Asta 2

BSG: Escape Velocity

I've some to the conclusion as long as Lee has a good storyline, I'll be satisfied. ;)


Last night, as I was trying to drift off to sleep, I found myself pondering the final scene between Adama and Laura. Not unexpectedly, I found Laura’s description of Lee to be dead on. Everything she said, I and others have said before. That’s when it struck me. This episode, almost in it’s entirety, was telling us instead of showing us. That realization was punctuated for me by having another anvilicious scene in which not very well written literature the text of a book is used to convey the feelings Adama cannot. It may seem as if this is a reaction to me not being an A/R fan, but it’s not that. From a character perspective, it strikes me as increasingly silly to have Adama act like a love sick teenager. Have him grow a pair already and tell her how he feels. She’s dying. I never thought I’d say this, but Lee and Kara are more adult when it comes to expressing their feelings because at least they’ve told the other how they feel.

But I digress. Once I realized I had nothing much to add to what Laura was saying about Lee (and how rare is it that I can’t find something to say about Lee?), I thought about the rest of the episode. Tyrol’s tirade at Adama. Laura’s losing it at the Quorum meeting. Baltar’s preaching to the masses. All of it lacked subtlety and all of it was telling us things about these characters that by and large we already knew. I’m a huge fan of Jane Espenson from her work on Buffy, but she has repeatedly disappointed me with her work on Galactica. She just does not have a handle on these characters. With the exception of Lee and Tyrol, I felt the dialogue and emotions being conveyed by the characters was off. I especially couldn’t get a handle on the Six/Tigh scenes. The actors were terrific and it was only a matter of time before Tigh’s guilt over Ellen’s death, especially in light of his new found knowledge that he is a Cylon, resurfaced. Tyrol’s grief over his believed complicity in Cally’s death was the perfect trigger. But what the hell was with all this pain/pleasure crap? (That was also echoed in an exchange between Tory and Baltar). I do believe that painful experiences can be learning experiences, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and all that, but I am sick at having to see characters have the crap beaten out of them in order to, supposedly, get to a better place. Uh, no, it doesn’t really work that way. It’s too late, but this series really needed to have a psychologist as a consultant.

Now that I’ve gotten my tirade(s) out of the way, let me address some things that did work for me or I at least found intriguing.

Lee

I mentioned in a post yesterday how I felt that Lee might be playing a more significant role this season than I had anticipated. After watching the entire episode, I feel strongly that my gut reaction was right. I was actually surprised that Lee was at Cally’s funeral. It made sense for him to be there, he served with both Tyrol and Cally and, if not friends, he and Tyrol were friendly, but we’ve seen in previous episodes that the writers failed to include Lee in scenes that he, logically, should have been included in.

After Lee witnesses the tension between Tyrol, Tigh and Tory, he has a perplexed expression on his face. Does he suspect something is not right? I wasn’t entirely certain until Baltar’s sermon. Lee looks right at Tory and sees how gripped she is by Baltar’s words. Once again, he gets a suspicious look on his face. Will Lee be the one to discover the truth about the final four? And could this lead to reconciliation between he and Laura? He knows how close Laura and Tory have become and I would think he wold try and warn her that her trusted aid is a follower of Baltar. Will Laura listen? I hope so because when Tory heard Laura use the term “cult” in reference to Baltar’s followers she was not pleased and we know what Tory is capable of.

I also believe Lee will soon be moving into a position of greater power within the government. He’s quickly become a dominant presence in the Quorum, challenging Laura’s authority and gaining the Quorum’s full support. And, now, in the eyes of Baltar’s followers, he’s an ally to their leader. We know that Lee’s motives had absolutely nothing to do with Baltar or his new found a faith, he simply did what he believed was the right thing to do, but Baltar's followers don't know him as we do. However, I did fear for a moment that they were going to go the ‘Lee finds religion’ route until I saw the disgusted look on his face as he leaves the meeting.

Lee has the support of the Quorum, the members of a rapidly growing religious group (and by extension, those looking for a more hopeful future), and I would assume a substantial portion of the military given his past. I now actually fear for Laura and her presidency.

