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24 May 2009 @ 05:21 pm
"don't frak with me, bill." "don't frak with me either, ellen."  
I have a dirty little secret. When I first saw this episode, I loved it. It might very well be my second favorite episode of season one, the greatness that is “33” being my first favorite. I love that it’s not the standard Battlestar Galactica fare. It’s not serious or really important to the overall plot, or anything; it’s comedic and happy, even, and no one dies to immediately remind you things are ~*serious*~! (“Act of Contrition”, I’m looking at you.)

But that’s not the secret. The secret is that I hated Ellen Tigh. Hated isn’t even a strong enough word to describe how much I despised Ellen Tigh. I can’t even fully explain why, except she seemed so idiotic and she made Saul do stupid things, and there was the alcoholism. I hated her even more after the martial law debacle and worse still, I hated Saul himself because he was so cowed by her.

So how did I go from absolutely hating her to absolutely loving her? It started with New Caprica. My hate of Ellen dissolved, little by little, in four episodes (three and the beginning of the first act of the fourth one, if you want to get technical). Starting with “Occupation”, where we find out she’s frakking Cavil to get her husband out of detention, and culminating in her death, I grew to, well, not really love her yet, but I certainly liked her a hell of a lot more.

The New Caprica arc was the first time I knew she truly loved Saul, just as much (if not more than) as he loved her. “Why did he stay married to her?” Lee asks in this episode. “It’s obvious he loves her deeply,” Laura tells him, and Bill corrects, “Blindly.” I agreed with that assessment when I first saw the episode, but since then, I’ve come to realize Bill was wrong. Saul isn’t blind to her faults and flaws any more than she is blind to his; he loves her anyway, and she loves him.

In “Exodus, Part Two”, when Ellen tells Saul what she did and then asks for the drink, I started crying. No, seriously! Actual tears and everything, over a character I didn’t even really like. As a matter of fact, I cried more over Ellen’s death than I did Laura’s, and Laura has always been my favorite character. And damn it, I still cry every single time I watch “Exodus, Part Two”.

Anyway, as I mentioned above, I still wasn’t completely in love with Ellen yet. No, my complete and total love for Ellen Tigh wouldn’t come until she was revealed to be the Final Cylon. A part of it was that I did like Ellen now, and another part of it was that I love the Cylons. But one of the major reasons why I loved Ellen as the Final Cylon? She and Saul were the epic love story of Galactica.

I loved that. Apparently, I am a sucker for dysfunctional couples that really, really loved each other and are actually soul mates. I think another reason why I love Ellen so much is that, particularly after “A Disquiet Follows My Soul”, Laura fell from grace with me. I just couldn’t love her as much as I used to, and I needed someone else to look forward to seeing. Ellen got to be that character and I’m insanely glad she did, because she is awesome.

And so, that is the story of how I fell in complete and utter love with Ellen Tigh.

Now for the actual episode review. Like I said above, I really love this episode. It’s definitely one of my favorites, and no, not just because of Ellen. When I first watched it, I loved it in spite of Ellen. Seriously, have you seen that dinner scene? Best comedic moment in all of Battlestar Galactica (and I will not hear any arguments to the contrary, tyvm).

Previously, on Battlestar Galactica: Sharon switched sides, Tigh burned a hole into a photo of his wife (who did not look like Kate Vernon in the miniseries), a Leoben was found in the fleet, and he told Laura that Adama was a Cylon. Considering how similar Bill and Ellen are (well, similar personalities, anyway), I can see how he made the mistake.

Laura is perfecting her sneaking skills, which she will later use in “Unfinished Business” to surprise Bill at the boxing match. Something I have literally never noticed is that the crewman who’s sitting at the console-thingy stands up when Laura comes by, because, duh, she’s the President. But I have watched this episode at least one thousand times, and I have never noticed that. Go figure.

Hee, I love the little wave and then the scary face that comes after he stops looking at her. I also absolutely adore when Bill says people in sensitive positions should go first and Laura says, “I completely agree. How about you?” Laura is not one for beating around the bush. Or subtlety, for that matter.

Aw, Billy/Dee. Remember when Dee was adorable and awesome and not stuck in a horrible romantic plot with Lee? Weren’t those days wonderful? Sigh. Subtlety isn’t your strong suit, Billy. But that’s okay, because you’re sweet and cute.

