Thank goodness for the Cylon parts of this episode--they were the only bits I wasn't bawling through. Wow. I'd forgotten what a torrent of emotions Battlestar stirs up in me. And this is probably the gentlest part of the final season! *bites nails* But wow, that was an AWESOME episode. I'm going to have to indulge in picspamming some bits because it was Lee GLORY.
I'll get the other stuff over with first...
No matter where it ends up, I really enjoyed seeing the Sixes lead a mutiny against their fellow Cylons. Cavill is annoyingly smug and self-important, and I'm glad that Six called him on thinking HE was god. For all he claims he's just a 'mechanic', he certainly does act as if he's got the one true line to God and all the other Cylons should shut up and listen. He's such a slippery frakker as well, turning things around and admitting Six is 'right' that 'something has changed' when that something suits him.
I found the argument about the Raiders intriguing. I've always wondered about their level of sentience so it was interesting that the Cylons divided over whether they should be suppressed or not. Ditto with the Centurions--it was both creepy and amazing that Six gave them free will.
It was interesting to see that the Four have quickly turned to speculation about who the final Cylon is. That's natural, I suppose, but it's also kind of creepy. Have they not considered that it could be even more dangerous for them to find that out? Meeting/finding the final Cylon might be the trigger that turns them against their own.
In any case I was amused to see Tigh very skeptical that Kara was the final one. I'm with you, Tigh: she's still Starbuck to me. And he's right that she's certainly not playing it very cool if she IS the final Cylon. (That's one of my biggest gripes against the Roslin pov, btw: why would the final Cylon have such a lame vague story about Earth and act so crazy when it wasn't believed. To date the Cylons have been a lot more creepily successful than that at manipulating humans--their manipulation has been way less overt than this is. To me it just doesn't add up that Kara's a Cylon.)
Tigh may not have put it very politely, but he's right that their best chance of getting close to Baltar is through a woman. However, from that point on I got a bit lost with Tory's point. She objected to being treated as bait, but then she follows through and sleeps with Baltar anyway? Is she really that desperate to find out what he knows? I don't feel like I've got any handle on Tory's character whatsoever so I couldn't tell whether she was genuine or playing Gaius in any of those scenes. At times, her dialogue seemed so clunky I thought we were meant to read her as manipulating him. But then she cried during the sex and I had no clue what to make of that. I'm definitely going to have to hunt out someone who's got a better understanding of her character. I was at a complete loss.
On the other hand, seeing Gaius gain a head!Gaius was completely LOLarious. Truly, it felt like a return to Season 1 Gaius in his disorientation about his visions. They were very funny and facepalm-enducing.
Kara was phenomenal through the entire episode too. I'm completely sold on her emotional journey so far this season. Although I wasn't around for the post-ep chatter of 'He who believeth in me' I noticed a lot of people mentioning that Kara wasn't very Kara-y, which surprised me. daybreak777 pointed out how emotionally demonstrative she was, and that's undeniable, but I attributed that to the experience she'd been through and the pain of the jumps. Whatever the reason, I'm finding her storyline powerful and moving and I'm 100% emotionally commmitted to her being right. If it turns out Roslin's right, I'm going to be GUTTED.
That first scene between them was incredible. I felt Kara couldn't have put up a better appeal for understanding. I was SO glad that Kara brought up Roslin's vision and the Arrow and Temple. She asks a very valid question: why can Laura demand absolute trust and sacrifice on the basis of a vision, and not Kara? Back then Laura put her faith in Kara, but that was when Kara's actions supported Laura's goals. Now it's a different story. Kara stands in absolute opposition to Laura and what Laura believes in and needs to believe in. So Laura refuses to put her faith in Kara. To Laura, the risk is too great--they could lose their way entirely and render meaningless all the work she's done to get them this far. The 'miracle' of her recovery would be negated as well, and it already feels like that's happening because she's dying again. Kara's in a similar position: if Laura doesn't accept her story, Kara will lose her connection to Earth completely and her death/rebirth will be rendered meaningless. What is life worth to either of them if they lose that? Not much. So we have a standoff between two women absolutely ready to die before admitting the other is right.
What makes their emotions run even deeper is they are both fighting for more than just themselves. Kara says Galactica is 'all she has'. They're her 'family'. Laura thinks of the whole fleet as her family. Loyalty, responsibility and love drive both of them as well.
I was fascinated by the way Laura rationalised everything to herself. The more persuasive Kara became, the more vehemently she believed she was a Cylon: 'they made you perfect didn't they'. Later she argues to Bill that Kara acted as if her life had no meaning. And she admits only one possible conclusion: that she's a Cylon. She is blind to the idea that Kara's convictions are just as strong as Roslin's own. You can't tell me Roslin wouldn't ALSO put herself in front of a bullet if it would help save the fleet.
