For anyone who doesn’t already know, Ron Moore strongly dislikes this episode (I'll say this for him, he takes *all* the blame for why it failed). I’d say he spent about 80% of the commentary telling us what didn’t work and why. He also mentions what he wanted to see and what his intentions were. It dawned on me about half way through the commentary what the problem was. Ron had about a million things he wanted to accomplish and it’s just not possible in forty three minutes of time. I mean, the man wanted to show us the corruption within the fleet while simultaneously depicting Lee’s journey into the Heart of Darkness. Yes, *that* Heart of Darkness with Phalen being Kurtz. Moving along….
* They wanted to give Lee a more complex personality since he’s usually depicted as the classic, clean-cut good guy. One problem is they didn’t get deep enough into his backstory, specifically, his unresolved issues with his past relationship and how it tortures him on a certain level. It never got beyond the teasing phase. (I think we can all agree that a lot never got past the teasing stage.)
* The prostitution element harkens back to the original series. He mentions the character Cassiopeia and how she was introduced on the show as a socialator.
* The Tigh/Lee scene is his favorite because he thinks it well represents what the series is about - interaction between characters, confronting ethical issues, and not taking the easy way out. Neither Lee nor Tigh is doing things above board.
* OK, as much as I would like to see more Lee/Dee interaction to explain their supposedly growing relationship there was a scene cut in which Dee follows Lee after he exits the raptor. Yes, she’s Stalker Girl! again. : ( She confronts him about what’s going on between them; he doesn’t want to talk and walks away. In the scene we did see, there was additional dialogue with Lee explaining himself more.
RM admits that none of the Lee/Dee scenes have gone deep enough. Why is Lee interested in her and vice versa? What is Dee to Lee in juxtaposition? What is she compared to Shevon and the girl from his past. His hope? His future? And they haven’t positioned her in a place where you are rooting for her. Great, now that you know that, do something about it!
* There was a subplot dropped involving Lee flying the raptor for the first time since the accident and that he had been avoiding doing so. (Actually, I’m glad this was dropped. The CAG afraid to fly???)
* The pedophilia angle was Ron’s idea. He felt that the way they had presented the black market, they hadn’t sold you on why it was a really bad situation. After all, people need things and the economic structure is shattered, so why would trading be illegal? So they presented us with kids being bought and sold. Yet, he also admits it’s a cheap shot he didn’t want to take.
* I’m really confused by Ron’s take on Lee shooting Phalen. He feels it’s the best part of the episode – the hero shooting the bad guy and the audience isn’t given anything to soften his actions. Er, accept Phalen is selling kids for sex.
* And Lee was supposed to be much darker, coming off more like Phalen. Ron, again, you may have not wanted to throw in the child sex ring.
* Interesting Point #1 – I’ve seen discussed in many an LJ why season 2 has not been as strong as season 1. Ron admits it’s been harder to maintain the same level of quality with a 20 episode season as they did with a 13 episode season in which each ep, in his opinion, turned out to be a gem. At the same time, he says that’s no excuse - he worked on 26 episodes of ‘Star Trek’ in a season. The goal now is to make sure season 3 doesn’t have any weak links.
* Interesting Point #2 – The Lee/Adama scene at the end which everyone thinks is great? It was the idea of Mark Stern…a Sci-Fi exec. HE wanted to see more father/son interaction. Yes folks, once again, the network knew best.
And this has nothing to do with the podcast, but something that dawned on me earlier today. I found it very telling that Lee chose to spend the night with Shevon. At some point in their ‘relationship’ it moved beyond sex and he became involved in a situation he did not anticipate. That’s not to say I think he was deluding himself into thinking they had a future as Shevon seemed to think he had, but Lee is desiring closeness and comfort – a connection with someone. He may not have realized it at the time, but he desires something more and I’ll take that as a hopeful sign that he’s slowly finding his way out of his despair.