They get to you…through your family

IMPORTANT PREFACE TO POSTS HERE – Examine your own internalised misogyny and what is considered truly “fair” regardless of what’s between your legs, and how women and men get actual equal treatment. Also, it’ll stop you getting yelled at in the comments by an angry PMR. No one else has seemed to have liked it so far, and I doubt you want me to wear an avatar mocking and jeering at you. Felipe’s crimes must not be overlooked. Not to mention that I am known to be mean – ask anyone – fuck even I know – and so do my commenters. Oh, and a funny picture for you all – very appropriate – Scumbag Fanfic Writer – *WARNING – CONTAINS MEAN TRUTH*.

Okay, so as you can see at the linked comments, I think I’ve figured out how Eric and Sookie can get Felipe off their backs, but first I need to explain what I think is going on with the Shreveport vamps and lay the groundwork for that post. Mainly because well, there’s still just as many sentiments around that Bill should die, so I doubt anyone is looking into what he’s doing – and they should be. They’re more likely to imagine Eric has an engagement ring in his pocket, than actually read the text, wherein he didn’t give Sookie a birthday present – but made demands for his own selfish self to commemorate her birthday. It’s good to know that there is positively no offence for which Eric will catch shit. And at the same time, make blanket demands for Bill to die presumably because he has nothing but good things to say about Sookie, I’m thinking. Bill was real interesting this past book, because he’s shifted juuuust a little bit.

So I’ve covered Bill before – in that I don’t think Bill would be happy with Sookie, and that I don’t think Sookie has any intention of being happy with Bill. That doesn’t mean that Bill will stop trying. I mean, if the man wasn’t persistent, then he would have let himself die many years ago – he’s as stubborn as all of the other main characters in CH’s books. Stubbornness and pride is a feature of all CH’s main characters. Usually those without pride and stubbornness are characters who serve as little moral lessons, like Arlene. You can see her masquerading as Sookie in fanfic. Bill is just as stubborn and prideful as all the other main characters. So it’s good to see that only Sookie catches hell for it, amirite? She is a woman with backbone, and that means she’s gotta get broken down.

One thing I want to preface this post with is the rather laughable idea from the BillBabe camp that Bill is all sorry for manipulating Sookie, despite not saying it aloud, and knows his mistakes – is more ‘human’ if you will. Lol. Okay, but he still thinks it’s fine and dandy to use people and have sex with them to further vampire objectives:

“And then you can quit. You can quit dating the Were, too.”
Deadlocked, p. 239

Oh, Bill is all broken up that a were is being lured into a romantic relationship for vampire purposes. So broken up about it that he went to the were and told him Palomino is using him….wait… Truth is that if it weren’t for him being messed up with Sookie, Bill would never spout that he understands it as wrong – because here he is, inflicting it on some other poor bastard. That’s your “more human Bill” – that right there. Reeeeeal human and changed, uh?

So, to what else Bill was doing in this book – I find his shift really quite interesting, and I’ve been pondering the statement that Bill made, and what Bill’s been doing behind the scenes. This is the statement:

“But truly, I want your happiness, above almost everything else.”
Almost everything else. I found myself wondering
what came ahead of that. His own survival?

Deadlocked, p. 194

When Sookie puts something like this to the reader, that usually means there are hints to understanding it in the text and you have to think about it all. Which means I go looking. I don’t think his own survival is the answer though – because Bill was clearly willing to die for Sookie not a few books ago. I don’t think that’s the answer.

It should be noted just how very pro-Eric Bill was in this book. Now, we know that they don’t like each other, and that they’ve had a tension-filled relationship. Usually it’s considered that Eric hates Bill and finds him pathetic – but we have no evidence of that whatsoever. Eric and Bill work together quite appreciably, even if Eric is likely to set a bee into Bill’s bonnet on occasion. Eric likes to do that to Bill, and he can – which is why Bill got smart and got himself a position as Area Investigator early on in the books. I think but for Sookie, Bill and Eric would have been just fine never seeing each other.

It’s really Sookie who brings them together, not their own designs. But the adversarial situation really only exists over when one of them has something the other one wants – in this case Sookie. Eric certainly doesn’t have an issue with using Bill as a free bodyguard/chauffeur service when the mood strikes him – making a lie of this whole ‘Billy boy is pathetic’ crap straight out of the scripts of True Blood. But in this book in particular, Bill had a few pro-Eric sentiments like this one:

“If you’ve finished ogling Eric’s woman, it’s time to get out of here,” Bill said.
If his voice had been dry before, it was toast now.

