‘33’ is an episode I find myself liking more and more upon repeated viewings. It perhaps has to do with hindsight and now spotting hints as to what we would be in for as the series progressed. For instance, we have Six for the first time discussing having a child with a rather shocked Baltar, who, at this point, thinks her nothing more than a manifestation of what there is of his conscience.
There’s Lee joking with Sharon that she’s holding up better than anyone after six days without sleep and that maybe she’s a Cylon. I almost wish we had a scene later on in which Lee recalls his statement. I can imagine him beating himself up over the missed signs. I also noticed that Laura didn’t look as bad as many of the others either. And it’s after Baltar says "I repent" to Six, giving himself over to her God, that Laura issues the order to fire on the
Olympic Carrier thus eliminating the current threat to Baltar‘s continued well being. Now, before anyone thinks I’m saying she *is* a Cylon, I’m working up theories as to how everyone in the cast excluding Lee, Kara, and Adama could be cylons.
In the six days that the entire fleet was pushed past the point of endurance, Tigh did not drink. It seems that under extreme pressure he can stay away from the stuff, but only if he’s not taking responsibility for actions alone. Ultimately, when things go horribly wrong, it’s Adama, as commander, who would bare the brunt of the blame. I also think he fears letting the old man down, screwing up in front of him, which seems to be a running theme with many of the characters.
There is an interesting dynamic between Lee and Kara in this ep. Early on she reams him out for his ineffectual pilot room briefing, reminding him that he’s no longer everyone’s best friend, but the CAG. "Good hunting is what you say" and from there on out those are the words Lee will continue to use when sending his pilots off. You can visibly see how he’s not terribly comfortable with his new role to the extent of having trouble making eye contact, even with Kara. He lacks confidence and, in my opinion, really doesn’t gain a strong sense of himself until after he’s thrown in the brig, seemingly losing everything, leaving just the man behind to pick up the pieces and decide who he wants to be.
And while I tend not to dwell on lighting effects, etc (I'll leave RM to ramble about that), I did notice in that shot of Lee as he blows up the Olympic Carrier he looks much older than his years. It’s actually a very haunting image and a reminder that this is not something he can just let go of.
Adama: "I gave the order, that’s my responsibility."
Lee: "I pulled the trigger, that’s mine."
It’s a very matter of fact exchange between father and son. Lee bares a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, more so than he would seem to have to, and internalizes the emotions that accompany it. He’s very closed off emotionally and when he atempts to let the barriers down as he does in ‘Water’, broaching the subject of their decision again, Adama doesn’t seem to see what his son needs. Not a pat on the back or reassuring platitudes, but someone to just listen and understnad where he's coming from.
Random stuff I loved.....
The voice over the speaker on Colonial One calmly announcing their next FTL jump when we know that their FTL isn’t working properly and the Cylons are arriving in about a minute to blow them up.
Laura‘s sad, yet slighlty sarcastic "OK, next crisis."
Baltar advocating shooting down the Olympic Carrier not because it’s in the best interests of the fleet but because he is willing to sacrifice 1300 people die to save his own ass.
Laura’s quite celebration to the news of a baby being born.
Not related to the commentary, but has anyone else bothered to read the episode descriptions they included in the menu for the ep? Wow, do they suck. Apparently they didn't even bother watching the ep beore they wrote the synopsis.
Note to Ron and David - slamming ‘Farscape’ is NOT cool. You guys have made an excellent Sci-Fi series, but let's not belittle the shows that helped get you here.
The writers are willing to lose plot development in order to keep character moments. I’m still trying to decide if this is a good thing or not.
When Adama is getting a run down from Dee as to the state of the fleet - injuries, cases of nervous exhaustion, etc. - EJO ad libbed "ten suicides" which everyone seemed to agree was too grim in an already fairly dark episode. Though, given the situation they find themselves in, I would have to think there would be suicides in the fleet.
Kara’s confrontation with Lee after the pilot briefing turning to laughter was not scripted.
