Saturday, March 28, 2009

BSG: S4, Lost and BSG, and centurions


So, after having watched Razor (which was as dark as this show has ever been: not bad, but DAMN that was dark!) I'm now going at the opening of S4. And may I say that I think the first two eps were some of the best from this show EVER. Fantastic acting: better than usual from everyone, including Apollo! And everyone looks better even: better makeup, better hair, better f/x, better all around. What is it? Less mascara? Less pancake makeup? Less lipstick? It's something, and it's an improvement.

Ep 3, when Tory kills Callee, had me twisted up because it was back to child endangerment, and they really dragged those scenes out, but in the end I guess something had to give. Not liking cylon-Tory much though...

The whole storyline with the centurions and raiders being able to think for themselves is really intriguing me. I've wondered about their abilities for some time, and now I want to know more! Hopefully all the 6s were not blasted to bits by Cavill! My favourite scene in all 3 eps was the one with Sam, in his viper, unable to shoot and then seeing the raider turn over to face him... and then the red eye scan and then... all the cylons withdraw. Just like that. Awesome.

And Baltar, seeing himself? That was some high comedy right there. Baltar may be my favourite character on the whole show. Infuriating at times but dammit, he is funny. He is the one character on the show that has a little spark of fun, mischief... and it's so nice to see it there in the gloom and darkness.

Seriously, people, if you ever wondered why BSG never hit it big, this is why: it is dark, cruel and harsh. Humanity all but wiped out, on the run from an overpowering force, riven apart by interior struggles and prejudices... Violence committed against cylons and humans. People going insane, struggling to survive, torture, rape, death, murder, unfaithfulness, treason... I mean yikes, this place they call space is deep and dark and cold. Baltar is the one character allowed some levity and some jokes, and there's an occasional joke between other characters, but in essence this show is very, very, very much about death, the meaning of life, existence and death and pain and enduring. Not the make of a massively popular show. Still a very good show, just not ever going to be a massive hit.

But.

No matter how many issues I have with this show I will say this: it has some of the best female characters ever on TV. Unique, strong, complex and motivated not just by love, lust or children (as on many other shows: I'm looking at you Lost!) but by larger issues. Laura Roslin, Cain, the 6s, Sharon/Athena, D'Anna, and yes, yes Starbuck are all phenomenal characters. My favourite is Roslin though. Here are women who are allowed to be funny, cruel, despondent, afraid, brave, strong, weak... a full range of emotions without their actions being tied to a male character. They are driving forces in their own right with their own plans and destinies and frakked up minds.

If I could somehow combine the character-writing genius of BSG with the mythos/storyline of Lost, I think that would be a hell of a show. Because while Lost seems not to know what to do with female characters, BSG at times has seemed not to know what to do with its own mythos. S4 is looking fantastic so far though: I can't wait to see where it goes!

Screencaps thanks to galacticabbs.com.

Friday, March 27, 2009

He's Our You


It was great to see some more Sayid finally, and to find out how he ended up in the cuffs and on the plane. Is the lady who busted him working for Widmore I wonder? If Sayid was killing Widmore's people, I could see him wanting to "get" him, but maybe she was working for Ben without knowing it? IF Ben remembered being shot by Sayid back then, he had to have felt a bit strange about letting him back to the island so he could shoot him... Brain hurts.

The last few eps feel like we're watching the set up for something HUGE. I do not think Ben will die obviously. Getting shot is probably what is going to make Ben the Ben we know. Whoever saves him (and yea, Juliet will totally be involved in that which is why he's later obsessed with her), Ben will be set on the path to becoming devious and manipulative. (Like he wasn't already! After all he staged the burning van and all that!) Btw, if he DOES remember them all (and maybe he won't because he'll be all confused after getting fixed up), maybe one of the reasons he has always been such a lying snake who never gave a straight answer to the Losties, because he KNEW they would end up going back in time and didn't want to "taint" them with foreknowledge?

Also, Dharma has to have a real dark underbelly we're only glimpsing so far: on the surface they're all hippie-like, but then you have guys like Radzinski and Chang who certainly do NOT seem flower-powerish. Is the whole Dharma thing just a cover? And what the heck ARE the Dharmites really up to on the island? Do we even know that? What do they do except protect themselves from hostiles, cook waffles and fix cars? I still don't think we've been shown what their actual purpose on the island is, though it obviously has to do with the hatches and all that.

Btw, if I had been the lady who got to Sayid, I might have waited about an hour or so before actually revealing my true mission...

And how cool to see a Blade Runner connection!

Still, I felt this ep was a bit flat. Some of the dialogue didn't wow me. Both the scenes at the interrogation of Sayid and when Ilana was chatting Sayid up... well, they both felt a little off. Maybe I'm being nitpicky, but there you go. I'm used to really natural sounding dialogue on this show, and I didn't feel I totally got that. Even the scene with Ben and Sayid, when Ben told him he was a killer, a scene filled with subtext as we go through the episoe... even that scene felt a little off to me. But onwards and upwards... I guess we'll find out how it all comes together eventually.

Screencaps thanks to lost-media.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sawyer/Han vs Jack/Luke (and Leia too!)


I've been thinking about how juvenile and immature Jack's and Sawyer's bickering seemed in Namaste, and remembering also how Darlton have a fascination with Star Wars. They've said many times that Sawyer is like Han Solo: the rogue turned good guy. Which would make Jack the whiny Luke character I guess.

Now I know Luke and Han bicker a lot and have this ongoing feuding at the beginning of Star Wars, but eventually they come to some sort of an understanding. Yea, they still banter, but it's not really hostile anymore. They both come to accept each other, understanding that while they're very different, they also need each other and even (!) like each other. Their bickering does NOT go on and on even after stuff has happened that should have changed the way they interact.

