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12 April 2009 @ 04:05 pm
it's always better when the oppressed don't fight back, right?  
Since I have the house to myself today, I've decided to watch "Bastille Day". (Sigh, I remember when I planned this re-watch and Tuesdays were going to be my watch day. Then Wednesdays. Now, it's just whenever I have the house to myself.)

I'm actually loathe to call this a commentary, because I kind of think it's mainly going to me squeeing and pointing out how young everyone looks and how awesome they were back then compared to how awesome (or not) they are now, etc. But oh well.

Before I start the show, I want to say "Bastille Day" is an episode I really enjoy, though I didn't like it too much at first. It really grew on me when I re-watched it and could appreciate some of the things it set up. Plus, I love this Lee. I hate that this Lee fell by the wayside in season two and then came back at the end of season three, only to be ignored in season four. This Lee could have made the mutiny arc even more interesting, setting up a third side, the "well, Zarek and Gaeta have a point, but mutiny wasn't quite the way to go" side. The side that should have made Adama and Laura realize they were wrong. (Yeah, I'm one of those people who largely disagreed with Zarek and Gaeta's methods, but the idea was right.)

I also enjoyed the introduction to Zarek, who I kind of love to hate. He brings another political aspect to the show that I wish we had gotten to see more of. Even though Laura's the civilian government, she's also kind of detached from the actual civilians (and kind of has to be, considering she's trying to keep them all alive and has to make very hard decisions based on survival, not what the civilians want). Zarek is the opposite, the guy who "knows" what the civilians wants and wants to focus on that. At least, partly; as shown by the mutiny, Zarek is willing to listen to the civilians only to an extent. (Contrast this with Laura trying to steal an election and then deciding democracy is too high a price to pay for what she knows is right, and suddenly Laura and Zarek are inverted.)

And okay, I just rambled on for two paragraphs and haven't even started the show yet. I clearly need to stop reading Television Without Pity's BSG recaps. I might be turning into Jacob. So onto the show! (I promise I won't babble on about Zarek vs. Laura, their similarities, and their differences again. I'm probably also the last person who should be doing it, considering it's been a while since I've watched the whole series through, am probably forgetting tons of stuff, and my brain has a tendency to make connections that don't actually exist.)

I always forget how different the season one opening is from the later ones. I really missed the opening thing in 4.5. The previously reminds us of what happened in "Water", with some careful re-dubbing over the Astral Queen's actual prisoner count, as well as brings us up to speed with Helo and "Sharon" on Caprica.

Then a lovely shot of the Fleet in front of the ice planet and Gaeta doing revelry. Now Tigh with his booze. It's always sort of weird for me, seeing early season(s) Tigh. I'm so used to season three/season four Tigh. I adore this scene with drunk!Tigh and Chief, Cally, and Socinus. It's hilarious. And after season four, I really miss Chief!Chief with his deckhands.

From the crazy drunk uncle to the parents, aka Adama and Laura. "Bastille Day" also brings the awesome hair of awesomeness, as Laura has apparently found a hair stylist in between "Water" and now. Which is perfectly all right with me. Now if only she'll find the shopping mall ship and burn the outfit she's wearing. It's a lovely color on her, but the style is horrible. Oh, the point of this scene is Lee wants to use the Astral Queen prisoners to get the water off the ice planet. Not Laura's new hairstyle or ugly jacket. But it's much more fun to talk about Laura's new hairstyle and ugly jacket.

ANYWAY. PapaAdama is not pleased with his son's suggestion. Lee gets to look very surprised and hurt when Bill says he wants someone from the Galactica to report directly to him about this. Poor Lee. But this allows for the completely adorable moment of Billy suggesting Dee and Laura gets to try not to smirk. And sort of fails adorably at it. ♥ Lee now looks five kinds of annoyed and even though Bill is the one who says "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get to the CIC", Laura and Billy start to leave. Oh, wait, Bill was leaving too. Okay.

Also, this is the first mention of Cottle, right? I heart Cottle.

Laura: Petty Officer Dualla. Conversant in technical details.
Billy: Thinking entirely of the mission.
Laura: Uh-huh.

I love you two so much!!! Poor Billy. I just want to huggle him. And possibly keep him as a pet. He's so adorable. Why did you have to leave, Paul Campbell? WHY? (Though think how different things would have been if he had survived. Billy never would have given Baby Hera away. Or tried to steal an election. But he would have made a v. v. interesting Final Fiver. Plus, how adorable is it to think of him as a scientist? I bet he and Sam would have gotten into great philosophical debates and stuff. I don't know why I think that, haha.)

