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12 January 2006 @ 02:01 pm
Okay, I'm going to start this off by saying that I think this is hands down the best ep that they've done. I think it's even better than Kobol's Last Gleaming or the one where Starbuck and Leoben face off. From the first scene to the last, I was literally having physical reactions. I was on the edge of my seat, I was fanning myself like the women on SNL's Coffee Talk when I got ferclempt at the kiss, I was gesturing frantically at Lee in his pilot seat, I was biting my nails when I thought maybe Cain would give Fisk the order -- I was totally and completely engaged.

I'm going to start with my one true WTF moment (OTWTF?) - Dee, listening in on Apollo and Kara at the end. Uhm. What the hell? There was no expression on her face, there was no reason for her to be there and it was just straight up weird. I trust the show to give me some kind of rationale at some point, but again? W. T. F?

I don't know if I really think the choice to do a 48 hours later thing was neccesary. I understand wanting to open with that gorgeous image of Lee as a christ figure in the water, becuase it's an incredibly dream-like shot, but I feel like there was enough tension in the story line that it wasn't neccesary.

I am going to miss Cain. From her first step onto the Galactica scene, she was an incredibly dynamic force in the plot line, and I think killing her off so soon was a damned shame. I think it's right that Gina/Six killed her, because honestly, any other way would have just caused ridiculous amounts of trouble, plus Gina/Six earned it. But, I'ma miss the Admiral.

For the record? That part in the teaser where the marines show up at Helo and Tyrol's cell? The way it's cut scared the shit out of me, because I was dead certain that my boys were about to be gang raped. I literally thought that was what was going down, and I hid behind pillows and kept shrieking "No! I can't -- no! Battlestar Galactica you have gone too far! Frak you, Ron Moore!" It's a strange universe when you can expel a long breath of relief that people are only having the crap beaten out of them by vindictive sons of a bitches, rather than being gang raped.

Shallowish side note: I love it that Tyrol's a punk to them, and Helo's all, "You will call me sir, bitches."

And you know what? Go team Fisk. His speech there shows me two important things: 1) he's got the authority to be a commander, which I had doubted only having seen him dealing with Tigh and 2) he's not going to brook any power struggles between his people and the Galacticats. (I know I said I'd call them Galacticans, but I think I may have lied about that. Galacticats reminds me of Thundercats, and it makes me happy, okay?) I think that his reaction to Helo and Tyrol's justification for their actions was important to see, also. We, the audience, forget a lot the reality of the black and white nature of the delineation between Boomer and Six and the rest of the cast, or at least I tend to, because the way we see them shows emotion, shows their humanity and we think, "God, how could anyone have done that?" Fisk says, "You can't rape a machine." This is how these people see things, and they're not wrong that the Cylons are machines -- but it's such a confusing thing. Because to us, and to Gaius, and Helo and Tyrol, the Cylons are people, and you don't do that to people. And we needed to be reminded of that, we needed to hear it put that baldly, no matter what we might feel about it.

The Kara and Lee scene in the begining was tremendous. I loved the way he said that trust, one's word, was so important, as he thinks about the implied trust in the chain of command and his father's decision to take out Cain, and the hug at the end was a lovely connection between two confused, disillusioned people. I love that more and more we're getting to see that the Adamas are military oddities. Lee and Bill Adama are not like Tigh, or Starbuck, or Cain, or Fisk - they don't have the same blind faith in military structure. I remember Bill saying at one point that his father was a constitutional lawyer, and that's something worth remembering -- Bill clearly inherited that interest in civil liberties, and a propensity to question things, and passed it along to Lee. Lee's speech to Bill at the begining of the miniseries about Zak just wanting to please his father by becoming a fighter pilot takes on a new resonance, as does his bitterness -- Lee may excel at this, he may be Apollo, but he is not, at heart, a military man. He'd be better suited being a constitutional lawyer himself, which is why he'll make a fabulous president someday.

