The Passion of Lee Adama: Saturday Galactica Thread

Some boypretty, for once, for those of you who like that sort of thing. Spoilers for this week’s intallment of a crap soap opera the best show on TV lurk herein.

Quick takes, as always, first:

My love for Doc Cottle grows and grows. Does he usually stash his cigs in his instrument trays, or is that just during autopsies when really, who gives a damn? And I love how he continues to be the only character who consistently notices how batshit Baltar is and seems, you know, to judge that a little. Everybody else seems to think it’s just fine if the veep talks to himself now and then and has sex with imaginary people. Whatever. Just another day at the Quorum.

Things that made wildly no sense to me: Why does Lee all of a sudden have a girlfriend from the past we’ve never heard about before? Not to mention a girlfriend from the present we’ve never heard about before? Plus a black market which, totally makes sense to me and all, but there again, might have been nice to have heard about it during, say the water and coffee riots of the first season instead of just kind of flinging it at us. The show can do stand-alone eps, I guess, but this one just felt too disconnected from the awesome roller coaster of faith and fearfulness that came before.

Is it my Adama crush talking when I say I wish Lee would give him a little more credit already? I am not looking forward to a reprise of Daddy Issues. That’s so Season One.

I ran into this difficulty with the last season of HBO’s The Wire, too: I get, on a visceral level, the idea of walling off the criminals and letting them destroy themselves, of containing a problem. But putting myself in Lee’s shoes for a moment, Lee’s spit-shined perfectionist shoes, I don’t see him buying containment as a solution. What good does it do you to know who’s running the black market, if you won’t do anything to stop them? How does knowing about something but allowing it to happen, how is that any better than not knowing? Isn’t it, in fact, worse? And wouldn’t it be a far better use of the military and civilians’ time to figure out ways to better distribute the fleet’s resources so that no one has to resort to the black market, rather than simply tracking that which incompetence has made a necessity?

Here’s what I’ve always liked about Lee. His painfully adolescent sense of righteousness provides the perfect counterpoint to Starbuck’s sort of utilitarian daredevil amorality. So while lots and lots of things about this episode didn’t make any damn sense at all, I think the characterization worked. I saw these things, and thought, yes, Lee would try to make a hooker into his lost love fantasy, yes, Lee would be able to understand bartering for liquor or cigars but draw the line at child prostitution, yes, Lee would panic in that adolescent way of his at grown-up decisions and then spend all his time angsting about them instead of just doing it already, because that’s the kind of adorable ditherer Lee is. He’s the guy you want figuring out the mission because he’s gonna consider every single way things might go wrong. You love his upright Dudley Do-Right persona even though you know it only highlights how screwed up he really is, because that kind of rigid moral code just doesn’t work, not in this place at the edge of the world. But he’s necessary, he’s the show’s equivalent of the friend I have who I call up before I do something stupid so she can talk me out of it. He’s counterbalance. The knight in shining armor sounds oh, so good, but he’s kind of a drag at the dinner table with his prattling on about honor and chivalry. But you like having him there. One of these days you might listen to him.

A.

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