See, the reason I have to talk about this is because we haven't gotten to the interesting bits of the episode. We haven't even gotten through the teaser yet. But I'll talk about what's happening now. Bill's being a bit of a jackass, as usual. Now, I love season one Bill, and season two Bill, and really any Bill that isn't season four Bill, though I liked season three Bill a lot less than season 1/season 2 Bill. But I hate Bill with his son, because it's like was there ever a worse father/son relationship than these two?

Bill: Every man has to decide for themselves which side they're on.
Lee: I didn't know we were picking sides.
Bill: That's why you haven't picked one yet.

I do kind of adore that exchange, though. 'Cause it's true (and in a way, sets up Lee's floundering-ness in season two). Lee has a tendency to not see sides, he sees the whole. When he realizes the system is broken, he doesn't see it as Adama/Roslin vs. Baltar (or Zarek, later on), he sees it as the entire system is broken and needs to be rebuilt. Or something. I don't know if any of that actually made sense.

Finally, we see Zarek and we get to see that he's the "in charge" guy, so to speak. Dee also tells us he's a terrorist, just so Billy can argue that he's a freedom fighter so we know that opinions are divided on him. Well, actually, that stuff happens after the credits. We made it to the end of the teaser, yay.

The season one credits seem different than the later seasons. Did they change the track in some way? I know season two dropped the blipverts before adding them back, but there's something else that seems different to me. But I only pay attention to the opening credits half the time.

Anyway. Billy and Dualla are doing their exposition conversation and Lee decides to talk to Zarek.

Now we're on Caprica. I liked the Helo/Sharon on Caprica storyline when I first watched the show, but now I find it kind of boring. But at least Helo's nice to look at, right? And technically the father of us all, so this is important to our survival. Also this episode is written by Toni Graphia, who wrote "Flesh and Bone" and "Resistance", two episodes I also adore. (On another note, "Bastille Day" and "Flesh and Bone" provided two of my favorite chapters for my NaNo epic BSG/Sailor Moon crossover.)

Doral and Six are, of course, watching Helo and Sharon. Considering what we now know about the Significant Seven, I really love their conversation about being the children of humanity and "parents have to die so their children can grow into their own". While I guess "The Plan" could reveal things that change this, I love the idea that Cavil's the one who implanted the whole notion of parents dying so children reach their full potential. I like that it retroactively fits, because of course, at this stage, the writers had no clue about the whole Final Five/Cavil storyline. Cavil probably hasn't even been created at this point.

Back to the Astral Queen. Lee visits Zarek in his cell. Some stuff happens with the prisoners and the guard. Lee talks about Zarek's book, reading it even though it was banned, and some other stuff. I really do love it, but it's hard to watch and then talk about it at the same time. Anyway, the guard takes down another guard and I think opens the cells or something? The warden notices something's up and Billy and Dee are still arguing over Zarek. I kind of wish we had gotten to see more of Billy and Dee discussing it, if only because that sort of stuff interests me. (Hey, I liked the class issues in The Woman King and Dirty Hands.)

The music's gotten all dramatic and pound-y as we go back to Lee and Zarek.

Lee: All I want, the President wants, is to offer you a chance to earn your freedom.
Tom: Now you've said the truth. Freedom is earned.

And then the cell doors open and prisoners come pouring out.

Tom: Stay where you are, Captain. It'll all be over soon.

Lee comes out, fighting of course, and it's really awesome. I really love this scene, even if you know there's no way Lee is going to win. I also love Zarek just watching and sitting back down. Lee is eventually knocked out and when he comes to, Zarek and his men are in the control room thingy, and Billy, Dee, and Cally are in separate cells. I also love how Dee and Cally are just kind of calm about this, and Billy looks really worried.

We cut to Galactica, where Baltar is... roaming the halls? Is he looking for Adama's quarters? Anyway, Starbuck and Boxey (the little kid. Yeah, I don't really remember him either.) come walking by, allowing for this little exchange which I also really love:

Baltar: Lieutenant Thrace, good to see you.
Starbuck: Good to see you, too.
Baltar: Really?
Starbuck: No. *laughs*

Hee. I really missed this Starbuck. She's really rough around the edges and I do adore the later Starbuck/Kara, but I also have a soft spot for this Starbuck. The one who wears aviator glasses and smokes cigars and is really kind of mean.

