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Season Three: They have a new plan?

This thread is for Season 3 arc discussion. 

Please tag spoilers for Season 4 so new viewers can come discuss with us!


Personally, I had the hardest time coming to enjoy this season.  I think it was because it started out so very depressing (and character maiming is something I have a lot of trouble with). But with a few rewatches, I came to enjoy it because it had a great theme of the characters trying to come back together after going separate ways on New Caprica.  And the end of the season was such a rollercoaster of intensity between the trial and the reveals of the finale.

(I shamelessly admit to keeping a clip of the last few minutes of the finale around to rewatch for a burst of "wow."  And McCreary's cover of "Watchtower" is on my frequently used playlist.)

Edited by Zalyn.
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Watching the episode where Starbuck "dies" I realized her mom is Naomi from "Mama's Family".

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Probably my most unpopular opinion about BSG is this: I think the reveal that Adama had taken a battlestar across the armistice line three years prior to the assault on the colonies made perfect sense and was the right way to go in terms of how the conflict got started. The whole "we have to slaughter humanity to come into our own" thing was, imo, idiotic. The humans sabotaging their own peace felt realistic and made sense given their history. 

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I watched through the two-part Exodus last night, and so much happened over those four hours it's hard to remember what to comment on.

I like the pace at which it all played out; we join them four months into the occupation that started at the end of season two, get the info we need on what's been happening in that time, and get right to exploring the resistance movement and then the escape plan.  It was the perfect amount of time to spend on New Caprica, I think.

Tigh is not someone I want in command of a ship, but he's pretty much the perfect person to lead an insurgent resistance movement against occupation.  I like that there is truth to what both sides - in the argument over using suicide bombers - are saying.  Tigh saying sending someone in a uniform out in a viper to what is a certain death is no different is not a point easily dismissed.  But nor is the "collateral damage" aspect of such attacks.

The amount of acting going on with just one eye by Michael Hogan when Tigh realizes what Ellen did was amazing.  And then when he has to kill her?  He's not coming back mentally from that any time soon.  Adama catching sight of him as he got off the raptor was an incredible moment.  I am officially registering my complaint at the lack of a reunion between Laura and Bill, but his reunion with Saul was perfect. 

I've said before I have a low tolerance for action sequences, and thus far the times they've done what amounts to action/adventure episodes I have enjoyed them.  Galactica falling through the atmosphere to launch its vipers before jumping away feet from the ground and Pegasus going out in a blaze of glory was no exception. 

In the season two thread, the version of Sharon who's on Galactica was called Athena, so now that she's a member of the fleet (wow!), I assume that becomes her call sign.  Good, it will give me an easy way to refer to her as distinct from the other Eights.  The Hera storyline is obviously going to continue; right now, Athena doesn't believe Hera is alive ("Adama wouldn't lie to me" - well, no, because Laura took care of it herself), but the cylons have the baby, so something is going to happen there. 

I hadn't thought to wonder where Zarek was, but it's interesting that he was in detention the whole time because he defied Baltar immediately after the occupation, objecting to cooperating with the cylons.  He's such a complex character.  I really liked the light little moments between him and Laura, especially when he asks if she tried to steal the election.  "Yes I did/I wish you'd gone through with it/Me too" was great.

I love that Laura's ride home is Colonial One, and that she just sits down at her old desk, takes a minute, and says, "I'm ready to go now." 

Baltar confronted with the death warrants was an interesting scene; like Zarek, he is a complicated villain.  I like that he initially refuses to sign, even with a gun to his head, but I especially like that once he retreats into his psyche and imagines Six telling him sometimes you have to do something awful to live to fight another day, he has no conscious memory of signing; he just looks down and his signature is there.  His mind is quite a place to visit.

I cannot decide which cylon model I find the most evil.  The Cavils and Dorals are definitely contenders, and I just love them sitting there getting their righteous indignation on that the resistance left a Cavil to suffer and die.  Yeah, after you were injured in the course of attempting to execute over a hundred people, people who don't have the option of opening their own carotid arteries secure in the knowledge they'll come back almost as good as new.  And what the Leobens did to Kara over those four months?  Holy shit. 

I'm glad everyone (well, almost everyone, and I certainly don't miss Ellen Tigh, but I'm sorry for Tigh) is back home.  And I like that the Pegasus is gone, even though I know they were better off with two battlestars, and that Pegasus was more advanced.  I can't help it; I like everyone being on Galactica.  I didn't get enough sleep last night, but I couldn't quit until they got home!

