Laura - Next Crisis - nysuzi

BSG Season 3 Thoughts

As usual, I am very late in posting, but if I don’t get these thoughts up now, with the premiere hours away (EEP!), I never will.

Occupation

• I think Leoben does love Kara, he just doesn't know how to love. Caprica and Boomer both had years to live among humans and begin to comprehend what it means to love. Athena wasn't with Helo for very long before she fell in love with him, but she knew of his feelings for her, or Boomer to be precise, and she learned from the Boomer’s knowledge and experience. Leoben had a general knowledge of Kara before meeting her, but there is no evidence that he had prior extended contact with humans. So while his love for Kara can be perceived as disturbing by her and us, he isn’t able to see it that way. It would be fascinating if, by the end of the series, Leoben were to learn what it means to truly love someone and if he loved Kara enough to realize he has to let her go.

• Watching Tigh, Tyrol, and Anders largely run the resistance themselves is fascinating on second viewing. It’s also interesting to note that without Gaeta's assistance they wouldn't have reestablished contact with the fleet. He contributed as much as anyone to the resistEnce *and* was by Baltar's side throughout. The fifth Cylon perhaps?

• I Still hate the Kacey storyline. It’s cloying. And while I can, possibly, envision Kara becoming a mother someday and find it natural that she would react in a concerned manner to a child being hurt, especially as a result of her neglect, I don’t see her going into full on mother mode in less than a day. Much like Fat Lee it seems like a cheap and simplistic way to telegraph what are the extremely fragile states of mind of two characters.

Precipice

• Caprica caused the first act of Cylon on Cylon violence by bludgeoning D’Anna to death. This made me think of ‘This has all happened before and will happen again’. Cylons are beginning to destroy each other as humans are prone to do. Maybe it is the Cylons who will be wiped out, but future generations of humanity will convince themselves that they can fix their ancestors mistakes and create another race of artificial intelligence and, thus, the cycle will begin again.

• I can see why most of the deleted scenes were deleted. The deleted scene between Laura and Baltar I don’t feel adds anything to the main plot. However, it is interesting to watch Caprica eavesdropping on their conversation and see how hurt she is by Baltar’s dismissal of Cylon emotion and their ability to love. Watching her you hope that she comes to her senses and breaks free from him. It also helps to set up why she is able to go along with his later torture at D’Anna’s hands.

Exodus Pt 2

• Well, at least Cain’s ship went out in a blaze of glory! She’d be so proud. Sniff.

• Please, no fat jokes, but it really should have been Lee Adama they were lifting up and cheering. Had he not returned with the Pegasus they’d all be dead.

Collaborators

• Adama telling Tigh, “You’re embarrassing yourself Saul.” He sees that now, but not at Baltar’s trial?!

• Laura informs Zarek that everyone is entitled to a fair trial, that they all feel the need for justice and vengeance and that telling the difference between the two can be difficult at times. But in order to begin healing, she orders a general pardon for everyone in the fleet. Interesting that once Baltar was back in the picture the rules changed.

• Deleted scene between Kara and Sam: I’m glad this was cut because Sam informing Kara that they should be making decisions together, in this case about Kara reupping, when he’s looking for a way to get out of the war and she’s looking for a way to get back in it comes off as very controlling and, I think, out of character for Sam. There is a huge difference between, ‘I wish you had told me personally instead of hearing it from someone else’ and ‘You needed to consult with me about what you want to do with your life’ and it comes off as the latter.

Torn

• Tigh hears Ellen’s voice. Is this a hint as to his Cylon nature? Will he have a Head Ellen?

• Baltar suspects he’s a Cylon. Which makes me suspect he’s not. ;)

• I still hate the Cylon storyline on second viewing, but I’m finding Caprica’s arc more fascinating. My next big rewatch I’m going to be watching her more closely.

• Deleted scene: Hera’s is put in Sharon’s care and boy is she none too happy about it. Hee.

Measure of Salvation

• I think this ep takes the prize for wacky science. My science background is thin and even I get none of this makes sense!

