Asta 2

Thoughts on the Extended Cut of 'Unfinished Business'

I've spent so much time looking at and reediting this post, I am no longer sure it makes any sense. And, yes, the DVDs come out tomorrow, your point? ;)

I’ve had a strange relationship with ‘Unfinished Business’ this past week. I was not a fan of the original version, even less so of this new extended cut. My immediate reaction was I hated it and never wished to see it again. There was even a point where I found it hard to look at Lee/Jamie and, if you know me at all, that is really saying something. For several reasons, I opted not to write down my thoughts right away and instead I thought about it, a lot. While some additions still make little sense to me, others started to make sense. It’s not that I necessarily liked some of the conclusions I was drawing, but by looking at the episode in the context of the entire series, some things actually made more sense to me, other things I was merely able to rationalize.

On Sunday, I did a brain dump, spending two hours revisiting thoughts and notes. It wasn’t my initial intent, but somewhere along the line this seems to have become an ‘In Defense of Lee Adama’ post. It has less to do with the inevitable fandom backlash I foresee and more about me and my need to make sense of a character I love when there are moments in ‘Unfinished Business’ where he’s really hard to like. At the same time, as I reevaluated and my feelings about Lee, I did so for Kara and this is where I may encounter some unpopularity. Really, I like her! It’s the writing! I’m sure much of this comes down to character bias. I love Lee and I’m certain that there are a significant number of people that can rationalize Kara’s behavior as well.




Some Things Don’t Change

My very first thought watching this episode was, “Oh, joy, more boxing.” For the record, I hate boxing. There are other violent sports, but none of them advocate punching your opponent in the head until they are unconscious and possibly the victim of brain damage. That the fleets first line of defense, it’s viper pilots, are being encouraged to participate in potentially incapacitating activities is beyond me. And, in this cut, we get to see nearly every participant beaten to a bloody pulp.

Also, using boxing as a metaphor? Lame.

Adama still remains as clueless as ever. Apparently, there was no scene filmed in which Adama senses that his son is in love with Kara and has just had his heart ripped out and stomped on. I was watching ‘The Hand of God’ Saturday in which Adama tells Lee that his father was a better father than he was. That is not hard for me to believe.

Disappointingly the fat remarks/jokes lived on further into the season. The more innocuous exchange occurs between Adama and Dee:

Adama: “Lee’s looking good. Glad he lost the weight.”
Dee: “So am I.”

Hmm, funny, I thought Dee didn’t care about the weight. Yes, Ron, let’s make her shallow too.

But the remark that really irked me was Kara’s, “Couple of months ago you’d have to role him into this ring.” Ron wants us to accept that Lee’s inexplicable binge eating and weight gain was a result of serious psychological damage which, I’ll admit, the extended cut made me start to see. If that was his true intent, then don’t undermine it with cheap and thoughtless humor.

The Good, The Bad, and The Confusing Editing.

I went back and watched parts of the original cut of the episode. I’d say about 75% of the episode has been re-edited. In some cases, the re-editing doesn’t works. The first thirty minutes felt very choppy to me. The new opening has lost it’s perspective. In the original cut, while Lee is fighting Helo, we flash back to Lee waking up alone on New Caprica. The scene is about Lee, his emotional state, and the audience trying to figure out why these remembrances are such a distraction for him. In the new cut, we have Lee fighting Helo intercut with Kara and Sam having sex while both are seemingly thinking back to their night on New Caprica as well as Lee thinking about Dee. Having the multiple perspectives lends to a lot of confusion (not to mention indicating that Kara can only get off if fantasizing about Lee?). At one pint I wasn’t sure if I was seeing Lee and Kara having sex or Sam and Kara. I think an assumption was made that we’ve all seen this episode before and we know what happens, so they are presenting more of the cause for all the turmoil up front. Unfortunately, there will be people seeing this for the first time who will be very confused. I also questioned the probability that both Lee and Kara would be thinking of the exact same moment on New Caprica at the exact same time.

On the flip side, I do like that Lee and Kara’s night together on New Caprica is now one continuous scene followed by their fight on Galactica. We now have the setup as to why this fight is so important to them and has so much urgency. And, personally, I’m glad they dropped the flashbacks recounting key moments in the history of Lee and Kara. It played as a bit hokey to me.

Kara and Sam

The extended conversation between Kara and Sam as she gets dressed to go to The Dance I found very enlightening. I really despised Kara in the original edit of this scene. I viewed her as completely dismissive of Sam and his feelings, treating him as nothing more than a convenient frak. But now we see Sam directly confronting her about the situation with Lee, telling her that maybe he’s not the one she really wants. Kudos to Katee here, she clearly conveys Kara’s hurt and vulnerability at his remark. “If that’s how you really feel, I’m not going to try and change your mind.” It’s a surprisingly mature response from her. She could become defensive, because, at this point, Kara hasn’t really done anything for Sam to question her feelings for him. She explained to him in ‘Collaborators’ she couldn’t handle the marriage right now and that he needed to get away from her. That is her confessing she has problems, not ‘I’m in love with another man and want to be with him instead.’ It was Sam’s choice to come back for the occasional frak. And in an exchange a short time later with Lee, in which Lee mocks the state of her marriage, Kara lashes out at him for his failure to find her and Sam a billet. If this is indeed something she asked for (though would Lee be in charge of assigning quarters?) it shows that she had some intention of trying to work on her marriage. So, one line from Kara made me reevaluate her feelings and made her much more sympathetic to me…at least for the moment.

