Asta 2

BSG: Sometimes a Great Notion

Thank you for not disappointing me, show. And thank you, Ron, for not dropping the ball with Lee. :)

It will probably be of little surprise to no one if I start by discussing Lee and Dee. Thanks to various summaries of the episode I was aware that the two went on a date…and the subsequent freaking out some fans did about that. I really didn’t believe Ron would revisit a relationship that by his own admission was not handled well. It had to be part of something bigger and more significant than just the two of them. But it wasn’t until the date ended that I got a very bad feeling about where Dee’s storyline was headed.

There was irony for me in the Lee/Dee scenes. It was the first time I enjoyed their scenes together and, dare I say, saw some chemistry. It even made sense that it would be Dee there to provide Lee with support and a pep talk. Kara was still down on the planet trying to resolve her own issues. Laura was losing her faith and purpose and falling apart. Adama, as usual, was wrapped up in his personal angst. And I liked what they were saying to each other, up until Dee called him Apollo. But, in light of what happened later, her choice of name made sense.

On second viewing, it was clear to me she had made up her mind as to what she was going to do when she saw Lee in the pilot briefing room. That was going to be her goodbye to him. But when Lee asked her to join him for a drink, she decided to have one last happy memory with Apollo.

In the past few years there were two things that gave Dee hope and kept her moving forward. One was Adama’s promise of taking them all to earth so they could lay down their burdens and begin new lives. The other was her love for Apollo. But during the course of Baltar’s trial she was hit with the realization that the man she fell in love with was not the man she was married to. The man she fell in love with never existed and watching him abandon the military and Galactica to become a Quorum delegate, then president, showed her dream of a life with him was just that. Still, she had earth and the promise it held for them all – until that was taken from her. In the raptor, heading back to Galactica, she kept repeating, “Just don’t give up.” It was an interesting parallel to Lee. He has that habit. Repeating a mantra over and over until he convinces himself that he can do whatever needs to be done. Dee just wasn’t strong enough or willing enough to keep fighting.

As gutted as I was to see Dee pull that trigger and end her life, my mind almost immediately went to Lee and what this will do to him. Unlike his father, Lee does do guilt and he’ll carry his burdens with him until the day he dies. I’m sure he’s asking himself what he missed and how he could have stopped her. The fact that he admits he’ll never know exactly why she made that choice gives me a glimmer of hope that he sees there were no clear signs. Gaeta didn’t have any idea of what she was about to do. And, as a viewer, I was in the dark until moments before her death.

And Dee’s choice made me recall the Lee we saw in late Season 2 and early Season 3. Lee nearly succeeded in ending his life. That has to be a troublesome memory. He’s now realizing what his actions would have done to those he loved and loved him. And Dee knew how that felt at the time. She sat by his bedside in ‘Sacrifice’; willing him not to give up. Yet, knowing the pain it would cause others, she made the same choice he did.

One thing that really struck me about Lee was how strong he was in this episode. Everyone around him was falling apart, retreating inward, and here he was trying to get answers as to what they do next, calming the Quorum’s nerves, and changing the white board number to reflect his own wife’s death. He had a sense of calm in the storm and I’ve never seen in him before. The world is falling apart, again, and this time he’s not. And it’s not that he’s closed off a part of himself. He felt the disappointment and pain of their discovery as deeply as anybody. And he did look like hell after Dee’s death. But Lee has fought so hard for humanities survival. He has watched his fellow pilots die for that goal and, as he said to Dee, he can’t let their deaths - and their lives - be for nothing. He no longer can see any option but to keep moving forward.

It may also benefit Lee that he’s always focused more on their ideological survival as a people, fighting to hold on to their humanity. That’s always has been his goal, his mission, their destination was a secondary concern.

