Asta 2

Long Overdue BSG Post

I had this plan months ago to do an overview of season 1 of Battlestar Galactica. Other than my normal procrastination stalling me, I kept finding myself viewing the show from the perspective of one character, you guessed it, Apollo. So, taking a cue from k_julia, I thought about the things they have made me come to love the character and how they pertain to the series as a whole. No spoilers beyond ‘Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Part 2’, cut only for length (you know how I can go on ;).



I have a work in progress theory as to why Laura sent Kara on a wild goose chase for the Arrow of Apollo because the real key to the prophecy (if we are to believe in such things) is the Apollo already in their midst. In some quick research I did, I read several descriptions of Apollo as he existed in Greek mythology. A god of light, youth, beauty, clarity, truth, and prophecy representing the "principle of rational consciousness". But, he also a darker streak and can bring about death as easily as light and insight. Sound like anyone we know?

Unlike the creators of the original ‘Galactica’, I think Ron Moore and company are making a conscious effort that Lee Adama closely resemble his alter ego/call sign. There is some grand plan for the character and we are just starting to see hints of that plan. After all, Ron, in the commentary for KLG Pt2, states that the coup was conceived while writing the mini as was the crossroads Lee was to face - will he subvert democracy and participate in the coup or take a stand? (On a side note, I appreciate Ron’s "subvert democracy". It’s clear by his words that Adama and Tigh’s actions are the wrong ones and Lee is making the correct choice.)

I’m going to digress for a moment and point out a comment Jamie made at a recent Con appearance in regards to Lee. My impression from the mini on is that Lee is in a place and position that he does not want to be in. That he felt that way long before the Cylon attack. At heart, I don’t believe he’s a military man, hence his relative ease with accepting Kara as the better soldier. Apparently, Jamie was given a bio for Lee prior to filming which he found useless in some respects (I don’t know if he was kidding, but he made the comment that the bio stated "Lee is never so happy as when he’s in his kitchen cooking" - well, at least it explains why he was so at ease cleaning up the dishes in TMU,TMD ;), but Lee isn’t into the military role and was going to quit after his father retired the Galactica. Just as Kara states to Adama in 'Hand of God', "I never wanted this kind of responsibility", neither did Lee.

One of the things I adore about this show, besides Lee ;), is the wonderful way everything ties together. Watching episodes, some for the fifth or sixth time, not only makes me aware of the thought that goes into writing the series, but the intricacies created allow me to continually come up with new theories (next post - why Baltar may be a Cylon).

After watching the finale back in March and then revisiting the mini, I was shocked to hear Laura ask of Adama, "You planning to stage a military coup?". Then swearing to keep his secret about earth, agreeing that Adama would remain in charge of the fleet, and that all military decisions would stay with him. I can see why Adama made the (horribly wrong) decision he made to remove Laura from the presidency. Adama may come off as emotionally detached on the surface, but his feelings run deep. He put the welfare of the fleet at risk to try and bring Kara home in AoC. And I didn’t doubt him for a minute when he told Lee, had it been him on that planet, he never would have stopped looking for him. While on the personal front I can applaud him for trying to reach out to Kara and trying to make amends with Lee, it terrifies me on some level that a man guided so strongly by personal feelings is in charge of the fleet. Laura’s betrayal of personal promises to him caused him to act irrationally, creating a situation that will only make their already hellish existence worse. And how would he have dealt with Lee and Kara’s betrayal had he not been gunned down?

Back to the reason I’m here, Lee. My attention was first drawn to Lee when he informed, uh, what's his naem, “Ladies in charge.” He took Laura’s orders without question. This was a man who wasn’t going to take over simply because a) he’s the man or b) because he was the sole military presence on board. He also wasn’t just showing respect for Laura’s intelligence and quick thinking, he was showing respect for the government he was sworn to protect. Surrounded by death, destruction, and chaos, Lee had not just the presence of mind to do the right thing, it was instinctual with him. It's those same instincts that later lead him to ask Laura how far down in line she is to the presidency and empathize with her situation. He, alone, can see the burden she is about to accept, and like them all, is unprepared for.

Now, as many of you know, I fell a little bit in love with Lee in ‘Bastille Day’. Yes, he was sleeveless and covered with sexy wounds, but it was the moment he had Zarek at his mercy and informed him that he’d get exactly what he wanted because it was the right thing. He knew that they had all sworn an oath to obey the articles, however, by his reasoning, his *only* choice was to do what they should be doing - upholding the democracy. And here comes an early example of the chasm that lies between Lee and Adama. Earlier in BD, father tells son that "Every man has to decide for himself what side he is on". Adama’s parting words to Lee are, "I guess you finally picked your side." Lee did exactly what his father wished for him to do, but because it wasn’t what he desired or expected, Lee is perceived to be a disappoint again. When I think of Lee’s inferiority issues when it comes to Kara and his seeking approval from the one person who gives it to him, Laura, it would seem Lee has spent much of his life feeling not good enough.