The Dance – The Real One on New Caprica

First the WTF? Lee and Dee were trying to keep their relationship a secret? HOW? Between Dee sitting at his bedside in ‘Sacrifice’, barricading themselves in the pilots quarters in TCH, Kara’s big mouth, and kissing in public, how we’re they keeping the relationship a secret???

But, I am very happy the extended cut includes more of the actual celebration on New Caprica. As I watched Lee dancing and smiling I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen him this happy!’ Moments after he comes off the dance floor Dee says the exact same thing. ;) Unfortunately, Lee is about to get his heart broken, but it was nice to see him, for even a brief period of time, be joyful. And, for just a second, I saw the possibility of Lee and Dee working. Dee really shouldn’t have told him to stay behind and get drunk.

Lee and Kara and the Right After

The biggest and most beneficial addition to the extended cut is the conversation Lee and Kara have after declaring, in what I viewed at the time as a very juvenile manner, their love for each other to the world. If, throughout the years, Lee and Kara had been as open and honest with each other as they are here, I may have pulled for them. May. ;) I’m going to dissect this from the Lee perspective since I view this as a HUGE moment for him in many ways.

Lee has been at the precipice with Kara before, wanting to declare his feelings, but something always held him back whether it was rank, Zak, insecurity, bad timing, or Kara’s feelings seeming to lie elsewhere. The closest he came to opening up to her was probably in ‘Scar’, but as he made it clear he wanted to talk, Kara ran away. Now, they’ve made love, she has said she loves him, and he feels she’s committed to him. It’s the key that unlocks what the man who has feared commitment has kept inside for so long.

I ‘m relieved they brought up Zak, because Zak is an issue. If Lee feared she loved Zak more (and Kara’s exchange with Sharon seems to indicate that Kara met Lee after becoming involved with Zak), he’s apparently moved past that. It’s safe to say an apocalypse and a new beginning on a new planet could do that for you.

But what really stood out for me was Lee saying, “But mostly because I was afraid to admit how much I needed you, I needed anyone.” Lee’s sentiment wasn’t surprising to me, his history has shown how tentative he is to open up. But there was something about hearing him say the words that suddenly put past and future actions in a new context for me. In sharing his need and fear to Kara, he both liberates himself and condemns himself. I didn’t think the expression on Lee’s face as Adama informs him of Kara’s marriage could be any more gut-wrenching or devastating, but I was wrong. Part of Lee Adama died that morning. Thirty some years old, he finally opened up and let someone in and he’s suddenly told it meant nothing to her. Sure, months later, in the ring, after he’s had time to process, he is able to see that Kara was “protecting herself at all costs” and “running away”, but in the moment, he couldn’t see beyond what it meant for him and it sent him on a downward spiral. The weight gain started to make some sense to me. In a way, this was worse than the suicide attempt for me because it’s clear he just stopped caring.

Hypocrisy and the Proposal

Watching the proposal scene, I was immediately reminded of Buffy’s words to Spike in ‘Smashed’(?) – “You’re not just a loser. You’re a pathetic shell of a loser.” That was my gut reaction to Lee’s proposal to Dee, to see Lee as pathetic. But having thought more about it, I can see his actions as the result of the anger, betrayal and desperation he felt in the moment.

Kara: “We’re not getting married”
Lee: “Then what’s the point, Kara?”

Lee is an old fashion guy in some respects. You love someone, you commit to them, you want to spend the rest of your life with them, and you marry them. It also can’t be easy, if you have a fear of ending up alone, of being surrounded by married people - Helo and Sharon, Tyrol and Cally, and, now, Kara and Anders. Even without the inclusion of the proposal, Lee’s marriage to Dee always played as a knee-jerk reaction to Kara’s marriage. It’s painful to watch Lee struggle to propose to Dee, yet I can feel some sympathy for Lee, more so than Dee. Lee is behaving badly here, no question, yet he’s destroying himself by his actions. Lee was unrecognizable to us in early Season 3, and I don’t just mean physically. How he became that man starts here.

There are two very painful moments for me during the proposal. The first is when Lee informs Dee he doesn’t want to start out with a lie, and then proceeds to do just that. He tells her it is Kara’s marriage that has motivated him to make this move and stops there. The thing is, had Lee told Dee everything, I’m not certain it would have changed Dee’s answer. She has her own somewhat selfish motivations for making the decision she does. But, from Lee’s perspective, less than 24 hours earlier, he had been completely honest with Kara and it ended in pain that I’m not sure he’s felt outside of Zak’s death. And having had two people he loved, Zak and Kara, leave him, fearing Dee could do the same and he’d, again, have no one I can see why he felt he had to lie.

The second moment that really affected me was Dee informing Lee that she would marry him, love him and cherish him until the Cylons returned or Kara walked back into his life. As Dee says the words, Lee fights back his emotions and is unable to look at her. The good man that he is wants to be honest, but the hurt little boy (seriously, I think his parents marriage really frakked him up) cannot say the words. The irony is Dee is saying all the things he wants to hear Kara say. He’s getting everything he wants, the life he always thought he wanted, but not with the person he wants it with. The choices Lee makes are extremely selfish. I know he is capable of better, he knows it too, but what he does or doesn’t do is self-preservation on his part and a very human reaction. I should be mad at him, but I feel so very sad for him instead.

