True Blood Redux, Episode 21: I Will Rise Up, Part 2

nwalmn:

him-e:

lovetrueblood:

Ok, finally! We left off just after Sookie’s dream, but there is so much more to think about in this episode… The usual disclaimer about my typing applies! It is terribly faulty!

Previous Episodes here:

I Will Rise Up, Part 1

Season 1

Season 2

 Bon Temps News

  • Maryann hypnotizes Sheriff Dearborn and frees all of her celebrants from the jail, but she’s very disappointed indeed to find Sam gone. He turned into a fly and escaped through the vents.
  • Hoyt takes Jessica out to Merlotte’s to meet his mother. It doesn’t go well, despite Jessica’s best efforts to be as sweet as pie. Maxine provokes and humiliates Jessica, and they walk out on her. So, she stays on to drink and comnplain.
  • Maryann, Eggs and Tara are playing cards with no rules, when Lettie Mae and Lafayette arrive to take Tara away. Maryann is more evil than ever. Lafayette calls her a soulless bitch. Tara turns demon-eyed, and starts to beat up her mother, while Lafayette kicks the shit out of Eggs, and finally carries her out. Fly Sam watches everything.
  • Later, she arrives at Merlotte’s enthralls everyone, and demands that they find Sam Merlotte and bring him to her!!!! IN A BIG VOICE!!!!

Meanwhile, in Dallas, an unpleasant meeting 

Nan Flanagan is in town, and the chickens come home to roost for Godric. We start with a pretty scary meeting involving Godric, Isabel, Eric, Bill and Sookie. Nan is a total fucking bitch, much tougher in black leather than she looks in her PR wear on TV. She castigates them all, though with most of her attention focused plainly on Eric, for the mess at the FOTS. Eric’s face as she talks to him is ice-cold fury, and pure, unmitigated hatred. He looks tense and coiled, and like he’s barely containing his urge to tear her into tiny pieces.

Isabel and Godric look chastened, Bill looks smug, and Sookie looks a little bit nervously out of place, a little bit fascinated, and a lot like her eyes are irresistibly drawn to Eric. She gives him a full-body once over, her lips slightly parted, while he’s laying the blame for the drama on Stan. There’s a lovely moment where Eric notices that she’s undressing him with her eyes, both physically and emotionally, but he’s too emotional himself to enjoy it, so he just gives her a strangely vulnerable glare, like he’s daring her to keep looking at him, and also like he doesn’t want to be seen. My friends, Alexander is doing some fine actorin’ just there. Sookie turns away, trying to play it off, but also looking like tearing her eyes away from him is an effort.

Eric, all in all, is having a very rough night, and when Godric reveals the shocking news that he volunteered himself to meet the sun, Eric’s face is pure devastation. There’s a visible, gulping lump in his throat, and though he is silent and his face is immobile, his eyes show a range of emotion from surprise and confusion to real desolation. Sookie looks back and forth from Godric to Eric, taking it all in, and every time Godric speaks, she looks for Eric’s reaction. As the scene goes on, Eric sinks lower and lower. At the start of this meeting, he looked like he was holding back violent fury, but now it’s tears… and fury.

Nan tells Godric he’s fired, and both Isabel and Eric are stunned by the fact that Godric won’t fight it. Eric shouts at Godric, which, judging from all of his previous behavior towards his make is pretty extreme. In response, Nan threatens him with the loss of his area. Eric isn’t afraid of her – she doesn’t have that kind of power, but she tells him to try her – she’s on TV. Isabel jumps in to fight for Godric, but he silences her, and confirms that he will step aside. We thought the misery on Eric’s face couldn’t get any deeper, but it does.

This is when Sookie speaks up and tells Nan some real truth – that the problem would have been much, much worse if it hadn’t been for Godric. It’s brave of her to speak up in such a tough room, and she does it despite Bill’s efforts to silence her. Nan could not possibly care less, and when she accuses Godric of “piss-poor judgement”, Eric finally snaps, leaping from his chair with a growl. Godric stops him simply by saying his name.

Godric then relays the events of the night of the bombing, and it’s about this time that Bill notices Sookie’s preoccupation with Eric, and looks very chagrinned indeed. Godric apologises for the harm and deaths, taking responsibility for everything, and swearing to make amends, as Eric looks on, dying inside. Sookie’s attention is drawn again to Eric, whose face falls even further. He knows.

Bill’s 1,978, 347th moment of supreme, ultimate douchebaggery

As they leave, Eric gets up to plead with Godric. He doesn’t touch him, but leans down, and close enough to draw Godric’s eyes to his. “No,” he says urgently. Godric looks up at him and says “Look in my heart. There’s nothing to say.” Eric insists that there is, and Godric just says “On the roof.”

As they talk, Bill and Sookie are behind them, and framed between their faces, watching and listening. Eric’s emotion is very raw – he looks like he’s literally being gutted right at that moment, as Godric leaves the room – as if he’s almost unable to stand, which is why it is pretty much the height of ignobility that Bill chooses this moment to make a huge show of “settling his score” with Eric.

God, I hate Bill so much in this scene. What an insignificant little coward he is. Eric, his face a slack mask of pain, says “Not now,” but Bill gives him a right hook to the jaw anyway, even though it’s perfectly obvious that his opponent is in the midst of a paralyzing emotional upheaval, and incapacitated by grief. Eric spits out a mouthful of blood, and heals in about three seconds. Bill says, “Have I made my point?” Well, if his point was that he is a contemptible little bitch, then yes – I think he has made that point.

You have to ask yourself why he bothers, though. Clearly, Bill just wants to show off for Sookie and make it look like he can put Eric in his place (AS IF). For his part, Eric simply doesn’t respond. He spits out a mouthful of blood and tells Bill “It’s done. I’m part of her now.” It’s an interestingly deep thing to say, and true on many different levels, no? At this, Bill steps forward, chest puffed, like he wants to have another crack, but Eric looks at him hard for a moment, as if to emphasize the futility of any further aggression, and just says, “Get out of the way,” very softly. It’s a tone of complete disregard, but you somehow feel that if Bill had refused, Eric would have crushed him, and not in anger, but he way you swat an annoying fly. Bill looks at him for a moment, and then stands aside, giving Eric the hugest amount of bitchface ever produced, like the impotent little douche he is. He’s the only one in the “fight” who landed a punch, but as Eric leaves with his dignity firmly intact, you see the defeat in Bill’s face. He gained exactly nothing in that exchange but looking like an asshole.

After Eric leaves, Bill puts on another show of manfully flexing his fingers, and shaking out his punchin’ arm, and goes to stand by the window, looking butt hurt. Sookie comes over to tell him that she’s going to find Godric. Bill tries to talk her out of it – tells her it’s not their concern – tries to yolk her concern to his, but Sookie insists. She tells Bill that Godric saved her, and that she has to go to him. She says that if it weren’t for Godric, she wouldn’t be there, “He’s in pain. He’s suffering. I gotta do something.”

I have to ask, though, who is she talking about here? Godric is totally self-contained and still. He’s reached a very Zen state of renunciation of any fear or desire. He is not in pain; he is resigned. No, for my money, Sookie is talking about Eric here, but of course she can’t say that to Bill, or even to herself. She wouldn’t be standing there without Eric, either, and he’s the one who’s really suffering, the one who’s pain was writ large all over his face. He’s the one Sookie couldn’t tear her eyes away from for the entire scene, and that she dreamed of making love with the night before. Sookie doesn’t know what’s going to happen on the roof, and while she’s concerned about Godric, and feels she owes him something, I think she’s really going after Eric. If she’d said that, it would’ve sounded crazy, and Bill would’ve lost his shit, but I think it’s the truth.

Bill condescendingly lets her go, but he’s not happy about it. The camera lingers on Bill’s face as she leaves. It must really burn him to see her manage her own relationships with the other members of his world. He’s losing control of her, and her understanding of Eric and his world will no longer be only the one that is filtered through Bill’s jaundiced eyes.

No, Bill is not pleased at all.

On the Roof

On the Roof, Sookie finds a distraught Eric, pleading with Godric, who has come to believe that they – the vampires – don’t belong here, and that their existence is insanity. They are wrong. Eric, with the air of someone who is desperately trying to hold on to the last thread of meaning in his life, reminds Godric of what he’s taught Eric – that there is no right or wrong, only survival. “I told the lie, as it turns out,” Godric tells him.

Eric’s response to pain, here, is to angrily reject Godric’s nihilism, but in that, there’s an essential misunderstanding of what Godric is saying. He’s tired. 2000 years is a long life, and it has lost its meaning for him. He looks back and sees his wrongs and wants to atone. At the same time, he has simply lost the need to be engaged in the workings of the world – something Eric is still very engaged in and bound to. Eric can’t understand giving up life, and seeing his maker able to do it is incomprehensible and devastating.

Poor Eric. Sookie watches as he loses it, falls to his knees, cries and begs Godric not to do it. I think it’s really moving that the thing that cracks Eric, is Godric asking him why he would be so cruel as to keep him alive by force. Godric calls Eric to all of the better angels of his nature – love and faith, not being cruel. Eric is willing to die with him, but Godric’s last command is that Eric let him go. In all the scenes they’ve been in together thus far, they have never touched each other at all, so when Godric strokes Eric’s hair and rests his hand on his shoulder, it totally kills me. Godric commands, and Eric obeys without another word.

Sookie, waiting by the stairs to the roof, takes Eric’s hand as he looks back for the last time, and tells him that she’ll stay with Godric. Eric’s nod, and his mute acceptance of the small comfort she offers him speaks volumes. How strange it must be for Eric to have revealed so much of himself in front of her. There’s a depth to this moment of connection, and a real intimacy to what she has seen in Eric that puts every single moment of her relationship with Bill in the shade.

Godric’s True Death

Sookie stays for Godric’s final moments. I love what she says to him when he asks how God, if he exists, will punish him: “God doesn’t punish, God forgives.” He asks Sookie if she’ll care for Eric, and she isn’t sure. Godric, I think, feels what Eric feels for her. Sookie’s not sure, “You know how he is,” she tells Godric. It’s a great line, because what she’s saying is that she and Godric share a knowledge of HOW ERIC IS. The truth of the matter is that they are probably the only two people who really, really do, and after this episode, she’s the only one. She also doesn’t say “no”.

