[BATTLESTAR GALACTICA] The series.

Posted by Roger 
To confirm: there was no new episode aired on Superbowl Sunday. The next new episode is coming up, this Sunday.
I don't know which episode I disliked more, this one with the doctor or the black market one.

Love that mobile above Hera's bed, though. Looks like they used those wooden ships from the war room. I bet they could sustain the economy of some tiny third world country to carve those things up and sell them to fat lazy fanboys such as myself.
I would have to say that while the ep was almost as ham fisted as Crash, it did make some good points and didn't just come out of nowhere like the Apollo and the hooker ep.

Leaving out any Baltar progression what so ever was a big mistake though.

Oh, and that bonus scene SHOULD have been in the ep to help establish how and why Adama would play him to the side like he did until there was definate proof.
I just watched the bonus scene. I got the impression that it came at the very end, after Adama's apology to Helo.
Forgot they put the whole scene on the website, yeah, that's pretty much a big chunk taken out of the apology scene.
It's all so clear now...Helo is a Cylon.
mcfitch (Admin)
"Love that mobile above Hera's bed, though. Looks like they used those wooden ships from the war room."

There seemed to be a Raptor and 2 Star Destroyers? Maybe they were Hasbro's Titanium ships?
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Roger Wrote:
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> I don't know which episode I disliked more, this
> one with the doctor or the black market one.

Funny; while I agree that the black market episode was very poorly plotted and included truly bizarre characterization for Apollo (the call girl?), I really liked this episode. It was thematically the same as "High Noon," with Helo facing down the entire community of the Galactica in order to save it from himself. While the civilian doctor is a bit of a cardboard cutout, I found Helo's self-doubt about the nature of his "character" quite engrossing.

> Love that mobile above Hera's bed, though. Looks
> like they used those wooden ships from the war
> room. I bet they could sustain the economy of some
> tiny third world country to carve those things up
> and sell them to fat lazy fanboys such as myself.

Aren't you both already locked into that bilateral monopoly? ;)

Best,
--Ken-A


After re-watching it, I think I enjoyed the episode a bit more. However, it did commit the sin of having a recap that consisted mostly of deleted scenes.

The mobile above Hera's bed looks like the wooden Raptor and two Vipers from the war room.
This could have been a really great ep, but they completely punked out at the end with a cliche'd fairytale ending. Surprising from a show that prides itself on gritty human drama.

It would have been daring for them to really address the doctor's concerns/opinions. I mean, if the human race really is on the verge of extinction, how long can they hold on to idealistic platitudes? For example, if there actually were only 20 people left in the fleet (total)--10 Viper pilots and 10 Sagittarons--would there be any question of who gets the medicine if they all get sick and only have 10 doses? Would they bother agonizing over it? Would they give everyone a fair chance? No! Because unless you give it to the military, you are 100% dead the next time the Cylons come around.

Also, all I could think about at the end is: How many fully-trained doctors can be left in the fleet? Can they afford to simply throw this man and his skills away because of his inconvenient viewpoint? Will they secretly keep him around in some capacity after making a public show of condemning him? (And wouldn't that make a great story if the Sagittarons find out later?) But no. "He's a bad man and he's going away." I was waiting for a second-string He-Man cartoon character to step in during the epilogue and explain the lesson we all learned today. ;-)

Jape
It would have been really daring to address the concerns of a lying murderer?

How?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2007 11:20PM by Kwesi K..
Yeah, one of the things I was dreading through the entire episode was the final "Law & Order: BSG" finale scene where they corral the guilty guy and he just spills everything in a righteous rant. Bleh.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I agree with most people's takes on the ending. I feel Jape's point though. This "lying murderer" (and don't forget racist) actually had potential as a more interesting villain. If they'd have left out the "racism" aspect of it, and played up the moral dilema aspect of the story (the issue of limited resources Jape mentioned, as well as the topic of faith healing), I think it would have improved the episode greatly. The race card just flattens him as an antagonist. Bleh.

Still, I seemed to enjoy this ep vastly more than the blackmarket/Apollo with ho ep.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Roger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yeah, one of the things I was dreading through the
> entire episode was the final "Law & Order:
> BSG" finale scene where they corral the guilty guy
> and he just spills everything in a righteous rant.
> Bleh.


Ha! Yeah, that's EXACTLY right! I distinctly remember the loaded moment when he is finally 'caught' and the expression on his face changes and you just KNOW he's about to blurt out: "You should be THANKING me!!"