Deadlocked, p. 243

Bill isn’t saying that she’s Eric’s woman because it’ll make Sookie happy – I think he accepts that as long as Eric is around, Sookie will always choose Eric, and of course until the marriage is over, Sookie is officially Eric’s. I kinda hate the possessive crap, but it gives a good insight into Bill’s thought processes. After all, the sentence would have been just as effective if it was “If you’ve finished ogling Sookie…” Eric’s not there, so his physical threat isn’t evident to get Colton to stop.

And that wasn’t the only pro-Eric statement either. Bill played nice, as can be expected, in front of police – but that’s so that they don’t go to jail. In front of humans they don’t know, vampires always put Vampires First. We see inside the façade because Sookie is our inside person. And inside that façade, Bill was still on Eric’s side – against Sookie:

“And then you walk into your girlfriend’s house to find her looking at a computer
with another man. You have had a terrible night, poor fella.”
Bill raised an eyebrow to let me know I was troweling it on too thick.
I ignored him.

Deadlocked, p. 199

Really – if Bill were to wish to undermine the relationship between Eric and Sookie, he should have pushed his point right about there. Or at the very least stayed quiet. Not disapprove of Sookie’s actions – and soon after get on Eric’s side to get Sam to betray Jannalynn to the vampires. This is Bill who is seemingly helping Eric and Sookie stay together – and he gave me that vibe all the way through the books:

“I don’t know if you’ve spared a moment to wonder about my efforts to find
out who killed the young woman, but I assure you I’m trying to find out.”

“I don’t know why you thought I…oh, Eric.”
Deadlocked, p. 187

See – here – he’s trying to put Sookie’s mind at rest about what’s going on with Eric – trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. It should be noted that Bill thinks Sookie might suspect Eric, and he’s all trying to reassure Sookie that he’s looking into it, to get to the bottom of it. Bill is positively an enthusiastic Investigator as well.

Now, it gave me pause, because Bill has been pretty fucking single minded throughout the books, and suddenly he’s not doing what Eric accuses him of doing later in the book – trying to undermine that love at every turn. He’s actively bolstering it. Bill’s making sure to calm Sookie’s fears, rather than inflate them at all turns:

“She was obviously bait for Eric, designed to arouse his lust.” Bill looked
at me and blinked. “His bloodlust,” he added hastily.

Deadlocked, p. 190

Bill could have left it at lust, sure – and planted seeds of doubt. He could have not commented on it at all, and just let Sookie’s imagination run wild. Eric was gone for most of the book, dealing with his substantial problems, and not dealing with Sookie, so it was fruit ripe for the picking. Bill could have pressed his advantage, or at least done more. Of course, Bill is a little more interested in following the rules than Eric – Bill thinks Eric is a rogue because he can’t predict what Eric is going to do, so he’s not going to kiss the human of another vampire, like Eric would. But this is reassurance – and I don’t think it’s because his love is perfect and selfless – see above, he still doesn’t think it’s wrong to bamboozle humans with sex and furthermore mention it in front of someone he did it to.

So, I was thinking of what the hell Bill was doing behind the scenes. It’s plainly obvious that Eric is deadlocked – should he be the perfect vampire, or go with his heart desires (which might I mention – Hallow used the spell to weaken him and make him easy pickings further proving the point that she is not his fairy godmother, and this choice isn’t easy). I know the assumption is that he’s doing everything – but sadly, his focus is elsewhere:

If Bill is still the Area Five investigator…”
“He is.” Cautious.
“Then he needs to get to work, don’t you think?”

Deadlocked, p. 123

Instead of coming round to see Sookie, she reminds him that he needs to get to work. I personally think if Eric can’t apply himself to the job when he’s under threat of arrest and Felipe’s visiting, then Eric’s decision as to whether or not to be the perfect vampire is already made. But he’ll need to be hit in the head with a lump of 2×4 before he gets a clue. But more importantly, Eric isn’t orchestrating Bill being involved in the investigation – it is Sookie’s suggestion that he get his arse into gear and be practical.

