millari: (Gaeta's_Got_A_Phone_Call)
[personal profile] millari
I wrote a BSG review for this week's ep. Spoilers under the cut, obvs.

In an episode where many are forced to ask themselves who they really are and which promises they will keep, none have more interesting reactions to this test than Bill Adama and Felix Gaeta.

One really striking thing about the set up of this mutiny is how blind and complacent Adama has been about the loyalty of his crew, despite the fact that he's been seeing chaos reign on his ship for the last two episodes. Everything he has been using to give them hope in the face of horrific circumstances for the last four years has been demolished, and somehow, it doesn't occur to him that another rousing speech alone about finding a new home isn't going to cut it. Not when he's asking them to embrace as allies the robots that killed their family and friends and nearly extinguished their species - without explanation, mind you.

This mutiny should not be quite as big as a surprise as it is for Adama. But he is still asking the question What is this? What is this? even after it's completely obvious what Gaeta is doing.

What makes this mutiny so difficult to watch is that neither side is completely right. Gaeta is correct that Adama is not the same leader you were in the Miniseries, or even Season 4. He once elicited unwavering loyalty from his crew, and especially his faux children, none more so than Felix Gaeta. But now, Adama's gone from calling Cylons things to forcing his people to make an alliance with Cylons with little or no explanation, and absolutely no debate. To people with a more limited view like Gaeta, it must seem like the Admiral's broken his oath and that as Gaeta said last week, the world is frakked, turned upside down because the leaders are leading the people straight into the hands of their enemies. From their limited point of view, it seems like the right thing to do to take the dangerously compromised leader out of commission. Yet, we the viewers, who have more information about the Cylons, understand that Adama's probably right about the alliance. Galactia won't make it unless they take advantage of superior Cylon technology. As Roslin says in her speech, they’re running out of resources and time to find a habitable planet.

How much better a leader is Gaeta? Well, in some ways, he's quite competent. He's a smart, perceptive tactician, managing for the most part to hold off various wild cards that threaten to blow his cover as he sets the mutiny in place. Once he takes command, he multitasks well, managing to keep his wavering minons in line and quickly noticing the smallest of off details, which tips him off quickly to the fact that Adama and Tigh have overcome the guards escorting them to the brig and that the Raptor leaving Galactica is in fact an escape plan.It's a window into what kind of leader Gaeta could have been if he'd ever been given more of a chance to demonstrate it, instead of being stuck in the thankless job of DRADIS monkey for the last seven years.

However, it's also clear that Gaeta lacks Adama's gravitas, and so far, he seems to be lacking a plan beyond take over the ship.   Also, Gaeta has to do a lot of the thinking himself: When Roslin manages to use Baltar's secret wireless equipment (which he uses for his religious broadcasts) to try and convince the Fleet to reconsider their coup, Gaeta has to leave Adama's post in the CIC to handle the machinery to cut off Roslin's broadcast because no one else knows how. Furthermore, for all his really smart tactics, Gaeta is still blind in his own way. He does show some signs of self-awareness; for example, he responds to Zarek's congratulations and adulations by saying, We can fine-tune our rationalizations later. However, there is an inherent blindness in the fact that he has chosen to team with Zarek in the first place, whom Gaeta knows from news accounts and experience in the CIC over the years is capable of murder. He probably also knows at least a bit about the corrupt side of Zarek we learned about last week, given that Gaeta worked with him for a year on New Caprica.

What's also interesting (in a train wreck sort of way) about this arc of Gaeta's is that we also get to see him killing off parts of himself as he proceeds with his mutiny. In the throes of his blindness, Gaeta ends up going up against various doppelgangers of himself. Among the senior staff he has sent to the brig is Lieutenant Hoshi, who is not only his boyfriend, but as we saw in the webisodes, has many of the qualities that Gaeta once had earlier in the series - detail oriented devotion to his work, kindness, earnestness, strong loyalty. It's as if Gaeta is putting away that side of himself. Another doppelganger we see suffer under Gaeta's mutiny is Deck Chief Peter Laird, who Gaeta watches be killed by Zarek for merely trying to do his job conscientiously. Laird, who hasn't been seen since Sine Qua Non, is a bit of a Gaeta in that he's a gentle man who once stood up to an unconscionable order given by another admiral out of control (Helena Cain). So it's telling that Gaeta's mutiny kills Laird suddenly, mercilessly and for cold, logistical reasons. Gaeta is not ready for Zarek to kill Laird with a wrench, but he doesn't stop what he's doing upon seeing this warning flag.

Which makes me think that while Gaeta is overall doing a credible job at accomplishing this mutiny, he is in the process of killing off the last vestiges of his more earnest, innocent self to do it. Tellingly, when one of the ghosts from his more innocent past resurfaces via a phone call from Baltar trying to talk him down from rebellion, Gaeta can't quite yet stop himself from taking the call, but ultimately rejects Baltar's assessment of him as a good man who wants to do the right thing. Gaeta still may see himself as a good man, but no longer the kind described by Baltar, the kind of good man who was foolish enough to believe that following the rules would be rewarded in the end with a happy ending on Earth instead of an irradiated dirtpile and an alliance with humanity's killers, who was foolish enough to serve in Baltar's corrupt administration and believe that a Cylon would help him release political prisoners, not single them out for death. So it is no surprise that the episode ends with Gaeta giving the command to fire upon the escaping Raptor, without even knowing for sure who is in it (Baltar and Roslin, as it turns out, but for all he knows, it's Tigh and Adama). It's a cold, practical move in serve of Gaeta's cause that all previous incarnations of Felix Gaeta could never have managed. 