Oh, and as much as I appreciate seeing Lee play the hero, his charging in with the marines to declare that he an emergency session of the Quorum had restored the full right of assembly was overly dramatic.

Laura

Let me make it clear. I still love Laura and I still understand Laura. She honestly believes she is doing what has to be done to preserve the fleet and get them to earth. But she’s also becoming consumed by her beliefs and, I must admit, acting a little crazy. I came to that conclusion when the marine announced that assemblies were limited to twelve people. Twelve People. That's insane under normal circumstances, but we are talking about ships crammed with people. Baltar’s people couldn’t even get into the closest thing they have to a home.

Laura’s near breakdown at the Quorum meeting made me wonder if she is actually cracking under the stress or if her actions were merely a result of bad writing. There is something about the scene that doesn’t quite sit right for me. It is plausible that no matter how strong she has been in the past that the reality of her disease, her life ending, and the physical and emotional toll of it all got to her at the worst possible moment. I think the Quorum took all that into consideration as well as her words about New Caprica. And it is important that none of them forget what Baltar is capable of. On the other hand, it’s important that none of them forget what they could become if they start chucking rule in order to suppress one man.

The problem isn’t Laura’s personal feeling for Baltar, the problem is she is now unwilling to discuss him or any other issue. She completely tried to shut down that meeting and, by extension, limit the power of the Quorum and the power of the people. It scared them and likely made them wonder what is next? Which liberty will next be taken from them? greycoupon mentioned that Lee’s actions will probably bite him in the ass. She may be right, but I don’t see what other choice he or the Quorum had. While Laura rightly feared Baltar’s death could make him a martyr (an irony considering she wanted him condemned to death at his trial), silencing him, giving cause for his followers to rebel, will result in the same situation. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t at this point and you might as well preserve some liberty.

Tigh

First of all, Tigh changing Nicky? Hee!

Tigh being drawn to Caprica makes sense. Not only does she bare a resemblance to Ellen, but she may be able to provide Tigh with answers as to who/what he is. Caprica made a choice to turn her back on her people. Does she provide him with the hope that the environment one is in and personal belief can win out over nature? She also sppke to him of love and guilt and how it was those emotions that gave her strength and tied her closer to humanity. It reinforces to Tigh the advice he gave to Tyrol - that while he’ll have to live with the guilt of betraying his love, it’s those feelings that are normal and human.

Tory

I’m still having problems with Tory’s depiction and I’m starting to have issues with the show using sex (as it does with violence) as some sort of shortcut to enlightenment, specifically for the female Cylons. I don’t know whether to find it misogynistic or just really lazy storytelling. Ever since Tory’s Cylon nature has kicked in, she’s slept with Sam, Baltar, and I would swear she was eyeing Tyrol. I actually feared for Lee sitting next to her at the funeral.

Putting that aside, last week, I began to wonder if Tory, believing she was different from the regular old skinjobs was seeing herself as, if not a god, god-like. This week, I felt I was close if not entirely correct. She tells Tyrol they “were made to be perfect.” Comments like that would indicate that she puts herself/them above humanity, but I don’t know is she feels she’s been enlightened or if it’s a way for her to rationalize darker truths about herself. We knew Tyrol, Tigh, and Anders pretty well before they were revealed to be Cylons. I can’t see that they’ve changed from the people they were with this new found knowledge. We saw so little of Tory before the reveal that I don’t know if her sociopathic behavior has just always been there and she’s found an excuse to release it or the Cylon reset inherently changed her? Is her perceived perfection causing her to distance herself from the mores that the vast majority of humanity chooses to follow or did she never follow them to begin with? It's no accident that in the same episode that Tory shows no remorse for her actions and chooses to latch on to the idea of a single god to absolve herself of her sins that Caprica confesses her role in the destruction of humanity and the subsequent guilt she lives with every day. Cylons do experience guilt. Caprica, Tyrol, Tigh, and the Sharon’s have all expressed remorse for their actions. So what are we being shown by Tory’s choices?

