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11 May 2008 @ 04:51 pm
Battlestar Galactica 4.06 Faith  
I haven't been talking about it. I've been afraid to do so. But I've been really struggling with Battlestar this season. If you're feeling the love, you probably want to skip by this post.

This episode was, where I was concerned, ironically titled given that it was the episode in which I lost all faith in the show and it's capacity to produce an ending that I will be at all satisfied with. My loss of faith was pretty sudden. It started last week when I had a realisation about where RDM was taking the show and why he thought that would be successful (which I'll get to below). But I didn't write about it immediately, even though I felt like doing so. I thought I'd wait and see whether I was wrong. But this episode confirmed my fears completely.

daybreak777 completely selflessly and generously offered to watch the episode with me (I think she sensed that I was struggling) and I feel really guilty for being bleak all over her squee. So I honestly urge you not to read this review if you are at all squeeful about the show still! Because I wish I was. I still love it to pieces, I love the characters to pieces and I will be watching (and writing) until the last second, because that's what I'm like. I'm a completionist and I'm very loyal. I'm not giving up BSG, but something fundamental has shifted for me.

Not onboard
Let me put it this way: I feel like by this stage in the series RDM wants us all to be on a certain boat, being carried towards the final horizon. But I got left on the shore. It's not a shippy thing; it's not even specific to Lee! I'm actually very happy about Lee's plot this season so far, and I think during the first few eps that insulated me from the realisation that I wasn't onboard with the show overall. I was just squeeful to have the show, and Lee, and Kara/Lee, back.

But Season 4 is, we know, the final season, and we also know that RDM has a very specific ending in mind. I've been growing increasingly uneasy about what that ending will entail. All the signs are that it will involve humans and Cylons uniting, despite the past conflict. Now, that actually sounds ok to me in theory. In fact I remember once ages ago having a conversation with queenofthorns, in which she argued that the Cylons should never be forgiven for the genocide. I sympathised with that viewpoint but, at the time, was more moderate in my response. At that time I still held hope that the show would show us that some of the Cylon models were collectively capable of change and remorse. The humans are not perfect either and I also expected that the show would, at some stage, explore the ways in which the humans were responsible for the creation of the Cylons in the first place. I was, therefore, able to give the show the benefit of the doubt about making that ending successful--because hypothetically it could work, if the storytelling was strong enough.

It's been clear to me this season that this is exactly the ending that RDM is pushing for. We've got Kara and her ambiguous destiny, that is linked intrinsically with the Cylons. We've got Gaius promoting Cylon monotheism and people totally buying into it. I can see the writing on the wall. But what was puzzling me, until last week, was why RDM would think that we'd swallow such an ending. Because, to me, they haven't done enough to show that the Cylons are capable of remorse and real change. There are a couple of individuals--Athena and Caprica--who have proved capable of that. I trust neither of them fully, even now. I do like them and find them fascinating characters, but they're hardly representative of their race: they're the anomalies. I think it was asta77 who said to me recently that just as there are some terrible members of humanity, there are some 'good' Cylons. But I wouldn't damn all humanity on the actions of a minority; likewise I can't embrace all Cylons because a couple of them are sympathetic.

So why does RDM think we'll swallow this? I was genuinely puzzled, and that made me hope that perhaps a more subtle ending was in store. Surely RDM couldn't really think he'd made the Cylons sympathetic enough to us yet? I had expected there to be a lot of development with the Cylon morality this season if he was going to sell that idea; but we haven't seen that. And then it dawned on me! He does think he's done enough already--and he thinks that because of the Final Four reveal at the end of Season 3. He thinks that the audience will be invested enough in at least one of those characters, and interested enough in their journey of self-discovery, that they will want the Cylons to be sympathetic. They will want a 'way out' for their Cylon favourite.

His logic is probably quite sound. After all in choosing the Final Four, he's covered a fair range of characters. There's Tigh, who as Adama's best friend carries a lot of gravitas. There's Galen, who is a popular likeable 'everyman'. There's Sam, who is wildly popular and is intimately connected with Kara (another favourite), and there's Tory. Ok, Tory seems like the weak card, but some people do like her, she's linked to Roslin and they probably needed at least one woman. ;) I think it's no coincidence that it's Tory who they've played as most embracing her Cylon identity. She was the most expendable of the Final Four because she had the smallest following. It would have been less interesting if all of them had rejected their identity. But in having one of the embrace it, the stakes are upped.

Trouble for me is: I don't care about any of these characters. I didn't like them much before they were revealed as Cylons and I don't like them any better now. There was a brief moment where I thought I might get into Sam's angst, but then he started acting like a complete nitwit and lost me again. Of all of the four, I probably like Tigh the most, but I still find him a rather repugnant bigoted individual. He makes for compelling television, but he's not sympathetic to me. But. If he was. If any of them were, I might be finding this season a lot more suspenseful because I'd be torn. I'd be wanting the humans to find Earth and freedom from the war, but I'd also be wanting my Cylon character to find a torture-less future too.

So, in short, I understand why heaps of people are still on board with the show, but I'm not. Two other factors are compounding my feelings: the monotheism versus polytheism issue, and the sexual politics.

Monotheism versus polytheism
I've never been the biggest Baltar fan, but I don't think that's the reason I'm finding this plotline distasteful. I'm actually quite entertained by Baltar himself and rather fascinated with the way that Head!Six is controlling him. However, what I don't like is this shift to monotheism. Laying my cards on the table: I'm an atheist, and all the religious aspects of the show have been a bit of a struggle for me. I was willing to run with them, but I was way more comfortable with the idea of multiple deities that are, as Laura described this week, not meant to be read literally. Instead we've got this shift to monotheism, complete with a lot of Christian overtones. And boy, am I NOT on board with that.

I'm sure many people will disagree with me, but it's my own personal belief that monotheism has caused a great deal of violence and a great many attrocities in our own world. I do not see it as an improvement on polytheism and I hate the suggestion that it is. Doubly, as an atheist, I find all this 'God loves me just the way I am'/'I am perfect' stuff absolutely repugnant. Under that ethos, you can commit any act as long as you wash your sins away with 'God' afterwards. Bleugh.

On a lighter note, I just find monotheism way more boring. If I had to make up a fictional world, I would never make it monotheistic. So many shows have used religious imagery that has parallels to Christianity (or another monotheistic religion) to great effect. Been there. Done that. I thought BSG was more interesting!

Furthermore, monotheism has been the Cylon belief system since the beginning and yet all these human characters are turning to it after all? I find that hard to believe. Seeing Laura have her own religious experience and consider the possibility that Baltar could be telling the 'truth' this week was the final straw for me. Until that point, I could understand Laura's own feelings about religion. She liked the ceremonies, the traditions, and she maintained an open mind about the mysticism. But she didn't read the scriptures too literally. I loved the scene between her and Emily where she expressed her sorrow about her mother and the way her mother had clung to religious hope. Her description of their being 'nothing' reminded me of Lee's death. No bright shining lights, no welcome home party. Just darkness. However, seeing Laura on an actual boat later really shocked me. I didn't buy it, I couldn't swallow it. It shocked me out of the show. Unlike Adama, I was not convinced by Laura (or Baltar) one bit.

Sexual politics
This could be a whole other post, and really I don't see a lot of point in going into it in depth as many people have written about it better than I could. But as an extra irritation, I find the sexual politics of BSG increasingly suspect. I used to love the show for its strong female characters, and I guess I still do. But they've also diminished and sexualised so many of their female characters (all but Laura: which can be read as ageism). Every week, something hits my squick button. If it's not Tory being pimped to Baltar or Kara acting like a wifebeater, it's Boomer/Cavill (ewww with the unnecessary!). Or, this week, the gratuitous Six/Six kiss. I could live without all of that. It makes it feel like RDM's just creating his own personal fanservice every week. Heaven forbid that a week go by without Baltar or Kara or preferably both getting off with someone. Usually for no good reason.

