This was about 98% written before the episode aired tonight. As I was watching, I was relieved to realize that what I had come up with earlier held up quite nicely, at least for me. I did do a few small tweaks, but nothing that changed what I had to say. And I will have much more to say about this episode later. This is just me focusing on one aspect of Lee Adama and trying to make sense of the character right now.
Oh, and I'm using the same icon twice in a row because when life gives you lemons, well, you know. ;-)
In my ideal BSG, Lee never would have married Dee. I won’t say Lee never should have become involved with Dee because with some decent set-up I may have hopped on board the Lee/Dee ship. Dee checking out Lee’s ass, Lee being bummed when she ran off to Billy, and Dee confronting Lee about what was going on between them - none of this does a serious, loving relationship make.
However, Lee choosing to be with someone other than Kara and choosing to marry is not surprising. I can’t reference one specific moment, but somewhere in season 2.5 I got the impression that Lee was scared of ending up alone. Everyone else had something or someone in their lives and he, in his mind, had nothing to call his own. As the CAG or commander of Pegasus, he had reached the glass ceiling of his military career. To go any higher in command would mean the death of his father. So he then makes a deliberate effort to focus on his personal life. Kara seemingly had committed to Sam which left Dee who obviously adored him and supported him and, yes, would appear to make a good wife. It could be argued that there are others in the fleet he could be with, but I’ll cut the show some slack here since pairing Lee off with someone we already know is beneficial to them and us, the viewer.
Lee and Dee are a stable, supportive, and, in many ways, until recently, healthy relationship. Traits that tend to make for boring TV. Especially when the viewer is lost as two why these two people, beyond very general reasons, came together and remain together. (OK, we now have Dee’s reasons and I’m saving my thoughts on that for my episode post.) It’s Lee’s motives I’m interested in here. I’ve been struggling to understand why the writers have chosen to take Lee down the path of being a liar and a cheat and a dishonorable man. Why have they intentionally or perhaps unintentionally destroyed a character that so many of us liked? And how can I still love and admire Lee even though what he is doing in his personal life is severely testing my patience and pissing me off?
When I focused on that one aspect of him, his personal life, it’s when the realization occurred. Lee Adama hasn’t changed at all. The writers, other than the weight gain and momentary lapse of judgment in counseling Adama not to go back to New Caprica, have not been writing Lee out of character. This is the Lee Adama we’ve had all along. The truth is, when it comes to love and relationships, Lee Adama can be a selfish ass.
In TaBfAYW, Lee begs for Dee’s forgiveness as Baltar attempts to garner the same from Gaeta. In regards to Lee, my initial thoughts weren’t much different than those I’ve seen from others, what the f***?
As an unabashed Lee fan it hurt to see him grovel, to be so pathetic. He’s gone through a lot as a soldier, but this may be his lowest point as a man. I can’t say I felt sorry for him though. He created this situation and if it is his desire to save the marriage this is the only thing left for him to do.
I had anger, at Lee and, more so, the writers. Forgetting the shows past is sloppy, lazy writing. I can be a teeny, tiny bit forgiving if a plot point was written two years ago, but two weeks ago? When Lee told Dee that he was in love with her when he married her and is in love with her now, I was dumbstruck. Just two episodes ago Lee was telling Kara they could leave their spouses and be together. Now he is saying he loved Kara, past tense.
And there is what happened on New Caprica. Shortly before marrying Dee, Lee slept with Kara, declared his love for her in a manner which could have been heard by others, and announced he was breaking it off with Dee the next morning. While I believe Lee had feelings for Dee before they married, it seemed clear that he was and is in love with Kara.
I find it farfetched, even for Ron, that he would establish that both Lee and Kara are capable of being in love with two people at once. This left me to conclude that Lee is either lying to Dee or lying to himself. Because of his earnestness, because he is looking Dee in the eyes as he says the words (compared to how he struggled to look at her in EoJ when blatantly lying about Kara), I’m going with the latter. Still, it made me angry.
I have to admit to being a bit slow on the uptake. On first viewing, inter-cutting the scenes of Lee and Dee with Baltar and Gaeta just seemed like an odd, slightly distracting editing decision. Then I listened more closely to the dialogue and how, exactly, it overlapped.
