Like most fans, I eagerly awaited BSG's new season to start. However, the luck would have it that on the day the season premiered, I endured an unfortunate house break-in. ::sigh::
Perhaps because of that, my reception of the first two episodes was less than what I had anticipated.
The followings are my runaway scattered thoughts...
"He That Believeth in Me"
"Six of One"
- My favorite line of this episode was Lee's "I took them off for the wrong reason."
I was blown away by what's been said here, and the subtext behind these simple words. Just like that, I see Lee's maturity has reached a new level.
These words showed Lee had surpassed the stage of seeking approval from his father.
At this point, Lee had no way of knowing his father had offered mea culpa by casting that deciding vote. Bill never admitted he was wrong in front of Lee. But it didn't matter to the son that much any more -- Lee knew he was right and he didn't need his father's opinion to validate him any longer.
With these words, Lee acknowledged it was *wrong* to take off his wings, i.e. stop being who he was, just because his father called him names and questioned his integrity. To me, this was a HUGE moment for the character that bespoke a never before seen self-awareness. When Lee chose to keep his wings off for real, it was without a doubt he did so in pursuit of discovering who he is, and not because he was in a fit of pique.
With these words, Lee came off as the "bigger" person and the clear "winner" in the scene with his father (Bill, your son can admit his mistake, why can't you?)
This line also explained why Lee seemed at peace with his father so soon after papadama called him a liar, and a coward. It was evident Lee was able to look beyond the angry words exchanged between them. When Lee bypassed all the hurt, what was left was the inherent love he had for his dad.
Come to think of it, Lee loved Kara in much the same way: despite the things she had done to him, his love for her was constant. That's what love should be I think: not always dependent on what the other person has done in return...
- As much as I loved that first quote, in the same scene, I had reservations regarding another line from Lee: "If my brother had climbed out of that cockpit, does it matter he is a cylon?"
First of all, the words felt awkward despite the superior deliverance.
In my opinion, it was all wrong for Lee to use "my brother" instead of "Zak" in front of his Dad. I don't think family members talk like that. After all, Bill knew his younger son by name, not merely as "Lee's brother."
Secondly, and more importantly, I'm troubled by the underlying implication here: Lee now is prepared to accept and even *love* a Cylon!
In the back of my mind, I can see the show ends with humans and cylons coexist, and I don't object in the end, characters like Lee sees and accepts cylons as another sentient race instead of mere machines, a.k.a. soulless tools. But at this stage, I think it's too soon for the character to come to such realization, let alone voice it. I admit I saw a spoiler footage of this before the season started, and I was okay with it back then. What I didn't realize was this line was spoken within the first 30 minutes after Kara came back. It felt too rushed to me.
- The whole Baltar business was kinda amusing. This character has always been a comic relief of the show for me. But, it's hard to care for a jester. As such, whether he was undergoing tortures, put on trial, or revered as a god, the impact of what the character was going through was never able to touch me on the emotional level. I thought the loony place he walked into was reminiscent of a brothel. Is this a geek's fantasy? ;)
I had a huge misgiving with how the little boy was "magically" cured. Coupled with the "magical" reappearance of Kara, I'm afraid the show is delving into the realm of mystics and divine intervention, which in my opinion, is at odds with the gritty show that prided itself in realism.
- It was clear Kara came back on a brand new Mark II. The camera on Lee's viper captured her old bird explode. So Lee didn't just lose her as she claimed. I'm not sure Kara was different from her old self beside having longer hair. She still disregards reason and throws fit like a 5 year old. I've always seen her as an over-grown child instead of a "real" woman before. Sadly, I still do.
- Finally, the thing with Anders and the Raider gave me a "headache". WTF?! That was rather convenient, and made as little sense as why the Cylons appeared in the first place. They never did explain satisfactorily how the Cylons found the RTF after Lee's strategy threw them off the trail.
Back to Anders' encounter with the Raider -- what happened there? Did he give the Raider an order? From the later conversation between the final 4, it didn't seem to be the case. So apparently, the Raider called off the attack because it recognized Anders?! Hell, why didn't the Raider recognize him before on New Caprica?! After all, Anders said one doesn't just become a cylon--if you are one, you are one from the beginning...
