Oh, my beautiful girl.
What do you do when the world ends?
You build a wall and light candles and you go there to remember.
You strap yourself in and you fly.
You burn all your bridges, fuck your best friend, get married by the side of a river and when it all goes to hell, as it has to, because this show is about nothing but the things that we keep on doing to each other, when it all goes to hell, you get back up, and you build another wall. Light some more candles. You strap yourself in. And you pull back on the stick, and feel the solid ground beneath you fall away.
This show has always been about what happens when everything ends. About what happens next. About running and resting and fucking it up, about loving and losing when loving and losing so incredibly aren’t the biggest problems you have, about the small apocalypses, every day, about water shortages and coffee riots and cancer. About reinvention, resurrection, getting caught up in an idea of yourself as a part of something greater. Starbuck always was the religious one.
What if we’re not storing up riches in Heaven? What if there’s no Gods, and Earth is a lie after all? What then? This is why Communists are atheists: what if this is all there is? What if we keep running, forever? The lines we draw in the salt now, the systems we put in place now, aren’t just preserving the Colonies as they are, they’re creating the Colonies as they will be. The responsibility isn’t just to preserving democracy and the spirit of the Colonies while in a time of war, but making allowances for what happens if this never ends. If all we have left are rough spots, what then?
I don’t have an answer for Jacob, except to say that the story’s in the falling, and here we are: Lee and Kara, Starbuck and Apollo, sitting underneath the Viper on the flight deck, hydraulic fluid leaking out, wings burned, ship scarred from one too many times not all of her made it back. And she says to him, “This is all we’ll ever be.”
And maybe I was supposed to hear disappointment in that, but I heard joy. I heard the gloriousness of purpose, I heard acceptance of one’s own strength, I heard the kind of peace that only ever comes when you’re fighting the fight of your life. Maybe I was supposed to hear resignation in that, but I heard something wild and gorgeously alive, something triumphant. This is all we’ll ever be. The wonder of it. Think of the moment you became who you are. This is the best it’ll get. I wanted, so very much wanted, Lee to say to her, “And that’s a lot.”
There’s a bunch of possibilities here, which I could fanwank to death: She’s a Cylon, and she’ll come back. Leoben was luring her to her death, the raider was real, the storm was real, and he caught her out at the last moment. She’ll pop up one day leading them to Earth. She’ll find Earth first and come back to get them all. She’s not really gone, because she’s too fracking beautiful and great to be gone, though if you’re going to kill a character, oh, is that a way to do it so maybe it’s all okay. I have this horrific headache right now. I mean, ouch.
Kara’s mother and the bugs and the nightmares, the holdovers from every war you’ve ever fought, the nights you get up and stumble down the hall and you’re halfway to the room you need to be in before you realize that was three houses ago and your hair is gray now, that house was torn down long ago, all those people are dead. It’s so hard, with somebody that difficult and inexcusable and fracking wrong, I think people who abuse children ought to be shot immediately following conviction, I really do, so it’s so hard to think of somebody like that having anything useful to teach you. Fear will kill you, though. Anger keeps you strong. And in the end, you hold your mother’s hand, you take out the pictures, you realize what you were, and then you rise.
The world ends. Then what?
I miss Starbuck already.