Faith
So. This week's ep. I actually thought it was quite good--certainly better than last week's. It was powerful story-telling, just not story-telling in a direction that I liked.

And the second week in a row with no Lee? NOT COOL.

Things I liked: the suspense (waiting for Kara versus getting Gaeta's leg treated); Laura's scenes (so emotionally resonant and powerful); Kara acting, at least for some of the episode, with a clear head.

Things I really didn't like: Sam's behaviour throughout, all the Cylony anvilly stuff for Kara, and the implication that Baltar is right.

Sam drove me absolutely fucking batshit, excuse my language. I have tried with his character, I have really tried. But I think I have to give up at this point. I cannot believe that he responded to the mutiny by staging his own personal mutiny and pulling a gun on a senior officer. Of all the dangerous, escalative actions! That could have ended in a total bloodbath. Not to mention being professional suicide for him. And then he actually shot Gaeta. Gah. I've always felt Sam wasn't really cut out to be a soldier (that's pretty much been textualised on the show) so him becoming a pilot was always problematic to me. And this episode brought all my fears to life. He has no respect for authority, he is a total loose cannon, he acts on his own personal emotion, with no logic whatsoever. What was he going to achieve exactly by holding everyone at gunpoint and asking 'do you wanna know who's in charge?'?!

His actions were so out of line--as shown by the fact that Kara herself couldn't bring herself to talk to him afterwards. She, thankfully, kept a level head and a clear sense of priorities. In fact I think his actions were so totally out of control that in some ways it helped trigger Kara's decision to go it alone. She didn't want to be associated with his crazy actions at all. (Of course, that was undermined by her agreeing to take him along. OMFG, WHY? I'm going to fanwank that she just couldn't be bothered arguing with him. But it did make me DEEPLY WORRIED that she was heading off in a raptor with three Cylons.)

I did think the dramatic set-up was excellent though. And they remembered that Athena is a Cylon! \o/ Having her go on the mission both made sense and added dramatic tension to Helo waiting until the last minute for their return. daybreak777 can confirm that I called Jean's death as soon as she was accepted for the mission (and what, are they killing off every support cast member one by one now? Will Seelix or Racetrack be next?). There was no other reason for her to be there: so slightly less tension there.

I have been very curious to find out more about the Cylon civil war, so I was pleased that we got to do so this episode. But on a personal level I found it tragic that Kara's destiny turned out to be the Cylons. Having her comet turn out to be a Cylon basestar made me feel physically nauseous. All that hope of freedom and human survival... turns out to be a Cylon plot. I know several people have suggested that Kara's death was faked by the Cylons and now I'm starting to think that too. The alternative is that she is an Angel to them, as Leoben suggests, luring the humans to their deaths. Neither possibility bodes well for humanity.

There were some fantastic scenes on the Cylon basestar though. I loved Athena's speech to the other Eights. 'You don't cut and run when things get ugly' (Waah, that's exactly how I feel about BSG!) 'You pick your side and you stick.' For better or worse, I, like Athena have picked humanity. And her call seems really true about the other Eights: they're flaky.

The scene where Six confronted Jean was likewise very powerful. I like the continuity and I felt it proved one of the many reasons it's going to be hard for humans and Cylons to co-mingle: they are going to be looking into the faces of their killers. Tricia is such a great actress--she really sold me on that Six model's pain and inability to let go of the memory of being killed. I thought Jean was surprisingly blase and reckless in making the call she did--given how dangerous it was for them to be there with so many Cylons, and given how tenuous the agreement to work together was. At the same time, I was upset by Jean's death. She was an interesting character, and I'd liked the little riffs between her and Sam last season. It worked dramatically to have him there and have him freak out about her death, but omg, once again proving what a bad soldier he makes. Kara even tried to talk him down, and still he ignored her. I see that it's in character, but it pained me. Likewise Sharon proves, once again, that she's a more hardcore 'human' than humans--arguing that since they've killed 'one of us' revenge is justified. I must say all of this made Kara look pretty good. But it was still agonising to watch.

The fact that one Six was able to so calmly justify the killing of another only confirms to me what a mistake it would be for the humans to trust her.

And yay, Kara for finding the Hybrid hopelessly obtuse! Worried as I am about the end of the show, I really didn't need to hear the Hybrid's dire warning from Razor again. And this time it came with bonus other hints. Kara is a 'spark of God's fire' (would that be Baltar's god?), her children will be find their own country and then 'end of line' (Cylon-human hybrids?). And oh, my poor Kara! To have to hear that prophecy herself. Her shock was so terrible. :( All this time she's been chasing her destiny, only to discover it's to be a destroyer.

The Eight's death was moving largely because of the way that it built on previous scenes. Her asking for Athena's forgiveness was very moving. And while I don't empathise with him, I found it interesting (aka chilling) that Anders was so drawn to offer her the comfort that Athena herself could not. He proves himself 'more human' than them--and that was, I think, his motivation in doing it. I wish I could have seen it as a selfless compassionate act, but it seemed more like he was trying to prove something, trying to redeem his previous destructive actions. And wow, if Kara wasn't so distractedly in shock, you'd think the alarm bells would definitely be ringing that he was a Cylon by now.

I like the amp up in the stakes though: D'Anna will reveal the final Five. I wonder if she really will... seems like Anders might step in to prevent that happening. But it's intriguing, for sure. What will Kara do with the idea that she may be humanity's destroyer? She's already forged an alliance with at least some Cylons... if she thinks that through she may conclude that prophecy is correct. I would hold out hope that that might stop her pursuing her destiny if they hadn't made it so clear that it was physically painful for her not to. Waah!

Laura
I thought Laura's scenes were superlative this episode. I totally felt for her, to the point where I found them very hard to watch. I loved her dialogue with Emily--though I firmly took Laura's side in the religious debate until the end. It was only once we got to the boat vision that it lost me. And here I just don't know what to do. I'm not onboard. I have suspected all season that Laura is the Final Cylon, and this makes me more certain than ever. She resisted Baltar's religion not just because it was Baltar but also because it was a Cylon God. And now she's turning to it? I know she's dying but that's a big stretch for me. Unless it's part of a grander plan. Setting her up as the 'dying leader' is something I can totally imagine being part of the Cylons' Plan.

Forgive me for fearing the worst but this ain't going to end well.

And I missed Lee desperately. And also my Lee-subsitute, Gaeta, had his leg destroyed. And eeek with the foreshadow-y conversation with Helo about having it amputated. :((

It's all NO GOOD. Woe is Bop. But I'll still be tuning in next week...
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
 
 
 
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara destinybop_radar on May 11th, 2008 11:25 am (UTC)
It used to be good, skuf! HONESTLY! *clings* :(
How are you finding it? Compelling or batshit? I'm intrigued to know how a new fan is finding it.
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(no subject) - bop_radar on May 11th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
wisteria: bsg - kara - contemplativewisteria_ on May 11th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC)
I need to get some sleep, but I wanted to offer hugs and say that all this made me really sad, though I understand why you feel that way.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee solacebop_radar on May 11th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
Thank you. I have been very quiet about BSG of late. I thought I should shut up about my bleak view, but it was eating me alive and I kind of just needed to get it all out there, you know? I don't want to bring anyone else down though. *conflicted*
daybreak777: found my pathdaybreak777 on May 11th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)
Hey! You did not drown my squee! As long as Kara and Gaeta live to fight another day on BSG, I will be squeeful! (Though this week was close for my little Gaeta.) So no guilt, Boppy!

