Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Existentialism of No Exit Reviews

The House Next Door:

No Exit,” written by Ryan Mottesheard and directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton, both newcomers to the BSG writing and directing game, is ALL infodump. It’s like one, long episode of those two characters sitting around and talking about why things are the way they are. Surprisingly enough, it works much, much better than this sort of thing has any right to work.

Tim Goodman:
Who knew that a bullet in the brain could release so much info. Nice, Sam. I had all but written him off as irrelevant and publicly wished that "BSG" had taken a more realistic twist by having him go down hard as a casualty of war - random shot to the head/neck, no big speeches, just death. It's what happens. Let the others tell the story. Well, now I'm glad that didn't happen. It would have been stark and cool and unexpected, but having Sammy Boy flap his gums so much about what he remembered from way back was a lot of fun. To wit: The Final Five all punched the clock together. Just like "The Office," only not. Tyrol and Tory, sitting in a tree...OK, that was childish. But those two? Really? Hmmmm. I loved how Tyrol - now officially back to "Chief" thanks to Adama - kind of chuckled at the thought and Tory looked like she threw up in her mouth. The heretofore mysterious 7th Cylon is named Daniel (in the Lion's Den?) and as Ellen squares off with her "son" Cavil (oh, yeah, that too) we learn Daniel was a sensitive boy and evil Cavil basically neutered the line. He's a bastard, that 1. Boxing up and killing off and yelling and - hey, don't talk to your mother like that!

Alan Sepinwall:
Now, there's almost no point in analyzing "No Exit" as an episode of drama. There are dramatic moments in it (Sam's seizure, Boomer helping Ellen escape), but it's largely an info-dump -- or, as Mo Ryan put it, a download directly into each viewers' brain -- so that we can stop asking many of our questions(*) and start pondering the philosophical and practical implications of all this knowledge.


Other reviews and recaps from: Onion A.V. Club, Entertainment Weekly, L.A. Times, Show Patrol, io9, North By Northwestern, Buddy TV, TV Squad, Hitfix, Matt & Nat's BSG Cast, IGN, Mike Murphy of the Press Democrat, Richard Vine in The Guardian, Cinemablend, John Keegan for MediaBlvd, Jim Connelly recaps No Exit, with a flowchart, Kelly West for Cinemablend wonders about Number Seven, Daniel. In The Huffington Post, Mike Ragogna laments the looming end of BSG, and Sam J. Miller has a 25 word review of No Exit.

Geek Sugar has a No Exit quiz.

ATROPOS.EXE lays out the backstory of No Exit.

No Exit and Dollhouse were hits on iTunes.

Edited to add: Televisionary gets to the bottom of the BSG-Sartre connection.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Moore "couldn't be bothered"? Are you so completely and utterly ignorant of the TV show writing process that you actually believe this? When you have a smart, well-written show on a TV network, and fans so into your show that they are constantly discussing and blogging about it, come talk to us about your issues with BSG. Until then, crawl back under your rock. Dear Sitrep, you can often be a magnet for the absolute bottom-dwellers. I know it's not your fault, but jesus. Please hit "comment delete" more often. Life is too short to read this stuff.

楊文值議長 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tighclops said...

If you've paid attention to the podcasts and Moore's comments on the subject, you'd know that he isn't too into the deep backstory stuff in the first place - he tends to be more focused on the character pieces and things like that.

BSG has always been a collaborative effort, and it wouldn't come as a shock to me at all to find that Moore handed off the work on an episode like this to someone who likely knows the material better than he does.

It's not that Moore "couldn't be bothered" to help on this episode. It's more likely that he decided the "info-dump" episode would probably best be handled by the person who has the most experience with the story bible - someone who isn't Ronald D. Moore.

As for the Caprica comment, I really found that amusing. I'd love to find out what interviews or comments you have read that lead you to believe that Caprica is going to be full of BSG callbacks, since every single one I have read has said exactly the opposite.

Logan Gawain said...

I think Ron made it clear in the podcast how this episode came about. (And in fact Ron wrote the Ellen/Cavil/Boomer scenes, originally with the intent that they would be in the episode, "A Disquiet Follows My Soul.")

That anonymous #1 is ignorant of the facts isn't surprising.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
adamczar said...

Are you really looking for "fair reporting" on a fan-site, Anonymous?

I hate anonymous commenters. They are cowards.

Logan Gawain said...

To dummy anonymous who said, "The episodes we watch should have all the info we need. A viewer shouldn't have to listen to podcasts or read fan blogs to learn important details of the story"

Well, duh. No one said story details were in the podcast. I said Ron detailed how the story developed in the writers room. (And Mo Ryan's interview with Ryan and Jane further explored the process of how the story was crafted.)

Pay attention so as not to be exposed as the moronic and ignorant fool you are.

To the anonymous idiot who wonders if Sitrep is compensated by any entity... I wish it were so!

Now, go frak off.

Adamczar: I'd love to get rid of anonymous commenters, and it's under consideration. We do need to weed out the scum.

tangental said...

Lots of hostility on these comments lately

"fat"

"idiot"

"ignorant"

"bottom dweller"

"scum"

et cetera

Isn't this supposed to be a place for fans to share opinions?

And aren't different opinions the whole idea?

I see people post comments and then they get deleted. This set of comments has many deletions.

The joy seems to be gone.

ProgGrrl said...

Not sure why we've been getting so many angry "fans" lately.

Perhaps some of our readers have forgotten the reason Logan and I write this blog in the first place? I have never really understood why some individuals feel that our labor of love is a good place to spew their hostility. Perhaps they should take a break from the internet (and TV) for a bit...go outside...get some fresh air...sit on the beach...take their dog for a walk...throw a ball around with a friend?

:-)

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