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02 November 2007 @ 06:10 pm
BSG: Razor, more meta  
I obviously can't shut up about Razor at the moment! But I got to thinking about the final scene between Bill and Lee and I think I dismissed it too easily the first couple of times I watched it because Bill annoyed me so much.

So to get the rant out of the way first: Omg, how could he say that it was hard to find fault with anything Cain or Kendra did?! HOW?! My jaw dropped the same way Lee's did. And then to say that Tigh was 'keeping him honest'. Puh-lease. I think that threw me out of the scene so much because I just entered rage about how batshit and warped Bill's view of the world is.

Ahem.

Anyway, watching again I think it's a really important scene, especially in light of Lee's decision to nuke the mission.

When Lee walks in he's quiet and hesitant, the tone of his voice is flat when he says 'you wanted to see me, Admiral'. He looks down, blinking, when Adama says 'Starbuck was here earlier'. I think he expects reproach from Bill for his decisions, but he steps forward to take what's coming anyway, ready to face the consequences. When Bill raises Kendra instead, he's surprised.

Bill's speech about the differences between Cain's position and his may not have worked for me but it DID speak to Lee judging by his body language. He first looks away, internalising what Bill's saying, when Bill mentions the president--he recognises the importance that played. And when Bill says I have 'you', Lee opens his eyes (in surprise?) then looks up again with a quizzical look on his face. When Bill says 'you see yourself reflected in their eyes', Lee grimaces. He turns away at this point, which works to show us that Lee is having difficulty seeing himself in his father's eyes. He DOES know what his father means--he doesn't argue any further about Kendra or Cain but instead brings up of his own accord what happened on the mission. He takes a drink and pauses after Bill says 'I stopped myself because I knew I'd have to face you the next day'. Lee is deep in thought by this time, his chin clenched, his cheek muscles twitching. Without preamble he says 'if you hadn't been in CIC I would have ordered that strike, Kara would be dead, so would the rest of the team'. He's gone fully into empathy with his father over this and also into self-flagellation mode.

The point being made here is that Bill acted as Lee's conscience just as Lee's acted as his father's conscience in the past. I don't buy that this makes them the same as Cain because we know she SHOT her conscience, but anyway...

Bill apparently had no intention of berating his son for that decision, saying he did nothing wrong. Bill's point is that they all made decisions to accomplish their missions. That's what being a military leader means. The point's not lost on Lee: he says he's like Cain and Kendra. But we know Lee respects neither of those figures so the fact that he puts himself in the same category as them shows how much this weighs on his conscience and how difficult he will find it to live with what's happened. His facial expressions as he's taking his leave from his father show that he's still struggling with this. That fits with what we know of Lee overall--that he may make the tough calls but he also tortures himself over them. I'm surprised he didn't bring this up on the stand in Crossroads and the only reason I can see for him not doing so is that the audience didn't know about it yet.

This scene also raises the question of how Lee will be judged. When Lee says to Kara just afterwards 'we've all got it coming' I think he's really thinking of himself--he looks back in the direction of his father's office, recalling the conversation they've just had.

I'm not sure Lee knew he was capable of making that call about Kara until he made it. The fact that he WAS capable of it is something he will wrestle with for a long time. And he'll ultimately come back to a position of wanting to defend and recapture his humanity. He'll leave the military after Kara's actual death, and on the stand in Crossroads he'll argue passionately for the need to retain civilisation and humanity even in the pressured circumstances. This makes me more curious than ever to see where they take him in Season 4. Having fully experienced what it means to be a military officer and having proving himself capable of making both immense self-sacrifice and the decision to sacrifice others, has he now found that he can't live with what that means any more? Just because he can do it doesn't mean he wants to or will want to keep on doing it, especially since the toll is so huge. I was already aware that Lee 'found himself' again in season three, but Razor has helped me see that it ran deeper than that--he found his humanity again.