• I really liked Lee being part of the execution squad and his willingness to get his hands dirty.

• Deleted scene: Six advocates the torture of Baltar. She knows she can’t hurt him emotionally, so she’ll seek revenge on him physically.

• Deleted scene between Leoben and Kara: This scene had some interesting interaction between the two but it went on for what seemed like forever and would have killed the pacing of the episode.

• Deleted scene of Kara provisionally reinstated: I recall a collective WTF? When we went from Kara being grounded in ‘Torn’ to suddenly being back in a viper here. After Adama lays out the plan to the pilots, Lee informs the group that whoever has been ground has been reinstated because they need as many birds in the air as possible to make their plan. While it would have been nice to have seen that what I hate about the scene is Kara wearing a cocky ‘I win again’ smile. Ugh. It just rubs me the wrong way. It’s not like they need her skill, just a body in a viper. And there is a rather awkward stare between her and Lee. On the flip side, a nice, wordless exchange is unfortunately lost between Adama and Sharon

The Passage

• I’m still confused by the food contamination. Can’t they clean the machinery?

Eye of Jupiter

• Chief states that carbon dating puts the temple at at least 4,000 yrs old which lines up with the exodus of the 13th tribe. Yet, I believe in a previous ep they said it was 3000 years ago. Sigh.

• Tyrol drawn to the temple. Clue to him being a Cylon?

• Baltar is growing increasingly weak and pathetic, I actually feel sorry for the guy. I’m still thinking he’ll do something before the end of the series to redeem himself, a bit.

• This isn’t a bad ep if you ignore the relationship angst. I enjoyed the humans and Cylons being at odds and battling each other intellectually as well physically.

Rapture

• Lee says to Sam, “You’d make a good officer.” Heh. Just wait Lee!
• Poor Caprica, she’s been so loyal to Baltar and now she is squeezed out. Caprica helping Sharon reclaim Hera and abandoning her people for them makes sense to me. She’s been fascinated with the idea of the creation of life and motherhood since the mini.

• D’Anna knows what the final five look like. Perhaps they’ll need to unbox her to make some IDs?

• Deleted scene between Kara and Dee: Kara falls back to the “I’m a frak up” excuse for her almost affair with Lee. Dee wisely points out that Adama wouldn’t love Kara, respect her, if she was a loser. Dee calls Kara on her making excuses when she is, in fact, making choices. I think this scene could have tied in nicely with some points in ‘Maelstrom’.

Maelstrom

• Unpopular opinion time, every time I watch this episode I like it less. The psychology doesn’t work at all for me and Kara’s faux reconciliation rings false. And Kara’s big fear has been facing death? Really? Where did that come from? Kara’s ‘death’ needed to happen in order to set up events in Season 4 so it feels as if they scrambled to come up with a plot that would lead Kara face her special destiny and lead her to her death. I ust don’t think it makes much sense.

I obviously skipped all the standalone eps, but even some of the arc related eps I wasn't particularly fond of. The season seemed to be working pretty well up through 'Torn' and then went off the rails until 'The Son Also Rises'.
  • Current Mood: anxious anxious
So while his love for Kara can be perceived as disturbing by her and us, he isn’t able to see it that way. It would be fascinating if, by the end of the series, Leoben were to learn what it means to truly love someone and if he loved Kara enough to realize he has to let her go.

I'm really not a big fan of the Leoben/Kara storyline; I was back in Flesh and Bone days, because I liked him as the creepy, insightful Cylon who was obviously out to mess with everyone's head. When they started eroticising that, it went too far to me; I think that they're incredibly close to making some bad storytelling decisions, mainly along the lines of implying that abuse is good for you or a necessary part of "achieving your destiny." One of my big issues with the series as a whole has been the tendency to include unnecessary cheesecake material just to titilate a segment of the viewer base, and I think that their ability to actually show the effects of some of their damaging actions is largely absent. I'd rather this element of the plotline went away, frankly.