I also love that Sookie gives Eric the responsibility for who he is — she won’t let Godric take the credit or the blame. Sookie’s conversation with Godric is lovely – he speaks to her as an equal, and even with real respect. It reminds me of Godric’s telling Eric that he doesn’t see the danger in treating humans as equals, and then my mind goes forward into season 4, where Eric doesn’t only treat her as his equal, but as his better. He nearly leaves because he doesn’t feel he deserves her kindness and forgiveness. Sookie’s conversation with Godric, the fact that she sheds tears for him, is very similar.

Guys, I’m finding Godric’s death even harder to write about than Sookie’s dream. I can’t say everything, so I leave it to all of you to fill in what I’ve left out. Bottom line, this is one of the best episodes of True Blood ever – packed with beautiful character development for everyone, and it’s the start of a soul-deep bond between Eric and Sookie that’s been growing ever since.

Godric goes joyfully onto the next phase of his soul’s existence. It’s a beautiful, peaceful…

END.

Wow… This was awesome. The best recap for the best episode ever. Actually, in my mind Timebomb and I will rise up are a whole episode, so I don’t have to choose between them. I think I like Timebomb a little better because I’m more an action/adventure lover, but this episode features, hands down, the BEST SCENE OF TB which is, of course, the rooftop scene. And you described it so amazingly I’ve very little to add. I highlighted the parts that I found more interesting.

I agree with you so much when you say that Sookie is talking about Eric, not only about Godric, when she says to Bill that “he’s in pain, he’s suffering”. That’s what I always thought too… And while I think that Sookie is trying to persuade not only Bill, but herself too, that she is going on the roof only for Godric, well, it’s clear that it’s for Eric. Of course, Sookie feels for Godric as well: her sympathetic nature makes her feel immediately close to him. But Eric, I believe, was her main concern even if she refused to admit it even to herself.

Let’s talk about Bill in the scene, shall we? I despised him so much. I would have pitied him a little bit, if he hadn’t been such an extreme douchebag punching Eric in a moment in which he was preoccupied with something so fucking BIGGER than him, or Sookie, or the inane alpha posturing Bill was trying to put up. Sadly, Bill gets even worse when Sookie tells she is going on the roof…. “It’s not our concern! Why do you care? Let’s go back into our little love bubble and let the world rot”.. this is what Bill, ever the selfish, is trying to infuse in Sookie who, luckily, is not like that. The image of Bill, grimmer than ever, looking at his own reflection in the window’s glass says it all. Bill doesn’t care about anything but himself; sadder than that, he sees nothing but himself. He doesn’t even see Sookie: he looks at her only as a reflection of himself.

What about the rooftop scene? Pure poetry, in my eyes. I love this line: Godric calls Eric to all of the better angels of his nature – love and faith, not being cruel. True: in this scene Eric is completely stripped of his mask and his true colors are shining in front of Sookie’s eyes. How beautiful is this? How devastating is this moment for both of them? I love the fact that Eric and Sookie are, from now on, forever emotionally bonded by the memory of Godric, and I love that it’s Godric himself who entrusts Eric to Sookie, feeling the affection and the longing his Child feels for her, and maybe sensing Sookie’s blossoming interest in him. I also like that Godric, with all his experience, sees in Sookie his equal, someone who will be able to be Eric’s compass like he had been until then.

These two are meant to be together. End of the story.

I have absolutely nothing to add after all this. And UFG: your BEST recap until now. Hands down.

Just put this here again because it’s so so so true.

“God, I hate Bill so much in this scene. What an insignificant little coward he is. Eric, his face a slack mask of pain, says “Not now,” but Bill gives a right hook to the jaw anyway, even though it’s perfectly obvious that his opponent is in the midst of a paralyzing emotional upheaval, and incapacitated by grief. Eric spits out a mouthful of blood, and heals in about three seconds. Bill says, “Have I made my point?” Well, if his point was that he is a contemptible little bitch, then yes – I think he has made that point.”

20 Dec 11 @ 10:58 am  —  via + org  —  reblog

him-e:

unreconstructedfangirl:

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ericsookiequotes:

I heard footsteps leave the room, and Eric crouched down to look into my face. It was quite a crouch, because Eric, tall and broad, looks exactly like what he is, a former Viking.

-Living Dead in Dallas

Gushes. This is the sort of inner dialogue that we don’t get from the show. I know that AB made a conscience decision not to create TB in the first person but personally I still think it should have been done.

Oh my god! I am so glad we don’t have to hear Sookie’s internal monologue as in the books! I’d have trouble liking her as much as I do if we did.

IDK, there are times in which I think it would be easier to relate to Sookie if we could know what is in her mind, but overall I think that choosing to tell the story only from Sookie’s POV wouldn’t have worked on TB. The problem is that, sometimes, you actually forget that Sookie is the main character in this show. 

I actually don’t see it as a problem. I don’t know if I would have liked everything having revolved around a single character (which is what having just one story-line, unfolding around one person inevitable does), and I know for sure I wouldn’t have wanted Sookie’s inner dialog running as a commentary. 

It’s been done, but every time they use this trick, I end up cringing. Often times, it’s not even whether the voice is good and the thoughts make sense (and really, who thinks in always coherent sentences? If anyone’s real thought process was ever actually, faithfully vocalized, it would be such a mess), it’s the fact that this one voice becomes your sole guide through the events, the one and only point of view dominating the narrative, and it unfailingly gets annoying. Grey’s Anatomy, Veronica Mars, a few others come to mind. They start out as interesting glimpses into the character’s psyche, and end up sounding insufferably conceited. 

I don’t want Sookie joining the ranks. Reading a book from a character’s point of view is one thing. Hearing constant voice-over exposition on screen is something else entirely. 

08 Jan 12 @ 11:56 am  —  via + org  —  reblog
"Ah have never luhved, nor will Ah ever luhve, as Ah have loved you."

him-e:

stillhidden:

444industrialdrive:

You’re all probably sick of me and my musings by now, but here it goes…

Never. Musings are what Tumbrl is for! Well, musings and cat pictures, but that’s not the point… :)

Compensating much, Beelliam? By the time he says this, he’s declared his love for Sookie so many times, that I hardly even vomit anymore upon hearing it, I just blanch slightly. Even if we didn’t know all we do about Bill, shouldn’t his need to state this over and over again, especially when he knows he’s in the dog house. I don’t want to attempt to count how many times he’s tried to say “I love you” as a means of avoiding be blamed for his blunders. Love is NOT an excuse! It’s something much more beautiful, and Bill is slandering that beauty.

This. Bill uses his love for Sookie (if it is love at all) as a sort of stop-gap for all occasions. “I have lied to you, but that’s because I love you!” “I love you, and, therefore, you owe me your love back.” “You are my miracle, so, really, you have to shoulder this tremendous responsibility for my miraculous feelings and BE that miracle.” “I love you, so you must suspend all judgement and overlook the fact that every damn time I say this, it’s because some shit has happened to you.” 

His “love” is Lysol. It’s an all-purpose cleaner. 

Since Bill is, in essence, a device made to juxtapose with Eric, let’s look at Eric’s sole admission of love. It’s made almost in a whisper, it’s not being used as an argument. There are no bells and whistles dressed up to make it seem something grand, he only says “I love you”. Practical as ever, he gets right to the point, and doesn’t use any other glorifying words such as “You are my miracle” to keep attention tied to it. Instead, by just saying those three simple yet loaded words, we see sincerity, and we are almost forced to take into account the way his says it, his body language when he does so, and what it truly means to him. There’s nothing passive or laid-back about his admission at all, and it NEVER ceases to make chills run down my spine, 30 watches later.

I don’t think Bill’s purpose is only to be a juxtaposition to Eric. It’s broader than that. He is a distorted perspective, a grimy window we must break through to see the reality. 

But the point stands: Eric’s “I love you” is not something that has a qualifier attach to it. It’s a statement of a simple fact. He loves her. Yes, he wants her to love him back, sure. Why wouldn’t he? But it’s not an “I love you, therefore you MUST.” It’s not a guilt trip, it’s not an apology, it’s not an explanation for anything, it’s not a justification. It’s just is. “I love you, I want you to be with me. The ball is in your corner.” 

Bill’s first love declaration to Sookie: ”Sookie, I cannot and I will not lose you. For all the ways I have dismayed, offended or failed you, I swear I will atone. But I’m not sorry. I refuse to apologize for what you have awaken in me. You are my miracle, Sookie. For the first time in 140 years, I felt something that I thought was lost in me fore ever. I love you. And for that I should never feel sorry.” 

Eric’s first love declaration to Sookie: “I love you”.

I guess that, if you like guys who go waxing poetical and do a lot of theatrics, then you’ll prefer Bill’s version - funny how Bill manages to talk so polished when expressing his true feelings for the first time! - , but, if you ask me, I like simplicity more than anything. 

Yep. Only I want to add that Bill isn’t waxing poetic here. This isn’t as simple as him being flowery and overly-verbose. If it were just that, I would have a lot less trouble with it.

What Bill is doing is straight-up manipulation:

Sookie, I cannot and I will not lose you.”  
Translation: Sookie, I am not about to give you a choice in the matter.

For all the ways I have dismayed, offended or failed you, I swear I will atone.” Translation: All that shit I did to you? Forget that, I’ll give you all the justifications you can stomach and everything will be peachy again.

But I’m not sorry. I refuse to apologize for what you have awakened in me.”
Translation: Any of the shit I put you through is really your fault. ‘Cause you are the reason I have all these feelings now. You made me feel them, so it’s now your responsibility to be with me and take whatever crap that comes. In a way, apologies are all on you.

You are my miracle, Sookie. For the first time in 140 years, I felt something that I thought was lost to me fore ever.”
Translation: It’s a downright thunderbolt from the gods that I am all tingly inside ‘cause of you, so now you it’s on your shoulders to carry on my new-found wonder, that’s clearly here to make it up to me for the fact that life was shitty for 140 years. It’s not about you, Cupcake. 

I love you. And for that I should never feel sorry.”  Translation: I love you, it’s all that matters, your own feelings and free will be damned, and I’m not even sorry.

18 Feb 12 @ 9:11 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog
"Ah have never luhved, nor will Ah ever luhve, as Ah have loved you."

lovetrueblood:

him-e:

unreconstructedfangirl:

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ohiogurl:

stillhidden:

him-e:

nwalmn:

stillhidden:

him-e:

Bill’s first love declaration to Sookie: ”Sookie, I cannot and I will not lose you. For all the ways I have dismayed, offended or failed you, I swear I will atone. But I’m not sorry. I refuse to apologize for what you have awakened in me. You are my miracle, Sookie. For the first time in 140 years, I felt something that I thought was lost in me fore ever. I love you. And for that I should never feel sorry.” 

