Friday, October 30, 2009
And now we come to the finale. I've been lazy about posting these notes, so it's about time we do it.
The first thing to notice is that there are no flashes for what's coming in the episode at the end of the title sequence. This is the first episode to do this since the brought them back in season 2. It makes sense, since they wouldn't want to spoil the finale.
The episode's structure began to remind me very much of the finale of TNG, as it goes back in time, and ultimately to the future. And just as on TNG, we start not at the beginning of the series, but before the beginning of the series. Some of these flashbacks are interesting, some are not. In fact, the whole flashback structure made the episode feel much more like Lost than BSG. I don't much like Laura's flashback, but then I don't much like Laura. Why does she have that ugly bump thing in her hair that all the girls are doing now? I just plain don't understand it. There is nothing appealing about it. It just looks stupid. Like you're a conehead or something. Why were we introduced to her sisters only to kill them off, including the pregnant one? It didn't really seem like it connected to anything, it was just an event. And then she went and sat in a fountain for no reason. Somehow all of this leads up to her joining the President's campaign... really??
Hey, Zack's back! At least that's something. I was glad to see some of that relationship which was barely there in "Act of Contrition", but even here it is sidelined to have Kara and Lee all over each other while Zack is passed out on the floor. Missed opportunity.
Oddly enough, the character with the best flashback is Baltar. With him, we actually get to see a kind of character arc which will also inform his future. I like meeting his father. The best part of it was how Gaius was chided for changing his accent. That's a nice bit of continuity from last season and in a series that has played fast and lose with established facts, I like that they made something of that. It's great that he will eventually come full circle at the end so that he will say that he is a farmer when on Earth.
As long as we're comparing BSG to TNG, am I the only one who thinks it odd that Ron Moore destroyed the Enterprise in Star Trek Generations, and here is destroying Galactica at the end of BSG?
I don't like the Anders flashback much. I mean, I like that we actually get to see more of the triad team (I'm still not calling it pyramid), but I don't like all that business about perfection. It is a way for them to act as if he was always that way and to try to point out he was always a Cylon, but it falls flat for me. I guess though they had nothing else for him to do since he's comatose in a tub and will soon fly into the sun.
I don't get the thing with the pigeon and Lee. It doesn't signify anything. It's just there taking up screen time. They cut the Boomer/Helo flashbacks from the aired version but kept this? The only significance is that I realized that pigeon is the only animal we have ever seen on this show. Ever. Unless there were a few birds in some Caprica backgrounds, that's the only animal we've ever seen on a planet. Isn't that odd? When Roslin mentioned how Earth has far more wildlife than all of the twelve colonies, I couldn't help laughing. "Yeah, all the colonies had was one pigeon!" Of course, that raises the obvious question of how pigeons evolved on two seperate planets. But then, the original series had dogs (or daggits).
I have in my notes "Why is Caprica doing that?" but since it's been almost two weeks, I don't remember what it refers to. But I'm sure I had a point there somewhere.
Now Romo gets to be President? How the frack does that make sense? Is there no law of succession anymore? I mean, that's how Roslin got to be President in the first place. What makes her think she can just pick the random lawyer? Never mind that the office is essentially useless once they hit Earth. It's also a shame when the sleazy lawyer seems more honest than President Roslin.
Hooray! We get to see the old-school Cylon Centurions again!
And finally we get the reappearance of Head Baltar. It's a nice beat when both Gaius and Caprica realize they can each see them.
When Helo was shot in the leg, I wrote "Helo's gonna die". And I totally expected it. At first, I thought it a cheat, since they brought him back from death in the miniseries only to kill him at the end of the show. But on the other hand, it seemed to make the most sense. Moore loves the body count, so I figured they'd kill Athena and Helo and then Six and Baltar would raise the baby just as was predicted way back in season one. ...Only that didn't happen. Helo disappears for awhile, but then we see him with a crutch on Earth and everything is fine. Um, what? So all of that stuff from "Kobol's Last Gleaming" onward about Gaius raising the baby NEVER HAPPENS. So he was lied to by an angel? Why then should we believe anything anyone says on this show?? That's a BIG point to never pay off!
I know it's the finale, and they were on a tight schedule. The effects for the most part are good, but in all the battle sequences on the colony ship, the Centurions never look quite right. They look rendered poorly so that the lighting on them doesn't quite match. They look like they were composited in. This is a shame, since they had really been getting good at this.
I have to say, all of the intercutting with the opera house stuff was done in such a way that it almost worked. It's probably the highlight of the episode, and really gives the feeling that it was all connected. Of course, given a minute's thought it makes no sense at all. Why the connection to an opera house on Kobol anyway? why do the final five have glowing hoods? None of that ever actually goes anywhere, but I'll call it a valiant attempt at making connections. At least then some of those events play out. Sadly, the whole Kobol element pretty much drops out of the show, which makes so many of these things confused.
I really don't like or understand Baltar's little speech about God at the end. His ecumenical theosophy that "God is a force of nature beyond good and evil" is silly, at least to this universe. "Good and evil, we created those." Really? So what got them banished from Kobol in the first place? I can sort of see how God would be beyond what humans might define as good and evil, but there must still be things that are good and things that are not, right? Isn't mankind creating his own destruction an evil thing? And frankly, there has to be some kind of "god" entity on this show. HAS to be. Not just because he sent angels, either. The basic mythology of the show is that humans were banished from Kobol by the gods, the Lords of Kobol. Who were they? Were they really the Greek deities? We don't know, but we are led to believe no. Fine, but they have to be SOMEONE, right? Moore's basic mythology, which he laid out on podcast after podcast was that man created Cylons, essentially playing god, and for that they were banished by god or the gods or whoever. So there is SOME deity that set it all in motion. We've also been told that the Cylons believe this power to be the one true God, and that the other gods are false. So were the "Lords of Kobol" real angelic beings who acted as gods on Kobol? Or was there one God there who became twisted in the stories into many gods later on? The most curious thing about it is that angel Six was so adamant that there is only one God and that Baltar would be his instrument. So if she is really an angel, you'd think she really would speak for this God. But then, for the first two seasons, she was still very Cylon in nature, so maybe none of it makes sense. In any case, I really expected as the show went on for there to be a God who wasn't the Lords of Kobol and wasn't quite the Cylon God either, but was an expression of some ultimate truth that both cultures knew about. Instead we are told that god is an indefinable force. Great Gaius. How very "Star Wars" of you.
