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15 August 2005 @ 11:06 pm
Down home on The Farm.  
Okay, so everybody's said the whole "OMG STARBUCK IS SCULLY AND WTF WHY ANDERS WHY WHY" bit, with varying degrees of emphasis and varying slants on the whole 'wtf' bit. Now, I personally -- in every scene with Anders -- conflated him with Lee, which is what I imagine Starbuck was doing. sdwolfpup made a really convincing argument for why the whole idea of losing someone would be upsetting, and how in their current circumstances all the human (or ARE THEY!!!) survivors would be liable to react in somewhat extreme ways to any newly kindled relationship, and I think she's hit on something there. But I also think the fact that hi, he played their stupid little game that apparently means a lot to Starbuck, and he's from her planet, and he's ALIVE and living on it when there was supposed to be no one and nothing but The Enemy and a holy relic -- well I think there's something to that, too. But, generally I think that this person who embodies so much that Starbuck thought was dead to her and has the face of the man she's in love with (seriously, nobody even try to talk to me about the possibility of them not being in love because I get rabid about it in a way I haven't since I was 12 years old and it was all about MULDER AND SCULLY FOREVAH OMG OKAY STFU) -- I think that all of that would pack a pretty potent emotional punch.

Now, the whole Scullygasm of losing an ovary and the pregnancy farm etc. etc. -- about that the only thing I have to say is, "Sure, fine, why not." I like to think that BSG isn't going to beat that horse's dried bones long after it's died and decomposed like the X-Files did, but that's because I have a lot more faith in this series than I ever did in Chris Carter, and back then I thought someday I would go to Scotland and meet a rugged long haired Highland Warrior in a kilt who would sweep me off my feet with like, a claymore or something.

I wanted Leoben desperately in those interrogation scenes, but what I loved was knowing that Kara is so good at interrogations herself, and seeing her vacillitating between being a patient and being a interrogator.

The thing about the child abuse: Wow, can we talk about the interesting interesting portrait we're getting of her childhood? 1) She was raised by a highly religious family, 2) She had a very meticulously abusive parent and I'm betting father on that one, actually. Remember her talking about her father and music - was he a musician? And God, the cruelty then of a musician -- someone who knows very well how all important the hands are -- breaking each finger in exactly the same place? Utterly freaks me out. And naturally for all her studied recklessness Starbuck is exactly as precise as the one who broke her fingers, because her flying is always so exactly on point. It makes me wonder how she feels after the interrogations, though. I mean, acting formalized violence in a quasi-ritualistic setting must be kind of terrifying or relieving of her rage. I don't know, but it's all fucking me up in my head just thinking about it, so I bet Starbuck feels deeply twisted on that one herself.

Okay. So. Boomer. Just last week I was all bitching about the lack of Helo/Boomer and Boomer in general. I was glad to see her again, and I have to say I was bowled over by what I interpreted as her bald statement that she was programmed to simulate and stimulate love. This, then, puts a whole new spin on Boomer and Chief, and also Adama's scene with Boomer at the end. He loved her -- granted, I'ma go on and guess the old man was venting a wee bit more than Boomer!Loss at the corpse there -- because she was built to create love. I could be missing something here, but I don't think that the love and the procreation were directly linked -- but even if they are, it was like that was a secondary thing. As I read the moment, it was that Boomer was created with the express purpose of being loveable and loving, which does make the Boomer model basically unstable and weak as Six implies that it is. But, however, that also makes Six the sport of the group, becuase she was never supposed to love, she wasn't built for it, and yet she does. And boyo, does she, it's just that she's way fucked up about it because it's with Baltar, and she's a hallucination in his head, and really there are so many reasons that situation is clusterfucked six ways to Friday.

