After reading spoilers for ‘Maelstorm’ I was 95% sure that Kara Thrace, in some form, would be back. After seeing the episode I was 99% sure. After listening to the podcast, I’m 100% sure. I lost count of how many times in used the words death or dead or loss. Yet, I didn’t think the tone didn’t matched the weight of the words. He sounded more upset talking about Kat or Billy or Crashdown’s death. And he adores Kara so, yeah, not really buying she’s gone for good.
Oh, and Ron described how he and David called Katee and told her what they had in mind and how shocked she was. Once they explained the reasons why they were doing it, she ultimately bought into it and was excited to do it. Accept, I don’t recall Katee mentioning anything about a discussion with Ron and David only she was shocked when she got the script. So is she leaving out an important detail or is Ron fibbing?
The finished product is very close to the original story. This was to be another of their Starbuck episodes. They do one ep a season that puts her through the ringer and it usually involves combat and the Cylons. AoC and Scar, the prior two Starbuck eps, were written by the same writers.
During Kara’s Leoben dream, Terry commented that ‘Women don’t do this’ - referring to Kara writhing - and that it’s men that think women writhe. Of course, Ron disagreed with her. :/
They intended Amanda Plummer to reprise her role as the oracle, but budget and scheduling reasons prevented that. Plus, Ron thought it would be a little cute if Amanda Plummer was the only oracle in the fleet.
The original intent was to have Kara resist the call to throw herself upon the rocks, to kill herself, and in the process she finds something that leads them on their road to earth. But that ending didn’t take you anywhere important, didn’t slap you in the face, and in the writers room it came to him that they should just kill her. He mentioned the shock value of it and how risky and upsetting it would be. It jangles the conception of what the show is and we’ll see how the death propels them in a certain way to where the show is ultimately going.
Terry commented on how in the Kara/Anders relationship, Anders is the complete wuss. Then Ron talked about reading posts on the boards regarding how the show switches gender roles making the women strong and the men weak. He thinks that is fair, but that’s just how this world operates. They thought about the sexual politics from a very early stage and how the female roles would be very strong.
Kara actually made three trips into the gas giant. It’s the middle passage that was cut. Kara was on a CAP patrol, went by the clouds, and saw the maelstrom and raider again. She pretended to have hydraulic failure and ran away. (This probably would have preceded the ‘bonus scene’.) Then we see Adama and Lee debate what to do about her. Ron was adamant during filming that they needed the third trip, how things always happen in threes, but when he saw a rough cut he realized it wasn’t necessary.
It wasn’t filmed, but in the script there was a last difficult meeting between Kara and Adama. Kara, Adama, Laura, and maybe Lee (Ron couldn’t recall) are in a meeting. Kara picks up on the body language between Adama and Laura. Ron was still playing up the are they or aren’t they aspect of their relationship. Kara figures that out and says in public, in the meeting, “Why don’t you two get a room?” Adama doesn’t say anything in the moment, but asks her to stay behind. That’s when he lays into her, even pushes her against the wall. The last things he says to her are awful and angry. The director came to Ron and said they didn’t need that, it was ugly, and apparently EJO didn’t want to play it. Ron eventually agreed that didn’t have to pile it on - that not only is she going to die, but Adama is also going to say these ugly things. It was merely a writer’s device.
Lee talking to Kara was colored by the fact she had gone into the gas giant for a second time and panicked before their talk.
Kara’s comment about coming full circle, Lee being the CAG and she being his hot shot screw-up pilot, for Ron harkened back to TOS and the friendship between Apollo and Starbuck.
Originally, instead of hallucinating her apartment, Kara woke up in a Cylon raider. It’s possible she ejected and had been picked up or this was another big mind f**k. Is she on the ship or in her cockpit? But building the raider was cost prohibitive so they ended up going back to the location of apartment which he feels was a better choice.
There was some network resistance to the mother’s back-story - like showing young Kara’s hand being broken. The abuse was not something they had planned from the show’s inception, but the bible did state that Kara’s mother was a sergeant major in the marines who tramped Kara around bases. Kara’s father was a pianist who left and Kara and her mom were stuck together.
Kara was fated for a particular end and her mother was trying to prepare her for those roles on some level. Her mother had seen oracles and believed she was special. She tried to toughen Kara to help her face future challenges, but she stepped over the line and created this really toxic relationship with her child.
Ron feels as if they are moving the series into the third act of its existence in the larger sense. He doesn’t know how many seasons or eps they have left, but they are approaching resolutions and where things are going.
Kara decides to die, to kill herself. What she is destined for is to die in a certain way at a certain time in a certain manner. She embraces the night and goes down. In the past she has tempted death, cheated death, and was willing to look into the abyss, but she always found a way back to safety before death took her. To be a hero in her own mind and heart she had to conquer her fear and embrace her end. Ron also commented how throughout the series she has had trouble facing other people’s deaths and how she wasn’t there when Kat or Zak died.
There were lots of upset people on the set when they found out about Kara’s ‘death’. Eddie commented that the show will never be the same again. (Ron was laying on the melodrama, imho, a bit thick here.)
Adama smashing the model ship was one of the most powerful and surprising moments and totally unplanned. That was Eddie being in the moment and showing genuine emotion. Unfortunately, that ship he smashed was a museum quality ship that they were renting and was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The good news is it was insured.