millari: (Mess_With_Us)
[personal profile] millari
So my absolute favorite t.v. character ever Felix Gaeta died last week at the culmination of an amazing two-episode arc of Battlstar Galactica. I was expecting Felix's death to come this season, but I was not expecting Felix to not die a hero. At the very least, I was expecting him to die in some quiet, goodly way.

I am not happy that Felix died in essentially a villain role that will make a lot of BSG fans who never bothered to pay attention to the nuances of his character despise him and say 'good riddance'. I am not happy that he gave his life so that Adama and Roslin could be even more of a diumvirate (sic). I am not happy that Adama and Roslin will probably remember Felix Gaeta as evil without nuance, and will completely forget and discount the self-sacrificing devotion he showed them for the last seven years. As much as I have liked her over the years as a character, I am not happy that in the continuity of the BSG 'verse, Kara Thrace especially - who treated him so terribly ever since the Circle and has never shown any remorse about it - will survive Felix and live on to besmirch his name as a traitor, a coward and whatever other horribly un-PC name she can think to call him.

However, I am happy that the writers *did* seem to take lemons and make beautiful lemonade with the story arc they'd decided for whatever reason had to happen. Upon seeing "A Disquiet Follows My Soul," I was afraid they were about to turn my character's genuine misgivings about the Cylon alliance into a whiny, naysaying rant that would be discounted by the other heroic characters as bitchy sour grapes. But "The Oath" and "Blood on the Scales" did a lot of things that I loved.

I got to see Felix Gaeta being the clever, competent leader I always knew he could be if anyone had ever given him the chance to try it. Not only that, but Bill frakking Adama - who has never given Felix the kind of slack or credit he's always given his favorites - got to see Felix lead the Galactica almost flawlessly, even as Adama's allies were doing their best to take him down. I am also happy that Felix's well-meaning heart shone through in everything he did, even when he was desperately trying to tamp down his heart so he could make terrible decisions he knew he had to make in order for his mutiny to succeed. And I couldn't be anything but happy with how the writers resolved Felix's relationship with Gaius Baltar. Throughout "Blood on the Scales", to the very end at his execution, Felix retained his dignity, if not always his ideals.

Of course, if you know me, you know that I have to devote an independent paragraph to the subject of Gaius and Felix's last meeting. After Gaius spectacularly misjudging Felix's motives in their phone call during "The Oath", it was such a relief to see the loquacious, self-centered Gaius Baltar actually sitting and listening to this man who throughout this show, has almost never been allowed to speak his mind on anything more personal than the best way to jump the Galactica. If you think about it, except for in "The Final Cut" Felix has always had to take the floor by force for anyone to know his personal feelings on anything, and the person he has consistently wanted most to hear him has been Gaius Baltar. It is not surprising that once again, Felix had to resort to force to be heard, and it is not at all surprising that ultimately, he asked Gaius to be the one to listen. What was surprising was that Gaius finally grew up enough to give Felix that. It's all my shippery heart has ever really wanted for these two in canon, even if I did have to get it at the very last minute and in a tear-my-heart-out kind of way. I'm not happy that Felix is dead, but if I couldn't have him alive, it is actually a great comfort to have seen him die with a sense of peace at finally getting to be heard and understood and validated for the good person he tried so hard to be to the very end. If he had died right after that moment with Zarek and the corpses of the Quorum around them, hating the person he'd become, I would have had to go around smashing things. But he didn't. He got cigarettes with Gaius Baltar. But more than that, he got an equal footing with this man, for the first time ever. He got remorse and true friendship from Gaius, the kind that steps up and witnesses something as horrible as your own execution for you, because you are cared about that much. I think Felix and I were equally satisfied with that.

Ok, that being said, there is still a part of me that is angry that he's dead and that other people who deserved death just as much if not more are still alive. I have moments where I'm quite torn because I get astoundingly angry that Felix Gaeta - who saved all their asses countless times, who looked out for other people, who was loyal and generous and believed in the goodness of people to his own detriment - is dead, and Gaius Baltar - who has spent almost the entire series unwilling to admit *even to himself* that he has the blood of billions of people on his hands and thinking primarily of himself - is not.

So even though I've been incredibly busy with work and with going to New York Comic Con last weekend and therefore have had no time to process my grief over losing my beloved character with you all, I have been thinking about it all week. I've been keeping a piece of scrap paper around with a running list of things I really want to see happen regarding Felix Gaeta before the series run ends.

I know I won't get a lot of them, maybe not even any of them. But I feel a need to make this list anyway:

1. I want someone to mention his name.
I don't expect that Adama or Roslin are ever going to speak of Felix again with any sense of remorse or even understanding. But if Felix is never mentioned again, by anyone, especially Baltar, I'll be kind of annoyed. Just because you decided to make him a villain, don't disappear him, BSG! [livejournal.com profile] falafel_musings wrote a story here that I haven't had a chance to comment to yet (partly because it broke me up so much, I couldn't imagine trying to be analytical about it just yet) in which Baltar mentions that Felix Gaeta was a good man who saved the Fleet time and time again, and yet now, the history books will only remember him as a traitor. I hadn't thought of that until I read that line, and once I did, the idea totally gutted me. So I want someone to remember Felix Gaeta in the aftermath of his death, and even if they don't agree with the choices he made, I want people to acknowledge how important he was to the CIC, or what a well-meaning soul he was.