What I find interesting then, about the way that Helo and Boomer were portrayed toward the end of the episode is an acceptance on the part of Helo that she does love him -- because she *isn't* human. She's been programmed to love him, and therefore her love for him is a constant and reliable thing. However, the fact of her love for him proves the essential point that she is, in fact, a machine and his enemy. And yeah, okay, that fucking blows my mind. Because love is supposed to be what differentiates a human from a beast, and more specifically probably a human from a machine. Love is supposed to be limited to beings that have souls, and here the writers of the program have set up a situation where love, perhaps the most sublime and humanizing emotion of all, is now being replicated through programming. So, does this make Boomer trustworthy? I don't know, because I don't know if Caprica Boomer has been programmed toward fidelity and settling down to start a family, but I sincerely believe that she probably has been. But the fact that her trustworthiness is founded in the very thing that makes her untrustworthy again, fucking blows my mind.

And Caprica Boomer now that her cover has been blown is, no doubt, a Cylon. She uses their terminology, has all of their obsessions -- production of children and it's importance, 'special' for Starbuck, and she can name off hand the other Cylon models. And her 'let's go home' at the end is both chilling and kind of sweet, because yeah, if she was who she appeared to be to Helo up until it became clear that she was a Cylon, then Galactica is home, and she should be chafing at the bit to get there. However, she's not, she's a machine with a downloadable consciousness, isn't she? So why is Galactica home to her?

And it also makes me wonder if the ship of Sharons had dreams about Galactica. Or Chief. Or Helo. Or both. If they went through fluctuations of depression and anger and fear as Caprica and Galactica Boomers did. In general, I wonder about the other Sharons, because while Caprica!Boomer and and Galactica!Boomer are the same person fundamentally, they're both very different. Granted this is due to their situations and - hey isn't that a greatly interesting commentary on nature v. nurture because what's a better constant than fucking programming? But, that is not of the here, nor of the now.

What is of the here and now is that I think Cally's a Cylon. I don't think it's a coincidence that there was that highly weird cut of her in the brig juxtaposed against Starbuck being in the infirmary and being like, "So, are you a Cylon?" to Doctor!Cylon. I really am hoping that she knows, though, and that we're not goign to go a Boomer way with that because that's totally played at this point and my sympathy would be so nonexistent. "Yeah, yeah, whatever, you're a machine, angst, kill someone, die." I want her baby face to contain multitudes of evil dirty secret Cyloninity.

Roslin, Roslin, Roslin. She's pulling a weird reverse of Boomer, finding out she's more spiritually connected than she'd ever thought, or maybe she's not and she's just crazy, and I kind of like that in this episode she was one with the rational realization that it's a little insane to have people bow to you and ask for your blessing. I also really like that now that she's reached a much more stable point, she's reprising her role as politician rather than that of prophet. It's weirdly like she just had a little religion binge, and then was forced by Tigh's utter fucktardedness as a commander into going straight and doing the politicking again. The way she said, "I know what card to play" and all of that -- yeah, I dug it. Granted, I think the woman's a little insane myself, but I also am with Lee in thinking that she's fundamentally ethically right that there should be a people's government seperate from the military and not pushed around by the military. I don't think Lee buys her religious stuff, but I could be wrong.

I don't know how I feel about the fleet having been split, and even the fact that I have to deliberate over that issue makes me think again of how damned much I love Billy. Because I do, I do love Billy. He didn't compromise his own morals but he did his job, and what was best for Laura, and he had the ability to look logically at a decision that was bound and determined to kick up a whole hell of a lot of problems in the fleet and and come to a conclusion not based on gut, emotive instinct, but instead based in a grounded an objective viewpoint. Plus, I want to pinch his cheeks.

And slash him with Chief OMG WTF. *covers face with hands*

Although, to do so would be kind of like to walk past a naked Brad Pitt straight into the arms of Gilbert Goddfried in terms of dealing with slashy subtext on this show, sweet dear GOD. Tigh totally adores Adama. He recognizes the man's flaws and he loves that he gets to see them, and he depends on him, and venerates him and respects him and enjoys him and simply, sweetly, loves him. Tigh, beneath all that wire brush exterior and early morning solitudiness boozing, is a caramel of love for William Adama. Yes, folks. I said it. A caramel of love.

