This is the darkest episode they’ve done..…so far.
What happens when you take the fondest dream away from all these characters? This episode we get the first of the answers they will be providing.
They wanted to make it as bad as possible, have everything fall to shit. They have no hopes. They wanted them to deal with what happens when it sucks, wanted the people at the top, Laura and Adama, to lose faith. Before, no matter how bad it got, Laura and Adama were there. They would soldier on, lead the way, and always got to a place where you’d understand they’d survive.
It was decided that in the last run of episodes they would lose some characters. It’s right for the style of the show. And they decided early on Dee would die here.
Laura returns to Galactica and doesn’t know what to say. She has always been able to say something. She’s losing faith by the second. Laura coming through the crowd and losing her way was an accident. On the set, Mary actually walked in the wrong direction and the camera just followed her. Nankin liked the mistake and when they did the reverse shot they decided to run with that idea.
The babysitting scene was almost cut, but Ron put it back in. He liked it because it’s so out of context. Amidst the despair and bleakness, they have to raise this little girl and keep their lives going.
There was an incredible discussion regarding the backstory about earth, the thirteenth tribe and Kobol. How does this all add up and make sense? They worked it through in several different ways. Not everything is fully explained yet, but will be in the last few episodes. The fundamental idea is once upon a time there was a place called Kobol where the gods and men lived together. Man stole fire from the gods. Fire was the knowledge of life and how to create life and they created their own Cylons. It was that creation and the destruction of paradise that was the end of Kobol. Twelve tribes went one way and the thirteenth tribe of Cylons went the other way and settled a planet they called earth. The Cylons repeated the pattern and destroyed themselves as well. All of this has happened before and will happen again.
Originally, as scripted, the episode was to have a complicated flashback structure framed by the Adama/Tigh conversation. All the other stories were interspersed throughout their conversation. Nankin dispensed with the framing device in his cut and Ron felt it worked perfectly. Ron’s instinct as a storyteller is to do the razzle dazzle too much. He likes flashbacks, mixing up time, f***ing up the chronology, but it’s not appropriate for every scenario.
They wanted someone to pay a heavy price for this discovery. Not everyone should come back from that. Dee was to take the hit. She despairs at the beginning, but from that point forward she looks like she’s trying to get back on the horse, to be optimistic. At the time of her talk with Lee, has she made up her mind to end her life? Is she just marking time? Ron feels those are questions best left to the audience. But, to Ron, she’s probably been contemplating it since the moment on the raptor. She can’t face the notion of journeying forever with nothing to hope for = for the off chance they might find a planet to call home one day.
Ron liked they got back to the Lee/Dee relationship in Dee’s last episode. Ron admits, again, they rushed the relationship early on and he didn’t know quite what to do with it. The relationship jig-jagged back and forth too many times. But it’s nice at the end and works well.
Ron mentioned Dee being there from the beginning.
Leoben gets to a place where he doesn’t know what to do or say while Kara is still plunging forward and seeking answers. She’s going to places saner and more deliberate people would not and should not go. Leoben’s lost and we’ve never seen him like before. He has a break of faith. Everything he thought he knew…he was the one who could see things and if he doesn’t have that what does he have?
SciFi complained about Kara’s corpse, a bit. Ron thinks they may have trimmed a few frames.
The WAG strike was called as the episode was about to begin shooting. Because of that there were no change pages; the cast and crew were on their own. Ron terrified the crew by coming up to speak to them because they thought he was coming up to pull the plug. He gathered the cast and crew in CIC and let them know he wanted them all to continue to work for as long as possible. He was sensitive to the responsibility to his people. He didn’t think the show would be cancelled, but, if it was, he wanted them to make it a great episode.
Anders finding the guitar handle had been dropped in the directors cut. Ron wanted it reinserted because it helped tie the music into the mythology. Anders was on earth and had played that song for his friends. It was also intended that he wrote it, but the subtlety of that may not have come through. (It didn’t.)
Dee’s death was to be a sucker punch. They wanted us to think Lee and Dee were getting back together. Amid the bleakness, they’d rekindle their romance and something good would happen for these two people. At least Lee is hoping something better is going to come of all this. Maybe there is something for them after all. It’s one of the best shocks they’ve done. Kandyse didn’t give anything away. Dee wanted to go out at a moment if happiness. She didn’t want to continue to suffer, to go along on the journey from hell. The beat with Gaeta - his reaction to Dee’s death is one factor that plays into where his story arc is going.
Terry Moore, who quit reading scripts so she could be surprised, felt uneasy during Dee’s scene. But she thought she was the Fifth Cylon. ;)
There was a longer version of the scene of Lee with Dee’s body with more discussion between Lee and Adama about possible motives, why they wouldn’t know, etc. Ron felt it was long and they could do with less and the emotions would still come through.
Ron remarked that there is more and more grey in Adama’s hair (I hadn’t noticed) and Adama’s drinking is getting more and more problematic.
There was a version where Adama’s visit with Laura came after his trip to the morgue and that’s what pushed him to go see Tigh. EJO was told to make the scene uglier. To make it raw and emotional and have Adama say ugly things to Tigh in only a way friends can.
The fox story came from David Weddle and Ron felt it played well into Tigh walking out into the ocean. There was also a second story that Ron asked them to cut because the fox story was stronger.
After this ep, do you want to keep watching this show? You don’t want to see the characters like this or the ship falling apart. You watch because you have hope and you are rooting for these people on some level. You stick with them because it’s going to be a good story, but it might be hard to watch.
The scene between Lee and Kara was slightly longer. They talked a bit more about Dee and what she meant to him and puzzle out reasons for her death. The bandage on Kara’s neck – Ron wasn’t sure why it was there. She was supposed to have some slight injury on planet and didn’t notice it. There was a big blood stain in middle of bandage, but it was distracting so they took it out.
Adama’s not telling other people to pull it together because he is still trying to pull it together himself.
There was more of Baltar in early drafts. He was talking to his flock more. That was pushed into the next couple of episodes.
This was always intended to be D’Anna’s last episode. Lucy came in just for the day to shoot her scene. D’Anna’s in a place of despair as well.
In a draft of the script, Tyrol stated he wasn’t going back to Galactica. He was going to live on the Cylon baseship. It’s not a place they wanted to go to yet and it robbed decision points from some of the other people.