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More 'Unfinished Business'

Heh. There is a reason I started waiting until Saturday to write down my thoughts and post. After conversing with friends, reading a few analyses, and then, of course, laying in bed with all this whirling about my brain some more thoughts came to me. This has to do with Lee’s characterization (I know, you’re shocked ;) and one further observation about Kara.



brynnmck expressed a frustration that I’m sure she alone did not have – why couldn’t Lee and Kara have expressed their feelings before becoming involved with others? The thing is Lee did, on more than one occasion. In ‘Home’ he kisses Kara, in front of everybody, the moment she steps on board the ship. Later, he tells her he loves. And, OK, given the casual manner in which he said it it did not come off as a grand declaration of romantic love, but the point is he said it and Kara appreciated it because I don’t think she’s heard those words much in her life. Then we had ‘Scar’. Again, drinking was involved causing them to lower their inhibitions. Kara tells Lee and herself that she just wants a quick frak (interestingly she uses Anders for just that in UB), but it’s obvious that Lee wanted it to mean something more. More importantly, once they stop, he wanted to talk to her about what is going with them, with her, but she chooses to run away.

Now let’s go that fateful night on New Caprica. Kara takes Lee to the future site of her cabin in the woods with Anders. Kara is making plans with Anders and leaving her old life, including being a viper pilot which Lee knows she loves, behind. For Kara to make such radical life changes, for her to seemingly do this for someone else, yeah, you would think its love. And Lee seems to be an old fashion guy in that you love someone that much, of course you are going to marry them. Yet Kara hesitates when he talks to her of loving and marrying Anders. Lee sees an opportunity here and maybe his very last one. He has the chance to show her how he feels and, hopefully, get her to admit she has feelings for him in return. So, for me, this wasn’t bad timing, it was perceived by Lee to be the last time. And given the knowledge Lee now had (and a little too much to drink to give him courage) he did what he had to do.

So his actions with Kara make perfect sense to me. And while I don’t like that he married Dee as part of a stupid, selfish, knee-jerk reaction, I still get it on some level. Even the damn weight gain, as I touched on briefly in my last post, starts making some sense to me. As does Dee’s comment in ‘Precipice’ that Lee needs a war to fight. I don’t think Lee needs a war per se, but many of us have agreed that he needs something outside of himself to focus his energy and attentions on.

It seems in the past three years Lee has largely been left with two constants in his life – his feelings for Kara and fighting the Cylons. A different time, a different situation, he’d have many more choices and opportunities as to what to do with his life, but that may be a long time form now, if ever. Kara crushed his last hope of being with her. He was a devastated man upon learning the news of his marriage. After that he’s faced with returning to an empty command. Yes, he has a ship, but nothing to do with it but endlessly and pointlessly circle a planet while others get to move on with their lives. It’s a very, very bad thing when all Lee Adama has left is to live in his head, rehashing all his failures, and dwelling on having no future. Compare Lee here with season 1 and early season 2 Lee who had his responsibilities as CAG and military advisor to the president and a fight to save democracy. As Lee slowly has all responsibilities stripped from him he falls further and further into a depression. I think he tried to use Dee as a way out of that, build a life for himself, but he was still hung up on Kara. So, while I still see the weight gain as lazy storytelling, yeah, part of me gets it.

Now my problems shifts to the being hung up on Kara. Since the writers have opted to take so much away from Lee and giving him very little of significance to do as of late, it’s as if he’s become all about Kara Thrace. (Which could lead to a discussion as to how she has become the focus of the show, but I’ll let others argue that.) Lee has shown his fare share of faults; he can be fearful and he can be weak. It’s what makes him interesting to me. Apollo on the original series bored me to death because he was such a goody-two-shoes, always being brave and doing the right thing. Give me a Lee that freaks out when a believed to be dead Cylon suddenly moves. I can even deal with Lee wearing his heart on his sleeve because that is atypical of a male lead on a TV show. And while Kara is unable or unwilling to concede it, I think it’s clear that Lee wants to love and be loved in return (one reason I’m probably slightly more forgiving than I should be about the Dee marriage).

