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09 October 2006 @ 08:03 am
Battlestar Galactica 3.01 and 3.02  

Where to start?

The Kara/Leoben plot was probably the most riveting part of the premiere double eps for me. Leoben is fascinating, and I've missed Kara so much--it was great to see her back on the screen, and in such an amazingly powerful dynamic. Leoben's belief in his ability to see the future is very disconcerting, especially given their first encounter, with his chilling prediction that they would meet again and Kara being drawn to him despite herself. I liked Kara's strength in endurance, which seemed well within character, and I found it believable that a child was possible the one thing that would completely unsettle her, given her own childhood issues with her mother. Having said that, I sincerely hope that her final reaction to the infant and to Leoben was a fake-out. I do think she would feel an enormous pull towards the child after it was injured, but I don't buy that she'd cave to Leoben as a consequence. I'm very curious to see how they explore this. I also distinctly got the impression that Leoben set up the child's injury and while I can understand how Kara couldn't bear for a child in her care to be injured, it would surprise me if she didn't suspect him.

They are obviously deliberately pushing Kara and Lee as far away from each other and their heroic roles (Starbuck/Apollo) as possible. Unfortunately, while I found Kara's half of this equation gripping and fascinating, I could not have been more bored by the half of the equation I usually love and understand the most--Lee's plot. *sigh* I was spoiled for his weight gain, and I thought it would be an interesting exploration of him losing his purpose and control over himself. But when I actually watched these eps, it seemed far more clunky than I'd expected (did they really have to have him stuffing his face with food? the oh-so-obviously-undercutting-the-previous-version towel scene?). But my major complaint was that they seemed to use his weight gain as the explanation rather than the result of his 'softness'. I don't feel we really got to see his 'softness'--in the first scene he lost his temper with his father and expressed frustration about resources, but that's hardly soft. He made AngryHamster!Face a lot... it wasn't pretty, but it wasn't 'soft'.

Normally Lee is a self-aware, introspective character, but in this instance we had to rely on other characters to tell us what's going on with Lee. Adama says he's been 'complaining and whining' about how hard things are. I wonder why that is? He has nothing to fight for? Dee says he's 'lost his war', but I don't agree with her that Lee needed a war. I think Lee needed a solid framework in which to perform and prove himself, to be useful, to uphold something he believed in, but I don't necessarily think it had to be a war. What's more significant is that he's also unhappily married. As for Dee, I am baffled by her. She says she married Lee partly because he was so like his father? Disturbing! Also, she really got what she wanted, evidently--now he's a fat middle-aged cranky commander. Good going, Dee!

Lee was at his most Lee-like for me when he argued with his father, reminding him of Roslin's argument about the survival of the human species (though I'm not really sure 2000 is a great bet!). I was fascinated by Adama turning to Sharon--it rang convincingly for me, because Adama has always used the cylons as a type of conscience--from the beginning he confronted them and conversed with them to remind him of his path. And he really can predict the cylons, whereas he feels he can't do that anymore. I didn't quite know what to make of Sharon's 'forgive yourself' speech.

I loved the cylon council and the way that each model has a distinctly different approach. The atheist priest cylons are SO chilling... *shudders*

I love Gaius!! I'm so glad I had my breakthrough with him, but it's so ironic--other characters finally express a desire to kill him, and finally I don't want that after two seasons of wishing he'd fall out an airlock! I loved the scene of his capitulation and his desperation with Six. It was very interesting to see that she appeared before him as soon as the Caprica Six model was out of action. The Gaius-Roslin scene was also magnificent. He felt so good because of the line he could take with her, but her composure was magnificent, and it was clearly Gaius who was unsettled by the exchange, not Roslin. I got the distinct impression that in later protesting the executions of civilians, Gaius was trying desperately to believe he was the man he made himself out to be.

I found Tigh very interesting in his extremist guise, as a half-blind old man fighting with no morality left. His line 'we're on the side of the demons, we're evil men in the gardens of paradise' was magnificent--he knows what he's doing is abhorrent, and he believes in it so firmly. In an eventual reunion with the fleet, I'll be very interested to see how Tigh evolves from this place. And I found Ellen unexpectedly sympathetic. It was great to see both of them when they were fighting for someone else, not just themselves, though Ellen of course ended up putting selfish interests first. By the time that plot came round, I'd almost forgotten how well Battlestar sets up the fate of the human race hingeing on one character's actions/weakness. And then the familiar horror came creeping back as I realised that Ellen would, of course, betray them.

