The First Evil (asta77) wrote,
The First Evil
asta77

Now on to the Season 2 discs...

Well, I *finally* finished watching Season 1 of BSG. I did not expect it to take so long. Stoopid work and real life responsibilities (I'm still recuperating from the day I had today - more on that later). Anyway, I debated even posting now since I had this brilliant idea to watch KLG Pts 1&2, ‘Scattered’, and ‘Valley of Darkness’ in a mini marathon since they all take place in the course of, what, a day? I probably will do that, but I doubt I’ll do much posting on the season 2 eps with the second half of the season starting in EEEEEE!!! Two weeks!


I never really thought about it before, but Lee and Adama choosing boxing as a way of bonding? That really says something about their relationship. Granted, they have no holodeck to go fishing in, but cards or their equivalent of chess perhaps would be a better alternative than punching each other hard enough to leave cuts and bruises. For a father and son to participate in something so violent, to land blows as they did, doesn’t seem healthy to me. The infliction of physical pain upon each other would appear to be a substitution for the emotional pain they feel , yet cannot or will not talk about with each other. Or, more precisely, that Adama won’t allow Lee to talk about because how many times have we seen him drop or change a subject?

I do, however, love the exchange between the two at the conclusion of their sparring…

Adama: You don’t lose control.
Lee: Thanks
Adama: No. You gotta lose control. Let your instincts take over.
Lee: I thought we were just sparring
Adama: That’s why you don’t win

Because it fits so beautifully with Lee’s words to Tigh, later, on Colonial One…

Lee: You can tell my father that I’m listening to my instincts. My instincts tell me that we cannot sacrifice democracy just because the president makes a bad decision.

Yes, Lee did exactly what his father encouraged him to do, yet he will be dressed down ( literally ;) in front of the entire CIC by Adama for it. The thing is I never quite got Adama’s instance that Lee must lose control in order to succeed or win. Losing control tends to come from giving yourself over to the emotions that arise in the moment. It was Adama’s emotional reaction to Kara’s betrayal and Laura’s possibly irrational faith in prophecy that led to the point of people having guns pointed at each other. And it’s Lee’s instincts, derived from reason and rationality, that permitted him to be the one to see the insanity and potential for disaster that their actions were creating for the fleet.

OK, why did I not pick up before that when Lee removes his hands from the boxing gloves they’re wrapped in red tape? Hello foreshadowing.

RM seemed to push Baltar’s tangents to the edge of believability in KLG. His scene with Laura and Six in which he talks to both simultaneously while losing control of his emotions makes him appear crazy. If I was Laura I might have started rethinking the whole Zarek as VP idea.

I’m still unsure how Lee jumped to the conclusion that it was Baltar that Kara had slept with. Even after viewing the deleted scenes there is no clear indication of when he put two and two together. We discussed at length at the time the ep originally aired that Lee comes off as an ass here - shades of mini-series Lee. Whether his reaction to her actions is born of jealousy or not cold be debated, (The deleted scenes seem to indicate he didn’t have much of an issue with her sleeping with someone. Therefore, my belief is he felt she lowered herself by sleeping with Baltar.) but I do think his anger stems at least in part from a belief that she had changed. He’s not condemning her for having casual sex, rather that she’s going back to old patterns of behavior that only succeeded in her hurting herself and he doesn’t want to see her go there again.

My issues with him come less from his accusations and more from his inability to see Kara’s pain. When she admits to being a “screw up”, he walks away from her. Later, when Kara asks if he’d miss her, his terse response is “I need every pilot I have. Even the screwups.” And Kara apologizes, something I don’t feel she should have done, yet I think there is a part of her that desperately wants his approval, just as she’s always sought his father’s.

When I first saw the scene in which Baltar encourages Galactica Sharon to take her own life, it was one of the first times I felt real sympathy for Baltar. I thought he genuinely struggled with his decision to have Sharon ‘listen to her heart’ and “embrace that which opens up for us.” Sure, he didn’t want to die, but there seemed to be an effort on his part to save Galactica as well as himself. However, RM, in the commentary, sees Baltar as being much more malevolent in this scene – trying to take a more active role in manipulating events, exerting his power, and attempting to wrestle some control from Six. Viewing the scene again, I stick with my original take. James makes Baltar appear too pained to not believe there is some sorrow there.

