'True Blood': The evolution of Bill Compton in Season 5

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If there is one thing that the fifth season of "True Blood" has succeeded at, it is in showing us a much more fully developed and fleshed out picture of Bill Compton. From just being another of Sookie's former love interests to his new role as a religious zealot (possibly), Bill has done a lot of growing up this season.

Bill and Eric

One of the particular high points this season has been the evolving relationship between Bill and Eric. Whereas before they had been primarily antagonists and rivals for Sookie's affections, this season has seen them thrown together time and again in the direst of circumstances. Although Bill has seemingly turned his back on Eric/betrayed him to Salome, it remains to be seen whether this suave vampire has more going on than he is willing to reveal to anyone, including and especially those of us sitting around our television.

His "Evolution"

Of course, it's impossible to talk about the fifth season version of Bill without discussing his religious conversion. As we have seen time and again, Bill is struggling with a sense of identity, is plagued by memories of his past and his conflicting loyalties, is torn between his love of Sookie and seemingly genuine desire to mainstream, and the dark and seductive call of his vampiric blood. Salome and her kind provide him with a foundation that he has lacked for a long time, and this no doubt does a great deal to explain why he is so willing to go along with them.

Where to Now?

But just how genuine is his conversion? Well, it would seem that his visions of Lilith, including during his lovemaking with Salome, would suggest that there is something to it all, but that could just be the show messing with us again. If there is one thing that we have learned this season, it is that Bill Compton plays a very deep game, and it's very difficult to tell exactly where his loyalties lay -- whether to himself or to someone else entirely. However, as this season unfolds, we are most likely going to see him continue to go along with whichever way is winning. If there is one thing Bill is good at, it's surviving.

From his beginnings as Sookie's lover, Bill has grown into one of the most powerful and emotionally resonant characters in the entire show. Let's just hope that the writers continue to give him good storylines so that we can continue to enjoy his evolution.

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