Back to Lee and Zarek, briefly. I love Lee's look when Zarek says they're going to talk about his father. It's priceless.

We move back to Galactica, with Baltar and Zeus himself. Baltar, who doesn't want to be having this meeting, compliments a painting in Adama's quarters as Number Six's theme starts. Adama wants to know about the Cylon detector and Baltar tries to bullshit his way through this. Head!Six helpfully points out that Bill isn't buying it. Baltar then tries to say he isn't the right man for the job, and Head!Six begins to get scary while Bill gets a little pissed off, particularly when Baltar drops his glass.

I really love that moment when Head!Six is in his face and just screams "AND THROW YOUR BODY OUT OF AN AIRLOCK!" I also love that of course Six mentions airlocking, four episodes before Roslin airlocks Leoben. (It helps both episodes are written by the same person, I'm sure, but still.) And the way the music goes scary when she yells "Say it!" And Baltar's look at "nuclear warhead". Hee.

Back to Lee and Zarek, with Zarek asking if Lee got to be the personal representative to Laura because of his father. Lee's, of course, like "Hell no." Zarek reminds Lee that he read his book and said he respected him, and Lee's like, "Yeah, but then you took me hostage, so that lost you some points." Zarek then says the line that he will always say, because no one wants to argue it because they're afraid they'll look like idiots:

Zarek: It's always better when the oppressed don't fight back, right?

He will seriously use this line for everything, ever. It doesn't matter if he's killing the Quorum, he will bring up the oppressed fighting, because most people won't point out that when he's killing the Quorum, he's not the oppressed fighting back. And honestly, while I do think Zarek is a freedom fighter, he's also a terrorist, and see that about killing the Quorum because they wouldn't make him President? He wants freedom, but he wants the sort of freedom where everyone agrees with him.

Then back to Head!Six, Baltar, and Adama. Adama is not too keen on this whole warhead thing. I also just made this connection, but I imagine figuring out resurrection probably went the same way for the Final Five. A Head!being talking to Ellen, telling her, "You need this. Figure out the rest for yourself" and then comes the intuitive leap. (Why yes, I can make everything about Ellen and the Final Five.)

Anyway, Baltar tells Adama what he needs the plutonium for. It's kind of cool, really, watching him figure it out. Though Adama seems surly about it at first, he then says he will give Baltar a warhead. Head!Six smiles at Baltar, "Good boy," and Baltar, doing that multiple conversations thing I love, replies, "Thank you... Commander."

And in case we've forgotten this is a continuation of "Water", Chief and Boomer are having a conversation about the locker she stole the explosives from. Except they don't know she's the one who stole them, so Chief's just telling her the master-at-arms doesn't know who did it. He hugs her when she sort of freaks out at this, just in time for Tigh to come in. He then freaks Boomer out some more by telling her, "You don't think you've been fooling anyone" or something, until she realizes he's talking about her and the Chief. The relief on her face is palpable, but instead of wondering what she's relieved about, Tigh tells her to end the relationship.

Considering future events and stuff, I find Tigh's line, "We let everyone get away with murder [back when the ship was going to be decommissioned]", ironic now.

Anyway, because Zarek is giving a speech, Tigh is summoned to the CIC. Zarek's making his conditions known, something about Roslin resigning and open elections. He also mentions "the children of humanity's future", which I wonder if the writers just threw in there as a possible line to pick up later, in case they wanted to make him a Cylon. While I know some people wanted Zarek to be a Cylon, thinking on it now, I'm rather glad they didn't go that route. Zarek, like Laura and Baltar, works best as a human. Zarek also says something about "the first day of a new era", which I always liked as a line, because it reminds me of "Be Prepared" from The Lion King. And I like the word "era".

Roslin and Adama then discuss Zarek. Bill, in his usual Bill-ness, says no one is going to listen to Zarek because he's a terrorist. Bill does not understand that the people in the Fleet are idiots and Zarek is v. v. charismatic. Laura, who is better with people, tells him as much. She then asks when he's going in (*cough* that's what she said) and Bill says he thought she was going to talk to him. Laura, once again demonstrating she's the better people person, nails Zarek's character on the head. It will take Lee the entire episode before he realizes this. But Leemo was always a little slow, as much as I love him.

Starbuck and Tigh are discussing the plan. (No, not that one. The assault plan.) Tigh doesn't want Starbuck going with the team, because he hates her and thinks giving her guns just encourages her behavior, and Bill kind of agrees. Then Starbuck points out she's the best shot in or out of the cockpit, and Tigh actually says she's right. "For once." Even Bill comments on this, "Wonders never cease."

