I will be sort of glad
to finish commenting on this two-parter so I don't
have to get the dang Star-Spangled
Banner stuck in my head every time I look at the
I have never understood boxing.
I didn't get it on VOY, I don't get it on BSG, I
don't know what the appeal
is, I cannot fathom why it's called "the Sweet
Science" when it's vicious and not even sporting
enough to call art, and a whole busload of Freudians
could have a field day about Lee boxing with his father.
I grasp that some sort of competition was necessary
for Adama's remark about Lee acting on his instincts,
but this was not what I would have chosen.
Starbuck is having sex with Baltar. (We
pause for a moment as Classic BSG fans who wandered
in by accident have collective apoplexy over that sentence
before they realize which show we're discussing. Another
pause while BSG2K viewers go "ew!"
en masse.) (You know what? I'm going to pause again
for another ew! because Baltar is such an oily,
cowardly SOB and Kara can't possibly be that hard up.)
On first watching, we thought for just a fleeting moment
that the head bent over Kara's shoulder was Lee's, and
when she cries his name (Starbuck having sex with Baltar
-- ew! Starbuck calling out for Apollo at the
point of no return... okay, I'll buy that) we were convinced
that we'd seen Kara's "vision" of who she
was knocking boots with. Somehow graphic without being
explicit, if that makes sense -- I didn't watch the
version which aired on NBC, so I don't know if the network
trimmed any of the skin. Baltar is just being his established
opportunist self. As for Kara, I guess she's banging
Baltar because she can't have Lee? And what is the proper
etiquette for that oops moment?
Tactically speaking, once Helo realized
Caprica Sharon was a Cylon, he should have shot her
in the head and had done with it. Or taken her more
securely hostage to get off Caprica. But winging her
and then yelling at her for hours is sort of dumb. I
hope that in S2 we get more resolution or explanation
about what Caprica Six and Caprica Doral were trying
to do with Caprica Sharon and Helo, and how it ties
in with the Master Plan of the Cylons. While we're at
it, I'd like a little more info about the Plan itself.
Thirteen episodes is enough suspense already. Give us
some dish. If I wanted to be strung along ad infinitum
I'd watch Lost.
Separately, however, if Caprica
Sharon invited Helo to shoot her, risking that he
was going to plug her
in the head, it appears that whatever plan the others
had, she's bucking it to some degree. She did go along
with getting pregnant and courting Helo, and you could
even argue that "rescuing" him was intended
to bond him to her against a common enemy even though
she knew there wasn't one, but putting herself and
the sprog at his mercy doesn't sound like what the
rest of the collective had in mind(s). Again, I'm hoping
for answers soon.
Five bucks says Roslin's cancer goes into surprising
remission right around the elections, and Adama calls
it science (some new drug the doctor put her on) and
Roslin and Elosha (the pope-woman in kente cloth) call
it a miracle from the Lords of Kobol. The prophecy
only calls for a dying leader, not a dead one.
I'm glad they kept little touches from one series
to the next, like Pyramid. These are the details which
make up the tapestry of a society, and they are the
things which the fans remember and cherish.
While the dual conversations which
Baltar has with Six and whomever else is in the room
are grating, the
moment when he yells at both the real and the non-corporeal
woman "I am not your plaything!" and both
Roslin and Six answer in precisely the same dry tone "Plaything?" was
a zinger. I could sort of sympathize with a scientist's
panic at being asked to be a literal governor, as in
one who governs, but Baltar is clearly whining because
he's been manipulated into this position by Six and
he doesn't like either the job or being a pawn. He does love
the spotlight. He's finding out, to his petulant displeasure,
that being vice president isn't about glamour, it's
about being a hard-working understudy. To his credit,
he didn't actually ask for the job.
I wonder: in the bathroom on Colonial One, Baltar
sees Six in the mirror, and she looks washed out. Is
she actually wearing less makeup to indicate some kind
of stripped-down state, that she's put aside some of
her seductiveness because they're dealing with a problem
at the heart of the Plan, or is it just the awful fluorescent
As far as I remember from "You Can't Go Home
Again," the Cylon Raider -- the ship Kara brought
home -- was another Cylon being. The ship was organic.
Shooting lasers was, I suppose, the equivalent of spitting
venom or blowing snot. So how are they loading it with
human-style bullets? Even if they accessed the musculature
which squeezed out the laser venom and ran pulses through
it like jerking a dead frog's leg around, where would
the bullets be stored and how would they be fed through?
And if it's organic and it's dead, wouldn't it have
started to rot by now?
