The First Evil (asta77) wrote,
The First Evil

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BSG Ep 13: Epiphanies

OK, I didn't know how long this was until I copied and pasted. Sorry. I really need to work on editing skills.

Causes are only lost when we give up.

Upon rewatch that struck me as the overriding theme in ‘Epiphanies’. Roslin’s cause has been to lead the fleet to a new home, fighting her failing health to see her dream come to fruition. Helo’s cause has been the welfare of Sharon and their child. Baltar’s cause is, well, Baltar and his self-preservation. Sharon and now Gina seem to share the cause of wanting to prove that not all Cylons are created equal. At the other extreme, we have Lee who, after fighting for what he believed in for so long and being disappointed at every turn, has given up.

The theme and ideas presented here are interesting. However, this was an episode where I felt the parts didn’t make for a satisfying whole. At about the midway point, it occurred to me that this episode was a bridge - the writers wrapping up one major arc (we no longer have to obsess over when/if Roslin dies) while laying the groundwork for new arcs (the civilian peace movement, Lee's personal journey, the importance of Sharon's baby). I have a strong feeling that if the episode were to be watched again at the completion of the season, I will look at it more favorably.

While the peace movement could be an intriguing story to explore (After everything they’ve been through, how is the civilian fleet viewing the military? Not everyone can be agreeing on the current course of action or inaction.) I felt the material was handled in a heavy handed and clichéd manner. I can believe there has been unrest brewing since Tigh’s disastrous turn as commander and the Gideon massacre, but since then we haven’t seen much civil unrest. Perhaps had the sabotage happened in a prior episode instead of having that, arrests, and suicide bombers show up all at once, it would have felt like a more natural progression rather than ’We have to show the audience all this now so the rest of the season makes sense.’

I also would have empathized with a civilian population that probably feels marginalized (Lee’s comment about bringing civilians aboard Galactica to perform “grunt work” reinforced this) had their argument been based on some fact or insight. They want to try to make peace with a race that nearly wiped out your civilization, has shown no signs of stopping in that goal, and has extended no offer to end hostilities. How do they even plan to sit down and talk with them?

Putting aside my issue with the plot, I have to say there were many great character moments. This is a really remarkable cast. Each actor was able to make material that may have otherwise been mediocre, special. Being part of the A storyline, obviously Mary was given an opportunity to shine, but each actor/character had a moment that made me take notice of them.

As president you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.

I have to say I wasn’t quite seeing the reasoning behind aborting Sharon’s fetus. The child’s genetic make up is different. Well, there’s a shock. Even Helo pointed out that was to be expected. And how would the child affect security of fleet? It’s possible that the Cylons may try to come for it, but aren’t they already under attack?

Any doubts I had as to Laura’s reasoning and orders were quickly cast aside when it was made clear that she is a far better leader than her predecessor. Adar had no problem with starting an armed conflict with teachers over salary and working conditions. And when his Secretary of Education/lover provided a solution by the simple act of promising discussion he wanted her resignation.

So, it would seem Adama was right when he referred to him as an idiot. However, what we are seeing of Adar now doesn’t fit with what Laura told Lee about him in ‘Water’ - how he was haunted by the decision he made that led to armed conflict and civilian deaths. Did Laura simply wish not to criticize a dead man? Or without a story of her own to tell, did she spin one of Adar’s to help Lee?

The cancer cure I'm on the fence about. danceswithwords mentioned that if the miracle cure comes up again in future episodes, she's OK with it, but if it's just a one shot deal, a quick fix, then it's a problem. From the weird commercial Sci-Fi aired it would seem that Sharon's baby will play a significant role in future episodes so I'm reserving judgment. For the sake of keeping Mary/Laura around and seeing no other viable option to make her well, I’m willing to hand wave a bit here. And I think it will be fascination to see how Prophet Laura’s followers feel about her taking a Cylon cure.

Helo’s non-reaction to being informed his child was to be aborted was interesting. It struck me at that moment that, as much as he loves Sharon and their child, he’s a military man and his resigned, yet tinged with anger, response seemed perfectly in character to me. He also seems to be able to walk a line that neither Kara nor Lee can. He doesn’t directly question the order, he doesn’t argue, but he makes his feelings known telling Adama it must be easier to give the order when you call it a Cylon.

Of course, later, when the order is on the verge of being carried out, he makes one last plea/stand. He pulled his gun on Lee to protect Sharon in ‘Home’, I don’t think he’d have a problem pulling it on Adama here to save his child. But I think his “I’m a father, like you” remark had a much more powerful affect than a gun would have, especially in light of Adama almost losing Lee recently.