KLG Pt 2 contains the Lee moment of the first season (for me, at least) as well as setting up the second - "We cannot sacrifice democracy just because the president makes a bad decision." Not only is it a powerful statement as to just how strong his ideals are, not only does he take a step forward in showing his father the kind of man he is - "You can tell my father, I’m following my instincts" - but it reinforces again how little Adama knows his son because Lee never should have been there.

There’s an interesting scene that was deleted from either KLG pt 1 or KLG Pt 2 that I wish had been left in. Lee calls into question Laura’s belief in the prophecy’s, seeing them as not being rational. Even if her faith in them holds water, he is sworn to obey the orders of the fleet commander and has "a duty not to dishonor the oath I took...with an act of disloyalty". Yet, Lee has shown time and time again that given the choice of blindly following orders or upholding the ideals that they have sworn to protect, he’ll choose the latter. Adama doesn't seem to have faith in his son to do the right, rather, he hopes that Lee will follow what Adama perceives to be the right thing.

I have to wonder at what age Adama and Lee’s mother split up. Adama tells him "You don’t lose control". Taking on a dozen inmates or more alone in BD, starting a bar fight in CD, punching your best friend in KLB - Lee knows how to lose control all too well. Granted, Adama wasn’t present at any of those events, but it’s an indicator at just how ignorant he is to his son’s nature to not know what he is or isn't capable of. And the final shot of Lee in KLG Pt2 is such a powerful, yet sad moment for both men. They had been working towards mending (somewhat successfully) their broken relationship, but Lee stands there in handcuffs reminding Adama of another miscalculation.

With the gift of hindsight, I think there was a very telling scene in ‘Act of Contrition’ as to how the season would play out. Walking down the halls to the flight deck, Kara recounts a story about Adama’s 100th landing to Lee. The roles should be reversed, but we are made to see how in just a few short years Kara has grown closer to ‘the old man’ then Lee ever has been. We also see the closeness between them all in that moment, until the explosion, and it all goes to Hell.

One more thing I have to say about Lee, I love his defiance. From standing up to his father/commander and (OK, I’ll be good and say, friend)/president in ‘Bastille Day’, to the fighting himself out of situationse in BD and ‘Colonial Day’, to his resolve face as Adama passes him in judgment, literally, in KLB Pt 2. He may be beaten, but not broken. However, seemingly stripped of everything that means anything to him, I was worried about him feeling defeated in this upcoming season. Then a saw a hint of that defiance I love and realized that while there will still be a lot of pain, there will always be hope..

It’s funny, I thought I was being really good about limiting how much I knew about the upcoming (Five Days!) season. But, as I was watching the preview on NBC last night, I realized I knew how all the clips played into upcoming plotlines. And it turned out to be safe for me to read most of the TV Guide article. Yet, I don’t feel as if I’ve ruined my enjoyment of the upcoming season at all. Maybe because my interest lies on how they characters will react and I can’t get any of that from what I’ve seen on paper.

Computer update related to this post. This new Microsoft Works kicks ass! I can't believe how much faster and easier it was to write and edit this. And it doesn't frack up the coding when I copy and paste. :)
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great insight into apollo. as always, you reveal more layers than i've noticed myself. i can't wait for friday.

btw, i was at d&w today when i heard on the speaker: "starbuck, you have a call on line two. starbuck, line two."

i thought of you.

If they had been paging Apollo, I'm sure you would have been looking for me. ;)
While on the personal front I can applaud him for trying to reach out to Kara and trying to make amends with Lee, it terrifies me on some level that a man guided so strongly by personal feelings is in charge of the fleet. Laura’s betrayal of personal promises to him caused him to act irrationally, creating a situation that will only make their already hellish existence worse. And how would he have dealt with Lee and Kara’s betrayal had he not been gunned down?

I think the core of the Adama/Laura comparison is that Adama is an idealist, and Laura is more pragmatic. Both tend to be stubborn and butt heads, but a pragmatic person will eventually look at what is the best way to get out of any situation, verses stay the course at all costs. I don't mean that as a bad point for either, just an observation.

It definitely will be interesting to see how all this plays out in the next season.