I love this expression from Roslin. As Kara is dragged away ranting she remains composed and aloof. You can really see how far she's distanced herself from thinking of Kara as a human being.
A neat piece of symbolism? The shot that Roslin fired split the photograph of her and Bill--symbolising a rift between them.
Of course, Kara's actions also created a rift between HER and Bill. And it was the Kara-Adama relationship that formed the emotional heart of this episode, and very painful it was too. I was devastated by the scene between Kara and Adama in Kara's cell. I know Adama's rejected her before and I've found that horrible, but I've never been so emotionally affected by it. The difference for me this time is that I feel Kara's wholly in the right. She has all my sympathy, and Adama, calling her 'stupid' and 'gutless', has none. What an ungenerous asshole he is. He's just plain wrong too: she HASN'T screwed over 'her only ally'. She has Lee! And she has Adama after all it turns out by the end of the episode. It's just so ugly that Adama had to put up this show first. Kara's spot on when she says he has to 'remind himself he's someone else'. That's exactly what this is: a big show to prove his loyalty to Roslin. Which he undercuts in the end anyway. Gah. Like Kara, I find Adama cowardly in this regard. And the fact he lashes out at Kara physically makes me nauseous. It's good to see that Kara's able to read that behaviour correctly though. Sick as it is, the violence of his reaction IS a sign that he still 'cares'. Oh, the frakked up Adama family!
OMG, how I cried! I was so startled and moved. For some reason I'd seriously just thought he'd amble off on his own and no-one would pay any attention. I thought it was terrific that they toasted his send-off, and even then I thought that's all there would be. You should have seen me when they all came to see him off. OMG, the TEARS! I'm just so happy for him. I don't think he's ever understood how much his pilots respect him.
And whee, Helo-Lee interaction! ALWAYS GOOD. *glee* Especially when Helo is taking Lee's hand and leading him to the drinks. *giggle*
I thought Lee's toasts were very nicely done, but I had my heart in my mouth because I thought he might toast Kara. Moving as that scene was, it didn't feel the same with her not being there. Mentioning her by name would have been too divisive, I guess, but it was obvious who Lee was thinking about when he toasted 'absent friends'. And the shipper in me couldn't help but squee that it came after he toasted husband and wives. Yes, he was saving the most moving toast for last and it was meant more generally as well: to all those who've been lost. But I'm sure he meant Kara, who was lost and who he's found again, but who is still physically absent in this scene.
(I also got the sense that Helo was right there with him on that page.)
Adama certainly got the point, turning to look at a picture of Kara on the flightdeck with Lee. And wow, that made me cry afresh.
That was the first flicker that Adama was changing his mind. And it was followed by us seeing he's put his ship back together again. With the Aurora figurine as it's figurehead? How very telling.
I found myself starting to dislike Laura in this episode. I really didn't like her snort about Lee's party. She's so bitter about the trial. And I get that. I just don't agree with her about it. And I get the feeling that in a more subtle way, just like Kara, she's starting to lose it a bit. She's dying and she's taking drugs. They're messing with her, and it showed in her abrupt attitude with Bill, I think.
I think among the complex reasons why Laura opposes Kara, there is also a streak of simple jealousy. 'Admiral Atheist' wouldn't call her experiences a miracle, but he suggests Kara's were. I liked the dialogue in that scene, particularly the 'so does doubt' line from Adama. I'm also glad he called her on being afraid she's not the dying leader she thought she was. I do feel for Laura--that's a testament to the acting, I think--but I believe Kara.
While I wasn't in sympathy with Laura for most of the scene, I do think her argument that Adama couldn't take any more loss was spot on the mark. In particular he doesn't want to face the reality that Laura is going to die. Again, their conversation also reflects on Lee. Laura's line 'you would rather be wrong about her and risk your own demise than risk losing her again' is the strongest criticism of Lee that can be made right now. If it's true of Adama, it's definitely true of Lee as well. But with Lee (if not with Adama) I just don't think it's the only reason he believes her. He's motivated by fear and love and joy, yes, but also by an inner conviction he's never really trusted before. As we see in the scene between them.
Which brings me to THE BEST PILOT SCENE EVER. Srsly. I can't stop watching it! I never thought I'd see this! I'm sure everyone's picspammed the hell out of it already, but I DON'T CARE.
Lookee! A Kara that is happy (joyful?) to see Lee!
A Lee that's all cute and sheepishly confiding his newfound direction in life to Kara. I love how he balances on the sides of his feet, like a little kid.
Kara's 'except me' line was very WTF to me. (And I'm sure Kara fans will scream at me for that!)
I'd already jumped to the 'ESPECIALLY you' line before he said it. So much so that I almost felt Lee's first line about never being about to say no was just a flirty lead-in to that suggestion.
