Feb. 15th, 2009

grey_sw: Cavil from BSG (Default)
Now that I've seen it twice and had a couple of days to think about it: I hated this episode. Deeply. If I had made a list of the sort of thing I never wanted to see on this show, half of this episode would have been on it. And the list would still have been better than No Exit, because I'd never even have imagined some of this crap.

Case in point: The basis for Cavil's character is Mommy issues? Seriously? He goes from a self-assured, snarky, and somewhat bemused sense of rational atheism ("the Gods can't help you, you're on your own", "it can't be proven either way", etc) to being pissed off at God because he's unloved? And the one Cylon who spent the entire series joking about the others' holy war is secretly the one who created it... because all of a sudden the writers love monotheism?

Wow. This is definitely a Retcon Too Far for me. They just re-wrote the entire series six episodes before the end... into what looks suspiciously like a Judeo-Christian morality play. Surprise, it turns out the Cylons aren't violent monotheists, after all: their religion is peaceful and kind, and they've just been fooled by a mean ol' atheist!

I can't say I didn't see this coming -- the writers have been leaning in a less-morally-ambiguous direction since the beginning of season 4.0 -- but the extent to which they went for it is really disappointing. "Want an apple, Boomer?" The Centurions are nicey-nice because they believe in a "loving God", and Cavil is meany-mean because he "rejected mercy and had a twisted morality"? The skinjob backstory is Cain and goddamn Abel? Are you shitting me, show? What happened to the ambiguity? What happened to the shades of gray?

Two days ago, I was really happy that Ellen and Cavil were coming back before the end, because both characters were so proud and snarky and joyous and funny. Then the episode started with their Sturm Und Drang Retcon Reunion, and it just got worse and worse for an hour. Frak it, I'm not sure this show remembers what "pride", "humor", and "joy" even are.

On top of that, Starbuck is back to being weepy again (and is given a lovely setup for more YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAAAAAAAAAY Special Destiny bullshit with the Final Five); they're leaning on the Boomer/Chief ship (which I loved in Season One... but it's not Season One anymore, and without enough time left to develop a new relationship between them, it's just gonna seem like a backwards-looking rebound for both characters); Adama randomly flip-flopped on the Cylon technology idea, and then randomly flip-flopped back again; the writers entirely forgot about every single minor character involved in the mutiny, except for Mr. Sideburns from the Quorum; and #7 is probably Starbuck's Dad. Or maybe the guy from Caprica.

I love BSG, but the writers on this show have never been willing to allow the plot to grow organically from the characters... and now it looks like the ending will probably be a Grand Sweeping Gesture that deals with the backstory they just made up this week, rather than a natural resolution to the deep and complex conflicts they've been building since the miniseries.

That said, I'm more than willing to see where they go with this -- who knows, maybe the next six episodes will be amazing and morally ambiguous and beautiful, and I'll eat my words with algae sauce -- but boy, was I frakkin' disappointed this week.

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