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19 March 2007 @ 08:57 pm
Battlestar Galactica 3.20 Crossroads, Part I  
As expected from Part I of a season-ending arc, this episode had an incomplete feel to it. It had some strong moments, but much of its power, I suspect, will come from seeing where things end up. There were a few oddnesses, like Tory losing it, that don't really fit yet. (Though I was at least grateful we got to hear Laura crack it with her. I've never been that impressed with Tory, but she was seriously hopeless in this ep--yelling at Baltar's prosecuting lawyer? Not smart.)

And then Tigh's mysterious music... I don't feel I can even begin to speculate on that. I kind of wish it was just a symptom of him going completely batshit, but I fear some deeper significance at work ... :-( Sam can hear it too. 'Tis the music of lost wives, apparently. (If it is, I will stab things.)

Courtroom scenes are difficult. Particularly when we don't know the legal framework they're working under. However, I thought the prosecution lawyer was very charismatic--a well-chosen guest actor. Her opening address was very strong, and I thought using the device of the population total (and missing number) was very powerful--it also structured the courtcase into the larger story of the series, since Roslin's tally has been one of the most poignant features of the fleet's survival.

Lampkin's defence speech was interesting, though I was a little unconvinced that the crowd would be as receptive, or at least as silent, as they seemed. By overstating the militaristic 'payback' aspect of the trial, he was no doubt trying to create a culture of public embarrassment about such motivations. Although I'm not that convinced that many people in the fleet are embarrassed by those emotions. *frowns* I found Roslin turning up late very amusing. I also loved that we could see in the background, as Lampkin expounded, that she was making that face, the smiling tolerantly one that she puts on when she is Most Displeased or bored.

While I'm in sympathy for Laura, may I say that regardless of the origin of her insights, I felt really sorry for her having to justify her suggestions to Tigh. Hell, I feel sorry for her having to even have a conversation with Tigh. And I loved her walking off shaking her head. 'Boys!'

Gaius was at his comedic best, I felt. The scene where his 'disciple' visited him was hilarious: 'I'm not The God, a god, of any derivation thereof...'/'Well, that's very baffling!' Although I had a disturbing moment when I realised that what Head!Six says to Baltar about his disciples (they see you better than you see yourself) is strikingly similar to what the Oracle said to Kara about Leoben. It was also fun to see him flip out about his 'security guard' turning lawyer. ;-)

I really liked the circular connections in this episode. Laura suggests Tigh talk to Six, which results in her opening up Tigh's wounds regarding Ellen, which results in his collapse on the witness stand, which results in Adama's defensiveness with Lee, which provided the final drive to make use of his insight into the origin of Laura's initial idea about Six.

This trial is public, and the way that the key players conduct themselves in that public arena will affect the way they are viewed by others. Tigh's actions were embarrassing. Adama gets points for being a good friend, but allowing your best friend to serve as XO is a whole different matter. I've been frustrated by how Tigh's return to his post hasn't been problematised on the show and I'm glad it's come out into the light now. I felt some sympathy for Tigh when he killed Ellen--I found that a genuinely moving moment. But I felt little pity for him on the stand. He was stupid enough to get drunk and get up on the stand. And Adama's friendship did nothing to prevent him from doing so. I'm with Lee on this one: Tigh embarrassed himself.

Lampkin is right--Lee is a really bad liar. Lampkin's got Lee's measure perfectly--he pegs correctly that the person Lee needs to prove something to is himself, and that Lee's not going to be comfortable with the idea that he withheld something that could have helped Gaius's defence. Once again, nicely manipulated, Mr Lampkin.

Of course, Lee's lack of a poker face did him no good in his meeting with his father. However, that does NOT justify the way Adama turned on him. This is the part of my review where I have fits of rage against Adama. It's entirely possible that I paused my viewing to throw things... their father-son exchange got so completely out of hand, and I cannot believe that after all this time and all the effort that Lee's put into rebuilding that relationship, Adama still puts Tigh first. Is Adama sulking because Lee turned down CAG to play lawyer? Er, he's still giving you tactical advice, Bill! You've got the best of both worlds! Grrrrr.

