Asta 2

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan

The Plan: I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. Oddly, I had no strong feelings after watching it. There was some interesting new material, but it felt mostly like someone rewatched the first two seasons, found relatively small gaps in the story, cut and pasted existing footage together, then threw in some new footage to fill in the gaps. While the film didn't really add anything new to the saga, it didn't ruin anything either. My biggest disappointment was a lack of powerful character moments and not a single stunning revelation. The answers given to lingering questions were answers I assumed long ago. While I can pat myself on the back for piecing so much together myself, it doesn't make for gripping viewing.


I'll start with what I did enjoy, then move on to the less impressive aspects of the film.

While the CGI was a bit iffy, I still found the attacks on the colonies both stunning and horrifying. Caprica seems to have fared better in the attacks than the other colonies, likely because Caprica was home to the most advanced society and thus the best location for the Cylons to create their new home world.

In a recent interview, Tricia Helfer stated we'd finally get an answer as to why all the Sixs are different. We really don't get a definitive answer to that mystery, but we do see it is the Sixs who choose to differentiate themselves. It's an interesting idea that doesn't get explored as fully as I would have liked. But it is another indication that all the models are programmed a bit differently.

Leoben fell in love with Kara's voice and, later, sensed her specialness because of her ability to fly a raider. Those revelations were both sweet and unexpected. It also seems the Twos were the tech guys among the Cylons. What I'm less clear about is a confusing montage of images envisioned by Leoben of he and Kara together in the future. Are we being told that, like Kara, Leoben is special and chosen by God Whats-its-name? Is he able to see things others, humans and Cylons, can not? It would certainly explain why Leoben knew information about Kara in 'Flesh and Bone' that he had no other way of knowing. But if he was special and unique and seemingly important, why didn't he play a larger role in Season 4.5? (Putting aside CKR might have had other filming commitments.)

I'm not sure how I feel about the new information regarding Boomer and her sleeper status. Before I believed she was at war with herself; her Cylon self fighting to get out, not to force her to carry out her mission, but to stop her because she had grown to love her human life. The last part of my theory was reinforced when Boomer stated she was happier as a human. But we find out it's Cavil triggering Boomer in and out of consciousness. It's Cavil and his plans for her she's fighting against. Still, we get a good basis as to why Boomer was torn the rest of her life. She may have felt betrayed by the human race, but she also desperately wanted to remain part of it. Only as a human was she the person she wanted to be. A person she loved.

The film provided clarity as to why it was the Twos, Sixs and Eights who chose to split from their fellow Cylons: love. Leoben's love for Kara. Caprica's love for Baltar. Sharon's love for Tyrol. But it was more than loving one individual, it was their interactions with humanity and seeing humanity's capacity for love. Even Caprica Cavil would experience this concept through his relationship with Sam. And one Simon chose to become part of a family. So why were the Ones and Fives unwilling to broker a peace with the humans? I think the key is downloading.

The Cylons have the ability to share each others memories. Sometimes it's a selective process (See the Eight in 'The Hub') and sometimes it's done for the good of the collective. Shelley Godfrey may not have been in love with Baltar, but she had an infatuation with him. No doubt a result of sharing Caprica's knowledge and feelings for him.

Simon killed himself out of range of a resurrection ship. Galactica Cavil had Caprica Cavil boxed. They didn't have the opportunity to 'infect' the consciousness of the others. Had they been reintroduced into Cylon society, how might things have been different?

While I approve of Simon FINALLY getting a storyline and one that gave us new insights into the character, I'm more than a little suspicious that Gianna, who we had not seen since the mini, suddenly had a very substantial role in no small part due to the actress being EJO's wife.

I loved seeing Shelley Godfrey again and finding out what the frak happened to her. I had assumed she went out an airlock and the only twist was Cavil made her do it, which she didn't seem too happy about it. It was a nice explanation as to how the Cylons were able to keep tabs on where the fleet was early on.

