And Yet He Gains: Galactica Thread

Line of the night: Hot Dog, above, “Well, this should be different.”

Spoilers inside, click “comments.”

Things that in no particular order made me laugh, cry, shout “yeah!” like a teenage boy at a sporting event, jump up and down in my living room and long for next Friday:

Can I get a HELL YEAH to Galactica descending toward the planet and the birds screaming out through the fire to take out the prison gates? Can I get another HELL YEAH to Pegasus showing up? Iknew Pegasus was gonna show up and I still thought, oh God, they’re pulling back, what if this really is it? Because I am gullible and susceptible to giant space battles. Still, never loved Lee so much. Oh, Tigh and Ellen. Oh, Maya. Oh, Laura sitting down in the president’s chair. Mary McDonnell owns the part of my soul I haven’t yet ceded to the newly de-pornstache’d Adama. Everything’s as it should be, except totally not, because next week they start killing the collaborators. I can’t honestly say how much of that I’m gonna be pissed about. Remember, it’s not just Iraq. It’s France and Germany and Holland, too. You never know what you would do, never.

Three’s speech to Baltar about passing blood feuds down through the generations was the right thing to say on the show, delivered to the wrong character. Tigh and Anders are the ones who need to hear that shit, they’re the insane revenge junkies, Baltar’s just into, as Gaeta said hilariously, “booze and pills and hot and cold running interns.” I can’t wait till he shows up again. I hope Roslin airlocks him.

Now on to Kara and her maternal issues. Flory was saying last week that she didn’t buy the sudden OMG KASEY love on Kara’s part, and I thought about it. Now this might be my knee-jerk defense of all things Starbuck because she’s Teh Hottness, but bear with me:

This is a woman who has no experience of love that is not about power, or adrenaline, or punishment, or loss. No love that is untainted by all the horrible thing she had to do for it. She loved Zak, and faked his flight test and he died. She loved her mother, who beat and tortured her. She loved Lee, and fracked it up. She loved Adama, and nearly destroyed that, too. She loved Anders but to get to him she has to go back through the Cylon hospital and the resistance and to get to him she has to betray Adama and Roslin both. Not a lot of unadulterated happiness or purity of feeling, there.

And then suddenly there’s this little girl. A chance to get things right, a love she could accept because it came from someone (something) she hardly knew. Innocent. Holding on to her finger. It’s impossible she wouldn’t fall for it, impossible she wouldn’t see, as people always have in wartime, the need to listen to something small cry out for the future.

That it’s a trick, and a not terribly original one at that, was the worst part of it. Nothing as awful as a Cylon clone, nothing as horrifying as her own DNA bred agaisnt her will with Leoben, just … another woman’s child. A mix-up. The terrible things that can happen to everybody, no batteries or assembly required.


36 thoughts on “And Yet He Gains: Galactica Thread

  1. See, we were smart. We waited. We watched all four hours for the first time, tonight, and thank God, because it would’ve been a bear waiting a week between each part.
    The first two hours was such an excellent parable on the Iraq War. I mean, everything was just pitch perfect. They couldn’t keep it up, though. It’s just too much to go through the wringer over and over.
    I’ve watched space battles way too many times NOT to KNOW that Han–er, I mean Apollo, was going to come flying out of the night to save the day after promising long and loud to go off and do something else. It was still really, really cool.
    The Starbuck plotline was really creepy, but it ended perfectly.
    And who else votes for Tigh’s wife (Ellen) to really be a cylon?
    You know, I’m really happy for my kids, because when they’re old enough to really, really handle and enjoy and appreciate this whole series, they’ll have (well, I’LL have) about 7-8 seasons (hoping for more…) on DVD that they can just plow through when they’re home on break from college.

  2. I’m SOOOO glad they got rid of Starbuck’s mutant vaginal secretion. I don’t know how much longer I could have tolerated the total estrogen-packed predictability of it all. And thank God it was just a mix-up, and that the whole season isn’t going to be about her trying to get her daughter back. ‘Not Without My Cylon’ isn’t quite what I signed up for.

