Asta 2

BSG: Revelations

I was just about to begin my write up for ‘Revelations’ when I heard of the passing of NBC News’s Tim Russert. Not that it will affect my writing, but I did have one of those ‘It really puts things in perspective’ moments. And while I didn’t take the news of his death as hard as I did Peter Jennings’s, I’ve watched Tim during the coverage of the Democratic primary it struck me that, amidst today’s journalists who don’t hide their opinions or, worse, pontificate from their news desk, Tim remained one of the few fair minded, balanced and mercifully quite news people. He will be missed.

My previously chosen title for this review now seems a bit ironic.

I won’t go into this at length in this post (I’ve already gone more off topic than I intended), but I’ve been attempting to take a more Zen approach to numerous things recently. I’ve seen small signs that it may be working. ‘Revelations’ is an example of that. I could be harsh about some of the plotting and characterization, but why bother? Battlestar Galactica remains my favorite show on television and I still love many aspects of it. And, if like me, you’re a Lee Adama fan, who also adores Laura Roslin, and favorite relationship is Lee and Laura, than you find a lot to be happy about. ;)

I’m going to begin at the end. This is the fifth season/mid-season finale/cliffhanger and, in my opinion, the weakest of them all. The producers, writers, and actors need to cease telling us how certain episodes are incredible and some of the best hours of television. Not only are they setting themselves up for criticism, such opinions should be left to the viewer to decide. The final scene was not terrible, but there was also nothing surprising about it. Did anyone really expect they would find earth this soon? This fake out is on par with Kara’s ‘death’ in ‘Maelstrom’.

At least, in the closing moments, I felt emotionally connected to the episode. It was one of the few times I did. Nearly 40,000 people and however many Cylons thought their journey was at an end. The war was over, they had a new home, and they could finally rest. Instead, they found a planet that looks to have suffered the same fate as the twelve colonies – destroyed structures, eradiated soil, and no sign of life of any kind.

Were those the actual ruins of the Temple or Aurora? Do they just think they are? Either way, I don’t believe this is the earth they are seeking.

I also found the people watching at the end fascinating. It was the first time in the series that humans and Cylons were freely mingling. D’Anna appeared devastated at what she was (and wasn’t looking at. She’s reaped so much destruction and for this. Is it Sam that Tory has feelings for? Or was it the Cylon connection that caused her to reach out to comfort him? Caprica, free once more (and, hey, someone finally gave her a jacket) walked to Tigh, not Baltar, who was very much alone. Dee’s gaze followed a gutted Lee. And Leoben was not far from Kara.

As for the rest of the episode, I felt it relied a bit too much on character exposition, incorporated at least one aggravating made-for-TV moment, and I found little going on under the surface. Few, if any, deep thoughts on this one, but there were more than a few character moments that warrant mention.

Lee Adama

Lee had the shortest presidency in the history of the colonies and I’m OK with that. Lee Adama will, one day, be president again. Laura Roslin made that clear. He did an incredible job in a defining moment for humanity. I imagine there will be people who will say that Lee, when told by Bill, “Your call, Mr. President”, that he did nothing more than agree to Laura’s plan of action. That is true, to a point. Laura’s was the right course of action at that moment in time, Lee knew it to be true, and it wasn’t the time to try and make a name for himself. But as the situation changed, he saw the plan had to. He showed, again, his talent for evaluating a situation and quickly coming up with a plan of action. And by nearly airlocking Tigh he proved, no matter how much it may hurt him personally, he can make the tough call and shoulder the responsibility.

Humanities right to survive, it’s not a given, it’s a choice. Lee made that choice. His defining moment was negotiating the cessation of hostilities with D’Anna. He put aside whatever hatred and anger he harbored towards the Cylons. He knew to have a future, to not have this happen again and again and again, they had to decide to trust each other and move forward, together. It’s not forgetting or forgiving, it’s realizing that if they keep on the path they are currently on, continually fighting each other, they will do so until one or both races is destroyed. It’s a resolution to the human/Cylon conflict I can live with.

The scene between Lee and Laura was (almost ;) everything I could want. Not only was there a lot of respect and admiration on her part, whatever anger Laura felt towards Lee was gone. There was a Season 1 vibe there and I got a strong sense that these two will be working together now. Telling him that the fleet will need his continued leadership in the days to come makes me wonder what role she envisions for him, besides replacing her one day. There doesn’t seem to be a reason to force Zarek out, but if Laura wishes Lee to help her lead the people that, to me, would mean Lee being more than a Quorum delegate.