Of course, they don't have a Kate factor or a triangle to contend with. Well, they do for a bit, but then Luke finds out about Leia being his sister and then that's off the table. Also, the way Leia is written, we as the viewers all know who she really loves from the start: Han. She is not written as a woman unable to make a choice or a woman who is fickle and can't decide who she wants to be with. So obviously Kate is no Leia. Lost has no Leia. Lost keeps killing off or dumb-ifying its potential Leia's.

How are the writers thinking this stuff through on Lost? How are we supposed to buy that the beaten down and tortured Jack suddenly just goes back to being annoying control freak Jack when he's just traveled back to the 70s? Because of Locke's suicide? And having his ass saved by Sawyer? I do. not. buy. it. Bad writing imo. And it bugs. It bugs the hell out of me.

Triangle BE GONE!!!!

Screencap thanks to Movie Caps.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sawyer and Jack, why are they still pissing each other off?


That scene between Jack and Sawyer at the end of Namaste really didn't sit well with me. I get what the writers are doing, that they want there to be tension between the people who were left on the island and those who got off, but the way it played out in that scene didn't ring true.

That Jack didn't even thank Sawyer for saving their asses? After Jack now knows that Sawyer and Juliet and the others got stuck in the past to fend for themselves, and that he still seems unable to give credit where it's due? Even when we've seen Jack broken down to nothing and regretting not listening to Locke? I thought that felt wrong. And Sawyer immediately starting to harp on Jack's failings? I figured he'd brush it off, even though it must have stung. Sawyer's response did ring more true than Jack's accusatory tone, but I would have thought that both characters would be in a different mental place than that.

And then cut to Kate on the porch. *rolls eyes*

The triangle dumbs everyone down on Lost. Apart from it, characters and storylines seem mature and well thought out. Once under the influence of the triangle however, characters and storylines go to crap. This is why I resent it so much. I'm sure a lot of shippers can't imagine the show without the Jack/Kate or Sawyer/Kate relationship but I can. I totally can. I wish it was gone. I wish we didn't have to see Sawyer and Jack act like morons in her presence. I wish we didn't have to see Kate sleep with one and then the other and then reject them and then want them and then... whatever. At this point in time, I think Kate and Jack deserve each other. They both treated Locke like garbage and now they're back on the island and don't even have the decency to tell Sawyer and the others what happened to Locke (not that they actually know what happened mind you...).

Sawyer and Jack have had great chemistry on the show when the writers allow them to interact without acting like highschool kids. It hasn't happened often. One moment was when Sawyer told Jack about meeting his dad. There have been flickers of it apart from that, but I'm getting tired of the two of them getting pitted against each other at every turn. The scene in Namaste did not ring true for the characters, at least not to me. And I'm sure we'll see more of the same crap in upcoming eps. Like Jack is still thinking HE knows best, when we just recently saw him very sure that he has no clue what he's doing.

I wish the writers would allow those two to act like brothers. Yes, it's the whole Luke/Han Solo thing, but it's getting old now. Maybe in S6 we'll see some better material for my fave relationship: Jack-Saw.

Screencaps thanks to Lost-Media.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Namaste!


And we're back on the island, in 2007 and 1977... whatever flavour you prefer.

I wasn't too crazy about this ep, it felt like a bridge to me, a way to get us onto the rest of the season, but I guess that's ok too. And there was even a bit of Jack's dad walking and talking and showing off photos just like he's any old living person. Kind of like Locke? Or what? And how interesting that Sun and Lapidus saw him right after spotting something: a polar bear or perhaps Smokey?

Jack and Sawyer still don't get along. Kate is still all moony-eyes and staring at Sawyer or staring at Jack... blah! After the way she talked to and treated Locke when he came a-calling, I am just not able to look at her character the same anymore. She was nasty and mean to him, and now she's back in Dharmatown where Locke had promised Sawyer he'd bring her. Chew on that Kate!

Looks like they're setting up some relationship/murder attempt with the Ben/Sayid thing. I'm guessing Sayid doesn't feel that Ben should necessarily be allowed to grow into the Ben we all know, so that should be interesting to see. And what's up with Faraday not being there "anymore"? Eh? Did he go back to the mainland? There was Ethan, and Radzinsky pre-button pushing... so many little bits thrown at us, but no real meat this week, imo.

Best line of the ep: Hurley of course. "Uh... what?" Hee!

Ooookay, just read over at EW that Elizabeth M, aka Juliet, has been cast in an upcoming series starting next season. So yea, she's going to die. Die die die. :( I really hope I'm wrong, but the fact that she was happy with Sawyer and now Kate's back and the Love Triangle from Hell just won't die... yea, she's a gone one way or another. Dammit.

Screencaps thanks to Lost-Media.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

That's the man I want to be.

Just watched Crossroads 2.

Whoa.

Tigh, Chief, Anders and Tory. Cylons. And they know Dylan's All Along The Watchtower. So they're from Earth? OUR Earth.

That scene ROCKED. Chief's calm, Tigh's total disbelief and then the best line of the series:

My name is Saul Tigh. I am an officer in the colonial fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be.
Wow. I was blown away. I have loved the character of Saul Tigh from the start, and that scene was frakking amazing from him. Top notch stuff. Finally!



Before that was Baltar's trial with Apollo making a nuisance of himself and Bamber slogging through the scenes while getting out acted at every turn by the wonderful Mark Sheppard as Lampkin. I hope he stays in the cast. Fantastic actor.