  3. Kara and Tigh are going to need some serious therapy.
    I’m glad that Kasey is out of the picture for now.
    Before they showed the previews, I knew next weeks ep would be all about vigilante payback.
    When Gaeta had the gun on Gaius W Baltar, I was all Daffy Duck screaming “Shoot him now! shoot him now!!” Of course, I knew he wouldn’t. : (

  4. It’s a great show.
    Do you “analysts” ever wonder if you’re putting more thought into the characters’ motivations than the show’s writers do?

  5. I think the shows writer’s would be — and mebbe are, we don’t know who reads this blog — thrilled to know the kind of discussions about motives and characterizations their writing brings about. What could be a bettter outcome for a writer?

  6. You knew going in Kasey wasn’t going to make it to next week. And I still think the whole plotline was a completely out of character departure for Starbuck. She’s way too smart to fall for what could always have been nothing more than a trick. I glad its over. And I hope her “therapy” is more Starbuck being Starbuck.
    Wonder what they’re gonna do with Anders and Dualla now? How do a married Starbuck and Lee help the ratings any?
    I was hoping we’d lose Baltar too. For one thing — I’m tired of trying to understand his mumbling. And he leaves a grease stain on my teebee screen.
    Does he get to be the one to tell Sharon Hera is still alive? And what happens then?
    And in retrospect, the Pegasus being destroyed was inevitable too. But I didn’t see it coming.

  7. That it’s a trick, and a not terribly original one at that, was the worst part of it. Nothing as awful as a Cylon clone, nothing as horrifying as her own DNA bred agaisnt her will with Leoben, just … another woman’s child. A mix-up. The terrible things that can happen to everybody, no batteries or assembly required.
    And that’s why, as I said in response to the comment above, I never bought it.
    Just because Kara has never had any experience of love that’s *not* about pain and loss, she’d be completely hardened against it.
    She would know going in that Loeben was going to use anything and everything to break her will. She’d be on guard against tricks and she’d be too damn smart to fall for what could so obviously — and easily –have been one.
    I don’t think you’re giving Starbuck enough credit for smarts. Smart girls don’t fall for toaster tricks.
    I’m going to be supremely pissed if the rest of the season is about Starbuck working thru her mommy issues.

  8. Oh — and speaking of teh hottness — Anders storyline could get interesting.
    Up to now, he and Starbuck have been together as equals. She’s the commanding officer of the fighter pilots and he’s leader of the guerillas. Both warriors and both in command.
    What does a guerilla fighter do aboard a spaceship? It’s like that old Bing Crosby song from White Christmas “What do you do with a general when he stops being a general?”
    I think there’ll be a bit of tension in that relationship.
    But jeebus, I hope they don’t kill him off. He’s too pretty to look at.

  9. But as you will find out two episodes hence, Casey really was Starbuck’s child and the woman who claimed her “daughter” was merely a cylon who thought Starbuck needed to be mind-frakked a bit more. Starbuck will go looking to visitr the kid and… blah blah blah.