I was spoiled for Kara’s discovery of her viper and body prior to ‘Revelations’ airing so her scenes didn’t hit me as hard as I’m sure they did others. The one surprise for me was Leoben’s terrified reaction. Kara finally was able to drive him away and it only took her death to do it. ;p

But, like Dee’s suicide, Leoben’s reaction makes a certain amount of sense. Unlike the humans and even some Cylons, his hope for the future didn’t lie with earth but with Kara Thrace. Now he’s discovered Kara is dead and he doesn’t know what to make of the person standing in front of him. Neither do I.

We’ve learned that the Final Five can be reborn and travel through time in space. Yet, if Ellen is the Fifth, then what is Kara? I don’t have any concrete theories at this point. I do wonder if the ‘Ship of Lights’ storyline from the original BSG is being worked into the current storyline. I also wonder if the maelstrom was some sort of time/space vortex. That Kara arrived at ‘earth’ 2,000 years ago and was killed in the war, but it wasn’t her time to die so perhaps the gods tried to fix the mistake by sending a copy back. Yeah, it’s a pretty far fetched theory, but I’m so confused at this point.

If the show is heading for human/Cylon reconciliation, I’m actually quite happy they are establishing that the 13th Tribe was Cylon. Perhaps they were a persecuted minority and when the thirteen tribes left Kobol they were told they weren’t welcome at the new settlement. Or maybe they started the trouble on Kobol. If they destroyed themselves on ‘earth’ and then had a role in the destruction of the colonies, they would be quite the war mongering race. But if the cycle is to be broken, maybe they have to find a way to live together by the time the series ends. Maybe it’s why Hera is so important. She is, as far as we know, the first human/Cylon hybrid to be born.

As for Ellen being the Fifth, I wish we had some independent confirmation of that besides Tigh’s recollection of her telling him they’ll be reborn. In some ways the reveal works for me. Adama suspected she was a Cylon in ‘Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down’. And it amuses me greatly that the one Cylon above all others who doesn’t want to talk about the Five, Cavil, ended up frakking one of them.

I guess my main problem with the reveal of Ellen as the Fifth is that she hasn’t played a direct role in humanities fight for survival. Tigh and Tyrol are both military. Anders was a resistance fighter on Caprica and New Caprica and is now a viper pilot. Tory has been an aid to the president. What has Ellen done other than be Tigh’s wife?

And where the hell is Ellen? With her being a Cylon, and a unique one at that, I can accept she resurrected from the poisoning, but what happened after she woke up? Is she still on New Caprica? I can’t imagine them backtracking to find out. Or was she taken prisoner aboard a Cylon ship? Did she find a Cavil and latch on to him? D’Anna specifically talked of Cavil showing back up at some point. Will he find Ellen with him?

I don’t have much to say about Laura. Mary, as always, was awesome. I, as well as others, have talked before about Laura’s identity wrapped up in being that of the dying leader who will show them the way to their salvation, to earth. And now she’s confronted with leading them from one nuclear wasteland to another. Everything she believed in she now believes was untrue. Who is she now? What does she do now? Her immediate reaction is to give up. Just not on her faith, but on herself. She doesn’t see how valuable she is to the fleet. The role of dying leader superseded that of president, but they still need a president. Both Lee and Adama see how important she is to keeping the fleet together, but, right now, she can’t see it herself.

I’ve given up on Adama. Lee is standing over his wife’s body, trying to make sense of her actions, and a drunken Adama shoves a half empty bottle at Lee then proceeds to make Dee’s death ALL ABOUT HIM. Way to be there for your son, Bill. I’m glad Lee walked out of the morgue. It’s not his job to pick up Adama yet again. And if Lee has to deal with his own problems and grief, he can leave his father to do the same.

And Adama went on to show just how weak he is, emotionally, by trying to get Tigh to kill him. Not only was Adama at his ugliest, EJO showed he doesn’t grasp an understanding of subtlety. Every other actor I thought did a wonderful job of underplaying their emotions. Shock and numbness will do that to a person. But Eddie opted for scenery chewing and it left me not really caring about what was going on.

