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27 February 2007 @ 10:24 pm
Battlestar Galactica 3.16 Dirty Hands  

This episode didn't have Lee in it so Boppy's meta will be short for once. :-p

No, actually, I do have a few things to say: surprise, surprise! This episode had me, then lost me for a while, then won me back. In general, I think I liked it, but there were the usual scattering of WTF moments.

Conceptually, I found the idea of Gaius writing subversive literature from his prisoncell rather wonderful. Not to mention the fact that it led to some brilliant Laura snark. I think it's incredibly canny of Gaius to be spreading subversive ideas in the fleet--it's one of the few things that could sway people to have some sympathy for him. And if he's to have a public trial, then that could become important in determining his fate. I'm not saying that his 'farming' background was a complete act, but I do imagine he exaggerated the case. He's a chameleon--he will say or do whatever he needs to to survive, and that's why he's so fascinating.

Cally confirmed herself to me as a complete dill for falling for it hook, line and sinker. The Chief followed suit, but acquitted himself far better. I did find his 'we're on strike' moment ridiculously melodramatic, but if Helo is allowed his hero ep, it seems only fair that the Chief gets one. (Though I'm beginning to feel a gender imbalance here--a hero ep for Athena or even (*gag*) Cally would be welcome...) Still, I felt that moment glossed over the fact that a strike really should be something organised by a union, voted on by the majority. And yes, they had been on strike before, but the new workers hadn't. And somehow Galen just fell into the top job as union leader ... because he was union leader on New Caprica? Um, isn't that exactly what he was fighting against: people being given roles because of who they've been in the past and who they know.

*waves hands* La, la, la... glossing over those minor issues, wasn't Laura FABULOUS!?! \o/ Damn, that woman is wonderful! Her handling of Galen was fantastic--I love that she was really listening all the time to him and when he made a good point, she acknowledged it. She's such a wonderful leader. And I did like her inviting Galen to fight for his beliefs.

Adama... was, well, very militant. I've had a few odd moments with him recently. One of them was in the Helo ep when he was so quick to condemn Helo's suggestion that they should investigate the doctor further. And I had another one in this ep with him threatening to kill Cally. I think it was just taken to an extreme degree and it didn't feel entirely in character. But it served a purpose within the episode.

I like episodes in which we learn a little more about the fleet as a whole, and I like that this episode addressed the fact that people had been working non-stop in drudge-like roles without any breaks. Yes, I agree--they really do need to be rostered off! And I liked the fact that there was a lot of truth in what Gaius was saying. There really is a danger in the development of a fleet 'aristocracy' and an underclass. Put like that, it really does seem as if some of the people in the top jobs have had a cushy time of it compared to the workers. Pilots risk their lives every day, but they also get the occasional party and a whole lot of drinking time. ;-p (I'm in a flippant mood tonight, apparently.)

I'm also interested that they went as far as mentioning the Adamas. Because I've long been uncomfortable with Adama's 'family-style' approach to leadership. It works well to bind the fleet together in emergency circumstances, but it does damage as well. He plays favourites--we've seen that with Kara and Kat. There IS a privileged inner circle. But I love that that's not the whole truth either: I don't believe, for example, that Dualla only got promoted because of her marriage. She's served exceptionally well. Though she's another one who has fallen under Bill's paternal eye, and that may well have worked in her favour. Lee is an extraordinary leader, regardless of his surname, and Kara's an extraordinary pilot, no matter whose daughter-in-law she nearly became. But we've also seen Bill bump loyal officers (Helo) to install old friends (Tigh). And while Bill was joking about 'pissing off the president', in one sense that's exactly what did happen. I love the double layer of truth. And I like the show problematising it's own power dynamics.

Also, long live Laura! *crushes*
 
 
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The First Evil: Lee and Adama - Inlovewithnightasta77 on February 27th, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
Um, isn't that exactly what he was fighting against: people being given roles because of who they've been in the past and who they know.

Hee! Good point. :)

And I had another one in this ep with him threatening to kill Cally. I think it was just taken to an extreme degree and it didn't feel entirely in character. But it served a purpose within the episode.

I, too, felt his threat of executing Cally on the spot was extreme. And I've seen a few others mention the disturbing parallel this draws with Cain. It hadn't dawned on me until now, but remember the story Fisk told Tigh about the guy who refused to serve on Pegasus and leave his family behind? Cain had the familt lined up against the bulkhead and shot. Adama was threatening to do the EXACT same thing unless he got his way. Was this intentional by the writers?! And, if so, maybe we need the other Adama in charge of the fleet.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee Apollobop_radar on February 27th, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like the Cain connection! Nice! I liked the Cain plot because I felt that she was what Adama could so easily have become under different circumstances--and maybe I was right. I say, put the other Adama in charge YESTERDAY! :-)
Becky: BSG president Baltarbeeej on February 27th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
It is just me, or does Cally seem to be about 12 years old? She may be a good mechanic, but she's not terribly bright or complex. I think Chief thinks of her more as a child than as a life partner. He's taken responsibility for her...but does he really love her?

