From the opening moments of this episode I felt it was going to be hard to watch, even by BSG standards. Surprisingly, about twenty minutes in, I began to relax. People were going to be hurt, people I care about are going to die, and the fleet will never be the same. Yet, I know it’s going to be OK. Kara grabbed her guns and saved Lee. Lee, in turn, saved Laura. Later, they all met up with Adama. The Core Four were together, working together, to get out of this mess and they will succeed. Yes, it’s predictable story telling, but in a show that can be so unrelentingly bleak, it’s reassuring.
I saw a few reviews by critics who were on the edge of their seats with the so-called cliffhanger. Does anyone really believe Laura’s raptor, with Baltar onboard, will be blown up? Or that Adama is going to go out in a firefight? No, if Ron really wanted to shock us, Lee would have died on the flight deck, Laura would have been executed in Adama’s quarters (could someone explain to me how the marines just left her there to escape?), Adama would fall apart, again, and Zarek would wrestle control of the fleet and lead humanity to it’s end. It’s just not going to happen. But that’s just fine by me.
Starting with ‘Hey, it’s whatshisname! I need to check imdb’ to my personal favorite, a run down of the significant players, their motivations and chances of survival.
We haven’t see Gage since the ‘Pegasus’ arc, have we? Even though he’s a piece of shit that will likely die, likely either at Athena or Helo’s hands, I was glad to see him. We never got to see the integration of the Pegasus and Galactica crews and I can’t believe it would have been a smooth transition. Cain had too much time to damage her people’s psyches. And Adama, apparently, never punished those involved in the rape and torture of Gina. For three years rapists have been walking amongst the Galactica crew. That’s really something to think about. How would the female members of the crew have felt about this? Because it wasn’t just violence against Gina, the Cylon, it was violence against a woman. Leoben wouldn’t have been repeatedly gang raped. And now we have the same people, newly enraged, walking the halls of Galactica and out for more payback.
On one hand, I could criticize Ron for never addressing the issue. On the other hand, it’s perfectly in character for Adama to rationalize, ignore what is in front of him, and just move on as if this didn’t happen. After all, it didn’t happen on his ship and he’d never allow it to! Accept when Athena was almost raped, on his shi. But not by his people! Accept they now are his people.
And Gage has a personal vendetta against Athena and Helo, for what they have been allowed to get away with and for rising through the ranks. I’m guessing gage hasn’t seen a promotion in three years while the Cylon and Cylon lover have become key members of Adama’s inner circle. He would have jumped at the chance to go after them.
Again, the character and situation is a good match. Adama is the one that allowed Baltar’s trial to happen. He’s one of three people who voted for acquittal (I suspect the news at some point leaked to the fleet). Now, Adama is pushing for a Cylon alliance.
From ‘The Son Also Rises’:
Kelly: And I have done my job for two years now. Every day I sent people out to fight. I cleared them all to die. So many people... I just got tired of living with that. You ask that man if you had to choose between giving his life up for a Cylon or a human, what do you think he'd say? I had to do something.
And as part of the alliance with the Cylons, humans would be expected to help the Cylons fight for their survival. To lay down their lives for a race that destroyed their civilization and kept coming after them with the desire to see every last one of them dead.
Oh, Narcho. We don’t know enough about him to view his choice as shocking or not. He never spoke out in support of Cain, nor has he shown resentment towards the Galactica crew. He appeared to adapt well. But it doesn’t mean a hatred of the Cylons wouldn’t supersede his loyalty to Adama or his fellow pilots. I predict one of two things next week. He’ll have some sort of change of heart and won’t shoot down the raptor or, more likely, Hot Dog will shoot him down.
When she walked in the door, the first thing I noticed was how pretty she looked. My first thought was, “You’re so dead.” And we have yet another perfect confrontation. More than any other mutineer, I feel sorry for her. She has the same reason to hate the Cylons as every other member of the fleet, but her anger is seems even more personal. She had a crush on Anders, a Cylon, who rebuffed her for Tory, another Cylon. Before Anders, she had a crush on Tyrol, yet another Cylon. She tells Anders that she now gets why he wasn’t attracted to her, it was his Cylon nature. It’s easier to say, ‘It’s you, it’s not me’ and, really, it isn’t her, but she’s angry at herself right now, for caring for Cylons, and directing that anger at Sam.
His son was murdered on New Caprica, by the Cylons and by collaborators and he’s seeing collaboration happening again. His comment to Lee about a trial was effective. But, dude, you punched Lee in the stomach and ordered his execution, you are dead to me! And, likely, you will be dead to everyone next week.
danceswithwords said it best, “Et tu, Racetrack?” This one did surprise me as much as it surprised Lee. He not only flew with her, she helped in his and Laura’s escape from the brig. She wanted the fleet to be united, not torn apart, and now she’s helping to do that. She’s standing by as her friend is about to be executed.