Glad the new PC is working out.
Really, I just want to show off my incendiary new icon.

However, I will attempt something more useful than that. :) Excellent insights, and over time, I'm really finding my Apollo love growing exponentially. I've been thinking recently about how I'm a sucker for boy-becoming-a-man stories (or girl-becoming-a-woman, though that sounds much too Britney for what I'm trying to say), and I think that's one of the things BSG is doing, letting us watch Starbuck and Apollo both grow up as they deal with this tragedy and responsibility. I still maintain that Lee comes off very much like a spoiled brat at the beginning of the mini, and yet, I admire how quickly he moves beyond that, how well he rises to the occasion. But he still has some growing to do, and I think that (if I can mix my fandom references) we're really going to meet the man this season; just about everything he'd built his life on is gone (as he indicates in the promos), and he's left with, for the first time, I think, figuring out who he is aside from just what's expected of him. And, like you said, I think (I hope) he's going to respond with strength and defiance, and it's going to be very fun to watch.

Baltar is a Cylon? I'll be interested to hear what you have to say on that topic... :)

Friday cannot come soon enough!
Gotta love SDW's icons. ;)

I still maintain that Lee comes off very much like a spoiled brat at the beginning of the mini, and yet, I admire how quickly he moves beyond that, how well he rises to the occasion. But he still has some growing to do, and I think that (if I can mix my fandom references) we're really going to meet the man this season

I wish I can recall better what was said about Lee in the commentary for the mini, but I think they may have mentioned he came off as a bit of an ass. He was pretty strident in his anymosity towards his father, but I think it provided the writers with a good, expediant way to quickly establish where the Lee/Adama relationship was at. I quickly found my unease with the character giving way to admiration though with, not only his acceptance and support of Laura, but his quick thinking in saving them all aboard Colonial One. This was a guy who was a hero without even trying to be one.

just about everything he'd built his life on is gone (as he indicates in the promos), and he's left with, for the first time, I think, figuring out who he is aside from just what's expected of him. And, like you said, I think (I hope) he's going to respond with strength and defiance, and it's going to be very fun to watch.

There's a real Buffy parallel here isn't there? Stripped of everything else in his life, what does he have left? Himself.

It's an odd thing to say, but I think the destruction of the colonies was a good thing for Lee. The man we first met was not particularly likable and filled with a lot of anger, all directed towards one person. Had not he had another enemy to focus his anger towards and had Kara not felt compelled to come clean about what happened with Zak, I fear what Lee's fate may have been. Week by week we've seen him slowly break free from the constraints of his old life. I don't doubt for a moment that he has made the right choices for the fleet, now I think we are going to see what choices he makes for himself.
I love this post, and agree with almost all of your points. I have a few random comments before I have to leave the house, but there might be more later. Consider yourself warned. *g* I could talk about Lee too damn long.

Adama tells him "You don’t lose control". Taking on a dozen inmates or more alone in BD, starting a bar fight in CD, punching your best friend in KLB - Lee knows how to lose control all too well.

He has interesting ways of snapping, doesn't he? He is rather controlled a lot of the time... except when he isn't, and with the exception of BD, where I simply had certain plot expectations, he took me by surprise every time.

This was a man who wasn’t going to take over simply because a) he’s the man or b) because he was the sole military presence on board. He also wasn’t just showing respect for Laura’s intelligence and quick thinking, he was showing respect for the government he was sworn to protect.

Yes; I still think his role in Roslin eventually being accepted as the president is pivotal. I think his reaction in the mini pretty much makes her presidency. But I'm also sure it was her specifically that allowed him to trust his instincts; in other words, his instincts would tell him to uphold a civilian government, but he also had an instinct about her, that she was the person who could do this.

Earlier in BD, father tells son that "Every man has to decide for himself what side he is on". Adama’s parting words to Lee are, "I guess you finally picked your side."

And he's really getting that all wrong, isn't he? To Adama, this apparently boiled down to Adama vs. Roslin and What Will Lee Do? Except Adama and Roslin are actually on the same 'side' when it comes to Zarek, and for Lee it wasn't a personal issue at all.

My love for that scene in BD is well-documented, and like you, I appreciate the aesthetics of that scene, but it's all about what Lee is doing, really.

Kara recounts a story about Adama’s 100th landing to Lee.

Ouch. Yes. One thing that makes KLG so painful how everything goes to hell just as things were finally starting to get better between Lee and his dad; granted, I don't personally understand the appeal and bonding effect of punching one another in the face, but apparently father and son have started spending quality time together, and then... *sigh*

I normally don't care much for behind-the-scenes info, for various reasons, but I do like the idea that Lee was uncomfortable with his role in the military in the mini already, and find I very believable.

his resolve face as Adama passes him in judgment, literally, in KLB Pt 2. He may be beaten, but not broken.