Edited by Bastet.
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I only watched one episode last night, as I was a bit emotionally wiped out from Major Crimes ending, and it turned out to be an incredibly dark exploration of the line between vengeance and justice.  Oops.

Collaborators was well done, in that The Circle was clearly not the way to go about things, but it wasn't some one-note vigilante storyline; The Circle exists via executive order*, and they take their responsibility to consider the evidence seriously -- they're not just rubber stamping executions based solely on allegations.

*I did not understand how Zarek, who spent the occupation in detention, had so much information so as to produce the list of the "worst of the worst" collaborators, but in the commentary Moore revealed that there was scene cut for time that revealed Tory had taken Laura's journal and given the information to Zarek.

It was incredibly dark, of course - I mean, damn, it opened with Jammer's execution - but a good examination of the issue.  I liked the conversations The Circle had, about whether Jammer saving Cally would negate his culpability for the 20+ people who did get killed, whether Gaeta qualifies for treason based simply on his position in the Baltar administration, or whether there needs to be evidence of his, not Baltar's, specific actions.

I thought it was interesting that in the original script it was Zarek who issued the general amnesty, as his final act as president, in a spiteful move - in that version, Laura and Adama had basically wrestled power away from him, so his final executive act was to leave them unable to deal with the collaborators.  But then Moore decided it was more interesting this way, for Zarek to think it was better for the fleet if the crimes were legitimately examined by a jury, but this secret one that acts swiftly, rather than bogging them down in trials and accusations for years, and for Laura to take his point about what life as a series of accusations, investigations, and trials would be like for the people, but use that not to say, yep, forget about the accused's right to lawyers and a jury of their peers, but to say, okay, we document our stories, but then we move forward together.

And, given how she felt about the collaborators while she was a civilian living under the occupation, I agree it is interesting to see the decision she makes now that she's president again.

But I want to see what she and Adama think about whether this amnesty applies to Baltar if he turns up again, heh.

Speaking of Baltar, his dream cracked me up.  I knew it was a dream right away because Laura and Tigh were in their New Caprica clothes, not what they'd be wearing as president and colonel, and I got a kick out of the "no harm done" conversation in the beginning, laughed when Adama said of Six, "You wouldn't like her when she's angry," and guffawed when Laura said, "I've always wanted you," and Baltar replied, "Oh, no - I'm dreaming, aren't I?"  Having his actions excused by those three?  Adama hearing the Six that exists only in his head?  Nope, these are not the things that make him realize he's dreaming.  It's Laura Roslin telling him she's always wanted him (it works even better with the deleted scene from one of the very first episodes of the series, when we learn from the Six in his head that in the midst of all the shit going on, he's wondering what it would be like to have sex with Laura).   It was scripted that Laura pulled a gun on him (getting shot in the head was what made him jolt awake), but Mary, James, and the director came up with it being the kiss instead, and good for on-set changes, because that was funny.

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Collaborators is one of my favorite eps of the entire series. But then, I am a huuuge Gaeta fangirl, so my reaction was probably a given. 

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1 minute ago, Sharpie66 said:

Collaborators is one of my favorite eps of the entire series. But then, I am a huuuge Gaeta fangirl, so my reaction was probably a given. 

I like him, and I like that he was honestly sucked into things.  He genuinely believed in the dream of New Caprica Baltar - whom he'd so long admired - sold him, and then when he realized Baltar only believed in "the dream of Gaius Baltar," he tried to use his position and access to work from within to make things better.  Then he was a bit between a rock and a hard place during the occupation, and did what he could to help the resistance movement.  And he was about to kill Baltar (which, by that point, Baltar welcomed); he only spared him so he could go stop D'Anna from nuking the place.  So watching The Circle deliberate his case, even based on the limited information they had, was interesting enough, but especially knowing all we knew.

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I have a problem with Helo not suffering any consequences for sabotaging the mission to infect the cylon fleet with the virus.  As always on this show, the debate over what was justified was well done, with great points on both sides and no clear answer as to what was the right decision, but a decision was made, and he was obliged to abide by it.  In a deleted scene, he asks to be relieved of duty during the mission, and Adama freely grants him that.  So he wasn't even forced to be part of it.  I said last season that he was going to be more dangerous to the fleet than Athena, and yeah -- she upholds her oath to the point of actually participating in the mission, even though it's going to make her the last cylon standing, but he doesn't.  (And I find it interesting that, for all the hand-wringing about what engaging in genocide, even against a mechanical race, could do to people's souls, everyone else is totally into it, even those who are going to go execute the prisoners.)