But yes, even with the wtf moment of Kara's return and the weird shared visions/dreams of Caprica, Athena and Roslin, that scene with the 4 cylons (who is the 5th? is it Ellen?) was the best, the highlight of the show so far for me. That's the man I want to be. A cylon making a choice? No, Saul Tigh the person, the individual making the choice of what he wants to be, based on his own experiences and feelings. This is what it comes down to: not "race", not programming, not destiny but choice. What does it matter if you are a cylon or a human? What is the difference? Truly, to me, this is what the essence of the show has to be about. Without their resurrection ability, the cylons would be human for all intents and purposes. Can these 4 be resurrected? Somehow I doubt it.

So is the idea that they come from our time, our Earth and that they are here, now? And if that is the case, then what will the fleet find there when they arrive? I guess Kara will know...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I love Helo


Yes I do. What a fantastic character. Total stand-up guy who is willing to go the extra mile when he believes something Wrong is happening. Like when he killed the infected cylons or insisted on trusting Sharon/Athena or like when he took on the Bad Doctor in the most recent ep I watched. Tahmoh Penikett is a very good looking guy, but as the show goes on, it seems to me his acting and the stories he's getting are picking up too. Same goes for Grace Park as Athena/Boomer/8. All the episodes involving their heartbreak over Hera and then reclaiming her showcased some great acting. And intitally I wasn't so blown away by her, but it seems that once she went cylon, the character and the acting improved. The scene where Helo kills her so she can download to the cylon ship was riveting. I'm hoping they keep throwing these two some strong storylines.

I'll mention some more positive thoughts on BSG, even though the last couple of eps I watched (The Woman King and A Day In The Life) have actually been borderline boring.

My other favourite relationships on the show are Roslin/Adama and Adama/Tigh. Both are complex and underplayed by the actors so they feel more realistically portrayed than some other relationships where there is excessive emoting. For example, if I have to see Starbuck and Apollo make googly-eyes at each other over someone else's shoulder again I think I may stick pins in my eyes. Baltar's relationship with whatever is going on in his head is rather well-played too, as is anything Anders does. I'm no huge Starbuck fan, but I love Anders: there's something solid and real about the character. I keep wishing for that hookup with a cylon 3... but I'm guessing I'll be out of luck.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BSG: Temple of Five - Awesomeness!


Oh boy, I love the storyline with the Temple of Five. Chief all weirded out and psychic (or cylon-y???!! I do not wish to be spoiled!) was awesome. And seeing Anders telling Apollo to basically stuff it and stay stuffed? Fabulous. In fact, I think I want an entire episode of nothing but Anders kicking Apollo's ass. Which he totally could, being about twice the size. I'd also pay good money to see Xena-cylon 3 paired up with Anders. Not going to happen I guess, but hey, a girl can dream.

The storyline with Baltar, 3's suicides and the hybrid and the whole Eye of Jupiter thing: more awesomeness. If I were to bet on two people being cylons at this point, it would be Chief and Ellen. Ellen because she was written out and I think she has to return, and the only way that can happen is if she's a cylon. Chief because of his strong reaction to the Temple of Five.

Interesting that while the humans see the temple as connected to the 13th tribe, 3 thinks she'll see the five "hidden" cylons there. So, were the 13th tribe cylons? Or were the cylons/five the original gods of humanity? Like Cylon Zeus, Cylon Hera etc?

Also can NOT wait for what Sharon will do now that she knows Hera is alive and held by the cylons. Hopefully they can get her out of the shitty daycare the cylons seem to be keeping her in.

I now also realize that it's not just Apollo who bugs the crap out of me, it's Starbuck too. Seriously, these two characters are written as such unpleasant, self-righteous, self-serving, arrogant JERKS that I have no idea whether the writers actually think I should like them or hate their guts. I hate their guts btw, just in case that wasn't clear...

Finally, where the heck do the cylons buy their beds? First Baltar's monstrosity, and then this hilarious, gigantic cradle for Hera!

Monday, March 09, 2009

BSG: Unfinished business. Worst episode ever.

What an utter load of complete crap. I think this is possibly one of the worst episodes of any show I've ever watched. What the hell was that? An ep of As the Battlestar Turns? Soapy, adolescent, poorly written dreck. Yikes.

Starbuck and Apollo's "love story" and their "settling" for their respective spouses... and then fighting in the boxing ring? Until they're friends? And the whole shouting in the night that they love each other? Painful. Seriously, rage-inducingly painful. At least I now know that I find Jamie Bamber un-sexy. That "love scene" was ridiculous. There was nothing there. Just... Ken doll and Starbuck doll. What a waste of time: mine and theirs.

I can't believe someone made an episode of that. I guess there must be shippers that lapped it up, but really, wtf were the writers on the show thinking? Was there really no other story involving say, cylons or Earth or New Caprica or something that could have made the grade instead?

Lost Women

This is a subject that has been getting me cranky for a while. Mainly since Danielle Rousseau was so summarily killed off. I know we're seeing her again in a way this season, and her French crew and all that, and I know the actress supposedly wanted off the show... but still. Even before she was killed off, she was underused and eventually made into a moron. Seriously: after we've seen her tough as nails and insisting Ben lies all the time she all of a sudden takes his advice and listens to him? And she gets killed. Not that Ben set it up, supposedly, but still. Rousseau doing anything Ben told her was not believable.

So who are the women of Lost and how have they been lost? (Oh yea, bad word play just keeps coming!)

  • Shannon - I detested her at the start of the show. She was whiny, bratty, useless... though she was eventually made somewhat human when we saw her backstory with Boone. Then there was that forced love story interlude with Sayid (who supposedly only loved Nadia..)... less said the better. Shannon thus suffered one fate of women on Lost: to be made an appendage of a male character and then killed off.

