Just Sayin’

August 5, 2010 in 3.07 Hitting the Ground, Bill, Season 1, Sookie Stackhouse, True Blood

A number of us in the forum have been discussing the “truck scene” in this week’s episode. This is unsurprising, since the book version which sees Sookie fed on and raped by Bill is one of the most debated scenes of the series.

Our interest in the True Blood version has been piqued not by the rights, wrongs and justifications for his attack on Sookie, however. It’s Bill’s reaction after the dust settles that really has us talking.

It started with a criticism of what appeared to be yet another example of plot driven writing – Bill’s inexplicable lapses in and out of conciousness, and violent swinging between incoherence and weakness, super-strength and cunning from the opening scene of this episode.

I’m not going to explore this here, I’ll leave that for you to ponder.

Towards the end of the truck scene, Alcide opens the rear doors and Bill once again snaps to attention. He takes in the chaos: a mauled and comatose Sookie, and a Tara who looks like she is ready to cut him up into bite-sized chucks and barbeque him right there on the side of the highway. Bill starts making a show of concern, but Tara – who is having NO more of his shit today – kicks his ass to the kerb before she and Alcide leave him there to fry.

We immediately brace ourselves for the next shot – which will SURELY involve some version of Bill’s Ah Am Tortured Vampiah Face, and most likely a bit of drop-to-the-knees wailing and gnashing of fangs.

Instead, what we got was this.

Source

Far from anguished and guilt-ridden, the second Alcide and Tara were out of sight – emo vampire is gone. Bill expresses a mild and fleeting interest in the condition of his NOT burning skin, before pausing in the midst of what you would expect to be a completely MIND BLOWING discovery for a vampire to stare after the disappearing van with his miracle inside.

“DAMN!”, he says. As if he’d just stepped in a pile of dog shit.

Damn?!?

REALLY, Bill?

After apparently just realising that you may have killed your “Miracle”, you were left for dead in the blazing sun. “Damn” is all you got?

Where’s the theatrical freak-out we’ve come to expect from Bon Temps’ resident drama queen?

Suffice to say, Bill’s apparent lack of concern when no one was there to see it at both Sookie’s dire predicament, and his own impromptu sunbathing session raises some serious red flags.

Everything about this scene was off, and it was off for a reason. This is coming from yours truly – with a self-proclaimed hair trigger when it comes to calling bad writing and directorial failures on this show.

We have speculated here that Sophie-Anne’s interest in Sookie extends beyond her telepathy, since that would be too predictable for book readers…and anyone else who has ever googled “Bill Compton”. There has to be a twist coming, with the most popular theory around these parts being that everyone is after Sookie because her fairy blood gives vampires the ability to walk in daylight.

[See this post back in May, containing Alan Ball's comments on Sophie Anne's daywalking obsession in season 3 for background.]

This episode seemed to lend some weight to our theory. We saw Bill able to stand out in the sun after ingesting an extra generous helping of Sookie juice, and we also took a heavy hint through the introduction of Claudine that Sookie is part fae. Sookie having no blood type? Another huge hint that there is something very special about the blood of our favourite waitress.

So bearing these few things in mind let’s take a nostalgic look behind us, shall we?

Episode 6 – Cold Ground

Bill awakens from his slumber to find his Sookie sense beeping. He imagines she is being strangled by Gran’s killer – and is forced to lay in his hidey-hole, literally watching the clock until the sun finally sets. He immediately shoots out of his house to save her–but not one second before that nasty sun is DOWN.

We even get a few shots of the sky outside to emphasise this point. Just in case we missed it.

Episode 8 – The Fourth Man in the Fire

Bill and Sookie have what appears to be a sweet post-coital conversation during which Bill is absently stroking the very top of Sookie’s non-pointy fairy ear.

As his finger moves rhythmically back and forth, Bill whispers sweet nothings at his beloved:

S: Don’t it [sex] get old? For you, I mean. You’ve been doin’ it for over a hundred years. Doesn’t it get predictable?

B: Not with you it doesn’t. You’re entirely different. And the beauty and the tragedy of it is that you don’t know just how different you are.

An obvious reference to her telepathic abilities? Maybe, but Sookie already knows about that. A less obvious reference to her fae bloodline? It sure made the bookies think they were all up on this scene, and it seemed even more likely that Bill was talking about fairies, given his flagrant molestation of the top of Sookie’s ear as he spoke.

But Bill doesn’t KNOW about Sookie’s unusual family line…does he?

Jumping ahead to the season 1 finale, Crispy Bill stupidly (or so we thought) runs out into the daylight to save Sookie from Rene:

At the time, we scoffed and howled. It seemed completely ludicrous, even for Bill, to think he could ever be of any help to Sookie while he was slowly roasting away in the sun. It didn’t make any sense at all. At least not to those of us watching with our brains ON and our Bill boners OFF.

“He is a VAMPIRE. What was he even THINKING!” we wailed.

But something changed between the first time he wanted to save her in Episode 6 and couldn’t – and his kamikaze run in the sun in Episode 12. And that something is starting to look very important and interesting. In between these two events, he started drinking her blood.

Fast forward again to season 2.09, and this memorable scene.

On forums everywhere, long and bitter complaints could be found on the inconsistencies between the way Bill burned in season 1, and the way Godric burned in season 2. Godric never had a drop of Sookie’s blood. In fact, we know that The Most Reverend Ghandi Vampire on a hunger strike didn’t have ANYONE’S blood, fairy or otherwise, for at least a few days before he died.

Hands up who was never really satisfied with the “older vampires burn faster” explanation? And we never did get a reason as to why they burn BLUE. Bill’s slow roast and Godric’s technicolor blue flames seemed completely at odds.

Well they would be – unless the way Godric burned is the way vampires usually burn. And it was BILL’S burning that was in fact the anomaly.

POST-FINALE UPDATE September 2010

Russell Edgington, after attempting to daywalk. What do Crispy Russell and Crispy Bill have in common, that Godric does not? Both had just imbibed a generous helping of Sookie juice.

Instead of being sent to secure Sookie for her telepathy, was Bill sent to “procure” Sookie for the daywalking-obsessed Sophie Anne (or another “Authority”) in hopes of exploiting the special qualities of her blood? And more importantly, has Bill known about “how special she is” and what her blood can do since he met her? How far back does this go, considering Bill has a dossier on Sookie dating back to her childhood? Did he run out in the sun in season 1 already knowing that he would take a long time to die?

It sure takes the romantic shine off that heroic little deed, doesn’t it?

This may well be at least part of the twist we’ve been expecting on the Sophie-Anne/telepathy mission from the books.

And suddenly, Bill’s odd reaction in the last episode doesn’t seem quite so strange or out of character any more.

Just sayin’.

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