Friday, January 23, 2009

Open Thread: #414 A Disquiet Follows My Soul


Alrighty, dear readers...let's talk new BSG tonight. Unfortunately I (ProgGrrl) won't be back from my frak party till later tonight...Logan, are you out there?


Please read our spoiler policy before you post on the open threads.

Past 4.5 open threads can be found in the index on our blogroll rightside column. If you know of other fun sites or forums that are having lively non-spoilery episode discussions, please feel free to post links here as well.


RDM's directing debut! Very exciting... earlier this week, RDM had this to say about the episode:

It's a character piece. It's a smaller show; I designed it deliberately to be that way. I wanted to take a breath after the events, the shocking events, of the past couple of episodes. Things were happening huge. Revelations were coming one on top of another. And now I wanted to do a smaller piece that was just about people on the ship and where they are in their lives before the next giant arc just sort of pulls them along into even bigger events.

Also note that another Propworx eBay auction is live this weekend, containing items that were on the show last week and tonight, and some other older stuff as well (Socrata Thrace photos!). Frakkin fun.


EPISODE 414: A DISQUIET FOLLOWS MY SOUL
Writer: Ronald D. Moore
Director: Ronald D. Moore


Hulu embed:

58 comments:

Brisotope said...

Am I really the first to post or is something wrong? Anyway, political intrigue isn't really my thing and it gets boring. However, this episode was still pretty good. I am well over Gaeta now and am hoping he turns into a bloody, curly stain on the floor by the end of next week's ep.

crazy4macs said...

The political tensions aren't my cup of tea, either, but I can see how this would be a natural fallout of a a proposed alliance with the Cylons. Naturally people would be freaked by any proposal that would allow Cylons to muck about with every single ship's technology in the fleet. I am sad, though, to dislike Gaeta so much these days. This episode helped me see for the first time what role the 10 webisodes had in setting up future action Gaeta might take. Excellently planned, with great writing and directing as usual. The only thing I saw the need for but didn't quite buy was the way they tied up the loose end about the possibility of there being another hybrid Cylon/human baby in the form of Chief's son Nicky. Wasn't she a bit too passive and too in awe of the Chief to have had an affair with some other dude right before they got married? But after the huge revelations of last week's episode, I'm still more than satisfied.

Eric H said...

Some very nice directorial touches by RDM. I liked the motif of Admiral stooping to pick up the trash, sort of culminating in picking up Zarek's crumpled paper with the coordinates of the AWOL ship. And the ending was very nicely done. All in all, I think it was the effective character study Ron wanted it to be. I do wish many of the characters were behaving differently, but that's the difficult, complicated story they have decided to tell. Looks like things are about to get even bleaker next week.

I still miss D'Anna (sob).

Brisotope said...

I didn't really get Baltar's speech. He hasn't been a messianic "believer" for that long really and he is already turning against his God? He's saying God should come down and apologize to the people? We know he's unstable and wishy-washy, but I hope they're going somewhere with this new turn.

Eric H said...

@ Brisotope: One thing Baltar has always been very good at is bending with the wind whenever it shifts. That doesn't make for a particularly solid foundation for when the rug is pulled out from under a person, so it could be a genuine nihilistic breakdown...or, Baltar being Baltar, just telling the people what they want to hear.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that, like several members of the crew, I have lost faith in the fleet's leaders.

Roslin has revealed herself to be a self-centered, self-absorbed character of epic proportions. The last two episodes I have found myself choking back vomit in nearly every line she delivers. She's terrible!

Adama's neglect of everything except the mundane has become obnoxious. Stop to pick up the trash in the hallway but don't bother to work with or pay attention to obviously insubordinate officers and political leaders who hate you. The neglect is just so obvious. A few seasons ago, he would have noticed.

Maybe it's just indicative of what they have become, but Roslin and Adama have brought this on themselves.

Having said that, I absolutely cannot wait to see Gaeta get his head bashed in!

Anonymous said...

