Spoilers after the jump. Click “Comments” or “Read More.”
Redemption comes through working a story out to its logical conclusion and then taking yourself out of it: taking the wish apart and seeing the ugly stuff inside.
So forget about Lee and Kara for a moment. BILL AND LAURA! Lying on the ground smoking together! I’ve watched a lot of TV in my life, I KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!
I don’t like Cally. I don’t know why, but I’ve taken a real dislike to her relegation to the role of Wife and Mother with a capital W and M, in that all you see her do anymore is bounce the baby and hang on Chief’s arm. I miss the girl who bit her would-be rapist’s ear off and helped Chief build the Blackbird. I miss that chick.
The boxing matches. Ever see video of Ali fighting? Boxing done well is brutal bloody poetry; Starbuck wasn’t far off when she called it “the dance.” It’s like sculpting, like circling around and around chipping your opponent into a shape you recognize. I don’t know how realistic it was, the idea of letting go of all of that military discipline and just bashing it out, and I’ll tell you what I hated: Adama’s speech. Because it was what this show doesn’t often do, tell instead of show, and they’d already shown us. Everything he said was in his eyes when the Chief knocked him down. There was no need to spell it out. People who watch this show, with the exception of the Right Wing Outrage Patrol, pay attention. We got it before he opened his mouth. Still, sweet mercy, is that man hot, and anytime he’s on my screen I’m a happy girl.
Kara and Lee. It played out like I figured it had played out; he got close when he knew she was on the verge of something new, and she jumped in because she knew she had an out, and these two are impossible, and what’s more I think they both know it. I feel for Dualla, I really do. I never felt like Lee went to her just because Kara threw him over and I kind of resent the show for taking it there, as if love’s a bowl of sugar and there’s only so much, as if you’re only allowed to love one person and in one way. I feel for Dualla because even if Lee and Kara never touch each other again, you have to be one hell of a strong person to know you’re competing with that, and gods bless her, from the look on her face at the end it seemed like she really hadn’t known. I gave her more credit than the show did, I guess; I figured she knew all along and loved Lee anyway. The catty part of me wants to say to her, if you just wanted someone to love you, you should have stuck with Billy. He’d have loved you senseless and you’d have been the only woman he ever saw.
Lee and Kara. You get to that point, don’t you, where no matter what you do you’re just going round and round, punch-drunk, hurting each other because you don’t know what else to do. I know people are going to be bothered by it, the spectacle of a man and woman thrashing each other that way, and I’m not trying to get around that with the idea that the violence was metaphorical because it wasn’t. I’m saying you get to the point where you stagger each other, and the hurt is killing you, and it’s holding you up, and you don’t know where the hurt ends and the love begins and it’s just one big adolescent mess, because they’re so fucking young and so stupid. And sometimes you have to punch through all of it before you understand.
As for Kara’s desertion: You face down something as powerful as the two of them together, even for a second, and you run. When you’re young, and you’re scared, and you had this whole idea of a cabin in the forest and a life that you hadn’t planned out beyond the dollhouse in your head, and something like what you had with Lee roars in and rushes over you, you run. Run before he hurts you, run before you hurt him, run before you have to make this work, too, on top of everything else you’ve done this year. I’m not excusing her. What she did was vile, and immature, and assholish. But excuses and reasons are not the same things, and I get her, her fear and her unwillingness, even for a second, to trust in something that had never been anything before but a disaster.