There's something about Helo's righteousness that bugs me in a way it doesn't when other characters take principled stands, and I'm not sure why.  The actor, maybe - maybe I just don't like him when he's playing righteous the same way I can't stand the actor playing Cally when she's playing (or attempting to play) tough.  Whatever the cause, Helo bugged the shit out of me in the two episodes about the virus.  He's lucky Laura didn't airlock him when he said the cylons tried to co-exist with them on New Caprica.  She handled it perfectly, which is why it's good she's president and not me. 

I like the way they explored the natural division between those who experienced the occupation and those who didn't, and also the way Starbuck and Tigh were exploiting it to the point it was causing a serious problem among the crew and that could not be allowed to stand.  (And, man, did I love those two adversaries sharing that look and raising their glasses to each other when they bonded over telling Helo and Kat to get stuffed with their "we all sacrificed" false equivalencies.)  This show does a good job showing the repercussions of things.

I'm kind of ready to get off the cylon base star already.  I think it's because that set is so typical sci-fi, and I much prefer the familiar, reality-based world of Galactica, because I have a hard time getting emotionally invested in something so far removed from reality; it's why I generally avoid sci-fi.  But Baltar fearing he's one of the five unidentified cylons was good, and I'm glad the humans now know he's alive, and helping the cylons find Earth; now they know it's a race.

I continue to love the relationship between Adama and Laura.  They're always so intimate and comfortable with each other when it's just the two of them wrestling with an ethical dilemma (consistently my favorite scenes of the series), and I'm really glad they have each other.  I'm also impressed at how well they handle disagreeing. 

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Hero was good - I'm in favor of anything that puts Carl Lumbly on my screen, and Saul starting to come back to himself was nice - but I kind of wish they'd found a way to work it in earlier in the series, when they first got the idea; this was a long time for Adama have been thinking his actions sparked the attacks, without there having been any hint of that in his behavior.  (I know it was Bulldog's return that made him confront those memories, but I find it impossible to believe he hadn't thought of them.)  At least it happened when Laura is close enough to him to say, look, knucklehead, no one thing spurred the cylons to act, and just get out there so I can pin a frakking medal on you.

I'd have liked someone - by which I mean a character; Moore said it in his commentary - to point out the timing clearly reveals the cylons had their plan in motion well before the black ops mission to poke their noses over the armistice line.  I guess the fact we the audience know the specifics of Caprica Six using Baltar to get access to the defense mainframe, but the characters merely know that cylons were able to infiltrate it, and Laura knows she saw Baltar with a Six the day of the attacks, means there isn't anyone who'd say it that clearly.

Laura wryly suggesting they hang the portrait of Baltar over the toilet cracked me up.  (If I may also get completely shallow for a moment, she looked fantastic in that casual shirt and clipped back hair in that cleaning out the office scene.)

So, Unfinished Business.  Love it.  The Bill and Laura scenes in the extended cut are my new favorite thing in the world.  (Moore said in his commentary he could watch just their scenes and love the episode, and I agree; in fact, I promptly went back and watched it just that way).  And not just once they get stoned; the "it's good to see you" scene when he's playing in the alluvial deposits is just as great as the star-gazing conversation and the morning after.  The interaction between them at the "dance" was great, too; I love the way he looks at her so full of affection after remembering that day on New Caprica, and the way she gives him boxing tips when he's losing to Tyrol.  And then there's the reversion to "Madame President/Admiral" when she helps him down after his speech.  Moore said a novel could be made out of what happened between them during the missing year, and the editor who was joining him on the commentary said it could be a spin-off, and now I'm sad that doesn't exist. 

The commentary was illustrative of why network execs and their notes have such a bad reputation - SciFi objected to Bill and Laura being stoned.  Okay, but people are passed out drunk all over the place, and that doesn't bother them.  They also objected to the final stargazing scene with them, because it felt "too post-coital."  Two people fully dressed is bothersome, because it feels sexually intimate, but Kara actually frakking Sam, and then Lee, no problem.  (To be clear, I don't think they should have been bothered by the drinking or the frakking, just that it's particularly ridiculous they were bothered by the other things in light of not objecting to those counterparts.)

Anyway, it was nice to go back and see what things were like in the beginning of settlement, when people thought maybe they could make a life for themselves there.  And it's good for the Kara/Lee tension to have come to head; there are so many layers to their relationship - they put their lives on the line next to each other for a living, but have such different styles as members of the fleet, they have a bit of sibling vibe to their relationship owing to Zach, and to Bill regarding her as a daughter, and then there's the sexual/romantic attraction.  It's a complicated love, and while I'm not as invested in how it will wind up as I think the show wants me to be, I do like peeling back those layers. 

