Friday, June 13, 2008

BSG: revelations

HOLY FRAK!!! (Warning: This post will be full of spoilers...)

Ron D. Moore, how I love thee, let me count the ways... you will never cop out, and you will never fail to please. Holy frak, you showed us Earth. A radioactive, post-apocalyptic Earth. And you didn't wait until the series finale; you gave it to us at the midseason finale, which means... we have to wait six more months until we can experience the last 10 episodes on Earth. The big question wasn't ever "Where is Earth?" but "When is Earth?" And you answered that question. (Again, Lost, take note on the answering questions.) This was a lot like the ending of Season 2, where the audience was taken to New Caprica... and then flashforwarded one year later... and then showed the Cylon occupation. Season 2 could have ended with the rebuilding of a society on soil, but it didn't. It could have ended with a teaser from the future, but it didn't. Showing us a glimpse isn't as heart-wrenching as putting us right in the middle of the story. Season 2 ended with the Resistance, reminding the audience that humanity will not go down without a fight. Same with this midseason finale. BSG could have ended with Tigh in the airlock... with the fleet's jump into Earth's orbit... but it went even further. I teared up when I saw Earth staring back at the fleet, in the same manner that the star-child looked at Earth in 2001. And then we went to Earth. The vipers and raptors were launched, and Adama touched the soil of Earth. And then the camera pans across the other characters... Kara in awe... pregnant Caprica Six gently touching baby-daddy Tigh... and then boom - are they in New York?

And I don't know why - because I obviously live on Earth with other humans - but I was still surprised that there were remnants of a civilization on Earth. I wasn't expecting anything else, really. I wasn't expecting druids building Stonehenge or apes throwing bones around. I just wiped Earth's history from my expectations... and the sight of a post-apocalyptic amazed and bewildered me in the most fantastic of ways. How far into the future is this Earth? What happened? (My guess is we - the 13th Tribe - all killed one another. But that may not be likely since buildings are still standing, more or less, so perhaps there was another nuclear attack... but by whom? Hmm...)

The best moments of this episode were... in my totally awesome and entirely correct opinion...

1. The scene where Kara finds out Anders is a Cylon. It was executed more dramatically than Adama finding out about Tigh, and I think that goes beyond the romance. The scene between Adama and Tigh was kind of silly - ALTHOUGH Adama did comment on the whole "When I met you, you had hair" thing, which is an intelligent and plausible response from Adama. It makes sense that Adama would be skeptical, and that was rightly done, but every time Tigh (or Roslin or anyone, really) said "Final Five" it sounded awkward. Not forced, persay, but awkward. But I did like how Michael Hogan portrayed Tigh's confession - surprised (at the words coming out of his mouth), ashamed (that he didn't send himself out the airlock earlier), and scared (what will Adama THINK of him?). Tigh isn't concerned about death, I don't think, but more about the friendship and trust he has procured from "the old man." But right, Kara and Sam... Sam being handcuffed, his back turned to Kara, unable to look her in the eye - well done. And there is a look on Katee Sackoff's face that's very ambiguous to read; you feel like her heart has already won out over her mind. In a recent episode, she told Sam she'd put a bullet between his eyes if he were a Cylon, but in her dumbstruck look, Sackoff gave a lot of depth and play with Kara's conflicting emotions. But perhaps it's because I've always been a Kara-Sam fan that I want her to still love him, even at his darkest hour. Which brings us to...

2. Kara telling Kat's picture, "We made it,"... and Sam comes to stand beside her. He's still there for her! The last time Kara saw Kat, she gave Kat painkillers so that Kat could kill herself. "There's enough," she had told her. But Starbuck had a special bond with Kat since Kat was her only pilot that ever questioned her authority, who called her a drunk when Starbuck wasn't able to admit to herself that she was falling apart. It shows a strong devotion to Starbuck's character for the writers to remember her relationship with Kat and to make that the first place Kara goes once she finds Earth. And... Sam is right there beside her. And I appreciated the other people standing at the wall of the dead. It absolutely broke my heart, the idea that some people made it to Earth and others didn't. Others didn't complete the journey. My heart swelled up.

3. Saul Tigh's eye. Michael Hogan has really fleshed out Tigh's character. He's one of the most morally ambiguous characters on the show (killing his wife, taking it upon himself to send Cylon-collaborators out the airlock, impregnating prisoner Caprica Six), right there with Baltar, but his convictions are so strong that I really understand his motives behind each of these actions. He has such a strict belief in what is right and what is wrong that even learning he's a Cylon won't change that. And so he knows that he should die. He knows that Lee should send him out the airlock. And his cycloptic eye quivers with righteousness as he tells Lee, "What are you waiting for? Just do it." Tigh's mouth is in a persistent state of frown, but his eye tells all. I bet the answers to the universe are swimming in his iris...

4. Adama's "Larger than Life Speech, Part XIV. "Crew of Galactica, people of the fleet, this is Admiral Adama. Three years ago I promised to lead to a new home. We've endured a difficult journey, we've all lost, we've all suffered. The truth is, I questioned whether this day would ever come. But today our journey is at an end. We have arrived. At Earth." Cheers erupt! Lee stands up on the CIC table and takes off his jacket like a Chippendale dancer (wait, what...?)... thank you, Mr. President. Tyrol celebrates with Nicky... Helo and Athena celebrate with Hera, who looks rather creepy... yay! Good things to come! (Like a preview of Roslin's inevitable death...)

5. Umm... EARTH! HOLY FRAK! We got to see EARTH! They weren't kidding when they titled the episode "Revelations." In a recent interview, Moore said "Revelations" would compete against the cliffhanger of "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 2"... and he was right. Frak. I have to wait six months?

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