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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.