  • Libby - had some really interesting hints of backstory with Hurley and Desmond. Seemed like she'd have something to do with the overall plan of everything. Then she hooked up with Hurley and was killed off. Hooking up = increased chance of death for women on Lost island?

  • Ana-Lucia - Started out kind of interesting with all her strong connections to Jack's dad. The idea of pairing her with Jack fizzled before it was even put on paper it seemed. Instead she had a quickie with Sawyer, shot Shannon and then she was killed by Michael. Whatever interesting connections and story she had was gone. I loved seeing her back in S5, and I know her DUI was a factor in her being written out ... but still: good actress, interesting character, killed off.

  • Kate - started out interesting, but has become more and more annoying a character as the show progresses. Her scene with Locke off the island when she told him he just wanted to go back to the island because he hadn't been loved by someone, or had never loved anyone... well, that was so unnecessarily cruel and bitchy that I now can barely stand to look at Kate. And forcing Kate into the STUPID love triangle has made her seem callous, fickle, silly, high-schoolish, immature and plain dumb. I know people can love/be attracted to more than one person... but the way Kate's been written is just lame. And getting lamer. Her brief fling with motherhood was ok, but she's still being forced into the triangle crap. I love Jack, I pine for Sawyer, I sleep with one, make cow-eyes at the other... *yawn* Her constant whininess and neediness is wearing thin. Grow the f- up Kate! Evangeline is an ok actress, but the writing for Kate has to allow the character to grow the hell up some time soon. Having her jump into bed with Jack and then treat him like crap the next day is another example. Maybe there's some circumstances behind that, because really, the whole "giving up my kid makes me horny" was totally not a good storyline for Kate imo.

  • Sun - is getting to kick some ass at last. Or so I thought for a while anyway. Then I thought she'd turned psycho. Then I thought she might be working for/with Widmore. Whatever she is up to, she seems capable of independent thought and action, and I hope we get to see that she does not listen to everything Ben says. She's been set up as a rather strong and motivated character this season, but then she seemed to drop a lot of that drive when she agreed to go to the island. I hope we get to see more of her and that she a) stays alive and b) doesn't become a damsel in distress but a character who gets to drive some of the action.

  • Alex - Strongest death scene ever on the show. I wish they'd kept her on, but at least she got to go out in a totally powerful scene that had some meaning to the story of Lost.

  • Rousseau - never utilized by tptb to full potential imo. She seemed so promising with her knowledge of the island and the others (not to mention her maps), then disappeared or was reduced to scenery. Not using her more was a big mistake imo, and one that can't be corrected by filling in her backstory. And having her bite it because she listened to Ben? Insulting. Once she found Alex it was like she became a very foolish woman instead of a hardcore survivalist. Lame. Mira Furlan wanted off the island supposedly, but maybe that was because she too realized she was never going to get the screentime her character deserved?

  • Rose - Good character, when she's used. And her relationship with Bernard has been well-played by the actors and the writers imo. Too bad she's almost never around...

  • Penny - Good actress, good character, almost no screentime. Her relationship with Desmond seems to be one of the few happy ones on Lost, but her screentime is so minimal it's hard to say what Penny herself is really like. We just know her as Desmond's true love. I'm hoping to get some Widmore-Penny scenes soon.

  • Charlotte - Criminally underutilized. She's an anthropologist who finds a polar bear skeleton with a dharma collar in the Tunisian desert. She speaks Korean, probably reads hieroglyphs, and was born on the island. She was rather kickass and devious when she first appeared. Then she was reduced to making googly eyes at Daniel, bleeding through her nose and dying before she got to do anything of importance on the island, except mention the well and "scary old man Daniel". Kiddie Charlotte will in no way make up for the dropping of Charlotte.

  • Mrs Hawking - I love Fionnula Flanagan, but her Magical Old Lady character on Lost is not doing a whole lot for me. She's too much: too much accent, too much school-marm hair and clothes, too much mystical exposition. She was good when she was in Desmond's past/time travel episodes, but the way she is written and played doesn't do much for me.

  • Juliet - Strongest female character as of right now. Kicks ass, shoots well, knows Latin, fixes dinner and cars, delivers babies and keeps her word. Also loyal and helpful, no-nonsense, non-whiny and generally a real human being. When she started out on the show I didn't like her much. The forced coupling with Jack did neither of them any favours. She was devious and strong and mysterious at all times... but I also think that her off-island (and on-island) backstory is one of the strongest on the show. That whole ep when Alpert recruited her to come to the island was a classic. Mitchell is getting better and better, or maybe she's just growing on me. The pairing with Sawyer was nicely done, but I hope she isn't reduced to appendage status and being either happy in love or upset that "her man" may be pining for Freckles. I do not want to see her reduced that way. And I especially hope she is not killed off just to take the pressure off the Sawyer/Kate relationship. Juliet has earned a place on the island as her own person: not girlfriend, not love interest. And her connection to the fertility/pregnancy issues is so strong I really hope we get to see that pay off in the future (or past!).

  • Claire -I have always found the character very bland. Whatever happened to her last season may eventually reveal her to be more interesting I guess, but other than that I really don't think she has been a very strong or exciting person. She was the resident baby-momma, and her scenes with Charlie in the early seasons were great moments of sweetness and light, but beyond that I really never thought she added much.