I like that Tyrol finally learns about Callie and what a jerk Tory was. Did he need to kill her right then? Maybe not. But I'm glad she got what she deserved.
I hated the fact that "All Along the Watchtower" ended up being coordinates, primarily because I expected that. I had that figured out three episodes ago. But she's sitting there trying to plug it into algebra? Though I also have to ask why the song happens to contain the coordinates to Earth. Is this some expression of "god", or is it just a really lucky coincidence? I also hate that Kara has to do the obvious thing of quoting "There must be some kind of way out of here," when she punches it in. What's most offensive about that to me is that it quotes the Hendrix version, not the original. Dylan never sang "kind of", and that phrase weakens the punch of the line.
What do you know, there's another Earth. Just like I predicted, it really is all like the original series. Only in the old show, the "real Earth" was the second one. Here, the "real Earth" was the ruined one, and this just happens to be our Earth which is not the Earth the prophecies spoke of. Confused yet? It's very lame to me that they just decide to call it Earth.
I guess there was some mention about it, but I'm a little vague on how the rest of the fleet got to Earth. There was one line about it, but it was still not clear to me.
We soon come to learn that this is Earth in our distant past. Which means the entire series took place literally "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." This also is a great departure from Larson's series, which featured brothers of man "even now" beyond the heavens.
It's a curious thing, this connection to the original show. Essentially, this episode pays homage to it while simultaneously betraying it. Just as in the original series, mankind reaches Earth and essentially builds its early civilization. But this plays out so much differently. I think the whole attitude can be best expressed by that last shot of the fleet. We get a fly-by that is meant to replicate the shot of the fleet we saw at the end of every old episode, complete with elements of the old theme music under it... and then they all fly into the sun and are destroyed. It's almost as if they are flying the old series into the sun.
I guess the whole "dying leader" thing goes nowhere. I wonder how the Geminons feel about their prophecies not coming true. That's an angle that really should have been played but never was. I'm glad Roslin finally died though. Still, why does Adama just decide then to live off by himself? That seems pretty dumb to me.
Of course the whole notion that all of the fleet would just decide to forsake technology and live like savages, hoping that the neanderthals wouldn't kill them is silly too. I also don't like that it places these events in sub-saharan Africa. Despite where fossilized "human ancestors" are found, I don't buy the African genesis stuff. All early civilization is in the Middle East. I can't jump on the idea that a few simian bones means we evolved in Africa. How do we know these are even ancestral hominids? How do we know mankind evolved at all? How do we know these aren't just extinct species of ape? They call them ancestors because they want to believe it. Still, it just doesn't make logical sense to me for man to evolve in Africa, and then develop writing and iron and wheels and calendars and architecture in Sumeria. Especially if I'm to believe the Galacticans had all of this!
The one thing I will say about the whole ancient Earth thing though is that I'm glad that there was no pangaea. We saw the continenatal masses from space, and they looked pretty much as they do now. I don't really buy the whole pangaea thing since when you really think about it it doesn't make sense. I can believe there are tectonic plates and fault lines and that there's a slight continental drift. But to believe that all of the continents were one big one based solely on the idea that South America's east coast looks a lot like Africa's west coast is silly. There is LAND between them under the ocean! The continents are not just floating islands on the sea! Furthermore, if we are to believe that "native Americans" came over on a land bridge between Russia and Alaska, that would mean that THOSE continents were connected over on that side. If the pangaea argument is correct, not only would Russia and Alaska not be connected at that time, but they would be FURTHER apart! But I digress.
Kara Thrace being the angel of death was a total red herring, and essentially a lie. She never brought about the destruction of humanity (not even close), nor did she really bring death. And then we are to believe she was, what, an angel? That her mission was to bring them to Earth? NO! Her mission was to bring death! Who sent her? Where did she come from? She was corporeal! We saw her and felt her! We watched her pee for crying out loud! So where did she go? Is this just to make her like Jesus or something? And even Jesus physically rose in the same body he died in; Kara did not! Her story makes absolutely no sense at all.
And then suddenly we flash forward 150,000 years. I'm no scientist; is that time frame supposed to be accurate? Anyway, we are led to believe that Hera is the "mitochondrial Eve" from which we all sprung. ...What? So Hera is so important because she was us? That's it? And that means that we are all part Cylon! So I was right; this whole show IS about the Cylons. Why have scientists not found any evidence of any of the other 40,000 humans there; only this one girl? And what about the modern clothing that they were wearing? Why haven't they found zippers in their archaeological digs? And again, how exactly are the skin-job Cylons machines?? They seem just biological. Did Hera only inherit the Cylon biology, but not the mechanisms? And more interestingly, who did she mate with? Was it a human, thus diluting the Cylon blood, or was it a neanderthal? Is the gradual dilution of Hera's Cylon blood over time the reason that we no longer have magic blood that cures cancer?
I knew Ron Moore would give himself a cameo. I don't like that angel Six and Baltar appear at the end. They seem to be there for no reason at all, other than to give this didactic message to us. Nobody sees them except us; so why do WE see them as Six and Gaius? I really hate the ending. It's just obvious and preachy. "Watch out humans, or you could destroy yourselves again..." As if we didn't get that that was the point of the series from the very beginning anyway. And note, they fled from the colonies to escape war and all, then they become us. So isn't this all really inevitable? All this has happened before, and it will all happen again, so do we really have any control over it anyway? And to top it all off, AGAIN I have to sit through "All Along the Watchtower", this time the actual Hendrix recording, as we look at the evolution of robots. I like the driving percussive element, but honestly I don't get why the Hendrix version gets so much devotion. He doesn't even know the words! Can anyone tell me what he sings after "plowmen dig my earth"? Because it sure isn't Dylan's lyric!