One final, superficial note, on Lee. I thought Lee sitting in the viper in his suit was pretty darn cute, but Lee jumping up on the table in CIC, taking off his jacket, and throwing it into the crowd, celebrating, was AWESOME. We’ve never seen that kind of joy from Lee before. And I wonder if that moment was scripted or if something Jamie and Michael Rymer came up with on set.

William Adama

I thought Bill took Laura’s abduction and acceptance of her eventual death hard, but his emotions on those matters paled in comparison to his reaction to Saul Tigh’s ‘betrayal’. Who is it really that he can’t live without? Tigh has been his best friend for decades. He’s likely spent as much, if not more, time with him than Laura, Carolanne, Lee, and Zak combined. These men believe they have supported each other through the worst of times and failing to realize what enablers they’ve been. Still, I was rather shocked to see Bill Adama so completely fall apart. (And I can just imagine the slash being written as I type this….on second thought, no, I won’t imagine that.)

One of the pluses to Bill’s breakdown was seeing Lee have the power in the father/son relationship. Perhaps more importantly, we witnessed a shift in leadership, echoing back to Kara's words about children replacing their parents. Bill was already being put in the subordinate position, addressing Lee as “Mr. President” and following through on Lee’s commands. After his collapse, there was a strong reversal of the dynamic in ‘The Son Also Rises’ with Lee telling Bill he had to pull it together. Actually, given the look on Lee’s face I think what he rally wanted to say was, “Snap out of it! We have no time for you to be emo!” ;p

The shot of Bill wrapped up in his robe, muttering, “I don’t know”, perplexes me. I’m sure we’re meant to feel sorry for Bill, his loss, and his pain, but I nearly chuckled. He came off like that cranky grandparent in the retirement home you don’t look forward to visiting. Yes, his BFF is a cylon, but do you just give up on life and the fleet? Do your son and girlfriend have to work together just to get you to dress yourself? I’m not really sure what the hell the writers are doing with Adama this season, but, in part, it’s to the benefit of the Lee’s characterization so I won’t complain.

Saul Tigh

I’m becoming more of a Saul Tigh fan. I respected him a hell of a lot in this episode. I never viewed him as a coward for not confessing he was one of the five sooner, though he obviously feels he was. He believed he could serve the fleet best by continuing his role as XO. And, then, when the moment came where the best thing he could do for the fleet was confess, he did it. Not once has he acted selfishly and that is more than Bill Adama can say.

Laura Roslin

I loved that Laura remained true to herself. Bill tells her he loves her and that he won’t leave. She tells him to get back his ass back to Galactica, do his job, and nuke the basestar with her on it if need be. I LOVE HER!

Her non-reaction to Tory being one of the five, I loved that too. Because there was more important matters at hand. Compare her reaction to Tory’s ‘betrayal’ to Adama’s reaction to Tigh’s. Of course, she realizes it’s not all about her. Hell, I don’t think she even took a moment to contemplate how she had been fooled because, ya know, they all were. There was a huge revelation and life went on as it must. Did I mention how much I love her?

Tory Foster

Again, I’m not sure what is going on with Tory. Did she really go with D’Anna to join her people? Did she go to make sure Laura got her medicine and was OK? Was her “I don’t take orders from you any more” part of some act? Was it a combination of all those things? Or maybe it’s just self-preservation and looking out for herself. I’m at a loss and, honestly, I don’t really care.

Though, I am curious to know if she really reads people as badly as it appears. Press Lee and he’ll back down. Really?

Gaius Baltar

‘Thank you for, essentially, not murdering me.’ Hee! That’s a line you don’t hear very often. And that’s as close as we will probably get to gratitude from Gaius. He knows he doesn’t deserve to live given the billions who died due to his errors in judgment. Yet, he has another chance.

I appreciated his honesty. He loves living. Again, it’s as close to an admission that we’ll get that he seeks to live at any cost. Of course, his love of life raises some questions his new found relationship with god. I’m not saying that even the most deeply spiritual and religious individuals welcome or look forward to death, but if Gaius truly believed what he preaches, should he fear death as much as he seems to?

Now for my list of What the Frak? Moments:

* Who died and left D’Anna in charge? Ok, yes, Nathalie died, but there is one D’Anna left in the universe, she has a history of making trouble for the Cylons, so the Sixs, Sharons, and Leobens allow her to take over?

