Asta 2

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?
  • Current Mood: apathetic apathetic
Re: the story in Water, I'm starting to wonder if Laura didn't tell Lee that story, but instead of it being Adar who wrote it down, it was always her idea. Because it fits her character entirely, but not the Adar we saw. And Laura, as she did in the Adar days, at least from what I got, tended to give her best ideas to Adar and let him call them his.

So if Adar did have a desk drawer, I suspect it's because Laura told him he should have one.
I hadn't thought about it in those terms, but I like that theory. And while for a variety of reasons the show can't focus an ep on his character, I wonder if perhaps Adar benefited quite a bit from the guidance and decision making of his cabinet. I don't believe Adama called him an idiot without reason. After all, as much as he has disagreed with Roslin, he's always respected her.
Your comments are much more rational than mine would be, which is why I haven't even tried to post. I'm still at the "huh?" stage with this episode.

We've had a huge change in a lot of people's circumstances in one episode. This happened before in "Home," but I felt that was character-driven and satisfying. This, not so much. I don't want Laura to die, but way it was handled was less than convincing, but I put that down to the plot. I thought it was very well-acted.

I agree with your concerns about Baltar. I know he's supposed to be egotistical and mercurial, but there are limits.
To be honest, I may be rationalizing more than I should. I've spent *a lot* of time trying to make sense of what I saw and where the various plot lines may be headed. Since this episode was far from a disaster, I'm willing to cut the show some slack. I just wish they hadn't thrown so much information at us at once and expect us to be patient for answers. Since next week seems to be a Lee-centric ep, I'm hoping that means we're going back to the character driven stories.

The miracle cure for Laura was a bit disappointing, but I can't come up with any other solutions to the corner they wrote themselves into. I suppose they could have had the chamalla work and had her go into remission. Unless, of course, they really needed the baby's special blood to be an issue now.
The idea that the baby's blood could have special properties was intriguing, but the way it was handled was clumsy. I didn't like the structure of the episode at all. Also, I thought the members of the peace movement were unbelievably stupid, even when compared to some RL groups and that the writers could have come up with a much more believable opposition. What about a "heretic" religious group? What about an atheist group that doesn't accept the idea that Earth exists or is a viable destination?

Other than that, I enjoyed it:) And I'm suspending a lot of my complaints until I see how they handle these elements. They may have some really wonderful ideas on how to develop the story arc and just not handled introducing them very well. But Baltar needs to stop acting so batshit right now. IMHO.
The idea that the baby's blood could have special properties was intriguing, but the way it was handled was clumsy.

I agree. I've actually been thinking for some time that Cylon genetics may provide a treatment or cure for Laura's cancer. And I'm intrigued by the ramifications of the president accepting a cure from the enemy. ButBaltar has been doing research on Cylon physiology for six monthes now and it's only as Laura is within hours of dying he discovers the cure. Not buying it.

What about a "heretic" religious group? What about an atheist group that doesn't accept the idea that Earth exists or is a viable destination?

I also think that given Adama participated in a coup to remove the president from office, that Tigh's command blunders led to civilian deaths, and that there are some really ugly rumors floating around about the Pegasus' former commander, I could totally buy a civilian movement bent on taking the military down a peg or two. What I don't understand is wanting peace with a race that is still trying to kill you every chance they get.
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.’

One thing floating through my brain during this episode was, now we have the people from Pegasus to add to the mix. This ship is a prime example of what happens when the military takes over: families killed and civilians pressed into service. I'm thinking that once civies from the Pegasus started mingling with civies from the fleet, stories started being told and people felt more animosity towards Adama and the military. They're afraid that the same thing will happen to them as what happened to the civie fleet that was with the Pegasus.

As far as Gina goes, I think she's far more sinister than we originally thought. She really had me fooled, but now I think that she's leading this peace movement to encourage the fleet towards its own destruction. None of her followers know that she's a Cylon. If their primary goal is to stop fighting the Cylons and talk peace with them, wouldn't she want to be an example of a peaceful Cylon? Wouldn't that help their cause, having a Cylon in the fleet who isn't trying to kill everyone and only wants peace between toasters and humans? Alarms should be going off in Baltar's head right now, but he's too much of a 'tard to pick up on it.

The moment she makes her self known is a moment of confusion and self-doubt for Baltar.

Yup. Oh, and I can't wait to see how Laura deals with this new revelation of hers. And as for Baltar's crazy moment in front of nearly half the Galactica crew, it reminded me of a conversation I had with my dad. He's not too impressed with the new BSG, and when I asked him why, one of his comments was how 'no real military man would put up with such a crazy idiot.' Now, really, I think my dad just longs for the old show, and is grasping here. But anyway... How has Baltar gone this long without someone seriously questioning his sanity? Did he act this bizarre before the Holocaust?

Yikes, sorry this is so long! :D
I'm thinking that once civies from the Pegasus started mingling with civies from the fleet, stories started being told and people felt more animosity towards Adama and the military. They're afraid that the same thing will happen to them as what happened to the civie fleet that was with the Pegasus.

