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10 December 2006 @ 06:37 pm
Battlestar Galactica 3.10 The Passage  
After last week's heights of personal emotional intensity, I wasn't surprised to see the show focussing on a bigger picture story this week. This episode almost felt like an old-school season-one ep, with the scarcity of food as the central crisis to be resolved. The suspense within this ep was well constructed.

And of course they will keep us in some suspense regarding Lee and Kara. Personally I didn't mind them shifting back to restraint regarding them, as long as they don't keep us waiting too long... For now, I am satisfied in knowing that they've got each other's backs again, that they're back by each other's sides as friends. That last shot of Lee over Kara's shoulder was perfect for conveying that. We're back to them knowing exactly what's going on with the other one and being there for them--their presence beside one another a comfort.

It was also a relief to me to see both Kara and Lee on the top of their games in the professional arena. Apollo's leadership skills were foregrounded as well as his tactical advice. And Kara was working for the team, encouraging the other pilots, rather than undermining them. It was interesting to see Adama nudge Lee in the right direction regarding a solution--as soon as Adama moved the pieces on the board, Lee picked up on it--interesting that Adama let Lee do the talking too. Having Lee back in CAG role and Kara supportive rather than wholly confrontational felt like old times.

Kat's never been my favourite character, but she's interesting enough. To be honest, I would have been a bit bored if the episode hadn't ended in her death, but it's always brave of a show to kill off a character we know, and in this case Kat's death had a profound impact on Kara, so that meant I cared. Kat's story also revealed some interesting ideas that haven't been fully articulated before--including the fact that people could have forged new identities within the fleet.

Kat and Kara are ridiculously femslashy. I seriously thought they were going to make out during that confontation. Could their faces be any closer? And considering that we've just watched an episode in which we see Kara use aggression to mask attraction and as a means of closing the distance between herself and others, it was very hard not to read her as attracted to Kat. Of course, Kat is partly a reflection of Kara herself--she echoes many of Kara's own behavioural traits. I found Kat's concern for the Adama's opinion of her particularly interesting in this episode. Starbuck's been an obstacle between her and Adama in some ways, since Kara's always filled that 'favourite daughter' role that Kat clearly craves. Kat has to be Kara not to tell him, and she's clearly moved by Kara relaying the 'smart young woman' call.

Still with the insanely femslashy was the influence of Kara's words to Kat to accept who she is--driving her back into a relationship that reminds her of her old self. And their final scene together was really intense. Kara's clearly very uncomfortable but also deeply moved. Telling Kat that everyone's stuck with the things they're not proud of (oh, Kara!) was an acknowledgment of their similarity. And the sleeping pills--sheesh! That was both beautiful and chilling. Kara's grief is silent and she can't cope with being by Kat's side when it happens, ceding her position to Adama.

In her dying moments, Kat is offered the privileged position she craves: both in the team, as CAG, and in Adama's eyes. She displaces both Apollo and Starbuck temporarily, and Adama confides in her about his family, an offering of intimacy. (I liked the opportunity to learn more about the Adamas--they wanted girls: I guess that's another reason why Adama sees Kara as a daughter.) Kat's invited into the privileged circle as a reward for her behaviour--but only because she's also dying for it. I think I've got mixed feelings about that.

This episode had a theme of not being punished for what you've done--for facing it in one way or another, but not being punished. That seems to be a recurring theme this season. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. In this case, Kat's death masked the issue a little, since Adama aborted her confession. Would he have done the same if she hadn't been dying? Perhaps. But it's a little unclear.

I'm really not sure how happy I am about seeing Tigh return. I'd like to know how Adama justified that and what he told the rest of his team. Gaeta clearly wasn't happy about it, nor should he be, and it seems dangerous to have that remain unaddressed. While I think Tigh's evolved out of his depression somewhat, I'm not convinced that he's ready for this. I wonder if they will explore that. Tigh could be Adama's weakspot: his friendship means so much to Adama (their mutual hysteria was funny) but at what cost? I also wonder how Helo feels--he must already feel so alone on the ship, marked out by his relationship with Sharon. And I wonder what undercurrents there still are about the killing of the Cylon prisoners... However reasonable the emotions behind those may be, I feel it would be fairer to Helo to address the issue openly, rather than passively shoving him sideways. It's also ignoring how dangerous a disenchanged Helo (and potentially Sharon too) could be.

So, Cylons see the faces of the final five when they download, but they're hard to remember. Interesting, but I'm not sure where they're going with that. I didn't really follow the suggested link between the Cylon gods and ours, but that has a lot of potential. Gaius remains predictibly self-centred in his investigation: he wants to be proved either Cylon or human for once and for all, and he articulates this clearly. Three, on the other hand, seems to be genuinely interested at a spiritual level, but does she also crave individual glory?

