If any episode begs the question ‘where to begin?’ it is this one. I’m in awe of just how much information they were able to pack into roughly 42 minutes of screen time. And while significant plot points were raised as we approached the denouement of the arc put into play during season 1, the overriding theme here was family - what that means and how, possibly above all else, it’s importance to the survival of humanity. Adama has allowed his sense of personal betrayal at the hands of his children (I include Kara here) to rip apart the fleet and, in turn, separate other families. We see Lee and Kara struggle to reconnect. Sharon seemingly turns her back on her race in an effort to protect the man she loves and their child. And even as Six reminds Baltar that, yes, we are the masters of self-destruction, the complexities of love that the cylons seem unable to quite grasp may prove to be the humans salvation.
Even though he was facing death just a short time ago, it is now that Adama seems to have hit his lowest point. Adama is so wrapped up in his personal pain, the perceived “betrayal” by his son, that, once again, he’s allowing personal feelings to blind him to the bigger picture. The ghost, dare I say, legend, of Apollo lingers. It is interesting to note, especially as we are dealing with Kobol, the scripture, and the gods, that Lee is being repeatedly referred to by his call sign. It’s common for Roslin to do it, but not so with Tigh and Adama. Meanwhile, he has his ‘allies’ plotting his demise. Lee, a man who, at times, was shaken by self doubt and insecurity last season, who now is focused only on finishing the mission and hopefully discover that the sacrifices he made for his ideals was not all for naught, is perceived to be a key to the future of the fleets survival. Adama is confronted with a viper squadron lost without his cool presence and guidance and Laura has made clear that his authority is second only to hers. Is anyone not feeling that around season 5, Lee Adama will be nominated as the next president of the colonies?
I found more then a hint of irony in Adama’s statement that “a ship is a family…works on trust, understanding, and love.” Accept those sentiments he bestows so easily on those under his leadership, he cannot seem to apply to his own son. Does Adama love Lee? No question. When he looks down at the picture of his two sons, one dead, one lost, you see him filled with anguish and regret. But, his lack of understanding of Zak’s limitations contributed to his death and lack of understanding of Lee’s intent and that it’s not personal damn it has driven him to extremes. In doing so the trust between parent and child has been severely damaged.
At the same time, personal resentment and bitterness has created a lack of understanding and empathy as to what is happening within the fleet. His personal pain has allowed for many other families to be torn apart. He’s not willing to see that many of the people who have chosen to follow Roslin are simply looking for a home in which to raise their families. And he’s failed to accept any culpability in what has happened. Was Laura wrong in overriding his authority and manipulating Kara they way she did? Yes. But, how did she suborn mutiny on his ship? Kara was one pilot who disobeyed HIS orders. There was no insurrection planned; no movement to remove him from command. Even now, the fleet needs him. No one is calling for his removal, just that the president be returned to her rightful position.
Now that Adama has conceded he needs to reunite the fleet (more on the magnificent Petty Officer Dualla later), I hope he is able to see how much they needthat way about her and she may be contemplating his incredibly bad timing. Unfortunately, Lee quickly blows any feelings of good will with “It’s great to see you again Kara. Thanks for bringing in the trash.” Ouch. Yet, I can’t get angry with him. He’s just been confronted with counterpart of the cylon that nearly killed his father and did succeed in further widening the divide between them. It’s a gut reaction and when later confronted with, hey, he’s not the only one who is suffering and been put through the wringer you see the regret tinged with guilt cross his face. Lee can be a self righteous bastard. I love his idealism, but he has to learn that it’s unfair to just blindly apply it to all people.
And Lee apologizes in the best way he knows how. It’s obviously not easy for him, not because he doesn’t care but because I think it’s difficult for him to let his feelings show. It struck me how when Adama was talking so cool and calmly to Dee he revealed to her the rage that lay within his chest. My immediate reaction was like father/like son. If only they could feel so comfortable talking with each other. Anyway, Lee makes an attempt with Kara. He tries to reach out to her probably realizing from her words that there is some important information he’s lacking. Unfortunately, I think it goes well beyond events on Caprica. I’d hazard to guess he is clueless as to the extent of her childhood abuse and the pain she is carrying within. He’s now willing to listen, but she’s not willing to share. The walls are still up and as long as they are a successful relationship is not going to happen between these two. As danceswithwords said last night, the seeds are there, but a lot needs to be done to get them to grow.
It’s OK though because they have the friendship. The “I love you’ flowed so easily from Lee’s lips. I do believe it was in the ‘I love you as a friend’ way. Any other feelings he has are relatively new to him and he hasn’t had time to process yet. For her part, Kara has Anders back on Caprica and she’s sorting through her feelings for him. And I really loved Kara’s reaction. She wasn’t hurt dwelling on bad timing or shaken by the implication. She seemed happy to hear the words because I think she needs to hear them, to know she’s loved in whatever way, because she really hasn’t had much of that in her life. They don’t avoid the subject, they deal with it in the best way they know how, they tease each other and revive the easy camaraderie we have not seen since ‘Colonial Day’.
I had this fear about half way through the episode that Adama was gong to get the
What I feared never came to pass and, instead, we have a stroke of writing genius - Dee saves the fleet. Dee, who probably feared being dragged into Adama’s quarters because her complicity in the escape had been discovered, is used as a therapist albeit one that is to offer no advice in return. It took someone not as close to him and the situation, but someone he trusts and cares about who is a voice of the fleet to make him see that his pride, stubbornness, and personal definition of loyalty needs to be put aside. He may have not let them down before, but he is now. Roslin is offering hope for a way to a new home. Adama promised to lead them all there, not just the ones that didn’t cross him. And for a man that puts so much importance on loyalty and family, he’s being disloyal to the people he is sworn to protect and serve. He broke a promise; it’s time to heal the wounds. Now, in desiring to bring the family back together he must start out by healing his own.
And on more superficial notes….
I am not a gun person. I have never handled one and hope never to, yet, Lee Adama firing a weapon? Guh.
The fighting over the ball was adorable. Maybe because it led to an all too rare smile. And did everyone notice how he sniffed the ball after Kara informed him it was from Caprica? It was very poignant to see him trying to take in a last vestige of home.
Sharon saving Lee’s ass and his OK, I couldn’t have been that wrong response of “You got to be fracking kidding me.”
And my favorite line (again, Lee, I know you‘re shocked) was when Helo was informed “She’s the president of the colonies you moron.” OK, I love Helo, I really do. He in no way could have known the “nice lady” was the president unless Kara had given him a detailed description on the way back, but, part of my brain was relieved someone finally called him on his judgement. Helo is sweet, caring, and courageous, but he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer either. ;)