But, I think the Racetrack’s seemingly shocking choice is the point. Even Lee, who was aware of the dissention with in the fleet, did not see this coming. Did not see his friend standing by as a bullet was about to be put in his head. Things have become so bad, you no longer know who you’re friends are. You don’t fully grasp the depth of the fear of potentially living with your assassins. And you don’t see the willingness for people to choose war and death over an alliance with the Cylons.
I’m not sure what Gaeta’s fate will be. I thought when Laird died he’d begin to question his actions. His rage and need for vengeance had gotten in the way of thinking this plan through and the reality of innocent people, people just doing their job, would be a wake up call. Maybe Gaeta needs to lose another person close to him, like Hoshi, and have it be his fault before he realizes his motivation is not the good of the fleet, but Felix Gaeta’s payback.
Tom Zarek is no longer the fallen idealist. I’m not sure he ever was an idealist. All his actions are now selfishly motivated. If Tom was a true idealist, he would see himself in Lee. He would have tried to support and elevate Lee these past four years, realizing, if Tom Zarek couldn’t help humanity retain it’s humanity, then perhaps Lee Adama could. Instead, he’s alternately manipulated Lee, to further his personal goals, or tried to kill him.
Tom Zarek has no future. He will be defeated. He’ll lose everything. I can’t see him going back to the brig. He may go down in a blaze of (perceived) glory or maybe Gaeta will be the one to end his life, a last ditch effort to redeem himself in some small way.
Cain is gone, yet I certainly felt her presence on Galactica. It’s her people playing key roles in the mutiny. It’s the inability to not let go of the hate, even if it means destroying yourselves. It’s the willingness to see your own race cease to exist rather than attempt to co-exist with the Cylons. It’s an acceptance that it’s OK to kill your own and feel no remorse.
Zarek is acting very much as Cain would. He’ll have his hands on Galactica’s nukes soon. Will he threaten to destroy the ships that don’t fall into line? Will he allow the Galactica to be destroyed by the basestar rather than surrender? (It occurred to me that Natalie had stated at one point that while most of the Basestar raiders had been destroyed, the ship had the ability to heal itself. Nothing was said of their nuclear capabilities being permanently disabled.) Is Zarek willing to fight a futile war driven by personal vengeance and take everyone down with him?
And, if I heard the preview correctly, Zarek, in record time, is going try Adama and find him guilty of his ‘crimes’. This smacks of the same trial given to Helo and Tyrol.
Baltar is still the egomaniacal, sniveling, self-preserving weasel. :) I did love his scenes with Laura. This is the second time she’s had to turn to him in an attempt to stop Zarek and I’m sure he enjoys it every time she has to come to him for help. I also think his reaching out to Gaeta was genuine. He believed that maybe he could get him to see the error in his judgment and he was as likely as anyone to succeed in getting him to change his mind.
I don’t have a lot to say about Kara. I did enjoy her scenes immensely. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the characters kick ass and take such joy in it. Being a non-shipper, the kiss with Lee didn’t make me squee, nor did it bother me. I can definitely see people viewing it as romantic, but it seemed more like an adrenaline fueled moment as in ‘I love life! And I need to share with you how awesome this all is!’ And I appreciated that Lee was a little bit, ‘WTF, Kara?’ ;) I do absolutely adore the buddy dynamic, having each other’s back, and I’m really glad these two will be fighting once more side by side.
Tigh made one of the best points of the entire episode and subtly confronted Adama about his stubbornness and blindness to the reality around them. Yes, given the fleet’s attitude towards the Cylons, Tigh should not be taking point on the current situation. Not surprisingly, even though Tigh has screwed up a lot in his life and career, Adama will take Tigh’s advice over his son’s, adopted daughter’s and new girlfriend.
Adama’s obliviousness knows no bounds. He has no clue as to how many people have turned against him. When Gaeta lied about the raptor, I found it plausible that Adama could be talked into believing *a* glitch had occurred in Galactica’s systems. But when communications went down, a fire supposedly started, and Gaeta was coming up with one excuse after another, Adama couldn’t see what was happening?! Wow. It’s just completely inconceivable to him that anyone would dare break their oath to the uniform, to him, and be disloyal to the Great William Adama. Which I find humorous since it’s happened how many times over the last four years? And the previous circumstances seem almost trivial compared to what he’s forcing on the fleet now.
Everyone around him seems to have an understanding that the fleet is not going to immediately take to the idea of a truce with the Cylons. To have a Cylon baseship, with nukes, parked in the middle of the fleet. To have to walk down the corridors of their ships with their enemy. To have to allow that enemy to have a say in government and the direction their race will be taking. Everyone sees the inherent problems with the current plan and everyone, if not aware of a mutiny on a horizon, is aware of the discord in the fleet. But Bill Adama is going to have his morning cup of coffee and hang out with his new girlfriend and pretend it’s just like any other day. I just don’t know what more to say about this man any longer.