But when there is so much focus on Lee and Kara as there was here, it’s as if the writers are showing us it’s ALL ABOUT KARA for him. All of his unhappiness and all of his troubles as of late can be traced back to her. Is she part of it? Most definitely, but there is much more to it. It goes back to the lack of job focus, the problems with his dad and, I’m sorry, Zak plays at least a small role in all of this and why won’t they address that? But it’s as if Lee has allowed his life to be dictated by Kara’s actions these past seventeen months, actually longer, and conveys a neediness and desperation I really didn’t see at all up until this episode.

My additional observation (again, assisted by brynnmck) about Kara. Brynn brought up in conversation that Kara wanted to be punished for what she did to Lee. I do believe that to be true, at least in part. I honestly don’t believe that Kara’s is a selfish bitch who didn’t care at all she hurt Lee. The thing is she knows she hurt Lee, badly, and hurt herself in the process. I think she’s been struggling with how to make things right. And one could argue she turns to violence because that’s what she knows. She’s been taught since childhood that you solve problems with hitting. Joining the military would only reinforce that belief.

But I find this increasingly frustrating. There were other ways to get Lee to deal; she took the easiest and fastest way and most damaging way. Could the writers just please have them try to talk? Have Kara trap him in the pilot’s room or on the flight deck, throw him against a wall if you have to (I would take that as acceptable level of violence), and say “I’m sorry. I fraked up and I hurt you.” I could see Lee walking away, not wanting to listen, but inevitably thinking about it all and coming back to her. It worked in ‘The Captain’s Hand’ writers – they reconciled using words, not fists, and OMG I thought they grew as people and characters. But we’re back on the hamster wheel, resorting to solving problems with violence and, really, what did anyone learn?

I have one more post I'm working on. Be afraid people. ;)
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It seems in the past three years Lee has largely been left with two constants in his life – his feelings for Kara and fighting the Cylons.

That's a really good point. Losing both of those things essentially at once...okay, yeah, that's a piece of the puzzle I hadn't considered that way. Yay, Saturday morning thinkiness!
Have Kara trap him in the pilot’s room or on the flight deck, throw him against a wall if you have to (I would take that as acceptable level of violence), and say “I’m sorry. I fraked up and I hurt you.” I could see Lee walking away, not wanting to listen, but inevitably thinking about it all and coming back to her.

I completely agree with this. Leading up to the episode I'd been hoping, even ASSUMING, that Kara would say "I'm sorry" by the end of the episode. And while I loved the "I miss you's" dearly, it's not the same as an apology because she's still not verbalizing to Lee that she knows she hurt him and that she is taking responsibility for it. I also can't quite fathom Lee being too forgiving toward Kara unless she apologizes.

I have one more post I'm working on. Be afraid people

Ooh, it's fun when you're prolific!
And while I loved the "I miss you's" dearly, it's not the same as an apology because she's still not verbalizing to Lee that she knows she hurt him and that she is taking responsibility for it. I also can't quite fathom Lee being too forgiving toward Kara unless she apologizes.

I am in complete agreement here. I was just thinking about this some more this morning. The 'I miss you's' were, I believe, a very honest expression of what they felt. I saw someone, maybe on the Skiffy board, rant about this because what did he miss? Her abuse? The horrible way she always treated him? Granted they had those moments, but they were friends before the attacks and we have never seen that aspect of their relationship. And I think of them working (and dancing) together in 'Colonial Day' or coming together in 'Home Pt1 & Pt2' or him confessing his near suicide only to her in RS Pt2. They've had as many good moments as bad, they've shared a lot. Survivors are now mostly lacking relationships with people they knew prior to the attacks and these two are fortunate enough to have each other as well as a few others to turn to. I think it would be incredibly difficult to just give that up so I totally get the missing each other.

