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26 April 2009 @ 07:24 pm
sometimes you break the rules.  
As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm doing something a little different for this recap. Considering how my "Act of Contrition" recap was horrible, I'm going to do less recapping and more watching and commenting on events. This is also partially because I hand-wrote the "recap" (I guess I should go back to calling it "commentary") instead of typing it. I might do "Litmus" and "Six Degrees of Separation" the same way, since I'm not particularly fond of them. But I'll decide next week, when I actually sit down to re-watch "Litmus". (The best thing about those two episodes? "Flesh and Bone" and "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down" come next.)

I go right into the show, no discussion of the previouslies or what's going on. Basically, they've recovered Hotdog, but no Starbuck, and Bill and Lee are determined to find her. (Jsyk.)

One of the things I love (and hate) about Bill Adama is his love for people not related to him by blood. As cliche as it is, that is really his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. Despite Kara admitting indirectly that she is indirectly responsible for his son's death, he still believes she is alive and wants to save her, no matter what. The reason why I hate it is because it makes him do stupid things, like waste resources and endanger the Fleet. Plus, considering his troublesome relationship with Lee, you can't really blame Lee for asking what Bill would do if he was on the moon. Another thing about his love/capacity for forgiveness is that it only extends to you if you don't personally betray him, like Boomer and Gaeta did. (And to a lesser extent, Tigh and Kara post-New Caprica, when they're bitter and broken and causing trouble amongst the crew. He was right to be angry at them, but his lack of sympathy for them in the rec room, making it all about him as opposed to what happened to them on that planet, is sickening to me.)

(Something that occurred to me at some point after I had gotten over my bitterness regarding "Deadlock" and watched it was the similarities between Bill and Ellen. Because yes, I can make everything about Ellen, and I know it's a ridiculous trait of mine, but my God, stop and think about it. It's a little hard to make a perfect fit, but Bill and Ellen are the reverse sides of the same coin, or at least cut from the same cloth. Like I said, it's hard to make a perfect fit, because Ellen didn't even become a real person until season three, and even then it takes the fifteenth episode of the fourth season before she gets her real personality back, but it does work with a little allowance for drawing conclusions about Ellen. I'm going to write a post about it one day, honestly.)

My crazy ramblings aside, where "Act of Contrition" is pretty much all about Starbuck's guilt over Zak, this episode is about the Adamas' grief over Zak. I just wanted to point out the obvious, so you know that I'm not watching a completely different show. So... something I love about the moon is its atmosphere and that humans can't breathe it. It's a little thing, and it's only there for the clock, but how many planets on Star Trek were oxygen-based and perfectly fine for humans? Probably not nearly as many as I think there were, but it thrills me anyway.

I remember when I first watched this episode and Bill said to Gaeta, "It's time to start guessing," I realized how serious the situation was to Bill. Mainly because the conversation in "Water" was still in my head, when he tells Laura he prefers for his crew not to make guesses. In fact, Tigh even sort of calls him on it, in a way, saying, "A lot of assumptions you're making" during a conversation about when the Cylons might find them.

Laura: I've spoken with the other captains in the Fleet, they've agreed to give over their ships at your disposal if it'll increase the odds of finding her.
Bill: Frak the odds, we're gonna find her.


I love Laura's look at the phone when he says that. The sudden change that came into his voice when he said that, forgetting who he was talking to for just a moment. Laura's signing some papers for Baltar, I think for his nuclear warhead or something related to it, like he and Bill discussed back in "Water". Back when we didn't know what Head!Six was, I did wonder if she was a manifestation of Gaius's subconscious. It makes perfect sense for him to be thinking that it's foolish to waste all this on one pilot when the Cylons are coming, and also to be thinking that he never got to frak Kara.

Really, in this episode, she does seem more like his subconscious than angel. Also, I can't express my contempt for Six's blue dress. I hate it. But I love Gaius and Laura, and Gaius's hand twirling in the air and the way Laura follows it and it's just hilarious. I hate that Mary and James didn't get more scenes together, because they are awesome together.

We go to Cylon-occupied Caprica after that; Helo's been there for fifteen days. He and Sharon are still in the restaurant. I do love the amount of manipulation going on here with Helo. The Cylons never quite match this level of mastermind again, either, or have a plan go this well. The thing that amazes me though is how different the season one Centurions look compared to the season four Centurions.

Kara: Lords, it's Kara Thrace. I'm running a little low on O2 and I could use a lucky break. No? Okay, just thought I'd mention it.


I love her little prayer. I like it when Starbuck gets to be funny. And so much love for the Raider, as well! It's biological! It bleeds! I am curious about something though: humans built the Centurions, the Centurions built the Hybrid (or a prototype?), and the Final Five built the skinjobs. Did the Centurions build the Raiders as well? I guess I'll have to look it up on the Wiki.