So. Completely. Unfair. You do NOT call your son a liar and a coward. Words from parents sting. They scar deeper than words from anyone else, even partners. And Lee didn't know about Ellen. If it hadn't caused such a hideous family rift, I would have been giggling a lot over the fact that Lee clearly didn't care an iota about what happened to Tigh's wife. That's actually pretty poor of Lee, I think--purely from the perspective of knowing the men you serve with, I think he should have had some idea that there was something more to Ellen's death than just 'random death at hands of Cylons number 4765'. However, I like it as a sign of how he just doesn't rate Tigh as important at all. So WOW, Adama, you just made it incredibly easy for your son to rebel against you. And he did so with far more dignity and grace than you. You were an ugly character in this episode.

I think Lee found it surprisingly easy, in that final moment, to remove his wings. Not just because the altercation with his father had gone so far, but because he's moved beyond flying as a career. He's got newfound direction and confidence and there's an emptiness in the sky now anyway. So, I guess we've lost both our pilots now. No more Starbuck. (The show feels so empty without her!!) No more Apollo. *sniffles*

Unspoiled as I was, I had no idea that the episode would result in Lee cross-examining Laura to defend Gaius. And ouch! That was hard to watch. They've had so few scenes together in the last season and a half, it was painful to have that old intimacy dredged up here. Laura appealing to Lee broke my heart. Especially because Lee has conflicted feelings about what he's doing himself. He looked chronically uncomfortable when Lampkin first brought up Roslin's motives in prosecuting Baltar. I don't think he's at all comfortable with dragging her into it. And I think that's why, in the final moment, he grants her request and asks why. The answer kills him. Oh, Lee! *covers face with hands* You're never going to stop gathering reasons to feel guilt, are you? I adored the voiceshake on that question too. Oh, dear, dear, Lee!

I think it's also important to remember that Lee is a sceptic. Laura appeals to their joint experience with finding the path to Earth, but I think Lee's locked that experience away somewhere deep inside. He's rationalised it to himself, and he doesn't have faith in the spiritual. Although it was never explored, religious faith, and Laura's willingness to embrace it, was always a point of difference between Lee and Laura, and I think it's really interesting that it's arisen again now. (It also makes me wish the writers had done a better job of exploring that as one of the reasons that led to them drifting apart.)

Lee crosses the floor to face Laura, to look her in the eye when he asks her the crucial question. He does so in front of his father, to prove he's not the coward that Adama claimed. If his father's going to condemn him for attacking someone that his father holds dear, let it be for something he's actually done. Laura says she feels sorry for him... I'm not sure I do. I do feel he's been manipulated, but I also feel he's made his own decisions. He's on a journey to become his own man, not his father's. But I am sorry that it's cost him, once and for all, Laura's friendship, because I fear it has, and that was once so valuable and dear to Lee.

Laura came out of the trial relatively strongly. She held her own in the press conference as she always does. Unlike Tigh, she's not actually a mess, and that's a very important distinction. The transparency of the trial will, I hope, make that obvious. If it results in public pressure for Tigh to resign, I'll be very happy.

Lee, on the other hand, didn't come out so well. Oh, that's right--nearly forgot that he lost his wife in this episode as well. *facepalm* Dee, as usual, didn't get many lines. However, I wasn't surprised by the decision to script her walking out on him over this. She's Adama's girl, and this trial has brought to light all the aspects of Lee's character which are unlike his father. She doesn't sympathise with his stance, and she's got her own strongly held opinions. I'm really glad that finally we've got to a place where the difference in their values is made clear. Summed up in, I believe, a couple of sentences and some dramatic hand gestures. Ah, well. ;-)

I'm a little cranky still, so I'll indulge in some Helo squeeage--sooooo nice to see him back as XO and bonding with Felix. Loved his 'storm is rising' call too. So cutely melodramatic. (At least he didn't say the music is rising!) I had a moment of picturing him Legolas-like on a mountaintop, hand to brow, taking the pulse of the wind. ;-p

Finally Lee's idea about the tillium ship was frakking brilliant. And of course Adama uses it despite Lee's resignation! I hope it saves their asses so that they're all SORRY SORRY SORRY! *pouts*

I'm off to read asta77's brilliant post now.
 
 
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: crankycranky
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee in darknessbop_radar on March 19th, 2007 08:59 pm (UTC)
I hope you are right about Laura. The 'I'm so sorry for you' line had me really really worried, but what you say of her is completely true--of all people, she's most likely to understand.