Pity, since it was rather a huge moment for Tigh. Not only was he sober – yes, he had been drinking, but apparently not to excess – I felt as if we might be seeing a new Tigh from here on out. He finally hit bottom and he can either wallow in guilt and misery or move forward and help the fleet find someplace they can call home.

A few random thoughts…

Oh my gods, Hera was happy! The child is adorable, but she’s either been morose or creepy up until now. I did love seeing Helo, Athena, and Hera laugh and play together. Not only did the episode need a lighter moment, it showed that, yes, people have to go on and Helo and Athena have a reason to.

Not sure how I feel about D’Anna’s choice to stay behind. She’d rather die alone on a radiated planet then take her chances with the fleet?

Why were only five of the Cylons on 'earth' reborn? Did the rest of the Cylons die or were they reborn on the real earth and the other five were sent to help reunite the races?

SciFi Wire has posted interview with Kandyse McClure in which she talks about last night's episode. Obviously, it has spoilers. She provides some interesting insights into events.
  • Current Mood: pleased pleased
Nice wrap up, although the info I thought you were spoiled on months ago turned out to be totally different than what I thought upon seeing the ep last night (Dee's death).

Personally with the whole what has happened will happen again, hey the 13 tribes are now reunited and from the previous one may break off to colonize alone.

I also think that there is a 13th Colony Rebirthing Station that may be on "auto-pilot" taking care of anything that dies on earth (Kara), and that Ellen was reborn as the Viper!

Edited at 2009-01-17 07:48 pm (UTC)
Interesting point about the Thirteen Tribes now being reunited. Maybe they can head back to Kobol and start over? At least we know that planet can sustain life.
i really love you for loving lee! like i said before, i feel that not enough people care enough to look, really look, at his character and at him, as a human being. reading what you have to say about him always makes me smile, not just because i agree, but because it's beautiful to finally read something written by someone who doesn't want to put him down, who isn't intimidated by his idealism, or by his struggle to keep humanity worth saving. it's like people are afraid to look at him because they're ashamed. that probably doesn't make any sense, but... , thank you for loving him, anyway!

i might be the only one on my flist who didn't think EJO overacted. i think adama over-REacted, true, but it just felt like a very adama thing to do, somehow. he does tend to wallow in his own misery, he does tend to shift the focus on himself, he does lean toward over-dramatization. what i kept thinking though was that EJO is very very raw, as an actor. that word kept coming back to my mind as i was watching - then rewatching - the episode. all the while mary tends to go with the subtle. as does michael. and i don't think i've felt the contrast this strongly until now.
And thank you for the kind words. :) Sometimes I feel that there are only about six of us who understand and love Lee. It's not as if I'm blind to his faults, he has them just like everyone on this show, but he has such a strong desire to be better than what he is. He fails on occasion, but he's always trying. He believes they are all capable of being more. He gave up once and I think he's disappointed in himself for doing that. The fleet needs him and he's come to believe that. He's their conscience when they begin to lose their way. But I also love that he realizes they need a "benevolent dictator". They need Laura's faith and steely resolve and guidance and leadership skills right now and it's why he's willing to step aside and give her back the presidency.

With EJO, when he makes the choice to have Adama overreact, it distracts me from what Adama's saying and what's really happening in a scene. I just don't care for the distraction. But, I get your take on it. :)
yes, to everything you said about lee! and also yes to him realizing that the fleet, in its current condition, needs laura-the-almost-dictator. because they do! which is probably why i am so enamored of their arc in 4.0. he starts out opposing her, then finds himself standing in her shoes. and then in 4.11 it's him that she clings to, literally, as she's fleeing from the crowd, because he IS hope. that broke my heart a little.
I think Jamie did some of his most beautiful and subtle work in this ep. See how far Lee's come from despair! ^icon^ He alluded to this state of mind in the red shirt of hotness ep Sine Qua Non (?) when he told Romo that he had made a choice. Perhaps this is what Jamie was referring to in that interview, when he says Lee is decisive and committed.