* Only four of the five are in the fleet? Where is the fifth? And if it's someone we know does that mean they died and will be resurrected?

* Has it even been a week since Gaeta’s leg was amputated? Should he be back at work?

* Laura and Bill have been gone for two or three days. Yet, Laura’s stuff is packed in boxes and Lee is reminiscing about Bill as if he’s dead.

* I mentioned the made-for-TV drama moment earlier. How many phones did Kara run by as she raced from the shuttle to the airlock to stop Tigh’s execution? I almost wish Lee had airlocked him just so he could ask Kara why she didn’t think to make a frakking phone call. :p

* When did they decide to let Tyrol return to the flight deck? Oh, it must have been when they released Athena from the brig and allowed her to return to duty and lead a mission.

* And, Tyrol, stop laughing, it’s not that funny!

* There was some sloppy editing in this episode. Did Adama’s binge drinking and trashing of his quarters take minutes or hours? Given Dee spent so much time at Lee’s side, it felt as if some Lee/Dee interaction was cut. But the most glaring error to me was during the celebrating in CIC. We go from Laura bending over the table and starting to cry, standing next to Lee (you can see his arm in the frame) to Lee, sans suit coat, on the other side of the table, embracing his father.

Now I shall see if my thoughts change at all after third viewing.
  • Current Mood: rejuvenated rejuvenated
I've seen people say that it's New York and others who, like you, live in New York, say it's definitely NOT New York. ;) My problem is if those are the ruins of the Temple of Aurora they are walking through, which I'm assuming they are since the writers chose to focus on the drawing in the ep, then at what point in history was that built just outside of New York? Unless we are to find out the temple is merely the remnants of a Christian church. Lee did walk by a big honking stone cross.

On the other hand, in the drawing, it looked as if there were more modern, skyscraper-like buildings around the temple. Since Caprica City looked as if it could be any city on earth in the not too distant future, I can believe that what we are looking at is the thirteenth colony, but not necessarily earth, our earth. In one of my previous posts I talked about why I thought life started on earth and then humans traveled out into space. Maybe this isn't the earth they are looking for and there is some hope for them yet.

And wasn't there something about the dying leader leading them to earth, but not seeing it themselves? I need to rewatch the series over the hiatus. I sense loopholes!
Not reading because I haven't seen it yet, but I saw this and thought of you. Others might have linked you already, but just to be on the safe side... ;)
The Lords of Kobol never promised you a rose garden
"How many phones did Kara run by as she raced from the shuttle to the airlock to stop Tigh’s execution?"

I caught that too. "Don't they have radios?" was my remark.

I also loved Laura's instruction to blow up the basestar. Her epiphany only goes so far.
Re: The Lords of Kobol never promised you a rose garden
I'm just shocked they had the 'Kara running through the corridors' scene since Michael Rymer was the director. He usually points out to the writers when they are being cheesy or melodramatic.

I also wonder if after Laura saw Adama acting all old and petulant if she second guessed her revelation to him? ;)
I appreciate you posting analysis of these episodes, because the most intelligent reaction I've had to this season can be summed up as "WTF?"
Heh. Thanks. :) And I appreciate anyone commenting on this post in particular since I seemed to have a wildly different reaction to a certain plot point.
My vote is that it's definitely Earth. And I don't see it as a fake-out, really. I mean, anyone who has seen much of this show at all knows that there's another shoe to drop when they're all celebrating, so I can't imagine anyone was fooled by that. And I really love the idea that so much has been about "finding Earth" and now that they're there, it isn't at all what they expected, nor are their questions answered. I talked about this in my post at somewhat greater length, but I love endings that remember the fallout, remember what happens after the goal has been achieved, and I'm potentially thrilled that BSG has gone this direction.

Otherwise, though, I think we're largely in agreement about the particulars. I posted this but must tell you personally: I really loved Lee!!! Oh show! Making me say things I never thought I would! ;)
Oh, even unspoiled, I knew a shoe would be dropping! They were far too happy. And when anyone is happy on this show, the writers need to turn around and rip their heart out. Your icon is a good example of that. ;) And I did appreciate the cliffhanger emotionally. They were so happy and they believed they had finally found their new home and that maintaining their hope in the darkest of times had paid off. Then they find humanity had destroyed themselves and turned their hope into a wasteland. Now what do they do? I really look forward to finding out what happens next because if they believe they reached the end of the road, then the focus should turn to the more personal stories. How do these people react? What do they do next? More importantly, what do they do with the rest of their lives if their lives will be spent on a ships?