The Gaeta-Adama conflict is a fascinating one to watch, and I don't see how this ends up without Gaeta being executed in ignominy. This makes me sad, because he's always been one of my favorite characters, and his motivations and mistakes are intriguing to me. I wish they weren't setting him up in such stark relief as the villain to Adama and Roslin's heroics. Because ultimately, it's his mutiny that is pushing Adama and Roslin out of their complacency and it may be pushing them to become better leaders again. But I don't think anyone on the show will be thanking Felix Gaeta for that.

In other plot threads, it was great to see Chief Tyrol being Chiefy again, being a leader, herding Baltar's acolytes into action much like he used to herd his deck crew. Live or die, he and Tigh will be staying on that ship, faithful to Adama, despite their Cylonhood. That's the kind of crucial information about the Cylons that people like Gaeta can't possibly be privy to (only we the viewers can, really). It's a shame, because it probably would have convinced them that the Cylon alliance could work, and none of this mutiny might have happened. The capture of all the Cylons into the brig is intriguing, and for Sharon, frightening, but I guess we'll see more about that next week.

The Baltar-Roslin scenes seemed forced and random to me. So they're both frauds? Huh. We the viewers have enough inside information to know that that is only partially true at best. They may have used religion for their own ends at times, but they also were hesitant true believers. I don't need them to be believers in God anymore if they don't want to be, but I'm a little annoyed at the retcon going on here that no, actually, they were both opportunists cynically playing the religious card. That takes back a whole season for Baltar and almost the whole series for Roslin.

Incidentally, I understand that Baltar gets to go to the basestar because it was his and Chiefy's Raptor to begin with, but really, what is Baltar going to accomplish with his dangling plot arcs on the basestar? Who is there for him to talk to there? Leoben? Random Eights? I don't see the point so far, especially when there's an Opera House prophecy looming over him, Roslin, Caprica, Athena and Hera that needs to get resolved sooner and sooner with each passing week. The scene between them in the hangar deck probably should have been a deleted scene. It served no purpose that I could see except to establish that Baltar and Roslin are having an uneasy detente. But we kind of already knew they can manage that in a pinch.

It was fun to see Starbuck and Lee back together again as buddy cops. But I must say I am still a bit disturbed still by Starbuck. She is both back to her former self and not. Her friends and loved ones are in a civil war and she's all gleeful to be shooting Skulls and urging Adama to be ruthless and shoot a Marine in the back? (Did anyone else notice how creepy the music was when she tried to shoot the Marine?)Even Lee seems taken aback by her attitude. Her behavior with Hot Dog, someone she has had a not-very-visible but definitely big-sister type of relationship with all series, seemed strangely off as well. Is this because she's not really Kara? Is the rest of the series going to treat her like she is? Will her lack of Kara-ness just be dropped now that we've left Earth?

Next week looks like it's going to be even more explosive than this week was. While I do find all the running around with this mutiny plot exciting, I do wonder how they're going to find the time to start resolving all the dangling questions of the series. Will this mutiny even connect up in any way to that aspect of the series? Oh, show, you take me on such highs and lows...">

Date: 2009-02-01 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sphinxvictorian.livejournal.com
Am I wrong, or did it look like Adama is going to be killed in the next ep? I'm pretty sure he survived the grenade, but why else would Roslin be all attacky? Either he's dead, or she thinks he's dead.

Interesting analysis on Gaeta. I think I disagree on the Roslin being a fraud thing, myself. I felt glad to see her acting a bit like her old self. Baltar is always self-absorbed, I never bought his religious conversion for a second really. But I think Roslin's come through a self-revelatory patch and is back to being herself again. Yeah, she got caught up in the whole religious thing, but I don't see her and Baltar as being the same at all. I don't see her as a fraud. He might, because he wants her to see his point of view.

Of course you know I had to love that whole thing with Roslin and Adama before she left.

I agree that they shouldn't let the mutiny excitement distract them from answering the pertinent questions at the heart of the series. I hope they don't. If it all just ends like Hamlet with dead bodies all over the stage, I will not be happy. It's a dark show, I grant you, but they've always managed to at least stir a glimmer of hope.

I do hope they don't intend to make the Cylons the survivors and propagators of a new race, while all the humans kill each other in a civil war. That would just be too much for me.

Date: 2009-02-01 04:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
It does look like he's going to be killed, but I don't believe it. I could tell you more about the promo, but maybe you don't want to know. It's kind of spoilery. But if you're curious, listen again to what Zarek is saying over the wireless in the promo. It'll explain why Roslin goes all "Exorcist" on them.