Maybe there is something positive about showing the noble young man, the idealist, falling from his pedestal. The Spitzer scandal showed how a man is so easily capable of failing to practice what he so adamantly and passionately claims to stands for. Lee showed Kara vulnerability, it led to weakness, then desperation, and finally to an overwhelming need to be loved by someone when he couldn’t be loved by the one he wanted. Maybe he compounded lie on top of lie because he couldn’t face that he was living a lie.

Whereas Lee was in denial, Dee got the life she wanted with the man she wanted, knowing full well it was all based on lies. It makes me question who actually comes off worse in this scenario.

I should sympathize with Dee who, yes, is treated quite badly, yet I can’t. Maybe she didn’t know about the sex, but she knew her soon to be husband was in love with another woman and could walk out on her at anytime. She made her choice, to take whatever Lee was willing to give her and live her life like every moment could be the last. (On a side note, I did appreciate her echoing Laura’s words to Adama here – it set up nicely what was probably the mindset of most of the survivors.) Knowing that Dee knew what she was getting herself into, I don’t see that she has any right to be pissed off later when it looks as if Lee could be leaving her. Granted, instead of sneaking around with Kara he should have immediately been honest with Dee and informed her that what she thought would happen is, in fact, happening, but, again, Lee’s self-preservation is at work.

The other thing that rubbed me the wrong way is Dee’s convenient naiveté. When Kara makes her “been there, done that” remark about sleeping with Lee, Dee seems shocked. Lee quickly scrambles to tell Dee it was a long time ago and didn’t mean anything. We know Lee is lying on both counts, but, hypothetically, let’s say he is telling the truth. If it was years ago, before he knew Dee or at least was involved with her, is he obligated to tell her? If we assume Dee knows he is lying, how does Dee have a right to be upset when she told him on the day he proposed that she understood fully the situation? She didn’t think they might have had sex at some point in their long and tangled relationship? I really wish this had been left on the cutting room floor. Not only do I prefer the ambiguity of what Dee did or didn’t know, it paints Kara in a very bad light – intentionally hurting Dee just to piss Lee off more.

Kara

I really want a better grasp of Kara. It would make my fandom life easier. She married Sam out of fear, I always knew that. And if Lee’s parents made it nearly impossible for him to risk falling in love, Kara’s mother taught her she wasn’t good enough for anybody. I can rationalize her behavior, to a point. However, it was Kara’s choice to marry Sam and she must accept the consequences of that choice. She’s flaunts what happened between them as well as their feelings for each other in front of their fellow pilots, their friends, and their spouses. She’s not just humiliating Lee with her “sloppy seconds” comments, she’s taking Dee and her husband down with him. Lee might be tearing himself apart, but Kara is hurting everyone around her.

While I have difficulty feeling sympathy for Dee because she made her own bed, the reason she was able to make that bed is because Kara chose to abandon Lee. I do believe that Kara sees airing their dirty laundry in public as simply being honest. It’s also a way to try and draw Lee into a fight he doesn’t want. But it’s also demonstrates a lack of respect for others. It’s about what Kara needs, whether to feel better or worse about herself I am not sure, but it’s all about her.

Here’s the thing that struck me the more I thought about Lee and Kara and The Dance. To be honest, I’ve always viewed Lee and Kara’s romantic relationship as toxic. As friends and colleagues, I believe they do bring out the best in each other. As lovers all they do is cause each other pain. At the time of her ‘death’ in ‘Maelstrom’, Lee and Kara were in a good place, but that is due in large part because of Lee’s decision to move on. I will agree that Lee attempting to continue working on a shaky marriage was not the best reasoning, but at least he made a choice that brought some calm to his life and hers.

It has also struck me (no pun intended) that if we are disturbed by Tyrol breaking Cally’s jaw, then going on to become her husband, how is Lee breaking Kara’s nose and embarking on an affair with her any different? Beating each other to a bloody pulp in not a way to resolve issues or reaffirm a relationship. And while the original cut ended on a somewhat touching “I missed you” the new version ends with Kara stating, “I think things just got more complicated.” It’s the same thing she says to Lee after they make love on New Caprica. It seems like a clear indication that she knows she’s about to cause more upheaval in all their lives and saying it with a slight smile on her face makes it feel manipulative and callous to me as well. Before, I thought the quasi affair between she and Lee just happen to evolve, but this new ending makes it seem as if her actions were much more calculated.

Maybe SciFi is right in not giving Ron extra broadcast time to work with.

  • Current Mood: tired tired
*sigh* I'm glad I'm not the only one who disliked the boxing episode. Is the extended cut the only one on the DVD's? (guess I'll find out later today)

Sure, months later, in the ring, after he’s had time to process, he is able to see that Kara was “protecting herself at all costs” and “running away”, but in the moment, he couldn’t see beyond what it meant for him and it sent him on a downward spiral. The weight gain started to make some sense to me. In a way, this was worse than the suicide attempt for me because it’s clear he just stopped caring.

It sounds like the extended version does give Lee's downward turn a better explanation. And I'm glad for that, because you're right, the jokes about the weight just cheapen the idea. Unfortunately, the way season three was actually presented made the whole story line... basically non-existent. He was fat, there were jokes, then he wasn't. I understood what I was supposed to think about the weight gain, but it was never really supported on the show.

The second moment that really affected me was Dee informing Lee that she would marry him, love him and cherish him until the Cylons returned or Kara walked back into his life.

Gah, I can't even begin to express how much I hate this. Dee's in love, but I really didn't think (don't want to believe) that she'd accept marriage without the good faith that Lee really loved her, too. I just... ugh, why add this in? It makes their marriage even more of a sham than it was before, and makes her holding on to it as long as she did an act of utter futility.

