In addition to Ron we have Grace, Tahmoh, and Terry Moore commenting. Assume I’m paraphrasing Ron unless I note otherwise (my comments are in parentheses ;). And with people talking over each other thoughts got interrupted or didn’t come across as clearly, so sorry if this is a bit jumbled.
This is one of Ron’s favorite episodes of the entire series. Since they were only on location for the first three episodes, UB required a lot of editing to put the pieces together.
Tahmoh used his own mouth guard in the fight if you need to know that. He loves boxing and kickboxing and has been training at it for years. It’s a passion of his. So he was really not happy when in the original drafts of the script he was not fighting, but holding pads. He told them, “Let me get my ass kicked at least!”
Originally, the first fight was Lee and a nameless guest star. Lee destroys the guy in an ugly way. This was to establish the anger in his life at that point. Then it evolved to Lee beating the crap out of Helo…which Tahmoh had something to say about. ;)
According to Ron, the trick of the ep was how bad do you make starbuck look, how much do you hate starbuck by the end, yet feel this intense compassion for her. The core of the ep is Starbuck and Apollo, where they are and where they were. It’s easy to loathe her, but part of the show validates her feelings as a really damaged and screwed up person. It’s like you never quite hate Baltar or the Cylons. (Yeah, feel free to debate that below.)
Terry commented that Kara is like that one friend you have who f***s up over and over and you can’t let them go. You have to judge people on their intent and most people don’t set out to do evil.
Ron realized he couldn’t cut to the Cylon base ship because you would lose the emotional rhythms of the ep.
When talking about Adama and Roslin’s relationship he said “they almost” and you see how they were open to the possibility which I took as, at least in his mind, they didn’t get lucky that night. ;) He talks about how they’ve grown very comfortable with each other and more intimate emotionally.
In the fight between the two guys who aren’t regulars, the big guy in the black shirt is former heavy weight champ and one of Tahmoh’s best friends.
Gaeta vs. Sharon was talked about in writer’s room with Gaeta wanting Sharon to beat the s*** out of him. (Residual guilt over New Caprica perhaps?) That fight became Adama vs. Tyrol.
Like naïve me, Grace thought Adama and Roslin were smoking cigars, but it was suppose to be about them getting stoned. Of course, Ron had fights with the network regarding that.
Ron loves the “fat, lazy ass” comment and Grace remarked that they all laughed at it at the table reading. (No comment.)
There was a brief scene cut in which Adama checks on Tigh to see how he’s doing. Tigh is feeling overwhelmed, but comments it’s good to be out.
A lot of Dee’s stuff was cut from the ep. He felt her part was overwritten. There were too many speeches about how she felt and they didn’t sound right. The story of her character wasn’t that big.
Grace commented on how Ron seemed to like everything about the show. Terry said she should hear him when he doesn’t like an ep. Ron then said that the thing with Dualla was a mistake (I’m guessing he meant writing and then having to cut her scenes because that was the only time she was mentioned at length) and that the Fat Lee incident was not their finest hour since they didn’t know where to go with it. It created a lot of dead ends with the character, blind alleys they’ve gone down, and continue to struggle with it. However, he continues to work on it because Lee’s a really important part of the show. (Well, least we can be reassured he’s not dead character walking.) Grace (I believe, there were some sound issues) commented that in reality people don’t always have amazing arcs, but keep going down dead ends.
In earlier drafts, Dee and Anders came in earlier and witnessed more between Lee and Kara. And, I’m not sure if this was filmed, but Anders talks to Kara during the fight. But since it wasn’t about those relationships (yeah, they’re only married to Lee and Kara, they aren’t important) it was all cut.
They were all laughing about Adama’s non-reaction to Lee’s pain and the fact that he was eating through the whole thing. Tahmoh said it makes it so much worse because Lee is alone in his misery. Ron reiterated that you can’t completely hate Kara. Interestingly, Terry, who hasn’t seen beyond this ep, still hate’s her at episodes end and refers to her cowardice. There is also talk of how Kara is just as pissed at Lee somehow and it’s irrational. Terry theorizes that he becomes the object of her anger because she let her guard down with him. Grace (bless her) states that, in reality, people would notice Lee and Kara’s reactions. Ron argues it’s more about the dramatic point - where do I want audience to be with Apollo and Starbuck? He’s forcing space around relationship for a few moments.