As for Adama, RAAAAAAAGE!!! I agree--completely incapable of objectivity here. I'd hope that he was on the tribunal to show how warped and unfair the trial is, except that I know RM thinks Adama is a model of fairness. *stabs*
(no subject) - asta77 on March 20th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
latteaddict: Inspector Leelatteaddict on March 19th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
So. Completely. Unfair. You do NOT call your son a liar and a coward. Words from parents sting. They scar deeper than words from anyone else, even partners.

YES! And this is exactly how upset I was when Adama told Kara he no longer loved her like a daughter and that she was a cancer. Bill Adama is a SHIT parent!

I actually think the writers take things too far. In real life, these kind of abusive words from parents are rarely gotten over.

The Laura/Lee stuff was rather deliciously angsty.

I'd say more but it's getting so late. Cool review!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee boxing hugbop_radar on March 19th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC)
I've had it with Adama. You're right--he really sucks at parenting and I am sick of how he privileges people over one another. Sometimes it feels like the entire fleet is in competition for his affections and who has his undying trust? Tigh. Pfft! *rages*
(no subject) - latteaddict on March 20th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 12:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - latteaddict on March 20th, 2007 01:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - latteaddict on March 20th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
daybreak777daybreak777 on March 19th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks as always for explaining Lee. I just didn’t understand where he was going in this episode. I get that he’s being his own man but what does that mean for him in this world? I noted how he and his father argued after Lee states his brilliant plan. They need Lee and his brilliance.

Adama has no idea who Lee is. I think he’s still hurting over Kara. He knew her well and is kind of relying on Lee to fill that space for now. Adama wants to blindly protect people. He even knows he’s not objective. That what he said in the ring. He doesn’t care. Just don’t hurt Lee or Laura or Tigh. (Or Dee or Helo or the ensign who brings his coffee, etc.) Doesn’t care what they want, what’s logical or who he is as their military leader. He’s just trying to hang on to his family. I don’t always like how he does it but his pain is so clear to me that I just can’t hate him for it.

We differ on the prosecuting lawyer. I didn’t like her delivery of some lines in the courtroom. I wanted an Alex Cabot or Abby Carmichael up there representing humanity. I actually liked her better with her verbal sparring with Tory. I like Tory. Hard to after Billy but she won me over when Roslin had her giggling fit last year. Tory with her shake of the head. She did it again when Tigh was on the stand. Tory’s nonverbal, “and how are exactly are you people running everything” attitude just tickles me. But she’s kind of losing it too. And that is very interesting.

No more Starbuck. (The show feels so empty without her!!) No more Apollo. I really miss hearing her voice. But she's in these episodes too. Her presence. I heard her cheering when Six cracked Tigh back, for one. Sigh. Starbuck.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee is emo!bop_radar on March 19th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
He’s just trying to hang on to his family.
By hurting/rejecting the rest of his family? There's a line for me, and Adama's crossed it. I'd have more sympathy if I thought he was trying to change (like Lee is trying to), trying to be a better person and NOT hurt one family member to protect another. But I don't see that. I was one hundred per cent behind Lee resigning under those circumstances. Adama takes his parenting into the command structure in a way that I feel is unacceptable.

Having said all that, I'm glad you can understand Adama and have compassion for him--I'm glad someone does.

Tory losing it is very interesting. I want that loose end tied!
(no subject) - daybreak777 on March 20th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daybreak777 on March 20th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 20th, 2007 06:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - daybreak777 on March 20th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Diana: Misery -- Leebutterfly on March 19th, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC)
I am amazed (though I shouldn't be) at how many people are pissed off at Lee and agreeing with Adama that he's a coward. In standing up for what he believes is right, Lee has lost everything else important to him. How are those the actions of a coward? How can a man standing up for his beliefs (and such beliefs as justice and truth!) be considered something to spit on?

For Lee, loyalty does not trump principle. That's one of the reasons that I admire him so much. And that's also why his father may never understand him. Laura, I think, may possibly come to understand that he was doing his job and bringing up relevant questions (because, yeah, it is relevant that Laura is taking a drug that induces hallucinations).