That crossed my mind too. And had, let's say Ronan (sp), when talking with Adama, mentioned that they know of Cain's atrocities it would have made this new element more believable for me. I just needed one reason as to why anyone would think that peace with the Cylons is some sort of viable alternative to the present situation.

None of her followers know that she's a Cylon. If their primary goal is to stop fighting the Cylons and talk peace with them, wouldn't she want to be an example of a peaceful Cylon? Wouldn't that help their cause, having a Cylon in the fleet who isn't trying to kill everyone and only wants peace between toasters and humans?

One would think that to be the case, but she seems to be fearful of what may happen to her if the truth was revealed. Which, given how she wanted to die a few weeks ago, also doesn't make much sense.

After what Gina went through on the Pegasus, I really don't want to discover that she's been acting with Baltar all this time. It would undercut what she had to endure and the horrific actions of her captors. Because if it turns out she's never abandoned her plan to help eliminate the human race than, suddenly, the rape and torture may be seen as deserving and that is just far too disturbing for me to think about.

I've been forgiving of Baltar's craziness in the past because, generally, there are either no witnesses or maybe one and it could be written off as him being a quirky genius. But what we saw this week was just way too much. I mean, he was leading himself around by his tie?!
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.

Don't forget that our boy has been proven to hold a grudge and he has every reason to hold a grudge against Tigh - if you cast your mind back to the season premiere, Tigh wouldn't let him go with his father after he was shot and although Adama made it in the end, keeping him away when his dad could have died is not the kind of thing Lee is ever likely to forgive Tigh for...


I agree, Lee can hold a grudge...for as long as two years. ;) However, it seemed to be more than that, for me, there. He wanted to start something, perhaps be relieved of duty, but Adama was there to put a quick end to it. I think it was yet another sign he just doen't want to be involved with anyone or anything and building on his arc for future eps.
I'm still trying not to be too upset with the episode; you have a much friendlier view of this mess than I do. Though you've hit most of my WTF? moments, too.

Well put with regard to the Baltar flip-flop. My hatred kicked back in earlier, but what really undoes a lot of the good stuff they've done with him is that he makes no sense. One minute it's that and then it's this and in between he's as crazy as in the good old days and BAH.

I'm really not feeling charitable towards this episode right now.
Hee. Well, I think my 'friendly' approach is the result of two things. First, my days in Buffy fandom and getting my knickers in a twist have taught me that it does me no good to get too upset over a subpar episode. Secondly, though the friends I was chatting with think me being spoiled may have attributed to my disappointment, I actually think it helped. Honestly, I don't know how some of the plot points introduced here will be resolved, but I do know that few things will be addressed and that makes me hopeful that this will all make sense in the future.

The Baltar stuff was perhaps most troublesome for me because I watch this show for the characters and when the writers totally muddle the character continuity that ticks me off.
'"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..."' This bothered me too. It seemed too abrupt and without adequate motivation.

On the bright side, this is the only show on TV that I am intrigued by enough to even discuss. I like a lot of other shows, but I just watch them and the foget about them.

Also this is the only show that grabs me so intensely that I can feel my heart speed up at times, watching it. The commercials are torture as I wait for each next scene.

And when the episode is over I want to scream. "Nooooo! How can I wait another week for the next episode."
The only two shows I can work up enthusiasm to discuss at length are BSG and 'House' - and I haven't said much about the latter because I've been too busy when it's aired recently.

This week will be an especially long wait for me because there will be much Lee goodness next week. Actually, the ep could suck, but he's in every scene, so that's good. :)
I have to say I wasn’t quite seeing the reasoning behind aborting Sharon’s fetus.

That actually made a lot of sense to me, not as a reasoned, rational decision, but as Laura's ruthless pragmatism (or pragmatic ruthlessness) accelerating as she approached death. She's shown a lot of concern for her legacy, for leaving the fleet in a position to survive after her death, and it felt like she came to a decision to make this final order before she died because if she didn't and things went wrong, she would have flinched (to borrow Admiral Cain's word).

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 think he's held himself in control in the past because he cared, because he had objectives and ideals in mind. It could also be another sign that he just doesn't care anymore.

You and I had the same problems with the episode. I'm really curious to see how it will look once we've seen all the way through 2.20.
I did feel Laura's final decree was an attempt by her to ensure the future of the fleet. She knows Baltar won't be able to make the tough calls. I just wish we had *a* reason she came to this being the right thing to do. One odd blood test just didn't seem like enough to convince her that this child was a danger to the fleet when they are constantly under attack regardless of this child's existence. And why not order Sharon's death too?
I hated it. I thought the sudden need to abort the baby made no sense at all, nor did Baltar's all over the map actions. The name of the ep should have been plot contrivance. :(
The Baltar regression bothered me most of all the problems with this ep. Over the course of the last three eps we saw him get in touch with his humanity and think of someone besides himself. And then the president informs him of character flaws he is well aware of and he hands over a nuke? No sense.