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

Battlestar Galactica 4.05 The Road Less Travelled

Same disclaimer applies as for my Smallville review, except with bonus fever! :D

I guess he was my Lee substitute in this episode. ;) Because seriously he was the best thing about it. He's so adorably snarky and level-headed! He's the only one of the mutineers who wasn't emotional about it. He didn't pick fights and he didn't scream or yell or woobie (sorry, Helo, but you did woobie a bit there at the end). He just firmly disagreed. With a streak of bitchy. *swoons* Putting Gaeta on that ship was the best thing they did! Without him there I think I'd find it quite tedious--he balances everyone else out quite well. :)

Ok, ok, I'll get over my crush and talk about the rest of the episode.

There was a bit too much Galen for my liking, so I'll get that part over with first. Since what we saw here was largely an extension of what we'd already seen in the previous episode, I found it unnecessarily drawn out. No doubt I'm biased because Tyrol's never been a character I've found particularly interesting, but I really wasn't in a lot of suspense about whether he would or wouldn't take Baltar's hand.

I do, however, think it's cool that Galen was working out that something didn't ping right about Cally's suicide. (Though the anti-depressants in this universe are somemwhat malleable--one week they make you delusional when you're fatigued, the next they prevent suicide? o.O) Tory is so Machiavellian. It was clever of her to confront Galen where she did (who would think that a murderer would do that?); it was clever of her to feed him the idea that Cally found out the truth (it explains some of the abnormalities--perhaps enough to get him off her back). Babbling about God and a Plan was a bit suspicious though. You'd think Galen would at least briefly remember that it's the CYLONS who worship one God. Agh!

That's ok: they're showing that the Cylons will eventually be drawn to Baltar (yay Tigh for resisting!), so I'll run with it. And how creepy is it that the Cybrid likes Gaius's speech? *shudders* I know lots of people find that kid cute but he's always really freaked me out and now that he's revealed as half-Cylon even more so.

Last episode we saw Baltar heavily influenced by the words that Tory said to him. In this episode she emphasises that no-one of significance has turned to Baltar and in the same episode we see him make a public appeal to Tyrol. Coincidence? I think probably not, though it's interesting that they chose not to have Six driving him in any way there. I guess they didn't need to because Baltar's own ego is enough to motivate him to try and sway someone who held such a key role in the fleet. But Galen's not in that role any more, so there's another question to be asked: was he drawn to call on Tyrol publicly because subliminally he's conscious of him as a Cylon? It seems very deliberate that first Tory and now Galen are connecting with him. In part it's because they came to him, but he's also responded to them very deliberately. I found that intriguing.

As for the Demetrius plot, I found it far more effective than the previous episode that featured the Demetrius. Rather than showing Kara only through the eyes of the crew this time, they also gave us access to her fears and insecurities, so I thought the whole set-up was a lot more well rounded. In particular I found Helo's position compelling. Helo is a good friend to Kara and a very good 2IC. He stays loyal to her as long as he can, for both personal and professional reasons. But it was obvious from early in the episode that he had grave concerns about her--again both professionally and personally.

It's easy to understand Helo's position: Kara appears totally out of control. She's rambling, she's not listening to other people, she admits she's terribly sleep deprived but insists on flying, and then she not only takes in a Cylon but decides to accept his offer of an alliance in order to find Earth. In addition he's got Sharon reminding him that Kara's probably afraid of facing Adama. She knows Kara, and Helo would know too that that's probably very likely to be the truth.

Of course, as the audience we're in the privileged position to see that that's not the only thing driving Kara not to make the rendez-vous. And personally I'm totally invested in her mission to find Earth. I believe that she's got a true destiny to do so. This destiny relies on instinct and intuition--which is a very internal process and one which it's going to be very hard to sell to others while things are going wrong. Kara's not the best leader in the world and she knows it (*nods to supacat for reminding me of that), but even with a good leader, it would be hard to convince the crew to rely solely on one person's flashes of insight under such conditions. Poor Kara: I really felt sorry for her.

I felt sorry for her, but I totally understand why the crew mutinied. I just wish more of them were doing so from a Gaeta-like (or even Helo-like) position and not from the stupid 'waah, our friend is dead and it's all your fault!' emotionalism. Because actually I think Kara's speech about Matthias's death was very moving and true: people die in war for no reason at all and because of stupid accidents and there is absolutely no sense to it. It's painful and horrible and she has to face that. I loved that this speech showed another instance of Kara facing truths more than she ever has in the past. It was hard for her to stand up and say that, but she did so anyway

(Momentary aside: I loved that Gaeta read this moment--wrongly--as the moment when she could be swayed emotionally. No, Gaeta: nice try, but the fact that she's facing the truth about her own culpability for M's death has nothing to do with her determination to keep on the path to finding Earth. Or if it does, it only makes her stronger.)