I enjoyed seeing Anders as a character in his own right, rather than just as Kara's squeeze. And I loved his 'you left ME behind' call and how we now get to see how he defines himself--the one left behind, the freedom fighter, the one Kara rescued.

I am glad that Jammer gave us an inside persepctive on the New Caprica Police--they definitely needed that humanisation because it would be so easy to simply hate them. His confrontation with the Chief was chilling and moving and I love that they've already set up that even if/when rescued, there will be problems with accepting what happened on New Caprica and which paths people took. His actions in freeing Cally seemed such a desperate measure to regain some sense of humanity in what he was doing, even though it will change so little--it's interesting how personalised his conscience has become.

Random notes:
- There was a doggy! Yay, there are still doggies. *g*
- So, is it clear whether humans have seen all Cylon models yet? And if not, why not? Wouldn't that be an important step for the Cylons in winning the trust of humanity? Did I miss where this was addressed on the show?
- The Roslin/Zarek exchange about the elections was fantastic. I wonder if Zarek's marked for death (since Roslin will escape, no doubt)?
- So most of the spoilers I knew have already been revealed. Cool! I'm officially spoilerfree again.
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(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on October 9th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
LaT! It is good to see you! You have been very absent from SV discussions, no?

Interesting irony in that, too: Leoben thinks domesticating her is the way to break her, but Kara's pretense to it could very well be the undoing of his whole scheme.
*nods* That's my feeling too and I hope it plays that way.

Because I think he's self-aware enough to know he's not that guy, but knowing it doesn't stop him from *wanting to be* that guy.
It took me forever and a day to get on board with that! But you're totally right and that's why I love him now too. I absolutely abhorred him for so long... but now I'm so caught up in his internal struggle between his self-awareness and his desire to be good.

I loved the Sixes, especially: "We agree. Well, most of us, that is."
Ha! Yup. That was so biting and great. They must be pissed that they're one of the models with a 'rebel' or 'evolved' version.

Someone came to get you, boo. STFU.
*giggle* Yeah, I'll pay that... though I can understand his attitude given that he's been flung back into the old position so rapidly. And it was interesting to learn that he attributed his rescue solely to Kara. It gave him a defined position in relation to the others, and he needed something like that--he was so bland before. Ok, he's bland now. I was clutching!

Poor Man's Kevin Spacey! Yes! I have no idea of his name either. Thanks for the rundown.
brandil on October 9th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
Lovely thoughts.

I agree that the Tigh's storyline was one of the most compelling, particularly Saul's side of that. I hated him in the mini-series, but now he's grown on me so much that I found myself desperately wishing the camera would turn back to him.

For some reason, I've had it in my head that there are 12 Cylons. Is that from an episode, fanon, or maybe I dreamed it? Or maybe I decided that to give it a parallel to the 12 Disciples.

Deanna
Six
Boomer

Leoben
athiest priest
the one who stole kara's ovary
and that other dude.

If I'm right, there are five more models. I wonder if they're divided evenly between men and women. I obviously, need to learn some Cylon names.
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(no subject) - bop_radar on October 9th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 9th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Beck: BSG - Is it Friday Yet by Wisteria_beck_liz on October 9th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
The Kara/Leoben plot was probably the most riveting part of the premiere double eps for me.

I'm so glad there are people who think so. When I was initially looking at other people's reactions, it was all, that Leoben stuff was so boring. *shrug* Fortunately, I found others willing to talk about it seriously. I really ... I don't want to say I like Leoben, because so much no. But he is fascinating, and I want to know what makes him tick and where he thinks he's going with all this.

Normally Lee is a self-aware, introspective character, but in this instance we had to rely on other characters to tell us what's going on with Lee.

I'm really not sure what's going on here. I wonder if he's depressed? It's the only thing I can think of to explain the weight gain and the lethargy.

Lee was at his most Lee-like for me when he argued with his father, reminding him of Roslin's argument about the survival of the human species

Lee had lots of great points here; I wish Adama had taken him more seriously.

(though I'm not really sure 2000 is a great bet!).

Yeah, I'm not sure that, genetically speaking, 2000 is enough to be going on with, you know?

The atheist priest cylons are SO chilling

I think they're great. Creepy as all getout, and I think they have some sort of plan. They clearly don't like being caretakers of humanity, and seem to be trying to discredit Caprica Six and Galactica Boomer's (er, as opposed to Sharon Agathon) plans to be "kind" to humanity.

- So, is it clear whether humans have seen all Cylon models yet? And if not, why not? Wouldn't that be an important step for the Cylons in winning the trust of humanity? Did I miss where this was addressed on the show?