Lee goes from jealous quasi-lover to brother
to captain in the space of two minutes with Kara. There's
definite chemistry there, but I think I'd prefer it
if they didn't get together. People can be more intimate
as friends sometimes, at least on TV, at any rate. (Those
punches they exchange? Partly real. Sackhoff misjudged
her swing and connected with Bamber.) And maybe I'm
just reading into it, but I wasn't getting the sense
that Kara was being "punished" by the script
or by Lee for sleeping around because she's female.
Lee was angry as a captain, and as her brother/potential,
but I felt like it was almost the same speech he would
have given a male pilot for being equally stupid. I'm
glad to see the gender equality which permeates the
rest of the military setup seems to have reached the
interpersonal level as well.
Nice touch by the director: Elosha hands the Book
of Kobol to Roslin to show her the picture of the Opera
House which she just saw in her vision, and the book
jostles Roslin's bottle of Kamala pills (the ones which
make her hallucinate).
Poor Galactica Sharon -- she's
suicidal and terrified of herself, and the only one
who walks in on her... is Baltar. Six is hissing about
how weak her model is, and how he can't stop her or
help her, and Baltar's way of reaching out to Sharon
is to tell her, sort of as one of the damned to another,
that death might not be such a bad thing. He knows he
himself doesn't have the courage to end it all and stop
whatever treachery Six is planning, or using him for,
but he figures if he can't do anything for Sharon, then
maybe he can convince her to stop herself. It's scenes
like this which make me think that Baltar isn't so much
calculatedly evil as he is almost psychopathically self-focused.
He wants to stay alive, at any price, no matter who
else is harmed by what he does to achieve that. But
Sharon doesn't have to end up that way.
Baltar's Six is really regretting giving him
permission to screw around. She didn't care so much
about the reporter, but seeing him get busy with Starbuck
set her back, and now she sneers (through gritted teeth)
that he probably wants to shag Sharon as well. Looks
like the Cylons are finding out that Love isn't as
simple as they first thought, and that sex and Love
are more intertwined than they anticipated.
The conflict between Roslin and Adama
about Kobol and going back to Caprica for the Arrow
of Apollo boils down to a duality of perspectives or
choices: Faith vs. Science, Emotion vs. Reason, Feeling
vs. Thinking. On The X-Files, at least in the
first two seasons before the mythology got too heavy,
many of the "bottle" shows were left open-ended
so that either Mulder or Scully might have been right.
On BSG, that potential to go either way doesn't exist.
Both sides are presented as being equally valid to
characters, but there is a clear right and wrong answer
given to the audience. ("Right" mostly being
that which would move the show forward -- clearly,
has to be proven correct about the Arrow of Apollo,
or the setup doesn't work. But that's for next season,
which hasn't happened yet.) Almost all the Good Guys
seem to be painted this either/or way (we haven't
enough of the Cylons to be sure). A character is one
or the other at a given moment, and when the character
surrenders to one half of the equation, the other is
temporarily obliterated. When Roslin starts following
her (religious) visions, she takes (military) risks.
Adama stays military and sees no way to authorize
Kara back to Caprica. His decision is military: we
need the Raider for tactical deployment, to take
basestar and rescue the downed away team. Her decision
is faith-based: according to the Sacred Scrolls,
Arrow of Apollo, which is currently on Cylon-infested
Caprica, placed in the Tomb of Athena, which is currently
a pile of ruins on Cylon-infested Kobol, will show
us the way to a mythical planet which we're not even
exists. Adama cannot find a Rational, Scientific, or
military reason to support Roslin's Emotional decision.
Roslin is literally making a leap of faith.
There's nothing rational about it. She's going on
on the belief, that she's right. Roslin has shown that
she's capable of subverting an officer (albeit a highly-strung
one) to disobey orders and disregard military objectives.
This makes her tactically dangerous. Emotionally,
course, Roslin is not dangerous; she is acting in what
she believes is the best interest of the fleet and
society. Because Adama doesn't see it emotionally,
because he has no faith, he has to act on bare-bones
and Military Thinking. Lee and Tigh follow this when
they board Colonial One to arrest Roslin on
Adama's orders. But then Lee stops Thinking and starts
and he feels in his gut that Roslin is not a danger,
that this military escalation is the real danger.
And rather than using diplomacy, a tool of Reason,
threatens Tigh's life, which is an act of Emotion.
(As it happens, I think Adama is wrong and Lee is
There was no need for a coup. But it was very exciting
and insanely tense and wonderfully acted.)
I feel bad for Chief Tyrol. He really does love Galactica Sharon,
but her bitterness over what she's discovering of herself
is crowding out everything else. If this were peacetime,
or a normal life, they'd have the space to sort out
their relationship, but not in this mess.
