The season finale is really a three-parter starting with this episode, but, for some reason they couldn’t let the network know that. (O…K…)
They wanted to bring one or more cast members into the trial as participants. Early on the idea was to have Lee as the sole attorney, but it seemed too much of a stretch. They didn’t want all the lawyers and judges to be guest stars and then have to work hard to find something for the series regulars to do. Adama was supposed to be the only judge before they opted for a tribunal.
Terry more mentioned that some people at the SciFi board were asking why wouldn’t Adama recluse himself? Ron rationalized that there wasn’t anybody in the fleet who isn’t directly involved in case and they wanted to beef up the drama. He knows they are pushing it.
He talked a bit about how the legal system is currently lacking and that the system of justice, in the writer’s minds, has been each ship’s captain administering justice as they saw fit.
The story at one time was much more Lee-centric. There were scenes in which Lee was interrogating Caprica Six to obtain evidence and to see what she’ll testify to. Part of his job was to determine if Caprica could be a witness at the trial. If she’s a person her testimony would be accepted, if she’s a machine, then not. And Adama had designated Sharon a person, even giving her a uniform, and how does that play into it? Caprica was gong to give up the fact Baltar played a part in the destruction of colonies. Ultimately, the scenes felt too claustrophobic and they were digging into a backstory that the audience already knew. Instead, they chose to deal more with the aftermath of Kara’s death and how it affected Lee and Adama as well as expand the role of Lampkin.
At one point the show opened with Lee and Anders both going to memorial wall to place the picture of Kara there. In the midst of doing so, a fight broke out between the two. Their anger and emotions coming out, each venting on the other. It turned into a brawl. But it was too expected and much more interesting to play them in sympathy with each other. Their rivalry was gone; the reason for their rivalry was gone and now they gravitate to each other in their mutual morning.
Lampkin was only supposed to be in this episode. He was going to die in the explosion at the end leaving Lee to defend Baltar.
There was a long speech of Lampkin’s that was filmed and cut. He talked about fear and what it does to people. They decided it was more interesting to just start with a guy in sunglasses who says nothing.
If Ron had known about the online fascination with Jake the dog, he would have made Lampkin his owner.
Ron did not take a pass at this episode. (Guess we can’t lay any blame at his feet this week ;)
No surprise, the American legal system is the basis of the colonial legal system. It needed to feel familiar and we understand the basic conventions.
With the manifesto and prisoner writing, Baltar reinvents himself one more time. Terry pointed out that Baltar believes the personas he adopts completely – that he is a political prisoner.
Lampkin’s sunglasses are on the edge of being artifice. Mark Sheppard and the director questioned using them, but Ron thinks they work. They don’t cross a line into parody.
Ron hated the cat. It refused to run off the raptor so they had to speed up the film to make it look like it was running. (You can tell if you watch closely.)
Ron had to point out in the Lee/Adama scene in which they discuss Kara how great Eddie was and how he was conveying how he felt about Katee’s loss. How her being gone affected the entire cast and crew. (Whatever!)
In a lot of the drafts the identity of bomber wasn’t going to be revealed. They were going to keep him around as a threat thru the trial. But since they had no plans for a bomb to go off in the finale it was pointless.
The Baltar looking for his pen scene originally came after the scene between Lampkin and Caprica Six. Ron wanted the scenes reversed to allow for the audience to wonder what Baltar was searching for and then draw their own conclusions as to what happened in the scene with Caprica.
Ron feels the drinking scene between Lee and Lampkin is one of the best Lee Adama scenes over the course of the series. They’re revealing parts of his backstory. The introduction of Lee’s grandfather was influenced by Ron and David’s work on the Caprica pilot. Apparently, Joseph was defending mobsters before going into civil liberties work. The story adds texture and context to who Lee is, why he might be interested in law, and why there may be conflict with his father. Adama does not come from a family of soldiers and he has real problems with who his father was, what he did, and how he made his money. Joseph wasn’t just an idealist; he defended people who were scummy. Lee is drawn to law books and uniform at same time. It’s who Lee is and what he is all about.
“Is the story about the woman true?” Lampkin says yes, but when they cut back to him for a longer beat it raises the question in the audiences mind if he is being truthful.
Lampkin being a kleptomaniac Ron loved. He tells his writers to surprise him with things he doesn’t know about the characters.
Ron talked about the case being about the people. And the power of the father/son dynamic. That it’s not intellectual or philosophical. Adama as a judge - Ron expects to be fair minded person in all circumstances. (Insert laughter here.) And who better to argue and passionately for the man who cannot be defended then Lee?
Ron likes the resurgence of the father/son conflict. Such conflicts never really go away. They can come to the surface rather quickly given the right set of circumstances and this is one of the circumstances.
The memorial wall scene - Lee can move on on some level, but Anders can’t move on. Anders isn’t going to recover quickly.
The final scene is one more level of manipulation. Lampkin seals the envelope in front of Lee and he delivers it having no clue what is inside.