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04 May 2008 @ 02:31 pm
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. :(
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
 
 
 
katiebugs18katiebugs18 on May 5th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
He's so adorably snarky and level-headed!

Oh I totally loved Gaeta this week. The part where he agrees that Sam should go find out what Leobon wants...'yeah you go do that' is so great.

As for the Demetrius plot, I found it far more effective than the previous episode...

This was the only part of the episode that didn't make my head spin with confusion, though I did have plenty of questions.

The role of Leoben in this was interesting...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 does make a lot of sense but I can't help feeling that Kara was confusing this Leoben, the Leoben who kidnapped her on New Caprica with the Leoben of her dreamscape. She's obviously feeling a bit desperate and his appearance isn't helping matters because instead of helping her (as I'm sure she originally hoped) it only serves to make her more resolutely befuddled. She knows she's suppose to find Earth, that she's capable of finding Earth but things aren't going so well and she's beginning to freak out and at the same time dig in. I'm really curious to see exactly where they're going with this.

Apparently I completely misheard this part!

See, I don't think you did. I agree with what you said about Sam not having his moment of clarity yet but I still got the sense that Leoben might have sensed something about Sam. Though why he could sense something and it's been shown many times that Sharon doesn't sense anything I have no idea. It could be specific to his model. We'll have to see.

And hey, speaking of Sharon, am I the only one that's a bit...befuddled by her character at the moment. It's clear she hasn't sensed the other four but you'd think that when Leoben comes on bored talking about a civil war breaking out between the Cylons or the destruction of resurrection ships the crew would of had her at least talk to him to get a better sense if he was lying or not. I know she committed to being human 100% but this wouldn't be a betrayal since it would be a great help. I'm just asking.

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...

I will be devastated if they blow up this friendship. Especially after being over the moon that they were bringing it back to the forefront. I just wanted to give Helo a great big hug at the end and tell him that everything will work out. Please let it work out. Pretty please.

2. For Kara, because she is so very very alone still. And she's going to lose the path to Earth all over again.

All I could think about was that she needed Lee to support her unquestionably and to give her a hug.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Pilots: co-pathetic foreverbop_radar on May 6th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
The part where he agrees that Sam should go find out what Leobon wants...'yeah you go do that' is so great
Hahaha, yeah, he was beautiful in that moment! It makes me wish he was in ALL Galactica scenes just how he could snark at everyone. ;)

I can't help feeling that Kara was confusing this Leoben, the Leoben who kidnapped her on New Caprica with the Leoben of her dreamscape
Yeah, that's a really good call. I think that's exactly what was happening with her emotionally and it makes me really worried for her.

Though why he could sense something and it's been shown many times that Sharon doesn't sense anything I have no idea. It could be specific to his model.
I think it's specific to his model. He's supposedly got this 'spirituality'/intuitive aspect. He knew who Kara was when he first met her--I think it's the same thing at play with Anders.

you'd think that when Leoben comes on bored talking about a civil war breaking out between the Cylons or the destruction of resurrection ships the crew would of had her at least talk to him to get a better sense if he was lying or not. I know she committed to being human 100% but this wouldn't be a betrayal since it would be a great help. I'm just asking.
I know. Stacks of people have complained about that and I think it's a case of really sloppy writing. I gather Sharon wasn't always originally going to be on the mission and it feels like they didn't think through the consequences of bringing her along.

I just wanted to give Helo a great big hug at the end and tell him that everything will work out. Please let it work out. Pretty please.
I know! :(( I think I feel pretty flat after this episode because I was looking forward to seeing some cameraderie between those two, some support in a difficult time, and instead they tore apart another relationship. :( It better start getting more positive soon!

All I could think about was that she needed Lee to support her unquestionably and to give her a hug.
Yeah it feels like that last hug has worn off, huh? I'm getting more and more anxious with the two of them being separated and I just hope that somehow they'll meet up soon. Kara needs someone to reality check her at the moment, without undermining her. I don't see who could do that except Lee or possibly Adama. No, Lee. Adama's reality check would be more like a kick in the teeth.
katiebugs18katiebugs18 on May 6th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Stacks of people have complained about that and I think it's a case of really sloppy writing.

I totally agree. I think that's been an issue for a lot of the things we're seeing this season and it's shocking because while BSG has always had a few continuity issues and a few things that we just ignore on good faith it's never been outright bad in it's writing. I can't help feeling that the writers have so much going on that they're just throwing ideas out there and they're sticking because it can all be explained away by 'embracing their Cylonself' or 'Cylon civil war' or 'search for Earth' and because all those things are chaotic it allows them to be sloppy. Which is a bit inexcusable and means that no one is really looking at the big picture that's suppose to be up on those big white boards in the writers room. (Umm, sorry, that rant was a bit more ranty than intended)

I gather Sharon wasn't always originally going to be on the mission and it feels like they didn't think through the consequences of bringing her along.

You mean like there being a two year old who's wandering around Galactica because Daddy and Mommy went to find Earth with Aunty Kara? Sharon's characterization has been off ever since the first episode.

I think I feel pretty flat after this episode because I was looking forward to seeing some cameraderie between those two, some support in a difficult time, and instead they tore apart another relationship. :(

I was too!! My one consolation is, given Helo's nature, this relationship is completely salvageable. Helo will be devastated for a while and Kara will be pissed off and they'll both feel a bit betrayed but, in the end, they'll make up. I refuse to believe anything else.