The role of Leoben in this was interesting. I have the usual mixed feelings that his character always inspires in me. It was fascinating to have him see the new Kara and be so insistent that she has changed. Given that he played some kind of role (at least symbolically in her dreamscape) in her Maelstrom journey, and given that he's always seen something 'special' about her, it's convincing that she would appear changed to him. He plays the role of a truthsayer or visionary in that respect. Kara herself rails against it, insisting she's just the same. But actually his words echo what we heard Kara herself say to Anders: that nothing feels the same any more, that she's changed.

I'm inclined to feel that Leoben's words on this score are true. Regardless of how I feel about Leoben kidnapping Kara on New Caprica, he has some kind of insight into Kara-as-destinyfigure, and I do think what we're seeing is a Kara who is 'purged of questions and doubt'. She's faced reality about key figures in her life (Adama, Anders, Lee) since she got back in a way we haven't quite ever seen her do before. But she's still falling back on old coping mechanisms--as Leoben is quick to point out--but they feel empty. We saw her find the sex with Sam empty, and now she doesn't seem to get the satisfaction she once would have from beating the crap out of Leoben. So Kara, it would seem, has changed. That makes her a lot more open and vulnerable as well as (at least potentially) more at peace with herself.

What worried me a bit was him saying that 'God has taken her hand'. Is that just Leoben's way of explaining to himself the change? Or is there an ACTUAL GOD who was instrumental in Kara's journey. If it turns out that there is, and that it's either Baltar's God or the Cylons' God or both, I'm going to be seriously pissed off. ;) So let me fanwank that for now as Leoben just explaining it in his own religious terms.

There were two things which puzzled me about this episode but I'm not sure if it's just the fever muddling my head. One was why no-one made a bigger deal out of the fact that Leoben was clearly only coming to Kara because his own survival was at stake. I would have thought that would have been a good logical argument to put to her. But I guess Kara's more likely to react to the emotional context--the only time she shows doubt in Leoben is after M's death.

The other thing that bothered me was why were people not more disturbed that the Cylons knew about Earth and how to get there? what the hell is the point of going to Earth if the Cylons will be there too? *perplexed* I'm doubly perplexed on Kara's count. I can understand her resorting to an alliance with the Cylons in order to find out the information about getting to Earth, because I do buy that she is just that desperate, and Leoben's always been a weak point for her, but I kind of wanted more of a sign that she felt confident they could ditch the Cylons at some later stage. Because the idea of repopulating Earth together? Not that appealing!

On the other hand, I wonder if that's where the show is going and they're just expecting us to run with that. Because they definitely seemed to be building this encounter in as part of Kara's 'journey of intuition'. She says she 'knew he was out there' and something led her to get in the Viper that day, rather than any other. Because I'm personally invested in her finding Earth, I tend to believe that if they HAD followed Kara's orders they would have got there. But would they also, perhaps, have been leading humankind to the destruction as the prophecy in Razor suggested? Possibly.

The other interesting scene was the Leoben-Sam scene. I don't quite think Leoben recognised Anders as one of the Final Four, but it came close, with him saying Anders and Kara are destined to be enemies. That's an interesting piece of (potential) foreshadowing but I get the feeling Anders is going to fight that idea for as long as possible. Will he and Kara tear off together to unite with the Cylons? Please no! ETA: Apparently I completely misheard this part! Leoben speaks of Anders having a destiny, waiting for a 'singular moment of clarity', but I haven't actually ever got this sense from Anders. We've seen Tory react to her discovery that she's a Cylon that way: she's embraced it as the biggest Truth in her life. But Sam is very conflicted, he appears to be quite lost still, so I'm wondering if (if we believe Leoben can see the truth about people), there's some future 'moment of clarity'/destiny for him, beyond the Cylon reveal.

Sam's 'Ok, everyone needs to think about what they're doing here' line had me totally *rotfl*. I had to pause to recover. That has to be the stupidest thing ever invented to say mid-mutiny. You don't mutiny on a whim. Hee! And it's not as if he hasn't heard them doing that thinking aloud for the last 50 days. It was kind of adorable because it was so well-intentioned and yet at the same time so completely ineffectual. And I'm so glad Kara reacted as she did. You could see her inner self rolling her eyes and saying 'er, hon, not helping: they HAVE'.

Drama-wise, I thought the Demetrius plot was really interesting, but I came out of it feeling really sad on two counts:
1. For Helo and the Kara-Helo friendship, which I love and which I hate to see destroyed. I think it totally destroyed Helo to do this, on several levels, and that look of hatred in Kara's eyes at the end really stung.
2. For Kara, because she is so very very alone still. And she's going to lose the path to Earth all over again. :(
Tags: bsg_episodes, bsgseason3

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