Asta 2

Battlestar Galactica 2.1: Scattered

I kept refreshing my Flist last night to see reactions to ‘Scattered’. Either everyone was a) still trying to collect their thoughts, b) reading Harry Potter, or c) working a Harry Potter release party. ;) I was curious to see if anyone felt as I did that after months of anticipation and building up what could happen that there was a *bit* of a letdown. That’s not to say I was disappointed I just didn’t expect to have quibbles.



The first thing of note is that vthey altered the opening credits (which if you watched the NBC broadcast, closely aligns with what they used). The US music has been replaced by the UK music. I really have no preference, but I do miss the quick cuts of upcoming scenes accompanied by that pounding drumbeat. We were also told via a few phrases that the show is shifting direction a bit. It’s no longer just about dodging the Cylons and surviving, it’s about finding earth.

The opening of the show I don’t feel could have been better. We, along with the crew, are thrown into the confusion and chaos resulting from Sharon’s attempted assassination of Adama and what that means for the fleet. I don’t know whether to applaud Lt Gaeta or be highly suspicious of him. He’s the only one who seemed to keep his head and realize what needed to be done as events were unfolding. Unfortunately, we’re left with Saul ‘They’re So Screwed’ Tigh in command of the fleet and some I think we’ve seen once before, by the book Captain as second in command. The guy who should be there who we’ve seen make unbelievably important decisions on the fly is being hauled off to the Brig. Not only is this detrimental to the fleet, it’s an incredibly petty action to take. I can understand his anger at Lee, but doesn’t he think Adama would want his only son with him as he lay dying? Yeah, Tigh’s pretty much on my shit list at the moment.

Intercut with everything else going on, we are suddenly given very vague snippets of Tigh and Adama’s history together. It may be interesting to know how these two men came to know each other and be in service on the Galactica together, but as danceswithwords pointed out last night, it seemed incredibly ill timed. The momentum of the show, for me at least, came to a halt every time these scenes popped up. (Not to mention the distraction of the bad fake hair.) And I’m a little confused as to how old they were suppose to be. I was assuming this was before Lee and Zak were born and no way in hell did they look to be in their twenties or thirties.

What was intriguing to learn was that both were members of the military, were for some now mysterious reason out of it, and that Adama maneuvered them back in. It was also interesting to note that Adama, who has so many issues with his son’s conduct, often selfless, used his wife’s families influence to get what he wanted and dragged a suicidal alcoholic along with him. Color me not impressed.

Since this is part one of a two-parter, I’m reserving judgment on some aspects of the episode (I‘ll defer to danceswithwords and her future, I‘m sure, criticism regarding how an independently hardwired ship can be hacked by the Cylons. Maybe they have wireless internet? ;). I had issues with being subjected to rather pointless, since we already knew Tigh was ill-prepared for the demands of command, flashbacks while Baltar and Six disappear in the middle of the episode. After all, Six had one heck of a revelation if it turns out to be true. She and Baltar are to have a child? Neat trick since she currently has no physical form. I really thought the child she introduced Baltar to was Helo and Sharon’s, but it would seem their child is meant for another purpose. Or were they just a test case?

As for other events off-fleet…..did anyone not see whiny guy dying? Really, just put a red shirt on him and call it a day. Though, they did a magnificent job with the firefight (anyone else wondering whether those aren‘t Cylons firing at them?). My mind flashed to what it must be like in Iraq. On Kobol, we have Kara announcing how stupid men can be. Yes dear, we know and Helo wasn’t exactly the brightest guy in the fleet to begin with before his views were colored by love and images of family. However, I still feel he’s right about Sharon. After everything she went through to protect him, I can’t see her just abandoning them. Let’s face it, I don’t think the three of them could get back to Galactica in that Cylon fighter. I’m guessing she’s looking for an alternative means of transport.