I'm not sure how to read Kara's expression here but I was still moved by it.
I squeed with joy at Lee saying he finally understood what Kara meant about having a destiny. And at him saying he's ok with not having a reason 'why'. OMG LEE GROWTH!
Kara's smile seemed to speak of her pride and love in Lee in that moment, and I could feel him basking in that. She seemed so genuinely happy for him, which is generous when she's being prevented from following her OWN destiny.
Lee still stares at Kara just that fraction too long.
There must have been so many conflicted emotions for him in replying to Kara's 'so say we all': it's not ALL of them, it's these two on their own, and he's reminded that he's not in the fleet any more, not following his father.
I love the way Lee's emotions are mirrored on Kara's face. These two were so IN SNYC emotionally in this scene and that's so so rare.
And then she gets to her feet all cute and girlish and Lee looks so surprised.
Of course I started crying when she wished him goodluck. Goodluck sounds like goodbye (and it probably is--I suspect RDM will now push these two far apart again as he loves to do). But it's also so moving because Kara's goodwill means SO MUCH to Lee.
Kara looks like she's trying so hard to be upbeat despite everything--and I'm really moved that she made that effort for Lee.
But she can't hang on to it when she looks at him because he's so serious and can't hide his emotions as well as she can.
And of course they hang on to each other a bit too long, with Lee giving himself away with that extra hand.
Lee's slightly bashful smile here reminded me of their first scene together in the mini-series. And just like back then he thinks he's doing the right thing in hiding his heart from her.
MY heart did CARTWHEELS when I saw Kara's reaction to Lee turning away. I had stomach butterflies. I never thought I'd see her reach out for him so clearly.
While it held me on tenterhooks, I loved that Lee paused for moment. It was one of those now or never moments, and he could either play things by the book and leave, or follow his heart and turn back.
Of course he turned back! Didn't he just tell her he could never say no to her? I love the way their hands went up to cup each other's faces.
Kara needed those kisses! And yeah, maybe she just needed them from ANYone right now, but I choose to believe she needed them from Lee.
She also needed to hear 'I believe you'. And maybe it wasn't Lee's place to say it, he's not her husband, but I'm overjoyed for her that she got to hear it, and for Lee that he had the courage to tell her, to not leave her hanging and to admit the full extent of his feelings for her.
Now let's hope he's going to be Advocate for Kara in the government! :D
As if that scene wasn't enough for my L/K-splodey heart, they had to have Lee flashing back to Kara's praise of him from last season. Eeee! I *knew* that had meant the world to Lee, and it was great to hear that he carries it with him still.
When he walked on the flightdeck I actually thought Helo's 'attention to orders' was still part of a flashback! LOL. For a moment. and then I registered Lee's shocked expression.
And then I started crying AGAIN.
Laura must have been dragged there kicking and screaming, but it still meant a lot that she came. I did notice though that she grabbed Tory and scuttled out of there as fast as possible.
I love Lee's expression. *sniffles*
More great Lee-Helo interaction, with Lee wishing Helo 'good hunting' and Helo looking like he was the one that planned this... he certainly seemed super-happy about it at the very least.
It made me LOL that Lee chose to stop shaking hands on that side right before he got to Tigh.
And yes, even the Lee/Dee scene had me welling up. It was somehow appropriate that their farewell was in public. They've split up, and this seemed like a fitting acknowledgment of the professional aspect of their relationship. In some ways I feel like their personal relationship grew out of the professional connection, not just because their roles through them together and then they worked together, but also because Dee's attraction to Lee was based in admiring his Adama-like aspects.
Well, he's on a different path now but I think Lee does care about Dee and that was evident in his hug and his expression. I'm glad he was able to crack a joke with her, and that she laughed at it. I think both of them will be 'ok' now. Lee doesn't seem cut up about the break-up: he's got his destiny to follow. But I believe him when he says he'll miss Dee. He'll miss ALL of them. Galactica has been his family.
I still can't watch the Lee/Adama hug without crying and I've been watching this scene over and over all morning. *sniffles* I'm so so happy that Lee's following his heart, but I will miss him SO much as pilot and CAG. So very mixed emotions.
While the final scene with Adama changing his mind about Kara was awesome, I kind of feel it was unnecessarily melodramatic to have them pretend they were going to airlock her first. I choose to blame RDM for that, because otherwise it makes Helo a strangely sadistic friend. And the dialogue between Adama and Kara was still painful.
God, Adama frustrates the hell out of me. But I can't say that his actions aren't in character here. Last season when he had conflicted emotions he let Helo get away with foiling the genocide plan, this season he lets Kara go despite publicly supporting the president.
I don't know how Kara fans felt about that scene, but I wished Adama could have given her more than a stern instruction and a reluctant hug. A smile, for instance, would have been nice.
Phew. I'm exhausted now.