It’s difficult to discuss ‘Daybreak’. It’s very much the beginning of a really long episode. There was a great deal of emphasis on character, which I loved, and it seemed like very little advancement of the plot. I would put emphasis on seemed because I believe there was significant plot development, we’re just unable to see where the pieces of the puzzle fit at this point.
Previously, there have been flashbacks to the characters lives before the attacks, but never so long or involved. Why are we just now seeing Baltar’s strained, to put it mildly, relationship with his father? (Or that Baltar, apparently, never learned Six’s name. Heh.) Why is Ron returning to the show bible and to show us that Laura’s father and sisters died in a car accident? And it’s now canon that Kara met Lee after she was already involved with Zak.
ZAK! We haven’t seen Zak since Season 1, though his presence has been always felt (sometimes less so than it should have been). Seeing Zak and Lee together for the first time, I was struck by the family resemblance. Though, the actor who plays Zak actually looks more like Adama. Not that I would change any casting. ;)
There were so many little nods to history in that scene between Zak, Lee, and Kara. Kara suggesting to Lee they play cards some day. Zak joking about Lee stealing his girlfriends. And good job Jamie for, in such a short period of time, conveying the Lee Adama we first were introduced to who was far less sure of himself. That Lee stood in stark contrast to the man we saw helping organize the desertion of Galactica.
Then there were the signs and portents. Maybe? I feel I do a good job of deducing symbolism and metaphor. The water and the pigeon must mean something, but I’m at a loss right now as to what. (On a side note with the pigeon scene, you all know how much I love Jamie, but the guy cannot play drunk. This is the second time in the history of the show I’ve had to half watch a scene involving him.)
From the very beginning, it was clear this episode was going to be different. There was no teaser. No drums accompanying a series of clips from what was about to unfold. It was a bit unsettling, though not in a bad way. It made me very aware that this is it. This is the beginning of the end and they needed to jump right into the story. It also paralleled nicely with the chaotic atmosphere of Galactica and no one really certain what they will do next.
Tricia Helfer has been a bit sidelined in the back half of the season. I know this is due, in part, to her simultaneously shooting Burn Notice. But she was given some great material in ‘Daybreak’ and Ron is proving a theory that many of us have – if the finale is really as good as promised, we’ll forgive quite a lot.
It was fascinating to see the old Caprica and how effortlessly Tricia became her again. This is Six, the manipulator, the woman on a mission. She quickly is able to read Baltar, “You like having things done for you”, and sees the opportunity to insinuate herself into his life when she meets his father. She solves Baltar’s problem by finding a place to take his father where he’ll be happy. (And, I really believe she did find a place to take him. No neck snapping and dumping of the body. ;) Baltar could have done it himself had he taken the time to talk to and listen to his father.
How heartbreaking was it to hear Caprica say,” I prefer not to rely on others as much as possible. There’s less chance of being let down that way.”? That was one of the big character shifts for Caprica – relying on others. She fell in love with Baltar, despite his numerous flaws. She teamed up with Boomer, hoping to change the way the Cylons viewed humanity. She came to love and trust D’Anna. Then there was Tigh. So many people have let her down. Yet, when she could have stayed on the other side of the line, she crossed it. Yes, Hera is very important to her, but, as much heartache as they have caused her, so are all the people in that room.
And this is where pieces of the puzzle are being laid out for us. We see that Baltar has never taken the time to get to know people, to see their problems and pain, unless it can benefit him in some way. As Lee pointed out in both confrontations with Baltar, when has Baltar been anything less than self-serving? Yet, as Lee lays out legitimate reasons for not wanting to give Baltar a voice in the government, Baltar knows there is also a personal basis for Lee’s animosity – Kara Thrace. Lee never had to bring up the incident on the hanger deck to know that Kara is a sensitive subject. I’d even go so far to say that Kara sleeping with Baltar back in Season 1 is still a sore spot. I half expected Baltar to bring it up.
I’ve asked before, I’ll ask again, why does Mary McDonnell not have a room full of awards for playing Laura Roslin? While she handled the scenes of Laura on her death bed very well (I’ll even hand wave that there is no way she could have walked to the hanger deck), it’s her scenes on Caprica that really moved me. We’ve never seen that Laura Roslin on Caprica. She’s never been as joyful as she was with her sisters. This, for me, totally contradicted her statements to Adama last week. She had a home and lost it.
The death of Laura’s family is a life altering experience, not just for her, but for humanity. In her quiet devastation, in the midst of tragedy, Laura Roslin is reborn – just as she was in the mini series. Had her family lived, I hazard to guess she never would have become part of Adar’s presidential run. She would have had other, more important, focuses in her life. I even suspect with her family, with a niece or nephew to watch grow up (damn you, Ron, you had to make the sister pregnant?), she would have gone to the doctor sooner. There would be no dying leader.
I can say that Adama did not totally fill me with rage this week. Not that there wasn’t some anger. Hera’s abduction becomes about him. He wouldn’t let Helo take a raptor to go look for his daughter, but he’ll lead a suicide mission that will cost a lot of lives, possibly even his son’s, to get her back. Sigh. (On a side note, I was confused about the picture of Hera and Athena being on the memorial wall. I was likely just a plot contrivance, though given the state Athena was in, it’s possible she put the picture on the wall believing Hera was dead or soon would be.)
And there were Adama’s words to Kara, “You’re my daughter, don’t forget it.” Well, Bill, you forget it often enough, which may have lead her to questioning exactly where she stood it your life. Dumbass.
I didn’t expect to see a flashback of Sam, but it worked really well. Having Sam in a tub of water in both the past and present was a very nice visual parallel. And his talk of math and physics and perfection to the reporter revealed his Cylon nature even if no one was aware of it at the time. I’m still scratching my head as to how it all will end, but The Colony being parked over a singularity, Sam presumably still plugged into Galactica while they undertake their mission, and…were the Cylon FTL drives installed on the ship? It’s all connected somehow to humanities survival.
And I do now believe humanity will survive. The fleet is being left behind and Hera is the key to unlock their future. But who on Galactica will live and die? I’m really, really hoping Adama goes down with his ship. Laura…well, Laura is dying. As for my beloved Lee, I don’t know if I spotted a visual clue to his fate or I’m being overly optimistic.
And some random thoughts….
Racetrack! I’m still not thrilled with how they handled the story of the mutineers, but I would have been extremely pissed had Racetrack, who had been with us since the beginning, wasn’t allowed to be part of the finale. Ron even managed to squeeze in some relevant characterization with her crack about the brain dead Cylon and a seemingly foolish mission.
A/R worked better for me this week than it has in, well, ever. Perhaps it was because Laura’s choices had nothing to do with Adama.
So, in the past, Laura was willing to date a younger man? Again, damn you Ron! (And, yes, for a second I thought it might be Lee. ;p)
Was it just me or did Tory seem like the little kid who was going to do what her parents told her to do? Heh.
I’m not sure why Ishay opted to go on the mission, given her feelings about Cylons and hybrids. Maybe she just wanted to be with her husband. ;)
Lee back in uniform! Now, I don’t have any problem with the longer hair, but the combination of the two did look odd.