It's weird. I must have phrased something wrong in my post. You're one of three people who seem to think I was saying that Roslin is a fraud. I don't think so. That's what I was trying to say in my post, that the show is saying that, but I disagree. I don't think her or Baltar were frauds. I think they did at many points genuinely believe in some kind of unseen power, some kind of God.

Oof. I would have a problem too if they extinguish the Cylons and all the humans are dead. That would really be dark.

Date: 2009-02-01 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sphinxvictorian.livejournal.com
I thought that was what you might have been saying about Roslin and Baltar, but I wasn't sure, so I tried to phrase my thoughts to reflect what I think. I still don't trust Baltar further than I could throw him, which isn't far.

I was really happy, as I said, to see Roslin pulling herself up by her bootstraps and getting herself going. I knew from that opening scene with her and Adama, where she kept trying not to care or get involved, but she had to in spite of herself. I was very gratified to see that she'd come through that little journey into hell with a lot more strength.

On the subject of Starbuck, by the way, I feel the same as you, she's really just gone to pieces, although it was good to see the Apollo and Starbuck show or at least a facsimile of it back in play. I don't think anyone is on their best game right now, but she's really losing it.

I'll wait for the next ep to see what happens, but I'm hoping you're right about Adama.

Date: 2009-02-01 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
I'm pretty sure the "grenade" was actually either a flash-bang or tear gas. Not because I'm spoiled, but because of sheer logic. Only a very stupid Marine would start throwing around live grenades when they're at the part of a spaceship that's very close to the hull. You know, those layers of metal which are the only thing protecting all the spaceship's inhabitants from the vacuum of space. If you're near an airlock, you're way too near the outside for throwing around explosives.

Date: 2009-02-02 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sphinxvictorian.livejournal.com
I hadn't thought of that, but you're right.

Date: 2009-02-01 06:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nai-is-not.livejournal.com
I don't know-- I don't think either Roslin or Baltar were frauds. Baltar is more debatable, but watching the end of Escape Velocity convinces me that he definitely believed for at least that whole speech. I think they meant frauds more in retrospect, if that makes any sense-- something like "Wow, look at what our beliefs got us! Earth sucks! I can't believe we ever thought we were special!" I think they're going through a very similar crisis of faith. This is why I'm bummed that Head-Six is never around anymore-- I'd like to know her stance.

I kind of love what you said about Gaeta killing off parts of himself-- that makes perfect sense.

Date: 2009-02-01 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
Thanks for the comment! It's weird, you were not the only one who seemed to think that I was saying that Baltar and Roslin were frauds. I don't think they were. I think they believed in what they were preaching, Baltar for Season 4 and Roslin for almost the whole series.

I must have phrased something wrong. :)

I agree with you about Escape Velocity. He really believed it then. I kind of even think he believed it in "Six of One" when he was talking to Tory during their sex. He seemed really puzzled by it, but he did believe God had selected him for something.

As for Head!Six, I noticed this recently on Bear McCreary's blog (http://www.bearmccreary.com/blog/?p=1122#more-1122). It was intriguing that she had been there, but they decided to take her out.

Date: 2009-02-01 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nai-is-not.livejournal.com
Oh! I thought you were worried that the writers retconned Baltar and Roslin into frauds the whole time. I was saying that I don't think that's what they intended, if that makes any sense-- I think the writers were just showing them having a (casual and snarky) crisis of faith. But maybe I'm still misinterpreting you XD; What had you meant to say?

I also heard that they got rid of that Head-Six scene. :( I'm pretty sure they keep using it in the clips in the TEXT BSG!! advertisements too, which makes me so sad.

Date: 2009-02-01 11:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
Great review! BSG is more painful and fascinating than ever.

I do think Adama has always been comprimised by his heart and his emotional attachments. Where should he draw the line with the revelations about Kara and Tigh in S4? Really, would the Final Four be treated differently if one of them wasn't Saul Tigh? Athena was kept in the Brig for two years before she was deemed trustworthy. But the Four are being accepted without question, even though Anders shot a human and Tory murdered a human. Those things are being glossed over and uninvestigated, just like the Raptor murders were uninvestigated. I'm not actually against the cylon/human alliance, but the lack of questioning or explaination? Yup, that gets me tetchy.

He does show some signs of self-awareness; for example, he responds to Zarek's congratulations and adulations by saying, We can fine-tune our rationalizations later.

I was kind of grateful for that line, because it showed that at least Gaeta isn't as deluded as Zarek and isn't taking much pleasure in this revolution. It reminded me Tighs "We on the side of the demons, Chief. We are evil men in the gardens of paradise." There is a quality of that in Gaeta now; he's resigned to being an evil man for the hope of a better world, just like NC Tigh. I totally agree with your assessment of Gaeta's dopplegangers. For me the most striking one was "the boy who died honouring his uniform". Gaeta had to kill THAT boy within himself in order to go through with all this. Hoshi is another interesting one. Felix is killing parts of himself for sure, but there are other parts of himself that he is simply locking away safely in a cell until the uprising is over.