@Crazy4Macs: One theory, perhaps, might be that after Chief beat her (way back in "Lay Down Your Burdens I"), Cally was so messed up she was turning anywhere she could for comfort. The person she found was Hotdog, or maybe Hotdog found her in that condition, and it became the proverbial one thing leading to another. ("Pity frak," to quote Gaeta?)

Then, if Chief and Cally got together fairly soon afterward, it could make sense how Cally might not have been sure who Nicky's daddy really was.

This does seem to fit the timeline, at least... Anyway, I'm just glad they decided to deal with the Nicky Question at all, instead of just leaving it to twist in the wind along with all the other red herrings. It's now one less sidebar to worry about as we head into the home stretch.

TighFighter said...

I really dug the episode. Not a lot of action But a lot of Story points moved forward.

Daddy Tigh and Cottle at the beginning was a riot.

The baby issues were interesting. Caprica says it's a boy. I think it was established that Cylons can tell the sex of their child back in season 1. Then you have the Nikki/Hotdog reveal. Did anyone else feel that making Nikki human was just the writers being lazy? It's the same lazy writing they did when killing Cally.

Please say we aren't going with an Adam and Eve thing with Cap's baby and Hera.

The Zarek/Gaeta story rocked. Good to see these characters get something to do. Juliani really brought his A-game for this episode. The scene with SB was sublime.

Roslin saying she's done with being a leader was great. Nice to see Adama and her get it on finally.

Great episode. Can't wait to see week.

Grant Gould said...

Not one of my favorite episodes, but it felt like a needed transition between the emotional rollercoaster of last week and the (what looks to be) craziness of next week. I was happy to see Zarek in the spotlight, as he's one of my favorite characters. I think the writing and the character interactions were excellent as always. (Want more Kara!!)

Very very very much looking forward to next week's!! :)

Anonymous said...

I think it would have been funnier if Baltar was the daddy.

AJ was awesome. But there continue to be inconsisteencies and plain dumb plot contrivances. Just a few episodes back they jump through hoops to oust Zarek and put Lee in charge and now there's nothing they can do about Zarek? Besides, Zarek and Gaeta have a point and Bill isn't listening. The reason it is escalating to coup level is that the leaders aren't leading.

I do like Baltar going all Jim Jones. Scary.

ProgGrrl said...

Yeah this sure was a change in tone from last week. I'm really enjoying the loaded gun that is Gaeta...he's obviously gonna blow any minute now. Loved the scene with Starbuck -- especially when Gaeta said "close the hatch...let's talk." Can I assume that this episode is taking place after the events of "the Gaetasodes"? Yes?

Zarek's part in all of this is thrilling. The idea that there will be some kind of intense power struggle now between the Adamas and Zarek/Gaeta/the Quorum is loaded with promise. It's almost Cain-level drama. Zarek is a great character...just wait till Ellen is back on the ship! Hee!

Speaking of Ellen...so I guess Tigh told Adama and Co she's the fifth? That was a surprise.

Though I was in a room filled with people, I couldn't help giggling with delight at the final scene. Perhaps Adama and Roslin are truly abdicating their responsibilities to the RTF now...but I was thrilled to see them, um, let down their hair for the night. Don't they both deserve it?


Oh and btw all -- the writers room for CAPRICA seems to be getting locked down -- Ron Moore and Jane Espenson are running the show, and BSG'ers Michael Taylor and Ryan Mottesheard are on board as well. Huzzah!

ProgGrrl said...

Oh and one more thing -- we Doc Cottle fans got our fill tonight, boy did we! Awesome. I missed him!

Craig Ranapia said...

Did anyone else feel that making Nikki human was just the writers being lazy?

Um, no... what's "lazy writing" about it? I'd say it's more lazy viewing to assume that Cally was a virgin until she married the man who smacked her up real good. Hate to say this, but the whole Cally/Tyrol relationship was a train wreck of bad faith and dishonesty from day one, so it actually made a lot of sense to me that Nicky wasn't his child.