Lee: There is nothing I can say to make this right, but there is something you need to know…
Baltar: They forced me to admit my failings and now that I have I feel positively liberated.
Baltar: In my heart I know I have always done what I had to.
Lee: But I married you…you are good for me Dee and I need you and I don’t think I ever really realized that until I knew I was losing you.
Gaeta: If you give them something, anything.
Lee: But, please, just give me another chance, that’s all I’m asking, just give me a chance...please
I’ve never thought about comparing Lee Adama and Gaius Baltar. On the surface they seem like such different men. But listening to the dialogue (which does lack subtlety) and seeing both so low, pleading for their lives, I see there is a commonality between the two. They are both selfish men. They’ve been their own worst enemy and contributed to their undoing. And while it’s Baltar’s ego that led to the near annihilation of his race, it’s Lee’s fears that once again leave his personal life in ruins.
It surprised me that realizing Lee was such a selfish individual was a huge relief to me. It’s an unflattering trait, yet it doesn’t directly contradict why I fell in love with the character and continue to. I love Lee Adama, the idealist, in ‘Bastille Day’, who goes against his father/commander and the president to promise a terrorist that he’ll get his elections because it’s the right thing to do. I love Lee Adama in KLG Pt 2 for being willing to sacrifice his career, his name, his family, even his life in service to an office in and an idea. I love that he can be scared in the cockpit or facing down a Cylon, yet will find the strength to overcome it. I love that in ‘Scar’ and ‘The Captain’s Hand’ he finally learned to be a good friend. I love that he’s a far better leader than he’ll ever give himself credit for.
But Lee Adama being a bad boyfriend/husband, being selfish and needy and a failure has been there, according to ‘Black Market’, since before the series began. Whether Anonymous Blonde Girlfriend was pregnant or not doesn’t matter. She loved him, wanted more from him, and when he couldn’t give it, he hurt her. He attempted to make up for that past sin - and make himself feel better in the process - by trying to force a relationship with Shevon. And with Kara, while there is no doubt that Lee loves her, he wants a relationship with her on his terms. He pushes a commitment she is not ready for and while her reaction is harsh and incredibly hurtful, he’s not seeing his role in it.
Now there is Dee. His speech to her is the only time I can recall loving him and hating him at the same moment. His final “please”, said in such small, desperate, broken voice, got to me on a gut level. Still, understanding his pain is one thing, sympathizing with him is another. He has hurt Dee and his desperation to get her back reads to me as being less about losing her and what they have then about him.
Prior to their marriage and up until UB, Dee has been shown to be kind, supportive, and understanding. She’s been there for Lee in ways I don’t think Kara is capable of right now. It’s why Lee’s, “you are good for me, Dee” seems completely honest to me. But listen closely to what Lee is saying and it’s all about him. Dee is good for him. Does he site one reason why he has been good for her? He states “I need you” which, again, is a truthful comment. Without her he loses her calming, stabilizing influence and, more importantly, he goes back to being alone. But does Dee need him? Yes, she may love him, but how has being with Lee made her life any better?
Whether Dee takes him back or not, I think Lee expects her to. (Again, we got our answer and much more on that later.) I’m not slamming Dee, but she did pursue Lee and when he proposed I’d hazard to guess he was confidant as to what her answer would be. He’s still counting on her desire to be with him as he tells her exactly what he believes she wants to hear to make things right (I loved Kara, I love you, I’m scared of losing you) so he’ll get his second chance.
Lee, like Baltar, can almost make you buy into the lies because they’ve both gone to such lengths to convince themselves it’s the truth. Baltar never planned on aiding the Cylons; Lee never saw himself betraying Dee. Maybe Lee can even say “I was in love with you” and mean it because he has told himself he had to be in love with her. He wouldn’t have allowed his marriage to be built on a lie. He wouldn’t intentionally hurt Dee. He’s tried too hard to be a good man to have screwed up this badly. But the reality is he’s failed once more in his personal life because of an inability or unwillingness to confront some hard to face truths about himself. Confronting the fact that Lee Adama isn’t always admirable is a hard thing, but I know I feel better doing it.