Also, I really, really hate me some Ellen Tigh. I just find her aggravating. I don't enjoy her scheming, I don't like her bitchy comments, and seeing her feed and encourage Tigh's addiction makes me feel a little sick to my stomach, actually. I kind of want to see her end up in an intergalactic meat grinder, but that's just me.

Oh, God, and Adama. Many smarter people than I have noted that his speech to Chief about loving Boomer is all tangled in with his emotions about Lee and all of that, and probably also some kind of "So, I way totally almost died right then and it blew" kind of a epiphany or something. But his speech about "Can you love a machine" and then in context with the whole Boomer thing -- holy shit, it was so damned smart. Gah, and then him weeping over dead Boomer, and you just want to reach through the television grab his shoulder, shake him and say "She didn't want to, honest, I swear, she tried to kill herself instead and she loved you and she felt so bad after! I SWEAR!"

Now, the thing is. All of that having been said, I felt vaguely meh about the whole episode until it got to the Boomer is programmed to love portion of the evening which reeked of deus ex machina so much that the fumes were making my eyes water (but get it? a machine is the deus ex machina? yeah, that pun's so good I could -- ignore it, mainly) but also made me think of the Cylons in terms of the fact that they're like -- machines.

Yeah, I know. It's weird. I very much so should have twigged to that reality before, but not so much. I kept thinking of them as humans making bad decisions and such what, and then this episode she said "I was programmed to fall in love" (Also, are all Boomers made for that, and if so, what happens to all of the Boomers alone on that ship together? Weird thoughts. Weird thoughts.) and I thought "Oh holy shit, they're -- computers."

I think, though, that while this episode was clunky (by BSG standards) and didn't really click at all junctures, that this is going to end up being a very key episode in terms of the unraveling arcs this season. Obviously the same themes are carried over from episode to episode, but a lot of pivotal things happened here, so hate The Farm or love The Farm, you're stuck with it. Though, I mean really, how are they going to keep you down on The Farm when you've seen the lights of Kobol's Last Gleaming? *rim shot*
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Red Right Ankle-The Decemberists
pure FORESHADOWING: baltar/six divine - icon_ascenscionnifra_idril on August 16th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC)
I didn't get the impression that she went in programmed to love, but rather programmed to be open to it.

See, I thought that meant that they'd put her there to fall for Helo, and the situation was more about making Helo fall for her, so that the love would be reciprocated. Then again, that could just be my weird brain doing weird things with words, but that's how I read that. I, alas, also don't have TiVo.

For the abuse thing, though I thought -- and again, I have no TiVo either -- I thought that the doctor!Cylon said "At one point or another" which is what sent my mind down the meticulous abuse lane. Again - could be making that up, but who knows.

And I agree, this is the nut from which the mighty oak of season two will grow. I can only hope that this mighty oak doesn't fall over in a strong wind and that someday I'll learn to not talk in Yoda-esque metaphors.
Mayhem Parva: clex (oxoniensis)raincitygirl on August 16th, 2005 07:16 am (UTC)
Long-winded reply, Part 1
It's funny that such a lousy episode should contain the kernels from which the rest of the season will grow. I mean, it brought up *fascinating* new ideas, but execution-wise it was sloppy as hell.

See, I thought that meant that they'd put her there to fall for Helo, and the situation was more about making Helo fall for her, so that the love would be reciprocated.

1. If in fact humans and Cylons need to be in love in order to procreate successfully (say there's some kind of biochemical reaction in Cylons which is caused by certain endorphins or something, and without it, they're infertile), then the Cylons have blown it bigtime. Their big shot at fulfilling what they see as God's plan for them, and how many humans will they find who are willing to love them, given that they already exterminated something like 99% of the human race. Talk about poor long-range planning.