For Adama, loyalty trumps everything else. Common sense, principle, doesn't matter. What matters is if you'll stand by Adama no matter what. Tigh should never have been his XO again after New Caprica (or even before that, for the most part). He isn't capable. He deserves all the second chances that Adama wants to give him in his personal life, but that man should never have been second in command. Putting loyalty above all else has led Adama to some stupid, stupid calls.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee in darknessbop_radar on March 19th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
How are those the actions of a coward? How can a man standing up for his beliefs (and such beliefs as justice and truth!) be considered something to spit on?
I DON'T KNOW!!! I can't believe that anyone's on Adama's side here. Ok, I can believe it because it's fandom, but SHEESH! I can't understand how anyone could call Lee a coward. I can understand how people could call his personal integrity into question in terms of his relationships--but that's not the integrity that we're talking about here.

For Lee, loyalty does not trump principle. That's one of the reasons that I admire him so much.
Definitely! It makes him a far greater man than his father in my eyes. The fleet needs men like Lee, or they will rapidly devolve into callous monsters. Your dissection of the difference between Lee and Adama is spot on: loyalty before principle is cowardice and lack of integrity in my eyes. Right back atcha, Bill! *glares*
Kate: Gaius and Sixmskatej on March 19th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
I also intensely disliked Adama here, and actually, I'm on Gaius's side anyway and I think the rest of the fleet can suck it.

Lampkin's right: if Gaius hadn't collaborated with the cylons they might have just killed all of them. They certainly could have if they'd wanted to. I mean, it's not that Gaius isn't guilty of treason or anything, I just don't think he should be executed for it. Capital punishment bothers me! *cuddles Gaius*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Gaius dancebop_radar on March 19th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
I'm on Gaius's side anyway and I think the rest of the fleet can suck it.
You're cute! :-)

if Gaius hadn't collaborated with the cylons they might have just killed all of them. They certainly could have if they'd wanted to. I mean, it's not that Gaius isn't guilty of treason or anything, I just don't think he should be executed for it. Capital punishment bothers me!
Me too. Absolutely. The territory is so grey and I love that as viewers, we saw the gun put to Gaius's head to get him to sign those papers. We know how conflicted he was. I don't think anyone's hands are entirely clean this far into the war. I also think Lampkin's right to emphasise that Gaius is being used as a scapegoat in this trial. 'We kill Gaius so we can leave it all behind'. That's false: the situation on New Caprica was more complex than that, and I understand Lee's need to come to terms with how Gaius is part of humanity, not a gangrenous limb to be amputated. Like Lee, I ABSOLUTELY think Gaius deserves a trial, and a fairer one than this one, and I hate that capital punishment is considered a solution here.
(no subject) - grapefruitzzz on March 19th, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
fruitsome: l_sam leegrapefruitzzz on March 19th, 2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
I wish I could post a long review, but as usual I come out of an episode and have nothing to say but "Oh Lee!". Poor little scrap.

Helo seemed surprised to hear about the Hera blood cure, but I thought he knew? He makes a cute XO, especially when he's rolling eyes and colluding with Gaeta.

Good point about it being the final end of PILOTS although Lee is still alive (bet Bill would rather it was the other way round, the old git. Hatey hate hate the miserable old sod.) Also good to remind me that Lee and Laura tromped through Kobol together. He went to the Starry Map Room with her (estranged) Papa (very estranged) Kara (dead) and Billy (very dead). Hmm.

Yep, Dee bailed at about the same time the uniform came off ;)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee in darknessbop_radar on March 19th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
Poor little scrap indeed! *huggles him because he needs huggles like whoa*

Helo seemed surprised to hear about the Hera blood cure, but I thought he knew?
Oh, I thought his jaw-clench indicated 'yes, I know, thanks for dredging that up again, you bitch!' rather than surprise. ;-)

He makes a cute XO, especially when he's rolling eyes and colluding with Gaeta.
Indeedy! I could watch them collude a great deal more.

Hatey hate hate the miserable old sod
Sums up my feelings exactly!

Also good to remind me that Lee and Laura tromped through Kobol together. He went to the Starry Map Room with her (estranged) Papa (very estranged) Kara (dead) and Billy (very dead). Hmm.
Indeedy! Poor darling! They were like one big happy family back then (comparatively). Do not go to the Starry Map Room together, people! It leads to badness. :-( I like your qualification of Billy as 'very' dead. ;-) If he comes back and not Kara I will kill things.

Dee bailed at about the same time the uniform came off ;)
That Dee! So shallow. Hmmph. I've been waiting for that 'that's why I married you' business to come back and bite... and sure enough: Shock! Horror! The son is NOT like the father?! I'm outta here... Never mind that I guilted him into staying with me instead of being with the love of his life for five seconds before he DIED.