Ultimately, the end is a letdown as it was always going to be. The abandoned most of the mythology a long time ago, and then had to find a way to make things seem like they connected. Well, it doesn't all connect. The Kara Thrace story doesn't resolve. The show gets back to it's preachy nihilistic origins. Ultimately, Gaius comes off the best; he even essentially gets away with the destruction of mankind from the miniseries! So this guy who was supposed to be a villain, ends up buddy-buddy with angels who watch over mankind! And I hate that it all comes down to that song; I don't know if I'm ever going to be able to hear that song again.
I'm glad it's over anyway. End of line.
Favorite line: "A perfect face, perfect lace, find the perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace." Why is Anders rhyming? I find this very funny.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I've only watched the extended version of this. There are a lot of good moments in it, but it drags in a couple of places.
I am so annoyed that we find out that Cavil is at some other colony. There's another colony? And there's been one all the time? Why haven't we heard about this before?
Baltar has apparently come to the conclusion that Head Six is an angel. I entertained this notion some time ago, and thought this might be where the show would go with her (especially since she outright said once "I'm an angel of God"). But when I really think about it, that explanation doesn't entirely work. Baltar continues to explain it by saying he sees angels in the forms of people he cares deeply for. Does that mean he cares deeply for himself? He saw a Head Baltar back some time ago. Was that an angel too? Why was that one a Baltar when all the rest of the time it is Six? Does Caprica still see a Baltar as well? Furthermore, I have a hard time believing that it's an angel's job to essentially have sex with Baltar with the frequency Six does in the early seasons.
It was good to see Baltar actually doing scientific work again. Remember when he was a scientist? Of course, his experiment only leads him to proclaim that Kara Thrace is an angel walking amongst them, but it was still good to see. I'm still waiting for an explanation of the whole Kara is harbinger of death story. She is SO not an angel.
It was good to hear Anders say that again, but I don't like him as a kind of hybrid. It's just too weird. How did they get away with pulling him from sickbay and hooking him up to the systems? And the explanation that the gunk they are putting on the bulkheads is responsible for all the power outages is pretty lame. But I like that the lights flicker as Anders blinks, and I like how that wasn't explained for a good half hour.
It's odd that Boomer finally discovered a maternal nature just as she turns Hera over to Cavil. It's funny that Hera projects the food in her hand as a cupcake.
There came a point when Adama came to his quarters and started throwing paint on the walls until finally crying on the floor that I started rolling my eyes in boredom. We've seen this a dozen times before. How many big Adama meltdowns does this show really need? I'm just so tired of them. It reaches a point where it's no longer dramatic, it's just the standard Adama thing; it becomes a joke. I hope there isn't another one in the finale.
And now we have finally reached the finale. Soon, I shall be viewing the full extended version of "Daybreak", the much talked about end of the series. Will it be good? Unknown. Will it be satisfying? Unlikely. Will I be glad when it is all over? Undeniably.
I'm glad to see that there's a new Quorum of sorts, just as Lee suggested. That was pretty quick. But I am shocked that they actually went through with allowing Cylon representation in this quorum. That seems flatly ridiculous to me. Why isn't there more opposition to this? Were all those who would have complained silenced after the mutiny?
The show has spent so much time with silly things like New Caprica, the Final Five, and Baltar the underground hero that I had actually completely forgotten that Boomer and Tyrol were an item. Curious, but true. I like the little montage thing they did showing her being shot while we heard Tyrol's drunken ramblings from earlier in the season about how he settled for Callie. The additional information about Boomer's projection life of a house on Picon was interesting. I could understand why Tyrol would want to save Boomer from execution. Doesn't it seem odd though that Adama still wants her in the brig, even after she essentially died for the crime of shooting him? But in the end, Boomer plays everyone for a sap. Tyrol swaps her with another Eight to save her from execution, and then she runs off with Hera! This was the plan all along! I do not understand why Boomer is SO evil now. It's like she's a completely different character (and keeping track of all the Sharons is starting to be very hard). I wonder whether Hera knew that it wasn't Athena right away, or did she have to wake up in a box before she figured it out.
With Boomer being so bad, are we supposed to now think that execution was a good idea? Is the point of the story that compassion makes you weak?
Early on, I was thinking this was a pretty good episode. I liked that we were getting back to elements from season one. But then it became a Kara story and I lost interest. I knew that Hera's drawings would end up being music. The flash of the image during the end of the main titles solidified that for me. So I was just waiting for them to get there. I want to know who this piano player guy is and why he knows Kara so well. At first I thought he might even be her father, but that was never said. Then I thought maybe he's an angelic representation of her father, but everyone else seemed able to see him. So I don't know.
I was so afraid that the song she was going to play would end up being "Someone to Watch Over Me". While I'm glad it wasn't, I'm so sick of "Watchtower" being used again and again. I hope Bob Dylan is at least making money off the use of his song.
Why didn't we know until now that those things on the Galactica retract? That's cool!
What began as a decent exploration of latent feelings in Tyrol devolved into a lot of Kara drinking and whining, more stupid use of the song, and a Boomer who is just mean for no reason. I got bored with the episode. I am glad that at least the opera house dreams are coming back into play.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The more I think about it, the more it seems making Ellen a Cylon was just an excuse to fix the mistake of killing her. I could tell Moore was really enamored with the character and only killed her because it was "dramatic", so now he can resurrect her as a Cylon. The problem with there being so many Cylons in the fleet for so long though is it strains credibility. What about medical exams? Wouldn't something have indicated they were Cylons? I know the miniseries made it seem like they were indistinguishable from humans, but there must be SOMETHING different about them. And why didn't Baltar's Cylon detector know that Tigh was a Cylon? We know that Hera has blood cells that are different from human cells. So shouldn't that mean that any Cylon could just get a blood test that would prove they weren't human? If that's the case, you'd think there would be blood samples from Ellen and Saul that would have been noticed in 40 years!
What about them is machine, exactly? They must have some kind of metallic element or computer drive somewhere. We know there are access ports in the arms of the Eights. So why is this such a surprise?? And how do they reproduce anyway; how does technology pass on biologically? Even the Borg had to be born organic and supplemented afterward. It just seems that the skin-job Cylons are completely biological; so how exactly does that make them machines?