And yeah... I really loved Tigh bringing the Seth Rogan-in-Knocked-Up vibe. I can see the whole strain of having to be the sober, together one every time he's in a room with Adama is really getting to him. :)

glizda101 said...

Hell yeah.
I've definitely enjoyed the show more then the previous ep. 413 was ubelieveably dark and asked some important questions regarding human's psychic and its ability to cope with the tragedy. I like it, yes, but in the 414 we finally had an action. I love those down-to-characters plot lines.

Daddy Tigh just killed me. Such a change in his way of being. I couldn't believe he's holding her hand. I'm a liitle bit afraid how is Admiral going to react.

The Old Man, however, and Roslin totally disapointed me. There are becoming more and more narrow-minded with every ep. Especially Adama, cause President seems like she just would like to rest.

The thing I've wrote above doeasn't mean, I wouldn't love to see Geata being dead. He and Zarek drove me crazy. Frakkin' good time for a mutiny. That's why and can't wait to see how it's going to be solved.

Trailers showed some serious action including guns. Hell yeah.

Lookin' froward to next ep. :)

narwilliams said...

I think Ron Moore’s directorial debut was a another brilliant hour of television. The fleet has a major hangover -- and some of them are starting to sober up. No wonder Adama’s popping pain pills.

Read my episode review here: narwilliams.com/blog

Craig Ranapia said...

The Old Man, however, and Roslin totally disapointed me.

OK, I'm going to be hunted down and killed by Ladama shippers every where, but I'd always said if they ever got their frak on it would be a turbo-charged shark jump.

Take a picture, because I don't say this often in public:

I WAS SOOOOOO WRONG -- TAKE ALL THE WRONGNESS IN THE UNIVERSE, MULTIPLY IT BY TEN TRILLION AND THAT WOULDN'T EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE HOW WRONG I AM.

There was just something so horrible and joyless about Laura using sex as just another way to check out from human contact -- real intimacy -- because she's as good as dead. And Adama? Am I the only person who thinks he just doesn't care any more?

glizda101 said...

Am I the only person who thinks he just doesn't care any more?

Nope.
I can see it too. And it's drives me mad, cause the less he cares, the more aggresive and narrow-minded he becomes. He seems to come back to his old ways of establishing law and order - the ones he used agaist Cain, Zarek and even Roslin in previous seasons.

Even though I'm strongly against this fraked up revolution that Zarek and GAYta are preparing. Doing this there are just the same as Admiral and Roslin, but on the opposite side.

That's why I believe in Apollo. I'm pretty sure he's going to be the one that brings in some bright idea that would satisfy both sides. For some reason writers have put him in the suit. He seems to be the one reasonable guy that's able and has will to do something.
(It doesn't mean he couldn't use a gun to do it. ^^ What we've seen in trailer. ;P)

glizda101 said...

Oops, sorry. A mistake.

even though => despite

I'm not native, forgive me. :)

glizda101 said...

Frak.

I meant even so. :/

English no be easy. ;]

Anonymous said...

ProgGirl said: "I assume that this episode is taking place after the events of "the Gaetasodes"? Yes?"

Can't be after the Gaetasodes, because - if I remember correctly - in the first Gaetasode the reason the Fleet jumps is because they noticed some hostile Cylons on the DRADIS. (Cavil?)

Last night's events must have happened before the Gaetasodes - bear in mind that in the Webisodes there are two 8s in the Raptor with Gaeta, going to another ship in the Fleet, so it must mean that by then the Quorum will have agreed agreed to let Cylons modify the FTL drives.

Anonymous said...

Good point abotu when do the Gaeta-sodes come in the chronology... can someone figure it out by how many are alive on the white board count?

spinflip said...

I wonder whether the reason for the removal of Roslin from the last supper picture was the fact that she's not going to be a major player anymore. Wouldn't surprise me if she died very soon...
But yay, the story has returned to political intrigues and uttermost despair, just like old times. :-)

Tighclops said...

I acctually didn't find this episode to be so hot. The storyline itself was interesting, but Moore's directing was VERY distracting and felt out of place on BSG.