Eric’s first love declaration to Sookie: “I love you”.

I guess that, if you like guys who go waxing poetical and do a lot of theatrics, then you’ll prefer Bill’s version - funny how Bill manages to talk so polished when expressing his true feelings for the first time! - , but, if you ask me, I like simplicity more than anything. 

Yep. Only I want to add that Bill isn’t waxing poetic here. This isn’t as simple as him being flowery and overly-verbose. If it were just that, I would have a lot less trouble with it.

What Bill is doing is straight-up manipulation:

Sookie, I cannot and I will not lose you.”  
Translation: Sookie, I am not about to give you a choice in the matter.

For all the ways I have dismayed, offended or failed you, I swear I will atone.” Translation: All that shit I did to you? Forget that, I’ll give you all the justifications you can stomach and everything will be peachy again.

But I’m not sorry. I refuse to apologize for what you have awakened in me.”
Translation: Any of the shit I put you through is really your fault. ‘Cause you are the reason I have all these feelings now. You made me feel them, so it’s now your responsibility to be with me and take whatever crap that comes. In a way, apologies are all on you.

You are my miracle, Sookie. For the first time in 140 years, I felt something that I thought was lost to me fore ever.”
Translation: It’s a downright thunderbolt from the gods that I am all tingly inside ‘cause of you, so now you it’s on your shoulders to carry on my new-found wonder, that’s clearly here to make it up to me for the fact that life was shitty for 140 years. It’s not about you, Cupcake. 

I love you. And for that I should never feel sorry.”  Translation: I love you, it’s all that matters, your own feelings and free will be damned, and I’m not even sorry.

The fucking truth.

Exactly. Bill is very very good in spinning the wheels of a mechanism that makes Sookie feel like she is bound to love him back. Like she is responsible of him being all human back instead of vampirish, and that she, with her love, has to keep this so-called “miracle” alive in him. I, quite frankly, HATE this speech and it puzzles me how can people find it romantic or whatever. It’s sheer manipulation disguised as a love declaration.

Exactly. And it’s designed to be this insidious. I hate that speech, too. And for me, that’s when it pretty much sealed my belief that this relationship was toxic. 

Oh you guys! You are so wonderful. This post has awesome written all over it, and I love it. So I am reblogging this again, because I can’t help myself from adding more.

Bill is a manipulator. Every moment, every occasion. If he’s talking, hell, if he’s even visible, he’s thinking about how he appears to others and trying to modulate how other people respond to him. That’s why he’s a chameleon in dress, appearance, and accent.

He’s done a masterful number on Sookie, making her feel like it’s her responsibility to keep him human and humane. If she doesn’t love him, well, he might just go back to being evil. It’s a terribly flattering, insidious bargain he offers her in this speech. After all, who wouldn’t want to think that they can “save” someone with their love? But if you accept, you must also accept the opposite: if you stop loving, you are condemning that person. You become the bad guy. It’s hardly surprising that once Sookie takes Bill back after this speech, accepting this devil’s bargain, she feels guilty every time Bill accuses her of slacking in the “love” department. Her devotion to him becomes frenzied, unreasoning. We’ve talked about how that may be attributable to drinking his blood; I think it may also stem from her unconscious belief (that he’s implanted with speeches like this) that it’s her job to redeem him with her love.

He plants lots of other insidious beliefs in her subconscious. Bill’s version of “love” is like that awful movie line—“love means never having to say you’re sorry.” He uses his “I love you’s” to replace apologizing for the bad things he’s done. He comes right out and says it in this little speech: But I’m not sorry. I refuse to apologize for what you have awakened in me… . I love you. And for that I should never feel sorry. He takes this bit of nonsense seriously, too. He never apologizes for the awful things he’s done to her. Even after the Rattray reveal, even after SHE apologizes to HIM in the season 4 finale, he never says he’s sorry. Why should he? It’s her fault that he had to lie to her and kill her uncle … because she made him love her that much.

It’s a very rapey sentiment, in that it places the onus for the perpetrator’s bad behavior on the victim, which is a VERY common rationalization among rapists. If she didn’t dress like that, or act like that, I wouldn’t have been attracted to her and had to force her to have sex with me. So somehow Sookie’s to blame for Bill’s actions because she “awakened” him.

This speech also reveals how self-centered Bill is. When Sookie talks about miracles in the shower with Eric, she says, “It’s a miracle … . You, your blood.” Eric replies, “So’s yours.” On the surface, that sounds like what Bill tells Sookie here. Except, well, Bill calls Sookie “MY miracle,” like he has a patent on her ass. Sookie can’t be miraculous all on her own, she is BILL’S miracle. Without Bill, she’s just a waitress nobody wants to date. With Bill, she’s a miracle, a sexual healer who redeems vampires with her love.

That’s a hard fantasy to give up. But it’s also poisonous, because it displaces blame for Bill’s bad behavior onto Sookie. He can do almost anything and be forgiven, as long as he claims it’s for love of Sookie, because it’s her fault for making him love her. Bizarrely, too, every extreme, unreasonable action becomes greater proof that he loves her. That’s why confessing to killing Eric in 3x12 makes Sookie weaken and almost take Bill back. Not that she wants Eric dead (clearly from her reaction she does not), but because she feels responsible and it’s another proof of Bill’s excessive devotion. Bill tells her it’s because Eric will not be able to control himself around Sookie, but I don’t think Sookie buys this explanation (she actually half-contradicts him before he interrupts her). I think she feels responsible for what Bill’s doing. It’s her fault, and in the horrible codependent relationship Bill has manipulated her into, she must love him MORE to redeem him from this slip-up.

OK, I never really grasped why Sookie nearly took Bill back in 3x12 before, and now that I do understand the emotional blackmail behind it, I have to say that Bill is an ASSHOLE.  I also feel vaguely … unclean. This is a level of manipulation that sullies everything it touches. How people can find it romantic or charming is beyond me.

I went to bold all the important things and ended up bolding nearly the whole thing. Because, YES! TO ALL OF THIS! So, so pertinent!

As an aside: Man, I hate that line from the Love Story. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Say what now?! Ugh! Love means you say you are sorry all the time! Love means you say it even when you don’t always feel it, because chances are, there’s something to be sorry about when two people are in the constant close proximity, love or no love. Love means you say it and you mean it, and you let your beloved know that their feelings are important and not dismissed or overwritten!

Love this! :))

Such an awesome discussion that I am just reblogging the whole thing, and just want to add that I love the insight here into the way Bill makes it Sookie’s responsibility to save him — to make him human. Only, nothing she is or could ever do could work that magic. Bill sees himself as a tragic victim of circumstance, of Lorena, of the Queen, and even of love, and his absolute refusal to take any personal responsibility for anything means that he can never be redeemed. Nothing is his fault! Why would he ever say he’s sorry.

All roads lead back to Eric, you know, and I just want to say what a huge contrast he presents. Eric, on the other hand, is all about personal responsibility. Think back to season 2, when Sookie accuses him of sending her into a trap. We know that he didn’t. That he did not know for sure where Godric was, or what was going on at the FOTS. But, when she accuses him, he tells her “I regret that,” because regardless of what he did or did not know, his needs put her in danger, and even if he wasn’t guilty of exactly what she accused him of, he was guilty enough to regret it. How would Bill have responded?

This is something I loved about the big break up/apology to Bill scene — this exact thing happens again. Sookie tells Eric that he has lied to both she and Bill so many times they can’t even count. We know how unfair this is. Eric has lied to Sookie a handful of times, and arguably, every time, it was GENUINELY to save of protect her. The few times he lied to her directly, he confesses it immediately afterwards — going so far as to show up at her house and say “I lied to you”. Eric has been fundamentally honest with her throughout the entire story. But, when she accuses him of lying and being untrustworthy, does he protest? No! He starts to, but then looks almost as if he’s realising that he deserves it, because he DID lie sometimes, and he feels it keenly, and he regrets it.

His refusal to defend himself is like Sookie’s apology to Bill. Both Eric and Sookie are essentially moral creatures. Their sense of morality may not fit a societally constructed one, but they know right from wrong, and they know when they have broken their own code. Sookie, who is as pathologically honest as Bill is pathologically dishonest, can’t stand it that she lied to Bill to save his rival for her heart. She knows she hurt him, and that she is about to hurt him more. She apologizes to him because she is a good person, and she feels badly for these small crimes, which pale in significance to his, but which she feels keenly. Eric is the same — he accepts responsibility even when there is only the appearance of guilt, because he is ashamed of endangering her, and for ANY lie.

The last thing, too, is that it’s yet another parallel that while Bill burdens Sookie with the responsibility for saving his soul and restoring his humanity, and nothing she does or doesn’t do could ever possibly accomplish that, Eric, deep down, fears that he is unredeemable — that he is so guilty that he could never be saved; that he is evil, and a creature of death. Eric doesn’t burden Sookie with ANYTHING, but the love he feels for her is what can redeem him and restore his humanity. It brings him back from the dead. There’s nothing Sookie could do or not do to save him, either but it’s his willingness to be responsible for his own actions, to admit the wrong he has done and regret it, that makes the miracle of his love, and Sookie’s responsiveness to it, so transformative.

I think this is why, in the next season, Eric truly has to step away from her — to give her the space she asks for and take care of his own issues. If the love he feels for her simply IS, then it can continue its work in his heart even without her stroking and feeding it. The responsibility for it and what it means for him is HIS.

And, that is reason 7,983,623 why I love Eric Northman.

Yes. To all of this.

Back to LoveTrueBlood for the continued AWESOMENESS!  

- hsm7

And rebloging to my own page for that same Awesomeness! :)

19 Feb 12 @ 12:20 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog

him-e:

exitpursuedbyasloth:

SNIP FOR BREVITY

I have such a problem with the way CH handles rape and rapists in her books. And its not just Bill. Sookie blames Tara for being abused and raped by Mickey, that she didn’t rebuff him hard enough, he made his intentions clear and she didn’t stop him, she was a gold-digger, etc etc etc. At the time, I took it to be Sookie projecting her own shame and guilt over what happened to her with Bill, that she didn’t say no hard enough, that she deserved to have what happened to her happen to her, she ‘had it coming’. But after the fuckery of the last book (Naked Basement Tickle Fight, Relationship-Advice From Your Friendly Neighborhood Rapist, The Rapist Reigning In The Rape Victim) and the creative interpretation/reinvention of Bill’s history in the companion book, I have to wonder if maybe I was wrong, maybe CH really meant that Tara bore some of the blame for her own rape.