And paranoia really doesn’t suit you, Laura. It’s unattractive. Stop taking the chamalla; it’s doing bad things for you. Of course, to end the teaser, we get Bill looking kind of creepy. As we all know, though, he is just brooding because Ellen Tigh is going to be coming back into Saul Tigh’s life, and Bill considers this a Very Bad Thing. Because Saul won’t love him anymore with his wife back from the dead. *eyeroll*

Okay, as much as I love this scene with Baltar, it annoys me that the Cylon detector takes eleven hours. It took, what, five minutes in “Flesh and Bone”? Plus, he’s complaining that about all these blood samples, but it takes nearly a day to get results, so he has plenty of time for other things, such as sleep. It doesn’t make any sense!

Unsurprisingly, Saul is sitting in his quarters with a bottle of booze. He pours what’s left of it out, and has just spontaneously caused Ellen to have a random heart attack. (Because he poured out booze *gasp*! ...Well, I thought it was funny.)

A single Raider, the B-plot of the episode because we have to try to have some seriousness in an episode of BSG, jumps in front of Apollo and another pilot. Because it is Apollo and not Starbuck, he cannot shoot the Raider down. Seriously. He is the frakking CAG and he cannot kill a single Raider. That’s just sad.

Let me just say right now, Ellen has the most awesome shoes ever in this scene. Those pink sparkly heels are so cool. I want them. I love that they sort of recreated this scene in “Deadlock”. Too bad that episode wasn’t nearly as amusing.

Adama: Colonel Tigh, allow me to present your wife.
Tigh: Ellen.

Thus begins the epic love story of Galactica and my OTP. ♥

Back on Cylon-occupied Caprica, Sharon and Helo are now really on the run since she’s on the side of the humans now. Poor dumb Helo. At least you’re pretty, bb.

Perhaps one of my favorite things about “No Exit” is that it answered who got Ellen off of Picon. Since I had always thought Cavil knew more about the Final Five than he let on, I theorized that he was the one who got Ellen off anyway, but it was nice to have it canonized.

Oh, poor Lee. If only you had said no. I imagine having dinner with his father was never very high on his list of things to do anyway, but he probably avoided it way more than usual after the dinner with the Tighs.

One of my favorite things about the scene where Tigh pulls away from Ellen and says he’s on duty is comparing it to the scene in “Deadlock”, where he tries (and fails) to tell Ellen about Caprica and Liam. I find it hilarious that he can pull away because duty calls, but can’t when trying to tell her about his son. Way to have your priorities straight, Saul. Of course, there are different circumstances, and it’s really one of those things that is funny only to me.

Ellen’s look after he leaves: Okay. Where does he keep the booze?

Laura: I’d very much like to meet your wife, Colonel.

That’s what you think, Laura. Hee.

This scene really used to make me cringe. I got very indignant over the fact that Ellen made him drink again. Now, I’m totally okay with it. Only BSG could make me approve of alcoholism. *facepalm*

(For the record, I don’t really approve of alcoholism. Alcoholism is a terrible, terrible thing that should always be taken seriously. /End of PSA.)

I just realized Ellen does things basically in the same order in this episode as she does in “Deadlock”. 1. Make out with husband, 2. Drinks!, 3. Cause trouble, 4. Hate Bill Adama. Except in this episode, number five is “Prove I’m not a Cylon (but I totally am!)” and in “Deadlock” it’s “Accidentally kill baby because Saul loves me more (but still less than Bill Adama :()”.

Starting over for the Tighs means exactly that: starting back at square one and doing the same thing over again. They have their own personal cycle going on, so it’s no surprise they really failed at stopping the cycle of violence. Seriously, on Earth 2.0, they undoubtedly do this same shit all over again. And I love them for it. Never change, darlings, never change. ♥

Ellen: Sure, there’s a lot of whining and complaining like you would expect, but the people I talked to are mostly hopeful and optimistic.
Laura: That’s good to hear.
Ellen: Mm. Well, there are a few people who still might wonder if a kindergarten teacher is really the right person to be president, but it’s just a tiny, tiny minority.
Laura: Wonderful, wonderful.

Hee, the dinner scene! This is the best scene ever and I totally think there should have been more dinner scenes. Not just in this episode, but in other episodes. Just random scenes of the Tighs, Adamas, and Laura having dinner together. It would have been awesome.

Anyway, it’s hard to say what my favorite thing about this scene is, because everything just rocks about it. From Ellen and Saul drinking, to Laura who looks likes she’s being forced to eat glass, and then the molestation of poor little Leemo. Speaking of Lee, how adorable is that little look he shares with Laura after she says, “Wonderful, wonderful”? Aren’t they sweet?

Because I am a horrible person, when Ellen wonders what Zak looks like, I always think “Hm, not very good since he’s been dead for two years.” I told you, I am a horrible, horrible person. On a less horrible subject, isn’t the sad little look Laura gives Bill so sweet? (Except Lee is right there and you really shouldn’t flirt with him and then flirt with his dad. That’s just cruel.)