It's funny that Ellen gets all mad at Saul for sleeping around, when it's usually Ellen who's frakking anything that moves. The fact that they have now shaded this relationship with incestuous overtones is disturbing.
The doctor says that Caprica Six is four months pregnant. I'm confused now. Does it really seem like it's been four months to you? They started frakking at the start of season four. Then they followed Kara to Earth. Nine days later, Gaeta was the lone survivor on the raptor. Then there was a mutiny. Now I can see it maybe being one month or even two, but four? I detest how this show plays so fast and loose with time!
The whole baby thread was once again a waste! They killed it off. Why? Because it's Hera that's important, and none of the other Cylon babies can survive. They retroactively made Tyrol's son not his so he wasn't a Cylon baby. They've now killed Tigh's son. It makes you wonder why they even wrote it in in the first place! But of course, at the time they probably didn't plan on bringing Ellen back. I'm all for discovering things along the way, but there is just to much writing by the seat of the pants on this show. It can be done, but too many huge story points just come out of nowhere.
I've never been a fan of Ellen Tigh and the bickering between her and Saul. So to have to endure it again (so much so that it leads to a dead baby) was a chore.
On the other side, we have Baltar trying to regain his sheep, and trying to be humanitarian as well. There is good stuff there. I like his speech to Adama about protecting the human civilians. And I have to chuckle at his reaction to Six when she suggests bigger guns. All of this proves to me that he is not a villain, and certainly nothing like the Baltar of the original series. But I don't think the whole "Gaius and Six will raise Sharon's baby" thing is ever going to be resolved. And what about all the opera house visions?
Boomer has really been sidelined as a character. It's been so long since she's been on Galactica, I had to stop and think about why she should be in the brig.
Well, there's a pre-cap again, and it's a doozy. It includes most of the stuff from previous pre-caps, but also a lot more. So much so that they dispensed with the usual "previously on Battlestar Galactica" recap, for perhaps the first time in the series' history. As I suggested a little while ago, they now say "There are eleven known models." Note that the stuff about how they have a plan is no longer present. And I was just saying "Wouldn't Ellen have downloaded?" when lo and behold she was!
There's a lot of exposition thrown out in this episode and unfortunately it doesn't all work. Certain questions become doubled. It turns out it was the "Final Five" who created the current skin-job models, essentially making Ellen their mother. There's a lot of standard mythological "I love you because I made you" discussion between Ellen and Cavil, who we learn she had named John, which he hates. But what is puzzling is that she speaks of him as being a little boy at one point. Are we to believe that these models started young and then grew up? Or was this all badly written metaphor? But the really big problem with this revelation is that Cavil seems to know full well who the Final Five are, that Ellen is his maker and that he was involved in creating the others. This flatly contradicts some of the things he said last season where he talked about how it was not their place to know who the Final Five were and that the original programmers didn't want them to know. So we are to believe that Cavil always knew, and was just lying about all of that to hide the fact that he was responsible for their identities being secret? If that's the case, doesn't that make the whole New Caprica exercise play very differently? In this scenario, Cavil knows Tigh is a Cylon, so torturing him and pulling out his eye is just vengeance play on his part. But why would he sleep with Ellen Tigh? What sort of twisted Oedipal complex does that speak to? The story also gets confusing because we have to remember that there isn't just one John Cavil. So do they all have the same memories? Or is this Cavil the original and all the others are copies?
I noticed long ago that the "numbering" of the Cylons skipped 7. Obviously if there are 12 that just means that one of the Final Five was 7, but that seemed odd. Of course, the numbers are wrong because when they wrote that Sharon was an 8 they had no inkling of a "Final Five" storyline. So how do they fix this? They just say that there was a 7 line that Cavil messed with and that was the end of him. The Sevens were artistic and were named Daniel. A little part of me can't help thinking that perhaps Kara IS Daniel. Cavil's messing with the genetic code resulted in a female Daniel who still acted masculine in some ways (thus flipping off the fans who complained they made Starbuck a girl). Of course, this is probably nonsense. We know who Kara's parents were.
The bullet in Anders' brain is so obviously a "device" it's not even funny. It's an excuse to get him talking. It smacks of the kind of soap opera stereotype we often hear: "My husband is a robot, but he thinks he's human, but since he got shot in the head, the bullet is making him remember his past robot lives". I'm going to call it the "magic bullet".
Anders' story is that the Final Five were the only Cylons to escape the destruction on Earth because they invented resurrection. Then they traveled to the other colonies to warn them about building robots, but it was too late because it was all happening again. ...Okay. We also learn that Earth Cylons could reproduce. What I don't understand about all of this is why D'Anna saw the Final Five as angelic glowing beings in the Kobol opera house. Firstly, because the Final Five aren't there, they are in the fleet. Secondly, because I don't really see what's so special about them, aside from the fact that they created the other models. Is it just that the D'Annas were programmed to view the Final Five as god-like beings? I don't get it. And going by to my complaint from before that the discussion of the "Final Five" being in the fleet was wrong since Ellen was not in the fleet; we now know she was on a Cylon base star! Did D'Anna know this? And where are the other Cylons that Sharon said there were way back in season 2???
They call in a brain surgeon, and it's Jon Hodgman? If the series wasn't a farce already, I think it just turned that corner. And he isn't even given a serious role to play; he's given goofy dialogue that makes him just a joke. If my brain surgeon showed up and he was Jon Hodgman, I would demand a new surgeon! He probably went to a hobo medical school.
Lee suggests that they rebuild the Quorum but that representation should be by ship rather than by colony. Well, duh. Doing it by colony worked for awhile because most of the ships were colonially homogenous. But after New Caprica, they should have done this! That just makes more sense. Why is nobody smart enough to figure things out in a timely fashion?
Is there supposed to be significance to Ellen offering Sharon an apple and then eating it herself? It certainly seems like they want it to have significance. Never mind that Adam and Eve (or Woman as she was known then) did not eat an apple (I don't know where that idea got started; probably some confusion with Snow White). I don't get what it means. Is Ellen the serpent? Is Ellen Eve? Is this supposed to be temptation or not? It's like they threw it in to make the audience go "Aha!" but it really doesn't seem to signify anything.