Personally I think for Lee it goes beyond principle. He's been to that edge and beyond, he knows what the precipice is like. And he's chosen to step towards the light, to keep walking that way even when there's no clear reason why. In that sense, I guess, he's come closer to Kara's "fight 'em until we can't" stance, even as Kara seems to be stumbling in the dark. (not that I think she's given up, but in light of her recent discovery she's trying to get her bearings.) The more I think about it, the more I like the way this week's storyline showcases Lee's assumption of the reins. He's the only grownup right now. Laura's a mess and Adama can't be there for either her or his son (or the Fleet, for that matter). Even though he's just as wounded as everyone else, Lee had his own crisis of belief earlier, and by now he's found his footing.

ETA: Oh, and I forgot to say - isn't it ironic that the person who tried to coax Lee back from the edge ended up committing suicide? And Nankin or Moore, I forget who, brought up a good point when they said it had to be Dee. She was, after all, the figurehead who was to repopulate the Fleet, along with Billy.

Edited at 2009-01-17 08:37 pm (UTC)
And Nankin or Moore, I forget who, brought up a good point when they said it had to be Dee. She was, after all, the figurehead who was to repopulate the Fleet, along with Billy.

Oh, thank you for pointing this out! I just rewatched the mini mere days ago, yet I hadn't made the connection. This just makes it more depressing, though. Oh, Dee!!!
I thought this was one of Jamie's best performances on the show. He does so well with the quiet moments and they gave him, in my opinion, some great material to work with. I was actually shocked he had so much screen time in the episode and was pivotal to the story.

See how far Lee's come from despair!

Yes! I loved that everyone close to him is falling apart and he remains strong. He has to. He has to keep the fleet from crumbling because he's looking around and realizing there is no one else to do it. Though, I doubt he'll get the credit for it he deserves. :/ Well, Laura might thank him eventually. ;)

isn't it ironic that the person who tried to coax Lee back from the edge ended up committing suicide? And Nankin or Moore, I forget who, brought up a good point when they said it had to be Dee. She was, after all, the figurehead who was to repopulate the Fleet, along with Billy

Wow. The two people meant to repopulate the fleet are now dead. And the idealist who gave up on humanity at one point is now the only one working towards saving it. Quite the turnaround. And it makes even more sense that Dee was the one who had to die, who had to be the symbol for the fleets despair. She's been, to borrow your words, stepping towards the light for three years. She's supported Lee and Adama when they've been at their lowest. She helped rig an election because she believed Laura was their best hope for a future. If she can give up, what does it mean for the fleet? For humanity?
I will write up a more detailed comment later, I think. But it's interesting how our minds went to our favorites. Yours went to Lee's reaction to Dualla's death and mine went to Gaeta's. I do always appreciate your insight into Lee because I found him difficult to understand. I can kinda see him through your eyes now but I have to work to get there. :-)

And thanks for the link to Kandyse's interview. It actually made me sadder than watching Dee die and that was a really sad event. Closure is so important.
I look forward to your thoughts if you have time to share. :)

I didn't talk about Gaeta, but, man I feel for the guy. His world has been on a downward spiral since New Caprica. Baltar broke his heart. He almost was executed as a collaborator, then had to work to regain the trust and respect of his crew mates. He followed Kara on her quest only to lose a leg and no one is punished for that. Now, he loses a close friend because the president and Adama failed to fulfill their promises. And this is all before events in the webisodes! I think your Mr. Gaeta is going to have some very interesting character development in the upcoming episodes. :)
I don't really have much to add here because you covered everything so well and I agree strongly with pretty much all of your points.

Especially about the way Lee is really stepping up to the plate and how beautifully subtle Jamie Bamber's work was in dealing with that. He was holding it together, holding it together, and then that scene where he has to tell Kara what happened. Oh. That hurt as much as, and probably more, than Mary McDonnell's "Don't touch me."

