EPISODE 511: SUNSET by Mary
Night falls hard on Bill Compton’s humanity
This episode opens with Bill stepping off the elevator in the Authority HQ. As he starts to walk, he hears strange, unearthly noises, then a voice (eerily resembling the ghost of Christmas past!) calls “Bill Compton.” He looks around, confused. Again he hears his name. The doors to the inner sanctum where Lilith’s blood is displayed open. Bill, looking anxious, walks in. He looks around, sees nothing, and turns to go. Suddenly, there’s a loud screaming sound. His fangs drop as he spins back around. Before him stands a bloody Lilith, who ominously utters, “Only one can lead us. I choose you.” She opens the case holding the vial of blood. “Drink the blood. Drink it all!” Bill stares for a moment, then shaking his head, as if to dismiss the apparition, starts to go. He looks back, seeing no Lilith, but her bloody hand print on the glass. His fangs retract as he quickly leaves, almost running out of the room.
Next we see Jessica sneaking into Bill’s room, looking around furtively, then picking up a cell phone. Bill is in the doorway: “Jessica?” She startles, but quickly recovers. “Hey Bill, can I use your phone? Mine’s not working in here.” Bill benignly asks, “For what purpose?” Jessica replies, “I gotta call Jason. He’s in danger. While you were gone I had to stop Steve Newlin from attacking him twice. Now that Russell and him are on the loose, I’m afraid he’s gonna try it again. So can I use it?” Bill answers evenly, “I’m sorry, but no.” Jessica is shocked. “No? But why? Jason is out there. He’s a sitting duck. Sookie too!” Bill’s reply, so politely and reasonably stated, reveals the darkly seductive appeal of his newly adopted religion: “Jessica. It has taken me a long while to come to terms with the fact that part of accepting the word of Lilith into my heart is distancing myself from the trivial matters of humans. They used to drive me crazy! I spent years worrying about their feelings, their mortality, their weakness. Until I found a better way…Lilith’s way. Jason, Sookie, and the inhabitants of BonTemps are no longer our concern. They are food, and nothing more.”
Jessica is stunned. “You can’t mean that.” Bill, wanting to end the discussion, points out, “You will see, in time. Now, I’m sorry, but I have other matters that I have to attend to.” Jessica won’t accept Bill’s dismissal. “What if I made him a vampire?” Bill stops, turns to her. “You want to be a maker?” Jessica, diving in without hesitation, answers “I was reading the book of Lilith and it says that the greatest gift you can give a human is to make them a vampire.” Quietly, Bill says “That is true.” Jessica’s on a roll now. The words spill out, like a fountain of hope. “Well, it makes sense to me ‘cause I love Jason but it never seems to work out with him and that’s probably because he’s human and I’m a vampire. But, if I made him a vampire then we can be together. You know, blessed by Lilith.” The last words come slower. She’s losing steam, waiting for Bill’s reaction. And it surely comes, as Bill’s eyes narrow and his voice becomes cold steel. “Do you think I’m an idiot?” Jessica stammers, “What?” Bill continues icily, “Are you going to stand there and try to manipulate me with your foolish lies?” Picking up his cell phone, he presses a few digits, then speaks. “Yes, please, can you send in Gondry and Lambert?”
Jessica, starting to realize that she’s in trouble, asks “What are you doing?” Bill replies, sarcasm dripping from his fangs, “I’m taking you up on your generous offer. If you want to make Jason Stackhouse into a vampire, then, by all means, please do so.” Jessica is now desperate. “Bill, I wasn’t trying to manipulate you, I was just trying to help Jason!” Before the words are out of her mouth, Bill’s condescending retort cuts through them. “No, no, no, you’re right! In the time to come it may be important for me to bolster the Compton blood line, so why not start right now? As you rightly said, as Chancellor it would be hypocritical of me to demand that vampires become makers without requiring the same of you!” Feebly, Jessica starts “Wait, Bill…” At that moment, two guards arrive, and Bill instructs “Gondry, this is Jessica, my progeny. I want you to take her to BonTemps where she is going to sire a young man named Jason Stackhouse. Take the helicopter. I want this thing done properly. Don’t let her out of your sight.” The last dictate is snapped out as Bill marches out of the room, righteously indignant.
What an important scene! At last, we gain some insight into Bill’s state of mind. He’s actually relieved to be free of his struggle to stay connected with his humanity, and maintain a sympathetic and supportive relationship with the human species. Becoming a member of this “nest” of Sanguinistas has given him permission to be a vampire, and to dismiss humans as inconsequential and insignificant. He isn’t pining for his lost human life anymore. He isn’t searching for a cause. He isn’t guilty for his vampire actions. His disillusionment in all he believed in has, in a strange way, freed him from responsibility and accountability. He doesn’t have to try anymore. The influence of the nest, and of the blood, has pulled him back into the primal existence of how vampires existed for ages. In short, he’s come full circle. Talk about seduction! How patently pleasurable it must be, just to accept what you are, and not give a flying fuck who’s offended.
There’s just one teeny, tiny problem. This isn’t who Bill is. The real Bill will not stay hidden forever. Bill is, at his core, who he was when he was made. He is honorable, damn it all, and denying that may work for awhile, in a nest of bloodthirsty, ego-maniacal, religious cult zealots high on some hallucinogenic blood, but not forever. Bill Compton, farmer, soldier, husband, father, friend, will reemerge. I just wish I knew when.
