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09 February 2006 @ 01:21 am
Battlestar Galactica 2.15: Scar  
In which I fail to say anything intelligent AT ALL.

Oh bliss, a Starbuck episode! I really missed her in Black Market and it was wonderful to get a Starbuck-centric ep, even if I’m a little jealous that her ep was stronger than Lee’s. I spent most of this episode with my heart in my mouth but a big grin on my face because I love that girl so much! My Starbuck squee list:
- She made a complete dick of herself but yet was still adorable (and Lee’s onlooker-wince framed that perfectly)
- She looks hot even with those massive dark marks under her eyes (how is that?!)
- She admitted she couldn’t get Anders out of her head (awww…)
- She put the moves on Lee! Wheeeee!!! (more on that later)
- She and Kat squaring off against one another (Alpha Girls!)
- The look she gave Lee when he asked ‘are you ok?’
- She and Helo training together are great, and I love that she has the supportive male buddy thing going. The shot of Lee and Helo looking on in the final scene in that ‘that’s our girl’ way was just adorable.
- Her pissed-off dignity when she had to pour for Kat, and then the broken way she framed the toast.
- The toast was a reprisal of Lee listing the names to her in the bar! Squee! And Lee recognised that and helped out! (Oh, my heart!)

Attempted coherence
I really liked the way the episode was set up and the way it drew on similarities between Kara and Kat and Kara and Scar. It was a shock to see Kara knocked off her pedestal, but it was convincing because she herself admitted that she’s functioning below par and she’s lost her crazy reckless edge. I got a pang of Lee-related jealousy when Helo suggested she had ‘something to live for now’, but I see that that’s true. And I really liked that Kara opened up a fraction to be able to tell Lee and Helo that she was obsessing about Anders. Good on her! It’s particularly interesting when Lee is shutting off completely. (I also loved that Lee knew about Anders already, and it made me wonder how much Kara knows about Lee’s relationships, past and present.)

I wasn’t predisposed to like Kat, having Starbuck-loyalty, but I did think she was shown pretty fairly. Her accusations had truth in them and she mirrored the same traits that I love in Starbuck (brash insolence, cockiness, irresponsibility). It worked for me, despite the fact that she’s still clearly Starbuck’s inferior. (Pah! Go away, little girl!)

The entire episode would, of course, have been worth it for that one Kara/Lee bar scene. I had so much love for it. Favourite line: ‘bright shiny futures are overrated anyway’. That’s my boy, Lee! But seriously, that scene just took my love for those two to a whole new level. She spits alcohol on him?! Wah! And he doesn’t complain until the second time she does it? *melts* There’s a thing I never thought I’d find hot.

Ok, I can do this… *has actual thoughts*
At the heart of Kara’s anxiety this episode was the fear of dying, and it’s interesting that this has been raised at a time when Lee is confronting the fact that dying is not a terrifying prospect to him, but potentially a blessed release. Clarification: I don’t think Lee is actively suicidal any more. But he’s still struggling with the experience of having been so. Once again, Kara and Lee are given opposite characteristics. Kara’s struggle has to do with having lost her reckless willingness to die; Lee’s has to do with having embraced his deathwish. It’s not surprising there’s a deep disconnect between the two of them at the same time as there’s intense attraction.

Both Kara and Lee are in mourning for someone they fear they’ve let down terribly and will never be able to repair that. Except that Lee’s woman is more definitively dead than Anders. And he’s not opening up to Kara or anyone else aboard Galactica about it.

Despite the differences I liked the way this episode sketched the fact that the two of them understand each other and connect on a level that others can’t touch. It’s in the unspoken things, like Lee stepping forward to finish her toast. Despite their separate crises, they’re still standing by one another.