I have to admit I was angry at Laura in the opening moments of this episode. She’s smiling and happy and going to play the role of loving girlfriend and…..there are so many thongs wrong with this picture!. People are about to die because of what she hasn’t done. And she takes Adama to task because he’s using Lee and the delegates will see Lee as nothing more than his mouthpiece and she’s doing the exact same thing. She’s allowing Lee to fight her fight when he has no authority to and deal with all the crap going on.
But what really pissed me off is she doesn’t want to lead the people, she doesn’t want the responsibility, yet she won’t resign the presidency. Gods knows she has a legitimate excuse – her health – but she won’t do it because it would mean President Tom Zarek. So she creates a power vacuum. There is no clear leadership, no one is making decisions accept for the Admiral, who appears to be circumventing civilian authority, and it’s all going to hell.
My anger was short lived though. It was also clear she couldn’t let go. Her not caring was a façade. She’s telling Adama what he should tell Lee to do. And when Lee comes to her aid and informs her what is going on, the switch gets flipped backed on and she’s President Laura Roslin again. She knows what has to be done, she won’t allow Zarek to assume the presidency, and she will stop the death and suffering.
I wish Laura hadn’t allowed things to get to the point they had. But I’m relieved it was Lee and his harsh dose of reality that snapped her out of her delusion of being an ordinary citizen and not Adama’s passive aggressive crap.
There was a striking image I wanted to mention as well. Laura burned the scriptures and turned her back on her faith, the prophecy’s and being a prophet to her people. Yet, when she makes her plea to the fleet, she is sitting in Baltar’s chair, taking his place amongst his followers. Another sign that she can never quite escape who she is and what she means to the people.
It’s typical for Lee to be harder on himself then he deserves. Because of that, his comment about being played by Zarek didn’t really bother me. If Lee was played by Zarek, it’s only because Adama has given Lee plenty of reasons in the past to allow him to be played. How many times ha Adama left Lee out of the loop? Not taken a phone call from him? Not taken the time to explain things to him or ignored his opinion? There’s precedence for Lee being blindsided and angered by his father’s actions. And Zarek knows that.
Lee has been through all of this before, another neat reminder of Season 2 events. Lee tells Zarek he believed Adama overreached when he had him arrested….just as he believed Adama overreached when he ordered Laura put in the brig. And, again, with Laura out of commission, Adama is using military authority to supersede civilian authority. Lee is forced into a position to try and get the Quorum on board with a perceived military plan of action while Laura remains silent.
One of my favorite Lee moments of recent memory has to be this exchange:
Tigh: You got a problem.
Lee: Yeah, I got a problem. Your people annihilated the human race. You want to know why Tom Zarek’s got so much clout in this fleet? Because when you get past the arrogance, he’s right. We can pretend to put it behind us, exchange lofty words about an alliance, but if this is what survival has come to…
Adama: This is all we got.
Lee: It’s all they left us.
I wondered exactly where Lee stood on the Cylon issue. Lee may have put aside his hatred of the Cylons, but not his anger or suspicion. He sees this truce as a necessary evil to help ensure humanities survival. Again, in his talk with the Zarek, he brought up the need for the Cylon FTL drives. It’s not about being friends with the Cylons, it’s about what they can do for them. He’s looking to strengthen the fleet using their technology. In a way, he’s looking for his own brand of payback. He’ll use them if he can. After all, they brought them to this point. On the run for their lives and now turning on each other, the very least the Cylons can do and perhaps the only thing they can get from them is an ability to keep moving forward. Still, Lee must be looking around and asking himself, once again, are they worthy of survival?
At the same time, we know Lee does allow personal feelings to alter his opinion. I doubt he would have had that argument with Tyrol or Anders. Tigh and Lee have shared a lack of respect for each other since Day 1. The animosity has always existed and it’s not going away soon. Not only did a drunken, sometimes disastrous commander, look down on him, but it turns out he’s also a Cylon. Yet, I think back to ‘He That Believeth’ and Lee’s remark to Adama - what if it had been Zak stepping out of the viper? Lee has made it clear that if Zak or Kara was a Cylon he wouldn’t love them any less. He’s making an exception for them. He wouldn’t blame them for the destruction of the colonies, he knows what kind of people they are. So should Tigh and the others like him be held accountable? At some point does Lee see them differently, again?
A few random thoughts…
• This episode took place between the hours of 6:00am and 11:00am. Hee.
• Algae coffee? I’m really confused by the food situation. How do they have the ability to try to replicate other foods by using algae? Does it have something to do with the protein? And how do they have a food shortage, yet still have sugar after four years?
• Between Seelix’s fetching new look and Lee’s becoming new haircut, a stylist apparently survived the apocalypse.
• I really appreciated the quick and subtle shot of a terrified family huddled in the Galactica’s corridor. I doubt Gaeta stopped to think about mothers and their children dying.
• There were was so much continuity in this episode. Familiar faces returned and past events were recalled. My favorite nod to the past was Lee rescuing Laura, blood splattered on his face, gun fire heard in the background, a scene closely resembling the one in ‘Valley of Darkness’. Accept, this time, it’s not the Cylons coming after them, but their own people.