Had To: Galactica Thread

Jacob, from the recap of “Maelstrom:”

Guy gets on a train with a box, airholes in the side. The man he sits down next to asks him about it, and he admits that he’s got a mongoose in there. Dude B is like, “Not something normal, like a bunny or a cat?” No, there’s more to the story. “It’s because of my older brother. He’s a drunk, among other things, and at this point he’s just completely out of his tree. He sees serpents, everywhere. Everywhere he looks, he’s seeing these snakes and they make him terrified.” And Dude B is like, “So they’re imaginary?” Yeah. “So then why the mongoose?” And the first guy smiles and looks very meaningfully at the box, which is empty. “Imaginary mongoose.”

Spoilers for “Razor” underneath the cut.

I spent the weekend re-watching Luc Besson’s Joan of Arc movie, The Messenger, which I love in spite of its absurdity (Dustin Hoffman, really?) for the moment when, forced by circumstances to take one single step back the young peasant girl in the soldier’s armor screams in rage, primal, insensible, screams from her gut that this is not going to happen. “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” A girl on a white horse, facing the entire English army, and she drove them away. It only looks like you’re going crazy to those who don’t understand.

So here’s my problem with this, and let’s get it out of the way early: I disliked the narrative device, I mean main character. I felt like we could have done this one straight, without the underling’s-eye-view thing shows get so fond of. I’ll grant it was a way to show the aftermath, but I felt a little cheated. I wanted more of Cain and less of this girl whose name I had a hard time remembering, more of going all the way crazy, more of the razor and Gina and what happened to get her to the place where she was ready to lose it, get that dark.

The difference between Galactica and Pegasus, of course, was one of definition. Adama and Roslin, with their push and pull in the wake of the attacks, defined “our own” as all of humanity, and drew the line around the entire fleet. Cain drew it smaller, around her ship, her crew, her mission. Around the few people her desperate fear would let her admit to her circle, and everybody else was suspicious, everybody else was a Cylon, everybody else was on the outside looking in. It’s not so outlandish, it’s how most of us live. It’s only in extremity that you see how damaging that is; it’s only when your world has been blown all to hell by the Cylons or your own personal version of 9/11 or some other catastrophic shit that you realize how alone you are, in your tiny, barbed wire circle of fear, meting out death and judgement.

The interesting argument of Cain is this: What did you do because you had to do it, and what did you do because you wanted to, because it felt good, because it was easier, because it made sense at the time, because because because, and just told yourself afterward that it was “had to”? At what point does extremity stop being an explanation and start being an excuse? At what point do you begin using your own suffering as a substitute for something else, for character, or courage, or just being better than that? At what point, to steal from Jacob some more, again, as always, do you stop trying to keep your pain at bay and start fucking it, start falling in love with being the person nobody else can possibly understand, and then it stops being about necessity, and becomes something else, something sick and cold.

Somewhere along the line, probably when she shot her XO, probably when she discovered Gina wasn’t Gina after all, maybe years before, maybe she tortured small animals as a fourth grader, but somewhere along the line Cain stopped asking if this was “had to” had to, or if she just had to pick the most hardcore thing out of the box of possible things to do because that’s who she was and fuck you, anyway. It’s scary to watch somebody that involved in her own story, that invested in the suspension of the rules, that convinced she’s right. Screaming in rage at being forced to take one step back. I was born to do this. Because, what if you weren’t?

Quick hits: Damn, Lee was annoying at that point in the show, wasn’t he? I did love his line about tell me what you think “and don’t hold back just because I have a pulse.” Michelle Forbes is smoking, smoking, smoking fucking hot. With the hair and the crazy eyes and the Voice. I don’t think the bit about Starbuck was anything more than just enough misdirection; nothing will talk me into thinking she’s really evil, nothing. Not Enough Laura, but really, never enough Laura, and shut up, Adama, on your son’s bridge letting him make command decisions but only when you feel like it. I liked the idea of scrolling through radio channels because that’s what I do on long car rides at night, try to find other people who are still awake and listen to them talk.

And pretty please for Christmas will somebody out there make me a vid of Viper jock antics over that “Soulja Boy” song? Because that would rock it.

A.

20 thoughts on “Had To: Galactica Thread

  1. skippy says:

    “we need the eggs.”

  2. Virgotex says:

    Sometimes you’re so good it kinda freaks me out a little, A.
    I mean that in a good way.

  3. mdhatter says:

    AND the old school cylons!

  4. joejoejoe says:

    Michelle Forbes is teh hot. I just found out she was in a sci-fi pilot that never aired called ‘Global Frequency’. The pilot was based on a comic book series of the same name. Apparently leaked copies of the pilot were big on the internets in 2005 but I was too busy choking down bile caused by the reelection of George W. Bush to notice much that year.
    Here’s a clip from YouTube & some background.

    http://www.frequencysite.com/metro.htm

  5. Arkenor says:

    I just hope they hurry up and show it over here in the UK! I can’t wait!

