grey_sw: Cavil from BSG (Default)
[personal profile] grey_sw
hmm, I thought this episode was much, much better than the last two... great stuff, right up there with the best of this series!



First of all, the music in this one was amazing. Just astounding. You rarely ever see this level of integration of music and plot in television, and I think it worked brilliantly; it ties in so well with the "unstruck music", with Kara's personal history, and with the emotions running through both parts of the episode. The big song reveal is one of the few moments in Season 4 that I can entirely believe was planned from Season 1 onward, even though we all know it sure as frak wasn't! What a tour-de-force for the writers and for Bear.

Starbuck's plot was a little too dense and deus-ex-machinish for my taste, and it's possible that they might be (yet again!) unintentionally implying a connection they may not have meant with #7/Daniel. I'm also annoyed that they're still dragging out the mystery with Starbuck and the head!characters -- seems like the writers really are going to run the show out to the last two seconds before revealing the answers to all these lingering questions. Even so, I enjoyed it very much. It's been a long, long time since we had a decent Starbuck-centric episode, and even longer since they had her in-character and in introspective mode.

I'm still not sure if I like what they're doing with the Chief. He wibbles his way through the entire season, and then when he finally does make up his mind, it's sort of stupid -- he let Boomer wander around the ship? Huh? Did he forget about what happened the last time? Or the time before that? The writers are yanking his character all over the place this season.

That said, at least this time the mistake he makes is one I can actually imagine him making. Poor ol' Chief.

Boomer's plot was a thing of frakkin' beauty. I was really hoping she was working for Cavil when she and Ellen left the Basestar, and she was! One point to the scheming killer robots! I love where they went with this, also. Cavil needs the Five to ensure the long-term survival of his way of life, and the fleet has them; the fleet needs Hera to ensure the long-term survival of their way of life, and now Cavil has her. The Ellen/Hera swap was a very clever gambit on Cavil's part, and it's also a great way to ramp up the tension and give both sides a roughly equal hand going into the end of the series. Plus, maybe now we'll get an answer for the Opera House visions.

As for what Boomer does to everyone in this episode, I loved that, too! This is her payback episode: the Chief betrayed her trust in Season One, despite loving her deeply, all for the sake of his people. Now, Boomer has done the same to him, for precisely the same reason, with precisely the same ruthless suppression of love and regret. And every single thing Boomer did to Athena in this episode, right down to stealing the magical baby and impersonating her in order to frak Helo, was already done to Boomer by Athena in Season 2. These parallels are no accident -- in a lot of ways, Boomer's journey is the same as Athena's. The only difference is that they're moving in opposite directions on the human/machine coordinate line.

I just hope the writers have the guts to keep that dichotomy somewhat morally ambiguous going into the finale.

Also, can we please get to hear Boomer talk a little about her motivations next episode? We know what Cavil's in this for (OMNOM SUPERNOVAS), but it would be nice to find out why Boomer's on board with him, especially since she was willing to betray the Chief for the cause.

Speaking of "running the show out to the last two seconds", I can't believe that there are just three episodes to go, and we still have no clue what form the final conflict will take! I hope next episode will be the beginning of the end, so to speak, because it's about time to start spinning up the FTL drive...

Date: 2009-03-02 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danniisupernova.livejournal.com
I definitely agree with you on most of this (though Athena was doing the same to Boomer in Season 1). Anyway, I am ITCHING to get some answers about her character. I feel as though they haven't addressed her at ALL and so this seems insanely out of character. They need to explain her character dammit!

Date: 2009-03-02 08:38 pm (UTC)
ext_72247: Cavil from BSG (Default)
From: [identity profile] grey-sw.livejournal.com
I definitely agree with you on most of this (though Athena was doing the same to Boomer in Season 1).

Yes, good call! Too many episodes to keep track of, I guess.

I just remembered that Athena even screwed Boomer over in season 3 -- she showed up on the Basestar and broke Boomer's friendship with the other Cylons, and particularly with Caprica Six. Hell, Athena has (directly or indirectly) wrecked every single relationship Boomer ever had, except for Cavil. I can really see why Boomer would take the chance to get back at her. Besides, the rebel Cylons and the humans made it clear that she wasn't welcome even before she went after Athena... when you're on death row to begin with, you might as well go ahead and take the frakkin' baby. :D

I feel as though they haven't addressed her at ALL and so this seems insanely out of character. They need to explain her character dammit!

Yeah, no kidding. If they were going to make her character arc this important to the story, maybe they should have SHOWN us some of her character development in season 3 and 4.0, instead of boxing-time, Tillium-ship-day, and the poop-ship-chronicles. :P

Date: 2009-03-03 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] exploding-candy.livejournal.com
Introspective!Starbuck is my favorite. I hope they're finished writing Tantrum!Starbuck because I'm incredibly over that.

I think the Chief is sunk pretty deep into a full-blown identity crisis. All the other characters (including the other F5) identify more readily with the humans or the cylons, and feel a stronger connection to one or the other. Chief is stuck right in the middle. He can't make up his mind. He hasn't yet figured out how to reconcile two conflicting parts of himself. He'll do something that's overtly beneficial to one group or the other, be clearly guilt-ridden about it (or at least unsure), and then swing dramatically the other way almost in an attempt to "make up" for helping the other side. So yeah, I agree he's confused as hell and wibbling, but I don't necessarily think it's out of character. They've got Tory who's a Team Cylon cheerleader, Tigh who's more human-y, Sam and Ellen who are sort of cool with both (or comatose and clueless either way), and then as a contrast you have Chief, who really just can't handle it at all.