Ok, I give up. OMG the hot! OMG! Kara/Lee all drunk and hot and fumbling and messy and angry and angsty. It doesn’t get better than that! Blow-by-blow account of greatness:
- Kara toasting the moment.
- Lee’s earnest ‘I’ll drink to that’ (because he’s just where he wants to be, after all)
- Kara’s flirty eyes at Lee (‘so why don’t we?’)
- Lee all oblivious and not taking her hints (‘why don’t we what?’)
- the little smile of thinking-he-gets-it-but-can’t-believe-his-luck as Kara leans in to kiss him
- Lee’s totally ‘lost in the moment’ closed eyes while they kiss
- Kara’s flashbacks centre on being tugged around by Anders and she acts in the same way with Lee (SO hot, because she’s going all alpha male on him)
- Lee being way more of a girl than Kara with his ‘slow down, it’s not a race’ comments
- Kara: ‘what’s wrong with you?’ (in the immediate sense, it’s a typical Starbuck deflection; but in the larger sense, that’s the big question: the silence between them)
- Lee’s massively angsty look in return and his immediate reaction of disbelief that she’s walking out on him
- Kara’s too-extreme protestation that there is ‘nothing’ (finger waggle) between them
- Lee hovering as close to her as possible and trying for some kind of reconnection despite that
- Lee’s intense assertion that he’s ‘also her friend’, not just a quick lay
- Kara triggering Lee into pissy-bitch routine and ending up slapping him. So inevitable!
And I would have been in brokenhearted emotion overload, except that they put in the coda-kiss:
- Kara looking like she’s going to cry after she hits Lee and grabbing him back
- Lee so not expecting it and his hands hovering around her not wanting to push his luck
- Kara pushing away the minute Lee’s hands settle on her and storming out
I adored that Kara told him she was all frakked up and thinking about Anders, and I liked the sense that she wanted Lee and didn’t want Lee all at the same time. Lee, of course, will be baffled by all of that. He won’t believe there was anything genuine in her responses to him. He’ll buy her ‘quick lay’ line and file himself away as such. But I’m not sure. Call me an optimist, but I think there was a bit of discontent in Kara that stemmed from not wanting to be with Lee when she was all messed up about Anders. She clearly wanted to be over Anders and wasn’t. Right before she met Anders she was slept with Gaius as compensation for Lee. She must feel some sense of the sad irony that now she’s getting to lay Lee, but she can’t get Anders out of her mind...

(I need my Kara expert! supacat where are you? *howls into the darkness*)
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Nora Norwich: Kara Roslin laughingnorwich36 on May 23rd, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
Wow--no comments at all on this review? How strange!

Like you, I was happy to get a Kara-centered episode right after a Lee-centered episode, though I wish both episodes weren't devoted to exploring their character flaws! I have to say, *my* emotional response to this episode was NOOOO! Don't make Starbuck this person!!!

Not that I think it was out of character--unfortunately I thought it was far too much in character--but while I don't mind Kara being flawed, I have to admit I had a LOT more sympathy with Kat's position than with Kara's, even though Kat was being an obnoxious brat about it.

I like what you had to say about the parallels between Scar and Kara. Thematically, I kind of love it that in the end, Kara made the decision to let Kat kill Scar. It's interesting--all three of those characters are motivated by a fear of death, but in Kara's case she faces it by an almost suicidal courage.

I can see how this episode must have simultaneously thrilled and annoyed Kara/Lee lovers, but to be honest for me this episode was all about the Kat/Kara slash potential. Holy GOD. Kara has amazing chemistry with everyone, but when she comes up against other alpha women--Kat, or Admiral Caine--the sparks just fly. I'm pretty excited that very soon it will be safe for me to go read all the BSG stories in the femslashathon jennyo ran a month or two ago without fear of being spoiled.

That doesn't mean, though, that I didn't enjoy all her scenes with Lee--both the spitting beer bits and the angry kissing/almost sex. And like you, I enjoyed the fact that Lee gets to be the "girl" in those scenes. Damn. Kara is, if anything, even *more* emotionally frakked up than Lee, and that's saying a lot.

What killed me about the toast at the end was that even though Starbuck denies remembering the names and faces of those who died under her command, she clearly remembers every single one. And that breaks my heart.

That's as far as I've gotten in my marathon, and since today and tomorrow I have to actually get some work done, I'll probably not get to watch more episodes until Thursday, alas.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: bsg giveth and takethbop_radar on May 24th, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
Wow--no comments at all on this review? How strange!
*g* Ah, not really... this is the one where I embarrassingly LOST IT!

And I think this was a very difficult episode for much of fandom. It got another poor reception. I think some of the complaints about it are valid, but I also think it was just emotionally challenging for both Kara-fans and Lee-fans, yet their readings of the ep were very different, so it created a lot of Fan Angst!