A subtitle for The Plan could have been A Tale of Two Cavils. I'm pretty certain no amount of interaction with any human or Cylon could have changed John Cavil's mind about humanity and his thirst for eradicating humankind. Still, it's fascinating to see that the Ones, like all the other models, were able to be swayed in their opinions. Caprica Cavil, unlike Caprica Six, certainly felt no remorse for what he had a hand in, but he also didn't see the point of going on with the mission. They were never going to be seen as better or more worthy in the eyes of their 'parents'. In fact, given their actions, the Five were likely to love humanity even more.

And the final of the good? THE ARMS OF APOLLO! It was nice to see you again, boys. :)

As for the not so good aspects of The Plan...

The continuity people dropped the ball. When Adama was giving his big speech to rally the troops, Lee was no where near Galactica.

The film cuts from Adama receiving the note about there being twelve Cylon models to Baltar in CIC, implying he left the note. This makes NO sense. Baltar wouldn't have that information. I wish they had just let that plot point go. (ETA: nicole_anell, my resident Cylon expert ;), reminds me that Baltar did have that information. I stand corrected. But it still doesn't make much sense.)

I fully support nudity and sex on TV when there is a point to it. While the bathroom and living quarters are shared by men and women, would they really walk around naked like that? Don't most people grab a towel when they get out of the shower? The nudity was gratuitous and ridiculous. But it paled in comparison to the creepiness of EJO directing his wife in a totally unnecessary graphic sex scene. Issues!

The almost complete lack of Tory was odd. I guess Cavil really didn't care about her either? :(

I was unmoved by Cavil's murder of John. Usually violence of any sort against a child affects me, but I felt nothing. I think the problem is a combination of an underdeveloped character and a character we didn't know and didn't have time to. (I wonder if anyone thought about recasting Boxy? It would have been a nice explanation of what happened to him. And he had a connection to Boomer who had a connection to Cavil.)

It's also hard to believe John's parents didn't want him. People were looking to build family units after the attacks and we're to accept that not only did his parents ditch him, but no other person wanted to care for him. Had they said he had only one surviving parent who was too traumatized to take care of him, I could buy.

There's something wrong with a universe in which John Cavil gets as much action as Lee Adama. And more than Sam Anders and Karl Agathon.
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The way that sex scene was shot, I am almost certain they used body doubles, since you really don't see the faces in the same frame as boobs and bums.

Otherwise, I pretty much agree with everything you said.
You might be right. I HOPE you are right. There were a lot of close ups used in the scene. Still, even if they were body doubles, it was all very unnecessary. I'm such a prude for someone who reads smutty fanfic. ;p
Baltar wouldn't have that information.
To be fair to continuity -- he did. It's one of the last things Caprica-Six said it to him before his house exploded, in almost the same words. That's why I always assumed it was him who left the note, and we didn't need to be "shown" that by borrowing random footage from another scene. DDDD: So I still thought it was really silly and unnecessary. We agree there! I wish they'd let it go too.

Also:

There's something wrong with a universe in which John Cavil gets as much action as Lee Adama.
LOL! God, I know.
It's been ages since I've seen the mini so I don't recall that at all, but you're the Cylon expert. ;) But, seriously, I think we all focus on different aspects of the episodes so while I can quote Lee/Laura scenes, you would have the Baltar/Caprica knowledge. It still doesn't make sense that Baltar would share the knowledge. Besides, Head Six would be there looking over his shoulder and be very angry indeed! :)
I also liked the suggestion that the Sixes choose to differentiate between themselves. I'm also confused about Leoben seeing visions (I always asssumed he got the information from the Hybrid since Caprica mentions that Leoben thinks every word out of her mouth means something) but...okay so he's actually getting visions. Is he like an Oracle to the Cylon? I could be on board with that, but it's kind of odd, as you say, he didn't have a larger role in 4.5 if that's the case. Did his visions abandon him after he fled Kara? What was the purpose to that? It's such a shame we don't know because it's such a fascinating moment.

