One of the most stunning moments of this most recent season of "True Blood" was the transformation of our old friend Bill from a mild-mannered vampire to a true terror. So, what do we make of this new Bill? What will happen in the future? These are just some of the troubling questions that are left haunting us after the season finale of the fifth season.
The transformation of Bill into a dangerous religious zealot was, in many ways, a very abrupt shift. However, despite the fact that it seemed to hurdle toward us out of nowhere, if we look back we can see signs that Bill was not entirely happy with his immortal life and was still haunted by visages of his past. So, it should come as no surprise that, in the end, he fell victim to the nihilism that is an unfortunate legacy of his maker Lorena and his vexed relationship with her.
Good or bad?
This is a tough question to answer, but it seems as if this abrupt and total transformation actually breathes new life into the character of Bill. Now that Sookie has cast him out of her romantic life, and now that the series clearly wants to explore his own psyche, it has become necessary to give him his own internal identity. Whether or not it was a good idea to have him become the living embodiment of Lilith is an entirely different question, and it does make it a little harder to get a sense of his internal self, but we'll see how that goes in the next season.
Although Bill seems to have gone beyond the pale of any other vampire characters, there is still (I think) some hope for salvation in the season to come. After all, along with Eric and company, he is one the few vampires that has not met the True Death. So, it seems that the next season will revolve around Sookie attempting to bring him back into the world that he once inhabited, though it seems like this may not be possible (and that Bill himself might not even want it).
So, has the transformation of Bill been a success? Well, the answer is both "yes" and "no." In some ways it makes sense, but the ending still leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, so we will have to wait until next season to see whether this new Bill was a smart writing move or a terrible mistake.
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