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07 March 2007 @ 09:10 am
Battlestar Galactica 3.17 Maelstrom (Part 1)  
I started writing last night and then (thankfully!) fell asleep. I still have a lot of sleep to catch up, and I think I'm only about halfway through what I want to say. *frowns at post* Anyway, here's for starters... ('scuse any typos--I was molto tired!)

I loved this episode. I do think it was very brave of Moore & Co. to go the whole way with major character death (even if it was also very sadistic of them!).

Leoben
Kara's connection to Leoben, whatever it turns out to be, is fascinating. And yes, kristiinthedark hot, as those first few minutes of Maelstrom showed. But my first emotion on seeing the opening sequence, where Kara awakes from a dream about Leoben (and about painting over/out her destiny), was actually relief, because it cleared up something that's been niggling at me.

Since the start of Season 3, when we saw Kara trapped by Leoben, I've been waiting for the fallout. Yes, we saw her lash out in violence and anger in Collaborators. But after being confronted by Adama she supposedly got back on track. I was never completely satisfied by that, because I think Leoben exposed Kara's wounds in such a way that meant that her usual coping mechanism (denial) was no longer so easily available to her. He stripped her bare—-someone knew her secrets, knew them intimately. So without denial, what coping mechanism has Kara been using? But while things certainly haven't gone perfectly for her, she hasn't been shown to be losing it in, say, the way she did in Scar. So for me, there was a question mark hanging over Kara's inner world and where she was emotionally. Something didn't quite fit. Something had to give somewhere.

The opening of Maelstrom, therefore, made a lot of emotional sense to me. Although I do wish some of this had been hinted at throughout the series, that has not been the BSG way. Given the show's predilection for confining character plots to individual episodes, I'm going to suggest that in reality she's been having these nightmares for some time. Earlier this season, I argued that Leoben had, in some ways, returned Kara to her child self by forcing her to confront her past. And so having her see her child self in this episode really worked for me.

Leoben is a link between Kara's past and her future. He appears to be preparing her for something more than death, for an epic destiny. The sexual aspect of that relationship is peculiar in some regards, but makes sense in others. It symbolises Leoben's intimacy with Kara, the way he gets under her skin.

It's also possible that we need to separate the inidividual Leoben on New Caprica who insisted on their relationship together, with the Leoben who serves as a sort of spirit guide in Maelstrom. Both are crucial, and obviously connected. But I'm not sure that we're meant to think that Kara is being visited by a 'true' version of Leoben, any more than Head!Six or Head!Gaius are accurate representations of Caprica or Gaius.

I was also genuinely confused by what Kara was experiencing. I believe there was a raider. But the hit that Kara thought she took was imaginary. She hallucinated her child self. And she had an out-of-body experience in which she revisited her mother's death. Other characters have had visions, it's true, but these took things to a whole new level.

And then there's the whole question of her 'death'. Was it really what we saw? Did she find a portal to Earth? Did she eject? Did she ascend to some higher plain? And why was she so happy?!

Ready for death
One of the strangest things about this episode for me was that way that Kara seemed ready for death. Even when she hallucinates her child-self and Helo asks her if she's ok, she replies 'I don't know' in such an edgy way that it hints that she really doesn't know. It's not just that Leoben was preparing her for something which superficially seems like death but actually isn't. Kara herself is prepared for death. The oracle tells Kara that she'll know what to do with the statue of Aurora 'when the time is right'. She gives it to Adama in a spontaneous gesture. She's driven by something inside her. She's drawn towards her death, compelled. And she fears it, refusing to fly.

Ending the episode with Adama smashing the ship that Aurora was meant to lead, in a blind rage at Kara's death, was incredibly moving. That exchange was heavy with portent.

Farewells
One of the things I liked best about this episode was the way it gave all the significant players in Kara's life a place. And their places felt, for me at least, balanced in terms of their emotional significance to Kara.
- Leoben functioned as prophet and a sort of spirit guide
- Helo offered a sympathetic ear and gave friendly advice.
- Sam offered time out, with no strings attached. And she trusted him enough to discuss her past abuse.
- The Chief makes a brief appearance when she can't face getting in the viper.
- Adama trades pilot banter with her, superficially light, but heavy with portent, and his rage at her death closes this episode.
- Roslin is present when she gives the Aurora model to Adama.
- Tigh stood on the sidelines judging ('she should be afraid').
And then there's Lee...

