K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick! (bop_radar) wrote,
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!
bop_radar

Battlestar Galactica 4.03

I felt like my normal sympathies were all turned around during this episode. Cally has never been a sympathetic character to me, but I really enjoyed her storyline in this episode and felt terribly sorry for her. I found it the most compelling plot in the episode--and that's remarkable given that we had Lee in politics in the ep as well!

What made a big difference for me with Cally was the fact that she verbalised the problematic aspects of her relationship. I was always really disturbed by her marrying the Chief after he beat her up. I found her childlike and whiny and they'd always seemed to have more of a father-daughter relationship to me, so I was pretty disturbed by them winding up married. However, it really works for me to have Cally confronting the reality of her relationship, and even acknowledging that she 'all but proposed' to him after he broke her jaw--and that that was sick.

I loved the way that all their marital problems played into Cally's paranoia. We've seen what a strain their jobs place on the relationship, particularly the Chief's role. And last season they were used as a point of comparison for the Lee/Dualla relationship. Then it seemed like Chief/Cally was the stronger couple, but here we see them falling apart just as badly--complete with the Chief seeming to be pursuing an affair.

It's convincing to me that Galen would be losing it after discovering he was a Cylon (that all of the Four would be) and who else would there be to talk to except Tory? (It made even more sense once we learnt that Sam was no longer on board.) But it was also made clear that he wasn't pursuing anything sexual with Tory. The betrayal is much worse than that.

I thought it was an interesting choice to have Cally popping meds. (And I have MASSIVE issues with them portraying anti-depressants as something that create delusional behaviour, but I'll spare you all.) I kind of feel she would have freaked out just as much without them when she found out Galen was a Cylon, but I see how it also helped make her actions more comprehensible for the audience. Personally I find it convincing that a human in Cally's position (unbeknownst to them married to a Cylon with a Cybrid child) would suffer a psych break when they discovered the truth.

I loved the scene where Cally talks to the Chief after finding out he's a Cylon, flashing back through their entire relationship. The justoposition of her after being beaten up and then the shot of her heavily pregnant on New Caprica was particularly affecting. She must feel that he played on her own weak psyche to get her shacked up with him and to procreate. And then when he started talking about more children---waahhh! I was freaking out right with her, and my only fear was that in some way her child and her love for him would make her weak.

At first I expected Cally to tell someone. And really only the fact that she was drugged out and falling apart personally explains why she didn't. It's also kind of in character--she's always acted from quite a limited personal perspective. She's never really been concerned with the 'big picture'. And in this case she has her son to consider. Her Cybrid son. I think a very primitive instinct kicked in: for her to determine his fate. Some animals eat their own young when they are threatened. This felt very similar. If the Cylons found out about Nicky, they would take him from her--and it's clear that she's assumed that they've been deliberately using her with a plan to getting Nicky and other possible children from her. If humans found out Nicky was a Cybrid, he'd be taken away from her at best, or killed. Instead, she could die with him, since she had nothing left to live for. It made emotional sense.

But I also understand why she wasn't able to go through with it. There's nothing that puts things in perspective more than the innocence of a child. And when Tory reveals that they didn't know, that they've been, as Cally blurts out, triggered, she starts to lose resolve. Cally says she 'can't live like this', she can't process this situation where she's living beside Cylons who claim to be human. And yet, the reality of Nicky in her arms disarms her.

Tory really REALLY freaked me out in this episode. I started getting disturbed during her bar conversation with the Chief when she talked of being 'flooded with new sensations'. Is that really what it feels like for them? Or is Tory just reading too much into things and she's actually just turning to ambrosia as a form of hedonistic escape? 'Feeling new, feeling open to things, to change' was a very creepy line. And why are all the female Cylons so sexualised? Tory's only been a Cylon for a few episodes and she's already crawling all over every guy she meets. If her circumstances were isolated I'd say it was a coping mechanism, but all the female Cylons have developed sexual fixations with humans, and they all play up their sexuality (in different forms) to manipulate people.

Tory was particularly chilling where Cally was concerned. That shot of her drinking indulgently while Galen's marriage fell apart and Cally stormed from the room was really creepy and set the scene for her later actions. It was interesting to me that Tory was the one to find where Cally had been hiding: you would think that Tigh and Chief, as military officers, would be more tuned in to things being out of place.