It also seems like the dialogue was a bit less polished than usual - maybe because Moore was having to do double duty on this episode with both directing and writing. I remember cringing at the act break when the Tylium ships jumps away and Adama says "Sometimes I really hate this job." Really? Has BSG devolved in to cliche one-liners?

The episode felt emotionally very heavy handed - for example, the ending scene with Adama and Roslin in bed. Not that we haven't seen characters having sex before, but I was surprised that RDM would hit us so hard in the face with that point. I expected the "Bill and Laura consummation scene" (which I think we all knew was coming) to be a bit more tasteful and less direct.

The moments with Adama picking up trash were distracting to me - it felt a bit forced. The cut from Adama to Kara and Gaeta in the ready room was so non-BSG that for a moment I thought I was watching something else.


Overall I think it was an alright episode, but maybe I was just too put off by the way Moore directed it. If I hadn't known he was directing I'm not sure if I would have noticed or not, but it felt very out of place with the "docu" aesthetic that Galactica usually uses. It's al personal opinion, of course, but I thought Sometimes a Great Notion was far stronger (but then again, after watching 413 a few times through I feel like it is one of the strongest episodes in Season 4)

glizda101 said...

Well, before the Geatesodes, it's been said by BSG-crew, that this short story contains no spoilers. So everyone (including me)assumed it's set beetwen season 4 and 4.5.
And now the strange thing, that Mr. Anonymus noticed.

Theoretically, there are arguments for both options (before/after ep. 413).
See:

Season 4.5 started in the exact moment, 4.0 has ended. So there's no space between them. And, as well, the observation by Mr. Anonymus is correct - there were two 8s travelling in the Raptor to another ship, so there must have been decided to let the Cylons within the Fleet.

But on the other hand, in Gaetasodes, the title character doesn't seem to be angry with either Admiral nor XO. In 414 Tigh realy doesn't like Gaeta's behaviour, and in Sodes he let Hoshi to look for him and he's even nice to Felix.

So regarding the time and Fleet status, Gaetasodes are being set after last night episode. But looking at characters relations, rather before.

And there's one mistake in Mr. Anonymus thinking. They saw some Cylons on DRADIS, indeed, but it's been reveald to be a false alarm.

Tinsey said...

I loved this episode - I didn't want it to end. It was probably my favourite episode of the whole 4th season. Nice to see some "human interest" twists. I scored it A+ on Televisionwithoutpity, but only because there was no A++ option.

Brisotope said...

I was thinking this episode was AFTER the webisodes. Remember at the end of the webisodes Gaeta was going to go sit in on a meeting where Tyrol had some new idea. I think that is exactly what we saw last night....a meeting where Tyrol said the Cylons had a proposal (to be citizens).

zme1 said...

I agree with glizda, based on Gaeta's relationship with Tigh, this has to be post-webisode. This episode was great, but drove me nuts. Everyone was so far gone! Of course,they would be, it makes perfect sense, but ouch. I find it very hard to believe that they will be able to pull out of this spiral. R & A have given up. I actually found the scene with them in bed sad, even after hoping for it for a long time. A total reversal from the emotional tone of their 'first kiss' scene. Interesting that RDM resolved the Nicky issue, but I have a bad feeling that the next few issues will be resolved with people dying. Lots of them. Was D'Anna right - they will never forgive? I think it will take Cavil showing up with a bunch of base ships to get anyone to work together.

glizda101 said...

I have a bad feeling that the next few issues will be resolved with people dying. Lots of them.

Me too.
Some people form the crew confirmed that. They said in seasone 4.5 we're going to see many characters dead. IMHO Roslin won't make it to an end, nor is Gaeta. Nobody can be sure about this, but this is a common thing in every many-characters story (book, film, TV series) to kill few main and peripherial characters at the end, cause is easier to explain then everyone's survival. I'm don't think BSG will be able to break that rule.