  10. Vague generalized comments as I sink into the series. I’m not a geek on this show (as will soon be obvious), but now it intrigues me.
    Cylons worship “one god,” the people “many gods,” not as a Hebraism v. Hellenism thing (Monotheism v. polytheism) but because the Cylons truly think in unitary, not individual, terms. The religion business underscores that.
    Curious the “bulletheads” revolted. Because they were tired of being servants? But now they serve the “skin jobs” (nice “Blade Runner” reference there). What has changed? Ironic, no?
    If the android Cylons weren’t immortal, they wouldn’t be evil. The sole difference between the humans and the Cylons is, the humans die.
    Cylons “evolved,” it says. Which isn’t Darwin at all, but Social Darwinism. And yet there’s that underlying Pinocchio/Data from STNG thing: the “skins” want to be human. Witness the relationship with Starbuck, that climaxed when she said “I love you.” Of course, he manipulated her ruthlessly, but she did the same to him.
    Lucy Lawless (see, I don’t know the characters) talking to Gaius is what started this chain of thinking. She tells Gaius that someday, the children of the humans will hunt down the Cylons, because they’ll be raised on stories of the Cylon terror. A very deep irony, that. Those to whom evil is done, as Auden noted, do evil in return. But it was the “skins” that started this. Why? Another question that may have an answer, and I just don’t know it. Had they left the humans alone, would the humans have ever hunted them? But now, she’s probably right. Bitterness gets bred in the bone, as has been done now with Tigh, and with Starbuck.
    Fascinating the way this is unfolding. Fascinating what it reveals about the world we actually live in.
    Oh, and the action scenes were way cool, too!

  11. So, why the quotation marks?
    An analyst is simply one who analyzes. What’s wrong with analyzing a creative effort? What’s even unusual or untoward about that? It’s a pretty established practice-people have been analyzing art for a long time. Some of them get paid, others do it for fun.
    The inference in your question is that there is a right way and a wrong way – I think we’re all just trying to enjoy ourselves.

  12. but smart girls fall for cheap tricks all the time. And smart women make stupid mistakes all the time.
    Strong women get hurt all the time.
    Starbuck isn’t a perfect statue or a goddess and she’s not invincible.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to find her picture next to the definition of “flawed hero” in the dictionary.

  13. “An analyst is simply one who analyzes.” Wow, you win, why didn’t I see that at the outset?
    I wan’t inferring anything, I asked a direct question. You chose not to answer it, yet you replied anyway; and in your reply you inferred that I was wrong to ask the question.
    Thanks for the dialog.

  14. Virgotex also asked you why you needed to put analyst in quotes. Which we all understand is a not-so-subtle putdown of our analysis — you chose not to respond to that question.
    And I answered your direct question, before virgotex said anything. I see you chose to ignore that completely.
    Thanks for the dialog.

  15. You all been reading too much chick lit. Not all girlz wanna be mommies.
    Starbuck is *not* a victim. And the whole plotline was about turning her into one.
    Would it have been remotely believable with Lee in the Starbuck role? No frackin’ way. And yet it’s believable cause Starbuck is a girl?
    NO. A thousand times NO.
    Starbuck is clearly not invincible or a goddess. What she is, is a warrior. A damn good one. And damn good warriors do not fall for cheapass enemy psyops.

  16. If the android Cylons weren’t immortal, they wouldn’t be evil. The sole difference between the humans and the Cylons is, the humans die.
    There was that whole massacring the whole human race thing too. Tends to cast one in an evil light.
    Just sayin…

  17. Actually, I thought it might have been *more* believable with Lee. If he’d’ been presented with a cute, innocent, defenseless little kid, and convinced him that it was his own fllesh and blood? Sure he’d fall for it. (Confession: I’ve always found Lee sort of goopy.)

  18. Just finished watching the episode. Wow! A couple of items that caught my eye. I wondered earlier in the season why Galactica didnt participate in the rebelion more actively, they could have had a Raptor jump into the atmosphere blast a few missles into the landing area and then jump out. I felt that it was a hole in the story, something they could have done daily for the last year. The jump technology changes land warfare to something very different. I was glad that the writers jumped the Galactica into the planet atmosphere validating my idea. Once again they could have jumped Pegasus right next to the Base Stars every week while the occupation was taking place. Fire off a couple of nukes and then jump away. Might have kept the weight off of Apollo.
    I am very bummed that they killed the Pegasus. Everyone new it was coming but what a loss.
    Tigh has emerged as my favorite character, fantastic acting and somebody who isnt perfect. I watched a few episodes from season 1 and noticed something I missed when I first saw them. Back when they fought the Cylons constantly Tigh was the one that made things happen. He chewed people out knocked heads and made sure that the mission was complete. Pretty much what a good XO should do. Now that they have knocked off his wife he should remain pretty tight if he doesnt swallow a bullet. I’m sure he is going to miss that thing she did at the end, was it the “swirl?”
    Having sex with Starbuck at this point would probably be lethal, she might bite off your head and live off your body for a few weeks while she gestates her young.