However ;), it is bugging me Kara didn't say she was sorry. And it's also troublesome to me if Lee let's her get away with not saying it because he's reinforcing her bad behavior. It's making them both look bad because she needs to say the words to own up to what she did. To me, it's far braver (not to mention mature) to say the words then allow someone to hit you as punishment. It bothers me enough that he let her provoke him into a fight because this is what she has been taught to understand as acceptance and forgiveness - beat her up, you'll feel better, and it will make everything OK. Accept it doesn't. Now, if Lee allows the the violence and the 'I missed you' to stand as an apology a) he's being a doormat and b) he's not allowing her to learn and grow.
I entirely agree with you, but it's a pattern in this show. They don't apologise. They say something that basically means "I love you" (either as a parent, a friend or more), and that's it. It wasn't anywhere near as bad, but Lee never actually apologised for insulting Kara in front of the whole hangar deck in KLG. When she came back from Caprica, he told her he loved her and she accepted it in the spirit in which it was meant: it was a declaration of love/friendship and an implicit apology. I think "I've missed you" means the same thing for them. I don't necessarily like it, but Kara is hardly the first person who doesn't apologise for what she did to someone. I'm actually trying to think of someone (Sharon after lying to Helo, Roslin, Adama, Lee or anyone else) actually saying "I'm sorry" and I can't find anything.
I don't necessarily like it, but Kara is hardly the first person who doesn't apologise for what she did to someone.

And that's my problem, I know this might very well be in character, but I don't like the fact that Ron and Co. never see fit to have the characters talk about their problems. It's either punch it out (Kara and Lee in KLG) or hug it out (Adama and Lee in 'Home Pt2') and now they've found a way to combine both. Actually, I shouldn't throw all the characters in together, because Sharon and Helo seem to talk about how they feel and how it affects them. The Cylon who is trying to be human may be the most well adjusted of them all.
I mentioned Sharon because I don't remember her apologising to Helo for her initial deception. She manipulated him and started a relationship with him based on her lies, and once he found out the truth, he was already too attached to kill her. She was sad that she might lose Helo because of it, but her attitude, as with so many things related to the cylons, was "I did what I had to do, move on." Remember how she shut Helo up by reminding him that she was the only reason he was still alive in KLG2? Sure, she let him shoot her and she saved his life afterwards, but I don't think she was sorry for what she did.
I don't think she feels any remorse for the initial deception because, true or not, she believes she was a different person back then and doing the duty she was assigned. I think now that she has apparently commited herself to the fleet and has a long term commitment with Helo she seems to be more honest and open and if she truly did something that she needed to apologize for, at least in regards to Helo, I think she would.

I'm very confused by the Sharon's though. Galactica Sharon showed a great deal of remorse for shooting and nearly killing Adama, yet now she is with the Cylons and working against her friends and family. I guess. We haven't seen her since New Caprica. Maybe she's babysitting Hera. ;)
(Anonymous)
Kara does say, "Captain, I'm really sorry." in KLG1. She had basically done the same thing, run off with another man when Lee got too close. A little late and not the cathartic conversation one hopes for, but she can say the words.
Good point. The interesting thing is that, this time, she had nothing to apologise for. Yes, Lee was interested in her, but inviting someone to one dance doesn't mean: "I want a relationship with you." It bothered me at that moment, and it bothers me even more after having seen season 2, because now I'm sure that Lee didn't particularly intend to make his move after "Colonial Day". He could have put it off for months or years, as long as there was no crisis between them and as long as no one really threatened their "relationship". So basically, she was unattached (Lee hadn't even hinted that he wanted to have a relationship with her), she'd slept with an unattached man, and Lee raked her over the coals for that. He's the one who should have apologised, but like other times in this show, "I love you and you're my friend" replaced the apology he owed her.
So basically, she was unattached (Lee hadn't even hinted that he wanted to have a relationship with her), she'd slept with an unattached man, and Lee raked her over the coals for that. He's the one who should have apologised, but like other times in this show, "I love you and you're my friend" replaced the apology he owed her.