Someone showing some remorse that they never really paid attention to Felix when he needed it and maybe if they had, things would have been different would also get you bonus points, BSG, but I won't hold my breath. Hell, even showing someone hanging on to his dog tags would be nice.

2. I want a moment of discomfort at moving on. Someone is going to have to take Felix's job now that he's dead. I strongly suspect that it'll be Hoshi. Now, even though in the regular episodes, Louis was not Felix's lover, he was calling him "Felix" in "Blood on the Scales", which suggests a certain amount of intimacy, if only friendship-based. So Louis should feel Felix's loss in some way, even if he's conflicted about his friend having turned traitor. So if Adama tells Louis to become the new DRADIS guy, or even the new navigator, I want to see at least a moment of Louis having some weirdness about that. It's okay if it's just a look, like he did when he took over Dee's post. But I want some acknowledgement that taking over Felix's job is strange, and by no means a walk in the park.

3. There needs to be some disruption, even minor, in the normal CIC proceedings because of Felix's absence. I want his loss felt by Adama. Begrudgingly is even okay, but I want Felix's death to have an impact on them.

4. I want some evidence that Gaius is thinking about Felix between now and the end of the series. Of course, we haven't really got that for Dee, not even from her frakking husband, so I probably shouldn't hold my breath. If I don't get it, I'll probably just go back and read [livejournal.com profile] falafel_musings's story again. :/

5. I want to see someone put Felix's picture on the Memorial Wall. Yes, I know they all think of him as a traitor now, but for seven years, he did nothing but selflessly give of himself to the Fleet and to his military brethren. And I suspect that he consistently worried that he wasn't giving enough. Extra super bonus points, RDM, if we see Baltar sifting through a box of Felix's personal effects, but again, I won't be holding my breath.

I'm torn between whether I want the person who puts up Felix's picture to be Adama or Baltar. I want Adama to do it because I want to see that it cost him something of his soul to kill one of his CIC kids. I don't want to see more bilious anger at Felix from Adama, because damnit, he not only ignored Felix and the Fleet's genuinely convincing concerns about the Cylon alliance, he shut Felix down from speaking on the matter at all, and forced Felix into this desperation move. He is on some level, very culpable in this mutiny happening. But on the other hand, I'm still so angry at Adama right now for not extending the kind of forgiveness to Felix that he has to so many other mutineers, killers and other serious insubordinates (Hell, this is the man who voted to acquit Gaius Baltar, for Gods' sakes!). I feel like it might really enrage me to see Adama even touching Felix's photo right now.

Really, I feel that Baltar has slightly better odds of telling Felix's story in a dignified way at this point, assuming that Baltar's emotional growth arc doesn't backslide between now and the end of the series. If Gaius were to in some way make sure that Felix got a proper mourning among the Fleet that he loved so much he was willing to die to protect it, it would only be a tiny sliver of justice for Felix, but it would be something. Felix was always grateful when he got even something.

6. I want to discover one more thing about Felix that we never knew. It can be something incredibly minor, but I just want one more bittersweet dose of Felix Gaeta before I agree to say good bye to him completely.

7. I want a Felix flashback or a reboot when they reach the end of the series. I have already forgiven him his mistakes, but I feel like a flashback or a reboot would be an opportunity for Felix to be redeemed in the eyes of the characters. I'm not even sure how, but I'm clinging to this idea anyway.

8. I want to see evidence that Galactica is not going to be a happy family again now. Felix and Zarek didn't force everyone on ship to mutiny; the people were ripe for it. If nothing else good comes out of Felix's mutiny, it should be that somebody other than Lee Adama realize that there were real problems in how the Fleet was operating, and that people were not ready for a Cylon Alliance to be forced down their throats just because the Admiral said so.This all should not be instantly solved by executing Gaeta and Zarek. This was the lesson of Lee's speech at Baltar's trial - we can't purge everything that's wrong with us by pouring it all onto one man and then executing him.

9. I want them all to die at the end of the series. They can't go back to being the family they were. Earth is a wasteland. The ship is tearing itself apart, both figuratively and literally. There is no government left, save Laura Roslin and Lee Adama, and even together, they do not make anything but an inherently autocratic government with the military in lockstep (unless the military decides to stop going along and initiates an overt takeover, which is no better). They don't have time to put back together the Quorum, and frankly, the show has almost never portrayed the Quorum as anything other than spoiled, unrealistic, fickle children who don't understand the harsh realities that Fleet Mom and Dad do.

I can't see this show heading anywhere now besides a devolving end that at best, can culminate in sublime transcendence in an afterlife or alternate dimension where at long last, our weary travelers get to rest and maybe even be reunited with those that they've lost along the way, with old scores and estrangements settled and peace finally earned. I could take a lot of comfort in the thought that Felix's mutiny helped accelerate the journey to that satisfying end. Alternately, if they're not going to give me something like that, then maybe I just want them all to die so that I don't have to watch other undeserving characters live to triumph at the end of their journey while Felix, who so rarely ever gave a thought to himself, languishes in ignoble death, never to be spoke of again.

I know it's a long-delayed reaction and you guys are probably kind of beyond this point now, but thanks for listening.
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November 2016

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