Although I'm really happy to some strong political and interpersonal issues, I'm afraid we won't see a happy and in this show. Personaly, I believe in an open ending.

ProgGrrl said...

I think we are most *definitely* going to be seeing a ton more death. There just better be some MALE DEATHS pretty soon...or I'm going to be a tad worried about my show.

::sill sad about Lucy::

ProgGrrl said...

@spinflip:

"yay, the story has returned to political intrigues and uttermost despair, just like old times. :-)"

WORD. Spoken like a true BSG fan! :-D

suicideblondjay said...

I think the destruction of the Colonies was a punishment from the lords of kobol or maybe the one God. if it's all happened before, maybe the lords of kobol created humans on kobol but the humans rebelled and now they are paying for their rebellion

ProgGrrl said...

@suicide: IDK about that. I mean, if there are 2000 y.o. cylon bones...who created the cylons? Are they a creation of the original 12 colonies, or were they already in existence before they met humanity? Were these ancient cylons on Kobol too, with the original humans?

Brisotope said...

@ProgGrrl...I am hoping for some male deaths soon too, especially Gaeta. Zarek is more interesting to have around, but I wouldn't mind him getting off'd too. Lee wouldn't be a bad one to go either. He's only a slightly more together version of Cally ;)

Eric H said...

Yah, we all know Gaeta's toast, probably Zarek too, and I have a baaaadd feeling about Helo's chances over the next couple of episodes. So I'm expecting a progressive bloodbath fer sure. But they HAD BETTER NOT FRAKKIN' KILL OFF COTTLE. This show needs more Cottle and we all know it. It's bad enough there's no more D'Anna. I mean, really, people.

Greg said...

after watching this episode with all its "OMG the shit is going down and it's going to go badly" overtones, I realized something.

If you really think back allll the way to Season 1, of all the characters that's been a jerk, Gaeta is one of them. His naive, schoolboy politics consistently get people in to trouble. And he's always great at lining his own pockets (he sure wasn't suffering during the occupation) and now he's moralizing about cylons? He worked for the cylons, he frakked one, and NOW he's the human revolutionary? He had no business talking to Starbuck with his smack and she shoulda broken his nose for good measure.

I think in the end, though , what I'm most curious about is the creation story because a lot of it is not really lining up. They found a planet full of diverse Cylons, of which we know at least the 5 are the resurrection of a group of. (ooh bad grammar). Was it Earth (probably not - maybe Earth As Was?) I mean we never saw any continents or anything.

And the Starbuck Issue. Leaving this out as long as they are, it's going to become a distraction, to the point where by the time they resolve it it won't have any meaning. Or it'll come too late/conveniently (Star Trek, anyone?)

These are nitpicks, I guess the problem I have with scifi series in general is how a character can completely forget their past, as do the folks around them, and they're allowed to be something completely different (Gaeta being one example) and there's none of that "huh?"

I mean, who the frak would follow along with a guy like Gaeta who had the chance to ice Baltar and wimped out?

dts said...

@suicide - if one side created another I would think it would be humans doing the creating. Maybe the Cylon God is a human in a V'ger story sort of way.

@propGrrl - I wasn't sure on this either but I think in the commentary to this ep. RDM restates that it all began on Kobol then twelve went to the Colonies and one tribe (now, presumably all Cylon) went to Earth.

That's about the right proportion of creators to created if you think one car per household, then casualties.

Then, how about if both groups get tired of washing their own dishes and create mechanical helpers. We get almost parallel 'it has all happened before and will happen again' rebellions. Except, the cylon problems in the Colonies happen much later and so probably with influence from Earth survivors.

radii said...

ADFMS review up at

http://www.galacticavariants.blogspot.com

mostly favorable


I agree with many of the other posters - Gaeta's got it comin' ... they will probably blast his other limbs off before delivering the coup d'grace

Ciarán said...

I enjoyed the episode, but it did have its flaws. What got to me most was that the Gaeta/Zarek argument (about humans still being wary of the Cylons and the how far the alliance should go) has a lot of merit, and could have been executed very effectively, but those two completely unsympathetic characters were the only ones on that side of the fence, so the position dies due to guilt by association with them.