As we discussed, you could be wrong about the ending. Probably not, but who knows?

I also expected that the show would, at some stage, explore the ways in which the humans were responsible for the creation of the Cylons in the first place.
That would be cool. I don't know, they still could do this. I hope so.

What I am glad about is that you and I on on board the same Do Not Trust the Cylons ship. And the NO UNITING Express. It's not that I dislike the Cylons. I just don't see why when I watch TV the idea that everyone must solve conflict melding together ala Federation, and living happily ever after. Why can't people be separate and different and yet at peace? I'm missing the Prime Directive here. Live and let live. I think the Cylons could live their own existence irregardless of the humans and not always chasing them or trying to be like them either.

As for the Cylon to draw me in . . . eh? I really like Sam, he seems most human to me. But I am convinced he'll be dead by ep ten. I could be wrong, but he was never supposed to survive this long. It's hard to connect with anyone, Cylon or human because any of them could die. I spent this whole ep seriously worried about Gaeta. Still worried about Gaeta.

I find that hard to believe. Seeing Laura have her own religious experience and consider the possibility that Baltar could be telling the 'truth' this week was the final straw for me
Laura is dying. She is looking for something because she is scared. They are all looking for something to believe in. Like Adama, I believe in her, in Kara, in Lee. I believe they can survive and establish a brave new world. I just can't believe people are buying Baltar's
"message". (Which is what, exactly?) I am not buying it one iota. It's Gaius Baltar, people.

The sexual politics I agree to a certain extent. Except the gratuitiousness isn't exactly new. I think they just don't always know how to reign in the eww or the ohmygodhot! And it does pull some viewers in, I wish the show could be more critical and intelligent about this aspect of itself, but it's too late in the game, I think. Which is too bad.

And then he actually shot Gaeta.
I cannot defend this. It was stupid. I think even Sam knows this. I know he loves Kara. I love Kara. But Gaeta! But Sam is so lost too. They all need hugs! HUGS.

I would hold out hope that that might stop her pursuing her destiny if they hadn't made it so clear that it was physically painful for her not to.
Aww, Bop! You need hugs too! They've made us care about all of them. Laura and Gaeta and Kara. I don't buy Kara as literal destroyer, despite the people who died this ep and will die in future. She is so going to make this thing her own, write her own destiny. I am so sure of this!

So, I don't see it all as no good. It's buildup. It's going to get better. But the uniting thing really worries me. I think it's not great story telling. Kinda boring. But I can't think of how I want this to end otherwise, with the characters I love still alive. Sigh. I wonder if anyone else has speculations.

See? You didn't bring me down. :-) I've got plenty of optimism! I'm so glad you shared your thoughts. I've missed hearing them.

And they are not taking his leg! Don't frak with my Gaeta, BSG. :-0

Edited at 2008-05-11 01:10 pm (UTC)
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K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on May 11th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
because on rewatch I've largely come to accept individual Cylons like Sharon-Athena and of course, I still love Colonel Tigh even when sometimes I completely disapprove of him and I love the Chief
That's really interesting: the individual Cylons worked on you! They were SO the wrong people to pick for me!! I don't care about any of them. I'd happily kill them all off. I'd find some of their deaths moving but I would be fine with them dying as part of the end of the show. And I think I am THE ONLY ONE THAT FEELS THIS WAY.

The only ones I sort of care about are Caprica and Athena, and I could live with them being sacrificed if it had to come to that.

I don't think it's psychologically or emotionally real to think that the HUMANS could forget and forgive the genocide in such a short span of time as the show's
It's not.

I fear that RDM is heading towards some kind of Cylon-Human Reconciliation. That stuff takes DECADES and is never truly resolved in the first generation of survivors, IMO.
He is.

It can't be resolved in the first generation, no. Though I *have* tried thinking about it in our-world terms. And there ARE examples around the world where genocide perpetrators and genocide victims have had to live side-by-side and try and work together. I feel like I should try and get onboard with it... but at the same time I'm not sure I can force myself to believe something I'm just not buying. For whatever reason, the storytelling is not working for me even though it is for lots of people.
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latteaddict: Lee - happy (Home 1)latteaddict on May 11th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
You poor thing! I hate it when the show squashes my enjoyment and things happen that can't unhappen and you know that even if you stick with it it'll never be the same - been there done that. You know if we didn't love it so much it would never disappoint so drastically.

Even though I don't feel the same about a lot of what you said, I can totally understand what you're talking about and why it bothers you so much. The show seemed to promise certain things in the beginning and as a result expectations were raised (mine were, anyway). And yet everything is so upside down and sideways this season it's just crazy. Nothing has gone as I had hoped it would and I find to continue enjoying the show I've had to minimise my expectations (and I'm talking way back in s2). These days I just hope for great Kara moments. And just her smile and laughter totally made this episode for me. I'm obviously easily pleased. That's not to say I don't have a wish-list for BSG, I totally do, but as each episode passes I realise my wish-list is less and less likely to be filled.

I do think you're onto something with your theory about Ron & co hoping a good portion of the audience would be invested in at least one of the final four to sway them to a more sympathetic eye towards the Cylons (not counting those already pre-existing hardcore Cylon-fans). It totally worked with me. I've been loving Sam's journey so far. He's made so many mistakes but I've never seen him be malicious. I love how he is swept along in the moment by whatever he's feeling. I totally bought his angst over Jean's death and his compassion for the Sharon. I thought he was like a priest tending to her soul or something. I did have a worry moment when he allowed Leoben to assist him with tending to a wounded Kara. I feel it's Sam's duty to keep Leoben away from her, you know?

As for how Kara might react now that she's heard the doom prophecy (I don't know anything at all, so this is just spec) but I think Kara might retreat within herself. If she thinks she'll be leading her family to its doom she'll fight it. I suppose the pull of her destiny could sway her to disregard the Hybrid, but if she accepts it then I expect Kara to step back, no matter how painful it is.

It's all NO GOOD. Woe is Bop.

*hugs* I'm glad you're not giving up the show, though. There's still a chance it might not be as bad as you suspect. I bet Ron manages to pull a few fast ones on us yet.

(I'll use my sweetest Lee icon to help cheer you up) (oh, and no Lee two weeks in a row is ridiculous. It's bad enough pilots aren't together or even pilots anymore, but now they don't even have their stories told in the same eps *grumbles*)(That wasn't very cheery was it *hangs head* just look at the icon!)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee armsbop_radar on May 11th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
you know that even if you stick with it it'll never be the same - been there done that. You know if we didn't love it so much it would never disappoint so drastically.
Yup. :( It can't be undone, it's true. I know you know what that's like. Like you, I had high hopes for the show, but though I've modified my hopes several times since the beginning it's only been in these past weeks that I've realised there's no possibility of a satisfactory ending for me. Before I always held out hope that the end could redeem things.

These days I just hope for great Kara moments. And just her smile and laughter totally made this episode for me. I'm obviously easily pleased.
I think that's what I need to do too. I need to pull back from the show as a whole and just become a shallow Lee fangirl. He makes me happy, if he's on screen being great, I *will* be happy (and I'm sure the timing of my malaise has a lot to do with him NOT being on screen). I feel sad that I can't enjoy the show as a whole, but if I can hang on tight to Lee, I might enjoy the eps on some level.

your theory about Ron & co hoping a good portion of the audience would be invested in at least one of the final four to sway them to a more sympathetic eye towards the Cylons (not counting those already pre-existing hardcore Cylon-fans).
Right! Once I realised it ALL MADE SENSE. And looking around fandom I think it's working for most fans. I see how the show would rock if you were a Sam fan right now. He's getting lots of screentime, lots of character exploration, and there's lots of tension in his scenes.