I doubt that there is any big scheme going on behind the scenes that Eric has orchestrated. He’s so frozen he’s not making headway on the Queen vs. Sookie thing, and he’s not even taking care of business. He’s just running over to Sookie’s place. Of course, I have no doubt Sookie will catch shit everywhere else for putting Eric to the task of keeping himself out of hot water, but that’s the way this fandom rolls. You can’t praise her when there’s strips to be torn off her for not going with whatever Eric wants, even if it’s going to be fatal for him.

It is obvious though, that there is a big scheme going on behind the scenes. Eric isn’t doing anything but the holding pattern, and yet things are happening to try to get him out of trouble. It’s actually my belief that Bill has actually orchestrated pulling Eric’s arse out of the fire. Look – he even has a clear plan that is not divided in focus:

“…then we’ll know who killed Kym. When we tell the police, the heat will be off Eric.
Then we can solve the problem of that asshole Appius’ posthumous betrothal of Eric to Freyda. Felipe and his ‘posse’ will go back to Nevada. Eric will have his sheriff’s job, or a new title, but Felipe will not fire him or kill him.”
“That’s a hell of a lot of dominoes, Bill.”

Deadlocked, p. 235

Bill has a clear goal that is the antithesis of what his goal as purely manipulative, lovelorn ex-boyfriend should be. Here, he’s setting it up not just to get all the vampires cleared of the crime to do with Kym Rowe – he wants to get rid of Freyda, and then Felipe. He wants Eric to not be fired, or killed. Surely it would serve the guy who wants Sookie back if Eric would have died, amirite?

And here’s further proof that Bill is involved – JanineMNM is apparently my favourite, because Bubba is getting a mucho workout in these pages (I am ready to leap on the Team Bubba train in a heartbeat):

To my amazement – if I could be any more amazed – Bubba pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and hit a number on speed dial. I could hear a voice answer. Bubba
described our situation, and I heard Pam’s voice say,
“All right. Whatever happens, we know who’s responsible. Be smart.”
“So we got a safety net,” Bubba told me, and I patted his arm.

Deadlocked, p. 170

Okay, so Bubba has a cell phone, and calls Pam. It would be simplistic to say that Eric and Pam are at the bottom of this. However, it is Bill who’s into technology, and Bill whom Bubba looks up to. If Pam sent Bubba ahead of Freyda, then why would Bubba need to call Pam again to describe the situation? Obviously – he wouldn’t – that’s not fucking logical. It’s only if Pam is in the dark that Bubba would need to describe the situation, rather than check in. If Pam knew what was going on, then there would be no describing.

Not only that, but if Pam had set Bubba to the task of watching Sookie, and seeing if Freyda would come, then that wouldn’t be absolutely necessary to again, describe it. I’m thinking that Bill has set Bubba to this task of watching Freyda and reporting back to whoever is relevant. If it was Eric, then he would have been aware of exactly when Freyda left him, and when Freyda came back to him. All of Eric’s information is coming through Freyda.

Now, it’s possible that Bill and Pam are colluding on this scheme in the background, but I’m not so sure about that. Yes, they like each other just fine. But right now, Eric has Freyda and Felipe in Shreveport. Pam works for Eric and she runs Fangtasia when he is absent. You didn’t see her taking time off to go do her nails during Felipe’s visit, right? And it looks like Pam isn’t actually in contact with Eric some of the time:

“He took Thalia with him – not Pam. Thalia said it was a very tense meeting.”
Deadlocked, p. 192

It’s my thinking that Pam isn’t in the loop on the Freyda thing very much. For a start, she made her feelings quite plain in the last book – and got a fist in the face for her troubles. Eric certainly doesn’t take so kindly to her repeated and open dissent regarding this marriage. In practical terms, as good a fighter as Pam is, she’s still only 170. If you fear – even as a 1000 year old vampire – that you may be popped into a sack and taken somewhere forcefully, you bring the big guns – you bring a 3000+ year old vampire as your backup so no one can take you if you don’t want to go. After all – this is Freyda’s problem that she hopes to solve by acquiring Eric – being too young and needing an older vampire to help her hold her state – so Pam is little or no use compared to Thalia who can jam her arm back on and have it stick.