Okay. The Kara and Cain scene. That scene? One of the best and most utter mindfucks on television. Cain here - to me - seems to be trying to accomplish multiple goals. First, she is manipulating Starbuck by attempting to forge a bond so that with the death of Adama she will retain the formidable military asset that Starbuck is. Secondly, she's passing along life lessons - trying to set up a mentor/mentee (I made it up. I know it. I love it. Move on.) relationship. Thirdly, I agree with widget285 that there don't seem to be too many female military leaders, and Cain has been surrounded by men who she feels she can show *no* personal emotion to, subordinate men who may question her if she shows that she's a human being underneath the hard veneer (or so she seems to think) -- and here she has what she believes to be a kindred spirit, her at a younger age, a woman she can relate to. Sure, it's a kind of humanizing speech, and it shows you how she's justified a lot of things to herself - taking care of the men under her command (and I use men advisedly, because it doesn't truly seem that there are many female officers on Pegasus), who are her responsibility. She doesn't have the luxury of conscience, of "flinching", and it seems to me like this speech really points toward her being in total lockdown post-trauma mode.

Also? She is inadvertantly telling Starbuck everything she needs to hear in order to execute Adama's order to assasinate her. Yes, Battlestar Galactica, you are right now blowing my mind.

Uhm. Other scenes. Thinking, thinking -- Lee and his father. God, the point in that scene where Lee realizes that the order to assasinate came from Roslin is when he gets his final disillusionment. And it's so Lee to need to hear the order for himself to believe it. But you know what I love about this scene? Adama's face lighting up when he sees Lee. That man loves his son so damned much, and I love it when they love each other! *squishes the Adamas a little*

Oh sweet Mother Mary (or as Tigh would say, Mother of Artemis), the Six/Gaius/Gina scene. It's a break up and an exorcism all at once, and it is amazing. The use of Hallucinatory!Six's own words struck me as somewhat strange, but it makes sense in that he's 1) making sure she knows it's adressed to her, and 2) he may be keying up Gina's memories of the dead!Six in order to make her actively trust him. I truly enjoyed seeing Gina and Six talking about God's forgiveness -- I like seeing that Gina hasn't given up entirely on her God, and I like seeing her so at odds with the Six we know and ...love? I mean, I love her, but not in a fuzzy squishy kind of way. If I saw her in a dark alley, I'd probably look around to see where Gaius was, and then run away before she could snap my neck like that baby on Caprica's, but I'd run away with love in my heart. I love that his choice here is not about humanity vs. the Cylons, it's about saving the woman in front of him rather than being lead by a phantom. It's a strangely practical choice, and a redemptive scene - and I think that the survival of Gina is incredibly important in order to further the arc of his character. I also wonder if we'll see hallucination!Six ever again.

On Lee's ejection and near quasi-suicide attempt, I was at first totally gobsmacked. I was staring at the TV saying over again, "But why? Why does he want to die? Why is he so sad?" It became clear to me during commercial break what an idiotic question that last one is. His brother died, his species was nearly wiped out and he's trapped in a guerrilla genocide seige that he can't get out of, his home is destroyed and he will never see it again, he's become disillusioned with the military, with his father, with the president in whom he'd put so much faith, his father nearly died recently, he's been stripped of his rank, and there's the daily possibility that anyone he cares about might die. So, there's something there that might indicate a very plausible deep depression on the part of Lee. Then I was like, "Yeah, but we don't see it!" and then I thought, "Well, really, how much Lee have we seen in the past few episodes? And how much of that emotion would Lee ever let show?" The answer is little, and none. The guy's so tightly wrapped, that the only time you would see it would be in the scene where he stops trying to save his own life.

Oh! Oh! I nearly forgot! Adama's conversation with Boomer - holy God. I love how Adama flinches a little when Boomer references his speech, and I love how she just leaves that question - "Maybe you don't deserve to survive" - hanging in the air. I love that that is what ultimately tips the scales for Adama, makes it so he can't kill Cain. It's about more than surviving, he's always said - it's about having hope. It's about looking to a future. Which is the difference between the basic philosophy of Galactica and Pegasus. Pegasus doesn't look to a future. Pegasus looks to survive. It looks to this moment, here, now. Galactica is trying to build a future.