  19. I’m not sure I’d have found it any more believable — that whole warrior culture thing — but it would have been far less infuriating and far more interesting than sticking Starbuck in there.

  20. Tigh’s storyline will get very interesting. Does he go back to his job as XO — with a missing eye? Unlikely.
    Who becomes XO then? Lee?. Probably.
    Which leaves Tigh doing what? Besides drinking.

  21. As far as I’m concerned, it’s got nothing to do with chick lit. It’s more mythic-based than that. Something like the Campbellian hero’s journey, and Starbuck is in the Belly of the Whale, or Atonement with the (in her case) Mother.
    She, and us, got into some deep shit. The lowest point- dealing with her very primal issues. And her primal issues have to do with her mother. Would I believe this exact situation if it had been Lee instead of Starbuck? No, but I would believe a parallel story that dealt with Lee’s deep personal demons, whatever they are. Resurrection Ship, for example- we saw a Lee that definitely wanted to die. He was weak and helpless and completely dependent. In showing us that, did the creators turn him into a victim?
    I maintain that the plot line was about turning Kara into a victim but pushing her into a situation where she had to battle to NOT be a victim.
    And narratively, for the sake of dramatic tension, she really had to struggle. It was the fight of her life. And at times it looked like she might lose. That’s not victimhood.
    I don’t see her accepting Kasey as giving up, and I don’t see it as her wanting to “experience mommyhood”. This is a trial. The hero is presented with a choice. The hero makes a choice, usually while they are in extremis. I don’t think it’s about mother hood as much as it’s about love and wholeness.
    Starbuck is a warrior now but she’s also very young, compared to Adama or Tigh or even Roslin. She’s a warrior now but she’s not nearly the warrior she’s bound to become in the future. Neither was Adama or Tigh when they were her age- they grew into their full strength by making choices and having wins and losses.

  22. Yeah, but the ambiguity recently, the “shouldn’t we wipe ’em out, shouldn’t we use ’em, shouldn’t we work with ’em?” thing is interesting. There was the Nazi-like massacre, and the Cylon whining because he was left to die. But the humans are not John Waynes saving civilization, or something.
    Both sides are fighting for what they see as survival, and doing it for their own reasons. The Cylons seems to fear humans will destroy them so they’re going to strike first. On the other hand, they made Gaius sign the death warrants for the massacre, as Dean Stockwell said, to save their “existential asses.” They are not, in other words, purely evil. They have motivations other than hating humans for their freedom, or some such thing. And it’s their “immortality” that allows us to watch them be brutally murdered (Starbuck kills one twice, that I recall now, in cold blood), as opposed to seeing people fall as we hear the sounds of gunfire (if they really wanted to up the ante the producers would add the sound of bullets impacting bodies, a la “A Very Long Engagement.” Just a thought.)
    It’s an interesting difference that they exploit. Humans are never tortured (was there a scene where Tigh’s eye was pulled out, even if it was off-camera?), but Cylons can be. Humans aren’t knifed or stabbed with chopsticks, but Cylons can be. Because that doesn’t really kill them. If it did, Starbuck would be a monster, too.