It seems to me that women on Lost often start out as strong, interesting characters in their own right but are then reduced to barely-there status or appendages to one of the male characters: whether as girlfriends or love/lust interest. This was very apparent in the case of Charlotte and Rousseau, and the deterioration of Kate over the seasons shows this off too. How female characters are written and dealt with on the show is imo one of its weak spots. That Kate is one of the lead characters helps, but I just wish she wasn't such a pathetic, whiny mess a lot of the time, and that her main purpose often seems to be whether she will hook up with/support Jack or hook up with/support Sawyer. Juliet is very good right now and Sun has a lot of promise. I hope neither is dumbed down or killed off anytime soon!

One of Lost's strengths is that they cast very good actors and actresses. So IMO the problem with the female characters is not bad actresses. Everyone on the show has been good to great. It's just how they are treated by the writing that bugs the heck out of me sometimes. Not all the time, because there are bright spots for sure and I know I'm kind of ranting and exaggerating the badness of it here... but to me, this is one of the recurring issues I have with the show. The fate of Charlotte this season and Rousseau last season have just brought it home full force.

Screencaps and images thanks to lost-media.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

BSG: Argh


More frustration with the episode about cleaning house after the occupation. Killing those who cooperated with the cylons: I knew that was coming, and I understand the reality of stuff like this. But why the heck would Gaeta not have told people about being the inside guy sooner? Like, right away? Talked to chief or something... And angsty Starbuck makes me itch. I don't know if it's the writing or the acting. I get Tigh's pain and anguish, and I know Starbuck was brainwashed and violated too, yet she really did not "do" very much to help liberate New Caprica. She held hands with a cylon and fell for his manipulative story. That's what she did and that's why she is somehow better than Gaeta? Yes, self-loathing and all that... but it just seems to play out poorly.

At least Fat Apollo lost the Fat. What a ridiculous storyline that was.

LOVE Baltar with the cylons and the talk of the "final five". Intriguing stuff. And Baltar shielding his eyes in the presence of a naked 8? LOL! Even when he's been a total plague on humanity I can't help but love Baltar just a little bit.

This show continues to alternate between brilliance and suckitude in the same episode. If I was looking for a reason why the show never caught on with a larger audience, that may be one reason. Another is the almost unrelenting darkness of its tone and subject matter. I don't mind the darkness, really, but I know shows like that are probably a harder sell than something lighter. After having watched 6 episodes into S3, I can say that I don't think this is the best sci-fi show ever. I'd put TNG and Firefly ahead of it for sure. It's good when it's good, but when it's bad it's infuriatingly bad. I love the depth of it with the ideas about humanity, what it means to love and be human, how politics work and the sense of history in it: Kobol, Earth as myth, pantheism vs monotheism and all that. But it is certainly an unevenly told story.

Plus I still don't get the Jamie Bamber attraction and I'm starting to not feel the Starbuck attraction either. Probably makes me a heretic, but there you go. Any scene with Tigh, Adama, Roslin, Zarek, Baltar and even Chief is superior to any scene with Apollo or Starbuck imo. Guess I'm just ornery that way.

Screencaps thanks to galacticabbs.com

Saturday, March 07, 2009

My favourite romantic Lost moment, ever


It's the scene with Juliet and Sawyer by the submarine. Just such a sweet and nice scene. I'm totally a Sawliet shipper now. LOL.

[Moments later, Sawyer finds Juliet looking out over the water on the submarine dock. The Galaga is docked there presently.]

SAWYER: I bought us two weeks. Horace said we can wait for the next sub. Any luck, Locke'll be back by then.

[Sawyer sits down on some crates.]

JULIET: And then what?

SAWYER: What do you mean, "Then what"?

JULIET: [Turning up to look at him] Locke said he was leaving to save us. The flashes have stopped. They're over. No more bloody noses. We're already saved. That sub behind you brought me here. I've been trying to get off of this island for more than three years, and now I've got my chance.

[Sawyer looks devastated.]

JULIET: I'm going to leave.

SAWYER: [Sighs] You do realize it's 1974, that whatever it is you think you're going back to... it don't exist yet.

JULIET: [Wiping her face] It's not a reason not to go.

SAWYER: Well, what about me? You really gonna leave me here with the mad scientist and Mr. "I Speak to Dead People"?

[Juliet smiles.]

SAWYER: And Jin, who's a hell of a nice guy but not exactly the greatest conversationalist.

JULIET: [Smiling] You'll be fine.

SAWYER: Maybe... but who's gonna get my back?

[Juliet looks up at him, with a little bit of touched surprise at his sincerity. He disengages with a self-conscious smile and a sigh.]

SAWYER: Come on. Just give me two weeks, that's all I'm asking. Two weeks.

JULIET: All right. Two weeks.

[Sawyer smiles. So does Juliet, looking away. Sawyer looks back out over the water.]


Screencaps from LaFleur thanks to lost-media.

BSG: Exodus 2


Wow, this show is really frustrating to watch at times. In the same episode there are moments of absolute brilliance like Tigh killing Ellen, and absolute dreck like every moment of Fat Apollo. The scene with Galactica entering New Caprica's atmosphere only to FTL jump out of there right before crashing was awesome. Beautiful. But then we have crap like the extended torture/mind-messing with Leoben and Kara when she has to kiss him and kill him and tell him she loves him? Almost unbearable to watch, especially as the whole scene plays out in front of a little kid.

And then more child pain! Yay! As Hera is found surrounded by horror and dead people, only to get picked up by Baltar and then a cylon. And then Baltar is thinking of shooting the cylon while she's holding the baby? W.T.F? At least this episode got everyone off the hellhole of New Caprica, land of torture, child endangerment, rape, brainwashing and general nazi-ness. Now if we can only get Apollo out of that ridiculous fat suit/makeup, things will improve...

Screencap thanks to galacticabbs.com

Anubis or Taweret?