And, ultimately, I'll argue, while we can't know why Cain really gives the order to let Adama live, I think it's because she may be starting to think toward a future herself. About that near dual-assasination scene? Cain totally knew something was up with Starbuck. She completely and wholly knew it -- her face when Starbuck hands the phone thingy back to her -- it's a very, "Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?" look. (You know what I mean.) And I was damned surprised by how much Fisk was standing his ground there, how he appeared to be about to actually carry out his orders. He wasn't falling apart at the seams as I expected him to. His relief when Cain doesn't issue the order is genuine, because he didn't want to do it, but I think he would have, and it surprised the crap out of me. I think both of them would have, and given Starbuck's statement that the fleet was 'safer' with Cain at the end, it speaks to the depth of her loyalty to Adama that she was willing to do it.

I'ma deal with that speech in and of itself later. Right now? I'ma talk about Gina and Cain. First off, when Baltar sets Gina free, and puts the gun in her hand, and tells her to get justice, I started crowing. Gina was the only one who had earned the right to kill Cain. Now, their exchange in Cain's room, to me, only supports the idea that I got last week that Cain herself was Gina's mission. Whatever relationship they may have had - and I've become somewhat more solidified in the idea that it may have been sexual - there was a relationship. The venom in Cain's voice when she says, "Frak you" is personal to me. And may I just say that I think Michelle Forbes acts this scene note-perfectly? Her eyes filling with tears as she realizes she is going to die. Gina's response, "You're not my type" and then Cain's facial expression in reaction to that really, really, make me think they may have had something sexual. I wish Cain hadn't died so soon, but I understand - to an extent - why the writers may have felt she had to. To keep Cain alive would be to draw out the "will we kill her, won't we" question, and for Gina to kill her cleans it up so that there are no repercussions in terms of melding the two crews, and having them on the same side. It also keeps Adama and Roslin and Starbuck's hands clean, and that seems important to me.

Now. Starbuck's speech at the funeral. I'm damned sure that Starbuck doesn't know anything about Cain's command decisions beyond the fact that she's willing to execute Chief and Tyrol for killing Thorne, which, as Cain argues very ably to Roslin she is well within her rights to do. She probably also knows about the Cylon torture, but I'd be willing to bet that she just isn't thinking about that because she, herself, tortured a Cylon for information. It seems to me that after that, all real information about Cain is kept within this circle: Fisk----> Tigh-----> Adama ----> Roslin. I say this because I can't believe that Starbuck would say that they'd all be safer with Cain around, not because I don't want to believe that of her, but because I can't shake the memory of her reaction to the destruction of the Olympic Carrier during the mini-series. She's so adamantly against it, and so shaken by the very idea of it, despite the high possibility that it is Cylon piloted and carrying a huge threat to the fleet, that I can't imagine her being blase about the destruction of wholly civilian ships and stranding civilians for no reason, let alone the execution of them. But from where Starbuck's standing, Cain is a damned fine officer, someone she can look up to, someone she can trust, and after that speech about not-flinching, Cain is someone she believes will protect her no matter what. Adama's become somewhat shady, by the assasination order, because she doesn't know the reasoning behind it, and I doubt she asked she was in such shock.

Uhm. Adama/Roslin 4EVA OMG. It isn't a passionate kiss - and it weirds me out a little that wee Billy is right there watching - it's a quiet love, they've got, but it's a real one. I love it. I feel weird about Bill becoming an Admiral, but I do like that Roslin ain't taking any chances in him being outranked ever again.

And, oh, does my heart ever break for my darling Tyrol when he's standing in the door to Sharon's cell, uncomfortably watching her tearful reunion with Helo before he turns around and walks out. Oh. It's so sad and lonely.