Tory expresses a belief that if you become one with god you can never do wrong. Even Baltar can’t accept this notion, as hard as he may try, he can’t escape his guilty conscience. At the end of the episode, I think Baltar does experience some enlightenment. But Tory misses his point and twists his words to suit her own purpose - she is perfect, just as she is, and, therefore, has done no wrong. But what Baltar is telling the people is that they are all flawed and have sinned, they have done wrong, but as gods creation he/she will love them in spite of their failures. It’s as close as we’ve gotten to Baltar admitting any role in their present situation.

Tyrol

It strikes me as odd that it didn’t occur to Tyrol that his Cylonness may have led him to purposely sabotage Racetrack’s raptor. How many times has Boomer and her actions as a sleeper Cylon been brought up?

I really enjoyed Tyrol’s lashing out at Adama. Great performance by Aaron and it was nice to see one of the four finally have a big emotional breakdown. And that’s how I interpreted the scene, as Tyrol finally having a breakdown. There were elements of truth to his statements. I appreciated how he talked about settling because, given the situation, I think a lot of people have settled. Would Lee and Dee have married if not for the attacks and humanity being whittled down from billions to thousands? If Boomer hadn’t been outed as a Cylon, would they she and Tyrol be together now? However, I don’t think Tyrol was as disgusted by Cally as he was trying to make Adama believe. He was angry at her for, he believes, killing herself, he’s angry at himself for believing he drove her to it, and he’s just angry at the entire situation he finds himself in. It was also oblivious to me and I think most of the viewing audience that he was trying to anger Adama to the point he would punish him because he felt he needed to be punished. I don’t know if it’s Adama’s continued cluelessness (“You never ask the right questions”) or, again, bad writing, but Adama failed to pick up on what was really happening. Big surprise, he took it personally.
  • Current Mood: blah blah
You bring up a bazillion excellent points. I do feel this story lacked subtley and I am wondering if part of it is because of how little time they have left to tell their story.

Lee has the support of the Quorum, the members of a rapidly growing religious group (and by extension, those looking for a more hopeful future), and I would assume a substantial portion of the military given his past. I now actually fear for Laura and her presidency.

I do agree that Lee seems more settled into the dynamics of the Quorum than what we first saw, and that his being vocal is giving others a bit more courage to speak up. But I have to admit, I didn't really think about the political ramifications of preserving liberty for Baltar's people from the perspective of those same people. Excellent point!

Let me make it clear. I still love Laura and I still understand Laura. She honestly believes she is doing what has to be done to preserve the fleet and get them to earth. But she’s also becoming consumed by her beliefs and, I must admit, acting a little crazy.

Yup--very much like Kara at this point, which is, of course, why they cannot see eye to eye on this issue. As to her losing her shit, everyone has a breaking point, and they do occassionally happen in public. It's actually the argument often given as to why there are so few women CEO's in the Fortune 500 (which is a rant of mine for another day, lol) Given the circumstances, I think this is entirely in character for her.

First of all, Tigh changing Nicky? Hee!

This was easily my favourite tiddly bit of the episode and I said to my husband, "FYI I want a Tigh to do diaper duty for Mother's Day." ;)

Does she provide him with the hope that the environment one is in and personal belief can win out over nature?

I think she does. It occurred to me that another undercurrent of this episode was the concept of forgiveness. I do think Tigh wants Caprica to absolve him for what he felt he had to do to his Ellen. And we need to remind ourselves that yeah, poisoning her was harsh, but she died in her husband's arms and with understanding, rather than being brutalized and airlocked by an angry committee. I don't think there's any question that Ellen forgave Saul. But I also don't think there's any question that Saul will ever believe that regardless of his Cylon-ness.

It's no accident that in the same episode that Tory shows no remorse for her actions and chooses to latch on to the idea of a single god to absolve herself of her sins that Caprica confesses her role in the destruction of humanity and the subsequent guilt she lives with every day. Cylons do experience guilt. Caprica, Tyrol, Tigh, and the Sharon’s have all expressed remorse for their actions. So what are we being shown by Tory’s choices?

