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18 October 2010 @ 10:10 pm
Vidding thinks  
I'm at that stage with my current vid project where I have a nearly full timeline and things are starting to come together structurally. My brain's desperately trying to play catch-up with all the decisions I've made based on intuition, kind of trying to hunt them down and detect whether they are actually sound or don't serve the vid well at all. No doubt when I play back my vid over breakfast tomorrow I'll realise I'm a lot further off target than I think I am ... but... I love this stage of a project. My head buzzes, I can't really think about anything but vidding, I'm constantly tossing things over in my mind to make sense of them.

In this case, my big question is 'why is Lee so angry at Kara?' which probably gives a massively skewed perspective of what my vid is about since 90 per cent of it is about his love for her. But that part does not need much explaining to me, doesn't exactly pose me any problems. Whereas there's one section of the vid that definitely draws on or exposes his anger--and I think it's the lynchpin of the vid working or not, because without hitting that hard, ugly raw nerve the other moments won't be seen in such relief.

It's easy enough to see why he would be angry with her after she got married, but the more intriguing question is the anger he expresses in late Season 2 before that. What has surprised me (but it shouldn't have) is just how many reasons Lee has to be angry at Kara. I don't want this to sound at all like Kara-bashing: it's not, I find her far more sympathetic on my revisiting of these episodes than I did the first time around (*armies of Kara fans sigh with relief*). I don't say the reasons are fair. Perhaps I shouldn't call them 'reasons for anger' so much as 'sources of anger' since most of them are irrational and Lee himself would reject them consciously. But that's the thing--his anger doesn't come from a conscious place, and he himself admits he doesn't know why he's angry at her. Later he rationalises it as being about her being able to buck the system and get away with it, and I definitely think that's a huge part of it. However, it's not all of it.

Since I am, as usual, vidding from within a character's perspective (rather than commenting on a character from the outside) I feel like even if I don't reference all of these reasons in my actual vid (and I won't/can't) I think I need to have internalised them sufficiently myself in order to know their influence--conscious or unconscious--on Lee's emotions for and behaviour towards Kara.

Here's what I've managed to trace so far:
1. Kara is in love with someone else. Lee won't bring it up and tries really hard to deal with it, to wish Kara well with Anders, but from Scar on, that one fact is like a shard of glass in his heart.
2. Kara is a rebel and gets rewarded for it. As Lee expresses, he tried that once and 'nearly lost everything'. I do think Lee is jealous of Kara. He has his own stubborn headstrong streak, but he does not have Kara's flair for pulling the most audacious things off. Career-wise these two are on opposite trajectories at this time: Lee is progressing in command experience and taking it very seriously, becoming more entrenched, as it were, in 'playing by the rules' and making tough but strong decisions (this culminates in Razor when he finds the dark end of that path is ordering Kara to her death). Kara, meanwhile, is 'acting out' a lot, and while there are times when Lee has totally indulged/condoned her, even participated in that, in the past, he's not in an emotional place to do so right now, and what he once found charming he now finds infuriating.
3. Kara shot Lee. Yup, I'm including it. I do think things could have been at least a little different had Kara not turned away from visiting him in hospital. Which is not to blame Kara (really!!), but I think Lee needed something from Kara afterwards. The locker-room scene where he explodes out with 'you mean after I got shot' was always so intriguing to me, because it is so so cruel to Kara. He's basically screaming at her that she shot him, when he knows that she feels terrible about it (he does know, just look at his face afterwards, he looks like he just killed a puppy). Why would Lee do that? I think the only way to really explain it is that some part of him needed to clear the air about the shooting and that initiative was not going to come from Kara. He phrases it passively, he doesn't really see Kara as an active agent, but he needs some kind of target for the anger he feels as he works through the shockwaves from that event. Of course it hurt that his best friend (who'd rejected him sexually so recently) held the trigger. There's no legitimate space for him to express that anger though. I think an apology from Kara would have diffused a lot but it would never, nor perhaps should ever (since it was so obviously an accident) be forthcoming.
4. 'You hate it when she argues rationally, don't you?' There's another layer to the 'Kara fraks up and gets away with it' thread of thought and that's that actually Kara is a good soldier and Lee knows it. She often has sound reasoning and offers clever strategies, and ultimately her loyalty is unquestioning. I think that makes it even more annoying for Lee, perversely, because he can't just dismiss her as the naughty kid of the schoolyard. To do that is mean and reductive.
5. Out of 3 and 4 comes another layer which is the: 'I'm the one who's an asshole here' anger. Kara several times appeals to Lee on the Pegasus, wanting him on her side, and he's in an awkward position as commander. Especially since his own feelings about her are so tangled. He knows that his anger towards her is out of control. He tries to keep it in check but it bubbles out under pressure and disturbs him. So some of his anger is deflected anger at himself and at her being the trigger for revealing the nastier side of himself. There's a lot of self-loathing in the anger, which even stems back to the guilt about not being there to back her up when she went to assassinate Cain. But in the more immediate moment I think Lee doesn't like the self he sees reflected in their exchanges, which often wind up with them playing out extremes of their natures in opposition to each other (when deep down both know that's not all there is to the other person).
6. It's interesting that Lee goes into 'anger' after 'depression'--since depression is often related to repressed rage. I'd speculate that the things that lead to Lee's depression were very big picture and it's pretty hard to have rage at the whole universe (LOL I'm sure he'd give it a go sometimes!) continually, but Kara (sadly) provides a kind of outlet. The thing with anger is that once it's accessed in some way, it usually doesn't remain about just the one thing that initially triggered it--inside it's connected to all the other hurts and scars and angers. And I think that partly explains the severe edge to his rage.