And then--oh my god--that last scene. Tory was so horrible and deliberated. It seemed like she was driven to take Cally's child. (Which makes all Cally's worst fears completely valid.) She says she's not evil or inhuman and yet she is able to kill Cally in cold blood. Cally was a threat to their survival and so she died. There is no doubt that Tory is a Cylon.

What I was a bit confused by was whether her death would look like suicide or not. Will Galen know? That final shot of him sitting with Adama should have been creepy and affecting, but I was too busy wondering what it was that he was actually told about her death. Hmm.

Lee
YAY, politician!Lee! :) *bounces* I loved his acceptance speech--especially the fact that he acknowledged Roslin as his inspiration. He's coming to the role with humility, not just as a bratty son trying to overturn the status quo. He's respectful, and I love that. But I also love that he responds to the problematic information that Zarek lays before him.

I loved the Lee-Zarek scene: I thought it was terrific. Straight away, Zarek revealed both his agenda and some hard truths. Laura has shut Lee out. We knew that, but I can see Lee giving her the benefit of the doubt, believing that she would at least respect the role he fills as Caprican delegate. It's disconcerting but I agree with Zarek--she sidelined him very effectively and she's doing the same with Lee. I think she feels very comfortable with the idea of him as a 'junior delegate' and I also think she's pretty sure she can control him. She's wrong.

I love Zarek's reasons for nominating Lee. He said that what he was counting on was Lee being the kind of man who couldn't ignore the truth when it stares him in the face: he got that right. Lee does seem like the perfect choice for Zarek's goals. Zarek claims to be on Laura's side, he believes that she's trying to save all of them. But he does not like her methods of getting there. At first, Lee resisted being persuaded. He knows from the inside the reasons why secrecy is necessary. And I thought it was SO COOL that he verbalised it in suggesting that a 'benevolent tyrant' is what you need. That has been the (usually subtextual) argument so far since the Cylon attacks. And it held water for quite some time. They were at war, decisive and swift action was called for, there were military secrets that could spread dissent throughout the fleet, they were on the run, etc. But. This has become not a temporary state of affairs but a permanent shift in the system of governance. There is great danger in it being accepted without question.

And of course I love that Lee is going to be the one question it! I also trust Lee not to be just Zarek's puppet, just as he's not Laura's. He'll listen to all sides and come to his own conclusion. But right now he's just finding his feet, and I love the way he kind of came off as naive and inexperienced in this episode. I think that's appropriate given he's just starting out.

At the same time, I love the risks he took. It was great to say him say that he felt the military erred on the side of too much caution sometimes (wow, Lee!). And I loved his reaction to Roslin's slapdown. He wasn't crushed by her, he was just amused that she'd manoeuvred so fast to downplay him. Given how she relied on him in the early days of her presidency, it's particularly galling.

So Zarek is going to use Lee to voice concerns that he can't raise himself without losing his position? Very interesting. Laura seemed to clue in straight away to the fact that Zarek was the one to leak the executive order. And Laura moved very swiftly to answer those concerns. But I liked the way Lee put it forward. His words were strong 'it would damage the very idea of justice, even the illusion of the idea of justice' but his manner was so very quiet and humble. *loves*

Laura
Laura did a LOT to win back my sympathy when she answered the press question about Lee's role in the trial so graciously (complete with gentle arm touch--whee!). Lee looked really surprised and moved by her words. And, indeed, it is the kind of line from Roslin that used to make me fangirl her madly. I still kind of do, but I just wish that I could take it at face value; I have a terrible feeling that it was just the perfect line to get the press off her back. There's been no real sign that she's forgiven Lee personally and she didn't offer him these words personally.

And I *do* find that executive order really worrying, even if we buy that it was just a draft (though I think actually that was just swift thinking on Roslin's part). It seems like a continuation of what we've seen developing slowly for a long time--the concentration of power in Roslin's hands, the silencing of debate. And add to the that the close relationship with Adama and the fact that Adama is unwilling to argue strongly with her now, I think that's really dangerous. I love Laura the person, but I think she's losing perspective.

This is going to be very very interesting.

The Cylons
Among many things I was icked out by in this episode was Boomer sleeping with Cavill. Ewwwwwww!!!

But are the Cylons starting to parallel the humans? Seeing them start killing each other and consider boxing whole lines makes it feel as if they've become like humans themselves--turning on their own. And Cavill's line 'that'll teach me to trust in democracy' reminded me of Laura and how she rigged the election.