That statue... I just can't stop thinking about it and I bet a lot of people can't! I'm hoping for an Old Egyptian flashback. If Alpert is there wearing an ankh and a cobra crown, I think I'll just about explode! Could ancient Egyptians have used the island as a real-life heaven? Send a dead body there (after taking "good care" of it ) and have it resurrected? Or did they base their myths on the island? You know, dead people going in a boat to "heaven" where they lived again?

getlostpodcast.com has this great image:

And a there's a very good discussion about it there too.

Including the question of whether it's not Anubis but Taweret, the pregnant hippo:

From Wikipedia about Anubis:

Anubis is the Greek name[1] for a jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife in Egyptian mythology. In the ancient Egyptian language, Anubis is known as Inpu, (variously spelled Anupu, Ienpw etc.)[2]. The oldest known mention of Anubis is in the Old Kingdom pyramid texts, where he is associated with the burial of the king.[3] At this time, Anubis was the most important god of the Dead but he was replaced during the Middle Kingdom by Osiris.[4]

He takes various names in connection with his funerary role, such as He who is upon his mountain, which underscores his importance as a protector of the deceased and their tombs, and the title He who is in the place of embalming, associating him with the process of mummification.[3] Like many ancient Egyptian deities, Anubis assumes different roles in various contexts, and no public procession in Egypt would be conducted without an Anubis to march at the head.

And Taweret:
In Egyptian mythology, Taweret (also spelt Taurt, Tuat, Taueret, Tuart, Ta-weret, Tawaret, and Taueret, and in Greek, Θουέρις "Thoeris" and Toeris). Her name means (one) who is great. When paired with another deity, she became the demon-wife of Apep, the original god of evil. Since Apep was viewed as residing below the horizon, and only present at night, evil during the day then was envisaged as being a result of Taweret's maleficence.

As the counterpart of Apep, who was always below the horizon, Taweret was seen as being the northern sky, the constellation roughly covering the area of present-day Draco, which always lies above the horizon. Thus Taweret was known as mistress of the horizon, and was depicted as such on the ceiling of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings.

In their art, Taweret was depicted as a composite of all the things the Egyptians feared, the major part of her being hippopotamus, since this is what the constellation most resembled, with the arms and legs of a lioness, and with the back of a crocodile. On occasion, later, rather than having a crocodile back, she was seen as having a separate, small crocodile resting on her back, which was thus interpreted as Sobek, the crocodile-god, and said to be her consort.

Early during the Old Kingdom, the Egyptians came to see female hippopotamuses as less aggressive than the males, and began to view their aggression only as one of protecting their young and being good mothers, particularly since it is the males that are territorially aggressive. Consequently, Taweret became seen, very early in Egyptian history, as a deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant women wore amulets with her name or likeness to protect their pregnancies. Her image could also be found on knives made from hippopotamus ivory, which would be used as wands in rituals to drive evil spirits away from mothers and children.

In most subsequent depictions, Taweret was depicted with features of a pregnant woman. In a composite addition to the animal-compound she was also seen with pendulous breasts, a full pregnant abdomen, and long, straight human hair on her head.

As a protector, she often was shown with one arm resting on the sa symbol, which symbolized protection, and on occasion she carried an ankh, the symbol of life, or a knife, which would be used to threaten evil spirits.

Both sound intriguing in the context of Lost and the island!


Friday, March 06, 2009

LaFleur


Finally watched it! And I am definitely on the "I love Juliet with Sawyer" side. Like many others have stated elsewhere, they just seem evenly matched and like they make each other way happier than Kate and Sawyer ever did. Plus, I pretty much detest Kate. Her bitchy "you've never been loved!" speech to Locke last week pretty much capped that for me. Evangeline doesn't suck or anything, but Kate is getting more and more annoying as this show goes on. I really, really, really hope they keep Juliet and Sawyer together, even if there will definitely be some Kate-gravel thrown in the machinery. No more damn love-triangle/square/octagons!

Really liked the ep. Alpert in his hotsy goodness (eyeliner guy lol!), statue!!!, dharma fence, truce, Jin with long hair, Sawyer being all responsible and that... loved all that. And Miles sticking the knife in making fun of the "go to the Orchid, go to the beach, go to the Orchid..." was hilarious too.

I wonder if a lot of this is just tptb's way of showing us the history of Dharma? Will the losties just magically skip out at some point soon? Because I am thinking they all need to reunite at some point. Btw, where the heck is Sayid? Not in Dharma-days, not seen with Locke either... did he get his own timeline? And dammit! Couldn't we have stayed just a little longer and gotten a better look at that statue!

I really have to emphasize how much I hate the Kate/Sawyer/Jack thing. It needs to stop. Now. I've hated that crap since it started and I want it to just go away. It feels fake, forced, soapy, stupid and gratuitous. And since Kate is getting more and more annoying as the show goes on, I'm hoping she either ends up all alone or with Ben. Just please please please: do not kill off Juliet to remove a "complication"! She is hands down the best female character on the show: non-whiny, capable, human, tough, loyal, funny... Just don't frakking kill her off like all the other women have been killed off.

Screencaps from LaFleur thanks to lost-media.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

BSG: Suicide bombings and occupation and child endangerment oh my!

Battlestar Galactica remains a flawed beauty to me. It has HUGE strengths in its storytelling, mainly how it shows the inner workings of politics and in its philosophical questions about what it means to be human. Yet it also has flaws. Too often it seems to me, the characters are made to act in a certain way just to serve some new storyline. Take the Kara/Kasey/Leoben thing on New Caprica. WHY would Starbuck not be nice to a kid? If she was, it wouldn't mean she had to accept that Leoben was telling her the truth about anything. She wouldn't have to sleep with him or think Kasey really was her child. She could just be nice to the kid because she's a kid. And even more whacked: Why would she hold the psycho cylon's hand after Kasey falls and hurts her head?