I could argue with you about Sam (I think his actions were selfish and incredibly dangerous to Kara in this episode) but my heart's not in it... if you're enjoying the show, then I'm happy for you.

I did have a worry moment when he allowed Leoben to assist him with tending to a wounded Kara. I feel it's Sam's duty to keep Leoben away from her, you know?
I know, but he won't. He's too conflicted about his own identity and he connected with Leoben last episode--he's let Leoben slip under his skin. He doesn't see the danger he poses.

If she thinks she'll be leading her family to its doom she'll fight it. I suppose the pull of her destiny could sway her to disregard the Hybrid, but if she accepts it then I expect Kara to step back, no matter how painful it is.
I think she'll fight it too, and I saw her fighting it. But that just made it all the clearer to me that this is going to be about an emotional journey for Kara--from rejecting the prophecy to embracing it--not a debunking of the prophecy.

no Lee two weeks in a row is ridiculous. It's bad enough pilots aren't together or even pilots anymore, but now they don't even have their stories told in the same eps *grumbles
Well, there's no place for Lee in Ron's Grand Plan. I see that now. I see now why he never knew what the hell to do with his character. It's because there's no part for Lee in the final unfolding story. Before I had this realisation, I thought Lee would be critical to the endgame and that let me believe in/hope in pilots. That's gone now. I don't actually expect we'll see them together again. NOW I know why Jamie talked about their last scene as being played with 'finality' (even though it didn't read that way to me).

That wasn't very cheery was it *hangs head* just look at the icon!
Sorry, I'm no good at cheery either. Don't let me bring you down. Go enjoy Sam!
(no subject) - latteaddict on May 12th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on May 13th, 2008 09:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
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cheryladcherylad on May 11th, 2008 02:01 pm (UTC)
Me too with the woe.

I liked Faith better than the last 3. That isn't saying much however, because I HATED THE LAST 3. I thought they were a waste of 3 whole episodes of the last season. The core 4 have been relegated to the sidelines in favor of all cylon all the time. Even the opening sequence is ALL cylon. It is like humanity and its survival is just wallpaper now. The old ugly flowered kind that you really don't like anymore but can't be bothered to steam off so you just sort of forget it is there.

I've been pretty interested in where they would go with the poly vs mono-theism, but can I just say *yawn* about it? Come on Baltar doesn't really believe the crap he is spouting any more than he believed the crap he was spewing at the Founder's Day ceremony. Baltar is about ONLY Baltar and finding a way to make it ALL about himself again is the only thing Baltar believes in.

Kara & her destiny ... I think they are trying hard to make us believe that she is either the final cylon or a tool of the cylon. I don't believe it will turn out to be that simple. I think he has an "October surprise" in mind for us, but I don't think we will get it for a good long while yet. Like 10 or 11 months or so.

Now to the Kumbaya part. I DO NOT WANT PEACE WITH THE CYLONS. 1 - it is about as believable as the Jewish state forming not only an alliance with the Nazis but actually LIVING IN PEACE & HARMONY in Israel with them in the late 1940's. In other words, NOT BLOODY LIKELY. Come on. We are 60 years post the Holocaust and there are still Nazi hunters out there. Come on RDM .. get a clue, will you? I'm not even Jewish and I find that entire line of thought completely repugnant. 2 - The cylon haven't learned, they have no remorse and they aren't trustworthy. Athena knows NOTHING about loyalty other than to Helo & her daughter. She turned on Kara from minute one of her return - never mind that Kara saved her cylon ass more than once. "You pick a side and you stick" --- really, Athena? Try putting that into practice. Sometimes, being human & having faith in those on your side is ALL about blind faith. It just is. She doesn't get it - she won't. The Sixes? Remorse learned? Really? SHE JUST KILLED JEAN. She killed her because Jean killed one of her model on NC. NC where they (and she) kept them captive, tortured and murdered them. Yeah, paradise there. So - they've learned zip. Evidenced also by the Natalie version who wanted to take the raptor and abandon the humans. Yeah .. what a shock, eh?

The 4/5th's? Also color me *meh*. Tigh, while I empathize with his gut-wrenching guilt, I've neither liked nor connected with him. Chief.. not so much either. Sam - I liked him for making Kara happy, right up until I recognized that his method of making Kara happy was enabling her horribly self-destructive behavior (which continued in TTTB) .. so NO. And Tory? Don't get me started.

So, sign me up FOREVER on the I HATE THE CYLON EXPRESS TOO.

Finally, the blatant sexism. One of the BEST things about Faith .. no Baltar sexing anyone and no gratuitous Kara sexing either.

I'm hanging in there.. but color me unhappy, dissatisfied, and very concerned about where RDM is leading this train to.

Finally, if the "children of the reborn" living in their own country, end of line bit, involves Kara mating with Leoben or Sam to have hybrids? I'm packaging up my DVD's and sending to RDM with a note that I've watched my very last RDM production and I won't stick around for the end of this one either. That will not only be betrayal of the first order of everything they laid out since the Mini but also a betrayal of survivors of genocide everywhere.

Uh oh.. I think I added to your bleck. Sorry. Bright side? Not just you!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee in darknessbop_radar on May 12th, 2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Come on Baltar doesn't really believe the crap he is spouting
I'm finding him slightly more sympathetic than usual this season because more than usually it feels like he's doing what he's doing against his will. When Head!Six lifted him up like a puppet, I felt really sorry for him. But Baltar being Baltar, he's run with it and he'll take what perks he can. It does play to his ego, and so I see how he can be ambivalent about it but still keep doing it.

I don't believe it will turn out to be that simple. I think he has an "October surprise" in mind for us, but I don't think we will get it for a good long while yet. Like 10 or 11 months or so.
At first I thought so too. Now I don't, really. I think it will be more about Kara's emotional journey from initially finding the prophecy repugnant to coming to terms with the end of humanity.

is about as believable as the Jewish state forming not only an alliance with the Nazis but actually LIVING IN PEACE & HARMONY in Israel with them in the late 1940's
Yup. I have been thinking a lot about that, and while the Jewish parallel is obvious the strongest, there are other cases of genocide in the world (in Africa, in Cambodia, in Bosnia) where people have had to live side by side with their murderers. However (and this is a big however) in most of those instants there WERE war crime tribunals and some sense of justice. I very much doubt that we'll see RDM sitting the surviving Cylons down before a war crimes tribunal. And even with war crimes tribunals, many perpetrators get off scot free and the sorrow and domestic strife is agonising for those countries. So in some ways I do see Israel as the exception, rather than the norm, and I admit that life is messier than that. Messier but uglier and I don't want to see any warm fuzzies around the idea of the Cylons and Humans hooking up. Unfortunately I think RDM is rather in love with the idea.

You pick a side and you stick" --- really, Athena? Try putting that into practice. Sometimes, being human & having faith in those on your side is ALL about blind faith. It just is. She doesn't get it - she won't.
Wow, it's fascinating to me that you read her that way. I have a different, more favourable, view of Athena. I do agree she chose humanity because of Helo and her daughter, but I don't doubt her loyalty because of that. If anything, my complaint with her is that she's TOO much of a human extremist. It takes Helo to temper her. She's always the quickest to damn the Cylons or anything possibly connected to them--and I think that's why she condemns Kara. Kara is linked to the Cylons, and she's picked humanity as her side. I would say she DOES have too much blind faith in humanity, and is too inflexible in tempering that the way, say, Lee did.