Charlaine Harris has her female heroine to interact in a friendly manner with her rapist, willingly seeking him out for chit-chats, for protection, for sage advice, for naked tickle fights. That’s not okay. That’s not ‘throwing a bone to the Bill fans’. You can’t even argue that the Naked Basement Tickle Fight is part of some larger plan, since she was originally going to kill Bill off in Dead and Gone. How important could it have been to the overall plot and character arcs if it was never supposed to happen in the first place? I am not okay with not only giving a rapist a free pass, but forcing his victim to interact with him all the fucking time and the narrative treating him like he’s really not that bad of a guy. I am well aware of CH’s own personal history, but that doesn’t give her carte blanche to write some really fucked-up shit about rape. And I find what Charlaine has done with Bill, especially in the last book, far more offensive and insulting to women than anything Alan Ball has ever done.

I’m not willing to totally write off the series yet, but that doesn’t mean I think what CH has done (in regards to rape/rapists) is okay, I just have a (potentially delusional) hope that she’ll do…something that will take the bitter taste of rape-culture bullshit out of my mouth. Really, even if it turns out that Bill has been a Big Bad all along and has been trying to destroy Sookie’s life from behind the scenes and Charlaine actually explodes some of his bombs she planted, instead of just ignoring them, and Sookie stakes his ass and she and Eric spend the last book have 500 pages of sex, it still wouldn’t be able to justify that scene in my eyes.

And, in Alan Ball’s defense, Sookie ‘forgetting’ the Rattrays is clearly taken from the books, where Sookie blocks out the fact that Bill rapes her. She’s never mad at him for raping her, she’s mad at him for cheating on her, when she thinks about why they broke up, it’s always ‘he betrayed me for his vampire maker ho Lorena’ not the fact that he raped her (multiple times with full cognitive function).

And ‘it was never supposed to be Bill v. Eric situation’…I have a little trouble believing that, only because Bill and Eric are set up to be complete and total opposites, physically and personality-wise, which naturally lends itself to comparison. Bill is dark-haired, dark-eyed, cold, serious, young, a liar, a rapist, parasitically feeds off Sookie, stalks Sookie, never gives Sookie anything she needs, hates Sam, responds to jealousy with violence, controlling, judgmental, has a female maker and a sister, no vamp-children, left his wife a widow, was a conscripted soldier. Eric is pale-haired, pale-eyed, warm, funny, ancient, truthful, a rape victim, only feeds sporadically on Sookie, gives Sookie too much space, constantly gives Sookie things she needs, gets along well enough with Sam, responds to jealousy with reason, not controlling, open-minded, has a male maker and a brother, multiple vamp-children, was a widower, is a warrior.

Completely agree especially with the bolded parts. I have to say something regarding the rape though. I have the impression that the fact that the SVM is a story about vampires kinda gives the author a free pass in regards to rape. I mean - and I apologise in advance if I can’t express myself correctly, you know English is not my first language - : vampires are beasts. They have no morals, or, to say better, their morals are completely different from the human ones. This gives the writer much more freedom when it comes to write the most violent aspects of the vampire(s): if those characters were human, their killing and shedding blood would be appalling, but since they are vampires, it’s not only justified, but it’s also part of their charm. It’s the whole seduction of the danger stuff.

So, I wonder if, to CH, this applies not only to killing, but also to rape. In fact, I’ve been discussing this issue with a Bill lover. I said that I couldn’t understand how she could ship Bill with Sookie after he raped her, she replied that he is a vampire, so the moral criteria that you would normally apply for a human can’t be used, otherwise Sookie should stay the hell away from every vampire, since almost all of them kill or have killed in the past. And in that moment Bill wasn’t conscious, it was only the predator in him that did the deed, yadda yadda. (the same old excuses)

I’m writing this because I always got the impression that, for BookSookie, having been raped by her boyfriend wasn’t a big deal. As you said, she seems to hold a grudge against him for cheating on her with Lorena and for abandoning her and lying to her, but she never thinks about the rape and, even only a few hours after it happened, she seemed to be perfectly okay in Bill’s presence, in Club Dead.

It has always bugged me to no end, to be honest. Either she is in major denial (but, after 8 books, she should be able to look at what happened and acknowledge it, at least) or something is definitely wrong here.

See, I cannot accept this as an explanation — that rape is “normal” to vampires, and therefore Sookie in particular, and the readers in general — should view it as such.

The thing is, I don’t think that’s what the books are even implying. Not about rape, not about uncontrollable violence, not about the “beast” nature. If that were true, then Mickey’s abusive behavior, Lorena’s tortures, Victor Madden’s psychotic viciousness, Occella’s pedophilia and sexual abuse of his children, and many more examples would be presented as the norm, too.

Eric is a rape survivor. He tells Sookie about it, and while he is off-hand in the way he narrates it, it’s very clear he isn’t looking back on this as something casually dismissed. He is a realist, and he’s had centuries to move past it, but the very fact that he still brings it up? No way is that considered okay or chucked up to the “nature.” Not by him as a person, not by him as a vampire.

Sookie is a molestation victim. And a rape victim. Even if we allow for some sort of taciturn acceptance of “comes with the territory” for vampires, it doesn’t follow that Sookie, with her history, and with her humanity, would just shrug this off as “oh, well, vampires.” 

And I cannot accept that this is what Charlaine Harris is actually saying! Can. not. That what she is writing is the world where rape is accepted as part of the deal and the journey for the heroine is from abuse victim, to rape victim, to settling comfy in that world of morality-sanctioned rape and … what? Just accepting it as the norm and taking it, because that’s what she needs to do if she loves a vampire? That’s too depressing for words. I cannot imagine that this is the intent of the author. In fact, I don’t believe it.

Because there are moral constraints in the vampire world. If there weren’t, Madden’s behavior wouldn’t stand out as vicious (if we are to concede that “vicious” should be all in the day’s work for vampires), Mickey wouldn’t need to be checked by his maker, trials wouldn’t be held in Rhodes where a vampire stands responsible for kidnapping and raping a woman, and Eric wouldn’t be asking Sookie if Bill had raped her in that trunk, because rape as the very concept wouldn’t exist/matter. 

24 Feb 12 @ 9:03 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog

nwalmn:

SNIP some more…

It’s another Billusional tactic to try make Bill looking slightly better. Not working.

I think that IF this what she wants to say on this (CH), so it’s pretty FUCKED UP.

She is a survival of rape!

But i keep on: she put some of her experience on Sookie from a rape survival with guilt. Also, Sookie don’t get over it. She never talked about it. This experience shows she doesn’t forget what happened, she suppressed it, guilt herself. I am not being a bitch, just rational and in base with my OWN personal experience. I may be wrong, of course.

You are not wrong. Sookie has definitely internalized the rape. Just as she earlier internalized the molestation. It’s a coping technique and it’s very, very understandable. Rape is awful, traumatizing, dehumanizing. Who wants to think about it? And if a victim lives in the culture that tends to blame them for what happened to them? Doubly so. 

You are right about Sookie not having dealt with any of it. And, to a degree, it explains why she would let Bill hang around. Sort of “if I act like nothing happened, maybe it didn’t.” 

But the argument cannot be that this is okay with the readers. What I (and Exit, and many others) find so troublesome isn’t Sookie’s denial. The denial is natural and understandable. The troublesome thing is the implication that we are also supposed to “get past it,” move on, as if nothing had happened. To be fair, I don’t know if that’s the author’s intent. But Bill has been given a path that practically screams “redemption,” and what is that supposed to tell us? Sookie already accepts him. He saved her life. He’s forgiven …

The only way this is any kind of a redemption is if he had died in the process. Which he didn’t.

Again, for all I know, there’s some kind of a huge confrontation coming down in the last book. Something where Sookie lays it into him. But I am not holding my breath. I would have let it go without Sookie ever processing what happened to her verbally. She tends not to do that. With anything. But I cannot be okay with Bill being accepted into her life in any capacity, let alone as a naked hidey-hole buddy. Or a Dr. Phil with fangs. That’s too macabre and nausea-inducing for words. 

24 Feb 12 @ 9:28 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog

him-e:

unreconstructedfangirl:

SNIP for space…

I want to reply to two people at once, because they both make important points, and because I feel the need to say something about both (my need to say something, I’m sure, comes as a shock to everyone. :))) 

I agree with you completely about the travesty of how Bill’s rape has been handled so far, and I also agree with you about the whiff of rape culture bullshit there is in it, but I have to say that for me, the characterisation in the books doesn’t have anything like enough attention to Bill to give him a path that screams anything — not even redemption. For most of the books, Bill is a loose end and his reappearances in the story feels like an afterthought. I also really hated the “naked tickle fight” in the last book — mostly because it just felt shallow and was played for laughs, when it completely wasn’t funny.

All that said, I’m not sure I agree that a rapist can never be redeemed — narrativelyexcept by death. Rape is a terrible, dehumanising crime, but I do believe that a narrative in which a rapist sees the depth of his depravity, is forced to see his crime for what it is, and who is genuinely repentant and somehow rehabilitated in our eyes and the eyes of his victim is POSSIBLE.

I want to clarify my original point about Bill’s “redemption” and whether I feel it’s possible without death or not. Because you outlined the part that is RECOGNITION, not necessarily redemption. Certainly, for any kind of redemption to happen, the crime needs to be acknowledged. It needs to be recognized as a crime by the perpetrator. It needs to be viewed from the victim’s perspective. It needs to be unequivocably established as the horrific thing that it was.

So far, Bill in the books — nothing. Nada. Zilch. (I will get to TB Bill, and why I think that’s a different story, later). Yes, he regrets that the lies he told Sookie drove her away. He regrets that he “lost control” and thus she won’t be with him anymore. This regret, btw, comes mostly after she has moved on to someone else. Bill, apart from anything else, is that guy who only wants a woman when he can’t have her. Once he has her, it’s brief, and then he is ready to “pension her off,” or break up with her via overheard conversations. He dispatched at least two girlfriends in this cowardly manner.

But that’s besides the point. The point is: The books give us a taciturn impression that Bill is a friend to Sookie now. That he has proven himself by near dying that he is trustworthy, that he is her champion, that he, in short, redeemable.

And I reject that notion. I reject it, because he neither acknowledged the real crimes, nor try to atone for them. Accepting responsibility is the necessary part of any redemption, and that is conspicuously absent. Removing himself from the victim is another necessary part, because his presence is a constant reminder. Because no victim needs that. But he won’t do it, because if he ever feels any regret, it’s on his own behalf. It’s about what HE lost. It has jack shit to do with Sookie. 