No, I don't know, probably, and no. :-) Seriously, I was a little confused as to why only certain models were at the high-level decision-making conferences. I don't even think Leoben was there, let alone the ones we haven't met yet. It's very weird.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on October 9th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
Leoben boring?! OMG no!! You know I think it's the best (and disconcertingly sexiest) portrayal of Stockholm Syndrome I've ever seen. I mean Leoben is not inherently sexy, he doesn't play sexy, and yet I found myself drawn to him or thinking Kara could be drawn to him... *shivers*

I wonder if he's depressed? It's the only thing I can think of to explain the weight gain and the lethargy.
*giggle* Oh, look, I'm sure he's depressed. But he was depressed before and he didn't explode in weight. I'm fanwanking that he was so crushed by Kara's abandonment that he married Dee in a fit of pique and actually kinda hates her and is therefore punishing her by becoming ugly as sin, in both personality and body. *fanwanks madly* This fanwank may change in another 30 secs...

I wish Adama had taken him more seriously.
Yes. My main problem is that I didn't understand why Adama didn't take him seriously--it's purely informed attributes--he was not actually 'soft' in this episode, so as a Lee fan, I had to take the word of the other characters about him.

I think they have some sort of plan.
Ohhh, yes! I hadn't thought that far, but I would not be surprised at all. And yeah, the conference was weird... the Cylons seem so fractured now--they were once such a unified force. I find the 'they have a plan' thing at the beginning almost farcical now. Maybe they should change it to 'They have plans. Lots of different plans.' ;-)
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on October 10th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on October 10th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on October 10th, 2006 12:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
Gio: BSG - Leobenpaddies on October 9th, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
Loved reading your thoughts! I'm waaay too tired to try to reply and be coherent, but I wanted to let you know I enjoyed the commentary. :-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on October 9th, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
*giggle* Ah, I know that feeling! Thanks for commenting anyway. :-)
blowjobs for jesus: bsg Apollokristiinthedark on October 10th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
Hmmm, okay. I'll just begin by saying that, even though I'm not always entirely sure what's going on, which is kind of important in such a plot-heavy show, I was transfixed with every one of the characters and every plot-line. I don't have many expectations on how certain people should act or how the show should present them. I love Sharon, for instance, and I trust her, even though I see from reading around that many on LJ do not.

I agree that the Kara/Leoben plotline was the best of the two premiere. Ohmigoodness. But I must disagree (and this may be me being so very very shallow) and say I hope that Kara's reaction in the hospital wasn't a front. That sounds horrible, learning all that I'm learning, but I'd love to see the direction the show went with that and all the consequences of such a story. I'm sure that Kara and Lee will someday reunite, so that will be good, too.

As for Lee and his AngryHamster!Face (HEE!) he seemed pompous and self-important and highly unlikeable. If I'd never seen him before now, I'd be so disappointed. With the weight-gain, I don't know, I guess I'm trying to look at it as the *idea* of the thing, rather than how the show actually managed to make it look. He's not sympathetic, although I think he's supposed to be. It's a struggle.

Gaius is heartbreaking, isn't he? He's so emo! I think he's teared up in every episode I've seen so far, and that might get old, but thus far the actor has totally sold me. He wants badly to be liked, and can't quite figure out how to do that. Woe!

The ending still has me shaken up. It was just... so bleak, and yet we are still hopeful, like they are. I love that in ways I can't even begin to express.

Thank you for getting me into this show, K! It's so far a very rewarding experience. *tackles you gleefully*

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Karabop_radar on October 10th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)
It's really interesting to hear how you respond to the show as a new viewer. Old viewers have old prejudices, and this show is always turning things on its head. I'm so glad you're sharing your perspective!

Interesting to hear you like Sharon. I took a looong time to warm up to her, but I love her now. I think I'm in a very Adama-like place with her now. I feel like I can trust her because I've seen how she behaves under pressure and in so many different situations that I think she's actually more predictable than most humans. While a capacity for betrayal is part of her character, I also believe I can read when and where that would occur--but BSG has proved me wrong about her in the past and may do so again!

Ha! You and I are in such a different place with the Kara ships... I don't want to see Kara smoosh on Leoben because it would seem out of character, but at the same time, I'd be happy to watch them circle round each other for another few eps, because they are CRAZYHOT and I will read the fanfic, oh yes! But I don't think Kara and Lee will reunite at some stage. I've lost that trust...

pompous and self-important and highly unlikeable
Totally! And it's a struggle, like you say. For me, the main reason it's a struggle is because we weren't given Lee's internal perspective. Sometimes the show manages to pull off the most unlikeable changes in character by putting us in the shoes of that character--they failed with Lee. At least so far. I pray for redemption!

think he's teared up in every episode I've seen so far, and that might get old, but thus far the actor has totally sold me. He wants badly to be liked, and can't quite figure out how to do that. Woe!
*giggle* He didn't used to tear up... but he had other aspects that 'got old'. The backstory on Gaius is so major I don't know where to start. But definitely he's very woobie right now.