The destruction of the Olympic Carrier...as scripted and shot Lee sees faces in the windows of the ship and some of the passengers are even looking back at him. RM wanted the scene to be uncompromising. To be clear that they were all making a decision in which they would have to live with the consequences of it. That there was no easy way out. Galactica was in danger and they had to do this. But, the network deemed it too dark and the show opted to let them win battle so it was changed so you do not see anyone (though, look closely and you can see some shadows moving in the windows). RM misses the brutality of it and Jamie was apparently a little pissed seeing the rough cut since he played that scene and subsequent ones with Lee believing he had killed 1300 people.
There was a mention of a five season arc, yet in other commentaries RM mentions he’s not sure where they are going with certain story arcs yet.
I like Michael Rymer. Even though he’s the director and one would think would want to talk about the visuals RM seems so fond of, instead he wants to talk about character development. Unfortunately, every time he starts talking about Jamie (in this case Lee’s letting go of the chip on his shoulder in regards to Adama) he gets cut off. :(
DELETED SCENES OF NOTE:
Roslin receiving a copy of the picture of the pilot witnessing the destruction of Caprica - the same image we see in the pilot briefing room.
There was a small subplot involving a ship wanting to break from the fleet. Laura asks Adama to send a boarding party to take the ship over. He points out that boarding parties are armed and this is no time to start shooting civilians. (Foreshadowing much?) Adama then asks Laura to consider moving to Galactica because of the faulty FTL on her ship and she refuses immediatly.
'Water' - I enjoy it, but it’s not one of my favorite episodes. Ultimately, I think it’s too clumsy in its execution. There’s some not great acting. Grace overreacts many times throughout the episode, most notably when she sees the detonators missing. And even Jamie has an odd moment when he looks at himself in the mirror. Of course, that could be due to sloppy editing since his Olympic Carrier flashbacks are shown *after* he turns away. Or perhaps he was originally reacting to something different since they were forced to alter the storyline.
And the more I think about, the more I find it inexcusable that Tyrol covered for Sharon. I mean, everything pointed to her being involved in the sabotage. He was willing to let many people die in order to protect her?
The Lee/Adama exchange in regards to the Olympic Carrier destruction not only says a lot about both men in the moment, but it also hints towards future developments. Lee feels they are obligated to question their actions, to make sure the decisions they make are the right ones. Adama feels that one just takes responsibility for what they do, right or wrong, accepts the consequences of their actions, and lives with those choices every day.
Adama’s POV is born of years of experience. And I do have to agree that you cannot dwell on the past because it would not only deviate your focus from what needs to be done in the present, but, in the worst case scenario, it could destroy you. With this 'move on' attitude, I think it helps to explain why Adama is so quick to forgive Tigh of his failings later on. (Another thing I noticed in regards to Tigh and his later actions is that Tigh was probably under the impression that it was OK to send troops onto a civilian ship as Adama does it here, himself, because of water riots...and at the request of the president. Yet, he does express his concerns to Laura in doing so, "when the military and police become one in the same the enemy’s of the state tend to become the people.")
Tying into Lee’s lack of confidence I mentioned earlier, I noted how intimidated Lee appears in his father’s midst here. Lee comes off as incredibly insecure and in need of assurance. Yet, it either goes unnoticed by Adama or it's not something he feels comfortable dealing with, so it's not his is father he gets any sort of comfort from, but Laura. Lee, whether desiring to believe his father is right or trying to be the man he wants him to be reiterates his father’s words about not second guessing your choices. Laura counters with perhaps not what he wants to hear (who wants to think they made a mistake that cost 1300 people their lives?), but what he needs to - it is OK to remember and ti learn from our mistakes.
And only one significant Lee/Laura moment here. After Laura asks him to become her military advisor and tells him that he can keep his job at the C-A-G and he corrects her regarding the pronunciation she responds with, "Do you see why I need you." Well, some of us do. ;p
COMMENTARY - None for this episode.
Look! It’s Boxey! And he’s a juvenile delinquent! Yep, he’s rummaging through Boomer’s bag that she hid in her locker and, later, is trying to sell liquor to the other pilots.
There’s a lot more expositions involving various plot points. We get more shots of the pomp and circumstance involving Laura’s arrival aboard Galactica. There’s a mention that no human being could survive the pressure inside the water tanks to plant the explosives (which I’m thinking may have introduced something about Cylon physiology that the show didn’t want to get into, yet could have helped to explain why Tyrol was so sure in his belief that Sharon was innocent of any wrongdoing). Also, Baltar discusses at length how the explosions happened. Bor-ing.