Kwesi K. Wrote:
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> It would have been really daring to address the
> concerns of a lying murderer?
>
> How?

It's like that old saying about how the only difference between a traitor and a patriot is who wins the war.

The setup was really sloppy (like Sanjeev pointed out, they turned it into a hot-button racism issue, which made him one-dimensional), but what I keyed in on was the fact that this guy murdered quite a bit during the war, right? He helped the resistance and fought (and presumably killed). But those deaths were "okay"? In his mind, he was still doing the right thing with these deaths, even though nobody was supporting him (interesting parallel to Helo's story, too, if you look at it---nobody supported him, either).

I will say, though, that his righteous rant didn't bother me. Just like Helo (who he paralleled), he wanted some vindication for his actions, which he felt in his heart were right.

EDIT: I was going to add that he wasn't running around killing Sagittarons indiscriminantly; he was refusing medical treatment and euthanizing in an effort to help the remaining humans who could put up a better fight for survival (in him mind). But I just recalled that his mortality records showed deaths way back when. If those were during peace time, then he was purely guilty. Hmmmm. If they had left those out, and simply showed that he made a decision NOW, based on the occupation, to treat Sagittarons this way, it would have been a lot more interesting and prickly. I don't think the show is that smart, but if they had focussed more on those pre-war deaths, the current ending at least would have been easier to swallow. (Then again, why didn't anyone argue that his mortality rates were high for Sagittarons--pre war--because they traditionally do not use medicine properly and were often too far gone before seeing him?)......this could go 'round and round..... :-)

Eh.

Jape
That's what I was getting at. In the episode, Helo discovers he's been at this for some time while saying he's been giving people a vaccine. If they had nuanced it so that he was genuinely trying to give them comfort in light of their religious beliefs and was motivated by suffering he could do nothing about, I could see how his actions could be interpreted as somewhat heroic, but his prejudice, along with that of the others, was allowing this to go on for some time.

The Sagitarions, in hindsight, were scared of him because they knew but I don't see how everyone is so overworked that nobody decided to look into the sudden death spike among them. I think the setup of how everyone was annoyed with them for not fighting worked but to ignore something like that seems really incompetent. And that level of incompetence seemed to come out of nowhere. Possibly because of the sudden rewrite.

Yeah, the racism thing seems kind of silly since, from what I can tell, they're all the same race and the only big difference between the Sagitarions and eveyone else were the Christian Science styled beliefs and pacifist stance during war time.
Okay - I think I understand. They didn't allow philosophical space for him to be perceived as a good guy, which is what they'd been doing with all their other characters - including the baddest guys of all, the Cylons themselves.

Kwesi K. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It would have been really daring to address the
> concerns of a lying murderer?
>
> How?


I think the main critique of the scripting here is that they *made* him a plain-vanilla lying murder instead of something more ambiguous and rorshack-y. Am I right?
leMel42 Wrote:
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> I think the main critique of the scripting here is
> that they *made* him a plain-vanilla lying murder
> instead of something more ambiguous and
> rorshack-y. Am I right?

Basically. It would have been ambitious if they left out his whole pre-war record. Set him up as a patriot and a freedom-fighter who suddenly decides that limited supplies shouldn't be "wasted" on people he feels aren't deserving. THAT would have been good writing.

But by making him a racist, they made it a simple matter for everyone to toss him aside like a piece of trash. That kind of story could have been told in just about any genre--I want to see them make use of the BSG scenario (ie, the human race is almost extinct, so how long do we hold on to the artificial constructs and values of society when they don't provide any real survival benefits?).

Jape
I think you see some of that in the prison ship episode, the abortion episode, and the one where they decided to unleash a biological weapon on the cylons.
Credit where credit is due. The refinery strike episode was definitely meaty and took full advantage of the BSG scenario. The idea of inheriting your job and the division of the classes are both realistic. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Jape
The refinery episode - yes, back to good form. This is what we mean. What happens to a society where "we are at war" is not a historical event with a conceivable end, but a long-term way of life? Isn't it treasonous to stop working? Yet, what motivates the preparation to fight but the promise of freedom to choose a destiny?

And Baltar writing Mein Kampf in jail - ABSOLUTE GENIUS!

Can't wait till his farmboy upbringing is ultimately falsified, like you KNOW it will be!