Ach, the rage, it's not going away any time soon...
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 19th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - grapefruitzzz on March 20th, 2007 12:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
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DC: Battlestar Galactica - Leebananainpyjamas on March 20th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
*random person [albeit one on whose LJ you've commented] flits in*

I have to say it's really refreshing to read someone actually defend Lee. The comms I hang out in have for the most part been labeling him a whiny little snit. I am in complete and total agreement with you on Adama's treatment of him. I usually love Bill and have sympathy for why he acts the way he does, but I was aghast at his not even being willing to entertain the possibility that Lee wasn't behind bringing Ellen into Saul's cross. As his son, Lee at least deserved the chance to explain himself, but apparently Bill wasn't interested. A big FAIL moment for him in my book.

PS: A BSG fan sympathetic to Lee AND an SV fan sympathetic to Lois? I'm friending you, if that's alright. =D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois searchingbop_radar on March 20th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
I've had a lot of sympathy for Bill in the past, but this episode completely blindsided me. I thought that the changes in his relationship with Lee, the growing genuine mutual respect, would have altered his internal landscape such as to prevent this happening. And yes, I've gathered that people are anti-Lee on this. *headdesk* I don't really understand why people hate on him as much as they do, and I really don't understand it here when he's doing something so admirable!

And Hi! *waves* It's very rare that I meet Lee-friendly and Lois-friendly people! *friended back* Aren't you also a vidder? I'm trying to remember where we've crossed paths before... in any case, I am delighted to meet you now!
(no subject) - bananainpyjamas on March 20th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
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The First Evil: Lee B&W - 427_fandomasta77 on March 20th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
their father-son exchange got so completely out of hand, and I cannot believe that after all this time and all the effort that Lee's put into rebuilding that relationship, Adama still puts Tigh first. Is Adama sulking because Lee turned down CAG to play lawyer? Er, he's still giving you tactical advice, Bill! You've got the best of both worlds!

There is such a role reversal going on between the two. In the mini series, Lee was the little snot totally unwilling to give his father a chance and Adama was obviously hurt by his son's rejection. Now Adama has the relationship he wanted, Lee reaches out every chance he gets (He obviously chose to come and talk to his father. He offered unsolicited advice. He wanted to help.) and he's rejected repeatedly. Lee grew up and Adama grew into an ass.

I think Lee found it surprisingly easy, in that final moment, to remove his wings.

Hee! Great minds! :)

Lee crosses the floor to face Laura, to look her in the eye when he asks her the crucial question. He does so in front of his father, to prove he's not the coward that Adama claimed. If his father's going to condemn him for attacking someone that his father holds dear, let it be for something he's actually done.

Great observation! I had not thought of that aspect of the scene at all. And that probably was the impetus to Lee asking to cross examine her. I was wondering if he was trying to protect her in some small way. Thet he believed (probably correctly) that he'd go easier on her than Lampkin. But, yeah, I think you have it right. If Lampkin had asked her the questions, Adama would just assume he got the information from Lee and Lee was too much of a coward to confront her himself. So Lee proved something to his dad, to Laura, and to himself.

And thanks for the nice rec. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on March 20th, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
Lee reaches out every chance he gets (He obviously chose to come and talk to his father. He offered unsolicited advice. He wanted to help.) and he's rejected repeatedly. Lee grew up and Adama grew into an ass.
True! Absolutely TRUE! I really don't understand how anyone can see Adama as the more admirable of the two after this episode.

If Lampkin had asked her the questions, Adama would just assume he got the information from Lee and Lee was too much of a coward to confront her himself. So Lee proved something to his dad, to Laura, and to himself.
*nods* Though again, great minds: because I also wondered if part of it was that he was protecting her. I do think Lampkin would have been rougher on her, and I don't think Lee's cross-examination was particularly aggressive; it was just that what he was 'outing' was very sensitive. I think Lee definitely sees standing up and doing this himself was a way to prove himself NOT a coward, because with all that voice-shaking it was plain that he found it quite gut-wrenching. That's courage. Because there is no immediate pay-off in proving something to Adama or Laura. Again, this is something Lee is doing so he can live with himself.