Bill: Any report from the civilian ships?
Tigh: Nothing. They're spread pretty far out. We're gonna have a hell of a time trying to cover them if the Cylons pop in. We should consider pulling the civvies into a defensible formation.


I love that Tigh is the one who keeps bringing up how vulnerable they are to the Cylons and Bill just keeps ignoring him. But of course Tigh is the one thinking of these things. I'll admit, New Caprica gave me a lot of respect for Tigh's leadership skills, and I kind of wish we had gotten to see Saul commanding the Galactica in season four. I think he would have been good at it. Actually, he would've done fine in season two, if not for Ellen. (A part of me does wonder what it would have been like if Bill had died. I'm torn between thinking Saul would have pulled it together or that he would have been overcome by grief. It's an interesting AU to consider for him and the show, really.)

Kara: Are you alive?


I love that Kara repeats the question Six asks in the miniseries to the Raider. I don't know why, but I just do. Like I said in my "Act of Contrition" recap, the show's all about cycles. I don't think we know that yet, I don't think it gets mentioned until "Flesh and Bone" and even then it's let go until "Kobol's Last Gleaming".

I hate that Lee yells at the Chief. Like he doesn't have enough problems besides Lee going crazy on him. I like that Lee is having a harder time with this than his father, and by "this" I mean holding onto the facade that you're being professional. Lee's like his father in a lot of ways, though he'd sooner die than admit it. He was fighting with Kara, over the nuggets and the memory of Zak, before she went down. He doesn't forgive as easily as his father does because he's not old enough to get it yet, that family is the most important thing, but he loves Kara Thrace, in many ways and for just as many different reasons. He also has a tendency to conflate the personal with the political.

Tigh doesn't like Kara (again, too many similarities; there are several reasons to theorize that Daniel was her father, but I know one of the reasons I thought it was the similarities) but Bill does, and if it weren't for the Cylons, I don't think Saul would ever think of telling Bill to leave Kara behind. But Lee doesn't like Tigh (and I think its for the same reasons Ellen doesn't like Bill) and he is too close, making it personal when it isn't. Tigh's already annoyed enough over the situation, though, and he doesn't have the same respect for Lee that he has for Bill, so he's not afraid to say what he's wanted to say for a while now.

Lee: Bottom line: we can double the area we can search in the time we have left [if we pull the CAP].
Tigh: Starbuck would be the first one to tell you not to do this.
Lee: Nothing would make you happier would it? Leave her behind, get rid of the foul-mouthed insubordinate pilot that keeps challenging your authority.
Tigh: You are way out of line, mister, I'm not the one confusing personal feelings with duty.
Lee: Oh, yeah? What the hell does that mean?
Tigh: It means you are way too close to this because she is your friend--
Bill: Gentlemen!


(Pointing out the obvious again, but Bill interrupts there because he doesn't want to hear what Saul has to say. He knows he's acting irrationally, that he's too close to this because Kara's like a daughter to him, his dead son was going to marry her, but he doesn't want to hear it. And partially because Lee was probably about to deck Saul, taking a leaf out of Starbuck's book, and Bill can't afford to throw Lee in the brig.)

Bill gives the go ahead for Lee's plan and it's not long before Laura's calling to ask. She hasn't talked to Lee since Kara went down so she doesn't know that he's in the same state his father is. He's her military advisor, so she's calling to ask why Bill's redeployed the CAP. Her surprise when he says it was his idea fades as she catches on to the situation. She still doesn't know how dire this is, what exactly it means, but she's getting there. Lee lies through his teeth to her, says they'll stop looking when Kara runs out of O2 soon. I don't know if he knows he's lying; I think he doesn't want to even consider they might not find her before that happens.

Lee: His pilots mean a lot to him, to all of us. We don't leave anyone behind.
Laura: But we have left people behind, you know that.


She was a politician and now she's a president, her only concern is the safety of her people. She measures loss on a whiteboard behind her desk. 47,954 people are left and if one goes missing, she can't risk the lives of 47,953 people to save that one. They've left people behind before, she says, and thinks of a little girl on the Botanical Cruiser, wanting to get home to her parents and go to sleep. She has the name of a ship in her pocket, burned onto her heart, to remind her of what she must do to keep her people safe. They've left people behind before. Just never a person Bill Adama loved.

(I wonder if Laura felt a little angry about that, at his arrogance that the only people who matter are the people who matter to him, considering the choices she made. I don't imagine it was something she stayed angry about for long, but I do wonder if she was a little annoyed that because Kara Thrace means something to him, the other people don't matter. Those already dead and left aren't important. She's trying to keep them all alive and he's risking it on one person. Unacceptable.)