He contributed as much as anyone to the resistEnce *and* was by Baltar's side throughout. The fifth Cylon perhaps?

I think Gaeta is the character I'd most like to be the 5th Cylon, despite the fact that it makes everyone involved with the Resistance a cylon. Not just because he's one of the younger characters in the fleet, but because he's been shown having to make difficult moral choices and act with a great deal of courage. I'd find his fate as a Cylon far more interesting than Anders or Tory because he's a more familiar character, and one who's been explored enough that I actually care about him; it would add a really bittersweet undertone to events like his snapping in FOTP and Adama's comments over the crew realising this really is it, or his comments in Final Cut about learning who he really is. I think it'd also create an interesting dynamic between him and Saul Tigh, because I can see both of them refusing to become CYLONS with the whole red-eye genocidal we are the future attitude, but whereas Tigh is reacting out of denial, I can see Gaeta acting out of choice.

I don’t see her going into full on mother mode in less than a day. Much like Fat Lee it seems like a cheap and simplistic way to telegraph what are the extremely fragile states of mind of two characters.

Another of the reasons I got really cranky with S3 - because most of the season was very episodic, they resorted to lazy, cliched storytelling for what should've been important themes. The first four or five episodes felt much more tightly written than the bulk of the season, but it's a sham compared to the writing in S1 for letting character arguments and plots develop, and I hate lazy storytelling like that - particularly when they've shown that they can do better.

Precipice

Maybe it is the Cylons who will be wiped out, but future generations of humanity will convince themselves that they can fix their ancestors mistakes and create another race of artificial intelligence and, thus, the cycle will begin again.

I'd love it if the story went that way. I don't think it will, I think we're more likely to get some storyline about how both races have to reconcile and interbreed for either to survive, and that's really going to be unpleasant. Your version is much better, because it doesn't in any way generate the "hey kids, the genocide of 25 billion people and all that torture stuff was actually a necessary - or even good - thing!" message. BSG should be about humanity surviving in defiance of it's mistakes, through strength and learning - not surviving because of the Cylons.

Edited at 2008-04-05 06:40 am (UTC)
Jamie made an interesting comment in a recent interview that he thought we (meaning them) are all Cylons. That could tie in with the 'it's all happened before, it will happen again'. Perhaps the first exodus was precipitated by a Cylon rise and humans were actually replaced centuries ago, that the current 'skinjobs' are just the latest incarnation of the Cylon race and the 'humans' are an older model.
Watching her you hope that she comes to her senses and breaks free from him. It also helps to set up why she is able to go along with his later torture at D’Anna’s hands.

I think this is one reason I'd like to believe that human and Cylon destinies should take them in seperate directions; keeping them together reinforces the idea that mistakes are always going to be around, and that the two groups will forever be shackled by the actions of the other. That's a recipe for creating the interstellar equivalent of Northern Ireland or the Gaza Strip if ever I heard of one. Although in some ways, there is a rather amusing correlation between series and life; if you accept that Caprica's trying to learn from her past actions and make her life something better, how true to life is it that she's ended up falling for a man who's basically not worth much?

Well, at least Cain’s ship went out in a blaze of glory! She’d be so proud. Sniff.

My inner fanboy is still upset that we didn't get another scene of the Pegasus tearing things to shreds while fully manned. I guess I'll always have Resurrection ship, yes?

Please, no fat jokes, but it really should have been Lee Adama they were lifting up and cheering. Had he not returned with the Pegasus they’d all be dead.

Absolutely. And there was one of my biggest gripes about fandom at the time - it wasn't "thanks to Lee, we're not all dead", it was instead "oh look, Lee finally grew a spine, maybe he'll do better next time." Not that I'm still bitter, or anything.

Adama telling Tigh, “You’re embarrassing yourself Saul.” He sees that now, but not at Baltar’s trial?!

I guess maybe we should be happy that they remembered the characters names from one episode to the next under the new wonder format?

Interesting that once Baltar was back in the picture the rules changed.