Yes, I get it, she's feeling guilty, broken down in captivity, brainwashed by Leoben yadda yadda. But to me, that scene when she held Leoben's hand was just FAKE for the character of Starbuck. I bought that she would soften against the child, but I did not buy her feeling closer to Leoben. Not her.

The politics of the occupation however played out really, really well. Baltar's deterioration, his vain attempts to resist when the execution list had to be signed, his selfishness and lack of courage, his self-loathing... all that was beautifully done. So was Gaeta's resistance from within: I totally buy that Gaeta would play the double agent. Why the Chief would think he should be killed as a collaborator after providing them with vital information I do NOT understand however. And Zarek, lovely, funny, scary Zarek. Brilliant writing choice to have him resist the cylons even though Baltar wouldn't. That also rang true. His scenes with Roslin at the execution site were some of the best. And Roslin's resistance to the cylons and to suicide bombings, and her ambivalence towards that tactic was also brilliantly done.

I do wonder what the cylon's "plan" was when they came to New Caprica. Co-existence? Domination? What? They just expected to be accepted by the humans as overlords? They sure seemed unable to handle the whole situation. The intro of the show says they have a plan, but they sure sucked at planning when they went all nazi on Caprica.

And Fat Apollo. Please. Just no. I thought he was the weakest part of this show right from the beginning, but putting him in fat-face-makeup and padding his uniform... *rolls eyes* Just sad. And dumb. I hope he joins Weight Watchers ASAP and they drop that whole thing.

I love Tigh. He might have been a grumpy old man before detention, but having his eye put out pretty much made him the grumpiest old man ever. Great character, and awesome illustration of a fundamentalist who doesn't give a crap as long as he feels he's serving the ultimate purpose. I can't wait to see what happens to Ellen. After sleeping with Cavill, death may come as a relief I guess. Those "sex scenes" were some of the squickiest ever. Eeech!

What really made me angry at the episodes Precipice and Exodus 1 was the wanton and constant child endangerment. Calley being ripped away from her screaming baby, Hera being under threat, Kasey used as a pawn by Leoben... ffs, just make it stop! I have a really hard time with a) rape scenes of any kind, and b) scenes of children being in pain, killed or otherwise messed with. These two episodes were just overloaded with that stuff. Ugh. Yes I know there's an element of realism in that, but it still felt gratuitous.

Also, loving Anders, Helo and Sharon Agathon more and more as the show goes on. But the Roslin/Zarek scenes at that gravel pit: those were gold. Pure gold.

Screencaps thanks to galacticabbs.com.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Most adorable cast: wherever and whenever

These pics from DarkUfo are just too cute.


I want a gig working on a tropical island too!

Source: MSN.

BSG: Reloaded/Lay Down Your Burdens


Just watched the S2 season finale, Lay Down Your Burdens. Very good stuff. Loved the skip ahead to "One Year Later", since it set up a new world with new stuff to explore without a lot of effort. And I LOVE Cavil. I kind of knew he was a cylon when he was counseling Tyrol, but the scene when he meets himself in the brig was priceless: "Oh."

All the stuff with Apollo/Starbuck bores me though. I don't give a crap what their problem is and their whole "I love someone else but yet I will make googly eyes at you and be annoyed if you make out with someone!". Blech. The romance with Roslin and Adama is way more entertaining. I'm betting they were sleeping together way before that election happened. Definitely an intimate feel to their relationship and I love how the actors play that without hitting us with anvils like they do in the Apollo/Starbuck storyline.

And Rockstar President Baltar... my oh my. I'm hoping he gets his come-uppance. And yet, I hope he stays alive. He is too entertaining to kill off for sure.

I'm gearing up for S3! Maybe I'll manage to just catch up to S4 by the time it's finished!

Screencaps thanks to galacticabbs.com.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Locke's karma?


When Sawyer killed Locke's father (a murder sort of set up by Locke himself at the behest of Alpert), Sawyer used a chain to strangle the man to death. In this latest ep, Locke is killed by Ben: strangled with an electrical cord. Karma? Writers reusing a brutal way of murder? I don't know.

I do know that O'Quinn ought to get an Emmy nom for his work in this episode. His scene when he was about to kill himself was so well played. Storyline-wise, I wondered why he didn't trust more in Alpert's and Christian's predictions that he would have to die. But acting-wise, the scene was flawless.

Screencap from Fishbiscuit's excellent recap over at DocArzt.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

BSG: Downloaded



YAY! BSG truly returned to greatness with this episode. Sharon's baby is born, and taken away. Doc Cottle gets to show his stuff. And we get sarcastic, smoking Baltar in Caprica-6's head. It doesn't get much better than that. Amazing stuff from the Baltar/Boomer/Caprica triangle, with Xena thrown in for good measure. I abso-frakking-lutely love it. Nothing plays to Baltar's strenghts as much as to drip with sarcasm and . Beautiful stuff. Can't wait to see where the two renegade cylons end up now!

The storyline with Sharon's and Helo's baby was crushing to watch. I don't like to get too personal here, but I've sat in the hospital while my own preemie baby lay in a plastic box and seeing Helo and Sharon like that had me totally riveted. I'm glad the baby lived, but I really hope there is some kind of happy-ish ending there eventually. And Doc Cottle's anguish when he had to be the one to sell the whole "your baby died" line to the couple was wrenching. I'm sure he had to smoke at least one extra pack that day...

