Salome: "Whatever, Lilith is apparently never going to shut up until I drink it, so..."
Bill: "Ah wonder how our regime would survive, should the philter affect you adversely."
Salome: "You're sweet, but I'm not really about politics anymore. We're talking about the fucking Rapture now."
Bill: "Then go for it, mah liege."
She chugs it, and his face does about sixteen amazing things. One of them is silly, but one of them is sexy, and you realize suddenly that Bill is the scariest person and in fact has always been the scariest person. It doesn't rule out his other lives, his other selves, but it's there: Maybe he was the best mainstreamer because he had to be; because the only other option was to do or be what he's about to do, or to be. Everything turns into its opposite eventually, especially on this show, but the idea's come up before that Our Bill Compton was just the lid on Vesuvius and the fight going on inside him was a lot harder-fought than it is for most of us. This face he makes, you could believe it.
And honestly, of all people, I couldn't believe it was Bill Compton that helped this season click into place for me: Godric was the only hope for peace and there is no hope for peace, right, but those aren't the only options. They never are. And saints do the scariest shit the closer they get to God. Being boring was the only thing keeping Bill good, and the better he was the more boring he got.
Anything you repress, it's going to come fuck you up in a resentful way when you least expect it. Nothing new there. But one of the neat things about this show is that it goes both ways: Whatever darkness we have in our consciousness, there's a compensatory unconscious brightness. That's always left out of the conversation because we're so used to being afraid of how we're going to fuck ourselves up unexpectedly. But if you think about how much negative stuff -- pain, fear, self-hatred, regret -- we carry around in our daytime selves, does it not bring you comfort to know that just under the surface there's something shining, just as bright?
His face looks like the whole world ending. Saints do the scariest shit the closer they get to God. And vice versa.
EXIT STRATEGIES (AND BONUS SCENE)
Jason's still kill-crazy when the ladies make their way back to the lobby, and Jessica throws herself on him joyfully. What has been for him a descent into mental disarray and visitations was the opportunity for her to get a little clarity on him: How much she's missed him, how much work she did without him knowing, to keep him safe. He's Hers, and doesn't know it; she's His, and thinks that should be enough. He glares past her until she lets go.