Ooooh, excellent point. But I gather that ruthlessness is very much part of Tory's nature. She seemed a very stark contrast to Billy after he died. And was it not Tory's idea to fix the election? Keeping Laura in power would keep Tory in power and enjoying a better life than if she had been elsewhere in the fleet. I agree Laura's "cult" comment will bite her in the ass if Tory gets any more "devout." But yeah, she squicks me. Her personality is much more Cavil than Six.

He was angry at her for, he believes, killing herself, he’s angry at himself for believing he drove her to it, and he’s just angry at the entire situation he finds himself in. It was also oblivious to me and I think most of the viewing audience that he was trying to anger Adama to the point he would punish him because he felt he needed to be punished.

Had this scene happened before Tyrol's rant to his crew for not calling him on frakking up, I might have missed that point myself. Tyrol feels responsible for so much and he wants to be punished being a Cylon as much as he wants to be punished for Cally's misery and subsequent demise.
I do feel this story lacked subtley and I am wondering if part of it is because of how little time they have left to tell their story.

If this was any other series I would say that is probably true, but considering how they have wasted time in the past with subpar standalone stories that did nothing to advance the arc and have repeatedly stated how tight this season is story wise, I think I just have to blame the writing on this one. I love Jane Espenson, but it strikes me that she came so late to the show that she doesn’t grasp the nuances of the characters and feels she has to lay it on thick to make her point when, we know these people, she doesn't.

Yup--very much like Kara at this point, which is, of course, why they cannot see eye to eye on this issue.

From the promo, Kara really seems to be losing control of herself and her ship next week. It would be interesting to cut between scenes of her on the Demetirus and Laura on Colonial One, but it may be too much of the same for one episode. Still, it will be interesting to see how many parallels we can draw between the two. They seem to be becoming more alike then we could have ever imagined.

I don't think there's any question that Ellen forgave Saul. But I also don't think there's any question that Saul will ever believe that regardless of his Cylon-ness.

I agree with you. There is no way for Ellen to come back (unless she is the final Cylon and I seriously doubt that), but it strikes me that if there was some way she could communicate with Saul that she would tell him she forgives him for what he did. Her actions did lead to the deaths of others and there was really no way she could escape her fate. At least Tigh was merciful.

Keeping Laura in power would keep Tory in power and enjoying a better life than if she had been elsewhere in the fleet.

True. And while I don’t believe Tory has a desire for power, I think it’s clear she like to be in control. She seems to step into situations where she doesn’t really have any business being.

Her personality is much more Cavil than Six.

I actually had started to draw comparisons between Tory and Cavil during the ep, but I wasn’t able to fully form my thoughts so I didn’t bring it up here. Maybe my thoughts will come together in the weeks to come. :)
I feel like Lee's at this really interesting crossroads where he has a billion different alliances he could make, a billion different directions he could go, and I honestly have no idea what he's going to do next. It's actually kind of exciting!

Great meta, btw. :-)
It's actually kind of exciting!

It is! While I've long had the belief that Lee was destined for politics (and potentially the presidency depending on what the show does with Laura), I am pleasantly surprised in some of the choices the writers have made in getting Lee from point A to point B. I could predict that Lee would fight Laura on her order to limit public assembly, but I couldn't predict that he would stay and listen to Baltar's sermon and what his reaction to his words might be. I'm thrilled that Lee not only has a story, but it has the potential to take him in new and interesting directions that still make sense for the character.
Interesting! I didn't have a problem with the "tell not show" issue you raised - it's one I didn't consider, but I can't fault your reasoning - but this episode did leave me feeling unsteady. I got into it at length (as usual!) over in my LJ, but I think for me it's because the show is really starting to be weird. Making truly strange choices I totally don't expect which I simultaneously love and hate!

I don't have an issue with the violence between Tigh and Six but again I see your point. I...do have some issues with the way violence is portrayed on this show, but usually I manage to take the reading that it's a sign of have frakked up everything is rather than a sign that this is genuinely a way to "enlightenment". The Tigh scene especially I thought was just totally disturbed, but...that kinda worked for me.