I like the idea of cutting Tyrol off from humanity by having him not be Nicky's father. It adds on to his pronoun/possessive adjective problem at the beginning of the episode when he can't decide which race he is part of.

ProgGrrl said...

@dts: did you *really* just call me "prop grrl"? Really? ;-P

@Ciaran: The argument Zarek/Gaeta are making is too powerful to not be taken seriously just because of who is making the argument. IMHO.

zme1 said...

@ProgGrrl - They've got a great argument, and they've obviously got lots of backers. But what about a plan? Where do they expect to go with this happy revolution? I seem to remember a base ship full of nukes hanging out in the middle of the fleet... The anger part makes sense, but I would think that Zarek would think ahead a bit more. Gaeta is consumed by bitterness. Esp. if you take the webisodes into account, his whole view of himself as the good guy, thinking the best of people, was destroyed. Now his attitude is frak everyone but me. And it's sad because I thought he was a likable character. I also think he's going to botch it, like the 'Butterfingers' attempt on Baltar.

crazy4macs said...

zme1 raises an interesting point about where Gaeta's limits are or how much gumption he really has. You could say he's capable of real action now, compared to not being able to pull the trigger on Baltar, because he's recently killed the Sharon in the Gaetasodes/webisodes. But maybe in that final webisode he killed that Sharon because he felt his life was in the direct path of danger? not the least his self-concept. With Baltar it obviously wasn't that kind of situation. I didn't watch the final webisode that closely so maybe others can fill in the details on that Sharon's stance toward Gaeta. Did she kill all the other shuttle members so Gaeta would have enough air?

Good call one of you on the fact that the Chief beat up Callie at one point, which could very well explain why she might have sought the comfort of someone else. If that's true, then Hotdog could have had a good comeback in response to the Chief beating on him--that he himself played some role in it.

suicideblondjay said...

it's just that we don't know what the frak starbuck is,going on what i've seen so far i believe she may be some kind of divine being and if she will lead them all to their end maybe there is some kind of revenge plot against the humans AND the cylons. we know that the colony humans created the robot cylons but we don't know who created the humanoid cylons. maybe a cylon is part of a human race like the capricans or the saggitarons and we will learn that it's been humans killing humans all along and a robot is a diferent thing that was mistankenly called a cylon.

Gilraen said...

@zme1 - I think Gaeta's not out to frak everyone but himself, but I think he finally wants to get his, as was evident by his conversation with Starbuck. He's done with morality and the higher standard. Now he's looking for what satisfaction he can find in purging the fleet from those who've put him in so much pain and compromised his values: cylons, Adama, et all. Just my interpretation. I agree about Nikki, though. It was clearly written just because the writers didn't like the situation, and I think no matter how it was handled it would've come off as being a bit easy/lame.

@Progrrl - Yeah, their points are really the disquiet that follows this episode. I, at least, caught myself dismissing them because we've spent all this time with Adama, and we're rooting for him. Really sneaky episode, this one. Can't wait to see how everything it's built will pay off.

Ripley said...

Hi, first post here from a Sitrep reader/fan.

I found the episode heavily informed by the first verse of the Emily Dickinson poem Adama recites (to himself and to the viewer), 'There is a Languor of the Life,' at the beginning. Languor - a listlessness and mental fog, with implications of oppression if not post-trauma depression, but also containing some beaten-down sense of liberation - plays out for many of the characters and in the major plot developments. Roslin checks out of her duty-bound savior-of-humankind role but rediscovers her body, even as it decays; Adama goes through the motions (the second time he brushes his teeth, pausing for a long time to gaze in the mirror, was pretty rending), consumed by his sense of having let everyone down, but eventually sharing himself with Roslin in the only way he can without thinking or deciding or commanding. Zarek taps the languor by reasserting his self-important martyr conceit, while Gaeta plainly gives in to bitterness and his ever-present/barely-concealed loathing (which likely includes himself). Baltar captures the moment by requiring an apology from God (at least in part to, as he's advised, 'just keep talking'). The fleet fractures, if half-heartedly, as The Quorum applauds itself for being led like sheep.