I do believe that Kara sees airing their dirty laundry in public as simply being honest. It’s also a way to try and draw Lee into a fight he doesn’t want. But it’s also demonstrates a lack of respect for others. It’s about what Kara needs, whether to feel better or worse about herself I am not sure, but it’s all about her.

Yup. I love Kara, she's definitely my favorite character, but she's mostly incapable of doing anything outside of her own... I won't say best interests, because that's not the right phrase, but, um... outside of what she wants at the moment, which may or may not be in her best interests.

It has also struck me (no pun intended) that if we are disturbed by Tyrol breaking Cally’s jaw, then going on to become her husband, how is Lee breaking Kara’s nose and embarking on an affair with her any different? Beating each other to a bloody pulp in not a way to resolve issues or reaffirm a relationship.

Heh. I railed about this (very briefly, and f-locked because I'm a big wimp) once on my LJ. Tyrol at least has the excuse of being asleep when he broke Cally's jaw. Lee's excuse--she hit first. But I've had issues with the Lee/Kara romantic relationship since season one, so...

I've come to realize that most of my issues with Lee connect to how he treats Kara when he's jealous/wanting a romantic relationship. I feel for Jamie Bamber--so much of his time playing Lee is defined by an unhealthy relationship. I like Lee and Kara both, but so far they haven't been very good for each other when they try to be more than friends.

Hm, I'm hoping my thoughts don't come off as being too anti-Lee, especially since I'm in your LJ. Sometimes I'm a bit too Kara > everyone else. I'm pleased to have stumbled across this entry; your analysis helped clarify some ideas I've had bouncing around my head for a while.
unfortunately, it didn't give me any more desire to see the extended cut of UB... but I was already feeling that way before reading, heh.
I haven't checked my DVD's out thoroughly, but I think the extended cut is the only version we get. Which is why I still have the original on the DVR. ;)

Unfortunately, the way season three was actually presented made the whole story line... basically non-existent. He was fat, there were jokes, then he wasn't. I understood what I was supposed to think about the weight gain, but it was never really supported on the show.

I completely agree with you. I always had an idea of what Ron was attempting to show and he certainly tried to explain in the podcasts what his intent was since we weren't seeing it on screen, but this extended cut did give me some concrete examples of why Lee became the man he was in early season 3. That he shared with Kara something he had never shared with another human being and then have her abandon him, something in him broke and he just said, "screw it". He created this life he had expected to lead and everyone else expected him to lead - military commander, married man, example for the fleet - but his attitude and weight gain showed he had stopped caring.

Dee's in love, but I really didn't think (don't want to believe) that she'd accept marriage without the good faith that Lee really loved her, too. I just... ugh, why add this in? It makes their marriage even more of a sham than it was before, and makes her holding on to it as long as she did an act of utter futility.

I have issues with any woman who would marry a man that they love, but they know doesn't love them in return. It's degrading and it's not going to end well. And she doesn't even seem to be aware that she's settling. As much as I love Lee, he really is no prize!

And I agree, if she knew full well what she was getting herself into, as this added scene shows, and believed her husband was going to walk out on her someday then why does she fight to save her marriage? And how can she seem so hurt when what she thought was inevitable almost becomes reality?

Hm, I'm hoping my thoughts don't come off as being too anti-Lee, especially since I'm in your LJ. Sometimes I'm a bit too Kara > everyone else. I'm pleased to have stumbled across this entry; your analysis helped clarify some ideas I've had bouncing around my head for a while.

No, your thoughts don't come off as anti-Lee at all. And I welcome criticism of Lee because sometimes I think I'm a bit more positive than I should be about him. I really hadn't intended to rationalize his behavior as much as I did.

unfortunately, it didn't give me any more desire to see the extended cut of UB... but I was already feeling that way before reading, heh.

I dreaded watching this extended cut. I've never had to force myself to watch BSG before. And while I don't know if I'll ever watch it again, it did help me understand a few things better so it was worth the hour and fifteen minutes of torture. ;)
Don't worry, the original cut is still there! As I was saying below, Ron and the other writer vastly preferred the aired version.

Yup. I love Kara, she's definitely my favorite character, but she's mostly incapable of doing anything outside of her own... I won't say best interests, because that's not the right phrase, but, um... outside of what she wants at the moment, which may or may not be in her best interests.

That's true - I don't think of her as selfish so much as profoundly self-centered, much of the time. As in, honestly incapable of seeing things from outside her own perspective. In the podcast they actually acknowleded this - there's a scene where she actually talks to Tigh next to Sam's passed out body and they acknowledge all the guilt and remorse she feels for what she's done to Sam and is about to do to Lee, but that she's so damaged that she honestly has no idea of a better way to act.


Heh. I railed about this (very briefly, and f-locked because I'm a big wimp) once on my LJ. Tyrol at least has the excuse of being asleep when he broke Cally's jaw. Lee's excuse--she hit first. But I've had issues with the Lee/Kara romantic relationship since season one, so...

Actually he hit first this time. ;p The violence bothers me too, so much that I might have to meta it (tremble). I know we're supposed to think "gender-equality, yaay!" But then how would we feel about it if Lee punched Dee in the face, no matter what she said to him? I don't know... it seems like Kara is the only woman it's "okay" to hit, and I wonder if that's partly the writers making her code as male. But combined with her abusive background it's very disturbing. But I still find this episode so compelling! Help?

