Here is another episode I have mixed feeling about. There is some very good stuff present, but the parts, once again, didn’t equal a wholly satisfying episode. Momentum is some key story arcs did occur. For the first time this season, we heard more about the cylon plan and, as suspected, they need us to reproduce (anyone else think a split could yet happen in the cylon ranks - those wishing to keep the race pure vs. those willing to do anything to ensure the races survival?). However, the ep had an overwhelming feeling of setting us up for the next episode.
Before getting to my criticisms, the good stuff…..
The preview clips! The drums! They’re back! That made me ridiculously happy. When I listen to the pod cast (I prefer typing up my thoughts before hearing RM’s) I’ll be curious to see if anything is said about the decision to include them again.
Dee smiling at Adama and him returning the gesture as he returned to duty. Oh, Bill, if you only knew.
The Adama/Tigh dynamic. Wow, talk about your codependent, self-destructive relationships. Tigh apparently is forgiven for his screw-ups. I’d probably be angrier about this if not for the fact Adama seems to be forgiving everyone their transgressions. Tyrol is seemingly back on duty - no questions regarding his past cover ups for Boomer. Cally gets all of thirty days in the brig for improperly discharging a weapon and putting people’s lives in danger. (Way to whitewash there.) And I didn’t actually sense any anger directed towards Lee. Once again, all Adama’s anger falls to Roslin and, in fairness, that’s probably easier to target her then deal with the fractured relationship you’ve created with your son.
Adama seems a changed man. His view on the cylons is intriguing. Is his opinion of them softening? Or is he beginning to cast doubt on his own judgment? Because he, like so many others, was completely taken in by one. He grew to care about Sharon and seemingly vice versa. How could she have done what she did?. And how can you have feelings of trust, love, and devotion for something that is *just* a machine? What, in fact, makes us human? Is it a matter of biology or something more?
Yet, Adama still has his blind spots. Tigh had a plan in place (once again, we see he’s good at implementing military strategy) to take Roslin and company into custody and put an end to her resistance movement. Adama was sure that no one would follow the crazy woman. Her ideas were not logical. What he failed to see was that the people’s need for hope and for peace are powerful motivators even if they don’t agree completely with the reasoning behind it. He and Tigh were so sure only one or two ships would follow her. They’ve now lost a third of the fleet. It’s concession time.
As for Roslin, we finally got an answer to the question of whether or not she believes she’s Prophet Laura. I was extremely happy to hear the words “playing the religious card”. She’s a manipulator and she’s going to use whatever she has at her disposal to see her plans through. I’m OK with this because it’s not done out of malicious intent or for a power grab or for some sort of self reward - she wants to help her people and is desperate fro a way. So desperate, in fact, she’d allow Lee to be used.
The scene with Lee left me with an odd feeling and I think it’s because I feel the writers were using him as much as Zarek was attempting to. I had a hard time buying Lee going along with the request. Sure, he’d sacrifice himself for a cause, but his father? He ultimately stopped for the reason I saw the setup as being wrong - it was a personal betrayal. Lee told his father it wasn’t about the two of them it was about ideals and what was right. Making it father against son would detract from the issues that he has sacrificed so much for.
Was Laura ready to use Lee to further her goals? Probably. Like I said before, she’s desperate and looking for anyway to gain an advantage. But, she didn’t ask him to do it which I think is important. I know I would have viewed her differently had she done so. She also harbored no ill will towards him for changing his mind. Actually, it was quite telling her reaction to hearing Adama was back in command. She seemed almost more relieved than Lee. I think it’s partly do to the fact he’s a vastly superior leader to Tigh, but I also think she has a hell of a lot of respect for the guy. Quickly she jumps in with plan B - “I know what *I* have to do’. If she is going to fail she is going to bare the responsibility for it.
Some good character revelations in that scene, but putting Lee in yet another personal predicament, sacrificing himself, seemed simply a means to show us that Zarek is willing to stop at nothing to achieve his own goals. Which, hey, we already knew. And showing us that Laura isn’t buying into her own press. Interesting that the priest isn’t exactly buying it either, but is using it for her own agenda.
Laura is confronted by her followers/worshippers is a telling scene. Up until that moment I don’t think she was aware of the gravity of her decision. Her “This isn’t who I am” has a double meaning. No, she’s not the ’chosen one’ and knows it, but she also sees herself becoming a person she never saw herself as being and I don’t think she’s happy about it. But, she’s reminded quickly that this is the path she chose for herself. Has she damned herself in the decisions she’s made? How much can you sacrifice for the greater good before it gets twisted into something obscene and potentially as destructive? It’s interesting that as they continue to make sacrifices and the tough calls, Lee is coming closure to the person he should be while Laura seems to be moving farther away from the person she was.
One other thing of note here - Lee’s reaction to hearing news of his father’s return. There’s the relief and a moment of happiness at knowing he’s pulled through, but the we see a hint of the old Lee. The one concerned with his father’s judgment. I was really hoping we were pulling away from that, but, realistically, it’s not something someone can easily get past.
Now, here’s where my criticisms come in with the Caprica storyline. Let me say I think Katee did one hell of a job here and I really appreciated getting further hints into her troubled past. We knew Kara was an abused child, but, until now, I wasn’t certain of just how bad it was. It says a lot about her strength of character that she’s gotten where she is. (And I’m still contemplating her “teacher masquerading as president” remark. I knew her actions in taking off were a gut level reaction to Adama’s perceived betrayal, but I’m curious to see her interactions with Laura upon her return and how she’ll view Lee’s support of her.)
My big problem was the relationship with Anders. It’s not the relationship per se (though, personally, the actor left me rather cold), but that we had no set up for these supposedly deep feelings she has for him. The only time we saw them alone together was last week during the pyramid game and now they care so damn much about each other that she’s crying over his ‘death’ and swearing to come back for him. In a show that has given us no time markers this season, we suddenly find out a week has past since ‘Resistance’ which I suppose was the writers way of telling us they had time to grow close. Sorry, but if you want me to care, I need to see it play on screen.
I’m sure others will explain the disturbing nature of women being used as baby machines much better than I, let me just say I thought it was rather heavy handed. First off, Kara, sweetie, you took a bullet in the abdomen why are you subjecting yourself to a gynecological exam? And there’s a scar where your ovary would be but you don’t want to ask questions? And was anyone else thinking about ‘The X-Files’ during all of this? The thing is I noticed this ep was written by a woman.
What this storyline did do that surprised me is make Sharon a character I’m really interested in. She is so intriguingly complex right now. She is still very much a Cylon who even while helping the enemy is sticking to her cylon beliefs (or should I say indoctrination because her ‘procreation is God’s commandment’ sounded more a reiteration of cylon propaganda then a firmly held personal belief). The horror of what the cylons are doing to human women doesn‘t quite seem to register with her as she calmly explains that if they just submit to being breeders it wouldn’t be so bad and, hey, they might get paired up with someone they kinda like.
Yet, in possibly finding a solution to their reproduction roles, introducing love into the mix, the cylon’s solution has worked too well and they’ve created a significant problem. Sharon and Helo made a baby, but in loving the father of her child she’s willing to go to any lengths to save him…including killing her own people. It’s such a wonderfully tangled mess. And Helo looks likes he’s willing to do just about anything to protect her as well. Notice how he didn’t immediately tell Anders the truth about her only stating that she was with them?.
Finally, Kara has a special destiny too? Who on this show doesn’t now? Listen, I’m not against the Lee/Kara ship but if they go down the road of his arrow and her special ovaries I think I will hurl.