Perhaps it's also because I'm currently rereading some of Traitor - it's a Star Wars book by a guy named Matthew Stover, which is a shame in many ways because the tie-in license means that most people will never read it and it's one of the most spectacular pieces of literature I've ever had the joy to experience. It's basically an entire book about Princess Leia's son being tortured by a woman that looks a little like a chicken (no rly), is one of the few books to actually add depth to the crazy alien antagonistic and pain-obsessed race of villains, and is generally 400 pages of transformative awesome. Somehow it manages to never be graphic and to never fall into the lazy shorthand of "pain = shortcut to enlightenment," or "pain = angsty goodness", and I think I might be pulling some of this book's incredibly nuanced thematics into an episode that may not merit them... ;)

But anyway, what I mean to say is, I don't have so much of a problem with the violence, but I am starting to wonder about the sex with the girlcylons especially, yes. But I'll...see.

And Lee is totally gonna bust Tory to Roslin! XD Though I still hope they don't just make Tory a villain.

First of all, Tigh changing Nicky? Hee!

I forgot to mention that in my review! XD

Cylons do experience guilt. Caprica, Tyrol, Tigh, and the Sharon’s have all expressed remorse for their actions. So what are we being shown by Tory’s choices?

I think that's a really key point here. I think that it's obvious Tory can't just shut down her guilt, so either her experiences have driven her to disassociation and numbness, her entire model are psychopaths, or - and this is what I believe - a little like Boomer believing she's just a machine is a coping mechanism. She's choosing to be this person, and she's latched onto the One God because it legitimises an easy way to exist. If she genuinely didn't feel guilty, she wouldn't have been looking for a shortcut to absolution.

I don’t know if it’s Adama’s continued cluelessness (“You never ask the right questions”) or, again, bad writing, but Adama failed to pick up on what was really happening. Big surprise, he took it personally.

I think your pick on Tyrol is spot on regarding his anger at Cally and desire to be punished. I think it's Adama's continued cluelessness that meant he failed to pick up on it, or at least, that's what I choose to believe. Because I've actually been enjoying Adama as a tragic "big lug" guy who just doesn't get it. When I feel that I can watch him that way and am not being asked to agree with his calls and choices, he suddenly becomes compelling to me again.

Though your comments on his inability to admit to Laura he loves her and having to instead to it through the medium of second-rate potboilers is hilarious! I'm pretty sure Laura knows anyway and isn't saying anything because she's dying, she already knows, it wouldn't change anything so she's content to let the situation be. (This is my non L/L obsessed reading which says that she doesn't say anything because she loves only LEEEEEEE. Ahem.)
I…do have some issues with the way violence is portrayed on this show, but usually I manage to take the reading that it's a sign of have frakked up everything is rather than a sign that this is genuinely a way to "enlightenment".

And that may well be what they are trying to convey. If the type of behavior they are showing now was happening on the colonies prior to the attacks, it would be pretty horrifying. But emotions - fear, anger, despair, hatred - have all been intensified. Problem is we really don’t have a clear view of the lives some of these people led before the world as they knew it ended. Kara had a reputation for being a frak up and hot head, but we know she grew up in a violent household and, sadly, children in that situation have the potential to equate violence with love.

but I am starting to wonder about the sex with the girlcylons especially, yes.

I’ve had people on my Flist for awhile talk about misogyny on the show and I can’t say that it really struck me until this episode. With Six I could just accept that was part of her nature. Here’s this gorgeous woman/Cylon who was aware of how she was viewed by others and made a choice to use sex to achieve her goals. But last week we had the reveal that Boomer inexplicably, to me, was involved with Cavil and now Tory is giving Baltar blowjobs in order to be closer to god. Ugh. Meanwhile, with the exception of Cavil, the male Cylons are apparently eunuchs!

And Lee is totally gonna bust Tory to Roslin!

And she should at the very least give him a kiss as thanks! ;)

I think that's a really key point here. I think that it's obvious Tory can't just shut down her guilt, so either her experiences have driven her to disassociation and numbness, her entire model are psychopaths, or - and this is what I believe - a little like Boomer believing she's just a machine is a coping mechanism. She's choosing to be this person, and she's latched onto the One God because it legitimises an easy way to exist. If she genuinely didn't feel guilty, she wouldn't have been looking for a shortcut to absolution.