I'm hoping that this is something we'll see explored between Lee and Laura in S4, because the two of them have almost swapped positions, only this time it's him manning up and her backsliding.

There is a huge difference between, ‘I wish you had told me personally instead of hearing it from someone else’ and ‘You needed to consult with me about what you want to do with your life’ and it comes off as the latter.

I basically consider Anders to be a git - someone focussed on himself first, so this fits with my perception of him, but other than reinforcing that the Thrace marriage is really screwed up, it didn't add a lot to the overall plot arc. After all, one thing they made clear in about five episodes is that their marriage is screwed up. It's interesting that this scene fits straight into the character degeneration angle that they pushed throughout the season; have you noticed how few of the deleted scenes make any of the characters look better, rather than worse?

Tigh hears Ellen’s voice. Is this a hint as to his Cylon nature? Will he have a Head Ellen?

If the two actors involved can show as much this way as they did in the first four episodes of S3, then bring it on. I think that was possibly my favourite performance of the season.

Baltar suspects he’s a Cylon. Which makes me suspect he’s not. ;)

Baltar will suspect anything that puts him at the centre of things ;)

I still hate the Cylon storyline on second viewing, but I’m finding Caprica’s arc more fascinating. My next big rewatch I’m going to be watching her more closely.

I was hoping after the Gina angle in S2 that Tricia Helfer would get a seriously meaty plotline in S3 to play with, as she did some fine work. That didn't really happen, but I live in hope. After all, it's just possible they might cut out some shots of her in underwear and add back in some shots of her acting her socks off, right?

Hera’s is put in Sharon’s care and boy is she none too happy about it. Hee.

I think Boomer was one of the established characters who got shafted last season; almost no screentime, and what screentime she had reduced her almost entirely to a plot device. This redresses that a little, and is one of those scenes I'd liked to have seen kept in.
I basically consider Anders to be a git - someone focussed on himself first, so this fits with my perception of him, but other than reinforcing that the Thrace marriage is really screwed up, it didn't add a lot to the overall plot arc. After all, one thing they made clear in about five episodes is that their marriage is screwed up. It's interesting that this scene fits straight into the character degeneration angle that they pushed throughout the season; have you noticed how few of the deleted scenes make any of the characters look better, rather than worse?

I can never view Anders as someone focused on himself first, at least as long as Baltar is around. I think what Anders suffers from is falling in love with Starbuck and thinking she and Kara are one in the same. And after New Caprica, Starbuck changed and he didn't know how to deal with that. I know some people think Lee made a mistake not grounding Kara in 'Maelstrom', but he understood how being a pilot gave Kara a sense of self worth and purpose and if he took that away from her she'd completely fall apart. She really needs the military and it's structure and Anders just doesn't get that. Maybe now that he is part of the military he'll begin to see it.

And, yes, I noticed that almost none of the deleted scenes put the characters in a more positive light. It's probably why I was glad they were left on the cutting room floor. ;)
I think this ep takes the prize for wacky science. My science background is thin and even I get none of this makes sense!

And then there's the Passage, or "how to push through a plot device by completely ignoring even your own whacky science!"

I really liked Lee being part of the execution squad and his willingness to get his hands dirty.

Absolutely. This actually ties in with his "she's a Cylon, she can handle it" comment from the Passage as some of my favourite Lee character work in S3; it showed that Lee really can be the consumate leader and soldier at times - and that being a soldier isn't all moral choices that leave everyone with flowers and feel-good sentiments at the end.

Six advocates the torture of Baltar. She knows she can’t hurt him emotionally, so she’ll seek revenge on him physically.

Hell hath no fury...

This scene had some interesting interaction between the two but it went on for what seemed like forever and would have killed the pacing of the episode.

Flesh and Bone with more spite. I can see why they put this scene together, but short of interlinking it with Baltar's torture the same way that Lee and Baltar's scenes were intercut in TAB, I don't see how it could have worked from a pacing point of view. I think in some ways, I'm glad this was cut; I had some issues with Kara in S3, and this scene echoes a lot of them.