Gaeta did say he would protect Hoshi which suggests to me that it is not Gaeta's plan to harm the people in custody. However ruthless Gaeta is at the moment I can't imagine he wishes any harm to say, the Agathons. I think the plan was to gain control, put key figures into custody (partly for their own protection) and then come to new terms. Which essentially isn't very different from Adama gaining control over the tillium ship by taking Zarek into custody. But I think Gaeta is going to have to be more ruthless than his original plan now Adama has made his "no amnesty" threat. Part of me is so desperate for Gaeta to surrender, but if he does surrender he is sentencing all the rebels to death at Adamas hands. So he's between a rock and a hard place and whatever descisions he makes are going to have deadly consequences.

You know, there are a lot of characters who have teamed up with Zarek simply because Zarek gets the job done. He is admired in spite of his corruption by Laura, Lee, Gaius - even dear Billy thought Zarek was a righteous dude. But personally I find Zarek very sinister in these episodes, because he really seems to be rubbing his palms together and enjoying all this. Kara is having a riproaring good time too. There was one recap pointing out interesting parallels between Adama/Gaeta, who share dialogue about "the oath" and "the reckoning", and Zarek/Kara who both threaten "You know where to find me" (to Adama and Gaeta as it happens). So there are people with similar natures on opposite teams. Zarek/Kara are both really spoiling for a fight and killing people on a whim. With Adama/Gaeta it's more of a principled power struggle.

Date: 2009-02-01 11:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I'm so terrified of next weeks episode. Even though AJ has said his character is still alive at ep18, I feel like he's going to be killed in the next episode. I'm not even going to speculate about the promo because it scares the bejesus out of me. But I'm gonna take a guess that Hotdog kills Narcho for threatening the Raptor. Maybe be Gaeta will have an emotional shake up over Narchos death (hence why they wanted Narcho for the webisode boyfriend) It'll be the first time that Gaeta as commander will have lost one of his own men and that should give him pause. There's also the Gaeta/Baltar scene coming at some point. Since Baltar has gone to the Basestar and that scene was set on the Galactica it must take place after Gaeta has been brought down. Considering Gaeta is talking about his past to Baltar that scene does have an eerie quality of a last confession before an execution. The only reason I can think that Adama might spare Gaeta is this issue of limited resources. Gaeta may have been the ringleader, but as a brillant tactition and navigator Gaeta is far more valuable to the mission than the boneheaded rebels who can't even work communications.

Date: 2009-02-01 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
I'm so terrified of next weeks episode. Even though AJ has said his character is still alive at ep18, I feel like he's going to be killed in the next episode.

Really? You think he lied? Aw, that would suck, because I've been counting on that and not worrying yet about these next few episodes. But seriously, who's going to do the jumps and the plotting if Gaeta's dead? Gods, can you imagine if they put a Cylon in his place? Like that could be what the offhand remark by Pilot!Eight in the webisodes was about? The one where she said she could spot star systems by eye? Ugh. How symbolically ugly would that be. (I really shouldn't have just gone there, because now I'm picturing it. I don't know why I do these things to myself sometimes...)

But yeah, I agree. The RSLF scene makes me think Gaeta makes it out of this mutiny alive but imprisoned and probably facing execution. It would be fascinating to see Baltar approaching Gaeta completely on his own, without external prompting, simply because he felt like he'd done Felix wrong. What would he say? He did this in sickbay, but he didn't have the nerve to speak to him. But as a shipper, I loved how in this episode, Baltar looked so torn about calling Gaeta. It really felt like they'd had this emotional bond. That was one of the few bright spots for me in this episode. My friend [livejournal.com profile] fuschia was telling me that for her, that phone call was confirmation that at the very least, Baltar knew Felix had been in love with him, even if they hadn't actually done anything on New Caprica.

It'd be interesting if Gaeta is stopped in his tracks over Narcho, especially because I can't stand Narcho. I would love it if Adama spares him because they need the intelligent manpower. That may very well be why they put in that moment with Gage not knowing how to cut off Roslin's broadcast. It might be there just to foreshadow that Gaeta's revolution is doomed because he's working with an incompetent B-team, but I'm choosing for now to see it as an opening for Adama sparing him later.

The other possibility I see with him getting saved is that he's on death row, so to speak, and something external (maybe Cavil's return) comes along to distract them and either Gaeta gets accidentally released, or they release him because they need him in the fight.

Date: 2009-02-02 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I don't know. It didn't sound like AJ was lying at all when he says he makes it into the last four eps. I'm just bracing myself for it because he is in such a dangerous position. From the trailer for the next ep I'm guessing Zarek is going to demand Adamas execution and I'm hoping Gaeta won't go through with it (I think the firing squad scene is a dream). If Gaeta can't kill Adama maybe Adama won't be able to kill him either. I don't know though. The Adama/Gaeta scene really hurt me with its viciousness.

It's going to hurt if Gaeta is kept alive too. He is going to be a psychological wreck judging by the RSLF scene. I'm wondering if he can do some amazing navigation work in prison to make amends for the mutiny. But I don't think he can/will ever be happy again. I had one theory that his leg is still troubling him because he has a blood infection. I can imagine Gaeta not asking for medical help and just allowing himself to get feverish and die. With Gaius weeping at his bedside, of course. I'd just like him to have some peace by the end of this, you know?