Maybe. Maybe redemption is possible for a rapist. I don’t know. It’s a hell of a complex issue from the perpetrator’s position. But I suspect it’s near damn impossible from the victim’s. Because the nature of the crime is so completely dehumanizing. Because, if someone is capable of that, under any circumstances, then what can they really, realistically do to convince the victim that this won’t happen again, should the circumstances repeat themselves? If something inside the person renders them capable.

Perhaps there is a scenario where a rapist, by acknowledging and accepting all responsibility, can be rehabilitated in the eyes of the victim. I am just hard pressed to imagine, realistically, such a circumstance. Because, after all, acknowledging, regretting, repenting — those are all the PERPETRATOR’s part of the deal, not the victims. The victim is STILL a victim. The deed has not been undone. And the fact that the dude is sorry doesn’t change that. 

In such a situation, I think, SELF-redemption might be possible. But not THE redemption. It might help the victim. It might make it a little bit better. But it won’t atone. Because there is no atonement. 

Maybe it is. But I can’t think of what it would be. 

I still say, abstracts aside, that for Bill in the books, in this specific situation, the only possible redemption is death.

The problem in the SVMs, though, is that at no point has it been indicated that the crime is taken seriously enough by ANYONE (or even noticed, really, by anyone but Eric) and there has been no serious attempt to redeem Bill, so it feels very, very wrong for Sookie to hang out with him while so much horrifying, unfinished business lays between them. That Bill has defended her, and sacrificed himself for her since then doesn’t feel like enough, because she’s never called him on the crime, and he’s never apologised. There is simply too little acknowledgement of the fact that he raped her.

Precisely. Those are very separate issues. It’s like wiping a slate clean, but the slate is not the same one you dirtied up. 

I have to wonder if it’s part of the plan, because that is something that has been carried over into True Blood, where, similarly, Bill’s crimes seem to have been swept under the rug and Sookie’s forgiveness combined with Bill’s conspicuous lack of an apology feels so wrong, except as a means of her emotionally distancing herself from him. I mean, I don’t hate it as much as some, because I want Sookie to distance herself from Bill, but I don’t at all think she should forgive him or that he deserves forgiveness, and I don’t think I’m meant to.

And this is the point for me, too. However little Sookie voices her anger (or however little anger she feels), it’s not misplaced. She isn’t pissed at Bill for “cheating” with Lorena. Or something equally besides the point. The lying is huge. And the rape intent that went on with Lorena she doesn’t know about. But we do. And, more importantly, the actor does. Stephen played it as such, he named it as the rape it was, and there is no equivocation about it.

There are other rapes that are NAMED on the show. What happened to Tara is clearly defined. What happened to Jason is clearly defined. There’s Holly, a rape survivor.

And the cemetery scene is borderline, sure, but it isn’t bathed in a romantic light (I don’t care what Bill fans say), and it isn’t meant to be.

Whether the victims acknowledge it or not (and many do), the criminals on the show aren’t given equivocation. There’s no glossing over of it.

Victims reaction vary, as they do in life. Some push it deep and don’t deal. And some rage against it. And some fall apart. But it’s ACKNOWLEDGED. 

I can see all of this forgetfulness about Bill’s evil as part of the plan in True Blood, and don’t think for a minute that Alan Ball and co. are rape apologists who have forgotten Bill’s crimes.

This! See my comment above this. Rape is named. It’s acknowledged. Even for Bill. And when the show doesn’t want to muddy the waters, they don’t put a rape in. The back of Alcide’s truck, for instance. There was a specific choice made to not have Bill rape Sookie into that shit bargain. For one thing, what was happening was horrific enough (his hand on her mouth so she wouldn’t scream says all we need to know about his control or presumed lack of).

I fully expect them to be re-addressed at some point or for Bill to descend further into clear evil, or if he is given a redemptive path, he will seal it with death. However, for me, the problem with how it’s all handled in the books, is that I don’t feel like there is evidence of a clear plan for Bill throughout them, and for that reason, any redemption he earns at this point will feel like too little, too late — unless he dies with his apology on his lips after some true acts of self-sacrificing heroism, and even then, I won’t really care — there just hasn’t been enough investment in the character.

There hasn’t been. But what has been put in lately is infuriating. Not because I think for a second that he and Sookie will ever get back together again. But because he is THERE by Sookie’s side, and she doesn’t see anything wrong with it. 

Reblogging again because of what URFG said - I also hated the naked tickle fight in the last book and it gave me the impression that something really wrong was going on in the writing department, I mean, having Sookie in a semi-sexualized context with Bill?? (the fact that she wasn’t the slightest turned on by his naked body isn’t enough, for me, to consider it non-sexual). Anyway, URFG expressed better than me my perplexities.. It’s almost like the rape NEVER happened. I don’t know, it’s perfectly understandable that Sookie is in denial, but… imho there should be something, in the narrative, that points out this denial. Instead, the rape is never mentioned, neither by Sookie, nor by Bill or anyone else for that matter.

Yes, there should be. And perhaps there will be. But none of it will ever explain away the naked tickle-fight. There is no excuse or explanation for that.

It looks like the worst thing that Bill did to Sookie was cheating on her and not telling her about his mission. And while I can partially understand why Sookie wants to forgive him for that, I cannot understand how she can forgive him for the rape, not because it’s impossible tout-court but because, to forgive something, you have at least to acknowledge it happened and the other person needs to feel remorse and neither of this happened in the SVM.

Yes. Sookie is hurt by the “pensioning off” scheme. She is angry about the cheating. She is devastated about the lie. All understandable things, and I don’t want her to not feel them. But they weren’t the worst thing he did to her. The worst thing is never mentioned. I would understand why it’s never mentioned by Sookie (as we talked about, she internalized it all, which is understandable). But it’s never mentioned by the narrative, and that is not okay.

Anyway. As for TB Bill, I’m not sure if AB & co. are *really* portraying him as a rapist. There’s the rape of Lorena, of course, and way before that, there is the graveyard sex scene, which is, imo, borderline. I think AB is avoiding to portray Bill as a rapist in an unquestionable manner because that would be completely irredeemable.

I think he is clearly portrayed as a rapist, if we pay attention to the way he carries these things through. But I agree that the reason they didn’t have him rape SOOKIE is precisely because the writers see that as irredeemable. Not that they see his rapist impulses redeemable, but Sookie is delayed from seeing it, and that is the idea. They can’t reasonably justify her hanging with Bill IF he outright raped her. And good for them.

But his sexuality is decidedly violent and he has been on the edge of rape many times. This puts him in a grey area in which you can’t really pin down on him any fault, but you know something is wrong with him nonetheless. It’s subtler than it is in SVM.

It is and it isn’t. It’s subtler and harder to identify for those around him. But it’s clear as day to the audience. And it’s designer that way. There is a reason why so many viewers hate Bill. It’s not accidental. 

25 Feb 12 @ 10:42 am  —  via + org  —  reblog

unreconstructedfangirl:

stillhidden:

him-e:

unreconstructedfangirl:

SNIP

All that said, I’m not sure I agree that a rapist can never be redeemed — narrativelyexcept by death. Rape is a terrible, dehumanising crime, but I do believe that a narrative in which a rapist sees the depth of his depravity, is forced to see his crime for what it is, and who is genuinely repentant and somehow rehabilitated in our eyes and the eyes of his victim is POSSIBLE.

I want to clarify my original point about Bill’s “redemption” and whether I feel it’s possible without death or not. Because you outlined the part that is RECOGNITION, not necessarily redemption. For any kind of redemption to happen, the crime needs to be acknowledged. It needs to be recognized as a crime by the perpetrator. It needs to be viewed from the victim’s perspective. It needs to be unequivocably established as the horrific thing that it was.

So far, Bill in the books — nothing. Nada. Zilch. (I will get to TB Bill, and why I think that’s a different story, later). Yes, he regrets that the lies he told Sookie drove her away. He regrets that he “lost control” and thus she won’t be with him anymore. This regret, btw, comes mostly after she has moved on to someone else. Bill, apart from anything else, is that guy who only wants a woman when he can’t have her. Once he has her, it’s brief, and then he is ready to “pension her off,” or break up with her via overheard conversations. He dispatched at least two girlfriends in this cowardly manner.

But that’s besides the point. The point is: The books give us a taciturn impression that Bill is a friend to Sookie now. That he has proven himself by near dying that he is trustworthy, that he is her champion, that he, in short, redeemable.

And I reject that notion. I reject it, because he neither acknowledged the real crimes, nor try to atone for them. Accepting responsibility is the necessary part of any redemption, and that is conspicuously absent. Removing himself from the victim is another necessary part, because his presence is a constant reminder. Because no victim needs that. But he won’t do it, because if he ever feels any regret, it’s on his own behalf. It’s about what HE lost. It has jack shit to do with Sookie. 

Maybe. Maybe redemption is possible for a rapist. I don’t know. It’s a hell of a complex issue from the perpetrator’s position. But I suspect it’s near damn impossible from the victim’s. Because the nature of the crime is so completely dehumanizing. Because, if someone is capable of that, under any circumstances, then what can they really, realistically do to convince the victim that this won’t happen again, should the circumstances repeat themselves? If something inside the person renders them capable.

Perhaps there is a scenario where a rapist, by acknowledging and accepting all responsibility, can be rehabilitated in the eyes of the victim. I am just hard pressed to imagine, realistically, such a circumstance. Because, after all, acknowledging, regretting, repenting — those are all the PERPETRATOR’s part of the deal, not the victims. The victim is STILL a victim. The deed has not been undone. And the fact that the dude is sorry doesn’t change that. 

In such a situation, I think, SELF-redemption might be possible. But not THE redemption. It might help the victim. It might make it a little bit better. But it won’t atone. Because there is no atonement. 

Maybe it is. But I can’t think of what it would be. 

I still say, abstracts aside, that for Bill in the books, in this specific situation, the only possible redemption is death.

I agree with you about redemption for Bill in the books needing to be actual death. I think Bill will die in the next book — probably defending Sookie with his last breath while Eric does something that feels ambiguous, so the bullshit can be carried on into another book, or some such tiresome nonsense. 

But, as to this question of redemption for rapists more generally — I think you’re talking about two different things: redemption for the criminal and forgiveness from the victim. I don’t think both are necessary for a character in a narrative to be redeemed in the eyes of the audience/reader, and that it’s possible even if he is never really forgiven. I agree that rape is a heinous, dehumanising crime, but human beings do so many heinous, dehumanising things to each other, really. There is no way to un-victim the victim, but I think there’s a real sense in which acknowledgment, regret, repenting, rehabilitation and redemption have much more to do with the perpetrator. By the same token, forgiveness is something that either does or doesn’t take place in the heart of the victim, and can be truly given even where it is undeserved. 