The way Tigh laughed when Kara tells him she slept with Lee was my favorite thing other than Bill/Laura.

The Passage was a good hour of tension, although not a masterpiece like 33.  This one felt a little rushed by joining the crisis in progress, rather than having had the contamination of the food supply play out in front of us, but they did a good job making me feel the hunger and desperation.  It was a solid, I know they'll make it but how much will they lose along the way? struggle.  I liked Tigh and Adama's punch-drunk laughter over people not being able to eat paper, because there's a paper shortage, too.  I'm bummed they killed Kat, because the tension between her and Kara was interesting to me.  I like that their final moment together was true to their characters and relationship, rather than going overly soft.  And I love Adama making sure she dies as CAG, and stopping her from telling him about herself (and that she tries to do so, including telling him Starbuck knows), by asking her if what she has to tell him changes anything about what made her a good CAG.  And then he just sits there with her.  Nice.

The Hybrid on the cylon basestar continues to be ever too weird for me, and I can't fully get into what the D'Anna who's involved with Baltar and Caprica Six is trying to accomplish by dying over and over again and then trying to remember the experience between one body and the next, but it's okay, and Baltar kind of fearing he's a cylon and kind of hoping he is because then instead of being a traitor to one group of people he'd be a hero to another is interesting.

Edited by Bastet.
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On 1/14/2018 at 4:25 PM, Bastet said:

The Hybrid on the cylon basestar continues to be ever too weird for me, and I can't fully get into what the D'Anna who's involved with Baltar and Caprica Six is trying to accomplish by dying over and over again and then trying to remember the experience between one body and the next, but it's okay, and Baltar kind of fearing he's a cylon and kind of hoping he is because then instead of being a traitor to one group of people he'd be a hero to another is interesting.

D'Anna has discovered that when she dies, her consciousness is spending a brief period of time (before resurrecting) in the Opera House, where the final five appear as tall, glowing figures. Baltar saw them briefly in a vision, but couldn't make out their features. D'Anna remembers this period, and it either becomes a longer period of time, or it continues from the previous experience. Either way, she spends enough time in this pocket of space/time to see the faces of the Final Five and interact with them. Remember, One has forbidden all knowledge of the Final Five for the rest of the Cylon models. D'Anna's curiosity about them, knowing they are currently alive and in the human fleet, drives her to risk everything to find out. Personally, I thought it was one of the better elements of the show. From the beginning, we are led to believe that the Cylons, being machines, are all of one accord, share all information, and have a plan; they are an unbeatable enemy. This is just more evidence that the Cylons are more like us than not, and individual Cylons can have their own agendas and even be disobedient. Plus, this whole side-effect of resurrection and different shades of consciousness the show explores is really, really cool for a science-fiction show. I love it when the writers get to delve deeper into a technology, race, culture, whatever that they completely invented. "Sure, the Cylons can die and get reloaded into a new body, but what happens to their consciousness during the process?"

I really wish the show had expanded more on what the Opera House really was. It is a pivotal place for so many characters, seen in visions. I don't want to say too much or it would be a spoiler for you. It just wasn't fully resolved, IMO.

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I just watched the two episodes that constituted the mid-season finale, and they were good (and further fleshed out D'Anna's quest in returning over and over to the space between death and resurrection, plus more about how the cylons function as a group).  I'm so curious who D'Anna saw as one of the final five cylon models, the one to whom she said, "Forgive me, I didn't know."  It has to be someone with whom she has interacted, and badly.  Unless rather than the apology being about a specific direct interaction it's about what the cylons in general did to this person on New Caprica.  I have to ponder this.

It was really a group decision to box D'Anna's model, right, and not just Cavil keeping her from revealing the final five*?  Because they (the Sharons, Cavils, Leobens, and Sixes) were already talking about possibly needing to do something when two different copies of her model defied the group in the decision about calling the raiders back once Galactica prepared to fire its nukes, Caprica Six knew D'Anna thought she (and Baltar) had a different destiny than the rest, no one is supposed to inquire about the final five, etc.  So her having pulled away from the group so much was what led them to eliminate the model.

*Cavil being the guardian of that information is only something I know from a post in the season two thread, and then again here; otherwise, I wouldn't have thought of it at all until Rapture, and even then I think I'd have just been wondering about it, thinking he seemed to have ulterior motives, rather than picking up that's what was going on.  And, by Moore's brief comment about a "notion" that Cavil is the "keeper of the secrets in some ways," I think it is just supposed to be a hint at this point.

