And there was Lee! Thank goodness! That did a lot to help me through the ep, even though he was still only in it briefly. I loved the opening scene between him and Laura, but I wish we had seen more of the intervening period. It strongly read to me as if there had been a build up of frustration since Lee joined the Quorum. He was quite insistent and angry in their exchange, and that worked for me because I was far from being sympathetic to Laura. But she made a very compelling case, and actually he was really pushing things with her, telling her that she 'owed' the people a response. I thought their exchange was perfectly pitched because although I side with Lee in thinking that Roslin needs to reach out and connect with the people more, she was very persuasive in telling Lee (and therefore me!) what it was like to be in her shoes.
I loved Lee's shock that the story was actually true. I'm sure it shocks him on several levels--firstly because he would be inclined to think it was a typical Baltar stunt, secondly because of the implications it holds that Roslin herself may be a Cylon. I'm really interested to see how this shapes the way he acts regarding her from now on.
I was also intrigued by Zarek turning to Lee for answers in the Quorum scene. I can understand it on some levels--he comes from the military and people might suspect him of still knowing what's going on in their decision-making, especially given his family connection. But it felt like Lee's become somewhat of a leader in the Quorum in a brief time--they look to him as a bridge to Roslin, perhaps in part because he's willing to challenge her. But I feel like we've missed the intervening development again. We're having to extrapolate that from a very brief scene. And for the record I believe Lee when he says he's in the dark. There's no way, now that he's not in the military, that they'd let him in on the details.
The second Lee-Laura scene was, if anything, better than the first. I was thrilled that Roslin let Lee see her emotional reaction to hearing that there was going to be a vote of no confidence against her. I know that it's a sign of her lacking the energy to hide her true feelings, but I want her to let him back in again so badly, I don't care: she needs to start listening to him if she's to hold the fleet together. And thank goodness she did in this scene! My sympathy for her waned when she called the delegates 'needy and perpetually unhappy'. But I was so proud of Lee for not getting wound up by this. Instead he responded by recounting the way he emotionally tuned into their apathy and despair, their pessimism. It's like he's become the CAG of the Quorum! He was always good at reading others' emotional states and leading accordingly, while also shouldering some of that emotional burden himself. He's using the same skills with the Quorum. As Laura says so scathingly: 'you felt their suffering'. Her next line though was magnificent: 'now try holding their lives in balance every day'. It was the perfect way to convey how emotionally exhausting her role is, and it helped me understand why she feels there is nothing she can do to please them.
Lee's response is so simple--and so right. I honestly think his suggestion was the smartest move politically for her, as well as for the Quorum. And her little twist of a smile and silence seemed to indicate that she could see that at some level. That was of course confirmed by her following Lee's advice. Yay! I thought that scene was wonderful too. You could tell that the Quorum delegates were conflicted--it was good that she'd bothered to come speak to them, but her jokes fell flat and she's lost their faith.
Laura was back to her former greatness in this episode, for me, and it put to rest a lot of the fears I'd had about her 'converting' to Gaius's religion. It's clear in this episode, in a way it wasn't in the last, that what she's after is answers, not salvation.
I particularly enjoyed her scene with Tory. And I'm sorry to the Tory fans on my f'list but my sympathies are entirely with Laura. Tory betrayed her in hiding her relationship with Gaius and I think she deserved the response she got from Laura.
I had reconciled myself last week to Gaeta losing his leg but that didn't make it much easier to take. This season really has been brutal. I hold on to hope that he ll not die because that would be too much--his leg is enough, SURELY. The cutting scene was really awful and he looked so terribly ill the whole episode. :((
The singing was kind of eerie and made me totally think he was a Cylon! I loved that Gaius came to see him, even if he didn't say anything. That was too perfect. But I wish someone else had gone to see him--I would like to think that Helo or Kara or both stopped by his bed.
I'm not going to say anything about Sam. I can't be bothered wasting keystrokes on him.
Ok, so there was still some stuff that annoyed me. For starters I really wanted to know how many Cylons were aboard the basestar. How many are we talking about here? We saw Athena confront several Eights when she came aboard. Tigh says 'billions' of Cylons will lose their download capacity. Even assuming that he's employing hyperbole, they presumably considerably outnumber the humans still. I think that should have been taken into consideration in the decision making, but it was glossed over completely.
Also, once again, noone seems concerned about the Cylons knowing where Earth is. Laura suggests keeping the Final Five until they get there and then turning them over. Her 'split the difference' plan was excellent except for that detail, I felt. If the Cylons turn on them once they're on Earth they're done for. There's nowhere else to run to. And if Earth is not a haven from the Cylons, then why go there? Why not just find another New Caprica?
And I still don't understand the dynamic between the three individualised versions of Six, Leoben and Eight that we see talking, and the rest of them. If they're starting to become distinct from one another, how are they able to be so sure that all of their model will agree? How did these specific three come to be leaders? I ask these questions because they're partly what leads me to feel removed from the Cylon plot, but in part I don't really care because it's just never going to be explained clearly on the show.