Lee
Lee, oh, Lee. Where to start? I'm so glad he was in this episode to the extent that he was. When I realised the nature of the ep, I feared he might make only a brief appearance, which would actually have broken my heart more than the outcome we saw. I loved that he was with her at the end, and I love that he made the call to put her in the air, that she accepted and trusted in him at the end. That was the most incredibly poignant 'end' for them. (Please not the final final end!) That, in the last moments, they were returned to CAG and hotshot pilot was perfect. And also that Lee flew her wing. He's comfortable with that role. His own ego and self-esteem are invested elsewhere. This, he can give her. And for me, who fell in love with the pilots in the air in the mini-series, it was oh so perfect that their last interaction would also be in the air.

Though what a mindfrak: in the mini-series Kara was able to pull out a 'beyond insane' move to bring Lee 'home' to Galactica; here, Lee couldn't bring Kara home. They've charted so much territory together (and apart) since that day, but some things haven't changed and I love that.

I adored their interactions in this episode, though every moment tore at my heart. Even on rewatch, I teared up. I loved Kara's expression when she learns that Adama's left the decision to Lee. She's fearful but determined to face being grounded by her best friend. And when he instead says he believes something could have been there, she's so happy/grateful. Lee responds with banter, but they're both choking on emotion. A 'raving lunatic' and a 'bastard'. Yes, that does sum them up when viewed from their worst angles. I'm not quite deluded enough not to see that. But I love them despite it—-and they love each other despite it.

daybreak777 discussed with me the way that Lee stares and stares at Kara before saying 'whatever it takes'. Kara turns away first, she can't bear it. On first watch, I was 'in' Lee to such an extent that I didn't pick up that her next line (a question about Dee) was a distraction, an attempt to put some distance between them. So Kara understood the message in Lee's eyes: that she still means the world to him, that he'll put her first, that their connection is incredibly real and strong, even if fate's twisted them away from each other.

So perhaps Kara's next words are not so surprising: 'It's funny, after all that we've been through, we are right back where we started.' I don't think Lee sees what's coming next because it's unlike Kara to talk even this obliquely about their relationship. He laughs in relief at the joke (CAG and his hotshot problem pilot) that eases the tension momentarily, but then she throws out the speculation--'I guess that's all we'll ever be now'—and a silence yawns between them. Lee doesn't know what to say, doesn't know why she's bringing this up now, is somewhat surprised at the regret he thinks he hears in her voice.

What can he say? In one sense, yes, that's 'all' they are. But in another sense, that is nothing to dismiss. Again, I come back to how much I love them as pilots, as colleagues, as two halves of one team, as co-dependent in the best of senses—-together they are greater that the sum of their parts. There is so much tenderness in Lee's voice when he asks how she's doing in the air. They may be 'co-pathetic' but they're also the greatest flying team ever.

We've heard Lee call for Starbuck in despair before-—begging her to report when she's missing. And we've heard him break into calling her Kara when he's really scared for her. This time, we heard her answer him, using Lee rather than Apollo. I can't express how happy I was that Kara's final words were to Lee. That she said she'd see him on the other side. For so long, I felt their relationship was one-sided, that Lee didn't mean as much to Kara as she meant to Lee. Well, this ep proved me wrong, and I'm glad of it.

I loved that Adama's instant reaction to Kara's crash was to scream for his son to get out of there—-he couldn't lose him too. Later of course we see how deep his grief for Kara was, but it was also comforting to see him so concerned for his son too. And Lee answered that call. That worked for me on so many levels. Lee has evolved to the point where he could pull out, even while watching Kara's viper explode. That took unbelievable strength, because part of Lee would be oh so willing to follow Kara into death. He told Sam as much only a few episodes ago, when his actions or inactions may have led to Kara's death. And part of him is dying with Kara, of that I'm sure.

But why is he able to pull out? Death was once attractive to Lee as a way out. But this time he resists, even with his best friend/co-pilot/sister/lover/twinned half leading the way. Why? I think there's a lot of reasons.

Partly because Lee's already faced death before and come out the other side, lived on despite his depression. It doesn't hold the significance for him that it does for Kara. It wasn't frightening for him to sink into death. Facing fear of death may be Kara's journey but it's not Lee's: his battle is to live. That's harder for him. And he has built a life for himself. It's not been easy, but he's done it. He has, I believe, things he is quietly proud of now. His promotion to major, sacrificing the Pegasus, reconnecting with his father, his relationship with Dee and taking responsibility for his marriage. It shows in the way he carries himself. He still underestimates himself and is surprised at the regard he is held in by others, but he has proved himself a good leader time and time again.