And how did the Cavil on the algae planet (who was going to shoot the D'Anna in the temple, only to get shot by Baltar) get down there, when the D'Anna and Baltar were the only two on that one raider that kept going when the others turned back?  He just grabbed his own ride at some point after that and jetted down there to stop her from doing her thing, and Galactica didn't care when that showed up on Dradis, because it was just a single ship, even though that meant there were now two on the planet? 

I also wondered how Athena and Caprica Six managed to just grab the raptor and take off with Hera without any of the other cylons noticing, and then listened to the commentary, in which Moore admitted, yeah, that's one of those things you just have to ask the audience to go with. 

It's interesting how much has changed in Boomer since she first resurrected; from so upset about being a cylon and refusing to let go of her human identity then to now fully in as a cylon.  On the flip side, Athena - who, unlike Boomer, always knew she was a cylon - is fully entrenched as the human she was programmed to pretend to be.  And so now Athena, not Boomer, is the one Caprica Six is aligned with.  Good stuff.

So they'll have Baltar and Caprica Six in the brig on Galactica.  Plus they have Hera on board (and, wow, with Helo having to kill Sharon so she can access the basestar; he knows she's going to download, yeah, but to put a bullet through your wife's chest - that was a great scene).  That should all be quite interesting knowledge as it spreads through the fleet.

And Baltar still doesn't know whether he's a cylon; I love him stepping over D'Anna's body to place himself on the circle and try to see what she saw so he can know before he dies, only to be foiled by Tyrol putting a gun to his head and capturing him. 

Did Adama really think Hera just conveniently died?  When they (Laura, Adama, Tigh, and Baltar) were discussing what to do with her if she lived, Adama was the most vocal about the dangers that would be created by her existence, and by the fleet finding out about her.  So he knew that if she lived, there was realistically only one thing Laura could do with her (unless she wanted to toss a baby out an airlock, that is).  So when Laura didn't tell him what she did, I wonder if he believed Hera's death was real, or if he just very carefully avoid thinking about it.

Dee having to rescue Starbuck certainly made for an interesting dynamic.  I love Dee getting to slap her.  And I have to laugh at Starbuck's moral code that forbids divorce but allows cheating.  And then Lee's is the opposite, so they're at an impasse. 

Kara thinks maybe the reason she's been drawing the Eye of Jupiter symbol her whole life is because, as Leoben said, she has a destiny.  But she's religious.  Tyrol was raised religious (and, by the way, him running around the prayer room naked holding porn magazines as an act of defiance is my favorite thing about the algae planet episodes) and when he got in the temple he recognized stuff from drawings in the books his parents had.  So Starbuck could have seen that symbol in a religious text, too, and that's why she started drawing it as a kid.

But I really like the scene between her and Helo about it; I always like him best when seeing his friendship with her.

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Helo killing Sharon is just heartbreaking. He and Gaeta are my favorite male characters. And Bill Adama. Okay, Baltar is pretty fascinating, too. Damnit, I love them all! And don’t get me started on the women on this show...

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On 1/16/2018 at 3:17 PM, Bastet said:

It was really a group decision to box D'Anna's model, right, and not just Cavil keeping her from revealing the final five*?  Because they (the Sharons, Cavils, Leobens, and Sixes) were already talking about possibly needing to do something when two different copies of her model defied the group in the decision about calling the raiders back once Galactica prepared to fire its nukes, Caprica Six knew D'Anna thought she (and Baltar) had a different destiny than the rest, no one is supposed to inquire about the final five, etc.  So her having pulled away from the group so much was what led them to eliminate the model.

No, it was Cavil alone (D'Anna being boxed was a spoiler, confirming who was responsible is a mild one, at best). To me, he is the most interesting Cylon of all. If you are keeping track of your Ones, there are only two instances of that model who are relevant. Cavil the priest was on Galactica, he counseled the Chief, he boxes D'Anna, he wants humanity cut down to a smaller number (say, a thousand). Basically, every time you see Cavil, it's this one. Cavil on Caprica is the one who shows up out of nowhere when the rescue party notices the Cylons have retreated. He is the one that they bring back from Caprica, who then exposes the first Cavil. So, other than those few scenes, it's almost always the first Cavil you see. The Plan reveals a lot more about these two, of course.

