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.

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