I always thought, if death came, it would be Lee who died to let Kara have one last moment of pilot glory. She's always symbolised the drive to survive at all cost, whereas his strength is usually demonstrated in selflessness, the ability to annihilate the self for the greater good. Now I'm left feeling it's Kara's death that is selfless. That's taking some adjustment. But I'm also glad because it represents evolution on both their parts.

I've seen a few people mention them finding it odd that Lee wants his photo placed next to Duck and Nora. But it worked for me. I think that Kara is really thinking about it, when she says she wants to be beside Kat. But I don't think Lee thought it out so deeply. However, his instincts reveal an interesting connection. Duck martyred himself to be with Nora—-his final words were to her. And that's so very Lee. When he faced his own death, his final words were addressed to Kara—-an apology for not being there. (Lee, sweetheart, if only you'd known then that you wouldn't have to apologise for not being there. You were there when it mattered—at the end.) So who they placed themselves beside in death says a lot about who they identify with.

But at the same time, I think they're moving beyond these roles. Kara is not just a hotshot problem pilot--certainly not after this episode, though the true extent of her significance may not be known for some time--next season even. And Lee has learnt to live, to fight through things and to take joy in life despite not attaining the heights he sets himself to scale. A photo pinned to a wall won't encapsulate either of them. Though I'm sure Lee will keep his promise.

Speculation
Yes, I do think Kara will be back in some way. I think others have covered the reasons very well—-in particular, asta77 makes a persuasive argument, which wisteria_ expands on with bonus illustrations. I think there are a number of conceivable options for the circumstances of Kara's survival.

For my part, I hope she's not a Cylon for many reasons. Firstly I don't like the gender implications. (Both female pilots turn out to be Cylons, the one instance of male Cylon manipulating female human (rather than vice versa) is lost.) Secondly it would irk me on Katee Sackhoff's behalf, because they promised her she wasn't. Thirdly, it's too straightforward: Leoben tells Kara she's got a special destiny and she turns out to be a Cylon? I'd like something a little more subtle, something with a bit more twist. But also it's way too big a retcon for me--it's too far away from the Kara Thrace and the Starbuck we've known. And finally, I really don't want Kara to be a Cylon because it would kill me to see her turn on Lee and Adama and her friends. And because I just do not want to even think about the possibility of Lee having to kill a Cylon!Kara.

However, it's hard to deny the significance of Kara saying 'they're waiting for me' as she dies. Perhaps the nature of the final five will be original enough that if she is one of them, it's still interesting. *crosses fingers* If she does have to be a Cylon, then I'm hoping that the final five are quite different from what we've seen of the Cylons so far, and perhaps that they have a bearing on the destiny of humanity, not just the Cylons. Perhaps they even existed before the other Cylons or are a connection between Cylons and humans.

What I think very likely is that Kara will be the link leading the humans, and probably the Cylons too—-hopefully not intentionally--to Earth. Logically, that's where the show is headed. Kara giving the Aurora model to Adama was heavily symbolic—-she's offering them a 'fresh start'. If the temple was a roadsign pointing the way, then Kara just took the first exit after it—and I think we'll be following her at some stage.

Who really knows where the show will lead us? Even the spoiler-addicted don't seem to know right now. (Though I gather some big spoilers just got leaked.) But right this moment, I just want Kara back.

I've seen some speculation along the lines of 'Starbuck dies, but Kara returns', and while I have some ambivalent feelings about the validity of that argument, I think I could live with that. What I really hope/want is that if/when she comes back, the change she has undergone will be constructive rather than destructive. While I love this show's tragic bent, I do feel that Kara Thrace has had more thrown her way than anyone deserves to have to deal with. And all that's happened is that she's got more and more broken. This has not, so far, been a journey of overcoming adversity. It's been a story of battling to keep one's head above water, to live one more day at a time. Yes, Kara's had her moments of elation (with Sam, with Lee one night, most of all in flying), but the rest of the time she's been battered and bruised, and she's trapped in a cycle of abuse and denial and pain in her relationships. If she comes back, please let her be healed, in part at least. Please let her have grown.