The phone call was a bright spot for me too. Well, we know Callis and AJ have discussed the homosexual undertones of this relationship, so I do think it's implicit in their performances. Part of me is okay not getting onscreen confirmation of this ship because I think what is there is very subtle and striking. Gaius seemed genuinely upset about Felix's fall from grace. I also like that we see Felix's mask slip just a little. The fact that he was prepared to pick up the phone shows a hint that maybe he would like someone to talk him down from this crazy stand.

Date: 2009-02-01 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
Wow! Thanks for the meaty, thoughtful comment! I agree with a lot of what you said here.

Yeah, really from Season 1, when Adama was ready to put all the Fleet's resources for an indefinite amount of time onto the search for Kara, it's been clear that he plays favorites and has little ability to draw boundaries between his role as friend/father figure and commander of the Fleet. Sure he gets angry with his faux relatives, but he makes all sorts of compromised decisions because of them. The ones with Tigh are countless, but for starters there's the election, his drinking, the Circle...Same with Starbuck - the Demetrius is a glaring example. And these days, he's been hiding the frakking president in secret rooms on his ship. He's been complicit in her abandoning the government. I understand his sympathy for her personally, and feel it too, but really he should tell her to let someone replace her if she's not going to do her job, not cover for her and keep the Vice President, the Quorum and the press from having access to her. Gaeta's really right when he says Adama's been compromised, and I don't blame him for thinking someone needed to do something.

That being said, poor Felix. I do think this is the most effective thing he could do, but it's probably not the right thing to do and it's certainly the thing that's going to doom him. Even though I wrote in this review that he's got some blindness here, I am starting to think now that he's fully aware he's probably not going to make it. He probably just hopes that someone else will rise up after he's gone to replace Adama and that the Cylon alliance won't happen. His last words to Hoshi in the webisodes did seem like he was saying goodbye.

I don't know how they can go back from this, now that Adama made his "no forgiveness" speech. You're right. Surrendering doesn't feel like much of an option, if he wants to protect those who mutinied with him. And that is going to push him to be more ruthless. We already see that coming with his order to shoot down the Raptor. I'm fascinated (and a bit horrified) to speculate whether or not Gaeta's going to go through with Zarek's desire to kill Adama, or if Zarek is going to have to pull a fast one on Felix to try and get it done. Not that I think they're actually going to kill Bill Frakkin' Adama on this show, but the promos imply they're going to try.

I had spotted the similar lines shared between Gaeta and Adama, but I hadn't noticed the ones shared between Zarek and Starbuck. That's really interesting.

Date: 2009-02-01 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
Good point about the parallels. I think another deliberate Zarek/Kara parallel was the similarity between Zarek killing Laird and Kara wanting to kill Nowart the Marine. In both cases the aggressor was willing to use totally disproportionate force on someone who poses no immediate threat and basically committing a war crime (or in Kara's case, trying to).

Now, I think if we're going to start weighing percentages, Zarek killing Laird is probably worse. Laird wasn't a now-unarmed prisoner who had posed a threat before they subdued him. He was a clueless unarmed guy just doing his job, and someone who could've very easily been disposed of by putting a gun to his head, marching him to the nearest closet that locks from the outside, and shutting him in. I mean, Zarek didn't even know if he might have been sympathetic to the mutiny when he killed Laird. Yeah, Skulls, Racetrack etc. knew him well enough to know that he'd apparently glommed onto Adama (of course, when your old boss was Cain, I guess anybody would look pretty good in comparison). But all Zarek knew about the guy was that:
a) he wasn't sufficiently trusted by the mutineers to have been brought onside (doesn't mean they saw him as an active threat, just that they didn't try to recruit him).
b) he was unwittingly throwing a spanner in the works by his insistence on following the rules.

Zarek didn't kill Laird out of self-defense, he killed him simply to make a point about what happens to people who get in his way (and also to tie Gaeta to him enough that he'd feel he had no choice but to go through with the plan). Just like Kara's plan to kill Nowart was to illustrate a point to Adama. Of course, Kara's less consistently ruthless than Zarek. i.e. After shooting the Marine and Skulls, she did dispose of Racetrack etc. in a non-lethal way by locking them up. But there are definite similarities. And hopefully Adama's determination to go against Starbuck and stop her from killing Nowart will help Nowart to reconsider. Because when the boss who just said there'd be no amnesty and took you prisoner is trying to protect you from someone on his own side, well, that's maybe somebody worth following.

Come to think of it, I'm betting there are plenty of crew members and civilians who were part of the big squishy middle, neither being important enough to be taken prisoner, nor considered loyal enough to be brought in on the mutiny plan. I bet a lot of people had no clue what was happening until the shooting started, and are now in mutineer-controlled parts of the ship being told that they're joining the mutiny or else.

Date: 2009-02-02 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
Wow. I pretty much agree with everything you said here. I hadn't quite thought all those parallels through, but I do see them now that you point them out. It also gives me hope that despite Adama's threat to Gaeta, "you will die with nothing," that maybe he'll soften when it comes right down to killing Gaeta.