I think that Pam is taking care of the other guests, and playing nice with Felipe, keeping a lid on the Area while Eric is gone. She is his second. And I don’t think it would do well for their interpersonal relationship for Pam to step in and make decisions. We see how well Eric reacted to that – by beating Pam down on top of Sookie’s toaster. I don’t think he has Pam involved in schemes to make that decision for him, when he is so divided himself. And after all – this would be Pam’s primary concern:

“But…Sookie, you must see…staying might be the death of him.”
Deadlocked, p. 193

Pam has always made it clear that much as she likes Sookie, her first priority is Eric – and she’s made no bones about Vampires First. Most memorably, that was in a conversation where she said that even if she knew of Bill’s scheme, she would have been on Bill’s side, over Sookie’s:

“I wouldn’t have told you,” Pam said, “even if I had known Bill had
been charged with a mission, because…vampires first.”

All Together Dead, p. 85

So the bullshit from True Blood about Pam and Bill hating each other (which is really Pam doing some serious pandering to Eric’s ego and her own power by extension which only exists through Eric, and quite disgusting because Alan Ball has fucking ruined Pam) is not true. And here I think that if given the choice, Pam would much rather Eric alive, than Eric dead. After all – she was all about Sookie swallowing her pride so that Felipe wouldn’t kill them all. Sadly, when it comes down to it, Pam is ultimately on Eric’s side of things. He’s her maker. And if he’s told her to keep out of it, and not do anything, she’s going to be on Eric’s side.

Luckily, Bill doesn’t give two shits what Eric wants to do regarding his personal life. Bill has his own thoughts – and he’ll do those things whether Eric wants him to or not – and it seems that Bill is doing just that:

“Very early this past morning, Palomino called from her job at the Trifecta.”
Deadlocked, p. 234

Palomino called Bill from her job – not anyone else – and I don’t think Eric or Pam were involved in the least because of what Bill promised her:

“I’ll present that to Eric in the most urgent terms,” Bill promised.
Deadlocked, p. 239

If Eric and Pam were involved in this scheme, then Bill wouldn’t need to present anything to Eric – she’d know that she had a favour with the Sheriff. So it’s my belief that Bill is being extremely proactive with the dominoes he’s hoping to push over. He’s not just following orders that Eric (the frozen) and Pam (the loyal) aren’t giving him – otherwise all this argy bargy isn’t necessary. If Palomino had called Pam, and she’d passed orders onto Bill, then Bill wouldn’t need to relay the favour she did for Eric – Eric would know because Pam would tell him. Bill wouldn’t need to do all this stuff.

Bill has shown he’s proactive about it before as well:

“Colton was grieving so hard over Audrina that I wiped his memory of her death.
So he doesn’t remember all of what happened that night, by any means.”
“You didn’t tell Eric that, did you?”
Bill shrugged. “I didn’t need his permission.”

Deadlocked, p. 235

As I’ve pointed out previously, Bill wasn’t really getting why Sookie was upset at the end of Dead Reckoning – and it’s not as if Colton is his next door neighbour and he has to hear his grieving. So why glamour him to forget? You know me – I’m not going to answer ‘Out of the goodness of his heart’. The reason is that Colton was still working at Vampire’s Kiss when Felipe picked him up. If Colton was bursting into tears at work over Audrina’s death, then that would be a security leak.

Bill made sure to get Immanuel taken care of in Los Angeles, and he glamoured Colton – all to hush up what happened with Victor. Lest it skip your mind, Bill was there too. If there’s any punishment coming down, then Bill is going to share in it much like Sookie is. And who’s standing between Bill and punishment? That would be the same person standing between Sookie and punishment. As Eric pointed out – if he leaves he won’t get punished. Everyone else is completely fucked though. Including one Bill Compton and one Sookie Stackhouse, who both wish to stay in Bon Temps under Felipe’s rule.

If you’ll notice – Bill recruited Palomino – also there that night and fit for punishment, and he’s getting Thalia to give him information – another person up for punishment. Once Eric leaves for Oklahoma, then the rest of them are screwed. There’s a high likelihood that if Felipe can’t punish Eric, he’ll punish everyone else. He’ll use that to get Bill over a barrel on the price for the database (because Bill isn’t going to be leaving Sookie there to deal on her lonesome, so he’ll be staying to try to help her/get back with her) and all the other vampires will be punished. In order for Bill to protect himself, Eric’s gotta stay, and Bill’s got to help Eric out of these jams.