For Lee, likewise, I hope that eventually this will provide him with some space to be himself, to put himself first and to find strength in facing what is surely one of the hardest griefs to bear. I don't think that will come quickly, but it's possible that the show will do a jump forward in time again at some point—-if so, we might get a chance to see things in perspective on a bigger scale.

In the shorter term, I'm quietly confident that Lee will 'cope', on the surface at least. He'll drive himself to live, for Kara's sake as well as his own. I do hope we get to see some immediate grief--although knowing this show they are just as likely to leap forward a few months and deny us that. But I also think that any attempt to memorialise Kara or to grieve for her formally or in private will have limited effectiveness in the short term for Lee. He's going to bear this scar until he dies. Period. It will forever shape the way he thinks of her: the woman he loved, the woman he put in the sky to die. That she was happy in those last moments will be lost on Lee. It was too strange an experience for him, though I do think that her final words helped at a subconscious level to confirm that this really was The End, that she really was gone.

I meant to say above that I also felt that once upon a time, Lee would have grounded Kara. And I think he's got two main reasons for not doing so here (both of which are articulated well in the episode):
1. She's the best pilot he's got and he trusts her skill, her eyes. Genuinely.
2. He knows that she's 'falling' and needs someone there to catch her. Lee does emotional support so well, and he's ALWAYS wanted to be Kara's crutch. I'm so glad she finally let him be. But that that led to death leaves me shaking.

Their 'deaths' could not have been more different or more similar. Atheist Lee wanted to sink into a calm dark pool of water. His death came suddenly, unannounced, with no markers or fanfare. Kara-the-believer explodes in flashes of light. Her death is heralded by omens and prophecies and portents. Kara believes in a life after death. Lee doesn't. But in both instances they welcomed it when the final moment came. For both it was relief and release. That's both incredibly moving and incredibly tragic.

Finally, if Kara's 'death' does have greater significance and does help determine the fate of humanity, as I strongly suspect it will, then I'm glad Lee was part of it. They've been paired since the start, and that link is unbroken. I'll borrow Lee's words to close: 'Kara, listen to me, please, come back! Gods, damn it, Kara, you come back! COME BACK!'.

ETA: I also wanted to talk about Kara's 'reconciliation' with her mother and some more about the whole preparing-to-face-death thing. But that will have to wait. This post is too long already! (Anyone who read all of it deserves a medal!)
ETA2: Part 2
 
 
Current Location: work (sadly)
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
 
 
 
blowjobs for jesus: bsg Apollokristiinthedark on March 7th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
It will forever shape the way he thinks of her: the woman he loved, the woman he put in the sky to die. That she was happy in those last moments will be lost on Lee.

Oh, Boppy! *wipes tear* Not very often does meta make me tear up, but... well, it's your meta, so not very surprising. Anyway, thank you so much for this and all of your insights into what Lee was thinking and feeling. *hugs*

I read all of it, btw. *wears medal with pride*

*doesn't mention anything about TEH HOT*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on March 7th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
*awards you medal* Thanks, sweetheart! *tears up a little too*

And *giggle* TEH HOT will take over my mind at some stage, I'm sure... damn it, my first vid was Kara/Leoben!! (And I did watch those scenes with longing... 'if only I'd waited for THESE scenes!' *g*) Though I think Lee was smokin' in this ep too. His arms were out on display to give Kara fond memories and of that, I was very glad!
(no subject) - kristiinthedark on March 7th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 7th, 2007 01:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sarmoti on March 7th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 7th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
The First Evil: Lee - My Boyfriend's Back - shmarollynnasta77 on March 7th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Excellent analysis as always. :)

I agree that the Leoben we saw was not the Leoben(s) we've met before. He was the same, yet just a little bit different. He seemed calmer, more patient, and more about what Kara needed then what he needed. Of course, that makes sense if this Leoben is a creation of Kara's mind.

Facing fear of death may be Kara's journey but it's not Lee's: his battle is to live.

Ohhh, I love this point! I didn't for a second think Lee would follow her into the abyss. As you put it, he's worked too hard to build himself a life, one he can be proud of, and one that has, in some ways at least, brought him some peace and happiness. Suicidal depression is in his past. But I hadn't thought about it as you did. You are absolutely correct. Lee's greatest fear was living because he had lost all hope - what was there to go on for? Kara has always fought to live, to 'cheat' death. We've seen it in YCGHA, in KLG Pt 2, and in the New Caprica eps.