"Six of One"
- If Anders' encounter with the Raider gave me a headache in the previous episode, the cylon related story arc gave me a migraine in this one!
Let's start off with the fact ALL of the Raiders refused to fight the ENTIRE battle because they recognized there was a cylon in ONE of the vipers. WHY?! I'll buy it if the Raider refused to attack Anders alone, but the rest?! Makes no sense to me.
By the way, we can rest assure the final cylon will not be someone who has sat in a cockpit in the past--the Raiders had never stopped attack like that before! Hence there goes the possibility that either Apollo or Starbuck is the final cylon. Then again, continuity is no longer a concern for the writers, it seemed.
- Cavil's side won the vote because the Sharon model voted twice. Well, that makes no sense! How come she gets to vote twice?! If her model can vote multiple times, why can't, say, Six model vote more than once as well?! All Six, or Natalie (or whatever her name was) had to do was to count an additional vote from another Six, they would've had a tie again.
- Ha! Six was surprised a copy of Sharon went against her model?! HELLO!!! What about Athena?! Unless that Sharon was indeed still on some secret cylon mission that we don't know about, she certainly had made her choice long ago to act against her own model!
- Let me get the cylon numberings straight: Cavil is One; Leoban is Two; D'anna is Three; Simon is Four (thanks to laurie31 for pointing that out); Doral is Five; Six is...well Six; and Sharon is Eight... Clearly TPTB didn't really think things through when they gave Sharon her number. ;)
- I thought the choice Sixes (6's), Sharons (8's) and Leobans (2's) made was rather dumb. They took drastic measures to stage a coup by blowing 1's (Cavils), 4's (Simons), and 5's (Dorals) to the smithereens... Only, didn't they know 1's, 4's, and 5's would be downloaded and come back in...less than 5 minutes, perhaps? What purpose would this serve except the thrill of seeing the bullets flying? 1's, 4's, and 5's surely would come back in no time, and then what?! Were 2's, 6's and 8's naive enough to think they would come back and say "Ouch, that hurts! Okay You win! We'll do things your way from now on." Tsk, tsk, tsk...
It's becoming more and more evident the Cylons have no plan!
- Baltar seeing Chip!Baltar was...amusing. Heh, the writers were having too much fun, or maybe they had a tad too much scotch? Seriously, it's too gimmick-y for my taste.
- Kara's scene with Roslin was way over the top in my opinion. Her argument was valid. However, the point she was making was over shadowed by all that kicking and screaming. True, Kara desperately wanted people to believe her. But when would she ever grow up enough to realize tantrums were not that effective? Oh right, she was never taught the lesson. I forgot Kara always got her way. Whatever.
I was thrilled Roslin fired the gun at Kara, but groaned when she missed. I was hoping to see Kara do another miracle of coming back alive again. Really. Kara can't die, remember? What? I'm being facetious? Right.
- Given how somber the previous scene (Kara and Bill in the Brig) was, I thought the scene in the Rec room where the Adamas shared drinks with the pilots, all smiling, was a little jarring. But how can one not love seeing the Admiral spend his down time, with his son, hanging out with the pilots?! ;)
I was *thrilled* to hear one of the pilot (Narcho?) refer to Lee as the best viper jockey. 'Bout time someone give some recognition to Lee here!
I almost missed Lee toasting his dad: "Here's to the Admiral who leads the men and women of the Galactica." Awww...
- I vehemently deny I'm a shipper of any pair, but Bill's scene with Roslin in his quarters made my heart ache. Boy, it wasn't just Lee Bill can be mean to. My jaw literally dropped when he told Roslin that she was afraid her death would be as meaningless as everyone else's! The sad part was I was thinking more or less along the same line, but to hear him saying it to her face like that... *sob* The look on her face after Bill stormed off was heartwrenching.
I also noticed how unhappy Bill looked when Roslin pointed out he was afraid to be alone, that all of his children had *left* him. Hmmm, it looks like Bill took Lee's quiting the military personally!
