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Battlestar Galactica 2K: "Unfinished Business"

A whole lot of "business" going on, or at least there was a lot of business started back on New Caprica which might or might not have been resolved. If they didn't have to rebuild the New Caprica sets, this qualifies as a bottle show, a purely character piece, with barely a breath of the Cylon threat, and it's as engaging and interesting and involved as any of the political machinations we've seen in the last year.

But I still don't like boxing.

This particular episode actually benefited from the inside-out flashback storytelling. The Memento technique doesn't always work, but here we got the sense of what each person or pair was really fighting about, literally, and the "show the end at the beginning" shots gave the scenes between Lee and Kara especially more punch. (heh. Sorry.)

I'm glad Tigh was the referee. It shows he's getting himself back into society, into the life of the ship's crew, and he probably run these matches before New Caprica. Even if he's no longer the official XO -- and what are his duties now, anyway? -- he still has the presence and authority of having been in charge of the crew for two years, and people will respect his decisions.

ew, Kara doesn't even shower after shagging? she jumps right into her clothes and heads off to go boxing? gross. Although I guess there's a certain symmetry there, that she fled from Lee's side to marry Anders and is now fleeing Anders to go to "the dance" with Lee. ooh, and I even managed not to work any body fluids into that paragraph.

The circle-with-wing tattoos that Kara and Anders sport are in lieu of wedding rings, according to Katee Sackhoff at a TVGuide photo shoot, but what's with the ziggurat on her shoulderblade?

You can't say "I'm not ready" for marriage after being married to the guy for a year. She's really grasping at straws. Poor Anders doesn't deserve this any more than Dee does. He turned out to be a decent guy after all, once the writers gave him something to do, but like Dee he has no particular chemistry with the main character spouse. We're not pulling for them to be together. Actually, I should say that I'd like to see Kara try to work things out with Anders if only to make her grow up a bit. She's an immature person, and trying to suck it up and make the best of an impulsive decision (to marry Anders) which went sour would go a long way towards making her more responsible and adult. But they may want to keep Starbuck as a crazy loose cannon, so who knows. I think it could be good drama to make her stick it out, though.

What was with Athena's rude comment to Kara? "Late to the party as usual"? Did she have a bet on Kara? Why should she care when or if Kara shows up?

I do not grasp the appeal of people beating one another to a bloody pulp. It's not a sport. It's organized brawling. And for Roslin to find it appealing?! At least Cottle was on hand to stop people from continuing if they're in bad shape. Although given the critical position some people hold, you'd think the Admiral, the only Admiral in the Fleet, would be forbidden from indulging in such a violent, dangerous, potentially deadly recreation. There could be other Majors (Apollo) or XOs (Helo), but Adama should not be allowed to risk himself that way. Especially when he's just recovering from Bulldog walloping him upside the head last week, and was shot and had major abdominal surgery a year ago. Now, I do get the idea that it's better to blow off steam in an ordered setting rather than letting slights fester into feuds, and I approve of that. Maybe it's a testosterone thing -- I just don't understand why the physical expression has to be so damaging.

An interesting juxtaposition: Lee and Kara put their dog tags into the box, signifying not only that they're "in the fight" but the idea that ranks don't matter in the ring (that is, you can't be afraid of being punished for hitting a superior officer), and then turn around and hiss "Captain" and "Major" at one another like insults.

These teasers are getting longer and longer. I don't mind -- I just forget that it's the teaser and and not Act I!

I like the contradictions of the folks on the ground of New Caprica. You have the cynics like Starbuck (cynical about both Baltar's "new tomorrow" and about never being able to fly in a fun way again) and the people who have made the choice to stop running (or flying) and to embrace life planetside, like Chief Tyrol and Cally. Adama obviously wasn't there yet, at only four months or so into the settlement, since he instantly dismisses Chief's request at first. But over the course of the evening we see in the flashbacks, he switches sides, or at least gives up the fight to keep people on a war footing when they've already chosen to walk away from ship life. Roslin seems to be someone who lives in the present reality, whatever that is -- the presidency, teaching, an insurgency, a leader. She probably had the least trouble (other than knowing how badly Baltar was going to frak things up) adjusting to the new way of life on the planet.

Roslin and Adama flirt like adults. How refreshing.

In Starbuck's first fight, Lee is watching her -- well, glaring at her, really -- and Dee is supposed to be rubbing the tension out of his shoulders. I know how to give a shoulder rub, and all she's doing is moving the sweat around on his collarbones. You gotta rub, girl, you gotta move the muscles under the skin and press hard with the thumbs.

Amusing that in a culture with so many Greek and Roman mythological references in their names, when they're dancing in the square the music is by Gaelic Storm.