I have to admit I have a LOT more sympathy with Kat's position
Fascinating! That's quite unusual. She was widely hated. I didn't mind her, but I was still on Starbuck's side. It definitely hurt to see Starbuck lose the cup. *sob* And yes, total heartbreak in that final scene, with the names of those lost... Oh Kara! I just want to sweep Kara and Lee up and snuggle them! My babies are so in pain!

Almost suicidal courage... yes, that's true! So Kara-like!

I definitely agree there was raging femslash potential with Kara and Kat. And you're right that Kara has sparks with all alpha females, which is great! It's rare to have ONE strong female character in a show. Let alone two with chemistry!

Kara is, if anything, more emotionally frakked up than Lee, and that's saying a lot.
*giggle* Yes, it is... and yeah, maybe she is. Though being in the Lee camp, I tend to be jealous of her strength. This ep was all about seeing the cracks in her armour though.

So what's your verdict on the almost-sex? Does Kara care about Lee at all? Is it flippant (hey-why-not, oh-damn-he-actually-has-feelings-for-me) or is it more bleak and self-destructive (don't-think-too-much-about-this/this-is-all-I-can-ever-expect-and-so-just-make-do)? The fantasising about Anders was pretty damning. It seems that my soul is still colonised by Kara/Lee, because I had amazingly plotted dreams about them while on holiday!

Most of my spoilery icons relate to this ep, so I can whip some out now! ;)

yay! you have more to look forward to--if anything, this is the low point of the season.
Nora Norwich: Kara Roslin laughingnorwich36 on May 24th, 2006 05:20 am (UTC)
So what's your verdict on the almost-sex? Does Kara care about Lee at all? Is it flippant (hey-why-not, oh-damn-he-actually-has-feelings-for-me) or is it more bleak and self-destructive (don't-think-too-much-about-this/this-is-all-I-can-ever-expect-and-so-just-make-do)? The fantasising about Anders was pretty damning. It seems that my soul is still colonised by Kara/Lee, because I had amazingly plotted dreams about them while on holiday!

Is it cheating if I say both? I mean, I think *in that moment* it was making do, but I also think she has strong feelings for Lee--they're just buried under her guilt about Anders. And I do think it is more guilt than actual love--I was never very convinced by that relationship, when it was happening, but I can see how she feels she betrayed him by leaving him behind and not returning as she promised.

I'm not surprised that the sentiment of the fandom was against Kat, because Kara is the popular character, and I felt bad for her too until it became clear that this was beyond a little slipping, she was really sliding into a situation where things could go *really* wrong.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Helo Lee Team Starbuckbop_radar on May 24th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)
Very interesting comments re the almost-sex! And I'll let you off the hook, because BSG is very layered, and rewatching this ep with supacat made me realise that both her reading AND my reading (reductively described above) could be present and true in the same instance. Which makes it interesting to see how each of the characters will interpret and remember that event--since neither of them would be 'wrong'.

Yeah, I think this was a good episode because it so clearly challenged our sympathies. Kara used to be in Kat's position (and was also a total brat) and we cheered her on--now that roles are reversed, we are almost forced to abandon her if we are to be objective. But Kara's own arc within the ep redeems her (in a very dark way), so I didn't squirm as much as some fans evidently did. The 'brat' character is not one I'm always drawn to, but I did sympathise with Kat somewhat, despite that. So I think it was still a very successful episode.
Nora Norwich: baby clark snugglesnorwich36 on May 24th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
Oh, p.s. I see no evidence of you "losing it" in this review. To be sure, this isn't your usually analytical examination of the episode, but so what? This is pretty much the average fan review: heavy on the squee, light on the analysis. I enjoy reading those type of reviews, too.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: bsg kara/lee minebop_radar on May 24th, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
Heeeee. Um, yes, I was completely manic with squee when I posted it though. I knew I wasn't objective at allll... and it was at a time of major SV analysis, so the contrast between my two shows couldn't have been greater! I am intelligent about the pretty!shiny! show and squee about the intelligent show? Weird me. But yes, all things in perspective, perhaps I didn't lose it that much... *is reassured a little*