On the other hand, one can clearly see Cavil as a Cain figure (not the Admiral, the Biblical murderer). He murder his brother Daniel because he didn't get the favor he sought from his mother. There are also echos of Data and Lore from TNG.
While we're on Star Trek parallels, we once again get into First Contact territory. Cavil complains how limiting the flesh is and how he wishes he were more mechanical. This is eerily reminiscent of the Borg Queen telling Data how they used to be organic ("flawed, weak") but evolved to include the synthetic. The Borg Queen sees the machine elements as perfecting the flaws in their nature, and Cavil sees things similarly. So Ron Moore is once again just repeating himself.
There was a fleeting reference to angels at one point, and I'm not sure where that is going either. Is it going to turn out that there is some analog to the Holy Kryptonians from the original series? It's also curious that the idea of one God came from the Centurions. Why did they develop a theological faith? It does explain why Cavil is so dismissive of it, since he was present when this idea was programmed into the other models. But doesn't that still cheapen so much of the story?
Galactica is falling apart now? May I just ask that if the ship was really suffering so much damage, why did nobody notice it until now? And Tyrol says he's got some organic Cylon stuff that can fix it. ...So really the ship has cancer, but the magic Cylon blood can cure that too!
In essence, this episode functioned much like the "Two Fathers/One Son" story on The X-Files, attempting to lay out and fix the mythology of the show. Similarly, certain details fell through the cracks. It was a decent episode, and I like these sorts of expositional stories, but at this point I don't believe the mythology will ever make the kind of sense that it should.
Monday, October 19, 2009
It's good that we're finally involving the Cylon base ship in these events, after my curiosity as to why they were not getting involved. What's Roslin's big problem? Why not just let them jump away, at least for awhile? Then Gaeta sort of gets what he wants and the revolution can end! There's another strike against the Adama/Roslin administration.
Roslin spends much of this episode shouting about how she is the President and ordering people around. Didn't she all but abdicate that position like two episodes ago? Where's that Roslin? She is so thoroughly annoying in this episode. Her every mannerism now is aggravating, and her inflections bother me. Her lips always seem pursed, so she looks like she has a mustache. I just hate her so much.
Baltar's having prophetic dreams all of a sudden? Should we be concerned about this? Is this actually going to play into the mythology, or is it just an excuse to have a fake execution?
Look at Tyrol going all Scotty in this episode, right down to saving the day by working in a tube (read: Jeffries tube). I was a bit underwhelmed that the FTL drive is just a big churning gear. And how does that thing make a leap faster than light? I could buy the "Star Trek" idea of exploding antimatter to create propulsion. But I'm supposed to believe some really big pistons and cogs can accelerate something like that? Sorry, at times like this it's better just not to know.
In this episode, Zerek and Gaeta are executed for instigating mutiny. I find this just savage, and it demonstrates exactly Gaeta's point that Adama is a different guy. Adama would never have executed people earlier in the series. He faked it once to end a strike. But how does it make any sense to execute anyone when the fate of humanity is at stake? Yes, I understand he warned there would be no amnesty. And in a way, I can understand that there should be a price to pay. But remember the strike that essentially amounted to mutiny? He didn't execute Tyrol. I do think Gaeta went too far. He should have been allowed to express dissent without having to resort to a coup to make his point. But when you are trying to keep humanity from destroying itself, how does execution help anything? Though kudos for going through with the formality of a firing squad because that's what the law prescribes, even though they could have just airlocked them. It's not a very fitting end for Gaeta though. I miss the Gaeta from season one, and it's a shame his character was kicked around so much that he became a nuisance.
Having dealt a bit with Gaeta, let's talk about Zerek. I flat out don't believe that this is the same Tom Zerek we've seen since the start of the series, and that the writers intentionally messed with him just to get him shot. I don't care how much of a criminal or revolutionary or terrorist he supposedly was; the Tom Zerek from "Bastille Day" would not order the execution of an entire governing body just because they didn't do things his way. The whole reason they even have a quorum is because he pushed the issue. He has every right to be mad at Roslin, who essentially stole his job not once but twice. But the Zerek I know would not do that. Would he arrange a coup? Likely, if pushed far enough. But he seems flat out bloodthirsty here in a way I just don't think Zerek really is. He deserved better. He deserved vindication. And Richard Hatch deserved a place in the finale. Why is nobody acting in character in this show?
On an interesting side note, the immortal Lee Adama strikes again. I commented way back in "Sacrifice" how unfair it was that Billy died but Lee was just wounded. Lee is the character who just doesn't die. Note here that he alone survives of all the Quorum of Twelve. Why is it that he just happened to not be in the room at the time? Because the writers like him. It borders on ridiculous how often Lee should be dead but isn't.
I'm glad this story is over with, though it frustrates me that two more characters are dead and yet none of their points have actually been properly addressed. After two episodes, aren't we still essentially where we were before?
Tensions come to a head as Gaeta instigates a full-scale mutiny. And you can understand it. And yet, watching the episode, something felt very wrong about the whole thing. Not just that the marines and guys who were taking care of things seemed all too eager to be excessively violent. The whole show was set up to clearly make Zerek a mustache-twirling villain, and have Gaeta go down in flames. I'm not sure that's fair to the character's arc. Why did nobody come for Tyrol after they locked up Anders and Athena? I don't like that they seem to be making Zerek so evil again. It's like they want to justify that Roslin was right way back in season one for not trusting a convict. But he just wants democracy. Yes, he can be a little extreme, but they're making him out to be the LBJ in this assassination conspiracy (I'm not saying LBJ actually was responsible for the Kennedy assassination; it's just a metaphor). What does this do for all the reconciliation on New Caprica? Or the fact that he let Roslin be President despite the fact he really legally held the office? All that goes out the window! Now he's just bent on killing Adama?