That’s true. I thought of “redemption” as the specific term: someone who is — not necessarily absolved of the crime — but is no longer defined by it by virtue of atonement. Victim’s forgiveness is a different matter. 

And forgiveness, of course, doesn’t mean absolution. It’s something the victim might need to move on, for themselves. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the perpetrator himself.

Importantly, though, in THIS narrative — the SVMs — the rapist must die. I think you’re absolutely right about why they don’t have Bill rape Sookie in the van on TB; it would be impossible to keep him in the story after that, and the audience would have feelings of unmixed revulsion for him. They do try, as far as possible, to keep Bill’s crimes ambiguous, keep the feelings of the audience mixed, and make it possible for him to still maintain some semblance of what made him seductive in the first place. True Blood’s Bill is a more fully realised and complex character, and to keep him viable in the story, his crimes have to be something he, and some portion of the audience can justify…

…with faulty reasoning.

Not faulty at all. :)

25 Feb 12 @ 1:57 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog
Debbie Pelt’s death(s)

him-e:

stillhidden:

444industrialdrive:

The scene in the show was kept essentially the same in theory (Debbie shoots at Sookie, someone else takes the bullet, Sookie shoots down Debbie) but many major changes were made.

In DTTW: Debbie breaks into Sookie’s house in what we assume was a fit of rage brought on by Alcide’s abjuring her rught before the witch war after learning of her part in Sookie and Bill’s pains. She shoots at Sookie, but Eric takes the bullet. Sookie then grabs Jason’s shotgun and discharges her weapon to keep herself and her vampire from getting shot at again by a still armed and dangerous Debbie.

On True Blood (if memory serves): Debbie, having been put in a relatively sour mood after being abjured by Alcide after he caught her when she was about to have sex with their packmaster, decides to take her rage out on Sookie because she assumes Alcide’s in love with her(?). She’s also keeping a promise she made in season 3 (“This isn’t over”). Debbie shoots at a defenseless and emotionally awry Sookie, but Tara bites the big one after pushing her out of the way. Sookie uses Debbie’s shocked state to tackle her to the ground, get Debbie’s gun, and shoot an unarmed, pleading Debbie with what looks to be anger in her expression. At this point in time, she is now the person with control over the whole situation. I don’t have a specific reason for doing so but I think it’s worth it to point out that there’s another person in the house, too (Lafayette).

Well, we can look at it this way, but it’s not that simple. The TB situation is different, and TB Debbie is different from the SVM Debbie, who was simply evil personified, with no human or even remotely redeeming qualities. SVM Debbie was a weapon with a semi-human hand attached to it. 

The show’s Debbie is deeply human, in all that it entails. She is emotionally raw, perpetually displaced, and whatever she needs to sustain herself is constantly lacking. She tries love, drugs, a pack, a faux domestic bliss to fill the void, and none of these things bring her the satisfaction. She is just tragic.

But that doesn’t mean she isn’t dangerous or murderous. Let’s not forget that Debbie has always chosen her own unhappiness as the impetus for doing anything. Alcide didn’t help, and he shoulders some of the blame, but we can’t say that Debbie didn’t pick a firearm, walked into Sookie’s house with the intent to kill, and that it isn’t her conscious decision.

Sookie reacts differently here. Yes, she regained control, and it wasn’t as clear-cut of a self-defense as it was in the book, and yes, she could have let Debbie go. But some considerations are important here: Sookie has just watched Debbie blow the brains out of her best friend/sister. With the bullet intended for her. The same Debbie who has tried to kill Sookie before. And promised to have changed. So, should Sookie have taken those 3 seconds to think “Oh, well, she is sorry now she just killed Tara and tried to kill me, and I am SURE she won’t try it again, ‘cause she is now lost the power for a few moments, ‘cause, you know, the woman is the soul of integrity and mental strength”? 

Yes, Sookie was a lot of things here. Enraged, scared, distraught are just some of them. And yes, she could have chosen to do a number of things: To yell for Lafayette (who, I think, just took some sleeping pills, given the grief and what he’s been through, and the inability to cope for a while), and she could have tried to march Debbie’s ass to a police station and hope for the best. But I am far from blaming Sookie for her, yes, emotional, but understandable reaction.

And I doubt anyone would blame her more than she would blame herself. For all of it. For relaxing into belief that Debbie wasn’t a danger anymore. For not reacting faster. For what happened to Tara. For what happened, full stop. And yes, for discharging that gun in rage and fear. 

This is a far more complex situation, but I cannot honestly say that, given the same circumstances, I wouldn’t have done the same thing. There are moments in life when decisions are not so much made as they are affected. And for better or worse, we cannot separate them into logical pieces by removing them from their circumstances. 

It baffles me when people call Sookie a “psycho” or whatever, for sometimes acting irrationally in utterly horrifying and rationale-free situations. She is not pshycotic, and being angry in such a situation, and reacting in anger is the sanest thing. Anyone who can stop in the midst of this mayhem and rationalize this all out is either a robot or lying. 

I agree 100% with Stillhidden. It shocks me that a lot of people are using the fact that Sookie shot an apparently defenseless Debbie Pelt and killed her as another proof that TB Sookie is awful and badly written as a character. I mean, WTF. Bookie is not better than TB Sookie when it comes to kill people. Yes, there’s the fact that BookDebbie was a complete bitch - almost TOO EVIL to look and sound like a true person - and in a way Sookie was justified to kill her.

But TB Debbie - as much as I feel sympathy for her, and I say this out loud: I prefer TB Debbie to Book Debbie because TB Debbie is a multi-faceted character - TB Debbie has just shot Tara in the head. After pointing the gun against Sookie herself. This makes her no less homicidal than BookDebbie. In those few seconds Sookie sees her best friend of a lifetime fall down to the ground, dying. Because Debbie Pelt - the same Debbie Pelt that a year ago came into her house with a gun with the sole purpose of killing her and now she has done the same exact thing - shot her.

This is not the same as Debbie shooting Eric - who is a vampire, and will hardly die because of some random bullet even if he takes it in his head. 

So can we please cut Sookie some slack? She was irrational in that moment, and she was hating Debbie enough to kill her. And I don’t think this makes her a bad person.

Amen. It makes her a human person, who, in the moment, can’t find it in herself to say “oh, well, bygones” to someone who’d just murdered Tara in cold blood. If people can sit in judgement of that, fine. But I won’t. Ever.

11 Mar 12 @ 3:57 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog

him-e:

stillhidden:

wannaseemyspaceship:

So much shit on my dash about Moyer directing an episode of s5… People need to calm down. An actor, even those who’ve never directed before, directing an episode of a show once it’s ran for a while is a common thing. I don’t like Bill, but c’mon, can we not jump on Stephen Moyer over something we haven’t even seen yet.

Yep. 

Why do people flip out about this, exactly? He isn’t even writing the episode — if what they fear is some sort of Bill bias, which, btw, Stephen doesn’t really propagate. He is often very clear about Bill’s dark side and dark deeds. It’s not as if he is going to create, enact, and direct an episode where Bill Compton is joining the Girl Scouts, rescues puppies, and weds Sookie under the sunny sky. 

Yeah, all things considered I don’t see it as a bad thing per se. Stephen Moyer was even the one who had the guts to call “rape” what Bill did to Lorena in season 3 and the graveyard scene in s1 with Sookie. There is no evidence that the episode he is going to direct (not write, the writer is Hudis) will be a Bill fest.

Could be, sure, but I think Moyer is better than that.

I am hard-pressed to recall any episode that is a Bill-fest in the sense that some people imply. Not in retrospect, not knowing what we do about Bill’s motives, his interests, and his intentions now. So, yeah, I don’t really see this one episode, directed by Stephen, who is very clear-sighted about Bill’s depravities, to suddenly be something no episode has ever been before. 

Will this episode have a Bill-related material in it? Sure. There’s Sarah, and Bill’s past. But every time an episode ventures into Bill’s past (a venture that isn’t a story told by Bill to Sookie or someone else, which, of course, is different, because Bill tends to lie), we learn something less-than-stellar about him. That, of course, doesn’t mean that this will absolutely be like that, but there is a pattern established. 

None of this makes for anything that is out of the course of the show. To “benefit” Bill, no less. 

And very true about Stephen: he doesn’t romanticize Bill. 

17 Mar 12 @ 1:19 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog
Season 4 Marathon on HBO

him-e:

stillhidden:

hsm7:

Watching 4x02 and just saw the flashback of SA dying and am just struck with the hollowness and grandiosity of his “I have nothing left to lose” statement when SA said “you dare challenge me…I’m over twice your age” considering he knew he was going to lose absolutely nothing…not with Nan and the GSTs waiting on the wings.  

As a cliffhanger for Season 3, it sounds like he’s so broken up about Sookie that he’s willing to die in order to protect her…and we’re suppose to admire this.  But, we find out that it was misdirection, again. He knew he wasn’t going to die, he had been in cahoots with Nan for some time now, and he knew he was going to succeed SA and become King.  We were left at the end of the season thinking that his challenge was entirely about Sookie and then we find out in the following season there was a much larger backstory that we (and Sookie) were unaware of.  

I think there was an element of protecting Sookie (two birds, one stone and all), as I do think he loves her in his own twisted way, but it wasn’t the romantic gesture the writers would have had us believe.

Just a thought. :)

I don’t think the writers really would have us believe that any gesture of Bill’s is a purely romantic gesture. :)

There’s a pattern that is formed pretty consistently with Bill’s gestures.

Surface: Bill “saves” Sookie from the Ratrays’ beating and gives her his blood so she doesn’t die. Reality: Bill calmly watches the Ratrays beat Sookie within an inch of her life, so he can swoop in, be the hero, and give her his blood. So he can control her through that (since he realized she cannot be glamoured). 

Surface:  Bill “shields” Sookie from the basest of the vampire nature and life-style. By trying to keep her away from the likes of Malcolm, Liam, Dianne, and yes, Eric. Reality: Bill let’s her get exposed to the vagaries of the basest of the vampire nature via Malcolm, Liam, and Dianne, and promotes the worst assumptions about Eric, so he can shine by comparison, be her hero, and prevent her from “straying.”

Surface: Bill is the one vampire who has a conscience, still possesses the ability to love, and thus, he is the only one worthy of love in return. Reality: Bill is no special snowflake, other vampires love, feel regret, remorse, and pain, and Bill’s claim to anyone’s affections is tenuous at best.