Thinking about this ep over night, it struck me that the imagery used for the birth of Hera and the re-birth of Caprica and Boomer was so similar. Hera screaming, then in her plastic box, mom and dad looking on, her tiny hand grasping Sharon's finger. Caprica and Boomer waking up, gasping for breath and disoriented in their tubs of goo, surrounded by the other cylons, Boomer's scream... Is Hera's birth another kind of download? Isn't every birth a kind of download? Every baby's brain already shaped by DNA...? Love these kinds of angles of the show.

Screencaps thanks to galacticabbs.com.

Battlestar Galactica: flawed beauty


So, yeah, I'm watching BSG. Not in real time since I totally missed the event when the show started, but I've got the DVDs and at this point I'm almost to the end of S2.

Season 1 was amazing I thought. There was a desperation and an urgency to every episode, with humanity all but wiped out and on the run, struggling to stay alive and stay ahead of the cylons while also struggling not to lose hope and remain human, even in the face of the overpowering cylons. There was also some ingenious ideas presented: cylons who look human and exist in many copies. Cylons who can not really die, because when they are killed their consciousness/soul/memories is "downloaded" into a new body. Yet these cylons are also individuals, and are able to somehow make their own choices (as in the Boomer/Sharon storyline).

I love the retro-feel of the tech with the telephones, the dials and buttons, the clunkiness of it all. I love that the colonials believe in many gods and I love that they all have ancient Greek names. I love the hints and teasers that point to Earth as the place of origin, though this fact seems to have been forgotten by humanity. (Kind of echoing Asimov's ideas in the Foundation series.)

There are fantastic characters and actors: Dr Baltar with his "imaginary" cylon is perhaps one of the most original characters. Ambiguous in his motivations and his actions and even in the sense of "wtf is he"? Adama, Tigh, Doc Cottle, Roslin... those are perhaps my favourite characters. And Helo. He kind of seems to grow on me.

S1 blew me away pretty much. And then came S2.

What happened? After the horrors of the nazi/fascist Pegasus being more or less sorted out, the show seems to have lost its focus and become something of a soap opera that just happens to be set in space. Apollo's love trouble, Starbuck cries/drinks/fights, who is Dualla dating?, and so on. Sure, there's still some parts of the driving story peeking through, but the show definitely lost steam. I still have 3 eps to go so I hope it picks up the pace and gets better.

My main problems with BSG have to do with 1 character. Apollo. I know Jamie Bamber has fans and big arms, but woooo boy!, the guy really does not have all the acting chops required to pull off all the storylines thrown at him. In one of the S2 eps Apollo has several scenes with Zarek, and the actor who plays Z just acts the crap out of the every word and facial expression while Bamber stands there with his 1 facial expression and his usual fly-boy demeanour. Appreciation of an actor is a personal preference, and I really do not get it with Bamber. At times he looks like a pencil-neck with inflated arms, other times like a better-looking copy of Tom Cruise. Other times he just looks pissed off or constipated. That's pretty much his stock expression. And OMG the whole storyline when he's in Cloud 9 and terrorists have taken people hostage there s.u.c.k.e.d. Rarely have I seen a collision of such a poor storyline with such a poor actor. He manages to overpower a terrorist in the bathroom. Takes his gun. Then goes out in the main area with the terrorist as "hostage" and thinks that the rest of the bad guys will let everyone go. Yea. Except of course they go "if you shoot our guy, we'll shoot your girlfriend". Somehow Apollo didn't figure that out? WTF? So he gets to give up his gun and eventually gets shot in the chest by Starbuck. She almost kills him: better luck next time!

Starbuck is problematic too. She starts out all strong and kickass and Dirty Harry. Which of course can't last, because we all need character development. Especially kickass females need to be shown to at least possess a weak side, even if they can kill cylons AND fly raiders like nobody's business. I get that. But to have her reduced to drink/cry/drink/cry/fight/cry/drink is just sad. I'm guessing she eventually does go and save her man on Caprica and maybe then she'll be allowed to be kickass again, but who knows. Sackhoff is a better actress than Bamber, but she's showy and sometimes I have a problem with showy actors who always do the big gestures and emphasize all the emotions to the nth degree. Still, I'd pick her over Apollo Adama any day of the week.

My favourite part of the BSG-verse is really the question it poses about what it means to be human. If you made a cylon/robot/android and it looked so human that it was barely possible to tell it from a real human, and if it was capable of emotion and growth and learning... then how is it different from a human? If it can even reproduce with a human being. If it can love and hate, choose sides, choose its own fate, if it's not just a pre-programmed machine, if it can choose whether to betray, seek revenge or forgive; if it is capable of all this... then how is it different from a human being? One of the most gut-wrenching scenes in the show come when the interrogator from The Pegasus is going to rape Sharon. (The blonde cylon on the Pegasus has already been revealed to have been raped and tortured.) Helo and Tyrol stop it, but afterwards Admiral Cain says that you can't rape a machine. But of course you can: if the machine looks and acts, feels and reacts and even feels pain like a human being... then how is it not rape? And really, in the end, the episiode shows us that committing the rape doesn't say so much about the victim and whether it is human or machine, but it does say a whole lot about the perpetrator.

Also, the idea of reincarnation through technology is fascinating. Knowledge and memory lives on, no life is "wasted", even death becomes a learning experience. Yet, maybe, it also makes the cylons less able to care about life? Maybe this is the thing that makes them less human than the real human beings: living forever just changes your perspective.

I'm hoping the show comes back to greatness. Hopefully with Lucy Lawless in attendance. It was a real treat to see her on the show, complete with dark hair and her own accent! I still miss Xena, dammit!

Screencaps thanks to galacticabbs.com.