Adama's actions are stupid. His judgment is clouded by his sleeping with the President, and an alliance is not going to work. It hasn't worked yet. Tyrol has made it plain the Cylons want on the Quorum. Is Adama really going to allow that? Gaeta is correct, this is not the Adama we first knew. Unfortunately, the show has started taking sides, and you can feel that all the energy is directed against Gaeta.
The worst part of it is basically that the episode paints all the humans as inhuman, and the Cylons as great people. Athena just wants to protect her baby. Tigh has Adama's back. Anders doesn't know who he is anymore. Tyrol saves the day. Even the fact that Starbuck is just accepted as Starbuck and everyone is ignoring that she's some ghost of Starbuck, she's been called the Harbinger of Death, and that we don't know why she's there. It's HER fault they got to Earth! Why does she get no blame? We even see Adama buddying up to Tigh like nothing happened between them. What happened to the Adama that felt betrayed that his friend was a Cylon? He got over that in a week? The problem with all this "the Cylons are good" crap is that it cannot be the case after viewing the webisodes. The whole scenario plays out far more differently if you just think Gaeta's doing this out of his own feelings. In "Face of the Enemy" we learned that the Cylons are still bad, and will still kill the humans. They are dangerous, so Gaeta is justified. Not that there are no personal motivations, of course there are. But in a way he really is doing this for his uniform, unlike Adama. And I don't know why a mutiny on philosophical grounds (refusing to follow orders that the Quorum deemed illegal) should suddenly escalate into shootings and kidnappings and coups. I also worry about Adama saying there would be no amnesty now, which also seems out of character. Where's all the forgiveness preached by Lee in "Crossroads"?
I also have to ask about the logic of Kara saying "Semper frackin' fi". I still bristle when I hear Latin and Earth expressions on this show that feel out of place.
Essentially it seems to me that not one character is thinking clearly, so I don't know how to feel about all this. It also seems like so many other threads are being ignored in favor of this. Why are the Cylon base ships just sitting around? Don't they want some input in all this? Or are they playing Gaeta so that he will dismantle the fleet from the inside?
Saturday, October 17, 2009
They've done away with the pre-cap entirely now it seems. Well, it makes sense since, if Ellen really is the fifth Cylon, they can't continue saying "One will be revealed". It also reflects a slight shift in the series; if Gaeta's actions are any indication, the show is returning its focus to humanity, and not wallowing in its fascination with the Cylons. I've long felt the precap only served to make the series about the Cylons.
Caprica's baby seems to be doing well. I was glad they addressed the fact that this is the first time Cylons have been able to breed. Did the Cylons on Earth reproduce? Is this a function of the old Cylons? If this indeed means that Cylons can reproduce and their race will not die out, there are implications for the series as a whole. The whole reason the Cylons didn't wipe out humanity outright is because they needed to learn to "love" and thus procreate, right? So doesn't this mean that humanity is no longer safe, and that an alliance is a very bad idea?
Ellen being the fifth Cylon creates a real problem that's been bothering me. Several episodes ago, Roslin and D'Anna clearly said that the "Final FIVE" were in the fleet. But Ellen is dead. So did she resurrect? Is she hiding somewhere in the fleet? Or is this just another example of a continuity error due to writing without a plan? Lee was a real moron about letting slip that "she is dead".
I note that they've changed the main titles again and eliminated that stuff about Earth.
Hey, Gaius got a haircut! I'm glad he's acknowledged that he's just been making all this stuff up. I could not believe that God was really filling his mouth with all the drivel he's been spilling. And Six telling him that whenever he speaks he's inspired smacks of the circular logic the Catholic church uses about the Pope speaking "ex cathedra".
Aha, so Nicholas is NOT Tyrol's son. On the one hand that's good because it eliminates the lingering magic baby question, but on the other hand it makes Callie a slut. Did we need to besmirch her so? When was this kid conceived? The doc says it was before their marriage. Does that mean it was before he proposed, and that he beat up a pregnant woman who then had her jaw wired shut? Or is it that they were engaged after that, then she slept with the other guy, thus making her a two-timing skank? Neither option seems good. I think it was just a quick fix on the writers' part realizing that there was collateral damage from Tyrol being a Cylon.
Zerek at one point says the "Adama-Roslin administration" (isn't that a fun way to refer to it?) strung the fleet along with a lie and that "Earth was a mirage". Um, no it wasn't! It was real! There was a planet! They walked on it! Nobody ever promised it would have been habitable at this point. You can't fault them for not knowing the condition of a planet 2000 years into the future. But they said they would find Earth and they did and it was real! Why are they getting blamed for all that? It's the Cylons' fault the planet is inhabitable! Blame Tigh!
On one hand, since the Cylons were apparently the "thirteenth colony", then having them in the quorum makes a certain sense on their side. But it really is tactically stupid. Why are they allied with the Cylons anyway? The Cylons can't keep from killing each other. What makes Adama think this is a good idea?
Favorite line: "Oh, if I'm their father, these people are in for more trouble than they know." For once, Baltar speaks undeniable truth.
Friday, October 16, 2009
These webisodes center around Gaeta. It's nice to involve a secondary character. And unlike previous webisodes, we actually gain information here. We learn what it was that Baltar knew about and whispered to Gaeta that caused him to attack.
The story itself isn't much. There's an 8 who no one trusts, and it turns out with good reason because she slowly kills them. Was she going to kill Gaeta? Who can say? What none of this really answers is whether the jump was in fact an accidental glitch or whether it was planned. I don't expect that it was planned, but with the 8 doing so much bad for the rest of the webisodes, one has to wonder. And guess what? It all goes back to New Caprica again! That stupid New Caprica that ruined everything rears its ugly head. We find that Gaeta had some sort of affair with an 8 who was rounding people up and killing them. Wait a sec, did Cavil know about this? And I thought that the Eights were siding with the Sixes back then. It seemed like the "death squads" thing was a new drastic measure at the start of the third season. But this story wants us to believe the Cylons had been killing people for some time. It seems a little out of place.
Ultimately, this story is just to set up that Cylons are still bad and no alliance is a good idea. I like that Gaeta sings again. But what's this about him being gay or bisexual or whatever? Or is kissing a dude on the mouth just innocuous? I don't think so. It's irrelevant, and I hate when stuff like that comes onscreen just for no reason. Maybe Gaeta turned to dudes after being turned off by canoodling with a Cylon.