OK, I’ve digressed way too long, so I’ll continue Bill’s part in this episode:
We see Bill next at the Authority conference table. General Cavanaugh of the U.S. military has arrived, and he isn’t a happy camper. His first comment “Cut the crap, Where’s Roman?” indicates he didn’t stop by for tea. Bill answers the query by saying that “the Guardian is unavailable at this time.” To which the General replies, “Who the fuck are you?” So much for polite conversation. Salome introduces Bill. The general is unimpressed. He’s fighting mad. “There’s a shit storm going on out there, and Roman’s been ducking my calls. Now I demand to know what’s going on!” He goes on to remind the Authority that he and Roman have worked together for 20 years, forging the secret program between the U.S. government and them. He even calls it by its name: “Mainstreaming. You don’t fuck with us, we don’t fuck with you.” The general discloses that they know they bombed their TB factories. He says, “now you’ve gone too far. There are high level talks going on at the Pentagon right now about how to eradicate vampires from the face of the planet. So I need to speak to Roman.” No one is saying anything, so finally Bill admits, “Roman is no longer with us.” The general responds simply “How?” To which Eric replies nonchalantly, “He couldn’t get with the program, so he had to go.” Nora chimes in, “This is a Sanguinista regime now. Lilith has led us to our rightful place and there we shall lead all vampire kind.”
The general’s reaction is right on point. “You psychotic bloodsuckers. Roman was the only one keeping a lid on this. He was the only one keeping the world from sliding back into the dark ages.” Bill tries to get the general on board, flattering him as a man of integrity, and a pragmatist, who should follow them. I’m sure the general was impressed with that line of B.S., Bill! General Cavanaugh is no fool. He produces a flashdrive, announcing that it’s a video of Russell and Steve Newlin eviscerating 22 frat boys the night before, and that there are multiple copies to ensure his safety. He adds, “You assured the world, you assured the President, that Russell was dead, and you lied.” Nora tries to counter by remarking that his threats are empty. The general is nonplussed. “Are you really that stupid?” We’re prepared. You don’t think we’ve been planning for this? We own the day. Vampires don’t stand a fucking chance. There’s only one person right now standing between you and an all out war with humans, and you’re looking at him.” At this point, the Authority as a whole is mum. The general starts to leave. Eric blocks his way, his fangs drop. The general utters, “Oh God.” Eric answers, “God is a vampire.” Eric deftly breaks the general’s neck, with a stunned Authority looking on.
We return to the scene of the crime as Salome is calling Eric a “fucking idiot” and all the members are in an uproar, talking over one another as they stand over the general’s body. Eric’s had enough, shouting “Listen!” he silences the cackling, and outlines his plan for going on a glamouring campaign, eliminating all memory of the damaging video. Nora joins right in with an idea for assisting Eric in his plan. Both leave with Salome’s permission, as a suspicious Bill admonishes them to take a security detail. Well, we all know what happened to that detail, don’t we?
We see Bill next getting another visit from bloody old Lilith, who now appears in his room (or is it Salome’s?), again telling him he is the chosen one, and he needs to drink the blood, all of it. The repetition is getting boring. But Bill isn’t bored. No, he’s positively soaring on the high of being chosen, as he gingerly touches Lilith’s blood on his lips.
Right after this visitation, Bill marches over to the inner sanctum, to follow his orders from Lilith, I presume, and drink all of the blood. However, Kibwe is there ahead of him, kneeling, and soaring high on the knowledge that Lilith appeared to him, and told him he was the chosen one. Bill knows he’s mistaken, so he quickly beheads him, and dumps the bloody gooey mess in the pool. How convenient to have those pools around the place!
Bill is furiously washing his hands in the pool when he hears them paging him to the main area to meet his progeny. Jessica was trying to hide at Fangtasia, but Rosalyn found her and brought her back to face her maker. Which we all have to do at some point, I guess. (Bad joke.) Bill steps out of the inner sanctum, asking Jessica “What do you have to say for yourself?” Jessica tries to explain how Jason was not into being turned, which only seems to infuriate Bill, as he asks, “So you decided it would be better to kill two vampires instead?…….”You chose a human over two vampires?” Jessica reminds Bill that he staked LongShadow for Sookie, but it doesn’t make a dent in his delusion. “Lilith demands that vampires have dominion over humans!” Jessica, in all her sweet youth and inexperience, answers with, “Who cares about Lilith? Pam says you are in a nest and it’s making you crazy!” Well, as Basic Psychiatry 101 tells us - never, never challenge a crazy person’s delusion. Bill backhands her, tossing her up in the air, and landing her on the marble floor right in front of him. His wrath is unleashed. Fangs are out, as he stands menacingly over her, and rages, “Who are you to defy me? I am the chosen one! Lilith chose me!” End of Scene.
This was an amazing episode for Bill. He is now fully committed to leading the Sanguinistas into their new age of drinking the planet dry of human blood. I’m now thinking that perhaps it has to be Eric, with or without Nora, who has the best chance of bringing him back to reality, and back to himself. It may be too dangerous for Sookie. And Jessica should take care of herself at this point. One more episode – cannot believe it. Bill, please come back to us. We need you!