It was just... so bleak, and yet we are still hopeful, like they are. I love that in ways I can't even begin to express.
Summing the show up perfectly there! SO BLEAK. Seriously, I can't get over how sad even the credits are. It's been bleak from the start, from the mass genocide onwards... *lol* And yet there is so much strength and hope. The human species at its best and worst. I'm so glad you're hooked. It's so fascinating.
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on October 10th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 01:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on October 10th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Clari Clyde: Seraphim: Happy fansclari_clyde on October 10th, 2006 02:27 am (UTC)
Oooh, the Loeben/Kara relationship is the most fascinating I find. As someone pointed out above, he’s acting married but without the usual courtship rituals and even creepier, they’ve been on opposing sides of a huge war. I’m interested in seeing whether Kara is playing this for tricks or if she’s developing stockholm or if she’s struggling with both. And this is also fascinating because, as far as I know, Loeben is the only one who’s taken on a human for a pet/companion while the other Cylons (Valeri, Agathon, Caprica Six, Pegasus Six excepted) have this extreme disdain for humans. So, why is Loeben so focused on Kara?

Oh and Zarek! I hope he’s not marked for death either but if only for the selfish reason that Richard Hatch will always show up to conventions but it’s more interesting when he’s got something to talk about.
Clari Clyde: Seraphim: Happy fansclari_clyde on October 10th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is that Valeri and Caprica Six needed only a day to turn popular opinion to their side which suggests that Cylons can easily program themselves if a new and better way exists. So their frustration with humans is understandable in that humans hold grudges — especially since they are so not going to forget that 12 billion of them did in the genocidal attacks. That too is what makes Loeben interesting.

(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 03:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
carpenyx: Battlestar Galactica - Apollocarpenyx on October 10th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
If I had the time, I would so totally reply properly to this, LOL but it was an super uber-awesome episode and I can't say enough about it! I wrote a post in my LJ about it and it wasn't even EVERYTHING that I wanted to address but it was crazy long as is. :P

Some points that I loved:

-Kara/Leoban is quite disturbing but I love it!

-head!Six is back and makes me happy, my question is though she would only appear once the Caprica Six is gone? I mean, that's what happened but makes me wonder if he's seen head!Six in all this time until this one point. I really loved the scene of Caprica Six and Gaius, before Doral shoots her...

-Gaeta, I love that he has a stronger storyline. :)

-Jammer, don't know how I feel about him. LOVED him and Duck in the webisodes, was happy for the backstory but then Jammer turned all baddie, kinda, well, confused, lol but I agree with the inside persceptive of the NCP force. :)

-Lee, it irks me his out of shape, LOL...

-I've never been a fan of Anders/Kara but I am totally crushing on Anders. :) He's my new guy that I love, hehe

Ok, not so short but that's just a few thoughts. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on October 10th, 2006 06:10 am (UTC)
There is so much to say about BSG! It took me forever to sort through my thoughts, and I had to watch the eps twice.

makes me wonder if he's seen head!Six in all this time until this one point
Yes, I wondered as well. But for now, I'm guessing not, because Caprica!Six has been with him. But who knows?

I was glad the webisodes led somewhere, as I found them a bit boring at times. I was apathetic about Duck and Jammer until I realised what the show was doing with them and that they each of them had an important story to tell.

Crushin' on Anders, huh? I reckon I'm crushing on Gaius and/or Leoben. But it's all just sublimation for the immense PAIN I feel about fat!Lee. ;-)
(no subject) - carpenyx on October 10th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on October 10th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on October 10th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 06:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - slybrarian on October 10th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on October 10th, 2006 06:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nora Norwich: Kara seriousnorwich36 on October 21st, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
Finally downloaded 1 &2 and I'm taking a break before I watch three. (I'd forgotten how damn *intense* this show is. I kept having to take breaks as I went along, and was very glad to be watching in this format).

I agree with you about the Leoben/Starbuck stuff: definitely the most interesting part of the episode for me. I love it, too: to be honest, if it weren't so deeply sick of me, and kind of a betrayal of Starbuck's fundamental values, I'd be rooting for them to get together, because that is some deeply twisted yet HOT stuff going on there. I've loved CKR forever, and I think Leoben has just become my favorite Cylon (and that's saying a lot, because I LOVE Six and Sharon). Heh. Maybe it's my own fantasies of being kidnapped by CKR!