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6 hours ago, CigarDoug said:

No, it was Cavil alone

That doesn't really fit with what Moore said in his commentary for the episode.  Moore's comments are reminiscent of the things discussed by the cylons in the "we're going to have to do something about this, perhaps sooner than later" part of the episode, and center on how the D'Anna model was pulling away from the group and their way of doing things and thus constituted a threat to the cylons' cohesive system.  And if he did it alone, rather than with the consent of the group, wouldn't he then be punished?  I mean, they're going to notice that all copies of that model are gone, and if it was a big problem for the Threes to defy the group's decision about the raiders, it would have to be a really big problem for Cavil to decide to eliminate an entire line without putting it up for a vote.

I watched Taking a Break From All Your Worries, and when I watched it with the commentary, I was stunned to learn it was written as a light, comedic episode, and in the directing, performances, and editing, it turned into a dark take.  How was that ever going to be a light episode?  I can see how Lee and Tyrol's repeated trips to the new bar to escape their home lives could be played as humor ("To marriage - why we build bars"), and some of the stuff between Lee and Dee at home could easily play that way as well.  But the bulk of the stuff about Lee, Dee, Kara, and Sam, if I just listen to the dialogue and try to picture it performed humorously, I can't.

And Baltar's interrogations?  The beginning of Laura's, yes, that could have been funny (there's a hint of it in the "everybody has to eat" line), but after that?  It does not surprise me in the least that once EJO got ahold of the script, he directed it as a meditation on the reliability and morality of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and on Baltar's degree of culpability instead; what stuns me is that it was written to be something else.

I really enjoyed the scene at the end, with Laura lying on his bed and him sitting on the edge of it, as they talk about what to do with Baltar now.  The two of them, alone, hashing out the right way of dealing with a problem is always my favorite, and this one is particularly good.  I like her reflecting on what she wanted to get out of the interrogation - not intel, but a genuine admission of guilt - and him saying someone like Baltar will never give that, because he truly sees himself as a victim rather than a criminal.  And then he says it's not too late for Baltar to just disappear, and she simply touches his arm and reminds him they can't do that; Baltar is one of them, so "we give him his trial."

Obviously, Baltar's trial is going to be the big story for this final part of the season, and I'm looking forward to that.  Moore revealed in his commentary that whatever was being hinted at by the conversation between Gaeta and Baltar in this episode is a storyline that was planned to figure prominently in the trial, but wound up being completely dropped from the subsequent episodes; something about how the Saggitarians were treated on New Caprica, including a murder, which was one of the few things they had direct evidence on; there was a witness to Baltar killing someone.  So, only time will tell what I think of the trial not including that, but right now it feels weird that, just by looking at the show, I wouldn't ever know why whatever Baltar said caused Gaeta to stab him in the neck (it was scripted as Baltar threatening to blame Gaeta for the Saggitarian thing, but once they dropped the storyline from later episodes they had to go back and excise it from this one, yet the stabbing is still there).

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The Woman King and A Day in the Life were both kind of duds (something Moore freely admitted in his commentary), but I'm glad I continued on and watched Dirty Hands rather than going to sleep, because I loved that one.  I like that this show normally asks questions without giving a clear answer, but I also loved this unapologetic celebration of unions.

I really enjoy any time we get a sense of what life is like for the civilian fleet, but I know budget constraints dictate we see very few ships other than Galactica.  So this was refreshing, both for getting to see life on the tyllium refinery ship, and for that being the natural opening to conversation about what life is like on some of the other ships as well. 

This was just a great exploration of class and labor, and I also liked the scene between Adama and Tyrol, exploring the ways in which the military is justified in having a separate set of rules.  There was also nice commentary on drafting people into service. 

I was fired up and wide awake, but Moore said at the end of his commentary that Maelstrom starts a rocket ride to the end of the season, so I decided that made for a natural break and finally went to sleep.

I know

Spoiler

Laura's cancer comes back

at some point in the series, but don't know when, so it may not even be this season, but there have been some things in these past few episodes that have made me think that's happening.  I'm curious to see if I'm right, but also not ready!

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On 1/18/2018 at 3:49 PM, Bastet said:

That doesn't really fit with what Moore said in his commentary for the episode.  Moore's comments are reminiscent of the things discussed by the cylons in the "we're going to have to do something about this, perhaps sooner than later" part of the episode, and center on how the D'Anna model was pulling away from the group and their way of doing things and thus constituted a threat to the cylons' cohesive system.  And if he did it alone, rather than with the consent of the group, wouldn't he then be punished?  I mean, they're going to notice that all copies of that model are gone, and if it was a big problem for the Threes to defy the group's decision about the raiders, it would have to be a really big problem for Cavil to decide to eliminate an entire line without putting it up for a vote.