I’ve always found it interesting that, on the surface, you would think it would be Roslin that would want to settle on the first safe, habitable planet they could find while Adama would want to press on, yet the opposite is true. Adama is the one who wants to consider permanent settlement on Kobol while Laura keeps bringing up the Arrow of Apollo and the path to earth. And Laura, always a pragmatist, finds herself in a position of believing in prophecy as the facts of their situation run parallel to what is written in the scriptures.

Does Laura manipulate Kara by informing her of her terminal illness and Adama’s lies? I think Laura is genuine when explaining what she sees as their parts in the scriptures. She also knows that by revealing Adama’s part in this that it may cause Kara to question her loyalty to him. However, she encourages Kara to ask Adama about earth and it’s only when Adama continues to lie that Kara makes the decision she does.

The showdown between Laura and Adama, while eventually leading to disaster, seems born out of concern for the welfare of the what’s left of their civilization. Adama is being guided by emotion, caused by Kara’s betrayal and Laura’s breach of trust when she effectively terminated their agreement to stay out of military affairs, but there is a legitimate cause for worry when the president meddles in military decisions, potentially endangering the fleet. And is she really being any less reckless than Adama and Lee, who she chastised for their efforts to find Kara, in ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’? On the other hand, staging a coup and storming a ship along the way is not the best reaction. While I believe they both wished to avoid any blood shed, did they honestly expect they could? (BTW, I love how Laura carefully drops the term “coup” into her conversation with Adama with the press present. She planted the seed to illicit support both at the moment and later should things not go her way. )

I’m not sure I have a greater moment of Lee love than when he draws his gun, points it at Tigh, and makes the decision to ‘betray’ his oath and his father in order to defend the president and the democracy. In the 51 days since the destruction of the Colonies, we’ve seen Lee slowly become more comfortable in his role as the CAG, make progress in rebuilding his relationship with his father and with Kara, putting aside the momentary blow up over her tryst with Baltar, work at reestablishing their friendship. In a split second, he decides to sacrifice all that he has achieved and potentially himself for what he sees as the greater good.

And since I have to mention at least one shippy moment, let me point out that it isn’t until Lee pulls his gun, makes a stand, and puts himself in danger that Laura blinks first and surrenders. Just sayin’. ;-)

I still stand by my original assertation that had Adama not been shot, while a sever strain would have been put on their relationship, Lee would have been released. Look at the expression on Lee’s face when Adama gives him the disappointed, angry look before walking away. He doesn’t look concerned at all about his fate, more put out than anything. It’s not until Adama is congratulating Sharon on her success and what she did “despite any personal misgivings you may have had” (clearly said for Lee’s benefit) that Lee looks hurt, reacting to the far more personal punishment.

DELETED SCENES:

OK, the DVDs break these down between the two eps, but I swear they all belong in part 1.

There’s some heavy handed foreshadowing as we see Sharon practicing drawing her gun and firing. Boxey enters the room at the wrong moment, is obviously scared, and runs away, while Sharon doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing.


Cottle informs Laura that her prognosis is no good, to not give up on medical science, and encourages her to try Diloxin (sp?). Later, there is a discussion between Laura and Billy in which he too encourages her to try a new form of treatment since the kamala isn’t working. They also get into a discussion about Billy’s dog, Jake, his memories of him, and how hard it is to let go. Laura informs him that if it is earth they have found than “I can let go and so can you.”

There’s a rather lengthy scene that was cut that starts with Lee meeting Kara at her bunk to go running. His first reaction to seeing her is, “Nice hair. What happened, you get laid?” She retorts with “Nice eye” and asks what happened in his sparring match with Adama. As they run through the ship they pass Gaeta and Adama and Tigh and Ellen, who isn’t happy with her husband continually standing night watches which Adama lets slip he volunteered for. After that interlude, we’re back to Lee and Kara, and while his approach could use some finesse, I like that he is trying to reach out to Kara…

Lee: You OK? You don’t seem so good.
Kara: Rough night.
Lee: So I see. (jokingly) Anyone I know?
Kara: Frak you.
Lee: You don’t look that bad. Not really.