Of course it's true that the Sixes don't know what they've unleashed. I hate Cavill but he's got that right and it showed in Six not realising she had to say 'please' to the centurions now. How naive! The other aspect of not realising what she's unleashed is not realising just how dangerous it was to anger Cavill. He argues 'they started it' and that's as far as he worries. As is pointed out, he's not worried about his soul, he's not answerable to some greater purpose like the others. He acts coldly and blindly.

The Demetrius
Well there was I with visions of Kara cast off, friendless and all alone in a (literally) crappy ship. Or possibly with only Helo for company. But no. Turns out Bill gave her HALF THE CAST to take with her. *facepalm* How the hell was he ever going to keep that secret? Helo's gone. Athena's gone. Gaeta's gone. Half the pilots have come with her! I'm kind of doubly pissed with Adama over this now. If he was going to back Kara and give her resources (which is, don't get me wrong, very YAY), then why the hell not just do so openly and have it out with Laura? Let the fleet find out and let it be debated widely as it should be in a democracy. It's cowardly on two fronts--he was ungracious to Kara and duplicitous with Laura. And this man leads the fleet?

I really got the feeling that Lee was very much not in favour of the Demetrios remaining secret. He looked away when the question was posed in the press conference and later he spoke up and as much as confirmed the rumour in the Quorum meeting. He read as deeply frustrated with the secrecy. Why not admit that they're pursuing all paths to Earth? What's so dangerous in that? I think it's far more dangerous to act like a dictatorship that has secrets to hide. That's the kind of thing that leads to insurrections.

The establishment shot for the Demetrius with 'Mission: find Earth' on it was very, very cool. Once I got over the shock of discovering that she had half the cast with her, I found the claustrophobic paranoid atmosphere on board kind of fascinating. Kara playing the single-minded captain chasing a dream was very compelling--I particularly loved the lighting on having her walking up and down above them.

Beyond that, I don't know WHAT to make of Kara in this episode. She seems to be losing it, but not in the same way she was in the first two eps of the season. I guess she's not got the agony of jumping away from Earth anymore, but she still has the frustration of not having found Earth. Her post-coital ramblings seemed to imply that she thinks she's different. She says 'everything seems so far away' but I didn't get ANY sense of that from her in the last two episodes. When she came bouncing out of that viper and in the intensity of her scenes with Bill and Lee and even Laura, there was no sense of disconnection. If anything she seemed too engaged, too desperately jacked in to everything, even their coordinates, that she was emotionally overwhelmed. So I guess this sense of distance is a new thing? She certainly seems detached with Sammy.

But that kind of doesn't work because if this is how she feels now, then surely she's been like that since she got back from Earth, since she was resurrected? In theory, her description of feeling like she's watching herself but not living it, feeling disconnected from her own body, works for me as the feelings of someone who has been in some way artificially resurrected. But it doesn't seem to have been consistently portrayed, which makes me wonder if TPTB are trying to have their cake and eat it too: have Kara be 'different' and disconnected but also be able to nail big emotional confrontation scenes. Sigh. It's doing my head in. I will have to go find someone who understands Kara better.

I hated the Sam/Kara sex scene. And not just from Lee-related jealousy: really! I hated it from a Sam perspective. I was screaming at him to grow a backbone and not let her manipulate him like this. If the genders were reversed, having a man scream at his wife that he only married her because he was safe, that the marriage was meaningless, then have him attack her and then insist on sex would seriously gross people out--I'm sure. And this grosses me out just as much. If Sam didn't really love Kara, I might not feel so terribly about it, but I think he's completely devoted to her. She knows exactly how to tug him back in and that feels really sick and horrible.

If Sam wasn't a Cylon I'd feel even worse for him. But that's the other side of this equation. He IS a Cylon. Which makes me desperately worried for Kara. In the episode where Cally found out about Galen and completely lost it, it was pretty disturbing to see Sam still sleeping with Kara. These two are winding up more frakked up as Lee/Kara--who knew that was possible?! I think Sam's still clinging to a ray of hope that Kara is a Cylon and she'll come to realise this and they'll be ok. And I think that's blinding him to the reality that he is continuing to sleep with a human, even though he knows he's a Cylon. Can't he see how that's going to fuck with Kara's mind when she finds out? It's bad enough that she married a Cylon. But if she finds out Sam continued to sleep with her even when he knew he was a Cylon, she's going to feel even more betrayed, right?

It grossed me out MASSIVELY.
Tags: bsg_meta, bsgseason4
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