There are more positive aspects to the languor, to the realities of life after 'the soul has suffered all it can': Tyrol - former-chief, ouch - accepts his disconnection but can't deny his fatherhood-by-proxy. Tigh, becoming a father, conversely accepts a connection - with Six, and with himself as Cylon; if his concession to fatherhood (simply staying sober) seems pretty meager, for poor old Saul, it's a big frakkin' deal.

Okay, I clearly read a lot into this show. I love it, and have difficulty separating individual episodes from the collective whole, the succinct plots from the arcs, and both from the overarching theme evoked in the very first line in the show: 'Are you alive?' Hell, I even wedged a place in the BSG canon for 'The Woman King' (throw tomatoes now), with some effort. So go gentle on the newbie.

And hunt down the Dickinson poem. The rest of it fits the episode, and is startling, especially the final line. RDM called this one a 'small show'; his ideas never seem small to me. Frakkin' momentous, actually.

Eric H said...

@ Ripley - Great post, and thanks for the poem ID. I just looked it up (easily Google-able), and it really does resonate with this episode, and more.

ProgGrrl said...

@Ripley, yes, great post. And as you and any dedicated BSG fan knows: this show absolutely holds up to the sort of scrutiny (metaphorical and otherwise) you are putting it through above.

"I clearly read a lot into this show. I love it, and have difficulty separating individual episodes from the collective whole, the succinct plots from the arcs, and both from the overarching theme evoked in the very first line in the show: 'Are you alive?' Hell, I even wedged a place in the BSG canon for 'The Woman King'..."

You're not the only one, RE everything you're saying above! (I liked 'Black Market' and am unrepentant about it -- how can any Apollo fan not appreciate it, says I? But that's an old argument I don't want to reopen here...)

ProgGrrl said...

From Bear McCreary's blog entry on this ep:

This scene also represents a crucial shift in Gaeta’s character. I asked Alessandro Juliani when he first learned that Gaeta would become a baddie. And he quickly replied “Baddie? Who said anything about being a baddie? I mean, if resisting an alliance with a race of malevolent, deceitful robot-people responsible for the genocide of humankind, enforced by a bunch of ‘leaders’ who time and time again had proven to be completely misguided and hypocritical in their policies is bad…who wants to be good? If what you meant to ask was when did I find out that Felix was to assume the mantle of being the moral center of the show, then I believe it was during the filming of the now infamous ‘Stump Serenade’ that a certain Emmy-nominated writer who shall remain nameless first hinted at his heroic destiny.”

Patrick said...

@ProgGrrl: precisely! I don't see how Gaeta can be described as the bad guy at all! Starbuck's failure as a leader cost him his leg, and her refusal to do what was right almost got him airlocked. Does she acknowledge this at all? Not in the least. He is FAR from being the bad guy.

dts said...

@ProggggGrrl: just a dyslexic typo, scusi.

Brisotope said...

@ProgGrrl, that quote from Juliani is nice. It really shows how these actors have gotten into these roles and the complexities of the story. Over at Galactica Watercooler, they recently interviewed Richard Hatch on their podcast...it was as if Tom Zarek himself was talking. From what I could tell there was little line to distinguish where Zarek ends and Hatch begins!

Alurin said...

Great post Ripley!

ProgGrrl et al.: I think Juliani's comment is telling. The Gaeta/Zarek argument has a lot of merit. I think that the writers INTEND for the viewer to be suspicious, because WE don't trust Zarek and we love Bill 'n' Laura. Objectively, however, there are two valid points. One: Zarek is the only legitimately elected leader they have. Roslin's legitimacy was tied to the pre-holocaust administration, and that administration expired with the election at the end of Season 2, which she LOST. She's President again now because the Baltar-Zarek administration was discredited by Baltar's Vichy turn, but she has still never been elected.... and no one elected Adama either. Two: the Cylons, even the rebel Cylons, were willing to nuke them all just days ago. A little caution would seem to be in order before letting them fiddle with everyone's FTL drives, much less giving them a seat on the Quorum.
The nice thing here is that we distrust these perfectly legitimate arguments for purely emotional reasons. Wouldn't it be an interesting twist if Zarek turned out to be a good leader?