I can't say I've ever hated Lee, but I came darn close in that moment he humiliated Kara in front of the deck crew. He was acting like a jealous boyfriend when he had absolutely no right to. It was horrible behavior on his part and she was the one that deserved an apology, but, yeah, weeks pass and they are just so darn happy to see each other they kiss and make up and forget about it.
Which could lead to a discussion as to how she has become the focus of the show, but I’ll let others argue that.

I would be interested to see that argument, since she hasn't had a lot of screentime in the past few episodes. It's not that I don't think she's a core character, and she gets treated like one, but I just don't see her getting any more focus than Adama, or Baltar, or any other core character when their storyline gets the focus for the week. I do think there's something to the complaint that Lee's story has become too much about Kara in this season so far, but I see that as more an issue with the writers not knowing what to do with Lee, and falling back on the handy Kara angst, than a tendency to write the show around her. And in this particular episode, as much as they made Lee's year of misery and noodles aboard the Pegasus all about Kara, I think they reduced Kara's issues to being all about Lee, when we all have reason to believe there was a lot going on with both of them--Lee's empty command and lack of purpose, Kara's four months with Leoben, just to start--and that's more sloppy writing than anything, and one of the things that I found really frustrating about this episode.
(Anonymous)
as much as they made Lee's year of misery and noodles aboard the Pegasus all about Kara,

Misery and Noodles! - Love it. There's a fic title if ever I heard one ;)
I would say that the show doesn't focus on Kara per se, but I think they have gone overboard with making her special and thus she can appear to be the focus of the show. She's the best pilot, the best shot, the best fighter, and she can apparently drink men under the table, literaly. Ron's thrown every cliche imaginable at her to emotionally break her, yet she perserveres. And then there is Leoben's obsession with her and this destiny she supposedly has. I'm at the point of fearing that the stolen ovary is being used by the Cylons to make the next generation of models and we'll have a ship full of Kara's revealed to us at series end. No, I don't think she is the focus, but when I see a rational person post about why they think she is I can see where they are coming from.
She's the best pilot, the best shot, the best fighter, and she can apparently drink men under the table, literaly. Ron's thrown every cliche imaginable at her to emotionally break her, yet she perserveres.

While I never agreed with the Kara Sue complaints, I could at least see where they were coming from up to Season 2.5, but I really do not think the show supports this reading of the character past that. For the most part, the show has systematically stripped her of all of that since then. She was the best pilot, until Kat beat her in a very public and humiliating way, because she was too weighed down by guilty and responsibility and she couldn't hold herself together. She was the best shot, and the maverick, and she shot Lee. Her drinking has more than a shade of unhealthy escape and nascent alcoholism (the parallels with Tigh are strong and, I think, deliberate). Adama would let her get away with everything--until he wouldn't, and in fact the only interaction we've seen between them this season was him telling her he no longer thought of her as a daughter. Her supposed special destiny has brought her nothing but additional suffering; it's not a good or enviable thing. And as for persevering, I guess it depends on your definition of the word. She's maintaining her physical existence, but everything we've seen of her so far this season indicates that she's dying inside, she's actively sabotaging relationships, she's exhibited more than a little of a death wish, and when called on her bad behavior as a pilot and officer, she has pulled herself together only to the point where she's barely keeping it going. She's not bravely soldiering through. I don't see how it's possible to acknowledge how unsympathetic a lot of her actions have been this season and yet maintain that she is some kind of golden child, on top of the mechanics of the season's plot, in which she has a major role only in one set of storylines and is tangential or absent from a whole bunch of other ones that have been getting lots of episode time. So all I can say is that I can't disagree more than she's becoming the focus of the show, rather than continuing to be a major character, as she has been from the beginning.
I definitely agree that the weight gain was lazy storytelling, but like his fake-suicide baby-mama revelation in 2.5, I believe the interpretation is key. As you say, it's the slow loss of everything by which he defined himself. And on a basic level, lazy as it was, the weight gain pings and makes sense, though the speed with which he lost it doesn't.