Lee does emotional support so well, and he's ALWAYS wanted to be Kara's crutch. I'm so glad she finally let him be.

It's bittersweet, after Lee finally decides to move on (and I do believe it was the best and healthiest thing for him) that's when Kara finally allows him to be someone to lean on. This isn't just the anti-shipper in me talking ;), but this may have been the happiest I've ever seen the two together. Even more so then on New Caprica where he was obviously blissfully happy for one night, but she was scared and unsure.

Unfortunately, Lee will carry around quite a bit of guilt over his actions or non-actions. I do hope he gets past that though because I believe he did the right thing by her. Being a pilot, a great pilot, was the one thing she was proud of in her life. I think Lee feared taking that from her. She'd be lost without that constant. And it most likely would have added to her feelings of being a screw up and a failure. She caved into fear. She couldn't hack it as a pilot either. What's left for her? Yeah, Lee did the right thing and I hope he can see that as well as the fact she could have pulled up and didn't.

BTW, I'm as spoiled as you can be and I don't know where things are headed. ;-)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on March 7th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Eee! I always look forward to talking things over with you after eps! *bounces*

Lee's greatest fear was living
It really really was, so the symmetry/reversal in having Kara die and Lee live worked for me so well, even though I didn't see it coming until this episode. It makes me happy, despite the sorrow. I was so proud of Lee in this episode--even the part where he told Kara that things were great with Dee. I'm glad he told her. From a Lee perspective, that's growth--not just that it's true but that he's willing to tell Kara that.

It's bittersweet, after Lee finally decides to move on (and I do believe it was the best and healthiest thing for him) that's when Kara finally allows him to be someone to lean on.
Definitely! *clutches aching heart*

This isn't just the anti-shipper in me talking ;), but this may have been the happiest I've ever seen the two together. Even more so then on New Caprica where he was obviously blissfully happy for one night, but she was scared and unsure.
I completely agree. In terms of both of them being happy together, it's the one time. They're still out of synch with one another in terms of their emotions/understanding about the bigger picture (Kara's anticipating death, Lee is blind to that), but in terms of their emotions for each other, they are in synch for the first time ever. (Other than, perhaps the emotion they felt in the moments of the UB hug--which was fleeting only, since the complexities of the situation quickly rose to the surface again.) I said elsewhere, and I should say it in this post too. That as a Lee-fan (and shipper), I believed (felt!) that Kara loved Lee for the first time ever. She showed it to him more than ever before, imo. (I'm not counting here the shouting to the stars on New Caprica because the significance of that was annhiliated for Lee given what followed.)

I think Lee feared taking that from her. She'd be lost without that constant. And it most likely would have added to her feelings of being a screw up and a failure. She caved into fear. She couldn't hack it as a pilot either. What's left for her? Yeah, Lee did the right thing and I hope he can see that as well as the fact she could have pulled up and didn't.
Mmm, yes, thank you for that comment! I totally agree. Part of me wants to say that Lee will see that to some degree, given his greater emotional strength now. But I think he'll also be consumed by guilt at some stage/to some degree. But I'm feeling quite positive that it's a journey towards strength for him. This is the hardest thing they could chuck his way other than the death of his father, and if he can get through this he'll be stronger still.
(no subject) - asta77 on March 8th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 8th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
sarmoti: BSG - Lee intensesarmoti on March 7th, 2007 01:46 am (UTC)
My mind is still swirling from the episode and now I read your thoughts and my mind is even swirlier! Such an interesting and insightful and beautifully-written post....so of course I don't even know what to comment on! I of course ate up your big Lee section like a big bowl of candy! I am so happy with the those final (er, "final") moments and conversations that Lee and Kara, so happy with where there relationship was, how deeply they cared for each other and how clearly it was displayed. Or course it's gonna make it that much for harder for us to handle NOT seeing them together for who knows how long. *cries*

I do think that her final words helped at a subconscious level to confirm that this really was The End, that she really was gone.

It was great that Kara's last words were ones that, in the end, will help Lee get through this. She was preparing him for what was about to happen, and she told him to let her go. It was the kindest thing she could do for him in that moment, to offer him reassurance that this was her choice and what needed to be done, that he shouldn't carry this around as guilt or let her death crush the life that he worked so hard to build.