I may be wrong about Cavil doing it without a vote (it has been over a year since I rewatched it last). My impression was that Cavil LIED about voting to do it. But it is hard to imagine he could do something that drastic on his own (well, his model on their own) without some blowback. Cavil is one of the few Cylons who seems to think independently of his model. I know it's only a TV show, unlike a novel where the writer can expand in great detail. But this show's writers manage to express pretty well the concept of thousands of Cylons models sharing one consciousness, in effect, but then somehow individual units can be, well, individuals as well. I got the impression that until the destruction of the colonies, when the Cylons voted, there were seven votes, one for each model, and each model was monolithic. You may or may not be at the point where one individual Cylon votes against their entire model (that's a really, really minor spoiler, if at all). That never happened before in the past forty-five years of the skinjobs.

If you step back and look at how well this show managed to capture a completely alien culture from our own, and not have more inconsistencies, it is pretty impressive. Just imagine you having to sit down, and create an entire culture from scratch, that may look human, but evolved completely different from how Earth humans evolved. They may be similar, but they would have some elements that are completely different. I don't think it would be a easy thing to accomplish, without taking shortcuts and simply applying human reactions, or human morality, to this alien race. Deep Space Nine was pretty good at it as well, expanding these alien races we already knew (Ferengi, Bajoran, Cardassian, Klingon) and brand new ones (Vorta, Founders, Jem'Hadar) and fleshing them out, making them more than expanded-brow-ridge-of-the-week aliens. They each have their own culture and motivations, that could be quite different from humans, and were logically consistent in and of themselves.

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Oh my gods, they killed Starbuck!

Spoiler

Now, I'm both thoroughly confused and less upset than I'd otherwise be, because I know that she comes back.  I don't know how, since we saw her viper explode into tiny pieces - thus the confusion - or when, but I know she's there in the end - thus the not being as "OMG, what do you mean no more Starbuck?!" than I would be if I wasn't semi-spoiled.

I was just plugging along, enjoying getting more of Kara's backstory, and loving the scene where she, knocked out in the cockpit, was remembering the last conversation she had with her mom, and then - boom.  Wow.  That's going to be a big hole in the show.  I guess only Laura and Adama are the characters I truly cannot imagine the show going on without, but to lose Starbuck is only one level down from that.  I'd rather lose Lee than her, and I like Lee. 

Per Moore's commentary, that's not how it was scripted; the idea of paying off what they'd set up with Leoben, the symbol she'd always been drawing, etc. in terms of showing what this destiny that's been alluded to is, and how she winds up embracing it, was always the concept.  But the destiny was for her to, in the end, resist the siren call of death that she was being led to, and in doing that, she discovered something that gave them new information about their path to Earth.  But the end just wasn't coming together in a way that packed the punch they were looking for, and Moore said - in the writers' room - that what they should really do is kill her.  And, of course, everyone initially brushed that off, but then they really started getting into discussion of how that would play.  So the next thing they knew, Moore and Eick were on the phone with Katee Sackhoff, telling her they were going to kill off Kara in the next script. 

What he doesn't explain to my satisfaction/understanding, is what her destiny instead being to die in this moment means.  Okay, so she embraces her death.  That seems like a rather shitty destiny to me; she's gone, and it's not as if in dying she accomplished something that will save or even help those left behind.  Now, these commentaries are simply podcasts that he did at the time the show was airing (which is why I'm listening to them as I go along rather than waiting until the end; it's his thoughts at the time, rather than post-series reflection [which generally includes some revisionist history]).  So maybe, especially because changing the script to kill her in the end was something of a last-minute decision, he hadn't fully worked that through yet, and it will be fleshed out in future episodes as the characters deal with the aftermath.

He revealed that, once they decided to kill her, it was written that what wound up being the final conversation between Adama and Starbuck was a vicious confrontation.  There was a strategy meeting with Laura, Adama, Starbuck, Tigh, and Lee, and Kara was amusing herself watching the interaction between Adama and Laura, ultimately saying out loud, "Why don't you two get a room?"  Everyone was uncomfortable and just moved on, but afterward, Adama cornered her alone and lit into her like crazy for saying something like that in that setting.  The director opted not to shoot it, because he thought it was piling on; after three years, the emotion of Adama losing his surrogate daughter stands on its own, and it's unnecessary to add on him living with the guilt of his final words to her having been ugly.  I find myself agreeing -- yet wishing it had been filmed and then cut (and included as a deleted scene), because now I really want to see Kara entertain herself watching the Bill and Laura show and tell them to get a room.  Because someone who calls them The Old Man and Madame Prez just as often as she addresses them properly would totally do that.