Perhaps it took Kara's actual death to do that, to haunt him fully and to make him realise that that loss was so intolerable and immense he couldn't keep on pretending to himself--or rather trying to force himself to believe--that it wasn't.

what will he do now!? (RHETORICAL question only--no spoilers please!)
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
brokenmnemonic: Leebrokenmnemonic on November 2nd, 2007 09:40 am (UTC)
Believe it or not, I'm actually writing a big-ass review of Razor right now...
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Buffy Willow friends hugbop_radar on November 2nd, 2007 11:55 am (UTC)
Awesome! I'm so there. ;)
brokenmnemonic: Leebrokenmnemonic on November 2nd, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC)
I should warn you - I got seriously wordy, and I didn't spellcheck it *is bad*

I'm also quite likely to get vocal, so if you feel I'm out of line with any of my comments in your reviews or review responses, feel free to delete and give me a slap, ok?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Jamie whateverbop_radar on November 2nd, 2007 12:14 pm (UTC)
:D OK! *prepares slapping hand just in case* ;)
brokenmnemonic: Dance of bloodbrokenmnemonic on November 2nd, 2007 12:47 pm (UTC)
You'd think by now I'd have more control over my temper :P
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee polite facebop_radar on November 2nd, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC)
Telling Latte she was wrong in that blunt way was naughty but I'll stay my hand because she can hold her own. Besides which you made her smile and that's more than I can do. :( (I tried, dammit!)
brokenmnemonic: The Pricebrokenmnemonic on November 6th, 2007 08:43 am (UTC)
Well, I don't think it was a good smile.
fruitsome: l_meh leegrapefruitzzz on November 2nd, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)
running in with eyes shut going "oh is it available hem hem somehow or just the script and does lee look pretty?" and running out again.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee not a herobop_radar on November 2nd, 2007 11:56 am (UTC)
It is. Email me?
Lee is pretty: duh!
fruitsome: l_leewispgrapefruitzzz on November 2nd, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC)
I shall hem hem email you, although now I know it's there I can usually Find Things pretty well.

I know Lee=pretty but I just wondered if he did anything especially cute, such as wander around topless or have that cute formal uniform on. He is my dress-up dolly after all.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on November 2nd, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC)
The cute formal uniform was in evidence. :D There's a lot of Lee in Razor--I think you will be pleased. And I need you to watch so we can bitch about Papa together. ;)
fruitsome: l_meh leegrapefruitzzz on November 3rd, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
The grey uniform goes so well with his jawline and colouring. I swear they designed it around him and then everyone else fit in afterwards. Both uniforms really, because he looks pretty and over-stuffed in blue too.

I have acquired a copy, but I haven't tested it yet, so it might not work. I really enjoy bitching about Papa and cooing over Lee, so this should be good :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee smilebop_radar on November 4th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)
swear they designed it around him and then everyone else fit in afterwards
Just as they should! ;) Lee aesthetics > everything
fruitsome: l_leewispgrapefruitzzz on November 10th, 2007 12:04 am (UTC)
saw it LOL
Lee looks very preeetty in places and Bill is a complete undermining pig to him again. They were a bit hazy with the Pilotlove, but that's fair enough as it's confusing to work out where in their personal hatelovehatefriends timeline they were that week.

More later but OMGOLDCYLONS and Gina!Cain angst. Although there could have been more confrontation between them, it was horribly chilling when Cain suggested just how much "interrogation" should be done. Erk.

Bill? *slapppp* Gah.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee not a herobop_radar on November 10th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC)
Re: saw it LOL
Much Bill-slapping required. *nods*
The First Evil: Lee and Adama - Inlovewithnightasta77 on November 2nd, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
The point being made here is that Bill acted as Lee's conscience just as Lee's acted as his father's conscience in the past. I don't buy that this makes them the same as Cain because we know she SHOT her conscience, but anyway...

I don’t wish to get into spoiler territory, but I read that there was a scene cut involving Cain that may help to explain why she doesn’t have anyone to act as a conscience and that scene may be in the extended DVD release. Still, it was quite clear that she really was close to no one. She easily shot her XO and friend. And look what she ordered be done to Gina. All Cain had was herself as judge and jury (literally, in Tyrol and Helo's case) and no grasp that she was as bad, if not worse, than the enemy that she sought revenge against.

Bill apparently had no intention of berating his son for that decision, saying he did nothing wrong. Bill's point is that they all made decisions to accomplish their missions. That's what being a military leader means.