And you're welcome! As I say, I raced to your post last night for some sanity. I'm not feeling like venturing out into unfriendly-to-Lee territory this week. This eppy left me bruised enough on his behalf!
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on March 20th, 2007 02:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee/Helobop_radar on March 20th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
What?! *clutches heart* Bitchslapping Lee?! WHY?! Please to be explaining to me what is so irritating about him--he's at his most admirable to me right now. I don't understand! *cries* Your opinion seems to be quite common but I just don't get it... how can you be frustrated with a guy who's standing up for what he believes in?!

I seem to remember a hallway scene where she's handcuffed but she says something to Helo about change coming.
OMG, yes! Nice call, girl! I do love Helo and I want him to be XO permanently SO BAD.

*awaits enlightenment regarding your Lee-hatred*
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(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on March 20th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on March 20th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on March 20th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 06:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bloodygoodgirl on March 20th, 2007 06:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 20th, 2007 09:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
thekateyouknow: Sad Leethekateyouknow on March 21st, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
Thank goodness for some Lee support. I was starting to think I was a crazy person.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on March 21st, 2007 02:44 am (UTC)
You're not crazy! (Fandom is though--this week has been TERRIFYING!)

Hi! *waves*
fionn_a_bhair: John and Junefionn_a_bhair on March 21st, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
I have to admit, I found Lee verging on unsympathetic in this episode, and reading a different opinion is very illuminating. I love Lee - not in the way I love Kara, or Roslin, or Chief - but more than most of the characters, but I found myself constantly torn between wanting to slap him or give him a cookie.

My problem is that I didn't see Lee as being motivated by idealism - at least, not primarily. One of the best 'Lee + Idealism' episodes for me, is Bastille Day because, while he stands up to Adama and Roslin, he also retains the ability to call Tom Zarek on every last piece of his bullshit. Yet in this episode Lee never turned around and questioned Baltar, the man who he has to know is guilty as all get out.

There are other issues which kind of intensified this problem for me - largely that the show has yet to convince me that Baltar's trial is actually unfair. Adama shouldn't be serving as judge, that's true, but the show did make a point of showing us that that happened accidentally (i.e. Roslin did not put him in to rig the result), and if Lee wasn't serving with the defence it wouldn't be as problematic. I'm not blaming Lee for this - it's more of a meta issue I think, the writers wanting to build as much drama as possible - but it's infuriating to watch because I'm not really seeing the much warranted unfairness. Judge Mrs Michael Hogan (whose name is?) is well able to slap Adama round when he needs it, and Lampkin is an excellent defence lawyer, so while the show may be telling me that the trial is unfair, that isn't what I'm seeing on screen.

As a result I don't see any need for Lee to step up to safeguard Baltar's rights, as I don't see them being attacked. [There's also my own personal irritation that it looks as though Baltar is going to get off, and, as much as I like watching him, the fact that he never, ever has to take responsibility for his actions is really beginning to bug. I'm slightly annoyed with Lee for contributing to it, though, again, that's more of a meta issue really.]

If I can't buy Lee's idealism in this instance - and, I just can't, it simply doesn't scan - then all I can fall back on is that...well Lee's very recently lost the person he loved most in the world, the one person who loved him unconditionally. The fact that he's still walking around - not slumped in Joe's Bar, drunk and weeping - is impressive enough, but the feeling I got from this episode was that what's really driving him is a sense of loss so...complete, so immense that he has find something else to occupy him or lose his mind. And Lee's too sane to lose his mind.

All this is profoundly sad, but it is especially heroic, or idealistic. What I'm seeing is Lee destroying all his personal relationships, and all I can think of...when the trial's over, what's left for him? Who's going to be there to pick up the pieces? Dee's walked (and good for her), Roslin probably won't feel like offering tea and sympathy any time soon, and Adama... Well don't get me started on Adama's method of parenting. He seems incapable of being there for his children when they need him most (see Kara after New Caprica).

Both of the Adama's are making me hurt right now, hurt a great deal, but I'm not seeing much honour or heroism from either of them; they're too broken for that.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Leebop_radar on March 21st, 2007 08:48 am (UTC)
I'm glad you found the post interesting.