Overall reaction: Meh. But better than the previous episode. Sort of.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Well, I've finally gotten the 4.5 discs, and sat down with the start them, hoping that the second half of the season will be better. To be blunt, it isn't. This episode is just as bad as the ones that preceded it. And what does the title even mean? To me it means the "great notion" (rebooting Galactica) sometimes goes horribly wrong. Because it has.
The precap has been changed again, and now reads that "four live in the fleet" rather than in secret, since the secret is out. Though doesn't that mean that 11 are known, and not "seven are known"? And the opening title music was missing! I wonder if they got rid of it entirely, or just scrapped it here because the episode was running long.
It turns out that yes, indeed this blown up Earth is in fact the Earth they've been looking for. Or at least that's what we are being told right now. And the thirteenth tribe were... your ready?... CYLONS. That's right. The story has completely ceased making sense. This whole time they've been searching for the missing thirteenth tribe, and it turns out to be Cylons! Are you kidding me? The "final four" or five or however many there are were colonists on Earth when it got blowed up. But this needlessly complicates things. The humans build Cylon robots. The Cylon robots kidnap and torture humans for tissue and make Cylon humanoids and hybrids. That makes sense. But now we are supposed to believe that humans made humanoid Cylons while on Kobol, and then when they were expelled from paradise BOTH the humans and the humanoid Cylons built robot Cylons that blew them all up?! That's the stupidest thing ever! That's even dumber than the superscouts playing baseball. Furthermore, this means that the "final five" predate the "12 cylon models" by an enormous length of time. So who programmed those 7 to know that there were a total of twelve? Doesn't this mean they are completely different? Doesn't this mean the "final five" have very little to do with the others, and so grouping them all together as 12 has been a big lie the whole time?
Moving on with this notion, I am certain that there were more than 5 different "models" of Cylon on Earth at its peak. So does that not mean there are vastly more than 12 Cylon models, and if so, where the frack are the rest of them? Why didn't they download again? Or are they off in magical holy Krypton land with "God"?
No big surprise about the transmission coming from the wreckage of Kara's Viper. Once the found the wreckage, I knew they'd find Kara. Though this now begs the question of how the wreckage from inside the swirling clouds ended up on Earth...
Anders says that it has been two thousand years since they lived on Earth. REALLY? Two thousand years? And the planet isn't habitable? I have a hard time believing that, since the Cylons at least were living on the nuked Caprica RIGHT AFTERWARD.
If Earth was populated by Cylons, does that mean Cylons wrote "All Along the Watchtower"? What an insult to Bob Dylan!
I dislike Lee's little speech about how now they are "free to go where we want to go" without the promise of Pythia and bread crumbs of Earth dragging them down. I hope he doesn't really believe that. That sort of thinking is part of a philosophy that sees all religion and faith as a fetter and that only when it is relinquished can you be free. But that's nonsense. And it certainly hasn't seemed to comfort anyone else in the fleet.
And it sure didn't do anything for Dualla who shot herself in the head!! What sort of writing is that? There's no motiviation for it, she just does it. It's the sort of thing writers do when they don't know what to do; they kill off characters hoping that a moment of shock value will equal drama. Well, we've done the crazy deaths already on this show. I'm tired of it, and Dualla deserved better. And it didn't even make sense. Really, finding a devastated planet leads her to suicide within a day or two?
I've been wondering just what makes Kara the harbinger of death. Maybe it's the Dualla thing. Maybe Kara's responsible for her death. But that still seems lame, and I feel like I've been teased with things that have never played out sensibly.
May I just ask if they actually surveyed the entire planet? Because they all just walk around the same cityscape, but a planet is a BIG place. I don't know why science fiction has such a hard time getting a handle on that. It seems planets are always written as one big homogenous biome, when we know that our own planet is nothing like that. So why would this Earth be? Maybe other parts are less damaged. Maybe it's still colonizable. I mean, if they can live on New Caprica, I bet they could maybe live here. Of course, New Caprica is just another example. Why didn't the humans just live on one side of the planet, and the Cylons on the other? DUH.
And then the big reveal at the end of the episode: the fifth and final Cylon is.... Ellen? No way. That just makes it all the more silly than it was before. And I'm not convinced she's "the fifth" when, as stated above, there must have been MANY different Cylons on Earth. And doesn't it seem just too darn convenient that Ellen and Saul were together, then died and were reborn and got together? And their marriage certainly didn't demonstrate a love beyond time, space and death, did it? This show gets dumber by the minute and it is a real chore to watch now.
Oh, and I've now begun rooting for Roslin to die as soon as possible.
Monday, October 5, 2009
I actually watched this some time ago, but haven't gotten around to writing about it. I'm still waiting for the season 4.5 DVDs to come back to the library so I can take them out (I know I could hulu them, but I'd rather the DVD), so I guess I've got some time before I see how these things are resolved.
Throughout the episode, characters talk about the "Final Four" in the fleet. In fact, the story hinges on those four Cylons showing themselves and going over to D'Anna's ship. But wait, I thought we established there were FIVE Cylons in the fleet! Last episode, it was all about the Final Five; now suddenly it's just the four? Who is the fifth, and why does he or she not need to show himself?
At least Tigh finally came out and said he was a Cylon. I respect him for suggesting they airlock him. I can understand why Adama couldn't believe it; because it is stupid. I hate that Tigh is a Cylon. Adama's suggestion that they did something to him while he was jailed on New Caprica is a good one! And I thought that the Final Five knew the way to earth? That's not what happened! In fact, their coming forward had very little to do with Kara's Viper. Unless it was only D'Anna's ultimatum which triggered the music again. Oh, and Tory had nothing to do with the Viper thing, so how does that make sense? They didn't even find out about Earth from the Viper; they just knew something was weird about it (by the way, I figured out pretty early on it would be something to do with the computer systems). Does the fact that it was KARA who figured out what was up with the Viper mean that SHE is the Fifth Cylon? It would make some sense; her resurrection and all. But I really hope that's not the case.