  6. Watching it again last night I noticed a hint that Cain and Gina were maybe intimate?
    I’m not going to say it was the Best Thing Ever but I thought it telled a story well, the massacre explained.
    Shaw injecting…Starbuck drinking…it’s a matter of degree, isn’t it?
    .

  7. Oh, and Michelle Forbes is indeed TEH HOT!
    .

  8. BlakNo1 says:

    “I noticed a hint that Cain and Gina were maybe intimate?”
    A lot more than “maybe”. Why do you think “Gina” got beat up that badly?
    Herald of The Apocolypse, indeed. Nah, RDM doesn’t seem to engage in misdirection when it comes to the major stuff.
    Lee will “stop” her though, cos he’s the 5th.
    Now we have to wait until freakin’ April for more, and don’t forget the DVD which comes out in 2 weeks will have an extended version.

  9. Now we have to wait until freakin’ April for more
    Bad news.
    Lee is the fifth? My money’s on Roslin.
    .

  10. virgotex says:

    afterellen.com has been following Razor developments for a while, re the cain/gina relationship. Malinda has an interesting fairly thoughtful piece on it (SPOILERS)-
    http://www.afterellen.com/TV/2007/11/battlestargalacticarazor

  11. BlakNo1 says:

    RDM has already said that neither Adm. Adama or Roslin are Cylons of any kind.
    I swear, if BSG ends up like Twin Peaks or Millennium(no true ending), I’m gonna take a hostage.

  12. idiosynchronic says:

    Virgo- thanks for posting that link. I was highly annoyed at the relationship angle. Not to mention the lingering triangle subplot. But, I’m not a lesbian or bisexual, and so if it’s just me annoyed at what I see as a crass stereotype being used and abused . . .

  13. Virgo –
    Thanks for the link.
    While page 3 502-ed me I think it’s possible to over-think things.
    .

  14. virgotex says:

    I think it’s possible to over-think things.
    spork, can I use that as a title for a book on lesbians and any/all entertainment media?

  15. Jay says:

    Except for looks and brains, Cain is the George W. Bush of battlestar commanders. Both are batshit crazy.

  16. Virgo –
    I just get my back up when politics are introduced to art.
    Knee-jerk reaction.
    BTW –
    “I Think It’s Possible To Over-Think Things
    by
    A Lesbian.”
    I’d buy it! 😀
    .

  17. BuggyQ says:

    The one thing I liked about [the girl whose name none of us will remember because it just wasn’t her name–don’t ask me what her name SHOULD have been, I don’t know, but what they gave her wasn’t it. Not bad writing or bad casting–just when good writing and good casting pass in the night…]
    Ahem
    What I did like about her was that she gave us the one thing I felt was lacking about the Pegasus story–the sense that it was more than just Cain who went off the rails. That it wasn’t just Cain’s taking her one way trip to Crazytown that sent Pegasus out of control, that they were all responsible, not just in letting Cain do wacko things (as when she shot her XO, the one person with guts enough to tell her when to stop and smarts enough to know she SHOULD stop), but doing wacko things themselves. I think that’s an important point. We can so easily get caught up in blaming the posterchildren for Reprehensible Behavior that we lose sight of the broader responsibility. When whatsertoes shot those people, it wasn’t just about her bad act, it was that her bad act also gave other bad acts cover (“Well, whatever I do, it isn’t as bad as *that*” or “Well, I may have done Very Bad Things but other people have done Very Bad Things, too.”).
    We had never really seen how it was that Pegasus got to be in such bad shape morally and ethically speaking, other than knowing Cain was a Very Bad Person. Whatsertoes helped with that. She’s like the Lurita Doan to Cain’s Karl Rove.
    And for the record, I really, really hope that there aren’t very many people left in the fleet who served under Cain. Or we could expect more Very Bad Things.

  18. Athenae says:

    BuggyQ, as usual, you kick my ass. It’s the getting caught up in it that dooms the rest of them, the wanting of their pride back, the following of a beautiful, charismatic, powerful person, which feels so intoxicating and glorious and GOOD … that’s how everybody else gets fucked.
    A.

  19. So Athenae … how is Starbuck different than Cain, that way? How is it different for people who get caught up following a beautiful, charismatic, powerful person?

  20. flory says:

    BuggyQ, as usual, you kick my ass. It’s the getting caught up in it that dooms the rest of them, the wanting of their pride back, the following of a beautiful, charismatic, powerful person, which feels so intoxicating and glorious and GOOD … that’s how everybody else gets fucked.
    A.

    It’s also the fucking batshit scared. The woman SHOT HER XO RIGHT ON HER OWN BRIDGE. Raise your hand if you’d have the ballocks to disobey one of her orders after that. I wouldn’t.
    I like the whatsertoes narrative device. It gave the whole Pegasus story an outsider’s perspective. Not told from the too familiar point of view of one of the Galactica crew. Plus, I liked her story arc, from rather frightened nugget to a leader on the brideg thru her slow dissolution into a paid up member of the Admiral Cain Cargo Cult. And seeing the damage that did to her.
    But jeez I hope the studios find a heart and settle the writer’s strike. I can’t wait til next summer for the rest.

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