Surface:  Bill tells an occasional lie, but it’s only to protect Sookie, it’s for her own benefit, he is always sorry after it’s found out, and will never do that again. It’s commendable how he risks Sookie’s ire for the sake of her safety and well-being. Reality:Bill’s entire stance, his whole relationship with Sookie is based on a giant lie, and anything he does or doesn’t do with or around it is tainted by that. Every time he promises to never lie again, it’s pretty much a guarantee that he will. And the only thing he is sorry for is being caught. There’s nothing commendable about him, because his bottom line motivation is not Sookie’s well-being but Bill’s own self-interest.

Surface: Bill is the warrior for the cause. We learn that he has been recruited by Nan to work within the system in order to promote a loftier goal and to ultimately advance a kinder, more humane agenda. Reality: Bill couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the agenda when push came to shove. Once the agenda was chafing at his collar (as opposed to providing him with privileges), he was staking “the agenda” quicker than you can say “I am not a puppy dog!” 

Surface:  Bill’s journey is a painful struggle of good-at-heart-but-fucked-by-the-circumstances man, who, while he makes mistakes, is always ready to fight for what’s right in the end. Reality:Bill’s journey is that of making the most of his circumstances, enjoying the benefits they bring (while, of course, complaining incessantly), and always looking out for something better. His loyalties are always split, and no woman in power is safe around him. He seems to have an especially itchy trigger finger with those. He is always ready to fight for his own best interest.

Surface:  Bill is often a tragic figure with nothing left to lose, ready to lay down his life in an unequal fight to the death. Reality: Bill usually has a backup (often dirty, often involving the work and the sacrifice by someone else) plan and intends to lose not a single thing, but gain more. 

In other words, whatever the writers intend us to do, I don’t think they intend us to not look beyond the surface. And given just how many people despise Bill, I’d say they are doing it right. :)

This sums pretty well the reasons why I dislike Bill. I’m all for complex, troubled, dark, sometimes truly devious characters, but the way Bill constantly deforms the truth of what he really is, in order to look like he’s suffering, he’s self-sacrificial, he’s the one who loses all and is ready to die if that means protecting the one he loves, well, to me is pretty disgusting. Even a villain can have his own moral compass, his dignity, some kind of honesty. I mean, look at Russell for example: he’s many awful things, but he is not dishonest. These are the villains that I love and sometimes root for. But Bill? Albeit not being a true villain, he is, in a way, worse than a villain.

Actually, I think he is a villain. Straight up. The thing is, there’s no hard and fast rule on how a villain should be. He does not have to be charismatic, he doesn’t need to be tortured or appealing in any way. Of course Russell is very appealing, and that is one kind of villain. The popular kind in today’s fiction. The kind that makes us mistake charm and relatability for actual goodness sometimes. It’s not bad to have those, because it mixes things up, it makes it harder to not root for him. But it’s not a requirement.

What makes it hard for some people to not root for Bill is that he is a villain with a firm set up and just as firm a belief that he is the hero. 

Case in point:

But the grand speech before Nan’s stormtroopers waltz in makes me also think that Bill likes to deceive himself more than anyone else. I think that what he says to QSA is for his own benefit only, since QSA’s opinion doesn’t matter anymore at this point, and no one else is here to watch and listen to his theatrics. Bill loves to think of himself as a tragic hero. He has been practicing so hard, and for so long, in order to look like a hero, that he has come to a point that he really believes he is one. 

And this is the confusion factor. He is either deeply and truly self-deluded or he is incredibly good at projecting this impression. Either way, it makes a lot of people stop from classifying him as a straightforward bad guy of the piece. And in a way, it makes him the most interesting villain of all. The kind that causes constant frustration by the eternal dissonance between the things that he really does and the things that he projects. 

28 May 12 @ 6:26 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog
BRAVO!

hsm7:

tempella:

I have to say that Alexander Skarsgard is doing an astounding job in S5, his eyes are so emotive and at certain times almost teary. It just gives me all these feelings *sigh*  It’s amazing how well he portrays Eric Northman in all dimensions of his character which makes it such a treat for us to see it all…ahh the feels

What she said!

11 Jul 12 @ 2:00 am  —  via + org  —  reblog
I’m not even gonna start on what Jason just said

hsm7:

speakthewordsonyourlipsx:

hsm7:

Maybe that’s what Bill fans will be soooooooo happy about. :P

I can’t take this any longer. Every single episode they’re freaking giving hints on Bill and Sookie. This sucks so bad, what is this shit? what are they trying to do? lose all of their viewers? they huge majority of people who watch the show love Eric and Sookie together, ever since (at least) season 2, why do they keep forcing Bill and Sookie on us? fuck this shit, i’m so done.

As much as it hurts to hear it, I also know that, rationally, Jason doesn’t know any better. From his perspective he was listing the positives of her powers. She fell in love when she never thought she would. I’m sure she told him this in the past. It makes sense he would give an example that should have been wonderful and was possible because of her telepathy. Would I like for her to set him straight, yes…but it wasn’t time for some big exposition about Bill.

Exactly. So much going on here, not the time to get hung up on a throw-away line by someone with a partial knowledge.

29 Jul 12 @ 9:32 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog

him-e:

stillhidden:

hsm7:

stillhidden:

maggiesview:

unreconstructedfangirl:

It’s clear that Bill is tragic, yes, but also making a clear choice to give in to evil. He does it like he’s relaxing into a warm bath throughout season 5, and then he burns his bridges, and suffers his last, wrenching transformation into a new thing that wants what BIll has always wanted: blood and power.

Eric, meanwhile, is clearly struggling into the light. Succumbing to Lilith is anathema to him on every level, including the level that includes indiscriminate killing, and while a lot of his emotional reaction is about Sookie, it isn’t ALL ABOUT Sookie. I think that’s why we never see him pining after her, or dreaming of her — he is thinking of her, yes, but he’s also just reacting to how wrong the entire proposition is, because blood is subsistence to him, not a compulsion, and he has all the power he wants. Eric’s real turning point — the thing that really gets through to him — is Russell’s threat to Sookie, but he was against all of it long before that.

Is it so hard to follow the story, and get our heads around this? I don’t think they can make the differences between these characters any more obvious without JUST TELLING US.

Ahh…but then there you go. That is exactly what is necessary for some people. (too many as far as I am concerned). They want it spelled out. Not just once either. They want it repeatedly spelled out. I call it “predigested” story telling. Other than the obvious (sex, violence and more sex) that is the reason Fifty Shades of Grey is so popular. All that repetition and poor writing which is really synonymous with telling instead of showing. 

Kind of like Joe M. in his interview with Kristen, he said TB was all about violence and sex. That’s what he thinks it’s about. He was not being ironic or facetious when he said that. He was being honest and genuine  although also showing that he is somewhat illiterate and dense at the same time. He is, however, representative of a lot of viewers. At first I thought “Have you actually watched any episodes Joe? Then I realized he probably had but he just sees the violence (the blood) and the sex.

So it is with fans of Bills. They only see and will only see Bill in the way he presented himself, a true Southern Gentleman full of soul and sorrowed by his vampire condition. The mainstreamer of all mainstreamers. Sookie’s soul mate.

Eric will forever be that vicious vampire who tortured Lala for weeks keeping him chained in his dungeon. That’s why so many want him to play Christian Grey in the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey. Let us also not forget that Eric never pretended to give a jot for humans and often made it clear that they bored him. Unlike their champion Bill who repeatedly talked only of  what would be in their best interests. Forget about the fact that Bill purported to be the only one who knew what was in the best interests of everyone else including Sookie, Jessica and even Eric. He was like a shepherd looking after his flock. Wasn’t he?  

Well, they were never told anything else. They were shown plenty that directly opposed this view but did not see it. But it was not stated in a direct black and white way. Hence it will be an issue forever. Not for me, of course, and not for anyone who possesses any kind of analytic skills and who can follow a narrative in even a rudimentary way. And that’s not counting all of the visual and non verbal clues such as Bill’s face as it went from sour puss, to bitchy to just plain shifty. How about the violent, bloody messed up sex he and Sookie had? Those images were certainly powerful enough to get through weren’t they? I guess not.

Not even such striking use of visual images made it clear to these people that Bill was the furthest thing from a Southern Gentleman full of kindness and love. In fact, he was just the opposite. Even after they saw the beautiful passionate yet tender love making between Sookie and Eric, with the imagery of the moon and babbling brook and then Narnia they still did not get it. The truth is they will never get it.

No, they won’t. And I am not terribly concerned with them, to be honest. True Blood is a deceptive product, because it cloaks its deeper meanings with seemingly easily accesible stuff. It rewards those who pay attention, who view carefully, who engage critical thinking. But, as a downside, it forever causes frustration with those who come to it with preconcieved ideas and short attention span.

This is the debate (among other debates the show engenders) that has been going on for seasons now, and it’s not likely to change, because the show isn’t going to change to the point of catering to the kind of audience that needs constant spelling out of things. For the record, I think the show spells out plenty. In words, not just imagery. It’s not the show’s fault that some prefer to take what was said at the get-go as written in stone and tune out the subsequent revelations.

I recently rewatched the pilot episode. And what struck me with the very opening scene was that TB has SPELLED OUT its entire intent in that one scene:

There’s a pair of airhead college kids who come into a roadside shop agog with curiocity and filled with stereotypes about vampires. So much so that they immediately buy into the store clerk’s attempt to hose them, as he pretends to be a vampire by projecting the exact image they expect a vampire to project: dark hair, pale skin, slight but deliberate accent, a menacing turn of a phrase, tattoos, etc. And they completely ignore the local yokel looking dude in camo, pudgy and using an accent you’d much sooner hear at a county fair than in an Anne Rice adaptation movie. 

The teenagers fall for it and they are shocked to realize the yokel is the vampire. So is the cliche at the counter. Because he is a cliche, and because it hasn’t occurred to him that not everyone strives to be one. And as the real vampire tells him to never ever pretend to be one of them again — dropping the Southern accent completely and suddenly becoming the scary one in the room without so much as raising his voice! — you get a sense of the show to come. And then he puts his smile and his accent back on and cheerfully walks off. And we are left stunned.

