First let me say that I *loved* the short, edited version of Unfinished Business and I'm not that surprised to find that I still greatly prefer it to the longer version (I love good editing!). In some cases,I'm very glad that the extra footage didn't make the cut, in others I'm delighted that the scenes were at least shot/scripted. The extended version is very revealing, but it left me with far more conflicted feelings than the short version did.
Before I get to pilots on their own, let me first say: poor Dee! She always gets her scenes cut, and this is a case where her side of the story got cut out almost entirely. Adama's call about her needing the fight too was really tragic in a way: the fight turned out to be the last thing Dee 'needed'. I think this version makes everything--the fighting, the frakking, the marrying--a FAR bigger screwover of Dee. And it makes it obvious long before TAB that Lee was in major, major denial and his attempts not to 'lie' to Dee are farcical. While that's always been suggested, it doesn't make for pleasant watching to have it spelt out like this.
On a lighter note (sort of!), Lee's reaction to Dee showing up at the dance made me total LOL. Which is terribly mean to Dee, but oh, man, that is NOT how you want your husband to greet you. He looked oh 'oh, damn, why are YOU here'. And his awkward hug seemed to be totally avoiding a direct kiss, even before he blew her off for Kara. I couldn't help wincing at how far gone Lee was in that moment--he seemed not at ALL cut up about turning down sex with his wife for a fight with his ex. It was worse than that--because there was no guarantee the dance would go on long enough for them to fight again: one of their tags had to be drawn out. So it made it seem like Lee had committed to the bout just as much as Kara had. In the edited version, I think that was less obvious.
I'm very glad that most of the dialogue between Dee and Lee didn't make the final cut--it was too overstated, especially the story about the boys that used to beat Dee up. But at least it showed that Dee's not stupid--and she was trying to get Lee to talk about the situation, only he just wouldn't admit anything. Even before she explicitly asked him not to, she was making it pretty hard for Lee to step in the ring with Kara, because by saying 'your fight is about passion' the minute he did so, it was a betrayal of Dee. Lee, of course, was wrapped in about ten layers of denial. When he says that Kara's just been pissing him off... well, that is ALSO true, but it's definitely not the whole truth. And apparently the whole room knew it.
The extended version does clear up the mystery of why Dee wasn't phased by Lee not coming to bed with her that night. I kind of thought she must have known about the field, but it seems she didn't. It also seemed to be suggested that she was piecing things together after Kara dropped the line about having 'been there done that'. She thought there was UST between Kara and Lee and was worried it was unresolved, but then she learns that there's more of a history than she thought. Adding to the sting is the fact that it was Dee who encouraged Lee to stay out that night, and who commented that she'd never seen him so happy. Dee is actually a LOT more clear-sighted about the whole situation than Lee, who later mentions the happiness that he's experienced with Dee: Dee herself knows that pales in comparison to the way he glows around Kara.
Until the proposal scene between them, I really wasn't finding a lot of their interaction revealing. But I actually found the proposal scene itself very powerful. (Don't die of shock!) This scene really shapes the entire Lee/Dee marriage and I think it would have made more sense to viewers if it could have been left in. It makes Kara totally right to call Lee on being a hypocrite. If she 'ran' then so did he; she did so in response to intimacy, he did so in response to rejection. It's all transparently obvious in the scene with Dee. Lee is jittery and all over the place, he can't compose himself and he's rushing to excesses that don't actually hold any weight. He as much as says 'Kara got married, so i may as well marry you now... I'm trying to put the best spin on this as I possibly can'. Oh, Lee! *buries face in hands and despairs* Dee can see that and she calls the situation COMPLETELY accurately. I've never really warmed to Dee as a character, but I do respect her for that. When she said 'you love Kara Thrace', Lee looks so startled--you can see him thinking 'how does she know about last night?' and panicking. Dee's completely right--the two of them are 'linked somehow' and one day Kara will be back.
This scene gives confirmation of Dee's own motivations in the marriage. Her line reflects Roslin's about 'living every day as if it's the last'. She's taking what she can get, while she can, even if it's not perfect. However, she also sends Lee into a massive guilt spiral here. Not undeserved, perhaps, but also not at all healthy or helpful. She says she'll love and cherish him despite knowing he loves Kara. That doesn't leave Lee any way to be honourable and I think it really hurts him that he can't return her love exactly. He's still struggling with Kara's rejection--he seizes on that when Dee says 'when Kara Thrace comes walking back'. For him, he's trying to absorb the fact that it's totally over with Kara. But when he catches himself arguing with Dee, I think he realises a moment too late that what he should be saying is not 'Kara's not coming back' but 'I love YOU'. It IS easier for both of them to kiss in that moment than to keep arguing and dealing with the painful truth.