The commentary ended on a funny note that gave me nice relief from the emotion of watching it again, because the final moment where Adama destroys his model ship was not scripted; they were going to fade to black on him crying after attaching the piece she'd given him.  But the actors were all upset that Katee had been written out, so as EJO was playing the emotion of that scene, he was particularly in touch with Adama's anger/frustration, and improvised destroying the ship.  Well, turns out, that wasn't a prop they'd made for the show, it was a museum-quality piece they were renting, and he just destroyed something worth a couple hundred thousand dollars.  Oops!

Anyway, going back to the wow, they seriously just killed Starbuck reaction - I am now extra curious to see the final episodes of the season, because Moore said part of the "should we really do it?" discussion of killing off Starbuck was how it could help them get where they knew they wanted to end up in the season finale.  I won't be able to get started on those until tomorrow night, dammit.

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"What the actual fuck just happened?"

That was me to my cat last night upon completing season three.

It went from Law & Order set in space to ... I don't even know what that was, with four of the final five cylons being summoned by All Along the Watchtower and Starbuck returning from the dead, by way of Earth.

At first I thought she was the fifth cylon, because how the hell else is she alive after being blown to bits, but then I dismissed that because her attitude is so different from the others.  So I don't know.  I'm glad she's back, but this is some weird shit, so I'm curious to see how it's explained.

Sam sure didn't take a lot of time between drinking himself silly over Kara's death to flirting with Seelix and frakking Tory, did he?

Back when I was pondering who among the final five D'Anna was talking to when she apologized, I thought of Tigh, because of what the cylons did to him on New Caprica, and because of the specific interaction she had with him on Galactica while making the documentary, but then I laughed at myself for thinking Saul Tigh could be a cylon.  Of course, according to Moore's commentary, they didn't decide until writing this episode - and late in that process - who the final four were, and were going back and forth right up until shooting as to whether they should really make Tigh a cylon, so back when D'Anna saw the final five, the writers didn't even know who she was looking at.

The commentaries have been a bit frightening in how much of the second half of this season was decided or altered at the last minute; I appreciate leaving room for things to evolve differently than how you'd originally seen them, but a showrunner not having a road map for the major plot points generally does not end well.  Between that and the "off the rails" in the thread title for season four, I'm nervous.

Getting back to the trial part, the trial was a zoo and I had to keep reminding myself it looks like the American judicial system, but it isn't, so all the "You can't do that!" reactions I was having needed to stop, and just accept that in the Galactica world, they can.  It was interesting to know Baltar is guilty, including of things the characters don't know about, but to know he has to be acquitted because the things they are charging him with they cannot prove.  And for Adama, who never even wanted to give Baltar a trial to begin with, to be swayed by Lee's closing argument testimony and vote to acquit.

The scene when Lee outed Laura about the chamalla, and then she outed herself about the cancer, was incredible, especially the reminder of the relationship they used to have when he was "Captain Apollo," and it turns out that part was all Mary McDonnell - brilliant.  I also love, love, love the "Get your fat, lazy ass out of that rack, Roslin" phone call.  And "How long do you have to live, Karen?" when the reporter asks Laura how long she has to live.

Moore said in his commentary the connection between Caprica Six, Athena, and Laura will continue to be explored next season, and I'm excited for that. 

I think I should re-watch the final three episodes before moving on, though, because that was a whole lot to take in.

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On ‎29‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 6:38 PM, Bastet said:

The commentaries have been a bit frightening in how much of the second half of this season was decided or altered at the last minute; I appreciate leaving room for things to evolve differently than how you'd originally seen them, but a showrunner not having a road map for the major plot points generally does not end well.  Between that and the "off the rails" in the thread title for season four, I'm nervous.

Yeah, it always worries me when I hear TPTB proudly declaring that "We don't have a plan!*" I mean, it's fine when you're watching stand up, but if you're watching a supposedly cohesive years long story, you can get wild character and/or plot swings (like, say, The Woman King or Black Market) that seem not to fit with everything else. As for Off the Rails... well, no Spoilers here, but I wouldn't get your hopes up.

* So they've been lying THE WHOLE TIME!

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*sigh* They should have just asked Jamie Bamber to gain 30 pounds before the season.

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