. As he goes in for his second try, Eric is suddenly on him, fangs out, grabbing him by the neck, and telling him “I want to be the last thing that you see … ” It looks like curtains for Russell, but Bill is now over Eric’s shoulder, holding a stake. Two werewolves are lying dead on the floor. Sookie is speechless and motionless, clinging to the wall. Bill: “He dies, we die, most certainly. But if we take him back alive maybe we don’t have to die.” Eric, still poised to kill: “Unlikely.” Bill: “But not impossible. Maybe you’re ready to die. Maybe you’re just bored after 1000 years. But you do not make that decision for me.” Just then, beams of red light appear, followed by Authority guards , weapons in hand, training their lasers on Russell’s heart. A voice declares “We’ll take over .”
Who is, once again, the smartest boy in the class? Bill, not letting the emotions of the moment take him over, realizes that returning Russell to the Guardian is the only chance they have to save their lives. He also knows he must get Sookie away from this present danger. Russell is a valuable commodity to them now.
Next we see Russell in custody, silver chains on his wrists, being led out to a waiting truck. He lashes out at his captors: “You better hope you’re not around when I’m fully restored! Authority! (spits on the floor) What fucking authority do you have? Given to you by what? Lilith? You idiots! You’re no better than humans, with your absurd magical thinking! There is no Lilith!” He continues to rant as he is led out to the Authority’s truck. The guard in charge, Chancellor Kibwe, turns to Bill. “Wolf and human are here. Why?” Bill, reacting quickly, tells the guard he and Eric found them, “parked in a van outside of Shreveport.” Eric adds, “humping each other like livestock.” Sookie gives Eric a look of disgust. Bill continues to explain that they brought another human “… we needed because he remembered coming here before, with a vampire – Doug.” Kibwe is not pleased. “They know too much.” Bill responds in a casual tone, belying his urgency. “Nothing that a little glamouring won’t take care of.” The Guard thinks for a moment, then: “Do it!” Whew, that was close! Once again, Bill has averted imminent danger for Sookie by his fast thinking and cool demeanor!
Bill walks over to face Sookie. Eric walks over to Alcide. Bill gazes into Sookie’s eyes intently, quietly telling her to look at him. Sookie interrupts, not comprehending what Bill is doing. “Bill, are you…?” Bill silently shakes his head. Guards are only steps away. Sookie understands. She looks at Bill. Their eyes lock. Bill continues, “You’ll remember nothing of this night. Nothing of me, or Eric. It’ll be as though we never met.” Sookie’s eyes are wide. She stares into Bill’s eyes, silently questioning. Bill continues, intense emotion barely hidden behind his quiet, calm voice: “And you will live your life as you were meant to live it – in the sun, with others like you … human.” He gazes deeply into her eyes. He nods, silently asking her to understand that he is saying goodbye. This is him telling her to move on, to live her life without vampires. To walk away from the blood, the heartache, and the danger that walked into Merlotte’s that fateful night. To free herself. To be happy. Sookie understands. Her eyes remain locked on his, glistening with emotion. She knows this is Bill protecting her, giving her back her life. Without vampires. Without him.
How can this be? What is Bill’s purpose? This is Bill loving Sookie. He’s telling Sookie to trust her decision of only a short while ago, when she left him and Eric, walking away from both. He doesn’t want to use her anymore. He doesn’t want to put her in harm’s way. He wants to know she is living the life she deserves. One that can bring real contentment, true fulfillment, and peace of mind. Bill knows life with him is a risk for Sookie. He’s opening the door to sunlight and sanity, asking her to go.
I am crying. I am bereft. Bill will be alone. It isn’t fair. I want to put my arms around him and comfort him. I want to tell him how courageous and noble he is.
There is little time, however, for these emotions. Eric glamours Alcide. He includes (so typical of Eric!) that Alcide will find Sookie repulsive now, but will protect her with his life. Well, IMO, Alcide would do that anyway. Oh well.
Driving home, Alcide is confused. “Where the fuck are we? How’d we get here?” Sookie is now openly crying, tears streaming down her face. I am almost glad to see it. Sookie realizes she doesn’t want to leave Bill. We’re both so sad!
As Kibwe escorts Bill and Eric to the waiting truck, he tells them how pleased the Guardian will be that they delivered Russell. Eric asks: “Pleased enough not to execute us?” Kibwe: “Only Lilith knows that.” Bill: “As only she knows all.” Once they are alone in the transport truck, Eric shows his impatience. “Enough of this religious bullshit already. Lilith can fuckin’ blow me. And why are you suddenly so into it?” Bill answers, “I’m just covering my ass.” Bill’s no dope. He’s playing it cool, he’s playing it close. He knows they aren’t out of the woods yet. He’s taking no chances.
Once at the Authority HQ, Bill and Eric are treated to a hero’s welcome. There’s sparkling blood in champagne flutes. There’s big band music playing. The chancellors are lounging on sofas, congratulating them, all smiles, all praise. Cheerful Molly is there, removing their i-stakes. Roman appears. He is positively gleeful. Bringing a bottle of 18th century blood, he calls them, “My boys”. They will be known as the boys who took down Russell Edgington!” Just as quickly, he becomes serious, questioning Bill, then Eric, on their true beliefs. Bill agrees with Roman “wholeheartedly.” Eric, on the other hand, is less forthcoming. He attempts to circumvent the question. “I remain a pacifist.” Surprisingly, Roman remains good-natured and pleasant, rambling on with his philosophical POV. Eric requests to see Chancellor Gainsborough. Roman asks why. Eric responds, “She’s my sister.” Roman is surprisingly nonplussed. “As long as you’re back here for the execution.” Eric: “Oh, I wouldn’t miss it.” Roman to Bill: “And you?” Bill replies, “Oh, I love a good execution.” Salome goes to collect Russell and bring him in to the main room for the true death.
Then we see Eric stand outside Nora’s cell as she chants and prays to Lilith. We see Russell, i-stake strapped in place, being dragged by guards, followed by Salome, who informs Nora that Roman has decided to execute him tonight. Nora is ecstatic, praising Lilith and displaying a religious fervor that any ancient martyr would envy. “It’s finally happening. God’s plan. She was right! She was right all along!” Eric realizes Nora did not excavate Russell. It wasn’t her!
In our last scene, we see the chancellors and Bill standing , facing Russell, who is kneeling in back of Roman, standing in the center of the room, praying to God, and Lilith. “In the name of the father and mother …” Russell interrupts: “In the name of my ass!” He accuses Roman of hypocrisy, announcing that he is the only honest one there, since he gorges on human blood, “not because the bible tells me to, but because I like it … It is fun! It makes my dick hard!” Roman and Russell engage in a short, very loud, shouting match, with Roman ending it by declaring that, “This is about peace!” The chancellors, Molly, and Bill stand and watch as Roman walks in back of Russell, and presses the app to activate the i-stake.
Nothing happens! He presses it again, again, again, total shock on his face. Bill and Eric look at each other. Russell is up in a flash. The chancellors are aghast. He attacks Roman, staking him, and pronouncing as he does, “Peace is for pussies!”
What an episode! My emotions spanned the gamut, from anxious, to sad, to worried, to excited, to relieved, to shocked. I’m at once exhausted and invigorated by the experience. Alan Ball has done it again!
Bill’s journey is heart-wrenching and poignant, as well as exciting and rewarding. I am completely captivated by the complexity and ingenuity of Bill’s story. His presence of mind, his generosity of spirit, and his depth of commitment are so real, and so compelling.