Except, if Tigh KNOWS she's the best shot, why the hell is he arguing about her going? (Obviously, so she can tell US that, but I have to point it out anyway.) I have no problems with her being the best shot, though. It's Starbuck; of course she's the best shot. Kara Thrace knows how to do three things better than anyone else: Fly, frak up, and fire a gun.

Back to the Astral Queen. Dee wonders how she drew this detail. She's got a point; she's the Uhura of the ship, and when did you ever see Uhura go on a mission? Really, she's just being coy, though, because Billy's in the cell next to her. Billy's sheepish about admitting it's his fault, though, 'cause, you know, they're sitting in cells.

Dee: On the other hand, it's nice to get out of the CIC. Break up the day, meet new people.
Billy: Yeah.

Meanwhile, Mason has decided to pick on Cally 'cause he's a creepy rapist. Billy and Dee watch, while Cally tries to play it tough. This is just building up to what's going to be our climax. We watch Starbuck and the Marines load up, then cut back to Lee and Zarek, who really aren't in this episode as much as I thought, honestly.

Zarek wants to know who voted for Laura Roslin and Lee's annoyed, because Zarek's trying to use the law of democratic elections while ignoring the part of the law that allowed Laura to be sworn in as President in the first place. Lee's so over it, he's under it, and asks Zarek, "What is it you want me to say? You want me to say she shouldn't be President? We need a government. We need rules, we need a leader." This is the Lee who shows up for Baltar's trial, a little different, and trying to remake a broken system instead of hold it together.

Zarek, of course, just wants to be "free men and women". He then says, "Otherwise, we're no different than the Cylons", which I'm not sure makes a whole lot of sense. Especially considering if you're drawing parallels to the Cylons, you probably don't want to be the person who blew up a government building, you know?

Lee walks away and sits down. Zarek's not finished, yet, though Lee very clearly wishes he was. He's probably counting down the minutes in his head until the assault teams arrive. Zarek begins going on about his call sign, "Apollo", and Lee, who I imagine abhorred the call sign when he first got it, says, "It's just a stupid nickname." Zarek goes on about opposing forces and mentions sides and asks, "Have you picked a side, Apollo?"

Adama chooses this time to call. Lee gets to tell him they're okay. Zarek isn't an idiot and knows Adama's going to storm the ship. Adama says there's still time to work this out, but Zarek's not budging unless Laura steps down. "That's not going to happen," says Zeus, and Zarek replies, "I look forward to meeting your men."

Picking back up on the foreshadow-y Mason/Cally thread, Mason enters (an apparently sleeping) Cally's cell. Cally quickly sits up. Mason tells her to stand and leads her away. Billy asks what's going on and Mason pulls a gun. Dee asks where he's taking Cally. Dee tries to assure Cally it's going to be okay while Billy screams for Lee.

Lee finally comes to the realization that Zarek wants to be made a martyr. I actually said above Laura figures Zarek out, but I forgot she doesn't actually realize he wants to be a martyr. So my bad, though she did pretty much hit his character on the head. The assault teams cut through the hull and enter the ship while Zarek explains he's still going to get what he wants, even if he ends up dead. Dee says Cally can take care of herself, trying to reassure both Billy and herself, and Cally screams.

Starbuck and the assault teams move quickly as they hear a gunshot, and Zarek and Apollo follow the screaming. Cally's been shot, but she's managed to wound Mason as well; she bit his ear off. Apollo is trying to convince Zarek to open the cell. The teams are moving in position and Apollo finally punches one of Zarek's men in the throat and grabs his gun, shooting Mason twice. Then he forces Zarek to his knees.

Starbuck watches from her position, Lee in the way of her shot. Lee tells Zarek he is going to tell his men to work with them to get the water off the moon and that they're going to earn their freedom. Then, he says, he will get his elections. Zarek is surprised. Lee tells him he's right about democracy and consent of the people. Zarek and Lee talk a little longer about choices and reaping what you sow and last stands, and Zarek agrees. Apollo gets in to Cally's cell, checking on her. Starbuck prepares her shot and Lee pulls Zarek out of the way just in time. Lee orders a ceasefire as Starbuck curses.

On Colonial One, Lee has apparently told Laura and his father the terms of agreement. Laura is stunned; "I don't believe this." Bill is angry; "It's unacceptable." Lee is firm in his belief of doing the right thing instead of the smart thing; "It's done." Bill and Lee argue back and forth about the threat of the ship, etc., and Laura points out Lee's committed her to holding elections in a year. What he doesn't know is she's thinking she'll be dead by then, anyway.