I'll end on the same note I started, here, though, which is: Dee, wtf? I love that Lee is completely honest with Kara, and I love that he sees his near death as a failure to live up to his word, which seems like classic depressive behavior. That conversation between Kara and Lee would have been totally great to me, but for two things: 1) Dee. 2) I wanted more reaction from Kara when Lee said he wasn't happy to have made it back alive. Granted, it cuts away to Dee there, but I think it makes the scene infinitely less powerful. And, as I may have mentioned: Dee, wtf?

A couple of other minor notes: I was so surprised by the amount of positive reinforcement Cain gives. Not just to Kara (who she seems to want to get naked and sweaty like nobody's business), but also to Fisk. I didn't see her as the type, but to an extent, it really explains the loyalty of the Pegusissies to her. It gives a window into who she may have been before the attacks - stern, but well liked. She's a hell of a manipulator, but she is definitely proud of her people when they do good. Her speech about "another kid under a flag going out an airlock" makes me think she definitely does have a real emotional investment in her crew, though she can objectively write off people from time to time.

I have high hopes that there will be large amounts of Cain fic, because as I said way way way earlier? I'm going to miss her. I really, really am.

Also? Anybody else notice them playing Storm by Godspeed, You Black Emperor in the background in several scenes? Hmm?
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
telepresencetelepresence on January 14th, 2006 07:15 am (UTC)
"I'm going to start with my one true WTF moment (OTWTF?) - Dee, listening in on Apollo and Kara at the end. Uhm. What the hell? There was no expression on her face, there was no reason for her to be there and it was just straight up weird. I trust the show to give me some kind of rationale at some point, but again? W. T. F?"

I think Dee has feelings for Apollo. They hinted at it in once scene where she very blatantly checks him out, and in another where they're sparring. He nearly died out there, not responding to her calls. Dee is the lifeline. When the pilots are out there she's the one they communicate with back on the ship. She wishes them good luck and godspeed, she sends the recall order to get them back into safety. And Apollo wasn't replying to her calls. She wanted to get him help, and he wasn't responding, over and over, there was nothing wrong with his radio, his air was running out but he could clearly talk. Dee knows something isn't right. I'm fairly convinced she grabbed Starbuck specifically and said "You've got to talk to Lee, something is up." She sends Kara in there because she knows Kara can get through to Lee in ways she can't but hovers by the door to hear what was going on.

pure FORESHADOWING: Bad Example! - Snowflakesleepnifra_idril on January 14th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
I agree that Dee may have some feelings for Apollo, and yes, she is the lifeline, but I think they're just doing this so slooooowly that, in the context of the ep, it just didn't feel like it made sense to me.
What the Monkey?svilleficrecs on January 14th, 2006 07:23 am (UTC)
Shallowish side note: I love it that Tyrol's a punk to them, and Helo's all, "You will call me sir, bitches."

HEEEEE. OMG me too. And how the Chief was all slow burn and like, "Oh, Oh I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. How about you say that to my face? Pussy."

Dark hallway, I'm telling you.
pure FORESHADOWING: nifra_idril on January 14th, 2006 07:50 am (UTC)
I'm just sayin', those boys best not be needing any kind of mechanical help in the future, or their ships will fall apart while burning.
the_girl_sleuththe_girl_sleuth on January 14th, 2006 07:43 am (UTC)
"I'd run away with love in my heart."

Hee. I was explaining to a friend earlier that only on BSG could they get me rooting for someone who snapped a baby's neck in the premier. They are just that good.

I clicked through from 13th colony, and I hope you don't mind me commenting, but I appreciate your take on the Baltar/Six/Gina exchange, where the ties, and their identities were getting muddled. I'm still trying to sort it out, but I like your idea of Baltar saving the woman in front of him rather than the phantom.
pure FORESHADOWING: baltar/six divine - icon_ascenscionnifra_idril on January 14th, 2006 07:52 am (UTC)
Oh, I don't mind at all. Comment away! I think the most interesting thing for me on the Gina/Six issue is the question of faith. After last week's episode I was convinced that she was having a crisis of faith, perhaps didn't believe in the Cylon God anymore, nor his 'plan' or whatever. But here, we see that while she's lost faith in the plan (or maybe interest is the better word for it), she still has faith in her God. It's so fascinating!
the_girl_sleuththe_girl_sleuth on January 14th, 2006 08:20 am (UTC)
I think it is interesting that a weird kind of redemption comes for Gina when she trusts Baltar to help her, when she accepts the hand that he is reaching out. For me, the question is where do her loyalties lie? If Baltar restored her faith, are they with Baltar or her God? I get the sense that Baltar isn't so much on the cylons' side as Six', and if she is now on his side rather than the cylons (which I'm wondering), I suspect that the pair of them are going to cause a lot of problems.