Good point that if she didn’t feel guilt, she wouldn’t be looking for absolution. Yet even with that revelation we are still left with a lot of other questions about her. I guess I’m frustrated because if any other character began acting as she does I could likely come up with an explanation as to why. But we barely knew Tory before she was turned into a pivotal character. I’ll use a Buffy comparison since this ep was written by Jane Espenson. The character of Dawn just mysteriously appeared in the first episode of the fifth season. Slowly it was revealed who she was and why she was so important. But if by the third episode they had had her kill someone or done something else considered evil we would have been going, “Huh?”

I'm pretty sure Laura knows anyway and isn't saying anything because she's dying, she already knows, it wouldn't change anything so she's content to let the situation be. (This is my non L/L obsessed reading which says that she doesn't say anything because she loves only LEEEEEEE. Ahem.)

Well, let’s not forget that Lee, who she is supposedly pissed at, was only two seats away from her at the funeral. And there she was getting her chemo treatment, with Adama at her side, and it was all Lee, Lee, Lee. She’s obsessed with him! I’m just sayin’. ;)
This episode, almost in it’s entirety, was telling us instead of showing us.

This is something that's been bothering me about the whole season, though I'm not sure I'd quite gotten to the point of articulating it. At first I think I didn't recognize what was going on because I liked the way it was confirming my readings of the characters (and still derive a certain satisfaction from that angle of it, as is evident in my comments on Laura and Lee in my review of this ep): the whole "yes, that's dead-on how I read that character!" bit. But I'd far rather just see them behaving in the way I read them rather than being told that's how they behave. I think this is really the root of everyone freaking out about Laura-as-dictator. Not that she's suddenly so much more dictatorial than she has been all along, but that suddenly we're being told instead of shown, and it feels like an anvil.

Interestingly, though, this was not the reason I didn't care for the repeat of the Adama/Roslin book metaphor. Yes, it was an anvil, yes, it was telling and not showing. But as a shipper, I didn't like it because cryptic and metaphorical conversations about a relationship are proof that there are no actual honest and adult conversations happening about the relationship. I'd rather not see them having any kind of romantic interaction because at least then my imagination would be free to imagine them actually behaving like grown-ups who care for each other rather than as emotionally stunted people who can't manage to express feelings without the aid of a pulp novel. Ah well!

But what the hell was with all this pain/pleasure crap?

I feel like what was being aimed at here was the dual nature of absolution: forgiveness requires both penance and grace. I can't say it particularly hit the mark, though, mostly because both aspects were so exaggerated and stereotyped: penance=beating and grace=sex.

Will Lee be the one to discover the truth about the final four? And could this lead to reconciliation between he and Laura? He knows how close Laura and Tory have become and I would think he wold try and warn her that her trusted aid is a follower of Baltar. Will Laura listen?

Good point. I had similarly noted in my post that Lee looks rather pointedly at Tory in that final scene, and I wondered where they might take that, but I really love your observation that he witnesses the earlier odd interaction between all three of them. I could definitely get on board with the idea of him being the one to figure them out, I think. As long as Tory doesn't turn around and airlock him. (And wow! I can't believe I just wrote an unconsidered defense of Lee! Y'all really are bringing me around to the dark side!)

And good points all around! I always enjoy your reviews; I like the way that we tend to take a fairly similar considered and balanced approach to the show as a whole yet are coming at things from different enough perspectives that we tend to notice different sorts of things. I love it that I can have spent a large chunk of the day watching that ep three times and reading about Greek gods and Wesleyan theology and writing drafts of an ep review, and then read yours and go "oh, yes! I didn't think of that!" :D
At first I think I didn't recognize what was going on because I liked the way it was confirming my readings of the characters (and still derive a certain satisfaction from that angle of it, as is evident in my comments on Laura and Lee in my review of this ep): the whole "yes, that's dead-on how I read that character!" bit.

I’m right there with you. As much as we try to convince ourselves that our interpretations of the text are the correct interpretations, we can never be 100% certain so, yes, it’s nice when the show tells us, “Hey, you were right!”.