The Sixes? Remorse learned? Really? SHE JUST KILLED JEAN.
I don't think anyone is arguing the Sixes en masse have learned remorse, are they? I think Caprica has expressed remorse--but it didn't go far enough for me. And she's an individual. The model en masse definitely hasn't and Nathalie totally chills me.

The 4/5th's? Also color me *meh*.
Yeah, I feel the same way re. Tigh and Chief and Sam. And Tory. :) At least I have company!

So, sign me up FOREVER on the I HATE THE CYLON EXPRESS TOO.
We need icons! ;)

Finally, the blatant sexism. One of the BEST things about Faith .. no Baltar sexing anyone and no gratuitous Kara sexing either
Yeah, and did you see how RDM had to massively compensate for that by having a Six/Six kiss? *eyeroll*

Finally, if the "children of the reborn" living in their own country, end of line bit, involves Kara mating with Leoben or Sam to have hybrids? I'm packaging up my DVD's and sending to RDM with a note that I've watched my very last RDM production and I won't stick around for the end of this one either.
Srsly. Prepare yourself because I definitely think that's where it's headed. And while I won't quite be making the physical gesture, I'll definitely turn in my bsg fan status if that happens. What would kill me is that it would mean Kara never really escaped the Farm... she became a Cylon breeding machine after all. :((
indigo419: Lee emo TSARindigo419 on May 11th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
Woe! I'm sorry that the show is not working for you, hon. I can see why you are not happy - the dysfunctional sexualization of the women, in particular, is bothering me as well. I guess it's true we are each watching a slightly different show; after this ep, in particular, I realized that various folks on my flist viewed the same scenes in quite divergent ways. I'm okay with that, though - this season I've been content to read opposing viewpoints and let them wash over me.

Not sure what to offer you in consolation, except to hope that RDM gives us lots of Lee from here on out! And hugs, lots of hugs for Boppy. *squishes you*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee not a herobop_radar on May 11th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty much inconsolable, so don't worry about offering me anything. ;) I do hope I will get more Lee. I plan to tone down my expectations about the show IMMENSELY and watch it only for Lee. :D Although it hurts me, I'm actually very well practised in adapting to disappointments, so I think I'll perk up again once Lee is on screen.

after this ep, in particular, I realized that various folks on my flist viewed the same scenes in quite divergent ways. I'm okay with that, though - this season I've been content to read opposing viewpoints and let them wash over me.
That's good! And you're right--I think this season is polarising people in ways it never has before. The main divisions used to seem like they were along character lines, and I used to know I'd be on the same page as Lee fans. But this season there are Lee fans who are happy with the show and Lee fans who hate it, Kara fans who are happy, Kara fans who are sad... It's quite interesing (when I take an emotional step back) because it goes to show that it really is about the overall endgame now, not just the characters.

I'm always fine with different opinions about the show--in fact I will probably try and read as many as possible now that I've reconciled myself with it not being 'my' Battlestar--perhaps I can find my way into the show that it IS through other people...
Sizequeensizequeen on May 11th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC)
The show has been really off the rails since the end of season. The best season was the first season and it was only 13 eps. For whatever reason RM and Co. can't plot a 20 epsisode season of TV. Here at the end when he no longer has to draw in new viewers and everyne is saying what a genius he is, he can completely imdulge himself in these plotless exercises in angsty navel-gazing. Give the Adamas plot for gods' sake. Aren't theior still Cylons out there who want to kill them? Aren't there still internal problems in the fleet that need to be solved? I'm so tired of the Four. I hate Anders. He does not need to be carrying a weapon or flying a Viper because he's batshit.

I agree with a lot of your points. I remember in season two, I think, Sharon and Adama having a conversation about whether humanity *deserved* to live, and I was like, bitch please. Has anyone ever asked whether the Cylon ndeserve to live? If they all were in lock step up until recently, that means that every Cylon who was alive is responsible for murder, rape, torture, experimenting on sentient beings, and genocide. Caprica Six is the only Cylon to express remorse. Even Sharon hasn't done that.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on May 12th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
The best season was the first season and it was only 13 eps
I agree.

Give the Adamas plot for gods' sake. Aren't theior still Cylons out there who want to kill them? Aren't there still internal problems in the fleet that need to be solved? I'm so tired of the Four. I hate Anders. He does not need to be carrying a weapon or flying a Viper because he's batshit.
Thank you! Yes. He really is. I can only take it as a sign of how far the fleet is deteriorated that he passed basic training. He's got completely the wrong mentality. And it's got nothing to do with him being a Cylon--he's just always really seflish and limited in his thinking and he has no respect for authority. His characterisation makes sense: he was a sports hero and then a rebel leader. That's what he's good at. Following orders and being part of a team? NOT so good.

Sharon and Adama having a conversation about whether humanity *deserved* to live, and I was like, bitch please. Has anyone ever asked whether the Cylon ndeserve to live?
True! I wish the show would go there and explore both sides of that equation but they won't.

Caprica Six is the only Cylon to express remorse. Even Sharon hasn't done that.
That's true. Sharon has expressed loyalty, but not remorse. I guess she thinks (or we're supposed to believe) she played no part in the genocide? Until we're shown evidence fof that I find that pretty hard to believe.
Raprap541 on May 11th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
I underrstand where you'e coming from because I have struggled with it as well.

I'm still watching, still enjoying, but I think my brain is mentally ending the show at season three when it comes to fond memories. Maybe I am just without faith in the human race but I don't think that humanity as a whole could commit to friendship with cylons.

And the one true god thing makes me thing RDM is planning a "cute" ending.

And I agree completely that the final four were chosen so people would *have* to like Cylons.

This recent episode was much better than the last five, but it confirmed something that I have been hesitating to say - they're dragging it out. I suspect we have 20 episodes when we really only needed ten, and thats not helping at all.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee frak betide!bop_radar on May 12th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
It's good to know I'm not along.

I think my brain is mentally ending the show at season three when it comes to fond memories
I'm sadly coming to this realisation as well. :( I was so upbeat at the end of Season 3 and it's come to nothing...

And the one true god thing makes me thing RDM is planning a "cute" ending.
Oh noes.

This recent episode was much better than the last five, but it confirmed something that I have been hesitating to say - they're dragging it out. I suspect we have 20 episodes when we really only needed ten, and thats not helping at all.
Yup, I was hesitating to say that too. And it makes me worried on two scores: 1. because it will be boring and agnoisingly drawn out and 2. It means that RDM isn't the least bit interested in resolving things that I want resolved/explored. If he was he wouldn't be faffing about with all this Cylon/Final Four stuff.
(no subject) - rap541 on May 12th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on May 12th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rap541 on May 12th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on May 13th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
The First Evil: Laura & Kara - starpolloasta77 on May 11th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
I still have the potential to be squee-y about the show, but I see all your points. I, too, am unhappy with how the show is dealing with religion. I was hoping that humanity wouldn't 'see the light' and move towards monotheism. I do wonder if the two religious POVs are mutually exclusive. What if the Cylon god/the god Baltar speaks of is one of Lords of Kobol? What if that god split with the others because of differing opinions on how to lead humanity? Maybe the colonials finding earth is a way to reunite humanity and their gods? It's what gives me hope that things are not as clear cut as they seem right now.

I also feel that there have always been colonials who believed in a single god, unfortunately, it's only recently that Ron has decided to really focus on this aspect of colonial society so we didn't see these individuals until they created Baltar's Lair (Ron's name for it). It's like the sudden empathy were suppose to have for the Cylons, we have no real foundation for it.