It's shocking me how calm I am about vidding Battlestar, even though I am still so completely angry/cynical/depressed by the failure of the show. I guess that just shows that I'm finally ready emotionally to do so. For so long, before the show even ended, I froze up emotionally thinking I'd never be able to draw on canon again because I couldn't trust it anymore. And occasionally it occurs to me that I should be more worried than I am about what viewers will think of the way I use canon, given how deeply canon copped out (in this case specifically on Lee/Kara). Perhaps it's because I'm not in the stage of thinking about audience yet (yay!!! god I hate that stage), but I think it's more than that... I have decided to vid not the facts or the plot points or the 'what actually happened in canon', but the emotional truth beneath that. And that's why I trust it--the vid, the concept, whatever it is. Because I can feel that emotional thread, and it is so strong and so coherent that no amount of shit from canon can actually destroy it. It's a good feeling for me because it reminds me that I may not be able to trust the show, but I can trust myself and I think I lost touch with that for a while, when I thought I could no longer trust my own understanding of Lee. And so that gives me faith again, I have a touchstone again, which I thought I had lost. *smile*

Can I just stay here forever and not do the boring horrible months of polishing and reediting and tweaking colour and making horrible fucking credits?! Please? (Hee! No, I want it finished for myself too but I do love this stage and it's fun to wallow while it lasts.)

This entry was originally posted at http://www.dreamwidth.org/12345.html. Comment here or there, as you will.
 
 
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counteragentcounteragent on October 18th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
That's where I am in my current vid too! Vid GLEE will soon turn to despair when I realize it's not really all that and a bag of chips, but for now, I AM AWESome, vidding is awesome and I don't know why I don't just do it FOREVER.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on October 18th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, yes! The glee phase is so euphoric! I want to stay in my happy cloud forever! \o/ I love my vid, I love the world!!
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee separationbop_radar on October 18th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Wellll... it's not exactly set on Pegasus (though god, I'd LOVE to make one on Pegasus! So much amazing stuff to get into, gah!!). This is me sorting out the background emotions for approximately 20 seconds of vid footage. It may actually become invisible to anyone but me in the final version. ;) Sowwy! (for now: if I find the right song I would love to make a Pegasus vid one day)

That lockerroom scene GUTS ME, it really does, but at the same time I absolutely love it. I feel like it reflects some of their other exchanges, but kind of dialled up to maximum. And Kara knows it and invites it with the 'here we go' and her 'I'm a delinquent' slouch. The horrible thing is it validates all the bad stuff Kara thinks about Lee and what he's capable of emotionally, the 'you hate me underneath and think I'm a fuck up' feelings. It's familiar to both of them and at the same time they both haaaaaaaaaate it, but they're playing out these roles they're stuck in. It also has this aspect to it for Lee where I think until he actually blurts out those words, his brain is going 'I'm right, I'm right, I'm right, I'm ... OH FUCK I'M AN ASSHOLE' and I think that happens for him a lot with Kara. ;)

I don't envy you the timeline issues with fic--that sounds like a good solution. My impression on rewatch is that Kara is pretty 'out there' about Anders generally, it's not really a secret (even if she didn't mention it to Lee on screen immediately).

