The First Evil (asta77) wrote,
The First Evil

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Sine Qua Non

I know most of you won't comment on any of this until at least Friday, but I have to get my thoughts down before they escape me. I've come to realize that BSG may be the only show to get me to go WOO! and WTF? in the same episode. ;)

Finally having been given an episode featuring Lee Adama, you probably expect to read how much I loved and adored the episode. Well, don’t be so presumptuous. I will confess that the Burgundy Shirt of Hotness may be one of the best costuming decisions in the history of this series. Everyone else can keep the towels, I’ll take the shirt. ;)

I don’t want anyone to think I hated or even disliked this episode. This was no ‘Black Market’ or, worse, ‘The Woman, King’. But even with copious amounts of Lee I didn’t love this episode, not like I loved ‘Six of One’ or even ‘Guess What’s Coming to Dinner’. The performances were outstanding. I can see why this episode is the Emmy submission for Jamie, Eddie, and Michael Hogan. It’s their best work of the season. Even Grace, Tricia, Mark, and Richard all had a moment or two to shine. I have to say, this is the best cast of actors I’ve ever watched grace a screen together. But as I was just starting my second viewing of the episode, a phrase popped into my head, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” That statement is an over dramatization. A lot did happen and much of it was significant, but much of it was also expected. There were some unforeseen twists, which I will get to, but Caprica’s pregnancy was already deduced by some over the past couple of weeks and Lee’s presidency many have seen coming since the first season. And Adama acknowledging he can’t live without Laura, I’m not a shipper but, well, it was about time he actually said it.

I’m stating the obvious, but the episode was about four men, Adama, Tigh, Lee, and Romo. At least in the case of three of them, choices made will have ramifications for them and the fleet.

Lee Adama

Or should I say Leland Joseph Adama. I do have an issue with just finding out now that Lee’s name is actually Leland. Putting aside, as part of the military, his legal name would have been used on numerous occasions, Kara never once mocked him about this? I find that hard to believe. But, I have to say, I like the name. Maybe because my assumption is it’s a family name and my dad got tagged with the middle name, Hart. It also has a nice presidential ring to it. ;) Most importantly, I can live with the name. I had much worse case scenarios in mind after hearing Lee wasn’t his real name.

Lee Adama is president. When the time came I thought I would have a lot to say about this. I find I don’t have a lot to say about this. I might in time. He hasn’t been tested yet. And I am sooooo looking forward to the conversation between him and Laura when she returns to the fleet. (That’s not a spoiler, just an assumption on my part.)

Before Lee is selected for the office, Romo remarks that they (the Quorum) is looking for an “understudy”, a perfect choice of word since that is what Lee has been, whether he realizes it or not, since the day Captain Apollo met Laura Roslin. I can also accept Lee stepping into this role now, before he’s really ready, not just because he’d have his father’s support as well as the Quorum’s and Zarek wouldn’t argue bitterly against the nomination, but because it is an interim position. Unless he intends to lead another coup or toss aside the ideals he presented to Laura and Adama in ‘Bastille Day’, he will step down as soon as Laura is back.

Will Lee change? Maybe. One of my favorite Romo lines seemed to serve as a warning to Lee, “That same ambition often compromises the unselfish motives that began the quest.” Lee was genuinely surprised when Romo said they had found Laura’s successor and it was him. But it also struck me as naïve, even a little absurd. Lee perhaps had never actively sought out leadership roles, power and the responsibility that comes with both, but he accepted the jobs handed to him. And, more often than not, he rose to the challenges presented to him and enjoyed the respect and admiration he received. As Romo pointed out, his is a repressed ambition. It’s something he does share with Laura. Neither wanted nor longed for the jobs they were made to fill, yet they excelled at them and find themselves unable to walk away.

I think it’s important to separate power from ambition; the two attributes are too often confused with one another. In ‘The Ties That Bind’, Zarek stated that tyrants want power and Laura wanted to save them all. Lee, is very much of the same mindset, telling Romo, with a gun pointed at him, that he is going to make a difference in the fleet. It’s not about him, it’s about everyone else. Lee Adama and Laura Roslin are good people, they are selfless people, willing to die not just for friends and family, but for humanity, for a conviction. But at what point do good people and ideals get corrupted? At what point does Lee realize he can’t stop from becoming Laura?