It was fascinating to watch that. On one level, Lee has all these insecurities about his father, which is entirely understandable from what we've seen of their relationship, but in that moment (and I think his reaction at the end of Bastille Day to '... finally picked your side' was a preview of that) you can really see that this insecurity doesn't extend to things that Lee has made up his mind are right. And I just love this contrast of insecurity and bone-deep conviction. I have my theory about how that will play out in light of the assassination attempt, and I'm very curious to see that measured against the show.
a few random comments before I have to leave the house, but there might be more later. Consider yourself warned.

Comment away! I enjoy reading your thoughts what with the Lee/Laura spin and all. ;)

He has interesting ways of snapping, doesn't he? He is rather controlled a lot of the time... except when he isn't, and with the exception of BD, where I simply had certain plot expectations, he took me by surprise every time.

I think he even took me by surprise in BD. Not so much that he jumped into a fight to protect his people, but that he took on a mob! He could have been killed and he didn't think twice about what he was doing. Like other decisions he's made, he felt it was the right thing, the only thing to do.

His actions in CD, on the other hand, were disapointing. He wanted to start a fight and came off looking like a judgemental prick in order to do so. Lee had to maintain a calm, collected exterior while serving not only the military, but the president as well. The anger was building within him and he needed an outlet. It wasn't the right thing to do, heck, it was a stupid thing to do especially with dragging an injured Kara into the fight, but if Lee was the perfect hero (like the previous incarnation of Apollo) I wouldn't find him nearly so interesting.

in other words, his instincts would tell him to uphold a civilian government, but he also had an instinct about her, that she was the person who could do this.

I think it's safe to say that first impressions were very important here. Lee walks in to see 'a lady in charge' and knows that she may well be overwhelmed by what she is about to face, but that she is capable of rising to any challenge. Yes, I think Lee believes it important to maintain the office of the president, however, I don't think he would have thrown his support behind someone else as he did Laura throughout the season. It was his faith in her leadership that made him willing to fight and die for the office she holds and accept that it was only one bad decision she made and not a reason to take down the government.

you can really see that this insecurity doesn't extend to things that Lee has made up his mind are right.

I hadn't really thought about it, but you make an excellent point. It's when Lee is unsure of his course of action as in '33' or his abilities as in 'Hand of God' that his insecurities show and he needs to seek approval from someone. I think we can all admit to that same type of behavior to an extent. But, when Lee doesn't have a doubt in his mind that what he did was the right thing, he has that look that shows he doesn't care what you think about him.
He could have been killed and he didn't think twice about what he was doing. Like other decisions he's made, he felt it was the right thing, the only thing to do.

He's also a very bright boy; I agree about the instincts and the snap decisionsm, but he also thinks things through -- very fast, no doubt, but he's got good intuition coupled with good, hm, information procession abilities. The thing in the mini with the power generators, presenting Zarek with a good, solid plan, putting two and two together after the card game with Kara and Baltar...

And I like smart people.


His actions in CD, on the other hand, were disapointing.

I fear I am giving a good impression of a broken record about CD, but yes, that was certainly different. I was floored to see him do this; I ended up writing spackle fic just to sort out for myself what might have been up there. I'm not saying it's bad or out of character, but it was -- to me -- a very surprising and new aspect of his character, and sometimes I need to remind myself of Lee's jerk potential when I'm in danger of putting him on a pedestal.

It's when Lee is unsure of his course of action as in '33' or his abilities as in 'Hand of God' that his insecurities show and he needs to seek approval from someone.

And another side of the broken record, but this is something I really like about him. People being sulky on TV can get on my nerves, but the way Lee handles his insecurities -- for instance, for all his insecurity in Hand of God, he still got the job done -- is rather... constructive, for lack of a better word. He asks for advice when he needs it, he deals when he can't.
I was floored to see him do this.....I'm not saying it's bad or out of character, but it was -- to me -- a very surprising and new aspect of his character, and sometimes I need to remind myself of Lee's jerk potential when I'm in danger of putting him on a pedestal.

Heh. Maybe the writers were reminding us of his jerk potential. We really hadn't seen it since the mini. There is no question that Lee is a hero, but I don't think he's meant to be perceived as heroic in everything he does. Even people with the best intentions have flaws and screw up from time to time.