Good thinking in this one.
I was surprised to see the farmboy story show up. A couple of years ago, during the mini-series, there were biographies of the characters on the Sci-Fi web site with a lot of details that have never shown up in the series. One of them was the backstory that Baltar gave in last night's episode.

Of course, that still doesn't mean he couldn't be a Cylon. ;p
Sanjeev (Admin)
I dunno, y'all. I still thought it was a tad cliche. Or at the very least, predictable--except for the Mein Kampf analog...but then Tyrol giving up Roslyn's lie about the leaking of the book was just dumbass shit...so they just let any asshole visit Baltar without pre- and post-briefing!?

Anyway...either all of your standards have dropped (understandably so...considering the past *several* episodes)...or I've just become a jaded bastard. I'm willing to explore either possibility.

Still, the mining episode held my attention...it was "good", but I'm used to the "great" episodes from the previous seasons (and even early half of this season). No one has even bothered to mention the "A Day in the Life" (the Tyrols stuck in the airlock and the Admiral waxing about his busted-ass family). That seemed somewhat interesting, I guess. Again: "good", not "great". [But, oh man, they could sure use a fucking science consultant or two to help the writers understand what explosive decompression really does to the human body!!!]

Right now, I'm hanging on with the series in the hopes that it returns to the previous greatness. If it continues on this mediocre path, I'm just gonna dump it. C'mon, BSG, gimme a reason to stay up on a Sunday night...NOT watching Adult Swim.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
So...are you saying we all don't necessarily want exactly the same thing from this show? ;-)

I hear ya. Tyrol spilling the beans was stupid. The kid who worked one summer on a farm--that tragedy could be seen from a mile away. The refinery starting back up at the end, sure that was predictable. But for me, it was the issues they raised that made it interesting. I dig seeing how they deal with these "unfair" situations. (And with Tyrol always the hero, I could see them setting him up as a major political player later on---although I'm sure he'd be VERY reluctant....)

As for the other eps, I'm at the point where anybody talking to a hallucination (Baltar and Six, Adaman and his wife, etc) or any scene where Starbuck is angstily chewing the scenery (her use in this particular ep was perfect for me) causes me to tune out completely. Yet others like that stuff. Meh.

Jape
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hehe...yup. What made it at least interesting to me was the characterization, in general. I'm really glad the show was casted so well--these people can really act. The plot is just okay for me, though: I have a few friends who are union labor organizers...and believe me, their stories are often far more dramatic, tragic, and often don't have happy endings.

That's not to say that this ep brought up any hurt feelings for me or any shit like that...it just seemed very lukewarm compared to real-world labor disputes. Anyway, as with many things, your mileage may vary! ;)

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
I'm going to backpedal a tiny bit. Refining trillium, while somewhat true in homage to the original series - doesn't look like hard work.

I mean, dumping sand on a conveyer belt?

Um, compared to all the other dangerous jobs in the fleet, sign me up for THAT.


LeMel42
--------------------------------------------------------------
Please don't go correcting me; just take the hit.
So Lee realizes Kara shouldn't be flying, but he encourages her to fly anyway. And then she dies.

Irony can be pretty ironic.
Sanjeev (Admin)
The revelation of Kara's great purpose...was that she was going to die like a chump. Great. Thanks, BSG. (I'm missing Adult Swim for this?)

They better make her come back as a Cylon for christ's sake.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
mcfitch (Admin)
You don't know that she's dead. There was no body, and if reading comic books for as long as I have has taught me anything it's this; No body, no death.
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Yeah, she didn't even die heroically, like Kat did. And there was no payoff for the audience in the form of some revelation except for that one line Leoben gave her: that she was going to discover what was between life and death. Almost the same words that Cylon #3 used.

So, so far, two major characters killed off and not much to show for it.
mcfitch Wrote:
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> You don't know that she's dead. There was no
> body, and if reading comic books for as long as I
> have has taught me anything it's this; No body, no
> death.

This show operates on different principles. Living Cylons leave behind dead bodies all the time.
mcfitch (Admin)
Sure, I'm not saying that she is alive, just that her death hasn't been proven yet. Due to Leoben's words about between life and death I wonder if she wasn't transported somewhere? perhaps to wherever Xena was when she say the final 5?
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Sanjeev (Admin)
hahha..."Xena"...