I think this is really the root of everyone freaking out about Laura-as-dictator. Not that she's suddenly so much more dictatorial than she has been all along, but that suddenly we're being told instead of shown, and it feels like an anvil.

Laura-as-dictator has been, up until this season, behind closed doors. The policies she sets forth are, eventually, public knowledge, but how she reaches those decisions is something only the viewing audience and a small handful of advisors, generally just Adama, are privy to seeing. Within the context of the show it was Zarek who decided that matters needed to be made public, but it was also the writers decision to go that route. Many of us saw Laura's actions as a non-issue because, given the situation they were in, sometimes ignoring laws and making executive decisions is a necessity. And the people of the fleet seemed to accept that this is the way it is, this is the way it has to be, for now. But, suddenly, Laura Roslin doing the things she has long been doing is an issue. And now that it is an issue it must be addressed. As viewers we’re thinking it’s always been this way so why is it important to make it an issue on the show now?

But as a shipper, I didn't like it because cryptic and metaphorical conversations about a relationship are proof that there are no actual honest and adult conversations happening about the relationship. I'd rather not see them having any kind of romantic interaction because at least then my imagination would be free to imagine them actually behaving like grown-ups who care for each other rather than as emotionally stunted people who can't manage to express feelings without the aid of a pulp novel.

I’m not a shipper, but ITA. I may not have ever gotten excited over an A/R scene and what it may imply for them as a couple, but I never started disliking the scenes until this season. I haven’t been pleased about the course of the Lee/Kara relationship and I hated the boxing, but at least they were talking to each other about their feelings. I can even accept, given what we know of Adama's marriage and his relationships with his children (I include Kara), that he’s not big on sharing what he is feeling or allowing others to convey how they are feeling. The guy can become overwhelmed by his emotions, but he struggles to talk about them. It’s not healthy, but some people are like that. But Laura is dying and he can’t even, in the most general of terms, talk about whatever it is that exists between them. Having a heart to heart during her chemo treatment would be poor timing, but if he’s sitting there for an hour or so can’t he just talk to her about anything instead of reading a book? I’m getting no indication that outside of politics, the military and the state of her health that they talk about anything personal. It actually makes me sad for the both of them.

Edited at 2008-04-27 04:17 pm (UTC)
And the people of the fleet seemed to accept that this is the way it is, this is the way it has to be, for now. But, suddenly, Laura Roslin doing the things she has long been doing is an issue. And now that it is an issue it must be addressed. As viewers we’re thinking it’s always been this way so why is it important to make it an issue on the show now?

I suspect that the narrative reason for highlighting it now is the looking to the future that Zarek and Lee are necessarily doing. Laura is dying, and it's important for them to think about what kind of government she'll be leaving when she does die. I think the fleet in general is also getting to the point where it perhaps needs to transition from emergency measures to a more long-term way of life. It's something of an echo of late season 2, perhaps: there is only so long that people can live like this, and perhaps there is restlessness. This time, hopefully, instead of culminating in New Caprica, they'll lay down their burdens on Earth itself. But the negotiation of leadership is part of that, I think. I can't say, though, that I don't find it a little jarring to suddenly have all this emphasis on something I've been seeing all along.

gabolange had a somewhat more positive take on the A/R scene, pointing out, as you do here, that Bill is really not the kind of guy who can express his emotions, but instead of seeing the book metaphors as inadequate substitutes (as I admit I'm still inclined to do; it turns out gabolange and I do not always think identically!), she sees that as an appropriately subdued and understated way for him to express his feelings. Laura is dying; this relationship does not particularly have a future, and gabolange is, I think, reading the use of the books as a similarly bittersweet gesture. I can see that, but I still find it somewhat frustrating. It also seems like it's bound to lead to all kinds of regrets; what will Bill feel when she does die if he's never actually managed to be honest with her about how he feels. She knows, of course, because he's said so in so many words and because she's always been far more perceptive than he, but then again, she's not the one who will be left with the regrets to haunt her.
And the Rest
I could definitely get on board with the idea of him being the one to figure them out, I think. As long as Tory doesn't turn around and airlock him. (And wow! I can't believe I just wrote an unconsidered defense of Lee! Y'all really are bringing me around to the dark side!)