Speaking of transport, we are introduced to another type of Cylon ship. I admit I knew that the Galactica was going to be overrun by Cylons, but I had no clue how they got there. And while I know a hell of a lot was going on aboard the ship, NO ONE ::cough:: Tigh ::cough:: thought to send a team to investigate a ship that crashed into Galactica and didn’t explode?

Now that I’ve got all that out of the way, let’s talk about what was, for me, the focus of the show, Lee and Laura though, no, not in THAT way.

As we’ve seen him do before, Lee can let all of his emotion come pouring out, often in quick, violent bursts, and just as quickly bury it and bring up that cool, collected exterior. He screams at the guard to undo his bindings, then calmly sits down to discuss the situation with Laura.

Here’s where I criticize Laura. For the first time I felt she was really out of her element. Did she honestly think Lee could simply go to Tigh, tell him he was wrong (which he wouldn’t because he wasn’t and because he’d rot in the brig before giving Tigh any satisfaction) and apologize and he’d be welcomed back into the fold? In the eyes of the military he’s a mutineer. (Though, interestingly, he wasn’t just called back to duty, he was still giving orders to the other Viper pilots who seemed to have no problem taking orders from him. I sense a division in the ranks.) If Laura’s naiveté wasn’t bad enough, as Galactica is in chaos, the fleet is lost, and Adama lies bleeding to death, she’s worried about Kara retrieving that damn arrow. Yeah, I still support her, but that pissed me off. The only way I’m able to excuse her behavior is that it is born of a genuine desire to save the remnants of humankind and she‘s desperate for an answer as to how. And right now the only way she can see of doing that is based on some half ass prophecy.

What’s more worrisome for me is the guard’s request that she pray with him. That kind of threw me. Is she already being viewed as a prophet, chosen to lead the people out of hell into some paradise (ha!) called earth? It’s not just worrisome when your political leader also becomes your spiritual leader, but it makes Adama’s decision to overthrow her that much more dangerous because they are on their way to creating a martyr.

There wasn’t enough Lee in this that goes without saying. ;) But, he had two powerful moments that bookend nicely. I appreciated Laura’s immediate concern for his well being (especially when she momentarily begins to reach out to comfort him, but for a variety of reasons can’t) and her genuine apology for getting him involved in this mess. Lee is quick to point out “I didn’t do it for you”. It’s not said in a defensive, angry, or judgmental way, he’s simply stating a fact. He was protecting the office of the president and the constructs of democracy - not her. And now looking at not just the civilian government in shambles, but the military in dire straights as well, all he probably sees is the human race on the brink of extinction and realizing, “I did it for nothing it turns out”. Even though I was saddened to here him utter those words, I knew this is a guy who’s not just going to curl into a ball on his bunk and accept defeat.

Then came, perhaps, my favorite moment of the episode. As Tigh has him released for the brig, Lee reiterates to him the terms of his parole in a manner that says ‘Yeah, I get it, now let me go do my job and try to save our asses’. As Laura wishes him “good hunting” he turns back and in a loud, clear, self-assured voice, saying it as much for Tigh’s benefit as for her own, “Thank You Madam President”. It was a polite way of saying ’screw you Tigh’. That was the defiant, I’m confidant that I made the right decision Lee I know and love. And while he may obey the restrictions that have been placed upon him, he’s not going to follow by Tigh’s rules. (Uh, note to Tigh, putting Lee and Laura in adjoining cells so they can plot their next moves? Not a good idea.)
  • Current Mood: satisfied satisfied
I had mixed feelings about it which are hard to sum up mostly because it doesn't feel like it's over yet. I think I'm going to reserve real judgement until I see the second part. But overall it felt a bit fractured - I think there were too many things going on for it all to stick together properly.

And the network thing was ridiculous. I laughed and laughed, in a somewhat uncomfortable fashion, because I like this show and don't want to laugh at it unless it's actually supposed to be funny. I think that more than anything else robbed it of its momentum in my mind, because I just couldn't believe it for a second.