Come to think of it, I'm betting there are plenty of crew members and civilians who were part of the big squishy middle, neither being important enough to be taken prisoner, nor considered loyal enough to be brought in on the mutiny plan. I bet a lot of people had no clue what was happening until the shooting started, and are now in mutineer-controlled parts of the ship being told that they're joining the mutiny or else.

Yeah, I was noticing how there were these shots of people in the background of CIC who looked really worried, like they hadn't been in on the plan or at least were having second thoughts. I really want to see fic from the perspective of these "big squishy middle" people now. I also kind of wish I knew what Hoshi was thinking. He clearly had no idea what was going down and he looked pretty shocked and I think, saddened, even if you know he isn't Felix's canon boyfriend when they filmed this.

Date: 2009-02-03 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
You should totally write that "big squishy middle" fic. Totally.

*puppy dog eyes*


Date: 2009-02-03 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rose-griffes.livejournal.com
I think another deliberate Zarek/Kara parallel was the similarity between Zarek killing Laird and Kara wanting to kill Nowart the Marine. In both cases the aggressor was willing to use totally disproportionate force on someone who poses no immediate threat and basically committing a war crime (or in Kara's case, trying to).

I see it as very different; granted that Nowart wasn't at that moment working against Adama and was neutralized, he had already participated in the mutiny and they really didn't have time/resources to keep him neutralized. He was already on the opposing side. Laird hadn't expressed any opinion one way or the other, and Zarek had both time and opportunity to do something else with him rather than kill him.

I do agree with [livejournal.com profile] millari that Adama's already-relenting nature makes me hopeful that Gaeta might avoid instant death. *hopes*

/my two cents

Date: 2009-02-03 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
Ooh, good point.

But Starbuck herself had already taken prisoners: Racetrack, Connor, etc. And they, like Nowart, had already declared for the mutiny and proved themselves dangerous.

Date: 2009-02-03 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rose-griffes.livejournal.com
I never said that Kara was consistent in her approach... just that she was more justified. Heh. Interesting that she chose to shoot the marine when saving Lee--Connor would have worked as well (and he wasn't wearing a helmet), though it's hard to tell for sure just from what we could see onscreen.

I'm guessing that 1) she has more respect for the marines as a force in the mutiny and 2) she's cutting some slack on the pilots (she knows them better), hence going for Skull's shoulder and not a kill shot.

Date: 2009-02-01 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rose-griffes.livejournal.com
Oh wow. Ditto to all of this about Gaeta. I've been thinking about him pretty much non-stop since I saw this episode yesterday morning.

I don't need them to be believers in God anymore if they don't want to be, but I'm a little annoyed at the retcon going on here that no, actually, they were both opportunists cynically playing the religious card. That takes back a whole season for Baltar and almost the whole series for Roslin.

I'll have to watch that conversation again, but I saw it as being much more of a retaliatory kind of thing--she was rude to him, so he's rude to her, so she's rude to him... Although apparently Baltar's own evolution (in the absence of head!Six and with the wasteland of Earth) is to slide into disbelief and complete self-interest.

Incidentally, I understand that Baltar gets to go to the basestar because it was his and Chiefy's Raptor to begin with, but really, what is Baltar going to accomplish with his dangling plot arcs on the basestar? Who is there for him to talk to there? Leoben? Random Eights? I don't see the point so far, especially when there's an Opera House prophecy looming over him, Roslin, Caprica, Athena and Hera that needs to get resolved sooner and sooner with each passing week.

With the idea that there's mostly self-interest in Baltar's head, I'm sure he just wanted to get to a place where he wasn't a target. Though it is curious--did Tyrol plan for Adama to be on that ship? Is saving Baltar all that important to him, and why?

But I must say I am still a bit disturbed still by Starbuck. She is both back to her former self and not.

Yes. On first watch it was enjoyable, but the second time it just... worried me. As you pointed out, even before gleefully engaged in mutiny-quashing, she was 'off' while in the bunkroom with Hotdog. (And most of my Kara-loving friends are excited that 'it's really her' whereas I'm sitting around thinking "Something's Wrong with her!")

I'm going to link to this on my LJ (er, unless you say not to :))

Date: 2009-02-01 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daybreak777.livejournal.com
Yes. On first watch it was enjoyable, but the second time it just... worried me. As you pointed out, even before gleefully engaged in mutiny-quashing, she was 'off' while in the bunkroom with Hotdog. (And most of my Kara-loving friends are excited that 'it's really her' whereas I'm sitting around thinking "Something's Wrong with her!")
I enjoyed it both viewings but I think I must be firmly in denial. I just refuse to worry about my boy until I have to. He's not worried and I'm taking my cue from him. Maybe not a good idea!

Kara was 'off'. It didn't bother me because she's been 'off' for two years now. Last week everyone was like, yay, Starbuck is back! She's not the original Starbuck or Kara. I don't know what she is but I love the heck out of her whatever she is. She Kara enough for me. And really, the other Kara is dead, this on is all we've got left. And they need her.

But her sitting there reading a book while Hotdog packed baby toys? That's all weird. I'm kinda glad there was a mutiny.