I also thought that Adama's threatening to shoot Cally felt extreme, but agree that it served a purpose. Strikes and labor disputes in a normal world can be dealt with more diplomatically, but when there's only a tiny bit of the world left, and its very existence is at risk by said dispute, then extreme measures are necessary.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Gaius dancebop_radar on February 27th, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
She does seem 12 years old, yes. And I get that creepy feeling about the Chief too--it's hard not to read him as protective of Cally rather than loving her as a partner/an equal. Their relationship squicks me out a great deal.
Kate: Gaius and Sixmskatej on February 27th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this episode. There were just so many exhilarating moments in it! Although I did also find the "we're on strike" bit completely OTT.

I *loved* Gaius, and I'm fully on board with all the new information we found out about him. Unlike you, I believed him when he talked about his background. While it was a fantastic performance (that's Gaius, he's a show stopper), it also rang incredibly true to me, especially his mourning of the fact that he's not from Caprica. That doesn't strike me as something you just make up, but it *is* something that a man like Gaius would feel if he was raised on Aerelon. I think my faith in Gaius's story has a lot to do with me *liking* it a lot, but I dunno...that he left his family behind and is wilfully indifferent about the fact that they're all dead...that's Gaius to me. That's in character. Basically I'm taking it as fact until proven otherwise. *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Gaius dancebop_radar on February 27th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC)
I just suspected that as with his broader political writing, there was a lot of truth in it, but he was painting everything in a certain light. For instance, I could easily believe that he did grow up on Aerelon but wasn't from quite the typical farming family he described. I certainly didn't disbelieve his entire history--I just got more of a kick out of the idea that he was manipulating it for a certain audience. I did love the idea that he left his family behind and doesn't care--I agree, that's very Gaius! *g*

We'll probably never get any external confirmation of the truth or falsity of his origins and that doesn't bother me. It fascinates me that he's chosen this time to reveal his origins in this way and put a positive spin on them. Definitely interesting concept! Best Gaius stuff in ages!
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Gaius dancebop_radar on February 27th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I must confess, (with apologies to mskatej above), I didn't find Callis's accent-change that convincing either. I struggled with it. But I guess I liked the concept of him as a poor farmboy. Though I still suspect that he exaggerated his family's circumstances. That's far more believable and human to me than the romantic vision he painted. It would also tie with the rest of his writing--because he tapped a vein of truth, but he ignored some of the subtelties. Ideally, for me, his life story would be similar--the overall gist could be 'true', but the reality would be far more complex and subtle.
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on February 28th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on February 28th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
I agree--the Chief has received favours too, which is why I found it rather odd--especially him accepting the role as union chief without being elected--double standards much?!
sarmoti: BSG - Baltar boredsarmoti on February 28th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
This episode didn't have Lee in it so Boppy's meta will be short for once.

Hee, I thought the same thing as I started typing my reaction post. "So I have to write about everyone EXCEPT Lee, well, I guess I can try..."

I like this episode the more that I think about it. I liked it fine to begin with anyway, but after some time to dwell even more on it, I'm just really glad that the show addressed these issues because the class structure and conflict is really integral to their everyday lives and their future as a society. Could there have been a bit more build-up to these class struggles? Yes. But it's not like it's *completely* out of the blue, since inequalities have been mentioned in small amounts since Season 1.

I'm not saying that his 'farming' background was a complete act, but I do imagine he exaggerated the case. He's a chameleon--he will say or do whatever he needs to to survive, and that's why he's so fascinating.


I loved that bit with Baltar, and you're dead on when you say he's a chameleon. Back in the day, he turned himself into a Caprican because it would be advantageous to his career and his image. And then in this episode he probably did exaggerate his "true roots" in order to strengthen his case with Tyrol and the workers and the general public because he's gonna be on trial and he needs to get people on his side again.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Nathanbop_radar on February 28th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Yes, it was very very hard to focus without Lee. *sympathetic frownies*

I agree--sure, there could have been a bit more build up on the class struggles, but I'm still glad they tackled it. Besides, I'm kind of used to the sci-fi model of thematically isolated eps. In Star Trek, the class struggle would have come completely out of the blue, or actually wouldn't have ever been mentioned at all. ;-)

One of the things I liked most about Gaius in this episode was the way it demonstrated his social/political genius. Love him or hate him, you can't deny he's got the smarts--at multiple levels. And that's fascinating to watch.
Romany: bsg: and our labor shall lead us homeromanyg on March 12th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
I like Union Chief Tyrol. *g* And I like how the Union just dissipated when everyone returned to the Fleet, as if, with Baltar and the Cylons gone, there was no need for it anymore. How untrue!

I do get the feeling that he'd been duly elected on New Caprica and Roslin just returned his office to him by officially recognizing the union. But I could be wrong.

And of course Baltar would seize on the Voice of the People opportunity. What other chance does he have to get out of his mess? He's crafty, that one. *g*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Bamber yellowbop_radar on March 12th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh good, I'm glad you defended him. He's my partner's favourite character but I've never got into him myself. But I know many people are fond of him, so it helps to hear from those that appreciate him.

Baltar is so sneaky! I can't wait to see how the rest of the season plays out...

(I'm about to head off to staff conference, so if I suddenly stop replying to you, that's why! *g*)
Romany: bsg: laura roslinromanyg on March 14th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
I'm not quite sure if I *have* a favorite character, or even a ship, for BSG. I just like the pretty meta of the show. *bad fan, no cookie*

Baltar is so sneaky! I can't wait to see how the rest of the season plays out...

*rubs hands in glee and waits for Trial of Baltar*

And don't worry about a timely or any response. I'm *quite* on top of my flist, as you can see. *embarrassed grin*