I still adore Helo. God knows why, but he is close to being my favorite character on the show, for all that he barely has any story of his own at all.
I just finished listening to the podcast and Ron Moore talked at length about scenes that were to be in part one being moved to part two and how many scenes ran much longer (the Tigh/Adama flashbacks were a lot longer and didn't work as originally conceived) . Basically, when they write the scripts they almost always go long and in order not to lose anything significant the material gets split over multiple episodes. So, it would explain the fractured feel and the business of it. I still wish the Adama/Tigh stuff would have been held to later in order to keep tha action flowing better.

Not being in the tech industry, I couldn't fully grasp the ridiculousness of the networking, yet I still was finding it hard to believe. It reminded me of 'Independance Day' when we managed to defeat the aliens by implanting a virus into there computer system which just happened to be compatable with our own technology.

I think you've deduced who may favorite character is ;), but I like Helo too. He strikes me as a really good person who desires to do the right thing - even if it means protecting the enemy. In some ways he remnds me of Lee. Helo, too, will stick to his beliefs even to the detriment of himself.
And the network thing was ridiculous. I laughed and laughed, in a somewhat uncomfortable fashion, because I like this show and don't want to laugh at it unless it's actually supposed to be funny.

Seriously! I'm kind of used to television shows having no idea how computers and software actually work (I watch Alias for crying out loud), but I guess I have higher standards for this show.
I'm with ascian3, the firewall thing was ridiculous. But you have to overlook that stuff sometimes. Heh.

I find it funny that you really dislike Tigh after this episode when I really like him. He's made so many wrong decisions that I just kind of feel sorry for him. And having Ellen as a wife...well. I pity him for that.

I was really glad when the redshirt got killed on Kobol. Is that wrong of me?

“I did it for nothing it turns out”

I thought he said this very matter-of-factly. And while, yes, it's sad because Lee is such a man of principle, I just don't seem him admitting defeat with that statement. It's more like he's making the point to himself and Laura and I don't know what he's going to do but it will be interesting.
I think I'd pity Tigh for having Ellen as a wife, accept he chooses to stay with her. It's not love, it's masichism.

I was really glad when the redshirt got killed on Kobol. Is that wrong of me?


No. He was a whiner (Not to mention dumb. When the shooting started he just stood there.). I hate whiners. He deserved to die.

I don't think Lee is admitting defeat either. It's more an expression of the disappointement he's feeling. Interestingly, in the podcast, Ron Moore talks about the bitterness Lee feels towards Laura for not backing him up earlier when he sided with her. I didn't really get that and if it is the case I'm not sure I agree. Sure, Laura didn't follow through on her stand against the military usurping her power, but would have allowing a bloodbath to take place ultimately have stopped them?
Ron Moore talks about the bitterness Lee feels towards Laura for not backing him up earlier

Hm, that's interesting. I can see that perspective, but I also agree that she stepped down to prevent a bloodbath, not because she suddenly felt it was morally wrong and/or wanted to leave him in the lurch, and I think Lee understands that. I think he's not necessarily so much bitter at Laura as bitter at the situation.
What was intriguing to learn was that both were members of the military, were for some now mysterious reason out of it, and that Adama maneuvered them back in.

My interpretation was thus: based on what I know from history, during the Napoleonic wars of the early 1800s there were several points at which there was a peace. During that time, many military personnel, officers included, were suddenly out of jobs. They were then forced to find jobs wherever they could. I have a feeling that both Adama & Tigh fought in the first Cylon Wars, and then once the peace was settled, the military didn't need them anymore, they ended up in dead-end positions in the back of beyond.
I'm chuckling at your theory because, with the exception of the Napoleonic Wars mention, Ron Moore explained it just as you did in his podcast. :)
OK, that's weird, because although I just got done listening to the podcast awhile ago, I must've gotten distracted while he was talking about that part because I don't remember it at *all*. Hee. I think we both got it from the same place, though: watching the Horatio Hornblower miniseries too much.
With the exception of one ep last season, BSG is not big with the humor. Yet, things never seem unrelentingly bleak to me so I can take it. Plus, there's the Bamber. ;-)
If Laura’s naiveté wasn’t bad enough, as Galactica is in chaos, the fleet is lost, and Adama lies bleeding to death, she’s worried about Kara retrieving that damn arrow. Yeah, I still support her, but that pissed me off.