Date: 2009-02-01 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
I can't stop thinking about poor Felix. I think I'm going to have to vid him to get this out of my system, and I haven't made a vid for almost two years.

I can't quite tell what was going on in that scene with Baltar and Roslin frankly, but what I meant to say in my post was that I *don't* believe that Roslin and Baltar were frauds. I felt the show was saying that, but I disagree. I think that they have been true believers in the past, although they seem disillusioned now. Roslin was a believer almost the whole series and Baltar since Season 4.

I'm curious about Tyrol's motives too. It may be because baltar's preaching the Cylon God and Tyrol's coming more to terms with his Cylonhood now that he's had all that memories of pre-devastated Earth? Also, I remember a throwaway line when Lee and Romo were looking for someone to replace Roslin as prez where Romo suggested Tyrol as an option and Lee was like, 'Maybe a few months ago, but now he's gone and got himself involved with Baltar's cult.' I think we're supposed to take as read that in the background we don't get to see, Tyrol has been hanging out with Baltar's cult? That might be why he knew to find Hot Dog there when he wanted to beat him up?

I found Baltar's behavior confusing. I didn't see it as clear self-interest. There was some, for sure, but he also looked guilty about leaving and embarrassed by how his acolytes were placing his importance over theirs. My sense was that he was afraid, but also felt torn between self-preservation and doing the right thing. Otherwise, why have him ask Tyrol, "are you absolutely sure I should leave?"

Kara makes no sense to me anymore. I do worry for her soul. (Does she have a soul anymore?) The thing with Hot Dog really did seem wrong.

Please! Link away! I'm flattered.

Date: 2009-02-01 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
Given that Baltar's cult is kinda dippy, I assumed that the cult centre was one of the few places on Galactica a post-Revelations Tyrol was still welcome. Or at least not made explicitly unwelcome, if you follow my meaning.

Date: 2009-02-02 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
Yeah, that makes some sense, although he had been seen there before it was known, and that remark from Lee came before it was known too, so I'm not sure. But certainly whether or not that's true, I bet at this point you're right: Baltar's cult would probably be inclined to treat Tyrol well.

Thanks for reading. :)

Date: 2009-02-02 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
I don't remember which ep it's from but at some point after Cally's "suicide" and before Revelations, Tyrol most definitely started hanging out onscreen with Baltar's cult. On the fringes, at the beginning, but he was already a known quantity there before he was exposed as a Final Fiver. And they're probably going to be less judgmental of him than his other friends from before the reveal, because, well, they're mostly well-meaning nutjobs. And anyway, they're far too busy worshipping the Cylon God (and Baltar) to throw lots of emotional resources into hating a Cylon who's never done anything to them and is at least a peripheral part of their group.

Date: 2009-02-02 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com
P.S. I just thought of something. The hippy-dippy cult members may be the first group of humans to actually be okay with working alongside the Cylons. They've already accepted Tyrol, and they've got an "in" with the 268 contingent because they all believe in the same Cylon God. Not saying I think it's going to be all puppy dogs and rainbows, because everybody in the cult has suffered unimaginable loss thanks to the genocide of the Twelve Colonies. But if any group is going to be motivated to get past their anger, it's them.

Yeah, the military contingent has been working alongside Athena for a good long time now. But they did that under orders, and it doesn't seem to have made much difference to many of them. The cult are the first group we've seen accept a known Cylon voluntarily (i.e. not kicking Tyrol out when they found out he was a Cylon, and letting him run their resistance in 4.13). I can't help but think it's kinda hilarious that the flakiest people in the Fleet are quite possibly going to be examples of Humans and Cylons Working Together.

Date: 2009-02-02 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
You know, all this stuff you're saying about the potential connections between the 268 contingent and Baltar and his cult feels like a fanfic begging to be written!

Hmmm...the culties becoming the best hope for a Cylon-Human alliance is pretty amusing. I've been wondering what the frakking point of them has been for a long time. Baltar has clearly been gathering more and more people under his wing, but seemingly to no purpose (at least that he knows about; maybe Head!Six does...)

Sometimes I swear he's doing it to put Roslin's nose out of joint, believed that there probably is a God, and because he can't think of anything else to do with himself - at least nothing that gets him nearly as much nookie.

Btw, I have no idea what your icon is about, but it's totally hilarious.

Date: 2009-02-01 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morlock.livejournal.com
something that i found really interesting was the fact that in the beginning of the series, every one of the final five was paired off with either another cylon, or something "strange"

tyrol with boomer, tigh with ellen...the debatable ones are (i forgot their names) the football star and the president's aide, both hooked up with kara and baltar, who obviously have SOME connection with the cylons or earth.

am i reading too much into it here?

i also agree that both sides are right and both are wrong. felix is acting more "in character" than last episode, i feel...his reactions aren't as sped up and his progression feels more natural. i think they had to collapse two episodes into one on his storyline.

i LOVED apollo and starbuck back in action. and i loved seeing adama startingt o realize that everything is indeed falling to hell.

next episode should be interesting :-)

Date: 2009-02-02 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
I don't think you are reading too much into it. I think I read an interview with Ron Moore once where he talked about the motivations for picking the Final Five and he'd said that they'd picked Anders because of his connection to Kara, who was an unknown quantity. They picked others because of either their proximity to people in power (Tigh w/Adama, Tory w/Roslin), their involvement with the Resistance on New Caprica (Tigh, Tory, Anders, Tyrol) and they liked that Tyrol had a connection to Boomer, a Cylon.