And this isn't a criticism of Lee, just the writing! Because it's obviously MEANT to be seen as okay by the writers - but when I unpack that it bothers me. Hmm.
I don't think of her as selfish so much as profoundly self-centered, much of the time.

That's a good way of putting it. Kara would lay down her life for just about anyone in the fleet and that is not something a selfish person would do. And I honestly don't think she lies around thinking of ways to hurt people. She just doesn't think about the potential ramifications of her actions.

But then how would we feel about it if Lee punched Dee in the face, no matter what she said to him? I don't know... it seems like Kara is the only woman it's "okay" to hit, and I wonder if that's partly the writers making her code as male.

I'm not sure Kara is the only female that it's OK to hit. The female Cylons have taken some punches as well. But is that because they female Cylons are also viewed as machines? I agree, if Lee hit Dee or Adama hit Roslin, there would be a very different reaction from the audience.

Edited at 2008-03-20 02:28 am (UTC)
Wow! Fascinating analysis. Now I really want to see this episode. Are there any other extended cuts in the DVDs?

I don't have a lot to say except I think your analysis of Lee sounds spot on given when I know from the originally aired cut.

And that I mostly agree with you about Dee. I...don't agree that she didn't have the right to be upset when Lee nearly left her (though I also think the most telling part of their relationship is the point at which she leaves him and it's then that some of her true motives for marrying him in the first place become clear: that being, like most others...she doesn't see who he really is and thinks he is an "Adama").

Basically, however she decided to commit to that relationship, she had the right to expect comittment in return. But I really, really lose respect for her when the writers try to play the "long-suffering I know you truly love someone else!" card. You say she says that she'll love him until Kara comes back into his life? WTF? I have a horrible feeling they try to play this as noble. I hope I'm wrong, because it's screwed up is what it is. Which leads to you 1) being right that clearly she doesn't feel that way when Kara does show back up and 2) me being far more comfortable with Dee's reaction to Kara screwing up her marriage because it doesn't betray the near zombie-like self-sacrificing disturbed crap that seems to be spouting out of her mouth and inherent in her attitude during the flashbacks or when she "agrees to take him back" later in the season.

It's absurd. It manages the ludicrous task of making Dee look bad when all that's happened to the poor woman is that her husband started marrying by lying to her, and continued by cheating on her. Argh!

But...yes. I should stop ranting.

I will say that regarding the Tyrol-Cally violence and the Lee-Kara violence, while, like you, I don't really like boxing or the sanctioning of violence, it was sanctioned violence. The Chief might have been asleep at the time, but what disturbed me about Cally hitting on him after he beat the crap out of her was that she had absolutely no way of knowing he wouldn't do it again.

I don't mind Cally forgiving him because he wasn't in control of himself. But that's no reason not to take adequate precautions to make sure it won't happen again. It is possible to say, "I love you, but you are a danger to yourself and others, go get help." Which is what he needed.

As much as I dislike the TV notion that some hearty violence can help get things out in the open, I at least felt like there were clear boundries and it wasn't a sign that either of them was in danger of committing grievous bodily harm to an innocent bystander. So...for me at least, the difference is there.

Though it's a really interesting parallel to bring up!

Oh, and final note, yes, you're absolutely right that Starbuck is behaving in an utterly selfish and toxic manner! I think the only difference is that guiltily I love it! Her behaviour in Collaborators is endlessly fascinating to me and I'm really glad it didn't just disappear with her hair.
Are there any other extended cuts in the DVDs?

I was going to say, sadly, no, but giving my feelings on this ep, it may be a good thing. ;)

I...don't agree that she didn't have the right to be upset when Lee nearly left her (though I also think the most telling part of their relationship is the point at which she leaves him and it's then that some of her true motives for marrying him in the first place become clear: that being, like most others...she doesn't see who he really is and thinks he is an "Adama").

I can understand on an emotional level her being upset at the thought of her husband leaving her, it's a very natural response, but she put herself in that situation so I can't muster sympathy for her when the inevitable almost becomes reality. The funny part is she fears losing Apollo to Starbuck (I believe she even refers to them by their call signs in 'Rapture') , but when she realizes she's not married to Apollo, but Lee Adama, she bails! She expected him to disappoint her by leaving her for another woman, but it's his idealism that ultimately let her down.

You say she says that she'll love him until Kara comes back into his life? WTF? I have a horrible feeling they try to play this as noble. I hope I'm wrong, because it's screwed up is what it is.

I'd say you are not wrong.

It manages the ludicrous task of making Dee look bad when all that's happened to the poor woman is that her husband started marrying by lying to her, and continued by cheating on her.

Exactly. I was expecting to hate Lee after watching this episode and that was my initial, gut reaction, but the more I thought about it the more I began to at least get where he was coming from. I still can't fathom what the hell Dee was thinking. Yes, she states that every day could be their last and she wants to grab her chance at happiness, but how can you possibly be happy when you know the man you love loves another? And the weight gain wasn't a sign to her of his misery? It's a hard thing to do, make us dislike the wronged woman, but Ron succeeded!

you're absolutely right that Starbuck is behaving in an utterly selfish and toxic manner! I think the only difference is that guiltily I love it!