I so wish Adama would have remembered that during the New Caprica storyline because Lee’s decision to abandon those on NC and save what was left of the fleet did have some sound reasoning behind it. I don’t think it was an easy choice for Lee to argue to leave Kara and the others behind to fend for themselves, but their overall mission was to ensure the survival of humanity and that is what he was trying to do.

That fits with what we know of Lee overall--that he may make the tough calls but he also tortures himself over them.

Yes! My poor baby! ;)

This scene also raises the question of how Lee will be judged. When Lee says to Kara just afterwards 'we've all got it coming' I think he's really thinking of himself--he looks back in the direction of his father's office, recalling the conversation they've just had.

I had a ‘Crossroads’ moment when he made that comment to Kara. I think he was referring to himself, he has a laundry list of ‘sins’ in his head, but as he also pointed out in his witness stand speech, every single one of them has failures and regrets that they must live with. While out of necessity they are forgiven now, they will eventually be judged by history, if not by themselves.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on November 2nd, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
All Cain had was herself as judge and jury (literally, in Tyrol and Helo's case) and no grasp that she was as bad, if not worse, than the enemy that she sought revenge against.
This is true. While I'm interested in the idea of scenes that give greater context for how she became the way she was, now that I've seen what a true monster she became I'm not sure I really want to see her 'humanised' if that makes sense? I'm so revolted by her. And I don't know how any scene could explain why she SHOT someone who tried to act as her conscience. But then I'll wait and see the extended DVD...

I don’t think it was an easy choice for Lee to argue to leave Kara and the others behind to fend for themselves, but their overall mission was to ensure the survival of humanity and that is what he was trying to do
Absolutely! Again, Adama demonstrates selective memory/reasoning. What he has to say to Lee here is really valid and moving and necessary. But he ignores his own advice on so many occasions that I find it hard to see past that. And there are times when he's just SO hard on his son, so unwilling to listen to reason... *rambles off into rant territory*

every single one of them has failures and regrets that they must live with. While out of necessity they are forgiven now, they will eventually be judged by history, if not by themselves.
Mmm, that was the message of Razor, wasn't it? So dark! I'm feeling the terrible weight of that for Lee in a new way. I am glad though that we got to see him in command and experiencing all the challenges of what that command meant. I thought Razor showed his growth really well but wow, Lee will never let himself off the hook for any of this.
Allison: kidsfrolicndetour on November 16th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
I had a huge problem with that speech about Kendra and Cain, too. Not from a character perspective, because I think Adama (and Lee to some extent) has a tendency to nail himself to the cross take on the weight of the world and put way too much guilt on himself. I rolled my eyes at the whole "I started the war!" angst-fest, but he genuinely believes it. So I can see him equating himself with Cain. The problem I have with it is that it's hard to tell when Adama is functioning as a character and when he's funtioning is Ron's Mary-Sue The Moral Center of The Show, and so maybe I'm supposed to take that speech at the end as "the moral of the story." And if so, no, they really didn't show me that Cain was simply who Adama or anyone else could have been under different circumstances. Adama certainly has his flaws (!) but I really don't believe he would have murdered civilians or authorized rape. So I resented it because I felt like I was being shown one thing and told another.

i can see his point with Tigh a little bit. *ducks incoming* Tigh is always the person who will argue with Adama, without fail, about everything. And that means that 99.5% of the time, Tigh will be wrong, because Adama is, ahem, "The Moral Center of the Show." But it does keep Adama honest because it forces him to self-question. Of course, Cain could have had the same if she hadn't totally shot her (cuter, sober, non-growly) Tigh in the head. So, shut it Bill. ;)

Otherwise, though, I loved that scene. I love the fact that Lee self-questions and that Adama told him he sees himself reflected in Lee's eyes. Aw!