OK, I had more to say than I thought.

Romo Lampkin

I love reading the thoughts of everyone on my Flist, but I have to admit there are a few people I use as a barometer to see if I’m missing something. Romo perplexed me. Romo’s cat perplexed me. I beat myself up for not picking up Lance was dead until late in the episode. But this afternoon I read pellucid’s thoughts and the comments on her post and I felt much better. Apparently, we were all confused.

I hasten to call Romo’s flirtation with insanity character development because I think it’s the first and last time we’ll see it. Because of that I don’t desire to spend much time or effort analyzing it. It is plausible we could discover a new dimension to Romo. We don’t really know Romo that well and I always suspected he had developed a façade. Now, we find out it was to mask the guilt and pain over his family’s death. And the cat was his last tie to his family and old life. When Lance died it triggered him to act in a way that would not just destroy Lee Adama, but, more importantly, would succeed in destroying himself. While I can fill in the blanks to make it all make some sort of sense, it’s still an out of the blue development with simplistic psychological reasoning.

It’s unfortunate the writers felt compelled to make Romo yet another deeply damaged character with family issues. Up until he pulled the gun on Lee, I was very happy with the characters return. I know the writers and fans wanted him back and the show found a good, logical way to integrate him into the story. The Quorum needed a legal expert and Lee needed a sounding board. That Romo would be the person Lee sought out made perfect sense.

Saul Tigh

I really liked Tigh in this episode. One reason was because there was zero Cylon paranoia. No not-so-secret meetings in which the final four sit around questioning their true nature and panicking about if they are going to be found out. And the one thing Tigh has been determined to do since finding out the truth is to do his job and he did that here. He called Adama on putting the welfare of one individual above the safety of the entire fleet (and wouldn’t Laura hate that?) and forced him (with an assist from Romo) to confront his feeling for Laura. He also knocked Adama on his ass for his blatant hypocrisy which I kind of love.

Still, making Saul Tigh admiral of the fleet, even temporarily seems like a very bad idea to me. Hell, even Tigh brings up what happened the last time he was in charge. Yes, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he learned from those mistakes as well as what happened on New Caprica and the aftermath of that, but, still! Though, it is interesting to worry about the implication of this change in command, not because Adama has put a Cylon in charge of the safety of the fleet, but because of Tigh’s very human failings.

Saul Tigh as a father may have been the most terrifying reveal of them all. It also throws the hybrid baby out with the Cylon bathwater. You would seem to neither need a human nor love in order to reproduce. (And if Caprica is having her own child now, how will that alter her view of Hera?)

William Adama

Will Bill finally tell Laura exactly how he feels when he finds her? If not, I’m going to be even more frustrated by their relationship. I really hope he isn’t just going to expect that his actions (stepping down from command, taking off alone in a raptor) will speak louder than words (“I love you”) because I’m getting quite tired of that crap. He’s, what?, sixty, not sixteen.

And I feared for awhile that we were going to see more of the Adama that I’ve come to loathe. Forget that Sharon broke a half dozen rules and regulations, most importantly, she betrayed a promise to him! He trusted her! Yes, he actually did just say it’s all about him! We also got a replay of YCGHA, with an interesting twist of Kara realizing he was making some very bad command decisions and questioning him.

But kudos for Adama finally admitting he had lost his objectivity. I was more shocked by the admission then him actually stepping down from command.

A few other random observations:

Poor Tom, doomed to be forever a bridesmaid. He’s tried to be the good politician for so long now. I enjoyed seeing, in a private moment with Lee, his bitterness and disappointment to finally boil over. He had expected Lee to return the favor and now support him in office. And I loved that he made an excellent point, unlike Laura, unlike Lee, he may not have been elected tp the presidency, but he’s the only one who has actually been elected to the office.

Jake! Ron made good on his promise to bring him back and bring relief to fans that feared he died on New Caprica. And, as a side note, Jamie strikes me as more of a dog person than a cat person. ;)

Did the basestar really destroy the resurrection hub? Off camera? Darn. I was looking forward to a big ship blowing up. :/

I’m a bit pissed they killed off Nathalie. I think they missed out on some interesting story possibilities there. And did she really see the light before she died? Really???
Tags: battlestar galactica s4

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