Now, how much do I hope that their was Pilot-huggage after that final cutaway? :-) I think Lee knows what Kat meant to Kara and the complexity of emotions going on there--he's watched them on his team, after all. Pilot-huggage much called for.

ETA: sarmoti has news from the podcast that fills in some blanks re. the Pilots.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
 
 
 
Moonwitch Iconsmoonwitch on December 10th, 2006 08:35 am (UTC)
Completely offtopic, but still fangirly
OMG. Have you seen the ads!? Heroes in '07 on 7. :D :D :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathanbop_radar on December 10th, 2006 09:04 am (UTC)
Re: Completely offtopic, but still fangirly
Oh, I haven't yet! How exciting!! Wheeee!! Heroes is SO MUCH FUN!
Moonwitch Iconsmoonwitch on December 10th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)
I am excited too. :D
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee collapsedbop_radar on December 11th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
I took Kara's speech to be Kara looking in the mirror at herself/Kat.'
Definitely! And I fear I've only ever been interested in Kat because of what she says about Kara, not really as a character in her own right. That may be a little unfair, but this episode seemed to bear out the legitimacy of that reading.

oh, how I wish they'd left in the throwing the ball against the wall scene
SAME! Man, I'm so pissed about that! Arrrgh! I kept waiting for them to show just something, some passing look or moment between them. They were potentially going to die this ep--you'd think they'd have given it a flicker of attention!
The First Evilasta77 on December 10th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
Kat and Kara are ridiculously femslashy. I seriously thought they were going to make out during that confontation. Could their faces be any closer?

I have to say them being so close seemed a little unnatural. I kept thinking "personal space" during that entire conversation.

Kat's invited into the privileged circle as a reward for her behaviour--but only because she's also dying for it. I think I've got mixed feelings about that.

Me too. On the one hand, I don't like that she's rewarded only after she makes the ultimate sacrifice. On the other hand, this is (sadly) perfectly in character for Adama. With Lee and Kara we've seen him reward them with love and affection and closeness when that are behaving themselves and acting as he expects them to. And here we have Kat being the good little soldier and dying for the fleet so it's 'Welcome to the family'.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on December 11th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
I kept thinking "personal space" during that entire conversation.
Right! I think I physically recoiled from the screen, the closeness was so intense.

I don't like that she's rewarded only after she makes the ultimate sacrifice. On the other hand, this is (sadly) perfectly in character for Adama.
*nods* So true. On the one hand it's moving, but on the other it's really quite disturbing, and, as you point out, says something profound about Adama's way of loving and leading others. Actually his 'paternal' approach to leadership can be quite damaging, and I saw the threads of this in this episode. And it also has echoes of Zak and Lee's resentment of the way in which his father emotionally manipulated Zak into a role he wasn't suited for in order to gain approval. It's easy to see how Lee could feel that way--Adama still operates with the same approval-reward system.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara glowybop_radar on December 11th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)
The military personnel don't seem to take the changes and shifts personally; they seem to understand that it's fluid because of the unpredictable nature of their situation.
Hey good call on Helo! That's really true. I think I'm projecting what I would normally expect within a military command structure on to the situation: it's not borne out by what we've seen on the show. Until you pointed this out I read Lee as being exceptionally tolerant about it because he's, well, Lee. But I think you are right that it's indicative of a more general approach to the chain of command.

If he doesn't know, then this could blow up in his face in a big way, particularly if Gaeta's obvious seething about it boils over. If he *does* know, then yeah -- it was an incredibly *big* dropped stitch to not textually address how Adama justified this Tigh decision to the rest of the CIC.
It's not clear--I'll wait and see. Either way, for now there's a loose thread hanging, and potentially an extremely explosive situation. I just hope the show uses that well--it could make for a great ep.
sarmoti: BSG - Lee's morning of angstsarmoti on December 10th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I would have been a bit bored if the episode hadn't ended in her death