We see the chief getting Socinus out of the brig (which, hey, would have helped to explain him being on the raptor that crashed on Kobol) and telling him how stupid he was for taking the fall for his and Sharon’s actions.

Oops! Tigh forgot he and Ellen’s seven year anniversary. She tells him how he was glad she was dead because life was easier for him. Then goes into full Lady Macbeth mode as she informs him how much she loves him and, oh, does he realize he’s only one person away from running the fleet?

Lee lays into Boomer for not checking her weapon before cleaning it, which I’m glad they cut because would he be so dumb as to think she accidentally shot herself in the face? Then there’s the anvil of a compliment, “We need you Boomer…I wish I had a whole squadron of Sharon’s.” and not too long after we see a whole squadron aboard the base star.

Baltar tries to apologize to Kara for his earlier, drunken behavior. In the background you see Lee watching them for a moment.

Baltar asking Six to spend some time apart, to allow him to go to Kobol on his own. Oh, and it’s not her, it’s him. Yeah, that always works.

And there are two scenes that would have been really interesting to see within the episode, yet I also feel that the we were able to draw the same conclusions from the characters actions and knowing them as we do that we didn’t need this information presented to us so directly. Billy reminds Laura of the fundamental agreement she made with Adama to keep separate the military and civilian authority. He doesn’t care about the gods and fears that her following the prophecy will threaten everything they’ve accomplished and probably bring down the government which she doesn’t have a right to risk for a drug induced vision of prophecy. Lee interrupts and, after apparently filling him in on her plan, he informs her that he sees her proposal as being far from rational. While he may believe she’s not completely deluding herself and there may be some basis in fact for what she wants to do, he is taken aback that she asks for his involvement. “I am an officer in the colonial fleet sworn to obey the orders of the fleet commander….I have a duty not to dishonor the oath I took, the uniform I wear by an act of disloyalty.” Yet, when he later is confronted by orders he fundamentally believes are wrong, he does go against his oath and duty. And it sets up his concession to Tigh in ‘Valley of Darkness‘ that he is not fit, or more precisely, a fit, for the uniform he wears.

COMMENTARY:

Some random bits of information…The boxing was suggested by Eddie and Jamie…Originally, Lee outed Kara’s sleeping with Baltar during a pilot’s briefing, thus humiliating her. Fortunately, that move was deemed out of character for Lee…Lee also was originally suppose to be on one of the raptors that went to Kobol, but it was felt he was needed aboard Galactica to deal with the story of Adama and Roslin as well as having a desire to see Lee be forced to make a choice. His presence on Kobol would also have lessened the drama because you would expect him to take charge and know what to do unlike Crashdown.

Laura’s arc for the season was mapped out from the first episode. The intention was to have her go too far, to be stripping people of their civil liberties, until Adama has no choice but to step in and declare martial law. Her actions were eventually toned down, partly because they were too extreme, partly because they didn’t fit with Mary’s portrayal of the character.

Even though Laura does have a belief in the gods, hers is a very secular POV. She forms her ideas not as a woman of faith, but comes to her decisions logically, finding what makes sense from looking at the clues and putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

The deal between Roslin and Adama, the compromise reached in the mini, wouldn’t work in every situation. They’ve tried to work it out all season long and have developed trust, yet still have their own perspectives and priorities.

Lee handpicked Laura’s security detail wanting it to be a separate entity that reported only to her, providing for a separate command structure. That bit of info give greater resonance to his comment while planning for boarding Colonial One, “I know that security detail” and explaining that it will not be an easy fight.

There was also a really off the wall concept in the first draft of the script in which Six was going to lead Baltar to a temple in which he meets God…..played by Dirk Benedict. And then something about Baltar sitting down to play with a symphony. In this case, be thankful for network interference. ; )
Tags: battlestar galactica s1
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