Bill is such a career military man himself, I think he has come to the point that he can no longer separate himself from the service. Thus, when Lee took off his uniform, it's logical for Bill to think his son was leaving him, instead of a career path.
- Lee and Kara's scene in the brig was another one that *got* me BIG time despite the fact I'm not a K/L shipper! It was beautifully acted in my opinion -- the best Kara scene since the season started. For once, I see a glimpse of a woman in her. Jamie Bamber brings out the best in his co-stars! I think the scene gives a closure to Lee and Kara's old relationship. Lee never had the opportunity to properly say goodbye to Kara before. This made it so much harder for him to lose her, whether it was to marriage (to another man), or to death. But this is time, he was able to bid her a farewell of some sort. Until they meet again, of which I have no doubt will happen, they each was about to embark on divergent paths...
I thought Lee's whisper to Kara "I believe you" has interesting implication. What exactly does Lee believe in Kara? Well, she has been claiming 1) she's not a cylon; and 2) she knew the way to Earth. I think Lee believed her on both accounts. Yet he walked away from her knowing she could guide them to the mythical planet. Why? Could it be Lee knew reaching Earth is not their ultimate objective? I think the possibility lends credibility to Lee's view of himself being more useful outside the military service.
ETA: I noticed several additional things upon second viewing:
1) It's now canon that Lee had grown up in a BIG house! *g* I like the idea Lee was surrounded by a lot of empty space in his childhood.
2) Zarek nominated Lee to be a member of the Quorum! It looks like Lee was fully aware what kind of person Zarek is. Despite that, Lee was prepared to align himself with the man so that he could fight for what he believes in. I eagerly await more Lee/Zarek scenes this season!
3) Lee and Kara discussed Lee's inability to say *no*:
Lee (ironically): "I could never say no to people"I think the "No" Kara was referring to was Lee's refusal at carrying out the affair with her. I'm still convinced as lover goes, Lee to her was more about the physical frak than anything deeper. But for Lee, he loves Kara beyond the physical attraction. Even though they are not a couple, she is that someone special to him. His love for her doesn't require her to give him anything back, or even stay with him -- not anymore. The scene is tinged with sadness for me. The more I look at them as a couple, the more I feel they would not work out. Their loves are not equal or compatible -- Kara doesn't return the same feelings. Until Kara grows to love Lee like the way he does her, they are just not on the same footing!
Kara (wistfully): "Except me."
Lee (pointedly): "Especially you."
- The next scene gave me chills as Lee stood in the Ready Room, alone, with the voices of his past echoing through his head. At that moment, I felt a closure for Lee of the chapter of his life as a pilot, the CAG, a military officer. It's bitter-sweet, a beautiful lead-in to the following scene -- Lee's send-off on the Flight Deck.
- Lee's farewell scene (on the flight deck) was a dream come true for a fangirl! If the previous scene gave me chills, this one made my blood boil! It was wonderful to see Lee's superiors and subordinates alike paying respect and appreciation of his past service. It summarily concluded what a great job he did as an officer! I was particularly happy with the hugs Lee shared with Dee and his father.
I love the little exchange between Lee and Dee -- his quip "It looks like you get the house", and her present -- a plaque of his wings and dogtag which she framed for him. It was nice to hear Lee telling Dee, in a more serious tone, to take good care of herself; and she, in an even soberer tone, returned the sentiment. I know I'm a minority in this fandom, but I really like Dee. Despite her youth and inexperience, I see her as someone who's wise beyond her years. She's quietly self-possessed. Her strength looms underneath her placid surface. I think despite discovering Lee being more to what she thought he was, she loved him still. But she was honest enough to accept the fact that he would never be hers alone. This time, she had the courage to let him go, and end their marriage without a fuss.
Lee's hug with his dad made me misty-eyed. Bill scored a huge point here in my regard. Like I mentioned earlier, I think Bill sees Lee's leaving as an act of leaving him. But instead of being upset and angry about it, he gave his son a warm embrace and let him go. I think this hug mirrors perfectly to the hug Bill gave Lee at the end of mini where he welcomed his son aboard Galactica. This time, it was goodbye. Whichever direction Lee was heading, Bill loved his son regardless...