The scene in the Raptors where the Cylons
attack and everyone is screaming wildly was disturbing
and frightening (as it should have been). James Callis
bugs his eyes so far out of his head the whites of his
eyes are nearly glowing. Hubby was impressed by the
windshield crack expanding under pressure first from
vacuum and then from atmosphere. I was practically heebie-jeebieing
off my chair in sympathy.
I'm glad that Billy is serving as a young but useful
kind of first officer for Roslin. He supports her,
he knows her enough to probe and to back off, and she
trusts him to tell her the ugly truth. A good leader
needs a second like that. Of course, because he is
so young and he's inexperienced, Roslin can override
him without much effort, but you do get the sense that
she is listening to him, and that he's not afraid to
speak up when it's critical.
Does Roslin choose Starbuck for her Caprica mission
just because she had the Raider, or because she was
volatile enough to be manipulated? When she told Kara
about Adama's morale-boosting fairytale, did she know
that Kara would respond so emotionally, or was she
just trying to convince the pilot to her side? It's
in character for everyone but the pieces fit together so well
it's a touch contrived.
Nice fatherly zing from Adama to
sure whatever you do, you don't regret it." That's
a line to keep you up nights.
Baltar falls in a conveniently cross-like position
when he collapses on the hillside. C'mon, guys, don't
I'm beginning to think that all the
Sharons have a suicidal streak. Why else would Caprica
tell the guy who's holding her hostage at gunpoint,
and has already shot her, to "take that tough-guy
attitude and shove it up your ass"? At this point
she hasn't told him about her pregnancy, so there's
nothing to "protect" her. Or maybe the shy,
sweet, lean-on-my-man thing is only an act for the
Sharon model, and at their hearts they're as tough
and manipulative as the Sixes.
Interesting how Adama doesn't really hold Kara responsible
for her own mutiny. Is that an emotional blind spot
towards his surrogate daughter, or is he so angry at
Roslin that he's allowing himself to displace Kara's
blame onto the president as well? (This is more of
the Emotion-or-Reason dichotomy I was talking about.
He's very calm, but he loves Kara so much he's not
going to take her to task for her military breach.
That's a mistake; he should bust her ass down to whatever's
Is it mere coincidence that Caprica
is Kara's "home," or
was Galactica a Caprica-based ship? There are
people from the other colonies aboard, obviously. Or
does she mean "home" in the general sense
of the colonial planets? (and not for anything, but
after two millennia, isn't it about time to admit you're
no longer a colony of something else but an entity
in your own right?)
The design of the basestar is bea-u-tiful.
Weird and alien and sensuous and deadly.
I thought it was kind of stupid for Kara to shoot
the glass of the display case from 15 feet away. She
could have damaged the arrow. Why not break the glass
from closer range, or shatter it with a piece of debris?
And why does she use it to fight with? Caprica Six
could have broken it in half and rendered it useless.
(I bet it's going to be like the staff and disk acting
as a kind of sundial in Raiders of the Lost Ark.)
If the basestar is an organic ship like the Raider,
was Galactica Sharon essentially flying around
inside its chest cavity? its stomach? intestines? And
the Raiders on the walls were what, villi? (which look
a little silli -- oops, sorry, Schoolhouse
Did they do something different
to Grace Park when she was portraying the legions
of nekkid Sharon drones?
Makeup, hair, lighting? It doesn't actually look like
the two Sharons we know. And poor girl -- talk about "we
have seen the enemy, and they is us." She's seeing
the enemy, and realizing it's herself. She's
one of them. And they're forgiving her for carrying
out her mission to destroy them, her, herself. (In
a creepy way, too -- "don't worry about us, we'll
see you again...we love you, Sharon. And we always
will.") And then one of the drones caresses
the bomb -- I was reminded of VOY's "Warhead," with
Holodoc talking to the machine like an injured colleague
before they realize it's a bomb.
At least they got the explosion right,
in a sphere rather than a wave like Praxis.
(yes, I'm going to harp on that until the day I die.
They got it wrong, dammit!)
The look on Kara's face, and that scream
when Helo tells her Caprica Sharon's pregnant -- Sackhoff
manages to jam anger and revulsion and disappointment
all into a few frantic eyerolls and one howl. Every
line of her body is screaming How could you?!
better than any speech.
The music in the scene on Kobol in the Opera House
was suitably freaky and seductive, almost like the
waltz which the devil plays for Lily in Legend.
It really makes the atmosphere and helps the audience
get into Baltar's frame of (altered) mind.
Okay, even seeing it a second and third time, I still
gasped when Galactica Sharon shot Adama. It's
so shockingly rude,
that he's complimented her and everyone's applauding
and he's reaching out to shake her hand and she just plugs him.
Brrr! Now that's how you end a season.