While it would have been nice to have seen that what I hate about the scene is Kara wearing a cocky ‘I win again’ smile. Ugh. It just rubs me the wrong way. It’s not like they need her skill, just a body in a viper. And there is a rather awkward stare between her and Lee. On the flip side, a nice, wordless exchange is unfortunately lost between Adama and Sharon

I can see why you hate that part of the scene. All I can say is that for me, it touches the same sort of nerve as watching Kara taking satisfaction in savaging Lee in the extended UB, and I don't know why... so I've basically chosen to ignore this scene, other than a couple of notes for future vidding, because there are times when a Kara being cocky clip is needed.

The Adama and Sharon moment is a little odd; one of my big issues with early S3 was how the two of them went from Sharon living in a cage to the two of them becoming bosom companions. I still want to know how that happened, and this scene reminds me of that wanting to know.

I’m still confused by the food contamination. Can’t they clean the machinery?

Don't go mixing common sense with their need to have an episodic crisis of the day to generate an excuse to waste a cast member. Next you'll be expecting plot consistency and other such unreasonable things.

Eye of Jupiter

Chief states that carbon dating puts the temple at at least 4,000 yrs old which lines up with the exodus of the 13th tribe. Yet, I believe in a previous ep they said it was 3000 years ago. Sigh.

Point of order; what did they have to carbon date? It needs to be something with, y'know, carbon in it. Specifically, it needs to be some form of organic matter, because carbon dating works by analysing the amount of Carbon-14 in an object, and organic objects basically stop taking in Carbon-14 when they become inanimate. You can use carbon dating on vegetable matter, bones, anything that was basically alive at some point. All I saw in the temple was a lot of rock; if they'd used wood, then that could've been dated, but I don't remember seeing anything like that. That niggles.

Tyrol drawn to the temple. Clue to him being a Cylon?

Or him simply being available. Cally was working, Lee and Kara were being teenagers, Dee was shouting at people, Anders was off oiling his muscles and pouting.

I do like to think that it wasn't just a case of the Chief finding the temple so that they could make the porn joke, of course.
The Adama and Sharon moment is a little odd; one of my big issues with early S3 was how the two of them went from Sharon living in a cage to the two of them becoming bosom companions. I still want to know how that happened, and this scene reminds me of that wanting to know.

That was a very abrupt change in their relationship. With all the flashbacks, it would have been nice to have one explaning how Adama and Sharon became afternoon tea buddies. And I love how he had furniture moved into her cell!
Baltar is growing increasingly weak and pathetic, I actually feel sorry for the guy. I’m still thinking he’ll do something before the end of the series to redeem himself, a bit.

Baltar does seem to be a walking metaphor for what happens when you choose to indulge in all your sins, rather than acting against them; it's nice to think that maybe he'll have a shot for redemption, but watching him is always a guilty pleasure for me. I always want to know just what level of denial, what inspired excuse he's going to come up with next.

I enjoyed the humans and Cylons being at odds and battling each other intellectually as well physically.

I felt that the ending of this episode really didn't hold water as a cliffhangar. I've compared it to Pegasus a lot at various times; in Pegasus, there was a real feeling of threat because the two characters at most risk were Helo and Tyrol, important enough to care about, not so important that I could deny that RDM would kill them off in a heartbeat to prove a plot point. TEOJ failed, big time - there's no way I could believe that RDM would kill off Lee and Kara, two of the big four, which meant that the nuke standoff flopped for me. Watching the Cylons argue amongst themselves did work, though - I loved seeing the cracks forming in their society.

Lee says to Sam, “You’d make a good officer.” Heh. Just wait Lee!

Whee! The Lee acts like a man and officer, Anders acts like a teenager scene...

She’s been fascinated with the idea of the creation of life and motherhood since the mini.

I was a big fan of the way Caprica's decision unfolded; her story seems to be one of a painfully unfolding sense of emotional maturity developing. She really feels like a metaphor to me; she started out in a position of blind faith, but the longer she exists, the more complex things seem to be, and the less faith she has. It's a fall from innocence in some ways, and that can make for very compelling storytelling.