I do love the way EJO plays the conversation with Gaeta. It makes you feel a little ashamed for daring to be logical. I mean, sure, we know Starbuck is still alive on the moon. We're hoping they don't give up and that they find her or she saves herself. But I don't fault Tigh or Gaeta or Laura at all for thinking it's hopeless and foolish. I know I keep saying "I love" this and that, but I really do, and I especially love that Tigh got more defiant when Starbuck ran out of air. It's very "Okay, I was willing to humor you but she's dead and it's time to go", which is exactly where Laura gets in a minute. Except Bill outranks Saul and he doesn't have to listen to him, so he relieves him of duty.

Tigh: Time's up, she's out of O2.
Bill: The clock is a guess. We don't know for a fact Starbuck is out of air.
Tigh: Her tank only holds so much oxygen.
Bill: She could have a reserve supply in her survival gear.
Tigh: A reserve?
Bill: Yes.
Tigh: What, she just happened to pack an extra bottle today?
Bill: It's possible.


That's actually the problem I have with their friendship, the power imbalance. Bill is always going to be Saul's best friend, but he's also always going to be his commanding officer. I don't think it's so apparent after New Caprica, when Saul had to lead the Resistance with a civilian and a deckhand. When he made choices that would have made Bill's head spin, when he killed his own wife for the good of the people -- that's some Laura Roslin shit there, not Bill Adama's way of doing things. But for now, the power imbalance exists, and that's a problem for me. Ironically, and really this says more about Saul's character than theirs, but this same problem he has with Bill -- deferring to his leadership -- is the same problem he has with Ellen. Ellen was right about one thing, though; Saul could easily command the Galactica if he just stepped out of Bill's shadow.

(There I go again. I promise to not do that again, and if I do, I'll cut it out. Like I said earlier, I'll write a post about it one day soon and get it out of my system.)

Once again, back to the actual show and stuff that actually happens and exists outside of my insane mind. I'm pretty sure Kara shouldn't have that little atmospheric tester stick thing. She threw it away when she first pulled it out to test the moon. I guess she didn't throw it far, but still. *grumbles*

While Kara's gratefully breathing in the stink of a Raider, Laura's realized she's got to do something about Bill and Lee. She's finally gotten to the place of "the time for humoring you is over" when Bill says they're staying until he says otherwise. Kara's out of oxygen as far as Laura knows. They're endangering her people for a dead girl. Unacceptable.

I really hate the way Kara seals the hole. It just doesn't seem really well sealed, I guess. But I love her "safety tip". Hee. Kara got some of the best lines.

Something else I love? Laura and Saul. They also should have gotten more scenes together. Particularly post-New Caprica, you know? Though I think I just think Mary should have gotten to have more scenes with everybody, because she's just Made of Awesome. (She is so awesome, awesome is made of her, y/n?)

Tigh: It's complicated. It would take about three weeks to explain.
Laura: We've got about three minutes, talk fast.




I like how the Adama men have finally found something to agree upon: rescuing Starbuck. I laugh every time at Lee's "I'm with you", because it's so funny to me and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the idea that he and his dad could stand up to Laura Roslin, who's in Airlock Mode before she's even airlocked someone, is just really funny. Really, I don't have much to say about this scene, at least nothing I haven't already said about Mary McDonnell a hundred times. I mean, it's just beautiful watching her play this. I really miss this Laura, this awesome, kick-ass Laura who pwns Bill and Lee for breakfast and Cylons for lunch. I hate that 4.5 took that awesomeness away, though I'll always love Laura. If it wasn't for Laura, I never would have started watching this show.

Laura: Colonel Tigh, how much aviation fuel has been expended in this operation?
Tigh: 43% of reserves.
Laura: Almost half. That's unacceptable. And operations in the moon's atmosphere have put one-third of your fighters out of action. That is also completely unacceptable.
Bill: Crap. Unacceptable. Whatever it is you feel about this, the recovery of one pilot is a military matter.
Laura: All right... it's military, fine. And you're both officers and you're both honorable men and you're both perfectly aware that you are putting the lives of over 45,000 people and the future of this civilization at risk, for your personal feelings. Now, if the two of you, of all people, can live with that, then the human race doesn't stand a chance. Clear your heads.


If I hadn't already loved Laura from the moment I first watched, then I would have fallen in love with her in this moment. This is my Laura, the Laura who cares for her people. The Laura who would not sit idly by while Tom Zarek and Felix Gaeta prepare a mutiny. For me, it's not about how her relationship with Bill became important to her. It's that she completely forgot about her people -- the people she was willing to assassinate Cain over, the people she was willing to steal an election for, the people she yelled and screamed and threatened Gaius Baltar over. In the end, I stopped caring about the civilians because the show did.