Ahahaha, the molestation of Leemo begins. I love it. I love the way he stands up and looks at her as if she’s radioactive or something. And Laura’s little head jerk when he jumps up. Haha.

Also awesome is the look Ellen gives Laura when she says the need for secrecy is paramount. It’s so “Oh, is the schoolteacher talking to me?” Then Laura does the non-subtlety thing again, which is kind of adorable.

Ellen: A thing like that would travel fast, right?

Oh, Ellen. You have to love that she asks. And then the “boo!”, haha. And then how Bill basically just kicks them out. Way to be a gracious host, Bill.

Sharon and Helo are still running. Helo, being just a measly human, is getting tired while his “as human as possible” Cylon wife-to-be is not. Helo thinks it’s perfectly normal, because hey, adrenaline does crazy things to people, right? You are so lucky you’re pretty, Helo and that your wife-to-be is smarter than you. Well, sort of.

Back on the good ship Tighlon, they are trying to find their way home. Perhaps my favorite thing about this scene is that Bill completely failed at convincing Ellen that he knew the way to Earth. I mean, she is completely plastered, and still sees through Bill’s lie. Bill is a really bad liar. (Much like Ellen. See, see, I told you they’re basically the same person!)

So, you know what I love most about the meeting of Ellen and Gaius? The way Head!Six slides into frame. It’s awesome. Actually, the way Six looks in general during this scene is awesome, because I love that little look she gives Baltar (“I’d love to”) and then the look she gives Ellen is wonderful. And even though it takes them three whole seasons to pick up on it, I love Head!Six hinting that Gaius does need to pay attention to Ellen, because, duh, she’s a part of the Final Five.

...Of course, ideally she would also be hinting this about Saul, but never mind.

Then Ellen goes temporarily insane and lies about Bill touching her. I told you Ellen was a bad liar. Hee, even though she is temporarily insane, she still has the presence of mind to grab the bottle of booze before taking off. Have I mentioned that I really, really love Ellen? Yes, even when she is lying and really, really drunk. (Even when she’s accidentally causing the death of Caprica’s baby. Which is really Saul’s fault, when you think about it. Because he’s the one that stops loving Caprica. Of course, that’s only if you believe the crap about love = Cylon baby anyway, which I don’t, because that’s just stupid.)

Anyway, onto the second best scene in the entire episode: the lab scene! Because the Tighs, the Adamas, and Laura just weren’t awesome enough on their own, we add in Gaius to make it even more awesome! I can’t even quote a specific line, because they are all just so awesome. From Laura’s “My fault” to Gaius’s “That’s a thermonuclear bomb, for frak’s sake” to Bill’s “No! ...Yes. It’s complicated.” ♥ It is ridiculously great.

Oh, and in case you’ve forgotten about the Raider, it’s been playing with them the entire time. It goes on a suicide run or something but Saul is a good XO and launched the alert fighters so it gets shot down before anything can happen. LOL at Bill: “And we’re friends. I don’t want anything to come between that, not even Ellen.” Bill is such an idiot. What’s really sad is that three years from this point, he still will not have learned his lesson, and so we get the drinking scene in “Deadlock”. Ugh.

I love Tricia Helfer’s acting in this scene with Doral. The expression on her face is just so good, the way she breaks just a second and then gets her composure back somewhat. I love love love it.

Lee’s and Laura’s expressions at Ellen’s test results are priceless. You know Laura is inwardly cursing that she doesn’t get to throw her out of an airlock. Lee is totally thinking the same thing.

Then the thing with Gaius and Six that leaves it open for Ellen to be the final Cylon. I think there was some debate over whether Gaius knew Ellen was a Cylon or not after “Sometimes a Great Notion” aired, because of the whole thing with D’Anna and Baltar trying to identify the Final Five and not one mention of Ellen as a possibility. I think it’s possible by the time that happened, he forgot all about testing Ellen Tigh and what the results were. I mean, it is Gaius we’re talking about here.
Current Mood: drunktighlons!
Current Music: No Children - The Mountain Goats
(Deleted comment)
you can bury my body but i'll never die.: destiny Ω nothing but the rain.gotatheory on May 26th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading! Glad you enjoyed it. And I don't mind at all. I've added you back.
Swedish for "Smith": BSG Saul!WTFdrinkcolls on May 28th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
I think I went through the same stages as you with Ellen. Hated her, absolutely hated the bitch. Then with the New Caprica arc I realized as frakked up as the Tighs are, they really do love each other. Then I realized they had the longest relationship in the history of... ever... that I sorta fell in love with them, too.

The scaffolding thing and the meeting Baltar ~ hilarious! Who knew Ellen was a gymnast on Earth 2.0?