And this is the entire premise, right there: Not everyone will be who you expect them to be, not everything you hear will be the truth, pay attention to visual details because they will be the clues to the reality (the yokel guy who turned out to be a vampire was holding a case of TruBlood in his hands the whole time, but since we were focused on the faces and the dialog, we don’t notice it until he puts the case down on the counter), not everyone who projects danger outward will be dangerous and not everyone who smiles and lulls you in with seemingly harmless demeanor and look will be your friend, and what you assume from the beginning will almost always revealed to be wrong. So keep your eyes open, keep your mind open, and don’t trust first impressions, or, at least, don’t revise them right away because they get catered to your in-bred stereotypes. The hero of the piece might turn out to be the villain. The villain might turn out to be the hero, and everything else is up for grabs.

It’s all right there. The blue print. :)

Yes…some viewers’ perception of the story-telling is stunted. They are stuck. They took a periphery view of what they were told in the first season, came to a conclusion about Bill and Eric, and any further critical thinking stopped. They have refused to grow with the story. They refuse to follow the arc, and remain steadfast in their initial understanding of who the characters are regardless of what information is presented to the contrary.  For these viewers, season 1 is the end all, be all of True Blood.

Pretty much. And it would be fine if the show didn’t warn everyone right off the bat not to do that. :)

Season 1 as a standalone has clues, but those clues become more evident as you watch the other seasons.It’s in watching the other seasons that you start to reassess what has come before, at least for viewers who employ critical thinking. I often wonder if many of us benefited from watching seasons as a whole, instead of watching from the very beginning. I know there’s several of us who came to True Blood late. Maybe seeing the story unfold in large pieces, instead of incrementally made certain things more apparent. I don’t know, because I’d like to think my view of the characters would be the same, but I know that’s a commonality between many of us. 

It certainly helps. You notice more, and you certainly see the flow better when you watch seasons in continuity and as a whole. 

Interestingly, for many, Bill represents this ideal of a man who has an innate goodness in him, who struggles with who and what he is, and just needs the love of a good woman to save him. It’s not an uncommon theme, but a sad one, with the woman taking the responsibility for the salvation of a man. That’s why the burden of Bill’s actions are always placed on Sookie, or some other woman, such as Lorena. There was commentary at the end of season 5 that Sookie didn’t try hard enough and why didn’t she shoot him with her light to save him like she did Eric. The idea that Bill take personal responsibility in saving himself and in making the right choice seems like a foreign concept.

I always hate this notion. Hate it. This placing the onus of responcibility for anyone’s soul salvation on someone esle’s shoulders. First, it’s an inside job. No one can save anyone who doesn’t want to be saved. Second, it’s such a bad view to impart on any young women. It’s responsible for so many bad decisions. Looking at some dick who behaves like a dick or lies and manipulates and thinking “oh, he isn’t really bad, he’s just tortured and misunderstood, and if only I can get through to him, my love alone will save him!” Please. A dick is not going to reform for the love of you. He is a dick because love means something completely different to him from the get-go.   

At first blush, there seems to be some truth to that perception; however, as we see more and more of the story, it becomes clear that Eric is the one who actually represents the being who does have the innate goodness within him and who struggles. That’s not to say that Bill doesn’t have any goodness in him, because I think there is some, but there’s a surety in the goodness within Eric. As much as he hides it, it’s unequivocal. Bill’s is not. It may be there, but it wavers and it is weak.

Bill’s tenuous goodness is so unstable precisely because it rests entirely on the outside fortitude and perception. He may want to be good, but I doubt it. What he really always wanted was to APPEAR to be good. And maybe, since he was always religiously inclined, to get some sort of an absolution for the truly dastardly nature that lurks underneath. I’d give him kudos for at least trying, but that is all. He didn’t really want it. He just wanted the credit for it with whatever forces up on hight. And to be seen as good by those he wished to manipulate. The best that can be said for him is that he bought his own deception and really believed that he wanted goodness. But he wouldn’t shed that desire so quickly and readily if it was authentic or genuine. 

In other words, Bill’s goodness, such as it was, was far from innate. 

True Blood is a lesson in not judging a book by its cover. It tells us that things are not always as it seems; that things are often more complex than what we give them credit for. it is shouting at us to question and to consider all things…what we hear and what we see. 

Amen.

“I recently rewatched the pilot episode. And what struck me with the very opening scene was that TB has SPELLED OUT its entire intent in that one scene”. Exactly. TB’s main theme isn’t sex or violence, is misjudgment. And how appearances can be - scratch that, are - misleading and how easy it is to lure people especially when they are good-hearted, naive, and lonely. How many times we’ve heard the expression “devil in a sunday hat” in TB? There is a reason.

16 Sep 12 @ 4:06 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog

him-e:

hsm7:

stillhidden:

hsm7:

switchbladekiller:

mametupa:

Pam thinks she knows the real Eric and speculates about what will happen when his memories return. 

She was right about the “shit storm”…it just wasn’t directed at Sookie. The fact that Pam doesn’t know him as well as she touts is more confirmation that Eric really never fully let her in.  Yes, he loves her and feels close to her, but not in a deeply trusting manner that we might have originally thought. There’s so much he never told her…so much she doesn’t know about him.

Explains a lot of why Sookie is so frustrating, threatening, and unexplainable to Pam. She convinces herself it’s Sookie’s faeness and her “fairy vagina” that has Eric in her thrall. If it were just that, Pam might stand a chance, but Eric loves Sookie regardless of what she is…Pam can’t fight that. 

Yep.

To be fair, that gap in Pam’s knowledge of Eric isn’t entirely due to him not sharing deliberately. The thing is: Eric may have buried that part of himself so deeply, he didn’t even remember it was there at times. It wasn’t a conscious choice of “let’s keep Pam away from this place in my heart,” I don’t think. It was a 1,000-year-old self-preservation tactic and Pam has only been there for little over a 100 years of it.

Sookie, though, cut through that. For whatever reason, she is that one person. That person who was able to reach him, and it happened even before the amnesia struck. :)

I would argue that there are parts of Eric that we’ve seen cause him great emotion that he clearly had difficulty burying — Godric and his human family’s death.  These are things he chooses not to share.  Godric is even missing for a while and Pam has no idea who he is and why Eric would be interested in finding him.  He’s been carrying a vendetta for 1000 years — one in which he has actively been pursuing — yet Pam knows nothing about it. Intentionally, I think.

He certainly has attempted to bury his emotions, although his success is arguable, but I would question how much he hides versus how much is buried so deep he doesn’t realize it’s there. We’ve see how much he struggles.  We’ve seen Godric admonish him. And we know that Sookie saw it long before he lost his memories.  That begs the question, in all of the time he and Pam were together, why did Pam not get a glimpse of it? 

I’m sure Eric has buried a lot, no question, and the depth of what he felt during his amnesia was incomparable to anything we’ve seen before; however, Pam’s assurance that Eric has no heartbeat, doesn’t care about having one or anyone else having one….not true. And we all knew it was true before the amnesia. :))

In any case, I’m not a fan of Eric opening himself only to Sookie and not to Pam. While it proves that Sookie is special to Eric and shows why he feels so many emotions for her - and I’m all for it, don’t get me wrong - , it also implies that Eric isn’t 100% himself with Pam: perhaps he thinks she won’t understand him, or doesn’t want her to see him as weak and vulnerable. Either way, this means he underestimates Pam when it comes to emotions, and considers her as heartless and ice-cold and probably too materialistic to understand. Which isn’t fair. Pam is materialistic, right, but as we saw in the flashback she is also deeply intelligent and not just in a “cold and heartless” way. She is sensitive, in her own way. She questions herself and the meaning of her existence. While she doesn’t wallow in regret, she must have had her own share of personal wounds. She was a prostitute after all, she must have gone through a lot of pain and loneliness. To dismiss her as insensitive is a misjudgement on Eric’s part.

Yeah, Pam doesn’t know about Eric’s personal history and human family, but I wonder how much Eric knows of Pam’s history and human family, on the other hand. Has he even bothered to ask? Were family matters something that he never considered important to share with his own Child, so Pam mirrored his attitude by never touching those topics? Because if Pam is the way she is, it’s also because of how Eric raised her.

We basically know jackshit about Pam. Season 5 was the first time we got Pam’s POV, and it was awesome, but still too little, especially if compared to the amount of information we have about Eric. We know she is a spoiled child and it’s cool to think of her in these terms, but as a human she was hardly a spoiled brat. I believe she had to grow up fast and painfully. That kind of cynicism Pam has, you don’t achieve it by living in a bubble of comfort and perfection, and most of all you don’t have to resort to cynicism if you don’t feel deeply in the first place. I personally believe that Eric and Pam are very similar when it comes to emotions. Both of them suffered because they feel to deeply, both of them tried to bury that part of themselves, and both of them use their “cold and heartless” attitude as a defense mechanism. They’ve survived for a hundred years with this sort of mutual deal of silence, so much that they eventually ended up believing the other actually had no feelings, no emotional, no personal burdens at all. 

I don’t think it’s a case of misjudgement based on limited knowledge on either Eric’s or Pam’s part. It’s more complicated than that. Relationships are always more complicated.

It’s realistic to open certain parts of yourself to certain people and not to others. And it doesn’t mean that you love them less, or trust them less, or don’t know them well. Think of your family and friends. Do we really spill all aspects of our inner selves to all those that we are close to? We share certain things with our parents, others with our siblings, and yet others with our soulmates (if we are lucky to have them). 

It’s not a matter of witholding. It’s a matter of something in a specific person echoing something else in us. 

I honestly don’t think Eric witheld that of himself from Pam, because he thought her shallow or incapable  of uderstanding him. He shared a lot with her, the way we share a lot with our families. The fact that he didn’t share it ALL isn’t a slight to Pam, it’s a natural emotional selection.

Yes, Pam missed some part of him, a part he didn’t freely displayed. But it’s not because she is shallow (she can be callous, but not when it comes to Eric. Eric was the center and the depth of her world for a 100 years). And Eric may not know some things about Pam, but, again, that’s not because he didn’t care or pay attention. Some things just aren’t shared with everyone. And yes, we choose what we share with specific people based on what we see in them, but it’s not necessarily a condemning value judgement. 

Eric needed Pam to be strong, for survival and for withstanding of vicissitudes of vampire life she walked with him. But it doesn’t follow that they didn’t share anything personal, or that it was always “eat, laugh, fuck” with them. To say that Pam doesn’t know Eric is to miss the point. A lot of Pam’s negative reaction to Eric’s “softening” comes not from dislike of his having feelings (for anyone, least of all a human), but from deep-seeded fear for his safety. Because in Pam’s experience, vulnerability is dangerous. And she is naturally mistrustful of those who would make Eric vulnerable, be it through love or war. 

11 Nov 12 @ 3:13 pm  —  via + org  —  reblog
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