But there I go again, talking about events that haven't happened yet and aren't even relevant to the episode I'm watching. Just wait for "Flesh and Bone" and "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down", because I know I'm going to cover cycles as much as possible for "Flesh and Bone" and "Tigh Me Up" is going to be when I talk about "No Exit" and "Deadlock". If you think I talk a lot about Ellen Tigh now, just wait until you see what happens when an episode is dedicated to her. (Especially one as important as her introduction.)

Starbuck: Okay, so it either works or it doesn't. (tries it and it does work. Laughs) Okay, okay... That's power, roll, pitch, and yaw. We have control! Take me home! (the Raider lifts off the ground and she laughs again) Oh, you stink, but you're one hell of a flying machine!


I miss Starbuck, too. Not because Kara goes *poof* in the end. But did we even get to see her in a Viper at all in season four? Besides when she came back and when she sat in the cockpit in "Revelations"? I am one of the few people happy with Kara's arc, though there were some missteps, but even though I like Kara, it doesn't stop me from missing Starbuck.

Lee: I need to know something: why did you do this? Why did we do this? Is it for Kara? For Zak? For what?
Bill: Kara was family. You do whatever you have to do. Sometimes you break the rules.
Lee: And if it was me down there instead?
Bill: You don't have to ask that.
Lee: Are you sure?
Bill: If it were you... we'd never leave.


I actually have nothing to say about that, because I've already talked about Lee and Bill's relationship in the "Bastille Day" post and all throughout this commentary, though certainly not as much as I thought I would. (I have much more fun comparing Bill and Ellen, obviously.) Plus I've taken forever to type this up and it's now midnight and I should have finished ages ago. Sorry.

Starbuck's Raider shows up on DRADIS and Lee's the only Viper who gets to launch 'cause there's a problem with Hotdog or something. Basically it's just a plot contrivance to get Lee to be the only one out there. The only problem I have with this scene -- which is otherwise amusing and awesome -- is when did Starbuck write her name on the side? It just makes no sense. How did she write it anyway? I've never been able to tell if that's like tape or paint or what. But then Kara proves she's the better pilot no matter what's she flying and they do a cute wing waggle that's a wink to the original series. (Or so I've read. Having never actually seen the original series, I don't know first hand.)

I'll close with the final conversations, 'cause I love them:

Tyrol: (to the Raider) Now your ass belongs to me.
Kara: Like my new toy?
Lee: Boy, when you take a souvenir, you don't screw around. Oh, my Gods, you smell like a latrine.
Kara: Mm... you wanna give me a bath?


I giggle every time at Tyrol's joy at having a new thing to play with. I'm not surprised he knew all about Cylon technology in 4.5. I expected as much, because this is what he does. This is who he is. I also love Kara's flirtatious line while she's lying banged up on a stretcher about to be wheeled to Sickbay. Even if I don't ship them, as I said in "Act of Contrition", I do like these little moments.

Bill: How you feeling?
Kara: Been a hell of a lot worse. Don't have any ambrosia, but the Doc can fix you up with some really nice stuff. It's not bad, is it? The knee?
Bill: Doc says it's too early to tell, but know you, you'll be fine. Kara...
Kara: Yeah?
Bill: You did good... You did real good.


Katee Sackhoff was a little rough in the miniseries, trying too hard, I think, but by this point? She's gotten Kara. The way she plays this is wonderful. (I don't want to make another empty promise; I'm never going to stop saying that about this cast.) The last time she talked to Bill, she was telling him she killed his son. She's not sure what to expect; her mother believed suffering was good for the soul and so she learns from pain.

Sometimes, it takes love to learn from our mistakes. Family is family, and sometimes, you break the rules.
 
 
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madamedarque: Ginamadamedarque on April 27th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
This is SO GOOD. You should definitely post these over at bsg_refrak to mix things up a bit. Pretty much the only people who post are me, someone who makes icons, and someone who uploads screencaps. I think we're in a bit of a rut. :)


I totally agree about Bill Adama's love for people that aren't related to him. I think the "family" thing is adorable. I really felt for the Adama boys this episode, I did. But I also understood Laura's pragmatic point of view. Oooh, such an interesting episode! And you did a great job. :)
you can bury my body but i'll never die.: evolution Ω are you alive?gotatheory on April 28th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I think I will post it to bsg_refrak.

I felt so bad for the Adamas in this episode. I wanted to hug them during it. But yeah, I definitely understood where Laura was coming from, too. It is a very interesting episode; I love getting to see more about Bill and Lee's relationship, and how much they love Kara. Thanks! :)