D’Anna knows what the final five look like. Perhaps they’ll need to unbox her to make some IDs?

Can you take back that bite of the apple?

I think this scene could have tied in nicely with some points in ‘Maelstrom’.

I think it would also have tied in nicely with TAB; admittedly, I'm still feeling burned by fandom over the general "it's all Lee's fault" reaction a lot of shippers went through, but I've never seen Kara as the powerless victim of fate, and I think this scene worked well for establishing that Kara might think she's not making decisions, but really she is and is simply trying to hide behind excuses, denial or the actions of others.

Kara’s ‘death’ needed to happen in order to set up events in Season 4 so it feels as if they scrambled to come up with a plot that would lead Kara face her special destiny and lead her to her death. I ust don’t think it makes much sense.

I've had some interesting conversations with shippers and non-shippers about the plot arc in this ep. Among those who are most critical of it is a common theme, whether the person is a shipper or not; that theme is basically a sense of frustration that we're going to be hit with the magic reset button. All in the space of one episode, Kara goes back in time, finds out that mum really did love her, and as a result handwaves all the abuse and every bad thing she's ever done and is now new and shiny and all better. I think that would be an incredibly crass and disrespectful thing to do, not just to Kara's character but by implication to everyone who's ever had to deal with some sort of abuse; if it's shown to be merely the first step in Kara starting to pull bits of herself together, then it could work... but S3 was all about shortcuts and lazy storytelling, so I don't hold out much hope for that.
She really feels like a metaphor to me; she started out in a position of blind faith, but the longer she exists, the more complex things seem to be, and the less faith she has. It's a fall from innocence in some ways, and that can make for very compelling storytelling.

I like how you put that. I think there are two interesting points to remember from the mini. First, she opened the door for the Cylon fleet to come and destroy the twelve colonies. She was doing as she was ordered to do. But having fallen in love with Baltar and seen, through Sharon and Helo's relationship, how love can be returned, as well as experiencing humanities indomitable spirit on NC, she's begun questioning her actions. I'd say she's even experiencing guilt. She was taught/programmed that humanity needed to be destroyed and replaced with Cylon society, but now part of her longs to be a part of what she had a hand in trying to wipe out.

The other thing to remember is that she snapped that baby's neck on NC not out of pleasure, but to spare the child what she knew what was about to happen. She was already beginning to experience empathy.

I think that would be an incredibly crass and disrespectful thing to do, not just to Kara's character but by implication to everyone who's ever had to deal with some sort of abuse

One of the things I complained about when the episode first aired is that the writers felt the need for Kara to make peace and forgive her mother. This more often than not does NOT happen in real life. I know people who have suffered abuse, not even to the same extent as Kara, and while those people may not actively hate their parents, they don't necessarily feel any love towards them nor do they forgive them. I would have been much happier if Kara accepted her mother was an evil, bitter bitch who couldn't love and moved on with her life, telling herself she does not have to repeat the same patterns, that she is a better person because she chooses to be.
The season seemed to be working pretty well up through 'Torn' and then went off the rails until 'The Son Also Rises'.

A lot of the season felt like spacefilling at work. I know that as a shipper, I'm pretty annoyed at that - the entire quad of doom (not to mention Anders character not dying) felt like one big stalling gesture to drag things out. Ditto Kara's sudden devotion to oaths. And Adama moving back and forth from being friendly grandpa to the Grinch who stole Christmas. And Laura going from insightful voice of reason to screaming at people. And let's not forget that everyone needs to have an ep to themselves. Well, apart from Jake, but then he was having dialogue issues. And let's not even go near the "you never embarassed me" moments that embarassed me as a viewer, let alone what it must've done to the writer who had to put that in there.

Anyway, I need to go worry about a roof, so I'll dash off now - but thanks for sharing your thoughts, I enjoyed reading and responding :)