People being sulky on TV can get on my nerves, but the way Lee handles his insecurities -- for instance, for all his insecurity in Hand of God, he still got the job done -- is rather... constructive, for lack of a better word. He asks for advice when he needs it, he deals when he can't.

So, he's kind of the anti-Willow? ;)
Granted, Adama wasn’t present at any of those events, but it’s an indicator at just how ignorant he is to his son’s nature to not know what he is or isn't capable of. And the final shot of Lee in KLG Pt2 is such a powerful, yet sad moment for both men. They had been working towards mending (somewhat successfully) their broken relationship, but Lee stands there in handcuffs reminding Adama of another miscalculation.

One of the things I find really interesting about the Apollo/Adama relationship, and about what appears to be Adama's parenting style in general, is how much trouble Adama has seeing his son(s) as autonomous, independent people rather than as extensions of himself. Adama is constantly surprised when Apollo thinks and behaves differently than Adama would, and from what we've seen of the Zak backstory, both Adama sons have obviously felt a lot of pressure to follow their father's path in the military. So it's neat to see, looking back through the season, how well Lee's inability to stand by and support a military coup was telegraphed, but how natural it is for Adama to have completely missed those signals, to assume that his son would be of the same mind as he was.

And the contrast to Adama's attitude towards Kara is really startling, since Kara doesn't bear any of those expectations, and therefore gets to be her own person and act in ways that disappoint and surprise Adama. He's such a sharp man in so many ways, but he's got a really big blind spot when it comes to those he's closest to.

I agree that Adama's sense that Roslin had broken a personal agreement with him, his outrage over that, was a big precipitating factor. Though, as I've posted about before, I also think her decision to let that conversation play out in public rather than keeping it private between them was a big catalyst.

OMG, IS IT FRIDAY YET?!
It really is surprising to see a man as smart as Adama, being so clueless in regards to those closest too him. He completely missed that Zak was overwhelmed by the role he was trying to fill. Lee seems to be carrying out his military service only out of necessity and would be more at ease in the civilian arena. And, as close as he had grown to Kara, he was oblivious to the secret she kept.

Interestingly, even though Adama is more accepting of Kara and her actions, I believe him when he tells Lee that he would never have given up looking for him if it had been him to crash on the planet. And I believe his statement to be true. Is that blood tie that important to Adama? If so, why not make more of an effort to get to understand his son?

I'm going to rule out the sexist explanation - that Lee's his son. However, I wonder what the dynamic would have been like had they had done the gender switch with Apollo rather than Starbuck.

I believe him when he tells Lee that he would never have given up looking for him if it had been him to crash on the planet

Oh, absolutely. Adama loves his son very much; he just doesn't understand him at all. And, to some extent, I think that's really true of Kara too. And I'm not sure if the gender thing is really an issue--I think it's an issue for us, the audience, in that we are recognizing a classic father-son dynamic playing out for us--but if Kara had grown up an Adama, in the sort of gender-blind society that seems to operate in the Galacticaverse, I think she would have borne those same expectations.
I just wanted to thank you for reminding me of all the reasons I love Lee and why he's my favorite character. I love most of the other characters too, of course, but Lee's the top. The Commander just doesn't have any clue who his son really is, does he? It's sad when a woman who's known Lee for such a short time (what, about two months? I'm confused about the timeline) knows Lee better than his own father.

I had to snort at the "You don't lose control" line. The *hell* he doesn't, Commander. I think it maybe takes a bit more to get him to that point, or a different type of event than the Commander would think of, but he definitely does. Yowza.
I can't say that I dislike a single character (OK, I may enjoy watching Ellen die if the writers choose to go that way ;), but, yeah, Lee's my fav without question. I just love conflicted, tortured, fracked up heros. It's why the original incarnation of Apollo bored me. He was just too goody-goody.

I think Laura understood Lee better and accepted him more in the few days she knew than Adama ever has. Maybe because Laura was looking at him from a blank slate as opposed to Adama holding him up to his standards.
because the real key to the prophecy (if we are to believe in such things) is the Apollo already in their midst.

I was thinking about this this morning as I was getting ready for work (why, yes, I am a nerd). What if Apollo's arrow is his viper? That he will lead them to earth?
What? You don't think about it 24/7? ;)

That is a very interesting theory. I'm thinking back to 'Hand of God' and how the prophecy was interpreted. The priest took a literal interpretation of the mention of twleve serpents in the scripture telling Laura the snakes she saw was a sign that she's the chosen one to lead them. But, Six, informs Baltar (trying to further boost his god-like ego)that the twelve serpents were the Viper squadron - led by Lee.