Lee's going to cop a lot of crit for all the lying he does in this episode. Even from me. He basically acts like a total shit and he uses denial as a coping mechanism. He tries desperately to compartmentalise, telling himself that his realtionship with Dee is NOT about Kara in any way. But it's transparently obvious that it was always a reaction to Kara. Ouch. He had to stay in denial to make the relationship work, but as soon as that was broken down (in the dance) it all fell apart.
Final note on Dee: Gaeta really should have taken her by the arm and whisked her away from the ringside. Symapthetic glances not enough!
Tongue-in-cheek question: Does Kara ever have sex with the person she's actually having sex with?! ;) Flashing to the Kara/Lee field sex during the extended version of the Kara/Sam sex made it far more explicit that she wasn't really connecting with Sam in that moment. I'm not quite optimist enough to believe we were really meant to think Kara was consciously thinking of that moment but evoking it still added a lot more weight to Sam's 'maybe I'm not what you really want' call. I liked the extended dialogue between Kara and Sam for a couple of reasons: firstly because it made Sam seem less of a pushover and secondly because the extra Kara dialogue seemed revealing to me. Her line about not trying to change Sam's mind read to me like a line she'd prepared in advance--because Sam wasn't talking about his mind in that moment, he was talking about hers.
The moment when Kara catches sight of Lee in the ring was far more powerful in the edited version, but I think in this version there was a few extra seconds of her actually clapping the fight, which I liked. And she looked so playful bouncing into the ring. It also seemed just as obvious, if not more so, that she came to the dance to pick a fight with Lee or that she decided on that course of action pretty fast once she turned up.
I was interested to see the extra Lee/Helo moment after their fight. It made them seem a lot more amicable and made it explicit that they respect one another. I always wondered about their fight, about who picked it and how much animosity was there before and after it, because those two clashed a number of times in Season 3. This tips the scales back towards them being on 'buddy' terms.
The scene I really loved was Kara and Anders with the Tighs. Omg, how lolarious! Kara was adorable with her 'they're not going to be friends, are they?' (no honey, but they ARE going to be Cylons!) and her freaked-out eyes at Ellen making an overt pass at her boyfriend. Oh, Kara, you're too cute.
And wow, turns out Sharon's a better gal!pal than I realised. Hearing her bring up Lee with Kara was somewhat startling because Kara/Lee are so rarely acknowledged by other crew mates but she was right on target: Kara was definitely conflating. Also, the dialogue seemed to indicate that Lee met Kara when she was already with Zak. Hmm. What it really got me thinking about though was what mistakes Kara thinks Lee has been making 'since the day he met me'. At first that line made NO SENSE to me at all. Was she complaining that he'd made moves on her? or that he hadn't? I tried both readings and decided that it was a complicated combination of both that made no logical sense but made sense in Kara!brain. ;) The line ties with Kara's call about Lee not knowing 'when to make his moves and when to hold back'. (But when IS that, Kara? could you give him a guidebook, because it sure as hell isn't clear to me!) Kara's anger seems to be twofold: she's ostensibly angry at Anders for being too possessive, but it's hinted in the field scene that she wishes Lee had been able to admit he needed her earlier. I guess that's the paradox: Kara wants to be needed/loved, but she also hates being 'trapped'. (Ok, someone come tell me if I've read Kara completely wrong.)
When Kara took Lee on the tour of her house, Lee saying 'don't jinx it' really hit me in the gut because I feel like HE jinxed it by saying 'Kara Anders' and because I think he meant it genuinely at that moment... only they're both about to ruin four people's lives. *wibbles*
But this scene had me all up and down emotionally, because on the other hand I liked that Kara played up the innuendo with the bedroom--it was a bit more of a come-on then we'd seen from her in the edited version and helps explain how Lee got the courage up to make a move. It was so obvious from his behaviour that he was jealous, that he didn't think much of 'pyramid boy' and that he wished that house was his.
I liked Kara's vulnerability in the 'got anyone in mind, Lee?' moment. But I thought the shorter version, sans applecarts, was more romantic. (However, I'm torn, because Lee casting himself as applecart-upsetter is kind of adorable.)