I was reading your conversation with asta77 and I think one of Adama's flaws is that he's both a father/father-figure to Lee and Kara, and he's also their commanding officer, and sometimes he doesn't know when to respond as one or the other- and so he mixes them up so much he fails as both, sometimes. Like when he is angry with Lee during the exodus and later during the trial, he says things to him that are viciously personal and completely wrong coming from a commanding officer. Like, Lee is trying to have an argument about tactics and Adama is yelling at him for his weight. But then, if he wants to be a father then he shouldn't get to pull the "you're dismissed, Major," card. Same with the way he treated Kara in Torn. As a father, you'd think that he should, y'know, care about the fact that she was held prisoner by a sexually obsessed Cylon for four months and came back all fucked in the head. (Can you imagine if that had happened to Lee and then that was their first interaction? Yikes!) As a commander, he needs to give her the "shape up or ship out" speech, but he should have skipped the rage and the "you're a cancer/I don't love you anymore." As well as the "Just shoot me in the head already!" histrionics. (What's with Adama and ordering people to beat him or shoot him? You keep that going and someone's going to take you up on it one day, buddy.) And I'd even say the same for how he treated Tigh in that scene. Removing him from duty was totally necessary, but "one-eyed drunk?" Uh, you do get that that eye was gouged out recently, right Bill? Gouged out while he was fighting for you? Sheesh. Tigh should have asked for his friendship bracelet back. ;)

Though I read somewhere that Adama's rage at Lee and Kara was really directed at himself because he let the Fleet disband and that led to his son getting all depressed and unfit and Kara being a basket-case. And that what his speech in UB was about in part. I was too busy rolling my eyes to pay much attention, but I buy it.

At least though when Adama and Lee fight they always reconcile in ways that show the love and respect they both have for each other, while when Kara was out she was really out until he needed to use his grief as a stick to beat Lee with lost her, but that took a whole season. So I am slightly jealous on her behalf. ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on November 17th, 2007 10:02 am (UTC)
if so, no, they really didn't show me that Cain was simply who Adama or anyone else could have been under different circumstances
Right. That speech implied that that was the point of Razor--if it was, then it didn't achieve its goal with me.

it does keep Adama honest because it forces him to self-question
Yeah, but Lee and Laura have been far better at questioning him more astutely than Tigh. And I think that, of late anyway, he's listened to Laura more than anyone else. To me Laura is the biggest difference between the situation Cain faced and the one Adama found himself in--having a political leader of the fleet as well as a military one changes the whole dynamic. I think they could have made a lot more of that, and in light of that Tigh feels like a VERY minor player when it comes to moderating Adama.

he's both a father/father-figure to Lee and Kara, and he's also their commanding officer, and sometimes he doesn't know when to respond as one or the other-
I think it's even worse than that sometimes--I think he forgets that he NEEDS to separate those two roles.

Can you imagine if that had happened to Lee and then that was their first interaction? Yikes!
Don't worry--I can well imagine him doing that. I can understand you feeling jealous on Kara's behalf but then the show indicated she was back in Adama's good books in Maelstrom (though they didn't show us how she got there, grumble). But Lee was rejected as both son and officer in the Crossroads arc. For the nth time. I know Kara fans often feel Kara gets the worst of it from Adama, and Lee fans think Lee gets the worst of it, but really I think they both get treated appallingly.

What's with Adama and ordering people to beat him or shoot him? You keep that going and someone's going to take you up on it one day, buddy.
Heh heh heh. :D

Removing him from duty was totally necessary, but "one-eyed drunk?" Uh, you do get that that eye was gouged out recently, right Bill? Gouged out while he was fighting for you? Sheesh. Tigh should have asked for his friendship bracelet back. ;)
Hee! Yeah, I agree. And it was all for naught anyway since he reinstated him later when he felt lonely. *grumbles* (I seriously don't think Tigh should EVER have been given back his position.) So it read like a childish tiff where you throw insults around and then make up later--but the thing Adama forgets is that those insults sting and stay with people.

And that what his speech in UB was about in part. I was too busy rolling my eyes to pay much attention, but I buy it.
Hell, yeah. And if that IS the case then he hides it pretty damn well and it would be great if he got down off the podium for once and really connected with one of the people he hurt--like Kara or Lee, for starters. At least with Tigh it seems like he does connect with him again, and in my eyes Tigh's the least deserving of Adama's abused love ones.
Mistress Spinmlsky on November 26th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
Hi! It's me again. *waves* Another quick comment to let you know I enjoyed this as well...and yeah...I'll email the rest. *LOL* I love your different take on Adama's checks and balances...very cool. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee Apollobop_radar on November 27th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC)
Hee! Cool, I'll look forward to your email. :)