As to Baltar leaving the note - I am actually okay with that because an anonymous tipoff is the kind of weaselly thing I think he'd do to salve his conscience and try to protect himself since the more info Adama has the more likely he is to be able to keep the ship, including Baltar, safe. But, like Nicole, I always assumed that to be the case and would rather there have been no further mention of it than this weird oblique hint because they couldn't get James Callis in for more acting work.

I also totally noticed that they were using the shots of Lee and Kara listening to Adama's decomissioning speech but were playing he "we are at war!" speech! Possibly this is a sign I have seen this series too much (and might have been having to rewatch parts of the mini series for a certain vid project *cough*stillyourfault*cough*) but it bugged me too!

I honestly hadn't considered the idea of group experience and - even if they don't specifically always share exact memories - the idea that one model's experience of love can "bleed into" the others. That's a really fascinating idea. Makes you wonder what would have happened to the Threes who...experienced love (Hera, Baltar, possibly Caprica though I'm somewhat cynical) but in a kind of...weird selfish way. But yes, excellent observation that Simon killed himself out of resurrection range and the other Cavil got boxed thus negating their wider "infection" of their brothers. Poor Doral, all alone in his complete lack of love for anything except the subtle differences of Suit Colouration. :(

I guess he now takes over from Simon as most underdeveloped Cylon?

And you already know my thoughts on the weird gratuitous nudity and sex scenes. *flees* Like you I'd have no problem with it if it were either for a reason or establishing an aesthetic, but it seems weird to just drop it in in the final TV movie when it was never a part of the show's aesthetic before. Plus thinking about the fact that's EJO's wife = creepy. Even if there were body doubles, ONLY EVER SO SLIGHTLY LESS CREEPY.

There's something wrong with a universe in which John Cavil gets as much action as Lee Adama. And more than Sam Anders and Karl Agathon.

OH GOD I KNOW.

You know who else gets as much action as John Cavil and Lee Adama (and more than Sam Anders or Karl Agathon)? SAUL TIGH. (If we count the flashback woman in "Scattered" who was, apparently, not Ellen). *cries*
I don't really have anything material to add to the conversation... I just want to note that:

Poor Doral, all alone in his complete lack of love for anything except the subtle differences of Suit Colouration. :(

makes light of the importance of Suit Colouration, which is a deep and philosophical exploration of the depth of the universe. Of course.

(honestly, that sentence was made of LOL *g*)
I just realized. He wore the burgandy in the mini. He was the red shirt! OK, he was rescued before he succumbed to the radiation, but he was close to death so it counts. ;p
I think he turned out to be the generic red shirt of the Cylons. We knew his name but that's about it, and he always got stuck dying with little actual "investment" from the story (the Dorals shot down on Caprica by Sam et al, the SuiciDoral, the Burgandy Doral... and wasn't there a Doral killed during the escape from occupied Caprica when Caprica Six was involved? Huh).

Wow. I actually feel a bit sorry for the guy.
edited to fix blatant geographic errors - bah

Edited at 2009-10-25 06:03 pm (UTC)
I believe Leoben got information about Kara from the Hybrid, but The Plan indicates Leoben wasn't aware of Kara before he was part of the fleet and his initial meeting with her was prior to 'dying', downloading and returning to a baseship. We know the hybrids, whether because of their hybridity or God speaking to them or a combination of the two, are privy to information no human or Cylon is so I'm OK with Leoben obtaining his knowledge of Kara through them. But it feels like we had a plausible explanation as to why Leoben knew what he knew only to *now* be told he stumbled across Kara himself before talking with the hybrid and had visions of a relationship with her?

I am actually okay with that because an anonymous tipoff is the kind of weaselly thing I think he'd do to salve his conscience and try to protect himself since the more info Adama has the more likely he is to be able to keep the ship, including Baltar, safe.

True. But, at that point, would Baltar have the balls to break into Adama's quarters to leave the note?