Regarding Ellen, I'm not sure I want her to resurrect. I think we can still make her a compelling and interesting character as the Fifth through flashbacks and I kind of want that time she died to stick. I worry that bringing her back will not be that awesome or have that much of a point. If she now knows lots of sekrit stuff then I guess there could be a plot related reason to bring her back, but why would she know more than the others? And if she doesn't know more than them, well, there's the initial humorous/tragic payoff when she reunites with Tigh/learns about the flipperbaby, but beyond that, I'm not sure it's all that dramatically compelling. I guess I just prefer Tigh and Ellen's TIMELESS LOVE THAT TRANSCENDS TIME as an epic tragedy?

I feel disappointed by D'Anna staying on Earth too, although that's largely because I'll miss her. While I do agree that it's a strange decision to make, something about her delivery sold me on it and I kind of decided not to care because of the poetic imagery of dying among the bones of her ancestors *handwave handwave* But I wouldn't actually go as far as to contend it makes much sense. ;)
I still wonder if Ellen's resurrection (assuming she has one) could have less to do with the story of the Final Five, the human/Cylon alliance and finding a new home and more about her relationship with her husband. If she woke up after the exodus from NC, not knowing what happened, thinking Tigh abandoned her, and came back with no knowledge of her Cylonness, then finds out he's about to be a daddy with a Cylon, well, I think that could be very interesting. I doubt that's the plan though.
The episode still feels very clumsily executed to me - but I'm happier about it now that I'm concentrating on Lee and not a lot else ;)

Kandyse's interview was very poignant in a lot of ways - I feel particularly sad that she didn't even make it to the wrap party, because that feels like a low point to leave five years of work behind on.

There's a spectacular feeling of inversion in a number of the characters. Adama remains as relentlessly self-involed as ever, but Lee's gone from arrogant youth and depression to an unprecedented level of strength. Kara's shown herself capable of supporting someone else emotionally. Tigh's gone from being alcoholic and dysfunctional to a greater sense of proffesionalism and purpose - just as he did on NC, when faced with a war to fight. Dee, who was the smiling, bouncy kid sister character in S1 is the first significant character to choose to die. Given the "all this has happened before" mantra the show used to operate on, I wonder where they'll end up next?

Why were only five of the Cylons on 'earth' reborn? Did the rest of the Cylons die or were they reborn on the real earth and the other five were sent to help reunite the races?
This is a fascinating question. I'm hoping RDM doesn't handwave it with something as contrived as "these characters are the messengers from god." If constructed as an argument that serial reincarnation is a possibility, then it moves the mythology of the show away from arguing the differences between monotheism and polytheism and actually indicates that tenets like Hinduism may be literal truth - something that's not really been done before. Babylon 5 used reincarnation as a big plot device, but more overtly.

I also want to see what the ramifications of Earth's discovery are on the Cylon gestalt identity. They annihilated humanity because they wanted to inherit the Earth. On Earth, cylons just like them actually did have everything... and they annihilated themselves. Does that make Cavil's perfect machine view of evolution the route for them to take to survival as a species?
I felt bad that Kandyse had to find out she wouldn't be there at the end during contract negotiations. :/

Tigh's gone from being alcoholic and dysfunctional to a greater sense of proffesionalism and purpose - just as he did on NC, when faced with a war to fight.

It was interesting to see Tigh not head for the bottle at a time when you couldn't really blame him. Now that I think about, I can't recall him drinking much since his disastrous turn on the stand in 'Crossroads'. Once he found out the truth about who he was, perhaps he curtailed his drinking because he feared slipping up and outing himself while drunk. And, now, he has a personal mission to get to the bottom of all this and drinking would interfere with that.

I will say, I saw the Space preview for next week's ep on You Tube and there is a very humorous reference to Tigh's drinking.

If constructed as an argument that serial reincarnation is a possibility, then it moves the mythology of the show away from arguing the differences between monotheism and polytheism and actually indicates that tenets like Hinduism may be literal truth - something that's not really been done before.