And yay, Kara for finding the Hybrid hopelessly obtuse!

I second your YAY! I consider myself fairly intelligent and half of the hybrid's babbling leaves me going, "Huh?" And I really don't want to have to transcribe her dialogue and analyze it for an hour to figure out what she's trying to say.

I'm going to try watching the ep again tonight. Having read other's comments I realize I missed some important stuff. My problem was how the show depicted Emily's final hours and knowing how unrealistic that depiction was it took me out of the scenes between she and Laura.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on May 12th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
I'm glad you still have squee. :)

I, too, am unhappy with how the show is dealing with religion. I was hoping that humanity wouldn't 'see the light' and move towards monotheism
I was really wondering how you read Laura's scene. It was such a SHOCK to me.

What if the Cylon god/the god Baltar speaks of is one of Lords of Kobol? What if that god split with the others because of differing opinions on how to lead humanity? Maybe the colonials finding earth is a way to reunite humanity and their gods? It's what gives me hope that things are not as clear cut as they seem right now.
I like those ideas though I'm not sure how they could reconcile one of the Lords of Kobol being the Cylons' God. *scratches head* But I'd like to believe there was a more subtle ending possible out there... I think I just need to get past my shock that the show is so yay!monotheism right now.

I also feel that there have always been colonials who believed in a single god, unfortunately, it's only recently that Ron has decided to really focus on this aspect of colonial society
Yeah, they've said that on the show but it wasn't real to us: as you say, another instance where he hasn't laid the groundwork properly.

My problem was how the show depicted Emily's final hours and knowing how unrealistic that depiction was it took me out of the scenes between she and Laura
That's a pity because I thought the scenes were very compelling (though they made me want Lee by Laura's side so badly). I agree they were unrealistic, but I kind of ran with it being so typically 'TV'--yet not quite as bad as some shows.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - bop_radar on May 13th, 2008 09:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
Kate: Gaius and Sixmskatej on May 11th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
*hugs you*

I hear ya. The religious stuff (which used to be fascinating!) is squicking the crap out of me now.

I've never been the biggest Baltar fan, but I don't think that's the reason I'm finding this plotline distasteful.

Nah that's not the reason because he's my favourite character and I'm finding it distasteful too.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Gaius dancebop_radar on May 11th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
It's icky, Kate! Icky, icky, icky. *clings* I loved Baltar having a Head!Baltar, and I loved him eyerolling at his followers, and I found the scene where Head!Six physically puppeted him really compelling. But I *hate* his religion, and the fact that he doesn't even really believe it himself makes it even more distasteful. :(

You're right: there was a time when the religious stuff was fascinating, but I feel like all the mystery has been stripped away from it now and we're being told to read it literally. Bleugh.
Allisonfrolicndetour on May 11th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
Holy Crap This Got Long
Oh no! *hug* When I'm feeling this way, it helps when someone tries to convince me it's Not All That Bad. Or at least, it did the last time. So I'll give it a try. Anyway, as you know I'd actually love the ending you don't want, and I read this in the hopes that you could convince me and I could uh, delight in your misfortune *g*, but no joy. I think you've laid out Exactly Why it's not going to happen that way.

I do not see it as an improvement on polytheism and I hate the suggestion that it is.

In my opinion, there is simply no way, in this age of sensitivity, that any TV show not airing on a religious network is ever going to endorse monotheism over polytheism. And especially not this one, which has always portrayed the "one true god" as sinister as hell! This is the god head!Six has been trying all along to convert Baltar to, the one who lived with the humans and other gods on kobol but destroyed paradise because he wanted to be worshipped above all others, who in all probability initiated the genocide to create just this outcome; a bunch of desperate humans ready to be brought to heel. This was the first episode that, for me, created any sense of ambiguity at all, what with Emily's experience and the Hybrid's words about a god who doesn't wish harm, but creates destruction almost playfully. It gave me a glimmer of hope that the outcome won't be as simple as "good polytheism vs. evil devil-worshipping monotheism" just because that would be so simple. But we're definitely not meant to be happy about it when Baltar trashes the (sympathetic) priestesses service or when he takes the old woman's healing god away from her. When head-Six says "old gods die hard," we're meant to be scared. (All this JMO, obviously, but I think I'm right, *g*)

I find all this 'God loves me just the way I am'/'I am perfect' stuff absolutely repugnant. Under that ethos, you can commit any act as long as you wash your sins away with 'God' afterwards

Exactly! And I don't think it's an accident that just before they showed Tory steering Baltar to that doctrine, we watched her viciously murder a sobbing woman right in front of her child! We're meant to be disgusted and freaked out by the implications of Balar's doctrine. We even had Lee, who Ron says is the moral center of the show and who's always on the side we're meant to see as "right," (er, except in that one Angeli episode), being disgusted and freaked out at his sermon. And as Lee walks away, shaking his head, we see head!Six beaming at Tory. Bear McCreary said in his blog that every musical cue was designed to increase our feeling of dread, because as he says "Cylon's delighted with Baltar's new-found faith? That can't be good for humanity."

I think that's why Ron falls all over himself to tell us in the podcasts that this is NOT Christianity. He doesn't want to deal with all the angry letters over this truly horrific portrayal of some of the audience's religion. I think you and he are on exactly the same page on this one. :)

I'm with you on the sexual politics. Except it's only been Kara once all season! *defensive*

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee smilebop_radar on May 12th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
Re: Holy Crap This Got Long
Anyway, as you know I'd actually love the ending you don't want, and I read this in the hopes that you could convince me and I could uh, delight in your misfortune *g*, but no joy. I think you've laid out Exactly Why it's not going to happen that way.
Wow, really?! Geez, you really must be worried! I find it hilarious that we're both completely convinced (and horrified) that the opposite scenario is going to unfold!

But we're definitely not meant to be happy about it when Baltar trashes the (sympathetic) priestesses service or when he takes the old woman's healing god away from her. When head-Six says "old gods die hard," we're meant to be scared.
You think? I haven't seen anyone react that way. I seem to be the only one who found Head!Six puppeting Gaius interesting, let alone chilling. And we just saw Laura herself admit Gaius has stumbled on something. I do agree that we're meant to see Gaius's God as the Cylon God, but since RDM is (or thinks he is) simultaneously making the Cylons sympathetic to us, that will end up not mattering at all.

I like your argument that it's politically insensitive to support monotheism over polytheism, and I'd like to believe that would lead him to temper his monotheism-pwns-all ending. But once the penny dropped for me, I realised he'd actually been anvilling the monotheism for some time. The Last Supper pic mattered after all!

We even had Lee, who Ron says is the moral center of the show and who's always on the side we're meant to see as "right,"
Heh. Except that Ron admits he has no frakking clue what to do with Lee. Gee, I wonder why, Ron? Maybe because you and your show have no morality at all?!

And as Lee walks away, shaking his head, we see head!Six beaming at Tory. Bear McCreary said in his blog that every musical cue was designed to increase our feeling of dread, because as he says "Cylon's delighted with Baltar's new-found faith? That can't be good for humanity."
I do take some small comfort in this. It's the most persuasive thing anyone's said to me so far. I actually read it as pure coincidence that Lee was there and I thought only Lee fans really noticed that beat at all. And yay, at least Bear McCreary is worried! ;)

I think that's why Ron falls all over himself to tell us in the podcasts that this is NOT Christianity.
But it IS. It so obviously is. Although I do know the Temple scene has echoes in the Koran as well, I think. But I think it's a bit disingenuous of Ron to play innocent on this after he's gone after the Gaius-as-Jesus thing so obviously. I'm sure he wants to protect himself from accusations of pedaling born again Christian doctrine.