Hee! Well, as far as I know Jamie is still on the show and I always felt that Lee would make it to the end so I think he’s safe from airlocks. ;) I actually worry more about Tory’s longevity. If Tyrol finds out what Tory did or even Tigh I can’t imagine Tory will be around for very long.

I like the way that we tend to take a fairly similar considered and balanced approach to the show as a whole yet are coming at things from different enough perspectives that we tend to notice different sorts of things.

I agree! I always read your reviews and find myself shaking my head in agreement, yet I’ll also come across something that totally went by me. This week it’s your revelations about mythology and how it might tie into the show.

I love it that I can have spent a large chunk of the day watching that ep three times and reading about Greek gods and Wesleyan theology and writing drafts of an ep review

I’m not the only one who watches the ep at least twice and then spends hours doing a write up? Woo!
The Quorum scene did feel off, didn't it? Thanks for articulating that stuff about telling and not showing; that nails down some of the weirdness of this episode.

I just watched and I had already blocked the Tory/Baltar pain/pleasure conversation out. This characterization of Tory is just really not working for me yet. Maybe they'll pull it out in the end, but right now, she just seems like Random Evil Plot Device Skank.
Maybe they'll pull it out in the end, but right now, she just seems like Random Evil Plot Device Skank.

Heh. I mentioned to someone I feared her being referred to as Psycho Cylon Slut. Thus far, she's this season's Dee in that they seem to be doing a great disservice to the character.
It strikes me as odd that it didn’t occur to Tyrol that his Cylonness may have led him to purposely sabotage Racetrack’s raptor. How many times has Boomer and her actions as a sleeper Cylon been brought up

So I guess I was really overthinking when I thought that perhaps Tyrol might have faked that big emotional scene and DARED Adama to demote him, to have him taken away from the position of power so he can't unconsciously hurt someone else again. LOL Yeah, I guess I was.
This episode, almost in it’s entirety, was telling us instead of showing us.

That's a very good distillation of the problem. So much speechifying!

Will Lee be the one to discover the truth about the final four? And could this lead to reconciliation between he and Laura? He knows how close Laura and Tory have become and I would think he wold try and warn her that her trusted aid is a follower of Baltar. Will Laura listen?

I really like this development, because I think it makes a lot of sense; Lee's pretty sharp, and he's also observant. I think he's probably still trying to figure out what's going on, but I could see him trying to communicate his concerns to Laura at some point. That could go one of several ways, since Laura both does and does not seem to be taking his actions personally in any given moment (she holds a grudge; at the same time, she acknowledged in this episode that she understands his motivations aren't personal).

Does she provide him with the hope that the environment one is in and personal belief can win out over nature?

One of the things I thought was interesting about Tigh being drawn to Six was that he seemed more interested in the fact that she was a murderer than in the fact that she's a Cylon, like that was their real point of similarity.

One of the things I thought was interesting about Tigh being drawn to Six was that he seemed more interested in the fact that she was a murderer than in the fact that she's a Cylon, like that was their real point of similarity.

Hmmmm, interesting. I hadn't viewed the scene from that perspective, but he was looking for absolution for killing Ellen and not trying to understand what it is to be a Cylon.
You write beautiful reviews!!
I love coming here after an episode and drinking it all in :) I thought the Quorum meeting this time wasn't as good as the one last time but hopefully there would be better scenes next episode! I also don't like the Adama/Roslin arc right now...it doesn't have the same subtlety and beauty of the goodbye scene during Ressurection Ship. As you said, they're telling us...instead of showing us :)

Another interesting note: Laura likes politicians *wink* Her first love was a politician and now Lee's a politician...hmmm ^_^
Re: You write beautiful reviews!!
Thank you very much for the compliment. :)

I agree, the Quorum meeting wasn't as good. Probably because instead of both Lee and Laura coming out of the meeting on equal footing, Lee was the clear victor in this case.

Another interesting note: Laura likes politicians *wink* Her first love was a politician and now Lee's a politician...hmmm

I like your thinking! ;-)