Lee tells her she's serving the remainder of Adar's term and that in seven months, the law says there's an election. (Never mind that the timeline gets screwed up.) "I only committed you to obeying the law." Both Laura and Bill are upset by that; Laura says, "You were not authorized to make a deal", while Bill shouts, "You sound like some kind of lawyer!" Lee, who is exactly in lawyer-mode, responds.

Lee: I swore an oath to defend the Articles. The Articles say there's an election in seven months. Now if you're telling me, we're throwing out the law, then I'm not a captain, you're not a commander, and you are not the president. And I don't owe either of you a damned explanation for anything.
Laura: (to Bill) He's your son.
Bill: He's your adviser.

Hee. I love that bit. Bill's, of course, still pissed off about the whole thing. Laura's realized Lee is right, though, and she's okay with it now. I have to say, I miss this Laura. The Laura who cared about democracy. Sigh.

We make another cut back to the Galactica, with Starbuck and Tigh. Starbuck has brought a flask and grabs two cups, pours the liquid into them. Tigh is kind of confused, and probably wondering if she has poisoned whatever it is. I know I wondered that when I first watched. Kara clinks the cups together and then drinks; Tigh follows, and then asks what is it. Water? Kara confirms it as she pours some more.

Kara: Um, I have my flaws too.
Tigh: The difference is, my flaws are personal, yours are professional.

Kara, surprised, nearly chokes on her water. It's kind of sad, really, the way she was about as apologetic as Starbuck ever gets, and then Tigh's just mean to her. Then he dismisses her and she just sort of nods and leaves. :(

Chief visits Cally in sickbay, an all too common occurrence for this couple later on. Really though, this scene is cute. Also, we apparently do not get to see Cottle in this episode. Is it not until "Act of Contrition" that we see him? I can't remember. Hmm.

Back to Colonial One, Laura is reading a book when Lee knocks. He's adorably flustered by her at first, in a robe and nightgown. Then he explains he wasn't being disloyal, and she tells him she admires him upholding the law, and Lee says, "I believe in you. In what you're doing. And for what it's worth, in seven months you'll have my vote." And see, they're just so cute, and I really hate that they're storyline was just dropped in the middle of the second season.

(And I totally ship them, though I'm not entirely sure how that happened, considering I was shipping Adama/Roslin before anything else. But only season one/season two Laura/Lee. Probably because of the dropped storylines and stuff, but I just can't get my head around the idea of season three/season four Laura/Lee. It just doesn't work, in my mind. Plus the canonization of Adama/Roslin sort of makes Laura/Lee incestuous, and God knows there's enough incest going on in those seasons with the Cylons. Of course, if you want to be technical, Kara and Lee are sort of incestuous. But um, I guess I should get back to the show now.)

Laura tells Lee she might not be here in seven months. Lee, adorably, asks if she's planning a vacation. ♥ Lee's face when she tells him she has cancer is kind of heartbreaking. Actually, so is Laura's. Particularly as she tells him about how she wants the people to have hope and so on, and that's why she's being secretive about the cancer.

Lee: You can count on me.
Laura: I know I can. You're Captain Apollo.

See how cute they are? I love them. And that's the end of the episode! And according to Microsoft Word, this is eight pages long (in Courier New, size 10). It also became something more of a recap than a commentary, but oh well. At least it isn't a lot of squeeing? But when I do "Act of Contrition", I'll drink a lot of Coke, eat a lot of chocolate, and stay up until midnight. Then it should be sufficiently incoherent and squee-filled.

Now I'm going to get something to eat because I haven't eaten anything except for some chips and Cookie Dough Bites.
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: Batman Begins.
madamedarque: BSGmadamedarque on April 12th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
Great recap! I love your analysis. I wish I had those kinds of deep thoughts, but instead I just make picspams where I put in random caps and ramble about how pretty Laura is.

Seriously,though, this is really good. Are you recapping for bsg_refrak at some point? You should. :)
you can bury my body but i'll never die.: angel Ω so i'm only in your head?gotatheory on April 12th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I felt like I was just rambling on about things that only made sense to me, haha. And I love your picspams! Rambling about how pretty Laura is, is always awesome in my book. :)

No, I thought about it, but I was worried I wouldn't have time. And I'm kind of horrible with deadlines. I might see about recapping one of the season two episodes, though.