2. See, up until this ep, I interpreted Season 1's "honey trap" plotline as a scenario designed to make Helo fall in love with Cap-Boomer (although, honestly, didn't take much!). I thought her reciprocal love was an unintended consequence of the plan. But apparently they were both supposed to fall in love. Which is presumably why Cap-Six and Cap-Doral were setting up that cabin: providing a controlled, discreetly patrolled environment in case Cap-Boomer fell in love a little *too* much. They failed to recognize that she had already fallen for him, to the point of panicking and running.

3. And in retrospect, that actually makes Cap-Boomer's actions in Flesh & Bone more altruistic than they seemed at the time, because she *thinks* he loves her but she's not sure. She's panicking over the thought that if Helo rejects her and insists on continuing to try and get off Caprica, thereby according to Cylon logic not loving her, he'll be killed. It's not "Ooh, the man I love and who loves me back is in danger. I must save him." it's actually "The man I love may not love me back, or not enough, and if he doesn't, he'll be in danger. I must save him." She wants to save him from the consequences of not loving her.

Now, there's also the fact that she's gotten to know Helo during their, what, 19 previous days on the run (Caprica time stamps in Season 1 were super handy!), and may realize, unlike Cap-Doral and Cap-Six, that even if Helo *does* love her, that doesn't mean he'll acquiesce and stay on the planet. But given the simplistic Cylon view of love (more below), there seems to be a real possibility that she wants to save him regardless of whether he loves her back or not. Which is pretty darn altruistic.
Mayhem Parva: remember (black_market)raincitygirl on August 16th, 2005 07:18 am (UTC)
Long-winded reply, Part 2
4. The Cylons seem quite childlike and immature in their concept of love. They fail to realize just how attached Cap-Boomer is to Helo already, and even she may fail to realize it until the crucial moment. I liked that the flashbacks as she was running through the woods weren't *just* about sex, but cuts to instances where he was being concerned and caring. I don't think it was the magic penis so much as the little things like lying about the coin toss so she can sleep instead of him - a parallel to the presumably non-sexual altruism displayed by Tigh to Adama in 33 when he lies and says it's Adama's turn to rest for ten minutes.

Cap-Six insists (and Cap-Doral doesn't disagree) that if Helo hasn't actually said the words, then he doesn't love her, as though the words are a magical talisman. They also seem to think, given that they tell her to kill him if he won't go along with the plan, that Cap-Boomer can't fall in love back until she's heard those magic words. Which makes me wonder just how much info about her emotional state Gal-Six is keeping back from the others. That Six definitely loves Baltar (in her own twisted way), and her jealousy over the fact that he doesn't love her back is tearing her up. But Cap-Six and Cap-Doral don't seem to realize that a Cylon could fall in love *first*, whether or not they're sure of reciprocation.

They don't seem to be able to fall in love with one another, and their contact with humans thus far has been limited, so they don't quite the nuances of human behaviour. I disagree, BTW, that Boomer alone was programmed to love. The idea of trying the love card in their battle to successfully procreate seems to be a recent one, and the Boomers have been around for several years. Also, Gal-Six is definitely in love with Gaius, and Cap-Six and Cap-Doral both seem fascinated by the idea of experiencing love in Tigh Me Up, Tie Me Down. So this hunger for love seems to be an unexpected wrinkle in the emotional programming of the bioCylons as a species.

I do agree, though, that the Boomer model is probably the one most deliberately designed to be loveable. Gal-Boomer passed for human with everyone while living in *very* close quarters for years. Gal-Six (before she was Gal-Six-in-Baltar's-head and when she was Undercover-Six) was obviously a little...off. Heck, even the complete stranger with the stroller could tell. Only a complete narcissist like Gaius would've sustained a relationship with her for two years and failed to either take the relationship beyond sex or realize that Six was kind of....weird. So I'm guessing maybe the Boomer model is supposed to be the one who can blend in with humans, and therefore is designed to have qualities which may inspire affection.