I think the really interesting thing about Laura at this point is that while she's capable of being an incredibly pragmatic and hardheaded politician, and of reading people astutely, a lot of that seems to fly right out the window when it comes to the prophecy. She is so convinced that the outcome is determined, that people will play their roles to get there, that she's having trouble assimilating the reality of what's happening around her. It's her blind spot, just as Lee and Kara are Adama's blind spots, and Ellen is Tigh's. I think she's in for a learning experience, in that even if the prophecy comes true, it's not going to happen the way she imagines. And while I find her reactions and expectations unadmirable in some ways, I think they're very true.
She is so convinced that the outcome is determined, that people will play their roles to get there, that she's having trouble assimilating the reality of what's happening around her....I think she's in for a learning experience, in that even if the prophecy comes true, it's not going to happen the way she imagines.

I see your point. If you think the end is already written, why spend your time being concerned with the here and now? Of course, Lee is going to be more of a realist and understand that if they don't save the fleet now they'll be no one to make it to earth.

I'm still struck by the fact that she seems to be taking the prophecy so literally when, hello?, you have an Apollo in your presence. If we're watching a hero's journey here, I suspect he'll play a major role in eventually finding earth.
I had a very different reaction to Tigh, but what I really wanted to comment on, even though I haven't nearly caught up on fannish discussion yet, is probably a safe bet. :-)

If Laura’s naiveté wasn’t bad enough, as Galactica is in chaos, the fleet is lost, and Adama lies bleeding to death, she’s worried about Kara retrieving that damn arrow. Yeah, I still support her, but that pissed me off

Me, I thought that bit was perfect. Not in a nice way -- I winced when she said that. But I thought her reactions in the cell were an excellent show of the mixture of both her strenths and her flaws. Her immediate concern for Lee, her shock over Adama -- and then she goes on to plan, which is where Laura Roslin sometimes loses sight of the indivdual in favour of the greater good. And yes, it is kind of pathetic that she's worrying about this arrow, and I agree about naive at that point, but on the other hand, her conviction of the arrow's usefulness is what landed them in that mess, her and Lee, so a) I see why she would cling to it (and it hasn't actually got any less likely that she's right), and b) planning is what she would do in that situation. And I just adore the bit about Lee denouncing her if that's what it takes. She's trying to figure out what best to do under the circumstances for the whole of the fleet -- which comes across as pathetic because she has no information and she is imprisoned and as callous because, hey, there's Lee with his father's blood on his hand. (And we all pause for a brief moment of guh.) But it's what she would do.

And I am totally with you on the final exchange. ::sigh:: That was beautiful.
I do admire that, even imprisoned, she was trying to do her job. And I understood that, with nothing else to hang their hopes on, she's clinging to prophecy in the hopes that it will find them a refuge. Perhaps I should refrain from further judgement until we see how things play out next week. It's possible she doesn't truly get how bad things are and where her focus should be. But, with Cylons on board and hell likely breaking loose, she may see first hand they have bigger problems to worry about.

And I am totally with you on the final exchange. ::sigh:: That was beautiful.

Every time Lee has a moment like that I think about how reluctant Jamie was to take the role because remakes generally equal badness. Ijust can't imagine anyone else pulling off what he does.
I didn't know it was a two-parter, so I was relieved to see that maybe next week we'll see more of certain characters than we did on Friday.

Right now I'm in the stage where I enjoy most everything on the show and can't find anything wrong :)

As for humor, I think there's a great amount of dark humor and irony, which does save it from being too bleak. Heck, it's still miles ahead of La Femme Nikita, the most relentlessly bleak show ever ;)