  23. Not sure where to enter into this complex discussion (complex because of the replies and replies to replies, and replies to replies to replies, I mean.)
    “Flawed hero” and “Hero” have some rather one-dimensional definitions here, I must say.
    Greek hero’s were never all about the “strong,” if by “strong” you mean the Bruce Willis/Arnold Schwarzenegger type who just gets more brutal and determined the more broken glass or explosions or bullet/knife wounds they suffer from. Greek heros were about endurance in the face of odds, duty in the face of death; not about never bending no matter what happened to ’em.
    Hell, even Hercules went mad for a while.
    Starbuck’s acceptance of Kasey made sense to me. She’s isolated, beaten, killing her captor over and over and he just comes back; her only hope is that Galactica somehow returns and somehow rescues her, and that’s an awfully thin hope.
    Everyone, IOW, has their breaking point. Everyone.
    For Starbuck to give up the “so tough nothin’ gets to me” pose and let a kid get under her defenses, made perfect emotional sense. Even “girls who don’t want to be mommies” can understand an emotional attachment to a child. Stephen Jay Gould even identified an evolutionary reason for it (he was talking about Mickey Mouse, but pointing out that Mickey’s features mimic those of an infant, i.e., unnaturally large and pronounced eyes, etc. Eyes on a kid are huge in proportion to their heads. We grow into them, for the most part. According to Gould, such “childish” features make us want to protect them, or at least make them attractive enough to us that, even when not our own, we feel affection for them.) If Starbuck had instead pulled a “You can’t fool me!” on Kasey, especially after enduring confinement and psychological torture (which, it turns out, is all any of it was), it would have been emotionally shallow and completely unsatisfying.
    And it would have made her confinement seem cartoonish, illegimate, and about as stressful as a bad visit to Disneyland, when you didn’t want to go there in the first place.
    “Mommy issues”? How about just human affection, human sociology, the desire not to be completely alone? Children put an enormous amount of trust into adults (they have to). The adult who doesn’t respond to that at all, ever, especially in conditions Starbuck was supposed to be in, would not be an adult. They would be an emotional adolescent.

  24. hey now, I didn’t say or infer that you were wrong to ask it!
    I challenged what you said, not your right to say it. I’m sorry if it was taken another way.

  25. Maybe someone could explain one plot point to me – forgive me if I’m a bit slow. But last week we saw a Lucy Lawless cylon (sorry, I’m bad about remembering character names and/or model numbers), who had learned of Hera’s survival from the oracle, get shot in both legs by the current Galactica Sharon and locked in the vault (where the launch keys had been stored) so she couldn’t warn the others about the escape/battle plans. This week we had an apparently different Lucy Lawless, who also knew about Hera, but was surprised as all of them about the rebellion and escape. Did I miss something where the one Lawless shared with the others the oracle’s vision that Hera was alive? Or is there some kind of borg thing with knowledge sharing among cylons? But if that were the case, then the battle plan secret would have been blown.

  26. Would I believe this exact situation if it had been Lee instead of Starbuck? No, but I would believe a parallel story that dealt with Lee’s deep personal demons, whatever they are. Resurrection Ship, for example- we saw a Lee that definitely wanted to die.
    I guess that’s my point. You wouldn’t believe a storyline about Lee and a deep psychic yearning for a child. His issues would have to be played out in another context. But you’ll believe the kiddie issues about Starbuck. Because she’s a girl?
    Giving Starbuck a storyline about her personal demons — love and loss and redemption and life and death — and forcing her to work thru them in the context of her captivity are all fair. Framing it with Starbuck’s redemption in the form of a child? Frackin’ cheating. And the writers would never have thought of doing it with a male character.
    And they did it, I suspect, because some suit told them they needed to “humanize” Starbuck. She was too “unfeminine”. Argggggghhhh.
    As for her age — yes — Starbuck is a young warrior. And young warriors tend to be pretty damn rigid and gung ho. All that very recent conditioning in warrior school. It’s the old guys that can find psychic room for their humanity.

  27. I love being able to download from iTunes, but would it kill them to have video quality equal to the pirated shows of smaller file size? Jeez!
    I’m going to miss Ellen. Tigh’s walk at the end of the episode was heartbreaking.
    Alas, Pegasus! But she went out well.
    Clearly the best show on TV at the moment. The Galactica crashing towards earth between FTL jumps made my heart leap for joy, and I almost shot out of my chair here in a cafe.

