Spoilers within. You’ve been warned.
Marriage is hard because love is partly me and partly you, and because in the movie of your life, you’re a Laura and a Bill, and when you fall in love they become a Bill or a Laura, and marriage is about taking the bricks out of those pedestals one by one, until you can actually see each other. Naked, without all the hero worship and the family drama and the Just Like Dear Old Mom and the specialness getting all over everything and constantly disappointing you with reality. Marriage in Spanish is casarse, to build a home with: you build a cabin, and live there together.
But you don’t live there alone, and that’s what I think this episode was about. You aren’t just two people and the rest of the world, the rest of the world doesn’t go away because you swapped rings and said some stuff by the riverbed, as Kara and Lee are learning every single day. You live in your cabin with your neighbors and your friends and your parents and your history and your ghosts, and all the crap you choose to bring with you.
And love, all love, is a choice. It’s actions. It’s not something that happens to you, despite what a thousand books and cheapass movies would have you think. It’s work you do every day from the moment you get up until the moment you lay yourself down to sleep, and sometimes the work is easy and sometimes it’s hard but it’s never not work, it’s never not deliberate and productive and fruitful and true. All love is work, not just marriage, not just sex-relationships, not just two people but three, ten, two dozen, a hundred. What Bill and Laura are doing to Tyrol is no less about love than it is about authority; maybe, for those two, they’re the same. And Tyrol and Cally are messed up because they worked together and they’re still figuring it out, how that power dynamic shifts when you’re in bed together and it’s not about orders (or it is).
Baltar and his books and his bullshit and his embodiment of the excuse. When you’re down in a hole you’ll listen to anybody tell you that they know the way out. The trick is not to kill the guy showing you the way out, LAURA. It’s to stay out of the fucking hole in the first place, and keep other people out. The problem is not that Baltar’s a lying seductive bitch who’s inciting others to rebellion. The problem is that conditions allow people to look on Baltar (and Zarek, first season — where IS he these days? Languishing in the plot basement with Cottle?) as a savior, because if things weren’t fucked up, would you ever do that? In a just world, in a world in which you got some R & R and a nice pay raise, would you turn to the greasy guy in the jail cell who talks to himself? Fuck no, but that guy is easier to listen to when he’s telling you he’s got an answer to problems you can’t see the end of. And to Laura, it’s easier to blame that guy than the general sense of not-okay that pervades the fleet, and it’s a lot easier to knife his mattress and take away his bedframe than it is to make the world a better place.
I’m having a hard time liking Seelix, after the Circle, though the bit at the end with her and Starbuck was beyond cute.