It better start getting more positive soon!

It really has to. I hate feeling so...blah about my show and my characters and my girl. They just need to start bringing all the treads together so it's more coherent and compact and less confusing. Oh, and give us a teensy bit of shmoopy.

I'm getting more and more anxious with the two of them being separated and I just hope that somehow they'll meet up soon. Kara needs someone to reality check her at the moment, without undermining her.

Lee is absolutely the only one who can do it. Honestly, I think he needs to do exactly what he did in the brig: just give her a hug and tell her he believes her and let her lean on him. And then sit her down and walk her through everything to get it all sorted out in her head. Everyone else has too much baggage: Adama has Laura and her visions breathing down his neck (and yeah, he'd totally kick her in the teeth, Sharon was right that Kara is afraid of what Adama would say); Sam's dealing with being a Cylon and hoping/wishing/praying Kara is one too; Leoben wants Kara to be an "Angel" and do her whole destiny/spiritual thing; Helo tried but couldn't break through...Lee is the only one who wouldn't bring any Karadestiny baggage. All his baggage is personal and he'd absolutely put that aside in order to help her with this. Yeah, we definitely need to get Lee to the Demetrius...or something.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee/Kara trustbop_radar on May 7th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
Which is a bit inexcusable and means that no one is really looking at the big picture that's suppose to be up on those big white boards in the writers room. (Umm, sorry, that rant was a bit more ranty than intended)
Hee hee. It is perfectly fine. I am fuming too! ;)

given Helo's nature, this relationship is completely salvageable. Helo will be devastated for a while and Kara will be pissed off and they'll both feel a bit betrayed but, in the end, they'll make up
Surely!?! I just get nervous with the dodgy writing around and worried that they'll forget to wrap up the relationship issues in their urgent desire to deal with all the Cylon/Earth/survival stuff.

All his baggage is personal and he'd absolutely put that aside in order to help her with this. Yeah, we definitely need to get Lee to the Demetrius...or something
It seems obvious, doesn't it?! :( The writers clearly know this, hence them keeping Kara and Lee apart to up the 'angst' factor for Kara. Grr. I would be hopeful that the rendezvous with Galactica could provide an opportunity for Lee to hear that Kara is in some trouble and seize the chance to go see her, but I fear the writers will contrive to make this impossible. :( My hopefulness is slowly leaking out of me... they need to make it better SOOOOOOOON.
katiebugs18katiebugs18 on May 7th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
Surely!?! I just get nervous with the dodgy writing around and worried that they'll forget to wrap up the relationship issues in their urgent desire to deal with all the Cylon/Earth/survival stuff.

A truly valid concern because this is exactly something that they'd toss aside and leave unresolved because they don't consider it as important as writing another scene where Baltar spouts off more esoteric religious stuff that means exactly the same thing as the last time he opened his mouth. :-(

The writers clearly know this, hence them keeping Kara and Lee apart to up the 'angst' factor for Kara. Grr.

They really are and I don't have much hope for this week either.

My hopefulness is slowly leaking out of me... they need to make it better SOOOOOOOON.

SERIOUSLY. I mean, we've dealt with all kinds of depressing stuff with this show and taken it likes champs but this...this is getting a bit out of hand. We need something people, just a teensy bit. PLEASE!

And least I can moan and groan and vent with such great company.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara Lee no usbop_radar on May 8th, 2008 05:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, griping is more fun in company but it still makes me all :((
Allisonfrolicndetour on May 6th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Apparently I completely misheard this part!

See, I don't think you did. I agree with what you said about Sam not having his moment of clarity yet but I still got the sense that Leoben might have sensed something about Sam.


I watched it again with closed-caps on and the full line is "I'm glad you're here. Did you and Kara get things worked out? Because you should - you weren't meant to be enemies." (It's also "an angel eager to lead HER people home," and not "and you're going to lead OUR people home," which also caused some consternation. *g* I love CKR but he needs to enunciate!) But I think you're right and Leoben definitely sensed something about Sam - I don't think he's put it together, but he's "seeing the patterns" as it were.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on May 7th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
It's also "an angel eager to lead HER people home," and not "and you're going to lead OUR people home," which also caused some consternation. *g* I love CKR but he needs to enunciate!
Truly he does! Such important lines and we couldn't make them out! 'Eager to lead HER people home' leaves it a lot more ambiguous. Otherwise it sounds like he's inviting Kara and Sam to join him in Happy Cylon Heaven where they massacre humans for sport or something...

Leoben definitely sensed something about Sam - I don't think he's put it together, but he's "seeing the patterns" as it were
Yeah, that's what I thought too. Leoben's so oblique but he picks up on peoples' (or Cylons'!) energies, so I buy that there would be vibes coming off Sam now he's aware he's a Cylon.
katiebugs18katiebugs18 on May 7th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
It's also "an angel eager to lead HER people home," and not "and you're going to lead OUR people home," which also caused some consternation.

I can't remember what I thought it was specifically but I do like that he said "her people" which would lead one to believe that Leoboen was referring to an angel in her religious hierarchy, not his. And angels in Kara's religion are minor deities like Aurora. Which leads more credence to the belief that she's a bit more than human since she came back.