All Along The Watchtower

films . videos . television

Monday, February 06, 2006

Battlestar Galactica Recap/Review

I accept your apology, Ron Moore, for last week's installment of Battlestar Galactica. You had my questioning my undying loyalty to this show and my decision to give up my Friday evenings to stay in for each new episode (OK, who are we kidding's not like my Friday evenings are jam-packed full of social obligations....but it'd be nice to think they could be), but after this week's episode, all is forgiven.

If "Black Market" was a textbook in how to drop the ball in just about every aspect of a Battlestar Galactica episode, "Scar" was a textbook example of how to do everything right--even down to the let's start the story and flash back and forth within the timeline to reveal the context and create some nuance and emotional resonance to the story. (Good grief, did I just use the phrase "emotional resonance"? I have got to think about getting out more).

Last week, we had a focus on Apollo, complete with a hastily created backstory that was supposed to flesh out the character for us, but instead ended up with us scratching our heads and going, "Well, okay then..." This week, we turn the focus on Starbuck and look at where she is character wise and man, does it work. Why? Well, because all of the beats and points we get to on our journey of Starbuck discovery have been set-up by things we've seen previously in the show, not just something the writers pulled out of left field to give us a reason as to why Lee is tortured and angst-ridden. Becuase we know that Kara had to leave Anders behind and why she made that decision, her actions, her questioning and her slow desent into bitchiness made a lot more sense. We're at a crossroads for Kara--on Caprica, she pointed out to Helo that she was fighting simply because she didn't know any other life. Now, she's got a reason to live, something worth fighting for and it's killing her that she can't get back to it. She wants to go back to Anders because she made him a promise and she's a woman of her word. Also, she loves the guy and is hung up on him.

So much so that it's affecting her work, her relationships and everything around her. Scarily enough, her love of Anders is turning her into a bit of a mirror of Tigh--she is a hard-ass who is resting on her laurels and wants her orders followed unquestioningly. She has become a bit of a joke to those below her in the command (there's an interesting vibe to the relationship of Kara and Kat that echoes the Kara and Tigh dynamic we saw early on) and she's hitting the bottle--hard. Just as Tigh has Ellen who pushes his buttons, so we see that Kara has Anders who pushes her buttons. It's not quite the same Lady McBeth thing that Ellen Tigh has going on, but it's just as destructive. It's also interesting to see the woman who once seemed to not equate much connection between love and sex with now seeing that connection. She tries to seduce Lee and fails when Lee seems to want it to be more than just a rough, rocking time. Interesting that a few months ago, she's sleeping with Baltar, but calling out Lee's name. To Kara, men are interchangeable--at least until she meets Anders, falls in love and wants something more than just a roll in the hay. She wants the whole relationship thing.

But yet, she's not going to sit around and watch old repeats of Sex in the Caprica or whatever they have out in the fleet for entertainment.

Kara is going to take our her frustration on a Cylon raider that's tormenting the fleet. Now, it's interesting that here in this episode, they'd casually slip in a huge plot development and act like it's just another day at the office. Seems that the raiders are alive too and regenerate like the human looking Cylons. Seems that death is painful but a learning experience for the Cylons. Hence why this raider, nicknamed Scar is pretty pissed at Kara and seems to have a vendetta against her. Kara realizes that Scar has learned enough about her and the fleet to prey upon their weaknesses, their tactics and their patterns. In some ways, it reminded of the Riker plan in TNG's "Best of Both Worlds, Part 2" when Riker had to use Picard's knowledge against him and the Borg to rescue Picard. Same thing here--Kara puts her ego aside to allow Kat to get the kill so both can live, thus defeating Scar. Kat takes the glory but it's really Kara's who figured out how to defeat this raider. Also, I get the implication that Scar is a descendent or regeneration of the raider Kara found and hijacked last year. So, these two have a connection of some kind and I wonder if this will be explored more in future episodes.

Whatever the case, all I can say is--hallelujah, Battlestar is back to form. I can forgive a minor hiccup like last week when you follow it up with an episode like this one. I'm officially excited about Galactica again...


At 12:13 PM, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I feel that your recap was very emotionally resonant for me.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Should I get t-shirts printed up with the phrase emotionally resonant on them?

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Yes. We can both wear them on Friday nights when we are (decidedly not) mixing with The Real World.

You were right that "88 Hours Later" worked here. But maybe now they could find another device?

As long as we get more Lee/Kara I'll be pleased. I think they are better together than either of them realises right now. And I always felt back on Caprica that Anders was her substitute for Lee.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Well, the whole non-linear storyline thing is getting a bit pedestrian and overused...but hey...I have faith they'll find a new favorite toy soon!

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Sarcastro said...

Didn't they take out Picard's Borg implants with an emotion resonator?

Jesus, I've become one of you nerds.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Sar, I love how you say that with all this faux innocence. Like before you stumbled across us here in the blogosphere you were mr. Normalhead.

Fess up. We ALL know you were a dungeon master in ninth grade. Own your geekitude.

At 5:18 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Sar, you're confusing the end of Best of Both Worlds, Part 2 with the episode that followed it, Family where Picard and his bother beat the crap out of each other in the wine fields....


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home