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'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.
There's no hurry re: the reply! I'll have a great time reading it when it finally shows up, I'm sure! :)

Also -

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.

AHAHAHAAA! Yes. I love that. I especially love that I totally buy that upon being resurrected what Ellen is most pissed about is the fact that Saul gave away her clothes. Not that he murdered her. Not that he knocked up a cylon. That he GAVE AWAY HER CLOTHES. YAY!

Re: Tim Russert - he only died the day before the concert, and his death wasn't reported in the British media much as he's really not a big name here. Most people have never heard of him. The person in question is...not really the best at keeping up with current affairs and spent the whole of that day over at our house prior to the concert, so if her sister did call her from the states (which she may not have - she wasn't Tim Russert's best friend or anything, she just knew and liked the guy) she would have missed it.