A piece of personal trivia, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ is one of my favorite standards and I was curious if they’d work the actual song into the episode, establish another tie to us. It wasn’t to be, but the sentiment of the song was certainly present. Here’s one version of the lyrics:
There’s a saying old, says that love is blind
Still we’re often told, "seek and ye shall find"
So I’m going to seek a certain lad I’ve had in mind
Looking everywhere, haven’t found him yet
He’s the big affair I cannot forget
Only man I ever think of with regret
I’d like to add his initial to my monogram
Tell me, where is the shepherd for this lost lamb?
There’s a somebody I’m longing to see
I hope that he, turns out to be
Someone who’ll watch over me
I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the wood
I know I could, always be good
To one who’ll watch over me
Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key
Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me
Won’t you tell him please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me
Someone to watch over me
Parts of the song certainly fit Kara; other parts, if you change “he” to “she” apply to Tyrol. Both are lost at the beginning of the episode. By the end, Kara is on the road to getting answers, perhaps finding some peace. Tyrol, on the other hand, has been destroyed.
The teaser was great. In addition to giving hope immediately that the series was back on track, it did what a really good teaser should: review where we are at, establish the tone, and set up the plot of the episode.
Kara, as they all are, is going through the motions. She has her morning briefing down pat. Same words, day after day. Life is monotony and they’re on the cusp of hopelessness and despair. They are still searching for a habitable planet, but the fleet can’t jump because Galactica can’t, so raptors are now going out on long haul missions. The supply shortages were addressed in a subtle, but direct manner – there is one tube of toothpaste left in the universe. (The toothpaste’s name was not only a nice shout out to the original BSG, but it was also their version of “Frak”).
And Kara states that the mutiny has thinned out the ranks, thus forcing raptor pilots going out alone and accounting for Sixes and Eights now sitting in the pilot briefing. Why couldn’t this one line have been included last week? I still don’t feel it’s a fitting goodbye to Racetrack and the others, but it does establish concisely and clearly that they are gone.
While I’m thrilled by seeing less Bill Adama, I would have liked to see more Laura and Lee. However, Lee really didn’t have much of a place in this episode. His brief scene did establish he followed through on his plan to reform the Quorum, with ship’s captains as delegates. This would imply a much larger forum with the people having more of a voice in government. And the Cylon’s have representation. I believe Lee said her name was Sonja? Lee is moving forward while his father stays tied to a world that is, literally, falling apart around him.
The end seems to be coming for Laura. :( She used to stand in meetings or get up and walk around while she formed her thoughts. I don’t recall seeing her stand once. She just doesn’t have the strength any longer. Her hands are shaking and a simple task like taking off her glasses is now a struggle.
Laura still retains executive powers and signs the order to extradite Boomer to the Cylons. Laura’s feelings toward Boomer paralleled those she had for Baltar. Laura can empathize with the Cylons feeling of betrayal and need for ‘justice’. Of course, we soon find out that Laura’s distrust of Boomer is well founded.
It’s fascinating that the Cylons, who railed against humanity in so many ways, who felt themselves superior, are taking on more and more human attributes. The Cylons, with resurrection technology, couldn’t seek vengeance. If you killed a Cylon, they would come back - but not anymore. Capital punishment is now an option and they are quick to embrace it. And just as quick to blame one of their own for thousands of deaths as the humans were. Is Boomer really responsible for genocide? She voted against her line, but it was Cavil who declared war. Since he’s not there to be punished, Boomer becomes the next best thing.
I suspected last week that the piano player was in Kara’s mind. I’m sure some will take issue with Kara interacting with someone who isn’t there and not being called on it, as Baltar would be if he were caught talking to Head Six. But I actually felt they set up nicely why no on would question Kara’s behavior. There were very few, if any, patrons in the bar. The bartender seemed incredibly disinterested in her. She was drinking heavily. And she has the stress of her husband lying in a coma. Put all that together and I can accept her conversations would go unnoticed or ignored.
I also found it plausible she would confess her resurrection to a stranger. She felt a connection to the man, he let her take a break from her worries for a time, and she had no fears of judgment or alienation. If she had confessed to Lee would he have turned his back on her? No. But they’ve had such a rocky relationship and I could see her questioning how he might react and deciding not to approach him.
Dreilide Thrace is Daniel. While the original Daniel survived Cavil’s destruction of the model line, did he survive the attacks? Or does he only survive as a Head character now? I think he might be alive and waiting for Kara and the fleet at their final destination. Kara’s vision of her father could be another sign post to earth or what will be their earth.
‘All Along the Watchtower’ finally returned and I thought the show did a beautiful job of reintroducing the song and using it to connect so much information together: Kara’s past, her connection to the Cylons, humanity’s journey, the Cylons journey, Hera having a role in all this.
Speaking of Hera, she is one element I’m having some issues with right now. Is she still special if Kara was the first Cylon/Human hybrid? The one thing that make me believes she still is is that it’s she, not Kara, who was present in the Opera House visions.
This episode managed to simultaneously shoot my theories to hell and confirm them. My suspicion as to the ease of Boomer and Ellen’s escape was well founded. Cavil did let them go. Now, not only does he know where the fleet is, he has Hera. (I’m not certain why he wants Hera. I didn’t think he believed in all this mystical crap.)
I do believe Boomer loves Tyrol, but I was mistaken that Ellen’s words on the baseship convinced Boomer she could have her old life back. It’s clear that her alienation from the fleet, from humanity, has done too much damage. She even explicitly states to Tyrol she felt betrayed by him, by everyone, when she was imprisoned and killed. It was foreshadowing of what was to come.