Then you'll adore this ep! ;)
that was a long read and i agree with most of your thoughts:

Dee really shouldn’t have told him to stay behind and get drunk.
that's a thing i still wonder about! why did she make him stay - especially when she knew that there was something between lee and kara?! she could have saved a lot of people a lot of trouble: lee, kara, anders, herself, me... if she hadn't talked him into staying (though i didn't mind to see me some semi-nekkid lee *heee*)

seriously, I think his parents marriage really frakked him up
so say we all! and let's not forget that his mother wasn't of the caring type. everyone brags about starbuck's awful childhood (which it was - her mother was straight outta hell!) but we know that lee's mother had issues too. she was an alcoholic and probably blamed her children for her frakked up life. we don't know about any abuse but it's possible, isn't it?

Not only do I prefer the ambiguity of what Dee did or didn’t know, it paints Kara in a very bad light – intentionally hurting Dee just to piss Lee off more.
kara bites around herself, hurting everyone she can in the process and only to make lee more miserable. but why would she do that?! lee offered himself to her, totally opened himself up and he wanted her. she dumped him and she chose to do so in the most painful and disrespectful way any writer could think of.

and now we come to the reason why i really dislike UB: someone did that to me, i'd never talk to that person again, never! i just don't get the i missed you, too at the ending of the episode - i just don't get it! after all the hurt, all the pain and the way she behaved during the dance... nope... don't get it!

but although i'm not a shipper of any pairing and i really do think that lee and kara are bad for each other and i want lee to be in a healthy, happy and steady relationship, i have to admit that the two of them really have chemistry - they had the hottest scenes i've ever seen on tv - eye of jupiter had me blushing! compared to those scenes all the lee/dee moments make me cringe 'cause there's nothing between them.
but that's just my point of view and i don't want to flame any lee/dee fans.

why did she make him stay - especially when she knew that there was something between lee and kara?! she could have saved a lot of people a lot of trouble: lee, kara, anders, herself, me... if she hadn't talked him into staying

And it seemed to me that Lee really did want to go with her. Granted, it probably was because he feared what could happen if left alone with Kara, but he did attempt to put temptation out of his reach. I'm also perplexed that we are to believe Dee is well aware of Lee's feelings for Kara, but his state the next morning, both emotional and physical, didn't tip her off that he was unfaithful to her? ::is confused::

we don't know about any abuse but it's possible, isn't it?

I think Jamie has intimated that he believes Lee may have suffered physical abuse, but I think it's clear she was at least emotionally abusive.

compared to those scenes all the lee/dee moments make me cringe 'cause there's nothing between them. but that's just my point of view and i don't want to flame any lee/dee fans.

There are Lee/Dee fans? I kid! I kid! But I do agree that one thing, besides most of the scenes that developed their relationship ending up on the cutting room floor, is that I never saw much chemistry between the two. When they kiss, I feel nothing. Hell, I think Lee has more chemistry with Sam or Helo. ;)
I hope you don't mind a semi-random comment, but the only meta I've read so far is at SASA and I thought it would be interesting to see your non-shipper perspective. :)

One thing I will say is that I think you should watch it one more time, with the podcast - I think it would make you happy. :) Ron actually said that the reason for including this was that they thought we'd like to see how the editing process worked, so they gave us Everything they filmed. A few of the cuts he really likes, but a lot of them he just wanted to show us why they were taken out. So I think we can treat them just like deleted scenes - keep them if you like them and toss them if you don't. ;)

I really liked the Kara/Sam additions for the reasons you mentioned. I was shocked that she wanted married quarters, but it made me really happy that she genuinely wanted to work on her marriage and at least didn't have the intention to use Sam for sex. And the lines they added to those scenes added a lot, and made her seem far less casually cruel. Like you I had a huge problem with Kara in the original cut, so I was grateful to see the full version. I even sort-of liked the fantasy-Lee sex - though the writersreally need to find a new way for Kara to address her emotional issues. While I'm sure there are some who like the idea that Kara can't get off without thinkng of Lee *g*, to me it played more like the reversal of Scar, only now Lee is the one her guilt/unresolved angst is consuming her over. It made her anger at Lee actually make sense, because she really can't move on in any direction now that she's seeing him every day and she's faced with the consequences of her actions. So I felt her treament of Sam came off less harsh and made much more sense. (Also in the podcast they mention her feeling remorse for what she's done to "this guy who's at least her lover," in that scene with Tigh. So on that score I felt relieved, at least.

I actually felt the same way about Lee and Dee. I think because this was the first time I really felt the chemistry between them. I felt like they really could have had something if not for Kara, which I've always felt about Kara and Sam but not the reverse. The fact that I could see how in love with Lee Dee was made it easier to understand why she could convince herself to just take what she could get while she could get it. And Kandyse's comments help me out here because she said that at this point Dee views Lee's feelings for Kara as like an addiction, so it's not even that he loves someone else more than her, so much as he has this sordid frakked-up thing he can't overcome. Which admittedly, is sometimes a fair assessment for both of them - I like what you said about them bringing out the best in each other as friends and the worst as lovers. But I can't condemn Dee for thinking she could handle something in the abstract but then, after a year of marriage, not being able to handle it in reality.

But I particularly felt Lee's feelings for Dee here, which made me more sympathetic towards him. I'm more of a Kara-person, so we were probably starting from different places. ;) I always knew Lee proposed to Dee the next morning so I always kind of thought he was a jerk - but seeing the way like you said, he couldn't bring himself to look at her, and he almost starts to confess and then can't - I liked him more. Again, different base-lines. ;)

Hmm, funny, I thought Dee didn’t care about the weight. Yes, Ron, let’s make her shallow too.