But there was some stuff I did enjoy. I thought Tigh calling out 'halt' before the Demetrius jumped in was intriguing, especially because I seriously got the impression that Adama was sussing onto something. I loved the way he looked at Tigh. I do feel that Tigh covered his tracks well saying he 'got lucky' and that Adama might buy that from Tigh if from noone else. Also, I loved that Tigh was so hardcore and committed to nuking the resurrection hub and trusting the president. It's ironic that two of the most hardcore human supporters in this ep, resisting the alliance, are Cylons: Tigh and Athena.
Athena's plot also really worked for me. Nathalie freaked her out on the basestar by mentioning Hera. Hera is Athena's weak spot--she lost her once before and she will protect her at all costs. The dreams would be frightening to any mother, I think, and we've seen that she's not in favour of the alliance any way. She doesn't trust the Cylons and them taking her child must be her worst nightmare. So I completely see why she reacted the way she did to Hera running to Nathalie. And while I don't trust Nathalie, it was well constructed to show that she didn't orchestrate that encounter. Hera is in some way compelled towards Nathalie. My hunch is that she's sharing the dreams too, or seeing Head!Six in her dreams, and so she recognises Nathalie as the lady from her dreams.
The one slightly jarring aspect of that storyline was that Athena seemed to have noone minding Hera at all which really does make me think she was asking for trouble, but I'll blame the writers for that, not her.
I found Nathalie compelling in her interview with Adama and Laura, but I still didn't trust her. However, I did really like that she offered the idea of destroying the resurrection hub. Taking away the Cylons' ability to resurrect would be a HUGE thing and could tip the balance of power between human and Cylons. Without an easy way to reproduce, the Cylons would be running out of time. Every death would be one step closer to annhiliation--which is exactly what the humans have been facing as well (though they find it easier to reproduce). If I'm going to have to swallow human-Cylon reconciliation, then I would find it a lot easier to do so on those terms. It's also recognition from the Cylons that their current ability to resurrect is unnatural and that it creates a barrier between them and humans.
I would have bought Nathalie's story about discovering that they started to experience a paradigm shift in thinking a lot more if I'd heard her discussing it with the other Cylons, rather than just using it as her persuasive speech to the Quorum. I'd like to take her words at face value but... I just don't know.
Also, I'm perplexed by the Centurions still following orders. I was really stressing out about their being Centurions with free will ambling around Galactica. Who's to say one of them wouldn't break ranks and shoot humans? And did Nathalie TELL Adama they had free will now? Grr.
I did like that Nathalie realised her speech wasn't convincing, realised that they should tell the humans the truth. I saw in that a little of what dionusia means when she says they are childlike but learning. However, I don't feel Nathalie realised that because it was the right thing to do--but rather because it would be the most successful thing to do. That's ok, though. It was still progress of a sort. But of course, she just got shot down. By Athena, no less. That's a very BSG thing to do--to show the Cylon most committed to change gunned down by the Cylon most committed to humanity.
Kara wasn't in this episode as much and that was actually a bit of a relief. I felt like she returned to her more normal role--as an officer. And I liked seeing that. She was composed and professional in all her interactions. And yes, I think Lee was sneaking a peek at her in the Quorum meeting.
However, that calm exterior is hiding torment--as we saw when she flashed to the Hybrid's message during Nathalie's speech. That was probably my favourite moment in the episode because I need to badly to see that Kara, that all the humans, have doubts about what they're doing. And Kara must doubt herself sometimes. She must wonder if what she's doing will end in destruction, not salvation. In a different way, she too, like Laura, is carrying the fate of humanity in her hand, directing its course, and that burden is immense.
The Laura-Kara scene was brilliant. Such a contrast to their crazy gunpoint altercation. This quiet bedside scene had them connecting on a strange level. Kara recognises in Laura that she's struggling with a similar burden to Kara's. They both need answers: about the Hybrid's message, about the visions.
I liked how underplayed Kara's agreement to help Laura was. 'Find Captain Agathon': Kara thinks 'I can do that'.
But OMG another terrible idea! This one, however, I find easier to forgive because it seems more accidental. Presumably (and again, I'm all vague on this stuff) they thought there was no danger of the Hybrid jumping the basestar away or they would never have risked it. I presume they thought they'd gained enough control of the ship that that was impossible. So I'm going to read it as a tragic mistake rather than stupidity.
And I'm conflicted about where this plot leads. On the one hand Yay! that it removes Gaius from his boring followers (and yay Laura for telling him to quit with the religious nonsense) but boo on the splitting the storyline up again just when it had amalgamated. And wow, what an odd group to be congregated on that basestar.
So better than I'd expected, but I'm still glad I lowered my expectations.