  28. Anonymous on Saturday, October 21 @ 15:12:35 CDT
    Ignore Anonymous folks, he’s just a skin job mind-fraking ya.

  29. Here is the thing about this interaction and Kara’s detention.
    Why did the Cylons go THIS route to Kara? What did they want? Look at the response that he kept trying to get from Kara. Not, “The bomb is planted by the guard tower” or “The head of the resistance is_______!’ But, “I love you.” This continues to show the twistedness of the Cylons (who should we blame for that?). They think that love can be forced.
    They also think that love is the answer to their growth as a species.
    They did find that they can trick people to love, but actually that kind of wasn’t exactly a total trick. (Sharon tricked Helo with the old, “When I started this assignment I was just supposed to pretend I was in love, but I actually fell in love with you!” He gets mad, but realizes she really does love him and he loves her, toaster or no toaster. And the Cylons were right. Love was something that they needed to breed, “naturally”. Of course now that they know that Hera survived they will be trying to trick other humans into loving Cylons. I’d like to think that the next step will be for the model that Starbuck killed for the 6th time will finally figure out “Can’t buy me love.”
    They believe that the thing that was missing from them was love. That true love was and is essential for them to grow and reproduce in any other fashion than 12 clone models forever. Some of the group, like the Caprica Six believe in love and of course the Caprica Sharon believes that too. Of course when she finds out that her baby was tricked out of her? Well that’s going to go down hard for Adama and Roslyn. Could they convince her that they did it for the good of both races? That they would trust her now, but not then? I would love for them to tell Sharon NOW. That would be an interesting scene to watch.

  30. The reason they didn’t just jump in and run is that they had no way of knowing what the response would be to the people on the ground. They didn’t have any contact. They made a big deal out of finally establishing contact with them after so long.
    I think Tigh will be back as XO. It takes more than loss of an eye to keep a good Tigh down.
    But Tigh taking down Ellen. Wow. Of course the comment about her coming back as a Cylon! Man! No I think the next time we find out who a Cylon model is it will be introduced backward. As in first we will find out that they are Cylon and then we will see the inflitration process. I would also love to hear the thoughts of the bulletheads!

  31. I think it’s clear we don’t agree on this, and we certainly don’t have to, that’s cool.
    I don’t think Starbuck has ever, or has now, adeep yearning for a child and I don’t think that’s what they are trying to sell us.
    I think she, like most humans, has a deep yearning for wholeness and completeness and love and resolution of her earliest/most primal conflicts/issues. Kara didn’t go looking for her but when presented with a child, during psychological duress, Kasey represented a do-over of sorts, a representation of a rescue that Kara herself never got when her own mother was beating the crap out of her and endangering her life.
    Also, like it or not, my guess is we will see more of this. “The Farm” was a major set up, with a lot loose ends left. It wasn’t Starbuck’s kidney that got stolen- it was her ovaries. And now we have this, also with loose ends -my guess is we are going to see more of Mommy=Monster angst.

  32. Virgotex are you replying to me? Because I think we agree. Also, I must have really missed something. What is this beating that Kara got as a child? When did they show it? This season? Last? First? I don’t remember it at all.
    Was it part of the Web episodes?

  33. I never actually considered that Loeben’s treatment of Starbuck was a Cylon central decision. I thought it was personal. Dating back to the interrogation Starbuck gave him.
    Whatever. I still think it was cheap pyschodrama on the writer’s part. Especially with the ending. If they were gonna go this route, at least keep the kid around.

  34. I would also love to hear the thoughts of the bulletheads!
    Do bulletheads think? They seem awfully programmed to me.
    Mebbe they “think” in the same sense fundies do…enough to do what they’re told but no more.
    But if so — how did the skins evolve?

  35. Interestingly enough, we now have the parallel to the original series of Baltar taking his place amongst the Cylons.

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