I also think that there is more that Bill is thinking – not just the immediate short term avoidance of punishment, but long term. If Eric leaves or gets fired as Sheriff, then a new Sheriff will be appointed. And he or she might not be as nice as Eric is. Now, as I’ve said before, Eric is no softy, as Felicia tells us. But Bill is now got something else I think he’s unwilling to risk to the possible cruel vagaries of a new Sheriff – his human family. Pure and perfect leverage, and right in Bill’s home town.

It was actually cunningly referenced in the text as well – what Bill’s motivation would be – or at least I think so:

“I’m meeting Heidi there.”
He hesitated for a moment. “I understand she still has a living relative.”

Deadlocked, p. 133

When I first read this I thought Pfft. Old news. But then I wondered – what would Bill value above and beyond Sookie’s happiness? And that wouldn’t be his own survival – it would be the survival of his growing human family with the new tiny babies. The family that has only just accepted him openly. Why would Bill want to risk a new Sheriff who isn’t quite as nice as Eric, doesn’t live and let live, but rather wants leverage to get more of a tithe out of Bill, and make Bill’s life hell? After all – if Eric leaves, Sookie leaves Bon Temps thanks to Felipe, so there’s none of that leverage to have. Without the Sookie buffer, Bill’s human family is up for targeting. And we know that Eric is fine with keeping your alive human family members fine:

“How’s your son?” I asked, like you do, when you know someone had a loved one.
“Eric has offered to let me bring him here,”
Heidi said, carefully, keeping her eyes on the visitors.

Dead Reckoning, p. 287

And yet, when Bill asks, Heidi’s son is not in Shreveport – he’s still in Nevada. And why move your son to another city that could be just as bad for him as Nevada, if Eric leaves as Sheriff. So it was mentioned not because there’s change, but because lack of change is significant. Bill was casually tipping his hat I think to what it is that matters more to him than Sookie’s happiness. It is – quite rightfully – the survival and happiness of his human descendants – the ones he provided for when it came to Bellerive. Bill surely loves them, and I doubt he’d want Felipe to take Sookie, and a new Sheriff to come in and start thinking about Bill’s human family as good leverage.

Bill might not like Eric, but Eric is a damn good Sheriff who has a lot of vampires that like living in his Area. He doesn’t kill your human relatives to teach a lesson to you, and he doesn’t rape his underlings. He’s not the common type of Sheriff you can find in any Area. He’s such a good Sheriff that Indira got Felicia to come over and avoid other psychos in other places. Eric provides a refuge for all of them. Apart from being punished for their part in Victor’s death, Bill’s life has the potential to become appreciably worse under another Sheriff.

So it’s my thought that behind the scenes, despite knowing how torn Eric is on the situation with his maker – and he does know:

“I actually do understand your loyalty to your maker, Eric.
I even respect that you still wish to honor his word.”

The Secret Dialogues of Bill and Eric, The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, p. 209

Bill isn’t taking any chances that Eric will go with what serves him better. He doesn’t want Eric killed and fired because his family is up for grabs and Sookie is up for grabs. He’s definitely working behind the scenes to take choices away from Eric. He understands the deadlock that Eric is in, and he’s pulling with all of his might to make sure that Eric not only makes the right decision, but also the decision that will protect Bill and his family best. And all the other vampires at risk thanks to Victor are happily and eagerly helping him out while the Sheriff sits and twiddles his thumbs, torn on the issue and completely unfocused on business. And he’s not above keeping Eric and Sookie going okay so Eric still wants to stay – the scheming all falls apart if Eric and Sookie break up – so Bill isn’t doing it. He’s trying to keep them together.

I think it’s a little change for Bill that makes him more amenable to Sookie’s HEA – who not a couple of books ago was actively railing against her choice and her happiness. I’m hoping that finally, Bill can see that bigger picture, and maybe he’ll make like Sam, and not make too much of a pain of himself through his forlorn and long lost love. Even after Felipe leaves, a new Sheriff would be a toss-up whether they’ll go after Bill’s family – and supporting Sookie’s HEA by not trying to undermine it with every word and gesture gets our girl closer to happy. And call me crazy, but I believe her happiness is the point of The Sookie Stackhouse books.