I agree about this. When the episode got going and I realized it was Kat-centric I was thinking "When there is so much other story to tell, why are they wasting precious time on backstory about a secondary character?" But then when it started becoming clear that she was gonna die, I liked it much more because then the storytelling made more sense. If it had just been a Kat story for the sake of a Kat story I would've been pissed. But as it was, the episode was about much more than that, and I agree that is was S1-ish in feel, which is always a good thing.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on December 11th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
then when it started becoming clear that she was gonna die, I liked it much more because then the storytelling made more sense. If it had just been a Kat story for the sake of a Kat story I would've been pissed. But as it was, the episode was about much more than that, and I agree that is was S1-ish in feel, which is always a good thing.
Yes, that's it exactly! The episode ended up saying a lot about many of the characters (Kara and Adama especially) and it also reflected on their overall situation, and the constant sacrifices being made. The S1-ish feel was great.
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on December 11th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee/Helobop_radar on December 11th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
I imagine I'd want to be one of PapaAdama's favorites too.
Yes, that's so true! It really brought home to me that it's not just Lee and Kara struggling for his approval, but potentially all his subordinates. Everyone wants to be golden in his eyes--we've seen it with Dee and Sharon as well. Even Helo in a far more restrained way. He has a very personal approach to leadership--he's paternal in his approach, so it's no wonder his subordinates behave like children seeking approval. I think it's both good and bad. It forges a sense of commitment and family loyalty that promotes unity in the extremity of their circumstances, but it's also potentially manipulative and damaging--because the truth is that very few people will ever be part of that inner golden circle.

was confused and didn't know if Helo was flying a raptor because they needed experienced pilots or because he was kicked out of the Command Center.
Yeah, I did wonder that briefly, but I think the applause indicated a formal return to XO. LaT has some excellent observations regarding Helo's feelings on this matter above--on reflection I agree with her that Helo is probably philosophical about it. He's such a serene guy anyway. While being XO meant a lot to him, I don't think he ever felt entitled to it. (I'm still sad for him though!)

along for calling for a shirtless Helo scene he seemed to think that Sharon finding out about Hera and not killing everyone would be a demonstration of how human she'd become and hopefully not end up with her being a threat to Galactica.
Oh nice calls on both! I'm there for both occurring, please!
blowjobs for jesus: bsg Apollokristiinthedark on December 11th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)
And the sleeping pills--sheesh! That was both beautiful and chilling. Kara's grief is silent and she can't cope with being by Kat's side when it happens, ceding her position to Adama.

Oh, now see, I didn't find that chilling at all. It seemed like the best way she knew how to show how much she cared. It might be considered by some to be a frakked up way of expressing it, but I found it to be a symbol of love all the same.

Like you, I am unsure of my feelings about Tigh's return, but I adored the scene where he and Adama were giggling. It had such a real life feel to it. I really admire that in a tv show. Those moment are hard to come by.

The suspense with Lee and Kara was AWESOME! I can't wait for more. *g*

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee boxing hugbop_radar on December 11th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
It seemed like the best way she knew how to show how much she cared. It might be considered by some to be a frakked up way of expressing it, but I found it to be a symbol of love all the same.
I found it a symbol of love, most definitely. And we know that Kara's capable of considering taking your own life a good death (she once asked Anders to shoot her before the Cylons took her). So love most definitely. But of the most heart-breaking variety. I guess I didn't mean that Kara was chilling so much as that the moment was chilling because we realised how hideous Kat's death was likely to be without them.

I adored the scene where he and Adama were giggling. It had such a real life feel to it. I really admire that in a tv show. Those moment are hard to come by.
They are! Have you seen the ep where Roslin and Adama get the giggles? That was majorly real and cute in similar style. And way back when before Teh Angst struck, Kara and Lee used to be adorably giggly and cute together. The actors used to improv a lot of those moments, so the spontaneity really shone.

The suspense with Lee and Kara was AWESOME! I can't wait for more. *g*
It was awesome, I agree, though I've obviously got shipper cravings for more, more, more. At least there is one more ep before hiatus! I cling to the hope that we'll get a bit more development there. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!
blowjobs for jesus: bsg starbuck is smokin'!kristiinthedark on December 11th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
I guess I didn't mean that Kara was chilling so much as that the moment was chilling because we realised how hideous Kat's death was likely to be without them.

Ah, I get what you're saying. I know that the idea of assisted suicide upsets some people, but as someone who has promised my boyfriend that I'd do whatever was necessary in the case that he wasn't able to do it himself, I thought it was touching. And, yes, heart-breaking! *wipes tear* God, I really am like Kara! Just a lot less aggressive, and a lot more feminine. ;D

Have you seen the ep where Roslin and Adama get the giggles?

I have! And it was sooooo cute! *hearts*

One more ep? What will we do until hiatus is over??!!?? *clings*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on December 11th, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
Hee! You Kara girl, you! I know. Only one more ep. It's really tough. But it can't be as bad as the NINE MONTH hiatus they lumped as with between seasons 2 and 3. You're lucky you avoided that one! It was horrific and at the time I felt quite lonely about it as very few people on my f'list were watching it! Company through hiatus will be good.