I'm with you on the sexual politics. Except it's only been Kara once all season! *defensive*
Hee. And they've been massively overcompensating for that by having gratuitous Cylon snogging.
Re: Holy Crap This Got Long - frolicndetour on May 13th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Holy Crap This Got Long - bop_radar on May 13th, 2008 09:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Allison: FRAC -Anders/Tyrolfrolicndetour on May 11th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Really Long
What was he going to achieve exactly by holding everyone at gunpoint and asking 'do you wanna know who's in charge?'?!

Exactly what he did accomplish? I don't think the Final 5 are programmed exactly, but clearly to get in the positions they're in they must have some buried knowledge. Sam has always sensed that Kara had a destiny, and, as he told her in TaB, that he had a role to play in it. Last episode Leoben's words played directly into that, as well as raising his hopes for Cylon/human alliance. And this ep confirmed that going to the baseship was something Kara needed to do.If Sam hadn't shot Gaeta in that moment, so much for her destiny and "the fate of two great races." It was a very dark act and I feel bad for poor Gaeta, but it was necessary. (I'm going with the assumption that Kara's destiny is a good thing, which at least from Sam's perspective it is.) Yelling and pointing a gun in a room full of armed Marines wasn't exactly self-preserving, but I think Sam's freakout was realistic - hard to be stoic under those circumstances - and he put Helo and everyone else in a position where they had to either kill him or let Kara go.

OMFG, WHY

Because I think she understood the above. ;) I don't think she volunteered to go off alone because of Sam, I think the crisis snapped her out of destiny-fugue and made her realize the extent to which her craziness had helped create this awful situation. The solution she came up with was the only responsible way to balance her instincts with the welfare of the crew. I didn't read her as being angry with Sam as much as overwhelmed and trying to chill everybody out. I could be projecting!

Neither possibility bodes well for humanity.

Exactly - all the foreshadowing is that Kara's destiny will mean destruction for humanity and salvation for the Cylons. We're not meant to feel good about that, IMO! And it pretty much negates the possibility of a happy, reconciled ending. Somebody's race is getting destroyed either way. If it's the Cylons, then Kara's gonna go out with them. :/Now, I'm still clinging to denial hope, and the fact that they've laid the Kara cards out on the table for the characters this early makes me think there's still a twist.

The fact that one Six was able to so calmly justify the killing of another only confirms to me what a mistake it would be for the humans to trust her.

I thought she was devastated to have to do it. I think she and Kara were being paralleled there - both were willing, at this point, to put loyalty to their own aside for the sake of alliance, even though the previous scene established that they don't trust each other as far as, er, Kara could throw Natalie, (that's what Ron calls that Six), and they'd both be happy to screw the other over if they only could.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee disagreesbop_radar on May 12th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
Re: Really Long
Exactly what he did accomplish?
Nothing. Zip. I don't think he had a plan, I don't think he was even thinking at all. Kara didn't want him to pick up a gun: she was horrified. If the other personnel on that ship hadn't kept their heads it could have ended in a full-on shootout and who would have been the prime target? Kara! Because that's who they were mutinying against. Some way of protecting her!

If Sam hadn't shot Gaeta in that moment, so much for her destiny and "the fate of two great races." It was a very dark act and I feel bad for poor Gaeta, but it was necessary.
Yeah, I disagree that it's a good thing, but even if I run with the idea it is (it definitely is from Sam's pov), this argument doesn't work for me for several reasons:
1. Sam didn't think about it consciously. He didn't think 'oh, if I shoot Gaeta, it will work out ok'. He just wanted to stop him making the jump at all costs. But he didn't think the consequences through at all. It was actually quite likely to end in him or Kara getting shot. And if they did get back to Galactica, it would have added a lot of weight to the mutineers' case that someone supporting Kara pulled a gun on and shot someone further up the chain of command. Sorry. No. Sam wasn't using his brain at all.
2. Even if it happened by accident, it totally wasn't necessary for Gaeta to get shot (though I see that that's what RDM was trying to sell us on). There is actually no reason why Kara couldn't have or wouldn't have suggested her going it alone anyway. She was desperate to do whatever it took to get there, and as soon as it became clear that the mutineers were 100% serious, she would have been thinking through other options. And it's very Kara to say she'll just do it ourself. So yeah, I think RDM was trying to write Anders in as being somehow important in that journey, but I think the scene would have worked just as well without him anywhere in it.

I think Sam's freakout was realistic - hard to be stoic under those circumstances
Realistic yes, admirable no. And I'm sorry, he's a soldier now. He should act like one or they should take those wings off him.

I didn't read her as being angry with Sam as much as overwhelmed and trying to chill everybody out. I could be projecting!
You're not. I am. It was the only way I could stomach this episode at all. Because I found Sam's actions so totally repugnant, but I was still invested in Kara--so in order to keep watching I had to believe she was angry with him. And initially there was some evidence to support that. But actually it's your reading that holds up--she did take him with her. They're probably having cosy make-up sex somewhere off screen right now... bleugh.

all the foreshadowing is that Kara's destiny will mean destruction for humanity and salvation for the Cylons
I think it means co-joining. The Hybrid's prophecy says 'end of line' but I think the silver lining that Ron is going to throw out is that they actually get to live they just reach a place where they're happy to live with the Cylons. That will be satisfying to some, but not to me. Right now, yes, he expects us to be all 'eek, humanity will die!' He also expects to be able to offer us balm at the end in the form of 'but look, Kara has become reconciled to it: she's even breeding with a Cylon--and the humans get to live, that should be enough...'

I thought she was devastated to have to do it.
I didn't get that at all. Her action was entirely unnecessary. She could just have disarmed Sam and holed that particular Six up somewhere (there were enough Eights and Centurions around to do so) until the visit was over. It was entirely unnecessary and senselessly cruel--she seemed to just be making a point to the humans 'look how tough I can be against my own kind'. That sent a subtextual message of 'I'm a hardass, don't mess with me'. I got no sense of remorse from her at all.
Re: Really Long - frolicndetour on May 12th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Really Long - bop_radar on May 12th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Really Long - frolicndetour on May 12th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Really Long - bop_radar on May 13th, 2008 09:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
Allison: Lee-Courtroom speechfrolicndetour on May 11th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
The End, I Swear
but it seemed more like he was trying to prove something, trying to redeem his previous destructive actions.

Ouch! I don't think we were meant to take it that way; that scene was intercut with Laura helping Natalie "cross over," complete with close-ups of both their hands as they helped others through. I think it built directly on the scene with Six. Sam's anger at her was as much self-loathing as grief - "You're a machine; you're nothing." "You want me to forget about Barolay, about New Caprica?" Those words were directed at himself as much as the Six. He went to the baseship because he had hopes of humans and Cylons reconciling, and they killed his oldest living friend for spite. Jean wouldn't have been there if not for him. And just a few moments ago he was staring at the ships with wide-eyed curiosity and thinking about sticking his hand in the data-goo... thing. Whatever. ;) But then when the Six talks about her trauma, he loses resolve and breaks down, because it makes him realize that despicable as her act was, it was born out of very human impulses. I don't think he would have shot her. That sets up the scene with the Eight, when he says that he sees a look on her face that he's never seen on the face of a Cylon (because they don't really die, normally), like she's looking past them into something beyond. (Yeah, I know, spirituality! But I think we have to bear with it to understand the scene.) That's when he realizes that she does have a soul, just as humans do. No one else is paying attention to them, except Leoben who Sam doesn't exactly need to show off for, and as you said if they were, he'd have been setting off alarm bells. So I really don't think it was about "showing off." Eh, I understand that sometimes you just hate a character, believe me! But you said you thought it was understandable for Cally to have a psyc break when she found out her whole life was a lie; I think Sam's crazy is just as understandable. And sympathetic, because he's still trying desperately to do the right thing.