As for the timing of the webisodes, Face of the Enemy is very clearly set in between "Notion" and "Disquiet". The meeting with Adama and tyrol that Tigh invites Gaeta to at the end of the webisodes is clearly the meeting in "Disquiet" where Tyrol acts as emissary from the Cylons. The man Gaeta is going to meet with, against Hoshi's objections, is clearly Zarek.

Eric H said...

Nitpicky plot question: Did they ever explain how come Zarek is running the government (for the moment) this time, but last time the Prez was MIA, Apollo had to take over because Papadama wouldn't hear of Zarek doing so? Obviously having Zarek in charge is necessary to this story line, but did I miss an on-screen explanation for it?

Alurin said...

@Eric H: They didn't explain it, but they did refer to it. Apollo is criticizing Zarek, and Zarek snaps back: "Are you the President now? I can't keep track of what your job is from week to week." Or something like that. Presumably the motion which allowed Adama jr. to take over for Roslin during her prior absence expired, and la famille Adama is less popular now.

Eric H said...

@Alurin: Yeah, that makes sense. I loved that line from Zarek.

Although we kinda know how this rebellion's gonna end, I also totally see where Zarek and Gaeta are coming from on the leadership question. But the kicker is that I also felt like shaking Laura and Bill throughout this episode, telling them to stop acting like children.

Not many dramatic narrative works can so completely mess with viewers' loyalties like this. I find myself feeling confused and divided, much like the members of the fleet. What they are doing is astonishing art.

General Boy said...

I've been wanting to comment about this episode, but I've been putting it off because it left me flat and confused. It helped to watch it again. Forgive me if I'm repeating points that some of you have made in earlier posts - I only skimmed over most of them.

I'll just make some minor observations.

1. I'm fascinated that I found myself sympathetic with Gaeta and Zarek's cause. Every complaint they have has merit. I have taken for granted that the major protagonists of this show have been right about everything. But what if they're not?

Despite the sinister feel of the Gaeta & Zarek meeting, it brought many things about the show that I have taken for granted into doubt. And isn't that what this show is all about? Everything one believes may be called into question - whether that person is a character on the show or a viewer of the show. Since Earth turned out to be a cinder, I'd say all bets are off and nothing should be taken for granted. There's a great deal of freedom in that, isn't there?

2. Baltar, my favorite character, will forever frustrate me. Is he redeemed, or isn't he? Has he found love for others or not? Is he self-centered or not? He's complicated and capricious.

Thinking about his caprice, I wondered about the etymology of the word "caprice". Does is share its root with capricorn? Caprica? Anyway. I can't find anything about it on the internets.

3. I think I will enjoy this episode more in retrospect. Right now, I'm that kid in the back of the seat yelling, "Are we there yet?" I want to know all of the answers now! It's hard to endure episodes that expand characters rather than propel the story - at 11:00 pm on Friday nights when the series is so close to its end.

There will certainly be a reckoning, and it will be interesting on which side each character falls in the end.

Ripley said...

Thanks to all for the welcoming responses to my first post here. Nice to read, and never a given to receive enthusiasm/grace on teh internets.

Reflecting on this episode a few days later, wondering about the knot in my gut it left (even as it had me laughing in all the right spots), I recognized part of it as a loathing of, well, loathing - of Gaeta, Zarek, even Adama and Roslin. How can they all be right, and each be so wrong? And where in hell is this leading? Not to overplay this, but... to languor, it seems.

Beats riding the tide out to sea, I suppose. Even if it has all happened before, and will again.
Frak, but RDM can sure muddy my waters.

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