But I love how Starbuck keeps fighting back--she's already killed him five times! Hee hee! So I don't at all think she has capitulated--hell, her capitulation face is the same face she had when she was about to stab him again. And I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out he had set up Casey's injury to draw her in.

I was also really, really surprised to find out how much I loved Ellen Tigh in this episode. But she's really the poster child for people doing what they need to to save the people they love, and making really bad choices along the way because they're the only choices available. Oh, God. I fear for her in the post-rescue world, when I'm sure anyone with a hint of collaboration will be relentlessly persecuted.

I'm a little worried about Gaius for that reason, actually. I love how tremendously fucked up he was in this episode, and I agree with what LaT said in the comments above: he would *like* to be a good man but just doesn't quite have the spine to do it.(And I'm not sure I would in his place, so I can still sympathize with him).

I thought Roslin was very interesting in this episode. At first I thought she must have been acting as defacto resistance leader when Tigh was in prison, so I was surprised she didn't know about the suicide bombings. It was interesting how morally torn she was on that, when she basically condemned all the Caprica police as traitors.

I'm afraid I found the Lee plot a little boring (though I was happy to see him stand up to his dad about Sharon).

Ok, off to watch ep 3. I'm still going to be a week behind everyone, though, because I won't be able to download 4 probably until next Thursday at the earliest.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: BSG poor slutty Ellenbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, it is SO intense. The second I started watching again, I felt almost oppressed by the intensity. I mean, I love it, but it's so all-consuming while you're watching, and I keep having to take time to breathe. I also need more processing time post BSG than any other show. But yay! You are watching! I completely couldn't have launched straight into Ep 3 after 1&2, so I understand! And I'll be really careful to comment her without spoilers or hints for Ep 3.

if it weren't so deeply sick of me, and kind of a betrayal of Starbuck's fundamental values, I'd be rooting for them to get together, because that is some deeply twisted yet HOT stuff going on there. I've loved CKR forever, and I think Leoben has just become my favorite Cylon (and that's saying a lot, because I LOVE Six and Sharon). Heh. Maybe it's my own fantasies of being kidnapped by CKR!
I secretly ship them too. And I can't believe I just said that! Because I'm such a huge Kara/Lee shipper! And it's so sick and wrong, but... there's something really fascinatingly hot there. kristiinthedark is also a big CKR fan (I don't really know him) and she's shipping them hard--I'm kind of riding along on her squee at the moment, but I found myself thinking of a vid for them the other day. So it's definitely resonated with me too.

Her capitulation face is the same face she had when she was about to stab him again. And I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out he had set up Casey's injury to draw her in.
Yup! I agree. And how great is Starbuck?! She's so awesome!

I was also really, really surprised to find out how much I loved Ellen Tigh in this episode. But she's really the poster child for people doing what they need to to save the people they love, and making really bad choices along the way because they're the only choices available. Oh, God. I fear for her in the post-rescue world, when I'm sure anyone with a hint of collaboration will be relentlessly persecuted.
Oh, yes, me too! I was so surprised by my emotions for her. I always thought I genuinely despised her, but this plot they gave her was a great way for me to get into her character. The poster child for people doing what they need to save the people they love--yes, absolutely!

Gaius is more sympathetic than ever before. He's actually expressing guilt and pain a lot more than he used to, and I think it's comforting to me to see that even GAIUS has some moral boundaries beyond which he finds life intolerable.

I thought Roslin was very interesting in this episode. At first I thought she must have been acting as defacto resistance leader when Tigh was in prison, so I was surprised she didn't know about the suicide bombings. It was interesting how morally torn she was on that, when she basically condemned all the Caprica police as traitors.
Oh, that's interesting. You always have good insight into Roslin. I guess I wasn't so surprised because they're more or less at war now, and that's never been her thing. I liked that she was morally torn and didn't hide it. It's also interesting because last season she seemed to be on a path to extremism and acting outside the law--but that hasn't been as absolute or clearcut. It's Tigh who's the real rebel.

I'm afraid I found the Lee plot a little boring (though I was happy to see him stand up to his dad about Sharon).
Ha! A bit boring? Extremely! It annoys me that Lee has been so incredibly sidelined in the show. It worries me that the writers aren't caring so much about his plot any more. And apart from that exchange about Sharon he was a total shit in this ep. He's my character, I'll always angst over him and write about him a lot, but I totally acknowledge that he was 'meh' to the max in the season 3 premiere.