In conclusion (finally, ack! *offers cookies*) I don't think there's any way the ending you're afraid of will happen. I think the foreshadowing right now is leading to one or the other race having to be destroyed, and I wouldn't put it past Ron to be trying to make the Cylons sympathetic so we'll feel something when they die. (Just as he's made Baltar more sympathetic by showing his good intentions, so that we'll feel for him when he ends up on the wrong side of humanity yet again.) We'll already be devastated when our human favorites are killed. My only hope is that the end will involve some of the characters defying destiny, and "god" or the gods. That happens a lot in science fiction, which tends to be a very anti-religious genre. And maybe if some of the Cylons were to join in the rebellion, that would finally convince you holdouts *g* that some degree of reconciliation is possible.

ETA: Reading this over, I'm kinda overly-forceful. I don't mean to be saying "oh, obviously I'm right" at all: I'm just trying to make my case. *g* Picture me jumping up and down with pom-poms, yelling "cheer up, Bop!" If I'm able to be at all convincing.

Edited at 2008-05-11 04:43 pm (UTC)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee solacebop_radar on May 12th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
Re: The End, I Swear
don't think we were meant to take it that way
You're right again: we weren't. I think this is another case of me projecting my desires onto the show in order to be able to stomach watching it at all (daybreak777 had to talk me down off a ledge several times over the three-hour long period we watched the ep in!). We're not meant to read it as him seeking redemption for his actions--because he doesn't actually see how destructive and dangerous and wrong his actions were. He's just totally self-obsessed.

You explain Sam's journey very well and very convincingly--I think that's exactly what was going on for Sam.

But you said you thought it was understandable for Cally to have a psyc break when she found out her whole life was a lie; I think Sam's crazy is just as understandable.
Absolutely! I've found his behaviour both in character and realistic all season. I am actually glad that at least one of the FF is losing it this badly, I just hate the consequences.

And sympathetic, because he's still trying desperately to do the right thing.
This is the clincher for me: I don't see him as trying to do the right thing at all. Or not for anyone but Samuel T. Anders. All the characters are selfish in their own way, I know that. And I think this is one of those cases where he in particular just rubs me up the wrong way, but I really do think he's chronically selfish in a way that is ACTIVELY DANGEROUS to Kara. He nearly got her killed twice in this episode. He endangered the mission. He let Leoben tend her wounds, he did nothing to support or protect her when she was freaking out about the Hybrid's message. The only reason he's invested in Earth is because Kara wants to go there and he suspects that she's a Cylon and they'll get to have a happy Cylon life there together. He's invested in this journey totally and only for her--but he's not really acting in her best interests because he lacks all objectivity. If he really cared about her he wouldn't have climbed on board that raptor knowing that that meant there were three Cylons on board, outnumbering the humans. What if he'd got triggered? what if they'd all been triggered into turning on Kara and Jean? Did he stop to think about that? They could have been! No, he's too interested in finding his bright shiny future with Kara to care about logic or strategic thinking.

I know heaps of people love Sam, and I think making him a Cylon is RDM's trump card and will make the show work for a lot of people. I wish I was in that group, but I'm not. And every ep I tune in hoping Sam will redeem himself and he just goes from bad to worse in my eyes instead.

I think the foreshadowing right now is leading to one or the other race having to be destroyed
I read the foreshadowing differently--as setting up the Uniting.

maybe if some of the Cylons were to join in the rebellion, that would finally convince you holdouts *g* that some degree of reconciliation is possible
I think several things are needed for me to do that. A couple of individual Cylons joining a rebellion against 'destiny' would definitely help. Another possibility I've thought of that would help IMMENSELY for me personally, but which I doubt that RDM has considered, is for it to turn out that a human programmed the Cylons with their Plan all along. That would level the playing field somewhat, making both Cylons and Humans pawns on the chessboard for some long-dead ancestor. That would help because it would make the Cylons question their programming and make the humans realise that the true darkness lay in the human soul to begin with. They could both feel that they'd been 'used' and that might help convince me that empathy could exist between both sides.

I'm just trying to make my case.
Same! ;)

*g* Picture me jumping up and down with pom-poms, yelling "cheer up, Bop!" If I'm able to be at all convincing.
Aww, thank you, you're lovely! Especially since you being convincing would mean sorrow for you. :( Perhaps the show will somehow delight us by finding a middle road between these two outcomes? I don't see it right now but if it does I'll be bouncing around happily.
Re: The End, I Swear - frolicndetour on May 13th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - bop_radar on May 13th, 2008 10:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - frolicndetour on May 13th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - bop_radar on May 14th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - frolicndetour on May 14th, 2008 06:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - bop_radar on May 14th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - bop_radar on May 14th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - frolicndetour on May 14th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The End, I Swear - bop_radar on May 14th, 2008 07:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
aychebaycheb on May 11th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
I’m a pretty hardcore atheist but while Baltar’s “somebody out there loves me” sermons creep me out (and I think are meant to) the ‘religious’ aspects of this episode didn’t. Baltar preaches a debased form of Christian mysticism with a personal saviour right at the centre of it. The mysticism in this episode with its sparks and vibrations seemed quite different – more Buddhist, impersonal, pan rather than monotheistic. My suspicion is that neither the Cylon nor the Colonial religions will end up being The Truth (but one reason I’m able to think that is that I read Roslin’s river Styx visions as a metaphor for her overcoming the fear of her own death, accepting that it had happened to her mother and now to her).

Death and what it means being also crucial to the whole Cylon/Human question too, until now the Cylon have had no understanding of mortality, they may even have envied the humans and their ability to die finally and not suffer the pain of constant re-incarnation. If the ending does imply the eventual merging of Cylon and Human I don’t think that necessarily means a reconciliation - although they might go for the Pullman ending of both peoples uniting against the Godhead’s manipulations. Just that there are few enough of both humans and Cylons left now that if the cycle of genocide/vengeance/genocide doesn’t end there’ll be nobody left to celebrate either side’s victory.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: O Sanjaya...bop_radar on May 12th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
The mysticism in this episode with its sparks and vibrations seemed quite different – more Buddhist, impersonal, pan rather than monotheistic
Interesting! I didn't pick up on that but that's far more consistent with BSG's approach to religion until now.

My suspicion is that neither the Cylon nor the Colonial religions will end up being The Truth (but one reason I’m able to think that is that I read Roslin’s river Styx visions as a metaphor for her overcoming the fear of her own death, accepting that it had happened to her mother and now to her).
That's a great reading of it: I wish I saw it that way! I think the stumbling block for me is that she didn't read it that way. I think it could have worked as a metaphor, but having her run to Adama and be all 'Baltar's right!' negated that possibility for me. I really wish it had been played without that, and with more of a sense of acceptance (not excitement) at the end from Laura.

although they might go for the Pullman ending of both peoples uniting against the Godhead’s manipulations
That's actually my last-ditch hope. Because that would level the playing field a little.

Just that there are few enough of both humans and Cylons left now that if the cycle of genocide/vengeance/genocide doesn’t end there’ll be nobody left to celebrate either side’s victory
I would be ok with that if they went their separate ways. If they ended the war and agreed to leave each other in peace. Unfortunately I don't think that's going to happen. i think they're going to cohabit on Earth, and I'm not ok with that.