Oh, come now. ;) If you married JAMIE BAMBER (or the body of), and a few MONTHS later, found yourself hitched to day-glow orange Jabba the Hut, wouldn't you be relieved to get the arms and the abs back? It wasn't like he put on 10-pounds! Though, I support all the scorn you can heap on the fat!Lee arc. Subtle character-work it wasn't.

I didn't like the uncut ending either neither did Ron or the other writer on the podcast - though I am glad I got to see it just for interest's sake. But I thought that line was just too cute - hi boxing is like sex! Did you get it, viewers! To me, Kara seemed scared when she said that, and only then overjoyed to be reconciled with Lee... but then, I'm very sympathetic towards her as a default.

I definitely intend to watch it again with the podcast. But that's more listening than watching. ;) I'm glad to see that Ron addresses some of the issues I have and even agrees with me on some points. I'm not sure I quite buy his logic for providing us with this cut though. Maybe so we'd stop bitching about his editing decisions? :)

I felt like they really could have had something if not for Kara, which I've always felt about Kara and Sam but not the reverse.

At the celebration on New Caprica, seeing how happy Lee was and that he had a real desire to go back to the ship with Dee, it was the first time I actually saw some chemistry between them and thought maybe, if things were different, it could work between them. Sam and Kara, even as their situations changed, I always could see a reason why they chose to remain connected.
the extended cut of unfinished business was interesting to watch and the commentary gives interesting insight into the editing of the show (Ron is joined by the show's editor).
It’s a surprisingly mature response from her. She could become defensive, because, at this point, Kara hasn’t really done anything for Sam to question her feelings for him.
You mean other than repeatedly cheating on him since they got marrried? Most guys would consider that a good clue. ;)

If this is indeed something she asked for (though would Lee be in charge of assigning quarters?
Nope. That would be the quartermaster...most definitely NOT the CAG and Kara has to know that. So Kara lashing out at Lee over this just further shows her intention to place the responsibility for her own problems onto other people...as she always does.

Dee really shouldn’t have told him to stay behind and get drunk.
Yeah, dumb move. Remember that ladies....it is NOT a good idea to encourage your boyfriend/husband to stay behind at a party and continue to get drunk while the subject of his delusional obession remains in proximity.

Knowing that Dee knew what she was getting herself into, I don’t see that she has any right to be pissed off later when it looks as if Lee could be leaving her.
A great part of her justifiable anger later on was the fact that Lee was again engaging in a bold-faced lie about his latest daliances with Kara, while accusing Dee of being needlessly insecure. If he'd been totally honest and upfront with her about his actions, she'd have had little cause to feel insulted (though every reason to be hurt by his rejection), but with Lee sinking once again into the realm of a pathetic liar, Dee had every right to be pissed off at him.

it paints Kara in a very bad light – intentionally hurting Dee just to piss Lee off more.
I agree it was overkill. We'd already seen Kara going to extreme lengths just for the specific purpose of hurting Lee. One more example is just beating a dead horse.

I do believe that Kara sees airing their dirty laundry in public as simply being honest. It’s also a way to try and draw Lee into a fight he doesn’t want.
Kara's never been driven by a desire to be honest. But she is frequently driven by an ingrained inclination to inflict mental and physical abuse. It's a tragic cycle she inherited from her mother, and her actions throughout season 3 exemplify it.

if we are disturbed by Tyrol breaking Cally’s jaw, then going on to become her husband, how is Lee breaking Kara’s nose and embarking on an affair with her any different?
Tyrol didn't know what he was doing, so I'm not disturbed by their subsequent relationship. But Lee and Kara both fully intended to cause physical harm to each other, and there's nothing romantic about that. Where Lee and Kara are concerned, the story is not a romance; it's a tragedy.
Pt. 1
Ooh! I knew I added you to my list for a reason! You have such a different perspective on the extended UB and I agree with some of the things you said.

The Editing
I like the new teaser. But it is confusing as hell. The boxing with Helo and Lee, Adama in the alluvial deposits, then Kara and Sam and/or Kara and Lee. I like the opening because it’s more BSG, like the opening of KBLG1 or Occupation but it’s kind of unfinished editing. Like they tried to go there but just decided, nah. Okaaay. But I like some of the shots.

You know what was weird? Adama on the sand intercut with Sam and Kara having sex. It made me think of Adama. Is sitting in the sun the closest he’ll get to happiness, to some sort of release? And then for Dee to sort of bring him out of his reverie was also weird and intimate as he washed his face. It made me think of those two and not in a way I think was necessarily intended. :-0

Kara and Sam
Kudos to Katee here, she clearly conveys Kara’s hurt and vulnerability at his remark. “If that’s how you really feel, I’m not going to try and change your mind.” It’s a surprisingly mature response from her.
Yay, someone else saw it! I was glad to read this asta, I thought it was only me. Most people think Kara is colder in this version but I think it’s her attempt at being honest. It’s the best she can do, maybe not great, but I think she was trying.

