Sunday, December 03, 2006

Battlestar Galactica: You hit like a girl!

Spoilers for "Battlestar Galactica" just as soon as I have some of what Adama and Roslin were smoking...

The Gradually Expanding Flashback is one of my least favorite narrative devices. Everybody uses it, and they rarely use it well, either giving away the big secret long before they show it or ruining whatever interest I had in the secret by forcing me to watch the same fractured scenes over and over and over again. And as "Unfinished Business" was at the halfway mark, I was getting frustrated. Obviously, Apollo and Starbuck had sex on New Caprica, obviously one of them immediately ran back to his/her official partner, obviously there was a lot of bitterness. Skip to the end already, I thought.

Then we got to the end, and even though things played out almost exactly as I had figured, Katee Sackhoff and, especially, Jamie Bamber sold me on the pain of it. Getting to the climax didn't make me see the earlier flashbacks in a new light, but the performances sucked me in, anyway.

I've always been intrigued by how Moore and company have handled the Unresolved Sexual Tension between these two, keeping it deep in the background and acting like it's something they may or may not get around to resolving one of these days. I don't know that they're soulmates, but there's some chemistry between the actors and some very twisted history between the characters, so I could see that clinch at the end leading to some kind of dysfunctional relationship. If nothing else, Anders and Dualla are out for good, it seems.

(Also in the "we'll get to it when we get to it" category: Adama and Roslin. Watching them get baked on New Caprica was just lovely. It's so rare to see Adama enjoy himself.)

This was definitely the strongest episode in several weeks, maybe back to "Collaborators," but it had a couple of problems. First, Adama's speech didn't work at all, nor do I think that the speech would overpower the crew's image of their unstoppable leader getting whupped by Chief Tyrol. Everybody calls him "The old man," but he's always presented himself to them as the most badass old man ever, and that first punch aside he got absolutely torn apart by the deck chief.

Also in the category of ruining a carefully cultivated illusion: Katee Sackhoff can't throw a decent punch. She and the producers normally do a great job at presenting Starbuck as the ultimate warrior, such that it doesn't matter that she's not built like Lucy Lawless. But she looked really out of her element in the ring, and the fight with Hot Dog in particular was very awkwardly staged.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

This was the first episode I watched, & then listened to Moore's podcast. Insightful. I agree about Sackoff. She couldn't pull off the fighting sequences. Per Moore & Grace Parks on the podcast, she's a "girly girl."

I wasn't moved by Starbuck's betrayal of Apollo. Didn't get it. I understand the relationship fear, etc. but answering that with a hitchin' seemed extreme.

Anonymous said...

She looked like a Rockem Sockem Robot.

Anonymous said...

Being a girl and not knowing a thing about the sweet science, I didn't realize that the Katee fights weren't realistic. I can see how, if you know anything about boxing, that would take you out of the episode. But for me, my complete ignorance of how a punch is properly thrown was a good thing, in this instance.

Jamie Bamber played the hell out of his scenes. I'm just sayin'. And the Adama Roslin scenes were fab.

Anonymous said...

Adama and Roslin were soooooo baked.

I thought it was a good episode, though it drove home that at this point I couldn't care less about the Lee/Kara relationship. They're both jerks. Thankfully, my favorite characters are guys like Tyrol and Zarek.

Anonymous said...

I think Adama and Roslin have better chemistry than any other couple on this series. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I realized the other reason I love them together is it brings brief, brief moments of levity to a show that is largely about how much everyone's life sucks. I'm caught up on this season now, but I never really rush to watch this show because it's definitely the big downer in my TV roster.

Taleena said...

I didn't hate this episode as much as i thought i would. I am flippin' sick of Tyrol. I wanted the snot to be knocked out of it and I thought it was stupid for Adama to let himself get beat up by Tyrol.

That said, next week is looking up. I am tired of angst filled "message" episodes and speeches. Give me some action.

Anonymous said...

Lee is fracked. Kara is mega-fracked. And I don't blame Lee for being PO'ed at Kara all this time. However, even if Kara had met Lee before Zack, and even if the Cylons hadn't attacked the Colonies, and even if everything else was peachy keen, Lee and Kara as a couple would still be dysfunctional as hell. I can see them getting together, having a massive blowout, getting back together again, blowout II, repeat until one of them (prolly Lee) says, "Screw this. I'm out of here."

I'm not sure watching Tyrol beat Adama would be as bad for morale as others think. I think Adama may have been playing the sympathy card. The pain of watching Adama lose in the boxing ring may motivate the crew to work extra hard so Adama, and by extension the Galactica/humanity, are not weak again.

The flashbacks didn't bother me. And Happy New Caprica was an interesting contrast to Occupied New Caprica. It gave us a glimpse into the Colonists' culture during peacetime.

And I had no idea Sackoff fights like a girl, so that wasn't a distraction for me.