(and might have been having to rewatch parts of the mini series for a certain vid project *cough*stillyourfault*cough*)

Do you want to see bitter? :p

The insertion of Kara and Lee there just felt really careless and sloppy to me. The Plan is for the die hard fans, not new viewers, and we're going to catch mistakes like that. At least Kara was on Galactica so I could accept them using that clip even if it perhaps wasn't the best choice of footage to use. But Lee was light years away! Saving Laura! It's like Eddie, who supposedly spent months editing the film, forgot about where everyone was at the time. I actually felt insulted.

Makes you wonder what would have happened to the Threes who...experienced love (Hera, Baltar, possibly Caprica though I'm somewhat cynical) but in a kind of...weird selfish way.

If D'Anna and her entire line hadn't been boxed I can imagine the Cylon civil war happening sooner with the Threes and the Ones, and specifically Cavil and D'Anna, battling it out for supremacy with the Cylon ranks becoming even more depleted. I wonder who would have won that battle?

Oddly, I don't have an issue with Doral being underdeveloped. Given what we know about the Sixes, Eights and Twos and Ellen's comment about Daniel being the artistic one, we can assume all the models were intentionally created with different personalities and skill sets. Doral always struck me as the middle management or low level bureaucrat eager for power he'll never have who you hate model. He was what he was and there really wasn't any more story to tell in regards to his character. Not all human beings are interesting, so why should the Cylons be any different? Maybe that explains his choice of closing. It was the only way he could stand out. :)

(If we count the flashback woman in "Scattered" who was, apparently, not Ellen).

But wasn't she a blonde too? So, in essence, they were, to his mind, all versions of Ellen. Which is disturbing, but makes him less of a ladies man. Maybe?
A small tangent - during Leoben's "vision" of his relationship with Kara, he saw the paint-covered sex scene. Which I always thought was just a hallucination in her head (similar to the Leoben we see guiding her with her mother prior to her death). So either he was actually, metaphysically/psychically a part of that, or he not only saw the parts of the relationship he was directly involved in, but also how she internalized their relationship. Which gives a whole new level to the certainty he had on New Caprica.
Good point! That was supposedly Not!Leoben in her head so how could he be aware of the paint sex? And if we take a leap and say he was metaphysically part of all that then why was he shocked to see Kara's dead body and why did he run away from her? Though if he had future knowledge of Kara's feelings about him then, yes, he's insistence on New Caprica that she loved him makes sense from his perspective. ::is more confused::
As inappropriate as it may be, now all I can think of is that, when he saw the wreckage of Kara's viper and her body, Leoben could only think "OMG God jumped the shark!"

Unless God's plan changed over time? IDK... I try to rationalize, but it never really works.
OK, sorry, have to comment again... I find your theory about Doral's programming really interesting. If the skinjob models were intentionally programmed with certain traits, it makes you wonder how specific Ellen et. al were in their programming. I mean, did they set out to make a "middle management", "doctor", "mystic", "technician", "psychopathic genocidal maniac with parent issues", etc.? One of the big themes (and one of the best ones, I think) was how those models developed and changed over time. But they're also machines with programming at their base. Are we supposed to take it like a mechanical model of the "nature vs. nurture" debate, then?
I think it's a combination of nature and nurture. It makes sense that if Ellen chose to create twelve models she would try to differentiate them in some way, otherwise just do two models - male and female. But once some of those models were integrated into Colonial society they began to evolve. Not only becoming who they needed to be, but who others wanted them to be (I'm thinking specifically of Caprica). Then those models began learning more about humans and appreciating attributes of them and the thoughts and feelings they had began to spread. Ya know, I'm sensing some more bad planning on Cavil's part. ;p
Ya know, I'm sensing some more bad planning on Cavil's part. ;p

Exactly. By setting up the destrcution of humanity from the inside, and through that bringing the Cylon models into contact with humanity, he hastened he end he feared most.

Oh, if he realized that it had to just burn.