One thing I didn't like: the longer version made Kara's screamed love declaration far more of a dare. Lee's little line about her being 'afraid' would have totally goaded her into it, regardless of what she truly felt. So I was all busy feeling upset about that, and then...
SHE SAID IT. SHE SAID IT FOR REALZ!!!
Hearing Kara ask Lee if he was sure she was what he wanted totally startled me--so many Kara fans have told me she was genuinely anxious about his feelings, but it's usually so hard for me to see that. So I really appreciated seeing her actually ask him. And as if that wasn't enough SHE SAID SHE LOVED HIM. USING THE FIRST-PERSON PRONOUN. NOT JUST AS A DARE! *squeeeeeeeeee* I never dared believe she'd really said that to him. I am SO glad (even if it made the next morning more painful). I see why Jamie mentioned this moment of the pilots being honest with each other as one he would have liked left it. Apart from anything else, they mentioned ZAK! I'm very glad about that because I do think he was a shadow between them for so long. But I am also glad that Lee's dialogue showed that it wasn't just Zak that held him back, it was also his own fear. And then when Kara answered him it seemed like she recognised that feeling herself--it felt like she found a way to understand Lee a little better maybe, because she had fears of her own. I was surprised by how gentle she was with Lee, and how forgiving she seemed in that moment. It made it really seem like she'd wished he'd made a move earlier but had been too afraid herself to do anything about it--which makes a stronger parallel between both of them.
And as if the 'I love you too' was not enough, we got another little smile from her afterwards as they kissed and she relaxed in his arms. That TOTALLY matched the smile in his arms at the end of the fight! *more squee*
Watching Unfinished Business this time was a different experience for me even without the longer version, simply because I happen to be in quite a 'Kara-y' mood/place at the moment. I'm not sure why, except that I've been missing her. And my first reaction to seeing her in UB was 'omg, I'd forgotten how awesome you are!' despite the fact that she was frakking over Lee. So even her ultra-bitchy comments in this didn't really bother me. I giggled at 'Hold that thought, ok?' in response to Lee screaming 'motherfrakker' at her. She's so damn infuriating and so damn adorable all at the same time!
The Tigh scene, which I already knew about, was actually better in execution than it sounded on paper. I thought Katee brought a lot to that scene--she made it seem a lot more natural than I thought was possible. Like the Dee stuff, I am glad they cut it because I think it was overstated to have her reflect on 'survival instinct'. But I do think the fact that she came back to town and got a taste of 'reality' would have made the night before seem surreal, like something that couldn't be trusted.
And ok, I STILL don't completely understand why she ran from Lee. However, I think the heart of it has got to lie in the different sources of fear for Kara and Lee. Lee's fear is of rejection--he'll do anything to avoid it. But once Kara accepted him and his love for her, his fear evaporated. Presumably that's when Kara's fears were most kicking in. If it's not rejection she fears, it's intimacy? expectations?
From a boxing pov, I really liked the line 'did I break the rules?' as an acknowledgment that Kara did play dirty in that fight. But Lee's response shows it didn't really matter--the entire fight was outside the parameters of the 'dance' and he knew all bets were off. I rather liked Lee having the guts to call her on the fact that she ran, that her action was self-protective, that she's always closed-off.
With the extended fight, I find myself with the same conflicted feelings I have about the whole extended episode: on the one hand, I liked the extra material because it did add something to the picture. But on the other hand, I found the short version far more powerful and effective. Even more 'romantic' in a way. I liked the idea of a non-verbal 'fight to a standstill'. But it was impossible not to grin at 'why? so you can hit me some more?' (And pssst, Lee, that's what you need to do: HANG ON SO SHE CAN'T HIT YOU ANY MORE! Physically OR emotionally!) Also, I really loved Kara saying 'I think things just got more complicated'. It made an even clearer parallel to their post-coital scene in the field. And I loved Lee's hysterical reaction to her saying that. I SO thought he was going to kiss her. But then his giggle could have been a 'oh shit, I might just wind up hurting her nose more, if I try that' as well as a giggle at the sheer frakked-up-ness. It was somehow cathartic to see them collapse together, but I really wish Dee hadn't still been there. Having them end in a tumble on the ground though reminded me of them nearly suffocating together.
Dee is right. They are tied together somehow. And I wish they'd just accept how much they need each other already!
Oh, show! Come baaaaaaaaack, I missshhhs you!