I guess I'll just end my comment there because my brain is too swirly to think up something else to say. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on March 7th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
Or course it's gonna make it that much for harder for us to handle NOT seeing them together for who knows how long. *cries*
Definitely! *sniffles* This show is such a tease--dangling carrots only when you know they're about to be snatched away.

It was the kindest thing she could do for him in that moment, to offer him reassurance that this was her choice and what needed to be done, that he shouldn't carry this around as guilt or let her death crush the life that he worked so hard to build.
That's a fantastic comment! Thank you! You're right. I hadn't thought of it that way--I'd only considered it as Kara really wanting to let go. But there was no need for her to say anything in those moments. *starts crying again* In fact, it's quite unlike Kara to do so. And her words were kind, even though it will take Lee ages to see that. (Also, Kara hon, did you forget that he's an atheist?!) But I do agree that Kara's message to Lee was 'live on'. In their hangardeck conversation, when she says 'I'm happy for you', I got that vibe there too. It was a 'I'm happy you're finally ok', 'I'm happy in a genuinely selfless way' comment. It didn't read as bitter, even though her mixed emotions on a personal level were still evident. (Bravo, Katee!)

My mind's still swirly too, if that makes it any better! Even after writing this post... I'm too tired for Part II yet, but there is a Part II in my head.
(no subject) - sarmoti on March 7th, 2007 02:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 7th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
hoolia goolia: Kara/Leoben half-nekkid paint smoochboom_queen on March 7th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
Wheee, medal for me too! Of course your meta is always so insightful and fun to read that it doesn't feel overly long. Ramble on darling, I will be hear to listen :)

the way that Lee stares and stares at Kara before saying 'whatever it takes'. Kara turns away first, she can't bear it...her next line (a question about Dee) was a distraction, an attempt to put some distance between them.

I was frustrated by this at first because I thought it was Kara being emotionally reserved/untrusting, but then I realized it was more about an acceptance of their evolved friendship/relationship and trying to re-establish some safe distance to show respect and love for Lee. Which is incredibly mature for Kara, since she has had such a tendency to take what she wants when its convenient for her even if involves pushing Lee into vulnerable situations.

But why is he able to pull out? Death was once attractive to Lee as a way out. But this time he resists, even with his best friend/co-pilot/sister/lover/twinned half leading the way. Why?

I thought long and hard about this too. And I think that the answers to this question are what's going to drive his actions for the next several episodes. Which I am VERY excited to see. Lee's reactions are going to be amazing, I just know it! The guilt and self-doubt and grief are going to be so strong, but I trust Jamie to pull it off with his usual mix of strong emotion and quiet furor.

She's always symbolised the drive to survive at all cost, whereas his strength is usually demonstrated in selflessness, the ability to annihilate the self for the greater good. Now I'm left feeling it's Kara's death that is selfless. That's taking some adjustment. But I'm also glad because it represents evolution on both their parts.

Totally. I was also touched by the evolution of Kara's ability to be selfless, by not flying again after she knew she shouldn't and then by embracing her death/transition. There were so many ways in which this episode showed how much Kara has grown during the course of the show: as broken and traumatized as she is, she is still evolving and progressing.

And that alone is why I know they can't be done with her storyline. She is a wealth of emotion and potential as a character--there's so much more of her story to tell!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara glowybop_radar on March 7th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Thank you! *awards medal*

it was more about an acceptance of their evolved friendship/relationship and trying to re-establish some safe distance to show respect and love for Lee. Which is incredibly mature for Kara, since she has had such a tendency to take what she wants when its convenient for her even if involves pushing Lee into vulnerable situations.
*nods* It was both wonderful and tragic that we saw this growth in her (just) before she died.

The guilt and self-doubt and grief are going to be so strong, but I trust Jamie to pull it off with his usual mix of strong emotion and quiet furor.
*nods* I'm desperate to see the next episodes already. And I was already excited about them once I realised that Lee was going to be in the big season ending plot arc. (I didn't realise that Kara *wasn't*!)

She is a wealth of emotion and potential as a character--there's so much more of her story to tell!
So true! Why kill off a character with so much potential? With so much of her story obviously left untold. I think this will mark a new chapter in the show, but this feels like a turning point not the last page.
brokenmnemonic: Touchbrokenmnemonic on March 7th, 2007 02:06 pm (UTC)
If I wasn't up to my neck in writing fanfic at the moment, I'd respond in all sorts of detail. For now, I'll have to resort to brevity; you've summed up everything I was feeling about the episode and much more, and far more eloquently than I have. I'm glad latteaddict pointed out your LJ to me - it's always a fascinating read.