With a sense of sick foreboding, I actually quite enjoyed getting to see Gaeta be so smart and competent. He pulled off that takeover in the CIC totally by pushing buttons around and manipulating his superiors into giving him exactly the orders he wanted them to give to make his plan work. He played them all like a fiddle and they totally didn't see it coming. I know this is also probably why there are Gaeta haters now out there on the Internet, but I thought his plan was quite clever.

I'm not sure yet that Adama has learned anything from this. He just seems pissed. But at least he's motivated to get his ship back. I suppose that's something. I don't know how this whole arc is going to solve the Cylon alliance question though.

Apollo and Starbuck in action was fun on one level, but Kara seemed to actually like shooting people and that was creeping me out a bit. However, I will say that I loved that moment after she'd rescued Lee and was backing her way out of there, when she said in a way that was oh-so-Starbuckian: "Follow me. Please."

Date: 2009-02-02 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morlock.livejournal.com
honestly it seemed like starbuck was happy about being _useful_ again, and not just shooting people. shes a warrior, and there hasn't been an actual war in a very long time. shes comfortable in a fight...she knows the rules, shes good at the game, and she can finally blow off some steam.

Gaeta was the man. seriously he was amazing and i dont' care what anyone says. he was fucking awesome. he played everyone perfectly, like you said, and he did it well. he would make a great XO i think... he knows what to do, and how to do it. he is a great "guy behind the guy." hes not good at giving the speeches, but he knows what to do in a situation.

adama will learn stuff after everything is done and he gets drunk in his toilet.

Date: 2009-02-02 10:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
adama will learn stuff after everything is done and he gets drunk in his toilet.

HAHAHA! Yes, and brushes his teeth and shaves aggressively. Only then can true learning occur. :D

Date: 2009-02-01 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lls-mutant.livejournal.com
Great review, and I really liked the point about Gaeta symbolically killing off or putting away parts of himself. I've seen speculations that his leg is going to be infected and he'll succumb to illness/infection, and in a way that sort of goes with the same thing; that it's a sickness in body and soul that kills him. Poor Felix.

I don't approve of what he's doing, but I feel for him.

I am very delighted, though, that he seems to be doing this with his eyes open. And I'm not so convinced that Zarek's playing him. I think Felix knows exactly what he's doing, and that Zarek has his own rationalizations for doing this. I think he will find out he's in over his head, but I don't get the sense Zarek's manipulating him right now. I don't think Zarek NEEDS to. (Well, except when he killed Laird.)

I do agree I want them to start tying up some of the plot threads. As much as I enjoy this, I'd also like to know more about the Final Five and Earth and what happened, and Starbuck (although that could be resolved in a Starbuck-centric episode, and I suspect it will be), and wehre this is all going. I'm wondering how Gaeta will tie into the end, and also wondering how Adama is going to deal with him. I really think the RSLF thing comes after the mutiny is over, especially now that Baltar's off on the basestar, and that leads me to think Gaeta survives this for a while and ends up in custody.

My ideal ending of the day is that Adama realizes he can't either pardon or execute Gaeta, so he calls Hoshi in for a private meeting. He then gives him orders about how he's to take Gaeta to X ship, and make it look like an escape. They'll search the Fleet, but conveniently forget to look there. And then, when they find a new home, if Gaeta knows what's good for him he'd better not cross Adama's path ever again.

And Hoshi agrees to do it, because he does love Felix and maybe now there's a little hope for them. ::Sniff:;

So won't happen, but I like it :)

Date: 2009-02-02 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
Weird. I was just replying to another comment to this post and noticed from the formatting that I seem to have replied to your comment by leaving a general comment, not replying directly to you. So you may have never seen this reply (http://millari.livejournal.com/162323.html?thread=419091#t419091) to your comment. Hope you didn't think it was ignored. :D

Date: 2009-02-01 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
Awww! I like it too! Hell, he's done crap sorta like that for Starbuck, he oughta do it for Gaeta too! Hell, he voted to acquit Baltar, damnit. How can he be harsher on Gaeta?

Since I wrote this review, I have come to be convinced that Gaeta's entering this with eyes more wide opened than I thought. In retrospect, I think Zarek killing Laird and Gaeta saying nothing was the moment when Gaeta went in with eyes open. Note that immediately after that, he stops being subservient to Zarek, stops calling him Mr. Vice President, and says things like, "get on that frakking ship." I think he's figured out where things are going and is just hoping he can stay in power long enough to make a difference. I don't think he's yet imagining himself as permanent commander of Galactica - although that is what he's signing up for if this mutiny is successful - only because I think the PTSD he's suffered from the Raptor murders has caused him to have a sense of a foreshortened future.

Thanks for your comment. It was really interesting. I keep thinking of you every time I see Felix and Zarek together. :) I keep thinking of that ficlet of yours where they blow themselves up.

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