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Sounds like they're going to send her to meet that elder race or some such nonsense ala O.G. eps. with Apollo and Starbuck in white uniforms chasing that crystal starship thingy...
The show has acknowledged the existence of God or gods or whatever overarcing controlling force you want to call what appears in Baltar, Six, and now Starbuck's heads, and whatever speaks through the oracles. Will the integrity of the show survive if these forces actually act upon the physical world, though, like snatching her out of the cockpit? It will be interesting to see this play out.
Her mandala didn't look so special either - I spat one of those out in my toothpaste this morning.

If they go the easy route, the storm eye is a hyperdimensional portal to Earth or something. She didn't so much explode, but rather 'went through with sparklies' in fine sci fi tradition.


Well, I guess Leoben is her father, so she's got that going for her - which is nice. The whole Ayn Rand tip doesn't bother me - she's rebellious, self-worshiping and sports a bob.


Also, I'm going to say that resurrection technology wasn't invented by the Cylons - they found it left behind by some superior race. Now they've got it to where it will work on regular plain-vanilla humans, too, with Kara being the first (she's definitely NOT a cylon).

Yep, that's my big bet: Kara, a human, will be resurrected (as a human).

The producers have already admitted to a big game-changing cliff hanger, which if you think about it is what they've done every season.

Now, if they redefine what it means to be Cylon, then that negates the show opening (only repeated about 100 times now) that "they look like us."

I've pretty much given up on "and they have a plan." They don't know what the hell they're doing.

leMel42
Roger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yeah, she didn't even die heroically, like Kat
> did. And there was no payoff for the audience in
> the form of some revelation except for that one
> line Leoben gave her: that she was going to
> discover what was between life and death. Almost
> the same words that Cylon #3 used.
>
> So, so far, two major characters killed off and
> not much to show for it.


Y'know, I hated Hated HATED the "Kat dies" episode. It didn't make a lick of sense, was oddly unheroic, and just made Starbuck completely irredeemable. That ep, however, made Starbuck's remorse and suicidal behavior more credible -- even Starbuck comes to realize that she's irredeemable. So, kudos to the writers for realizing that they'd written themselves into a box, but nonetheless finishing Starbuck's story off in an appropriate manner (unlike the "hail Mary" cure for Pres. Roslyn).

Warrhead Wrote:
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> Sounds like they're going to send her to meet that
> elder race or some such nonsense ala O.G. eps.
> with Apollo and Starbuck in white uniforms chasing
> that crystal starship thingy...

Actually, I LIKE that idea ....

Best,
--Ken-A
I watched the episode again with the commentary. Moore said originally the idea was that Starbuck was going to die helping the fleet get closer to Earth, but then they said fuck it, let's just kill her with no payoff. And that's what we got.

It's unsatisfying, but that's life (and death). Sometimes people die for nothing and if you're going for "realism," I guess you satisfy that criteria.

Someone pointed out the similarity between the mandala in the temple, Starbuck's painting, and her mother's medal that you see briefly in this episode.
Roger Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I watched the episode again with the commentary.
> Moore said originally the idea was that Starbuck
> was going to die helping the fleet get closer to
> Earth, but then they said fuck it, let's just kill
> her with no payoff. And that's what we got.
>
> It's unsatisfying, but that's life (and death).
> Sometimes people die for nothing and if you're
> going for "realism," I guess you satisfy that
> criteria.

Except ... why on God's green Earth would you strive for realism in a television drama? The medium is inherently unrealistic. It's all just blood and bone here in the real world, but in the realized imagination of a TV show, you can actually have characters reach transcendence. Or was that what the writers thought they were going for with Starbucks seeming suicide?

> Someone pointed out the similarity between the
> mandala in the temple, Starbuck's painting, and
> her mother's medal that you see briefly in this
> episode.

I hadn't noticed that -- interesting. So, the similarity to the Temple Mandala is just a coincidence, and Starbuck's been unconsciously painting her mother's medal all these years? Actually, that works very well: Leoban is a typical Cylon, just manipulating Starbuck (like her mother) by telling her she has a special destiny, when it's all BS. I rather like that. Pity it wasn't more obvious in the ep for the unobservant like myself.

Best,
--Ken-A
And the extra special irony is that her mother probably earned that medal fighting cylons.

Of course, it could all be bullshit. If Starbuck is a cylon with implanted memories, like Boomer, then all of that backstory could be completely fabricated. The only corroboration of it was the bit about her broken fingers mentioned by Simon, but... Simon is a cylon, after all.

If there isn't just a bit more revealed by the end of the season about the final five and what lies between life and death, it will be disappointing.
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