I think what got me most about this was that even in Kara's final moments, Lee kept saying "we can still get out of this." Not you, but we. I'm pretty sure Kara will be back in S4 - and I can only hope that like a stage play, this Act III was the darkest, and that for the ship, Act IV will show things improving steadily.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee dreamybop_radar on March 7th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the lovely comment! (Good to meet you too! And fanfic? *perks*)

Not you, but we.
Such a beautiful point and one I perhaps took for granted a little--thank you for highlighting it. I do think it was very signifcant. Lee did a lot of signalling to Kara, in this episode, that despite everything they were a team, a partnership, paired. There IS an 'us'. (Oh, Kara! Oh, Lee!)

I can only hope that like a stage play, this Act III was the darkest, and that for the ship, Act IV will show things improving steadily.
I hope so with all my heart. It does have that 'arcing' feeling about it. As a viewer, in no way did I feel like this was The End, but it may have been the darkest hour.

(Aside: hey, your icon is like mine except with bonus groping!)
(no subject) - brokenmnemonic on March 8th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 9th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brokenmnemonic on March 8th, 2007 12:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 9th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 9th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
deaver: Kara Lee Hugdeaver on March 7th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
She's driven by something inside her. She's drawn towards her death, compelled.

For me, that is what has since the beginning made Kara an interesting character - she's danced on the edge of death since she first appeared in the mini. And her survival all this time is what makes this "death" so shocking. We always assumed that because she's always survived the dance that she always will.

It will forever shape the way he thinks of her: the woman he loved, the woman he put in the sky to die.

I think he will now be able to look back on Kara's decision to put Zak in the air with much more sympathy and understanding. He can no longer hold her in any blame for his brother's death - he did the same thing to Starbuck - trusted her, loved her, and (sadly)believed that she would always survive. They really ARE back at the beginning.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee's farewellbop_radar on March 7th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
she's danced on the edge of death since she first appeared in the mini.
Yes, she's always been the one who can fly closer to the flames than anyone else. So much so, that I was calm about Lee not sending a search party (initially) for her in The Eye of Jupiter: like Lee, I thought that if anyone could rescue herself, it was Kara.

Great call on the parallel with Zak! That's another way in which this plot development works for me, although I never saw it coming. Anything that helps one of them have more compassion and empathy for the other is good by me!
daybreak777: sunsetdaybreak777 on March 8th, 2007 10:27 am (UTC)
Kara's connection to Leoben, whatever it turns out to be, is fascinating.
Seriously, what is up with Kara and Leoben? He so manages to get to her. I remember that second “I love you” in Exodus 2. And in Taking A Break, she almost thought Sam was asking if she loved Leoben. That was messed up. What’s more messed up is I don’t know what her answer would have been.

The sexual aspect of that relationship is peculiar in some regards, but makes sense in others. It symbolises Leoben's intimacy with Kara, the way he gets under her skin.
I like this idea. As much as I secretly find Kara and Leoben kind of hot together, it is weird. She wants him in some way. I wonder if something happened with them in another life.

I'm going to suggest that in reality she's been having these nightmares for some time.
I was going to do this too, especially since Ron Moore said in the Collaborator’s podcast that they almost wrote in a few nightmare scenes for her to explain her emotional state and how she treated Gaeta. It would have made her more sympathetic, so I filled in the blanks with the nightmares.
But I like the idea somone out there suggested that the mandala “triggers” the nightmares for the first time. Kind of awakens something in her. Then it becomes less about New Caprica and more about a destiny that’s been in her since childhood.

Kara herself is prepared for death.
I guess I wonder why she was so ready now. She’s faced death before, what was different? It seemed a bit rushed. But if the eye of Jupiter and mandala triggered something, then maybe this timing makes sense.

One of the things I liked best about this episode was the way it gave all the significant players in Kara's life a place. And their places felt, for me at least, balanced in terms of their emotional significance to Kara.