It seems Roslin is grooming Lee to replace her as President. I'm sorry, I guess she's just decided on her own that the Fleet is no longer a democracy and has become almost a monarchy. She can just choose a successor? I hate Roslin now. I eagerly await her death.
Speaking of death, what about Kara Thrace being the harbinger of death?? That whole thread has still gone nowhere. I do not believe that this "Earth" is their final destination. I don't know what it is, but there are a number of things wrong about it. It doesn't gel with the Eye of Jupiter stuff, nor has Kara fulfilled her role as harbinger of death. Where is the beacon coming from that Kara's Viper picked up? Furthermore, the old series did the Earth fakeout with the Terra storyline, so I'm kind of expecting that now. Why is this Earth all blown to pieces? And a planet is a BIG place; isn't any of it habitable? Why did they land at an old cityscape?
There just wasn't much for me in this episode. A number of things that have been dangling along this season were sort of wrapped up, but mainly because they strain credibility by being left for so long. So it's good to get the Final Four out in the open. But that whole storyline still makes absolutely no sense and I stand by my statement before that the show jumped the shark with that reveal. I've heard the second half is better. I hope so. I know fandom is split on how good the finale was. We'll see. I'm just eager to be done with the series. ...Of course, we'll always have Caprica.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Well, as the title implies, yes this is indeed the story of what happened with the resurrection hub. From the outset, doesn't it seem like the whole idea of a resurrection hub is just too easy? Like it's one big fat mcguffin to make the Cylons mortal. Remember way back in season 2 when "Resurrection Ship" told us if we just blow up the ship they won't be able to download. But then they just get other ships. So there's no way to prevent it without destroying all of their resurrection ships. Since that is a tall order, the writers invented a "resurrection hub" which controls all the ships. It's a terrible idea from a logical standpoint; if Cylon life is dependant on one central thing, that makes it an obvious target, no matter how much it jumps. It's an invention that, like the Borg Queen, betrays good sense for a quick and easy story focal point.
Did Baltar get a haircut? I don't remember his hair being that short in the previous episodes, but maybe I just stopped paying attention.
We finally get an answer about how the different Sharons knew so much about the others' backstories. I have wondered since season one why Athena Sharon remembers meeting Starbuck for the first time when that was Boomer's memory. We are told here that others of the same model can access memories of their sisters when they download. The Sharon (or should I call her 8?) with Helo tells him she accessed Athena's memories from when she last downloaded, and that's how she knows about her and has her memories. ...But I don't remember Athena dying and downloading, do you? All the 8s kind of mix up in my mind at this point. I remember Boomer downloading, but I thought Athena has been living uninterrupted since Caprica way back in season one. If this is the case, then the memories from her last download WOULDN'T include Helo, would they? I hate to have to be so picky. At least we got something of an explanation. Though of course this doesn't explain the knowledge that the Leobens and Sixes have.
Speaking of which, why is it that every model but Six is referred to by one alias? The Threes are all called "D'Anna". The Eights are "Sharons". But Six generally goes by Six, unless undercover, and she has used several different aliases. What's up with that?
I failed to bring this up earlier, but why WAS Boomer with Brother Cavil? What did she see in him? Why was she kissing him?? It was smart of Cavil to bring back D'Anna before the others had the chance to, though I suppose it backfired on him since he was killed. He constantly refers to the situation as a Cylon war. Maybe I'm being picky again, but isn't it a bit premature to call it a war? So far there's been an argument, some shooting, and one big attack. So that's a war? You started it, silly!
I don't like the fantasy sequences with Roslin and the old dead priestess. I don't really get the point of it all. She has to learn to love? Seriously? Is this a Cylon trick? Or is the series leading up to some lame Harry Potter resolution: the most powerful force in the universe is love? Why are the visions connected to the jumps? I thought jumps were instantaneous. Is Roslin gaining access to a world between worlds during the jumps? Is the priestess really there, or a hallucination? None of it really matters. I don't care! And in that vision, was Adama reading from Robinson Crusoe? It sure sounded like it, or was very similar. I hope it wasn't, because that's just one more element that doesn't make sense. We are to believe that they have Earth books, as well as Earth music?
I love the scenes with Baltar talking to the hybrid, and with Baltar and the Centurion. There's actually a continuity error with the Centurion. His little badge thing is on his right side, but there's one shot where it is on the left side.
I dislike that Baltar is wounded (yet again). Are we supposed to take the bleeding gash in his side as similar to Christ's? I'm inclined to say no, but thought I'd point it out. On the one hand, it's good to hear him express how he got rid of his guilt, but I don't think the explanation holds. Basically, he says he came to realize that he made a choice, but that God made the man who made the choice, and everyone is perfect, so he feels no guilt. That is the most ridiculous circular reasoning! I could buy it if it's just out of God loving him, and making him an instrument despite his flaws, but he literally says God rewarded him for destroying mankind! I've mentioned elsewhere how the perfection angle doesn't work. But Gaius is essentially saying that nobody should ever feel guilty about anything because ultimately it's all God's fault; he made you that way. It is funny to me that Roslin's actions sort of play off that. She says to herself, "Fine. Then I won't feel guilty for what I'm about to do," and rips off his bandage. Suddenly Baltar is all scared and begging for his life. But didn't God make Roslin perfect? Didn't he make her who made the choice not to help him? If Baltar were to die there, it would have been a cosmic irony. Of course, Roslin didn't let him die. She had to finally learn to forgive him.
That was a HORRIBLE joke the writers played on us! When D'Anna said Roslin was one of the Final Five, I was so mad. I'm glad it wasn't true, but how dare they do that to us. I wouldn't have put it past them. It wouldn't have made any sense, but then none of the Final Five stuff has really made sense.
I just don't like Roslin anymore, so I'm tired of her story. I don't care about her and Adama. I don't care about her cancer. I just want her to go away. The episode was all right, but too Roslin heavy. And might I add: the whole point of going to the base ship was so the hybrid could tell Roslin about the opera house, and then forty minutes later, we still haven't learned anything about the opera house! So it was all one big dead end, and a waste of an episode!