Part of Lee Adama died that morning. Thirty some years old, he finally opened up and let someone in and he’s suddenly told it meant nothing to her.
Aww! This made me so sad for Lee. Except well, part of Kara died that day too and she did it to herself. Part of a lot of them died on New Caprica. But they are forging new tougher selves, as Bop suggested somewhere. Growing up, I guess. Sigh. I wish it didn’t come from such pain but wisdom and maturity isn’t often easily won. *hugs Lee and all of them*

(On a side note, I did appreciate her echoing Laura’s words to Adama here – it set up nicely what was probably the mindset of most of the survivors.)
I really like your take on the proposal. It reminds me a little about what bothers me here. It’s not Lee or even Dee. All these people are just like lost children trying to wander toward safety, toward anyone. Can I blame Lee for wanting to be loved after Kara broke his heart? Dee for wanting what little she can get before she dies which she seems to think will be soon? This is life in the fleet. Take what you can get right now whether it’s right or honest or real. I hope that the characters have matured past this by now. Lee and Dee seem to have. In CR they seem to realize that life might go on a little longer than they realized and in that time, they deserve better. So knowing that makes me more sympathetic in this very painful awkward scene. They just want a safe, temporary haven. Thousands of people in the fleet settled on New Caprica wanting that, perhaps still do want it. It’s hard for me to fault them for that.
Re: Pt. 2
Sigh. Wow, your post really makes me think. Made me think about things I’ve talked about before about regarding Laura Roslin. This fleet. They are so very desperate. Do we expect them to make the same choices as if they weren’t on the run for their lives? I guess we do. It’s how you act in a crisis that determines who you are as a people, not just what you decide in peacetimes.

Lee and Kara, are such mixed-up and cruel children sometimes. So many unhealthy things in their relationship. But they can also be good together as well. Maybe some time apart, maybe with their new realizations, (whatever they may be, I’m unspoiled) will make them better able to integrate their working and romantic relationship. There will always be the romantic love with Kara and Lee, whether they act on it or not. Dee was right on that score. I just hope someday they grow to manage it better, because it isn’t going away. It is hard to look back on UB and see them revert to children who just beat each other up, and I mean all of them, Adama, Chief, Kara, Lee, even Laura. I want to believe they all needed this dance then, but have grown a little by now. It’s time. Clock’s ticking on my show. C’mon writers, convince me that the fleet has a chance of rising up and being adults.

Thanks Asta, for this post. It’s actually not so far off from how I felt about the ep. It’s the first response I’ve read that’s similar to my feelings and I still love Kara Thrace like pie and always will. But I’m learning to reconcile it a bit. I so didn’t want to lose even a bit of Starbuck, but I’ve had thirteen months to come to terms with that the character I love has to mature some to have any sense of peace at show’s end, Lee or no Lee. Actually, they all kind of have to but right now, I’m focused on her. Sigh. I didn’t realize I’d made that leap until writing this response. I am ready for Kara to grow. A bit scared, but I think I’m ready for next week and where they might take her and hope that it’s eventually to a better place than where’s she’s been. Thanks.


Edited at 2008-03-23 07:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Pt. 2
Thanks for your comments. I feared, a bit, being the most unpopular person in fandom when I began writing all this up. So many people love this episode and I have so many issues with it. It's good to know I'm not alone. :)

It’s the first response I’ve read that’s similar to my feelings and I still love Kara Thrace like pie and always will.

I know how you feel, accept it's Lee I seem to love beyond reason at times. He did some really shitty things in this ep, yet I can find a way to feel sorry for him. Maybe it's a credit to the show that it does make us more forgiving of people. I think we would be much more judgmental of these people (all of them) in real life, but here we are able to see what we are always privy to seeing. That people can act like asses and be hurt themselves by it.
Re: Pt. 2
I worry for Lee too. And not necessarily about Kara. He really believes that the fleet has the ability to not become a gang and carry all of the principles and ideals of civilizatons along with them wherever they go. I love seeing Lee with his principles intact. But this fleet, this show. Be careful with those hopes, Lee.

I have grown rather fond of him during this hiatus. :-)
Re: Pt. 1
First off, sorry for the delay in responding. I was trying hard to curtail my internet time while on vacation. ;)

Yay, someone else saw it! I was glad to read this asta, I thought it was only me. Most people think Kara is colder in this version but I think it’s her attempt at being honest. It’s the best she can do, maybe not great, but I think she was trying.

I didn't see Kara as colder at all. Harsher, definitely, when she was trying to get Lee to fight her, but her emotions, for better and worse, seemed much more heightened to me in the extended cut. I agree that, given her background, she doesn't always know how to convey what she is feeling and sometimes is just too terrified to.

In CR they seem to realize that life might go on a little longer than they realized and in that time, they deserve better.

I think the fleet did actually become more hopeful (that being a relative term!) when they started moving again. Life on New Caprica, a year later, seemed rather bleak. Earth and the prospect of civilization and society seemed a brighter prospect then life on a cold rock merely subsisting. Once on the move again, Lee and Dee, in particular, realized their journey was going to continue, but their paths were diverging. Lee can't see the point going on without holding on to the ideals that made them who they are. Dee seemed content to maintain what had become the status quo. I also think Lee needs passion in his life, whether it's physical, intellectual, or emotional and I just didn't see Dee providing that for him.
Re: Pt. 1
No apologies necessary. I'm glad you had a good vacation!

I agree that, given her background, she doesn't always know how to convey what she is feeling and sometimes is just too terrified to.
I'm glad that you see this. Funny, during the extended version, I found myself a bit impatient with Kara. But that's good I think. I think she's moving past her background a little. Maybe. I hope. We will see soon!

Do you think the fleet likes the idea of Earth more than the reality of life on a new planet? They have no idea what this civilization on Earth is or if the inhabitants welcome newcomers with open arms. Earth might be . . . disappointing.

And I totally agree with you on Dee and Lee. Some saw their chemistry in this, I didn't. I think they might have been good friends but that marriage was a bad idea from the start. Dee didn't seem to want passion, at least not in this ep. She seems to want so little. Puzzling.