I guess Kara was looking for something. Something she couldn’t get from Sam, Helo, Adama, Roslin, Leoben or Lee. But it hurt me to see her afraid to fly. I’m glad she faced it, her fear and went looking for it, whatever “it” is.

if Kara's 'death' does have greater significance and does help determine the fate of humanity, as I strongly suspect it will, then I'm glad Lee was part of it.
I wonder. Wonder if Lee was meant to be there in the end. Apollo. I think he has his own role to play in Kara’s destiny and in the destiny of humanity’s survival. He helped Roslin escape, while Kara retrieved the arrow. He came back with Pegasus when she was captured on New Caprica. All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again. Kara is special but I don’t think she can do it alone. Lee can heal and grow but he’s a different Lee without her. I want to believe their destinies are intertwined somehow. At least that’s how I’d write it. :)

Ah, this show. Requires such trust to believe the writers care as much about the characters as we do.

Medal for such fun? Yay!

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Pilots: co-pathetic foreverbop_radar on March 9th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
And in Taking A Break, she almost thought Sam was asking if she loved Leoben. That was messed up. What’s more messed up is I don’t know what her answer would have been.
Yeah, I know... it IS messed up. But fascinating. If my heart wasn't full of K/Lee shippy love, I'd be very defensive about Leoben right now, but I think he connects with Kara in a different way and to a different end--at least that's what this episode seemed to indicate. It's a very different (and very dark) relationship that I enjoy for its originality and I want to see where it goes. But I definitely have squick about it too.

I like the idea somone out there suggested that the mandala “triggers” the nightmares for the first time. Kind of awakens something in her. Then it becomes less about New Caprica and more about a destiny that’s been in her since childhood.
Oh, that IS a good idea! I like that too--especially, as you say, because it makes more sense of her suddenly rushing towards death. Though I also like knowing that in RM's mind what she went through on New Caprica has been troubling her more than we've seen. I just wish we saw some of this stuff he mentions sometimes.

Kara is special but I don’t think she can do it alone ... I want to believe their destinies are intertwined somehow.
They are. :-) I love the idea of Kara as having a special destiny, but Lee being tied to that--for all the reasons you list and so many more (shooting the gun together to free themselves, Kara saving Lee in the mini). Without Lee, Kara wouldn't have reached this point. And though viewed in one light it does have a terrible 'wind beneath my wings' schmultz about it, I kinda totally adore that and them and yes, oh, SHIP!

Ah, this show. Requires such trust to believe the writers care as much about the characters as we do.
Hee! I suspect all fandoms you're passionate engaged with are like that. I know my other one is... *eyes Smallville reproachfully*
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(no subject) - bop_radar on March 9th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - bop_radar on March 12th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
isabelle_lilaisabelle_lila on March 9th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
great review, added in my memories!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on March 9th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!bop_radar on March 10th, 2007 08:36 am (UTC)
It's true! And yes, soooo much vidding potential in this episode. I may even have started playing with it already...

And I'm sure I'll revisit the Kara/Leoben stuff at some stage--it's too intriguing not to. daybreak777 has a good meta post on them here.
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petitevanou: leoben behind kara bwpetitevanou on March 12th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
Leoben is a link between Kara's past and her future. He appears to be preparing her for something more than death, for an epic destiny. The sexual aspect of that relationship is peculiar in some regards, but makes sense in others. It symbolises Leoben's intimacy with Kara, the way he gets under her skin.


that 's a really good point !! I do think there is more to Leoben than an obsessive Cylon.
Friended you :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara glowybop_radar on March 12th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks! *g* Good to meet you too.
I look forward to getting more development on Leoben at some point in time, because he's one of the most intriguing characters on the show and there's an incompletion in his story with Kara, even after Maelstrom, since that wasn't real Leoben.
(no subject) - petitevanou on March 12th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 12th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mistress Spinmlsky on March 15th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
Ah...this is a lovely, lovley post. I'm finally getting to read everyone's thoughts on Maelstrom and yours are truly insightful. I would love to do a longer response on how much I agree with nearly everything you point out but time is short today. So I'll take the easy way out and just say WORD.

*off to read part two*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Pilots: co-pathetic foreverbop_radar on March 16th, 2007 02:14 am (UTC)
Thank you for your kind comment! *g* There was some wonderful post-Maelstrom meta--I think I posted a few links later on. My Part II was way more tentative, but I've read some excellent posts since on the Kara mythology.

Maelstrom was quite the episode, wasn't it!? *still kinda reeling*