Just what we need, another religion! ;p Rewatching the episode, again, it struck me that Ellen refers to Tigh as Saul in their past life together. Since we are seeing that scene from Tigh's POV it just could be him having her say his current name because he can't yet recall what his previous name was. If he really was Saul Tigh in his previous life, then I can't see how he was reborn, as a baby, on Caprica and his human parents just happened to give him the same name. With only nine episodes left, I probably shouldn't think so hard about all this.

I also want to see what the ramifications of Earth's discovery are on the Cylon gestalt identity.

With the basestar, presumably, staying with the fleet, I hope they do explore that. The Cylons viewed themselves as superior to humanity. But they are currently engaged in a civil war and found out that, 2,000 years ago, they destroyed themselves.
A couple of comments on your comments: I also wondered why she called Lee Apollo, as he hasn't been that for about a season now. Also I think one of the turning points in Dee's deterioration was when she found the game of jacks buried in the sand - something that belonged to a child, that was normal, and that she owned a rather similar set of... As I still have my doubts about Ellen being Cylon, Dee could have feared that she was perhaps? I do agree with you about Lee just putting his head down and pushing on. Perhaps he's able to now as he's finally doing something that has meaning to him?

Re: Kara and Leoben, yes, I loved his reaction of all people to her finding herself! It was interesting and I hope we see some more interaction between them. I think that our Kara is not the original, but if so, how was she remade and by who? Is she Cylon?! And also, how did the original get to Earth and how did this one think she'd been there? I also like your comment about Leoben's reaction to Kara/Kara possibly being due to his faith being broken. However he did say that he was getting a bad feeling before they found Kara/Kara/Kara.

I agree with your maelstrom theory, and then who knows (Ron does) what happened after that?!

I am looking forward to Cavil showing up as I think he's going to be bringing some answers - especially to your questions. And I like the irony that the first time we saw him he was impersonating a holy man!

D'Anna has always walked a solo path - I'm not at all surprised that she wants to stay on Earth, especially as I think she's also going to find something significant out. I'm also looking forward to that!

And now I'm off to read all the spoilers on the Patriot Resource! Sorry!
I also like your comment about Leoben's reaction to Kara/Kara possibly being due to his faith being broken.

I listened to the podcast late last night and I plan to post my notes, but just wanted to say that Ron and I were on the same page. Leoben's reaction was due to his faith being shaken.
Lee's always been my favorite character, and my POV for the show, so I was extremely pleased with the way his character was portrayed this episode!

Yes, yes, and yes! And I'm always pleased to hear from another Lee fan. :)

when I rewatched "Home"-it appeared to me that he didn't want to put the fleet back together because "boo hoo everyone betrayed me" and not any logical reason

My dislike of Adama has grown over the seasons, but I never put a finger on where it began until I did my rewatch. His actions in 'Home' and his sense of personal betrayal really stood out for me. I also love how in Part 2 he forgives Laura and she informs him she didn't ask for his forgiveness. :)

and LEE could never understand his loss over Kara.

My mind boggles at how oblivious Adama is to Lee's feelings for Kara. But even if he did buy himself a clue, I'm sure he'd argue that a surrogates father's love is greater than a friend/lover's. Ass. :p
Perhaps they were a persecuted minority and when the thirteen tribes left Kobol they were told they weren’t welcome at the new settlement. Or maybe they started the trouble on Kobol.

Now that I think about it, Six seemed very bitter and dismissive of the people who had lived on Kobol, and the piles of skulls they had left behind. It is possible that something happened there. It was where the opera house that some of the Cylons and Laura dreamed of, with Hera in it, was located.
Good catch. I hadn't thought about Head Six's reaction on Kobol and, according to promotional pictures, she was supposed to be in this episode. "This is all happened before and will happen again" has to, at least in part, deal with the cycle of war and destruction. Kobol, earth, the colonies - all were destroyed by war and the inhabitants had to start over elsewhere.
Very jarring episode. I still wonder how the comments about the final Cylon from the original Hybrid (from Razor DVD movie) comes into the play since everything else he /it said came to pass so far (the whole Starbuck thing is still up in the air).