There's a clip in whic Laura asks Adama "Where are we going?" I always wondered what the plan was since neither believed in the existence of earth at the time.
'Bastille Day' - Well, the cessation of hostilities between Lee and Adama didn't last long. Here’s where we see how much Adama respects his son's decisons...as long as they fall in line with the old man’s ideals. To say Adama doesn’t look happy when Laura quickly accepts Lee’s plan for getting the prisoners to work with a "Make it happen captain" would be an understatement. The line has been drawn and, unknowingly, Lee finds himself on the wrong side of it. Immediately, Lee goes from being a trusted officer of Galactica to "the personal representative of the president." This aspect of the scene I found most striking - Adama’s immediate seeming distrust of his son. Lee’s visably surprised and angry as Adama requests "a representative from Galactica who will report directly to me."
A short time later a rather defensive (rightly so) Lee confronts his father directly with "I didn’t know we’re picking sides." Up to this point, Lee probably believed they were on their way to mending their fractured relationship and now he’s being confronted with something he's probably struggled with for most of his life - you’re either on his side or you’re on the wrong side. Yes, they dealt with specific issues between them in the mini, but, as stated in the commentary, there are issues between parent and child that never really go away. By the end of the ep, we see Lee choosing to break away from the role of son and showing the man he is as he takes a stand and refuses to back down before his father and the president.
And I have to agree with Lee here, I didn’t think they were choosing sides either. Shouldn’t they all be working together as a fleet to achieve common goals? We’ve seen how well things go when people start taking sides. The Cylons are the enemy, not each other.
"Children of humanities future" is a line spoken by Six on Caprica and later by Zarek when he’s talking to Lee. Coincidence, parallel, or hint that Zarek is a Cylon? (See, I said I had theories about nearly everyone!)
There was another comment that Zarek makes that I found intriguing:
Lee: "You want a blood bath"
Zarek: "If there’s a massacre on the ship, a blood bath, the people will never forgive them and the entire government will collapse."
Now, apply Zarek's line of thinking to Roslin in KLG Pt 2. I’ve always felt that she backed down and surrendered to Tigh to avoid a "blood bath". But, take it a step further and consider Laura is always thinking, making her next move. I have to wonder if she saw the same thing happening in the standoff with Tigh, envisioning a government collapse and civil unrest. The way she chose to handle the situation at the time, if not able to completely prevent her worst fears, did provide her the opportunity to allow for a next move.
Of course, at the end of the episode comes the scene that made me a Lee/Laura shipper. ;-) I like the fact that Lee doesn’t come to apologize to Laura for his actions, but to reiterate why he did what he did - that he was simply upholding the law as they all should. And I also like that she’s not expecting an apology because, unlike Adama, she understands that he did what his conscience guided him to do and that based on sound reasoning there was only one right course of action. There was nothing personal about his position - Laura gets it, Adama doesn't.
Then there's that all too rare adorable smile (see icon) when Lee tries feels at ease enough to attempt a joke about her taking a vacation then is blindsided by the reality of why she might not be around for the next election. And, finally, this exchange...
Lee: "You can count on me."
Laura: "I know I can. You’re Captain Apollo." Again with the flirting...
This was the show’s first attempt at a contained story. Though, so much of the episode ties to past and future events I find that hard to agree with.
The reason for the Lee-centric ep was because of network concern that he was coming off too unlikable in mini.
Boxey’s final appearance. YAY! The networked begged the show to lose character for the start, but RM initially fought that because the intent was to have Boxey form a family unit with Tyrol and Sharon. As their story began to change, there was no longer a need for Boxey.
There was some discussion of Adama running a loose ship. He was on his way out and therefore let the crew get away with stuff they shouldn't.
In the first draft of the script, Cally was raped and killed. She was too cute to kill apparently.
The scene where Lee has the gun at Zarek’s head opened up new story possibilities for the character with credit being given to Jamie for this. He took the character in a darker direction they hadn’t anticipated and were surprised by his talent. They saw a ‘scary’ Apollo - more dangerous. Push him in the wrong direction and you may not like what you get.
They don’t know how the presidential election will go yet which leads me to believe Laura will be around for awhile.