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

Vidding thinks

I'm at that stage with my current vid project where I have a nearly full timeline and things are starting to come together structurally. My brain's desperately trying to play catch-up with all the decisions I've made based on intuition, kind of trying to hunt them down and detect whether they are actually sound or don't serve the vid well at all. No doubt when I play back my vid over breakfast tomorrow I'll realise I'm a lot further off target than I think I am ... but... I love this stage of a project. My head buzzes, I can't really think about anything but vidding, I'm constantly tossing things over in my mind to make sense of them.

In this case, my big question is 'why is Lee so angry at Kara?' which probably gives a massively skewed perspective of what my vid is about since 90 per cent of it is about his love for her. But that part does not need much explaining to me, doesn't exactly pose me any problems. Whereas there's one section of the vid that definitely draws on or exposes his anger--and I think it's the lynchpin of the vid working or not, because without hitting that hard, ugly raw nerve the other moments won't be seen in such relief.

It's easy enough to see why he would be angry with her after she got married, but the more intriguing question is the anger he expresses in late Season 2 before that. What has surprised me (but it shouldn't have) is just how many reasons Lee has to be angry at Kara. I don't want this to sound at all like Kara-bashing: it's not, I find her far more sympathetic on my revisiting of these episodes than I did the first time around (*armies of Kara fans sigh with relief*). I don't say the reasons are fair. Perhaps I shouldn't call them 'reasons for anger' so much as 'sources of anger' since most of them are irrational and Lee himself would reject them consciously. But that's the thing--his anger doesn't come from a conscious place, and he himself admits he doesn't know why he's angry at her. Later he rationalises it as being about her being able to buck the system and get away with it, and I definitely think that's a huge part of it. However, it's not all of it.

Since I am, as usual, vidding from within a character's perspective (rather than commenting on a character from the outside) I feel like even if I don't reference all of these reasons in my actual vid (and I won't/can't) I think I need to have internalised them sufficiently myself in order to know their influence--conscious or unconscious--on Lee's emotions for and behaviour towards Kara.

Here's what I've managed to trace so far:
1. Kara is in love with someone else. Lee won't bring it up and tries really hard to deal with it, to wish Kara well with Anders, but from Scar on, that one fact is like a shard of glass in his heart.
2. Kara is a rebel and gets rewarded for it. As Lee expresses, he tried that once and 'nearly lost everything'. I do think Lee is jealous of Kara. He has his own stubborn headstrong streak, but he does not have Kara's flair for pulling the most audacious things off. Career-wise these two are on opposite trajectories at this time: Lee is progressing in command experience and taking it very seriously, becoming more entrenched, as it were, in 'playing by the rules' and making tough but strong decisions (this culminates in Razor when he finds the dark end of that path is ordering Kara to her death). Kara, meanwhile, is 'acting out' a lot, and while there are times when Lee has totally indulged/condoned her, even participated in that, in the past, he's not in an emotional place to do so right now, and what he once found charming he now finds infuriating.
3. Kara shot Lee. Yup, I'm including it. I do think things could have been at least a little different had Kara not turned away from visiting him in hospital. Which is not to blame Kara (really!!), but I think Lee needed something from Kara afterwards. The locker-room scene where he explodes out with 'you mean after I got shot' was always so intriguing to me, because it is so so cruel to Kara. He's basically screaming at her that she shot him, when he knows that she feels terrible about it (he does know, just look at his face afterwards, he looks like he just killed a puppy). Why would Lee do that? I think the only way to really explain it is that some part of him needed to clear the air about the shooting and that initiative was not going to come from Kara. He phrases it passively, he doesn't really see Kara as an active agent, but he needs some kind of target for the anger he feels as he works through the shockwaves from that event. Of course it hurt that his best friend (who'd rejected him sexually so recently) held the trigger. There's no legitimate space for him to express that anger though. I think an apology from Kara would have diffused a lot but it would never, nor perhaps should ever (since it was so obviously an accident) be forthcoming.
4. 'You hate it when she argues rationally, don't you?' There's another layer to the 'Kara fraks up and gets away with it' thread of thought and that's that actually Kara is a good soldier and Lee knows it. She often has sound reasoning and offers clever strategies, and ultimately her loyalty is unquestioning. I think that makes it even more annoying for Lee, perversely, because he can't just dismiss her as the naughty kid of the schoolyard. To do that is mean and reductive.
5. Out of 3 and 4 comes another layer which is the: 'I'm the one who's an asshole here' anger. Kara several times appeals to Lee on the Pegasus, wanting him on her side, and he's in an awkward position as commander. Especially since his own feelings about her are so tangled. He knows that his anger towards her is out of control. He tries to keep it in check but it bubbles out under pressure and disturbs him. So some of his anger is deflected anger at himself and at her being the trigger for revealing the nastier side of himself. There's a lot of self-loathing in the anger, which even stems back to the guilt about not being there to back her up when she went to assassinate Cain. But in the more immediate moment I think Lee doesn't like the self he sees reflected in their exchanges, which often wind up with them playing out extremes of their natures in opposition to each other (when deep down both know that's not all there is to the other person).
6. It's interesting that Lee goes into 'anger' after 'depression'--since depression is often related to repressed rage. I'd speculate that the things that lead to Lee's depression were very big picture and it's pretty hard to have rage at the whole universe (LOL I'm sure he'd give it a go sometimes!) continually, but Kara (sadly) provides a kind of outlet. The thing with anger is that once it's accessed in some way, it usually doesn't remain about just the one thing that initially triggered it--inside it's connected to all the other hurts and scars and angers. And I think that partly explains the severe edge to his rage.

It's shocking me how calm I am about vidding Battlestar, even though I am still so completely angry/cynical/depressed by the failure of the show. I guess that just shows that I'm finally ready emotionally to do so. For so long, before the show even ended, I froze up emotionally thinking I'd never be able to draw on canon again because I couldn't trust it anymore. And occasionally it occurs to me that I should be more worried than I am about what viewers will think of the way I use canon, given how deeply canon copped out (in this case specifically on Lee/Kara). Perhaps it's because I'm not in the stage of thinking about audience yet (yay!!! god I hate that stage), but I think it's more than that... I have decided to vid not the facts or the plot points or the 'what actually happened in canon', but the emotional truth beneath that. And that's why I trust it--the vid, the concept, whatever it is. Because I can feel that emotional thread, and it is so strong and so coherent that no amount of shit from canon can actually destroy it. It's a good feeling for me because it reminds me that I may not be able to trust the show, but I can trust myself and I think I lost touch with that for a while, when I thought I could no longer trust my own understanding of Lee. And so that gives me faith again, I have a touchstone again, which I thought I had lost. *smile*

Can I just stay here forever and not do the boring horrible months of polishing and reediting and tweaking colour and making horrible fucking credits?! Please? (Hee! No, I want it finished for myself too but I do love this stage and it's fun to wallow while it lasts.)

This entry was originally posted at http://www.dreamwidth.org/12345.html. Comment here or there, as you will.
Tags: bsg, lee adama, vidding

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