Yet in this episode Lee never turned around and questioned Baltar, the man who he has to know is guilty as all get out.
I don't see why he should have. That's the court's role. What did you want to see him call him on? What would that achieve? As you point out, Lee doesn't have a high opinion of Gaius, and I'm sure he's sat in on sessions during which Gaius's guilt in some matters at least has been perfectly obvious. But I don't think this means he shouldn't act as his defense attorney (or attorney's associate). I confess I don't fully understand why this means you can't 'buy' Lee's idealism.

As for the trial being unfair, I absolutely believe it is, and I guess that's a key point between us. I can see the dramatic value in having Adama on the judge's panel, but in reality I think he should have declined the position. As you say, that's a meta issue. I have a similar complaint from Lee's perspective--I don't actually think that much harm was done to Laura Roslin by exposing that she has cancer again and is taking charmalla. She held her own perfectly well in the press conference, it was likely to come out some time anyway, and she's weathered this storm before. Again, I can see the show wanted to pile on the drama, but I've been quite startled by people viewing Lee's actions as unforgiveable. Lee himself was incredibly cut up by that news and by taking those actions--but he believed they were the right thing to do.

We're coming at this from very different angles, as I'm quite convinced that Gaius won't 'get off'. It's possible he may scrape through with his life intact, but I believe he will be punished. (And trust me, as someone who haaaaaaated Gaius through one and a half seasons, I really do want to see some accountability for his actions.)

the feeling I got from this episode was that what's really driving him is a sense of loss so...complete, so immense that he has find something else to occupy him or lose his mind
I don't think it's an either/or scenario. I think he is driven by both idealism and loss (I talked more about the way he was driven by loss last week) but I think that the only reason this does fill a hole in some way for Lee is because he IS an idealist and standing up for this is fulfilling for him.

What I'm seeing is Lee destroying all his personal relationships, and all I can think of...when the trial's over, what's left for him?
I don't see him doing that willingly. It's breaking his heart. But I guess if you don't buy his idealism, you don't see that. I absolutely do, partly, perhaps, because my own political views are very close to his--I'd want to have the courage to do what he is doing. I believe what he is doing is the right thing to do.
(no subject) - fionn_a_bhair on March 21st, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fionn_a_bhair on March 21st, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 21st, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 21st, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
rhiannonherorhiannonhero on March 22nd, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
I thought the father/son scene was perfect because it was illogical. Adama has lost a lot lately and just been utterly humiliated by his best friend in the courtroom, and no doubt part of him is humiliated by Lee being Gaius's attny, and he was a nasty, mean, human being in that moment, and I loved it. I thought it was perfect.

Also, I have to give Jamie Baber huge props for his acting in this episode. It was seriously amazing and subtle.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on March 22nd, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
Great point! And I agree with you. It's the illogical nature of the conflict that makes it so compelling. And so human. (I'm tearing my hair out on Lee's behalf, but I'm also able to take a step back and see it more objectively.)
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on March 28th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
I finally saw this episode (I'm catching up and this will be short because I have to watch the finale before it gets too late) but I just wanted to say that, as a generally Lee-neutral person (I don't have strong feelings toward him one way or another), I thought he was awesome in this episode. I was totally on his side for standing up for his principles, even though I do think he was a little bit manipulated by the attorney and also by the fight he had with his dad. Despite that, though, this is the form of Lee that I love: ready to sacrifice anything for what he believes. (I was really sad to see him in that suit, though--he seemed somehow diminished to me).

Other than the fact that I'm not nearly as angry at Adama as you (I thought he was a complete jerk, I just see it coming out of his own grief and ineptness at understanding Lee, so I'm a wee bit more sympathetic than you), I completely agree with the rest of your review. Stellar analysis--I really enjoyed reading it. Ok, off to watch the finale!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee Mr Adamabop_radar on March 28th, 2007 06:19 am (UTC)
Watch the finale! Watch the finale!! *twirls you*

Thank you, hon! I agree that there was manipulation involved--of course there was! Everyone was trying to manipulate him--his father, Roslin, Lampkin.

this is the form of Lee that I love: ready to sacrifice anything for what he believes
*beams* It's his best side!

I got over my Adama rage. daybreak777 took me gently by the arm and persuaded me that I wasn't reading his grief correctly--like you, she can see where he's coming from. I stand corrected (and somewhat appeased), though I still have some issues with his actions this season.

I was really sad to see him in that suit, though--he seemed somehow diminished to me
I know! :-( It was hot (especially the white shirt scene!), but yeah, he looked all wee and, yes, diminished. :-(

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the finale!