Still, I'm not convinced this is the earth they are looking for. ;)

I really loved Lee!!! Oh show! Making me say things I never thought I would!

Pretty soon I'll be shipping Lee and Kara! ;p

Though, I did really enjoy their scenes together. It's awesome seeing them get along so well. :)
I stand by my belief that it's actually Earth.

Regarding Kara running past a bazillion phones, I think she knows Lee well enough to know he'd ignore the phone, or at least, isn't willing to take the chance that Dee or whoever won't let her talk to him. MY issue was why her mystery viper was miles from the rest of the flight deck (although I guess there are probably flight decks on both sides of the ship and her viper might have been on the opposite side of the viper launch tube airlock of doom.)

As for Bill and his bathrobe moment, while I agree that he came off as an alzheimer's patient here, I can buy why he's dealing with PTSD in the case of Tigh when it wasn't such a big for Laura. Tory has been only quasi close to Laura, and that's for a space of what, 2 years or so? Whereas Bill, whom we know to be the more emotionally charged of the two of them is dealing with revisting 30 odd years of his life with Tigh, reassessing every moment, going from belief to disbelief to anger at himself for not knowing, pouring over every memory looking for signs he feels he must have missed, etc. Not wanting to kill his best friend whom he loves despite all of that. I'm not sure how EJO could have been better directed to show the shell shock once he's sobered up, so I am simply going to give that bit a pass.

Who died and left D’Anna in charge? Ok, yes, Nathalie died, but there is one D’Anna left in the universe, she has a history of making trouble for the Cylons, so the Sixs, Sharons, and Leobens allow her to take over?

D'Anna's always been very bossy, their leadership is somewhat in chaos with the loss of Nathalie, and they revere her knowledge of the five, so I can see why she's calling the shots on some levels. But I will also concede that the week before, she was leary of both the colonials and the cylons.

Gaeta probably shouldn't be back at work. But I was not surprised to see him there. Curious if the cylons are going to make him an artificial limb...

And can I just say for the record that I was beyond relieved when Lee didn't hug Dee in the CIC when they found earth? If there was other written interaction between them, I am so glad they cut it.

Also have to add that yeah, Tigh earned tons of respect from me in this episode. I kind of loved him.

I definitely need to rewatch this, both alone, and then again in marathon mode for the whole front half of this season and see how it plays as a whole.

I've read a lot of posts now on the subject of them arriving at earth and I still haven't been swayed. I could be wrong. It happens once in awhile. ;) But I have seen a few other people question if that is earth. Unfortunately, they posted at the SciFi forum and it quickly got ugly. I'm so happy to have my Flist! :)

I think she knows Lee well enough to know he'd ignore the phone, or at least, isn't willing to take the chance that Dee or whoever won't let her talk to him.

Really? I just can't imagine Kara would think for a second that he'd ignore phone calls in the situation they were currently in. And I also can't imagine whoever is taking calls for the president, in this case Dee, would tell Kara he was too busy to talk to her. Especially if her first words were, "Stop! They helped us find earth!"

and they revere her knowledge of the five, so I can see why she's calling the shots on some levels.

I agree, given her knowledge of the five, they would give her at lot of leeway in guiding them and their decision making. But Leoben, who has been more argumentative in the past, came off as really weak here. I think it was a case of writing the character to fit the story and I hate that.

And can I just say for the record that I was beyond relieved when Lee didn't hug Dee in the CIC when they found earth?

Eh. Given the situation, I would have been fine with Lee giving Dee a hug. They were married and I'm sure they still care about each other. Though, I would have liked to have seen Lee hug Laura. And kiss her on the cheek! I would have died! ;-)
I'm pretty sure that's actually Earth if for not other reason than that strikes me as a far more RDM thing to do than faking out. The character of the show strikes me as less likely to say, "HAHA, not really Earth," and more likely to say, "Yeah, it's really Earth, it's just Earth isn't really the promised land, ZOMG!" like that's a million times cleverer... That said I didn't mind the ending, and, like you, felt very...connected to the people at that moment. The rest of the episode was a rush to get somewhere; building excitement and tension and the details get lost by the characters and by us and by the writers. And then we get this. This quiet, bitter disappointment. I think if the rest of the episode had been more thoughtful and deliberate maybe that part would have played differently. Which is not an excuse for hilarious things like Adama getting blind drunk and trashing his quarters in the space of fifteen minutes. XD