Her actions aren’t born of love for Cavil or a belief that she is one the right side in the civil war. Her vicious beating of Athena, her frakking her husband in front of her (though not planned, she took great, er, pleasure in the moment), and her do or die mentality that could have caused the destruction of Galactica as well as end her own life, all of that was motivated by revenge. She’s consumed by hate and vengeance…and oh so very human.
The scene between Helo and Boomer gutted me. It was one of the most difficult scenes I’ve ever watched on the show. Helo and Athena were the happy, well adjusted couple on the series. If their relationship isn’t ruined, it will never fully recover.
Tyrol recognized Boomer thirty seconds after seeing her. I don’t believe that was a Cylon connection; he recognized the woman he loved. Helo couldn’t tell the difference between his wife and another model and because of that Boomer was able to escape with Hera. I thought one of Grace’s best acting moments was when she was in Helo’s arms crying and her anguish turned to anger as she began hitting him. Not only has her daughter been taken, but she’s hit with the fact the man she loves – and sacrificed so much for – couldn’t be bothered to notice he was having sex with another Eight.
However, this all confirms a long standing suspicion I’ve had about Helo and his relationship with Athena. Did he ever stop to consider who it was he was in love with? He thought it was Boomer who came back to Caprica to rescue him. He thought it was Boomer he was fraking on Caprica. There has never been any indication that he stopped and thought about the fact that he fell in love with one Eight, but was married to another.
I don’t have a lot to say about Tyrol. He got played big time. He murdered a Cylon to rescue Boomer. He’s responsible for Athena and Helo losing their child. How can he recover from this? I don’t think he can. I know I’ll never look at him the same way again.
And a few random thoughts…
Kara seeing her corpse in the mirror was a nice parallel to Lee flashing back to the destruction of the Olympic Carrier in ‘Water’. Both are unable put behind them life altering events.
Sam has a lot of brain activity going on, but no consciousness. My prediction (which will likely bite me in the ass) is that he will become some sort of conduit.
Tyrol’s pleas for Boomer’s life fell on deaf ears with Sonja. The reverence for the Five seems to be over.
I noticed in the bar, as the Four were talking, a woman with a rather large gun behind Tyrol. Drinking and guns? Yeah, that’s going to end well.
Ellen made an interesting comment that Hera writing down the music was a sign she was plugged into something manipulating all of them. That’s the most direct reference yet that some sort of higher power may be involved in everything we’ve seen.
This week, Mo Ryan interviews Weddle and Thompson. I only had time to skim the interview. There was some interesting stuff and I seem to, overall, be on the same page as the writers this week. I was relieved to learn very little was cut (it felt that way), but there was still one moment of rage. :/
Mo: Did Boomer really love the Chief? Or was that final speech to him just another part of her con job?
Weddle: Did Boomer really love the Chief? That’s an interesting question and one I don’t have a neat answer to. Boomer is deeply conflicted. I think the process of having false memories planted in her, getting switched “on” as a Cylon, shooting Adama, getting shot by Cally, and her experiences on New Caprica have left her severely disturbed. She was determined to go through with her mission, but in the process of seducing Tyrol she reawakened feelings of love that she thought were dead. I think she experienced real misgivings just before she got on that Raptor, but felt she had gone too far to back down. Wrapped up in that is her perverse envy of Athena, who obtained everything Boomer once wanted, and this festered into a sick desire to strike out at Athena. It’s difficult to say someone who did that loves the Chief, and yet in her damaged way, I think she did and still does love him.
Thompson: Good question. She may not even know the answer. Boomer’s a complicated, damaged individual. Might both be true?
Well, I still think she truly loved Tyrol, but I don't have a problem with the scenario. We do seem to be in agreement she's envious and damaged and she just wasn't able to overcome that.
Mo: Does the fact that Dreilide Thrace's recording was titled "Live from the Helice Opera House" have any connection to the "Opera House" visions that have long been part of the show?
D'Oh! I missed that! But, in my defense, I'm also IMing with someone during the episode. ;)
Mo: Speaking of composition, what had to be cut from "STWOM"? What happened on set that you weren't expecting or that presented difficulties?
Thompson: It’s been a while since I watched all this go down, but I think most of the cuts were in the music because it was long and that was the place where we could best afford the loss. The show was restructured in editing, because Andy and Paul found a way that the climax with Kara and the climax with Boomer could happen simultaneously, which made the end much more satisfying.
And I should note that we’d been admonished (by high level players who will remain nameless) not to have Helo make the mistake he makes. We backed off in subsequent drafts (feeling like we were somehow cheating the fans) until Michael Nankin’s first round of script notes hit Ron, saying, “I can’t believe you have this opportunity and you’re not going all the way with it.” And Ron turned to us and said: “He’s right. It’s so wrong we have to do it!” And we got to put that moment back in the show.
An addendum on Boomer-Tyrol story from Thompson: I recall correctly, the Boomer-Tyrol aspect of this story was something we'd floated in the room in Season 3 but didn't know where it fit or what it would be. Like so many "Battlestar" ideas, it simply hung in limbo until the time was right for maximum impact.
That's one of the genius parts of Ron -- patience. Like with the nuke Six asked Baltar to get. And how it eventually played out. When the time came, we were very happy we'd had that one in our back pocket. But Ron didn't force playing that card until it made sense to do so. Likewise with Boomer-Tyrol.
Damn you Nankin and Moore! And I'm betting the high level players were SciFi execs. You are making me side with the network! As I mentioned, Helo's mistake does raise some interesting questions I've felt have never been addressed. But they did a hell of a lot of damage to Helo and his relationship with Athena and to think they did it because it was wrong is disappointing.