I still think Boomer's primary motivations were vengeance and spite, in addition to her warm fuzzies for Cavil. The warm fuzzies got her to go back and steal the kid, but vengeance and spite made her do everything else she did to Athena.

I really want answers about the opera house visions! These just sort of dropped off the face of the show lately, but were made into a huge deal earlier. So what gives? I'm curious where they're going with that.

At this point I'm guessing that there's going to have to be a showdown with Cavil over Hera/Ellen. Who knows how it'll end up, though.

Date: 2009-03-03 07:25 pm (UTC)
ext_72247: Cavil from BSG (Default)
From: [identity profile] grey-sw.livejournal.com
I think the Chief is sunk pretty deep into a full-blown identity crisis.

That seems reasonable. I suppose the problem is that we're just not getting enough scenes to establish his emotional state -- when they do that (as with this episode) the wibbling is very convincing, and when they don't (as with the last one), it's not, and comes off as a plot convenience.

On the plus side, the DVD set for this season should be amazing, what with all the really important stuff that hit the cutting room floor. :P

I still think Boomer's primary motivations were vengeance and spite

Oh yeah, absolutely. Cavil's been giving her lessons. :3

At this point I'm guessing that there's going to have to be a showdown with Cavil over Hera/Ellen. Who knows how it'll end up, though.

This seems likely. But the weird thing about it is that it doesn't really fix anything, no matter who wins -- the final conflict can't be nothing more than "we're fighting to make everything the way it was before Cavil stole the baby, huzzah!", can it?

The fleet needs to find a planet, and I'm not sure how realistic that's going to be with all of 3 episodes left, especially if they want to spend time resolving the Hera issue. I'm wondering if the Hera thing isn't just the writers' excuse for getting Cavil's faction talking to the fleet again, as setup for whatever the big showdown will actually be (I'm guessing "fix the frakkin' Hub or no planet for you", but who even knows... Important Revelations could appear and change everything).

Date: 2009-03-04 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] exploding-candy.livejournal.com
On the plus side, the DVD set for this season should be amazing, what with all the really important stuff that hit the cutting room floor. :P

Argh, YES! I keep reading about scenes that got cut and thinking how much they'd add to each of the episodes in a lot of cases. There've even been a couple eps where things flat-out didn't make sense to me until I read about the deleted scenes.

the final conflict can't be nothing more than "we're fighting to make everything the way it was before Cavil stole the baby, huzzah!", can it?

I (optimistically) doubt it will be. I agree that Hera will be the catalyst for the final conflict, but there's still a lot of unanswered question in regards to her: drawing the notes of the Cylon Theme Song, the opera house visions, etc. And yeah, it'd be seriously the worst ending ever if they were just like, "let's get the kid back so we can resume our endlessly monotonous and despair-ridden trek toward self-destruction/extinction!" We need at least some tiny spark of something interesting!

Date: 2009-03-04 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lobselvith8.livejournal.com
Interesting thoughts. I'd also like to get some perspective on why Boomer sided with Cavil next episode. To rant a little, I disliked the "Cavil is the one responsible for the attack against all of humanity" explanation we got two episodes back (it seems a lot of series always go with the blame going to one antagonist) and it'd be interesting if TPTB didn't paint them as "the bad guys" (though I doubt it, given how they seemed to with go Zarek and Gaeta during the mutiny).

Date: 2009-03-04 03:59 am (UTC)
ext_72247: Cavil from BSG (Default)
From: [identity profile] grey-sw.livejournal.com
Yes, I agree. The "surprise, Cavil did everything!" retcon was really stupid, and killed a lot of the emotional and philosophical depth of the series. It's also exactly the sort of rug-pulling that the writers should not be doing to the audience just five episodes before the end. Oh, well.

I'm not quite sure what they're doing with Cavil's faction, at this point. Up until now, they've kept them at least somewhat morally ambiguous, but they've also been walking a fine line between ambiguity and RAR VILLAINS, so I think it's likely they'll go with the latter. Too bad, because I think a lot of Cavil's points are valid, and I doubt they'll get a fair deal from the writers. And frankly, ending BSG on any sort of "hurrah for humans and down with Cylons" note is rather pathetic, given that they spent three entire seasons showing us exactly why that doesn't fly.

Gee, it turns out the answer to "what is it that makes humans worthy of survival?" was nothing more than "killing all the frowny-face meany-mean bad guys" and/or "forcing the frowny-face meany-mean bad guys to be just like us"! Who'd have guessed? *rolls eyes*

Date: 2009-03-04 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lobselvith8.livejournal.com
Not to mention the logic of an atheist starting a religious war against humanity in the name of God.

Given the revelation about Starbuck, it puts into question if Cavil is the villain Ellen tried to paint him as (and explaining Boomer's loyalty to him). If Daniel was alive, maybe Daniel himself was responsible for destroying the batch because he disagreed with the concept of multiple copies based on himself? If he was a tortured artist, he may not have wanted doppelgangers to suffer like he did. If Cavil was not responsible but blamed, wouldn't he react in the name of self-preservation?

Worthy of survival? Roslin and Adama are pretty much dictators at this point, something the show never seems to mention. Their rebels allies wanted to kill Boomer because she didn't vote with her line. And Roslin's cold reception to Tyrol, who helped them all when the mutiny happened, doesn't paint them in the best light. I didn't dig Roslin's "Personal feelings are what Sharon Valerii preys upon. You know that. Better than any of us. You need to clear your head. She is a danger in the brig, out of the brig. Danger to us, danger to our Cylon allies." I've seen all the episodes, and I have no idea why she'd say this except to lump Boomer as some black hat villain. I'm also curious why nobody bothered to wonder if Cavil didn't know where the fleet is during this ep (and given the revelation about Boomer, it seems he does).

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