Also, OMG how awful is their farewell scene from Lay Down Your Burdens? I'd forgotten! Noodle-slurping aside (*eyeroll*), Lee tries SO HARD there. I'd forgotten how devastating Kara's abrupt 'yeah, me too' (while turning away) in response to 'I hope you find him' was. I'm HEAPS HEAPS better at seeing Kara's feelings for Lee this time around but that scene? No. She totally shuts him down, which I guess shows her loyalty and commitment to Anders (admirable traits), but ... ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuch!

I think Lee can sense Kara growing away from him, not just about Anders, but professionally their partnership has been split up too.

Oh yes, shooting aftermath tragic! I really felt for Kara this time round. (First time round I was mainly freaking out about Lee and also still mad as hell with her about Scar). But LOL ADAMA!!! That man has the worst sense of importance ever. I also hate on him eternally for EATING PEANUTS through that all important scene in Unfinished Business. Vidder RAAAAAAAGE. Editing around the peanut is near impossible!
amnisiasamnisias on October 18th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
I agree with all of your reasons. *nods head vigorously*
The 'right thing' for Lee is 'right' according to the rules, or at least his head (rather than heart) whereas Kara's 'right' is according to her heart or gut. I always wondered whether Lee was such a stickler for rules because he desperately wanted his dad's recognition and obviously he is all about the rules.
I also think that sometimes his anger towards Kara is fuelled by the fact that when things get tricky Kara just becomes more headstrong and rebellious, rather than coming for Lee for help. I think Kara's independent streak is part of why he loves her, but also part of why he hates her sometimes.
Great topic to explore, I think this is good for endless discussions, and am burning to see the vid...
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee plottingbop_radar on October 18th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yay I made some sense!

I think the main reason Lee loves rules is because they give him some form of control in a universe that he learnt at a very young age was unpredictable and cruel. He had very inconsistent parenting and as the eldest I've always thought he shouldered emotional responsibility for his mother (and maybe brother) early--I think his extreme loyalty to her over Adama, despite her own abuse of him, reveals the degree to which he sees himself as the emotional protector of the family. To assert any form of control over the world he lives in (and Adama is so crazily dominant that's hard!), he turns to very rigid self-defined beliefs (his own spin on the importance of the forces is different from his father's). They're unarguable, a strong defence, because they're validated by society--at least before the genocide throws that society into chaos. And tellingly these demand that he stands up for other people and fundamental 'rights'. They sort of rationalise what he's already doing on a micro level, what he knows how to do from childhood, and they also make him do what no one was able to do for HIM (i.e. provide a safe, ordered universe that may have some hardness to it but is consistent and well reasoned--not irrational).

when things get tricky Kara just becomes more headstrong and rebellious, rather than coming for Lee for help. I think Kara's independent streak is part of why he loves her, but also part of why he hates her sometimes.
Excellent point. I love the scene in The Captain's Hand where Garner yells at Kara in front of Lee. Lee is desperately signalling to her to keep calm and (basically) shut up so he can calm the situation down. If she'd done so, he would have been able to protect her more but Kara totally digs her own grave by saying she was venting 'accurately'. Lee's headshake as she gets led off is totally one of 'man, why does always take it that step too far?!!' I love the part where Lee steps in and says 'I'm not defending Lieutenant Thrace ...' and gets cut off. There was a massive BUT coming there that we never get to hear. Lee finds Garner's behaviour just as inappropriate as Kara's but he has to respect command. Kara doesn't and expects to be validated for her abilities instead but that's not how the military works (only sometimes it IS in Kara's experience! she kinda IS Adama's pet--at least before he rejects her, GRRR ADAMA).

this is good for endless discussions
Hahaha, yeah, 2 or 3 years too late I think though...!
amnisiasamnisias on October 18th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
It's never too late for a round of BSG analysis... ;)