I'm much more calm about Kara's actions, but I think this is because I'm now totally invested in her behaving horribly. They did grow in The Captain's Hand, but she's shrunk a lot since then. What I saw on screen wasn't quite classic Kara provoking Lee because she deserved to get hurt, it was new Kara wanting to hurt Lee and wanting to blame him somehow even though it was basically her doing. Like she said to Anders.

I also don't think that Kara is nearly as in love with Lee as Lee is with her. At least not at the moment, or not consciously. A lot of people are interpreting her marriage to Anders as a knee-jerk "I'm scared," response to Lee's love for her. But (while I totally agree with that interpretation) I think that her one night stand with Lee was equally a fear-response. A response to the drunk-sober sudden realisation that Lee's "Kara Anders," comment was accurate. All the good stuff was over and she was going to end up married to Sam Anders living in a house in the middle of nowhere with nothing to fly and nowhere to go and she...slept with Lee in an attempt to ruin that future. Not because she loved him deeply (whether or not she does, it's not why she gave in in that instant).

I mean, that's what I really feel this episode did well - instill a sense of, "Oh, lords, here we are. We're stuck here. This is it. Forever." That reality was missing in the New Caprica episodes because it was overshadowed by the occupation and the escape.

So anyway, Kara's actions, while crappy, make sense to me. And her actions in "the present" also make sense because I don't see her ass-kicking by Adama and hugging of Kacey as a sign of her return to health, it's just a return to surface functioning. So the creepier and shittier she acts, the better I like it at the moment. The more sense it makes to me.

All the good stuff was over and she was going to end up married to Sam Anders living in a house in the middle of nowhere with nothing to fly and nowhere to go and she...slept with Lee in an attempt to ruin that future. Not because she loved him deeply (whether or not she does, it's not why she gave in in that instant).

I both love and loathe that scenerio because, on the one hand, it means that we aren't stuck with L/K OTP. But, on the other hand, it makes Lee look like a shmuck. ;)

Actually, my theory is that Kara is capable of being in love with two men at once and she loves Lee and Anders, but for different reasons. Does she want to be challenged and forced to face her faults or be accepted for who she is at the moment and not have to deal with all that baggage?

Lee I think is only capable of loving one person at a time. He tries to compartmentalize his love, burying his feels for Kara and working on his relationship with Dee. And while I think Lee cares for and loves Dee, it's a comfortable and somewhat satsifying arrangement rather than the passion he feels for Kara. So does he leave Dee and try to make a life with Kara which could possibly once more end in disaster? Or does he try to work on his marriage? Better yet, he should separate from both and work on himself.
I both love and loathe that scenerio because, on the one hand, it means that we aren't stuck with L/K OTP. But, on the other hand, it makes Lee look like a shmuck. ;)

I think that the show's OTP is probably L/K, but that aside, it's not my interpretation of the events because, yeah, it's not my OTP.

But I don't think it makes Lee a schmuck. Loving someone that much shouldn't make anyone a schmuck. Maybe he got played, but not because he was schmuck-stupid. He was just in love and the world's too harsh a place if that makes you a schmuck. It just means he needs one more cuddle. From his president.

Actually, my theory is that Kara is capable of being in love with two men at once snip Lee I think is only capable of loving one person at a time.

Excellent observation and I totally agree. But I still think, despite loving them both, she slept with Lee to escape frightening domesticity with Anders, then married Anders to escape "true love with all his expectations," with Lee. Especially since however much she hated the domesticity angle, it looked inescapable.

Better yet, he should separate from both and work on himself.

I am a broken record. I think you can already guess who I think should be working on him.