I’m still sorting out Gina’s motives (Does she genuinely want peace? Is it part of some Cylon plan? How did she get to be a leader so quickly? Was it by relaying the stories of the atrocities on Pegasus?), but her reaction to Baltar’s inappropriate advances were very human. The Six model is a strong one. I can buy her pulling herself together quickly for this cause she is now a part of. But the various Six models also have been shown to be more emotional than they care to admit to and Gina being seen as a sexual object after all she has endured, even by a man she may have feelings for, causes her to react with fear and revulsion. Tricia really did a magnificent job here.

As for Baltar, I had issues with his characterization. I had hoped we were getting past his use as ‘Wacky Comic Relief Baltar‘, but the scene in the corridor with him talking to himself and leading himself around by his tie seemed an odd storytelling choice. It’s not as if he was in some dark corner of Galactica by himself, he was surrounded by people. Such clearly insane behavior would, I think, lead the Quorum to meet to discuss their options.

I’m also disturbed by Baltar’s quick reversal of intent. He goes from declaring “I will not be responsible for the destruction of mankind” to handing Gina a nuclear device. All because Laura delivered a blow to his ego by informing him that while brilliant, he needs to work on his selfishness and compassion. I’m use to seeing Baltar flip-flop, but not so quickly and not for something that is not a surprise to him. He knows he’s selfish, he knows the president doesn’t care for him. And while I buy he feared being left with so much power, then his ’betrayal’ should have come before the reading the letter.

Six returned sooner than I expected. Her reappearance did help me with a theory I’ve been working on. The moment she makes her self known is a moment of confusion and self-doubt for Baltar. He lacks confidence and is unsure of how he should proceed. There’s a tinge of desperation in his voice as he asks, “Where have you been?” To which Six responds she never left him. I still believe Six is a separate Cylon consciousness, but I’m beginning to feel that she needs to be triggered by Baltar in order to ‘live’. Perhaps she’s not jealous of Gina, but worried that if she takes her place, she will not be needed and ceases to exist.

I actually went 'YES!' when Lee made the remark to Tigh about having him reinstated as the CAG. Of course, I’m amused if it was Tigh that actually reinstated him. Not so amused by Lee’s “Maybe I don’t give a damn what you think sir.“ Lee usually gets pissy for a reason. The cutting remarks and barely contained anger towards Tigh in the past stemmed largely from Tigh’s command blunders. Here, there is no reason for him to lash out. Maybe he’s looking to be demoted again. It would be another way to cut himself off from the world around him.

I’m still feeling that a key piece of the puzzle is missing regarding Lee’s despondence? depression? Still, there were some very nice indications that events from the last episode have not been forgotten. Kara’s remark about not having seen much of Lee over the past several weeks, considering they are both on Galactica and share quarters, is a clear indication that he is cutting himself off from those closest to him. It’s also why I didn’t get pissed off that there was no scene between him and Laura. He’s choosing to isolate himself. Never big on showing his emotions, Lee has at least tried to reach out to others in the past. Now he’s internalizing everything, withdrawing from his social and familial connections. Even as CAG he is going through the motions. I noticed at the briefing regarding the peace movement that he was rather passive during the planning.

I also had a thought that Lee chose not to visit Laura because she, as he did, was facing death, but unlike him, she was going to get to leave all of this behind and find some peace at last. He may have been envious in a way . Now, she’s been brought back from the edge as well. I’m not sure the show will go there, but it would make for an interesting conversation between the two - to have let go, to no longer be burdened, and then to have pick right up where you left off.

Random observations:

It’s been 189 days since the destruction of the colonies. Laura was given six months to live and they’ve kept to that time frame.

The flashbacks had some continuity issues. I mentioned Adar‘s backstory, but there is also Mary’s hair which didn’t match the mini hair. Given the choice between a bad wig and this, this was probably less distracting.

Kara was twenty minutes late for the CAP. I’m thinking I need to make a mental note of that.

Is it my imagination or does Galactica have more medical personal now? Were they taken from the Pegasus?

With both Kara and Lee being on the Galactica, who is leading the pilots on Pegasus? I can see Lee being able to oversee rotations and such for both squadrons, but someone needs to be there keeping an eye on things. Since he didn’t die and seemed competent, if tight-assed, I’m going with it being Stinger.

The reemergence of the nuclear device Baltar had in his lab. I was wondering if anyone remembered that was floating around.

Laura had a picture of Six. Laura now recalls seeing Six and Baltar together. (In the mini didn’t she say something about thinking they had met before?) I’m dying to know if and when she is going to use this information to her advantage.

Er, how did Six pick up the paper and walk away with it?
Tags: battlestar galactica s2

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