Which, yeah, if it took hours, it's worth remembering that he was then busy doing that instead of actually dealing with D'anna by using Tigh as a bargaining chip while she was airlocking people every fifteen minutes. Which is either awesome or awful depending on your perspective... :p

No surprises that I totally agree with you on Lee and on Laura and on Bill Adama (Lee: Can we go to Earth now, Dad? It's taken us three years and who knows how many lives! Bill: Eh, why bother.) And on Caprica's jacket. We should find out who gave it to her and give that person a medal. Also, I am very glad that you are finally starting to understand my irrational love of Tigh. I've had to put up with it since early season three, so it's about time you started offering me reassurance that I wasn't alone... ;)

ETA: Re: Tim Russert's death. I was at a Bruce Springsteen concert last night and he dedicated his encore to Tim Russert which I thought was nice of him. Though my mom's friend who we went with is from Buffalo (where Russert is from) and her sister knows him, and she, um, didn't have any idea he'd died. So that was sort of sad. And then I realised that there were more people in the stadium I was in than the entire Colonial Fleet. And then I felt guilty for thinking about that instead of Tim Russert being dead. And then I started jumping around and shouting along with "Born to Run." And...that's that story. Yeah. It...seemed like something of interest at the time I started typing it, honest!

Edited at 2008-06-15 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to comment too much here since I have a lot to say on your post, but, unfortunately, I'm now working on a headache (not brought on by your post!) and it will probably be a little while.

(Lee: Can we go to Earth now, Dad? It's taken us three years and who knows how many lives! Bill: Eh, why bother.)

Snerk. I just wish Adama had gone to take a shower before getting dressed because that would have given me the opportunity to write fic in which Lee and Laura have time to do it on the table.

Maybe Tigh gave Caprica the jacket and it's one of Ellen's. And then we find out Ellen is the final Cylon and she goes from being thrilled at being reunited with Saul to pissed off he's giving away her clothes.

Your Tim Russert story is interesting! It's nice that Bruce did that. And weird your mother's friend didn't know.
Hiya Asta,

Given that Doc Cottle will smoke in the exam rooms, I wasn't sure how great Colonial medicine is. My BF's lower leg was amputated a few years ago. He was walking around on a prosthetic amazingly quickly, but not in a week! I don't even think the wound was sealed in a week. I thought the wrap job on Gaeta's fresh amputation looked pretty realistic. When it happened to my BF, I poked at it throgh the gauze. It was all I could do not to unwrap it and see what it looked like. I'm a curious girl. And because of that everyone suffers. ;)

I'm pretty intrigued that the ruins look like a Christian church. I love the religious themes in BSG. My fav character is Baltar and I especially dig it when he's sporting the Jesus look. Maybe we can get that back.

Is the 5th definitely a skin job?

As Always,

Howdy stranger! :)

My father had some major surgeries in his lifetime, not to the extent of losing a limb, and his incisions were still healing more than a week later. I just can't imagine with all that moving around and the pull of skin and muscle on those stitches that it wasn't only very painful, but dangerous. And apparently Kara was a wimp when she refused to stand up and try walking on her busted knee in season 1!

James Callis hated the Jesus look so I'm afraid it's unlikely to return. But I wonder if he'll notice the cross?

The 5th is a skinjob in the sense that he/she is like the other four. I've seen some people speculate that Kara's viper is the fifth and...I just don't get that at all.
Having seen the last three episodes while away from fandom I'm bewildered to come back to find that people think that the planet in the finale is not Earth. It never even entered my mind that it wasn't Earth. It looked like Earth from orbit and New York-like city was bombed out in the background. As I believed the planet to be Earth, I thought the ending was very satisfying. If the constellations match up, how can it not be Earth? Destroying the idea of Earth as the ultimate end of the series leaves all sorts of interesting questions.

In defense of Kara running, which I thought was hokey too, my husband pointed out maybe she was afraid that the cylons would be listening in on the comms and she didn't want to reveal she had the location to Earth in case Lee didn't feel like sharing...
I could probably find a loophole in the constellations theory. ;) And even if it is earth, I don't know why people insist that is New York City, especially when I see people in New York City say it isn't New York City. Actually, I'll be very disappointed if Ron says it's suppose to be the ruins of any American city. It seems very self-centered to me. Why not show the Eiffel Tower or the Taj Mahal or...well, a pyramid would be getting into Stargate territory.