I also want to say "word" to your comments regarding Dee in that last scene.
Pat!sxyblkmn on January 14th, 2006 08:00 am (UTC)
For the record? That part in the teaser where the marines show up at Helo and Tyrol's cell? The way it's cut scared the shit out of me, because I was dead certain that my boys were about to be gang raped. I literally thought that was what was going down, and I hid behind pillows and kept shrieking "No! I can't -- no! Battlestar Galactica you have gone too far! Frak you, Ron Moore!" It's a strange universe when you can expel a long breath of relief that people are only having the crap beaten out of them by vindictive sons of a bitches, rather than being gang raped.

i was thinking the same thing! man, that was a long commercial break...
mr profit's girl friday (and all week long)tiferet on January 14th, 2006 10:43 am (UTC)
I was surprised they weren't. And we don't know they wouldn't have been if it hadn't been broke up. Once you make rapists out of people, it's hard to turn them back, and the way the guys on Pegasus treated Cally and D when they were shocked by the whole raping Cylons issue was proof that even though intellectually they were justifying it by the Cylon not being a human woman, she reacted enough like one that they had become corrupt and sick in that way and were now capable of disrespecting fellow officers.
Pat!sxyblkmn on January 14th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
actually, i really was surprised they weren't too...i mean rape isn't about sex, it's about power so i thought that's where "the yee-haw boys" were going when they walked in (hell, they even had a bar of soap and i was thinking "oh no! it's a prison movie!")

and the way the guys on Pegasus treated Cally and D when they were shocked by the whole raping Cylons issue...

yeah, i agree
.: helo (foolish_desire)hackthis on January 14th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
1) It is SO on with the Helo/Tyrol.
2) The almost rape made me cower
3) LEE! *pets*
4) Yeah, you know I'm all Lee/Dee with a bullet, but eh?
5) HELO + TYROL 4EVA! I never really thought about slash on this show, cos everything was so complete, but now? It is ON.
6) Wibble.
kaseido: I_Can_Dancekaseido on January 15th, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
Found you from 13th_colony, and totally impressed. This is the best commentary I've seen on the ep, and not just because a surprisingly large number of people seem to have missed points in a really big way.

I saw a parallel in Lee's and Cain's encounter with death: Lee's too pure for the world he's in, and Cain too dark. Both tried to come to the middle - I'm really glad we got to see flickers of conscience (and no more!) in Cain - but really can't get there.

Everyone else is a mixture of light and dark appropriate to their surroundings: Adama's fierceness mitigated by a willingness to question, Roslin an extraordinary mixture of softness and ruthlessness - but Lee doesn't fit, and he never has. I don't blame him, and I don't envy him.

So many good things in your post, but my responses just add up to "yeah, that's right!" - so I think I'll leave it at that!

Thank you!
"I'm Batman. Shhh."eleigh on January 15th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC)
Hi, just stopping by from 13th_colony. Just wanted to say that I agree with pretty much everything including the Dee wtf. That just makes no sense. I get that she has a thing for Apollo because the writers are desperately trying to get us to buy it (I for one don't buy it but I get that we're supposed to) but there was no reason for her to be there eavesdropping on that convo. At least none that we were shown. That part seemed a bit tacked on.

Also, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who wasn't disappointed that it was Gina who killed Cain. In my opinion it's not only the only way it could've happened but the best way and the more I think about it the more I love it.

And I definitely thought the same thing about Helo and Tyrol. I really believed the writers were going to go the gang rape route.