Adama hears Tyrol telling his assistant to give up on the ship he's repairing for the night -- letting him slack. And he picks that moment to decide that everyone's still "too soft," that the changes in attitude which allowed people to muster out off Galactica and settle planetside and the subsequent the deprivations of the occupation have resulted in people who are too cozy with one another to remember the chain of command, or to properly prioritize their duties. I don't entirely disagree, because even on Voyager (the other ship in similar circumstances) there were occasional problems with people (ahem, Tom) mistaking familiarity and affection with permissiveness. Even when it's only one ship, you still need discipline. On the other hand, these people have been through extraordinary hardships, they've forged very close bonds, and this event is specifically structured to be without military structure. It is the one place where everyone's allowed to drop ranks and be equals; it's a place to blow off steam. If things are quiet enough to have this "dance," for the Admiral, the XO, the former XO, the CAG, the ship's physician, several pilots, and the President of the Colonies to attend, then things are quiet enough to let that ship sit another few hours. Of course, Janeway was merely traveling towards a home they knew existed, through space which was only intermittently dangerous, and Adama is being actively chased by homicidal fundamentalist robots while hoping to find a refuge he's not even sure is there to begin with. She had 140-odd people on one ship to care for, while Adama has two battlestars of crew and forty thousand civilians scattered across uncounted ship. He complains that he let everyone get "too close," and that's made them lax, but they have to be close in the face of all they've suffered. Janeway only had a few children on board (if you don't count the adolescent Icheb and infant Miral, then Naomi was the only one), while Adama is categorically the leader of a tribe -- one which needs to reproduce, proliferously. The Colonials see one another as a group of extended and intertwined families, with Adama as a kind of patriarch. Ultimately, he does have more reason to demand more discipline, but I think he picked a strange moment for it. And honestly, his speech didn't make a hell of a lot of sense -- "When you stand on this deck, be ready to fight; when you fight a man, he's not your friend; I let this family drift apart"? How do those connect?

Kara literally drank Anders under the table hee hee hee

I give Lee full credit on the beach. He stepped up and bravely took the chance. He asked the hard question: "Is this how you want to spend the rest of your life? Is this who you want to spend it with?" He took the risk, gave Kara every chance to back out, and when he recognized his feelings, he was literally willing to shout them to the rooftops. (Going back to Dee afterwards and not telling her... not so brave.) Kara acted according to her character: id. She slept with Lee because that emotion came to the surface. When she awoke with him the next morning, the first thing she felt was fear -- she panicked at the thought of having to commit to this, to commit to being vulnerable, to commit to staying with someone who truly knew her and wasn't afraid of her and couldn't be threatened or chased off -- and she ran. She married Anders not to commit to him, but to put an obstacle between herself and Lee, and what Lee represented. Kara is frightened of letting people get close. She loved Zak, and he died. She loved Adama as a father, and he's slapped her down and betrayed her (when she discovered he was lying about Earth). When she admits that she loves Lee -- the horror that spreads over her face when she realizes what she's done should have told Lee everything. Anders is safe. He's unexciting, he's stable, he's reliable, and he doesn't challenge her. Sadly, Anders is also a person, not a shield. (Now, given all this, let's think back to the end of S2, when we see Anders has pneumonia, and Kara calls up to Pegasus -- Dee hands off the phone, saying "it's for you" -- quietly pleading with Lee for antibiotics. Adds a whole new flavor, doesn't it?)

Dee knows. (Anders says of their boxing match "They're trying to kill each other," and Dee responds bitterly "That's one perspective.") She knows Lee came from shagging Kara on the alluvial beach and returned to her, rather than staying with Kara, thus the triumphant smile/smirk. But she also knows it's not exactly over -- Kara is just too much person to kick out of one's heart like that, even if Kara herself is trying to run. And they were best friends for years anyway, and she was nearly his sister-in-law, so no matter what, Kara is going to be entangled with Lee. I feel bad for Dee, because she hasn't done anything wrong and she's a pleasant enough character on her own, but there's no real chemistry with her and Lee. If they split up there are no tears to shed from the audience. The character doesn't deserve the heartache, but she's also done nothing to earn our loyalty to the couple. We just don't care if she's married to Lee. She's a competent officer and a good friend and has a lovely smile. But there's no passion there. I'm still not sure if I want Lee and Kara to pair off officially, but it looks as though if they do, it will still be written intelligently and with respect to the integrity of the characters, so I'd be okay with that. I'm just so relieved they've kissed and made up. Starbuck and Apollo are supposed to be best friends. The actors play wonderfully off one another. Let's see them work together again, as impish siblings, forbidden flirting, lovers, whatever.

Oh, and I would just like to say that I got the soundtrack CDs for seasons 1 and 2 (thanks to my dear sister), and they are AMAZING. Hie thee to the nearest store or to Amazon or iTunes and go get 'em. Bear McCreary's work is marvelous in context, but still lovely even just as music. (Plus there's an aria and musak. No really. "Battlestar Musaktica.") And the haunting theme from the Opera House on Kobol is there too, called "Passacaglia."

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