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It Was the Battlestar Galactica Who Took That Prize - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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July 2nd, 2007


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08:44 am - It Was the Battlestar Galactica Who Took That Prize
Hi, guys! Remember this? Where I totally promised stuff to people who donated a lot of money?

You do? Shit, that means you've been waiting all this time.

Anyway, rowanceleste asked for a recap of the Battlestar Galactica season three finale. Now, I kinda think she might have meant "episode post" because some people refer to those as "recaps" for some reason, but in my mind, recap is more TWoP-style. Which is fun and challenging, and thus a better prize for donating to the AIDS Foundation.

It's been a couple months since I've seen "Crossroads, Part 2," which may actually prove to be an asset since I can act like it's almost new to me. Or it will be a huge detriment since I'm not carrying it inside me recently. Yes, that one, as it has taken me three nights to finish.

Now, I present to you, a recap of the BSG finale. It's terrible. I apologize.

And now, the SciFi Channel Original Series, Battlestar Galactica...

(I'm always confused by that phrase because BSG isn't exactly an "original" series. You know?)

PREVIOUSLY...Earth Earth Earth, who's got the Earth? Anders and Tigh both seem to hear this music that no one else can hear, and, according to Tigh, IT'S IN THE FRAKKIN' SHIP! (Is this the new "The call's coming from inside the house!"?) Keegan Connor Tracy appears to have a random role as a Baltar fangirl, but we know she's more than that because she's Keegan Connor Tracy. Baltar killed a bunch of people indirectly, and Roslin's got the cancer again, and Apollo's got daddy issues again.

We open on Adama shaving. The lights flicker. The Morse code reads, "Never grow that mustache back!"

The phone rings, and it's Roslin. Her first words? "Yell at me." Oh, she likes it like that, does she. Adama and Roslin flirt, and it's adorable. Then they engage in S&M over the phone, and it's still adorable.

Chief's room. Chief faces a problem we've all had: he's got a song stuck in his head, and he doesn't know what it is. It doesn't even have lyrics, so he can't Google it. Also, there's no Google.

In the barracks, Anders has inexplicably finished boffing Tory. Wait, that's inaccurate. It's not inexplicable that he's finished; as far as we know, Anders is no sixty-minute man (then again, the way Kara was obsessed with him post-Caprica, maybe he is). He has finished inexplicably boffing Tory? That just sounds awkward. Although Inexplicably Boffing is a good band name. Or a terrible one. He has finished boffing, inexplicably, Tory. That's closer to my meaning, which is basically: WTF? When did that happen? At least with Lee and Dualla, we got one randomly hot training session and an entire romance via previouslies. This has no basis in the story or characters at all as far as I know; have we even seen them TALK to each other ever? They were brought together by the television rule of Hot People Should Have Sex with Hot People. Offscreen, for decency's sake!

They're attempting round two when the music starts up and the camera starts going all wonky like David Fincher forgot to take his diazepam. Since the music is not bom-chicka-wow-wow, it doesn't turn Tory on; instead, it distracts her. She complains about the music, and Anders freaks out because it's not just in his head. Well, it's not just in his head, at least. Folie à deux?

Before they can have an extended conversation on this topic, there's a knock at the door. It's Seelix, who asks why the door's locked and then puts 2 and 2 together to get sex. Tory sits on the bed looking like a frickin' druggie caught making crack out of shoe polish.

In some part of the ship, Chief follows the music, listening for snatches. When he finally hears the tune again, it's as if he's reached perfect contentment. It's solace, that music, now.

Baltar's quarters, where the defense rests. (Ba dum, bum.) Lee wants to call for a mistrial since he's studied the LAW and knows they're losing. Baltar wants to keep going since he's studied his ASS and thinks they're winning. Badger keeps his mouth shut until Lee completely neglects the LAW and quotes the private conversation he had with his dad, who said Baltar didn't even deserve a fair trial. Now, I actually don't know much about the LAW so much, but isn't bringing that up grounds for a mistrial right there? Hey, wait, maybe this is Lee's secret plan.

Badger (look, I know his name's Romo or Lomo or Lampopo or Rolo Tomassi or something, but he's Badger, plain and simple) agrees that the judges, including Adama, are biased against Baltar, which is bad. Baltar's hilarious response is, "Right, so now because we're winning, we're losing, actually." Man, no one does self-entitled bitterness like James Callis. He gets to do it more when Lee reads from the Book of Adama that a mistrial increases the chances of acquittal by 25% (however, side effects may include nausea, fatigue, and retaliatory airlocking). Baltar throws a hissy fit, claiming that Lee just wants to get away from him, and Badger just wants to get back to "wherever he gets back to," a dig at the overblown quirky mystery of his character. It's is a pretty nice bit of humor for a show not known for it. The scene comes to close as Baltar declares that he can't taaaaaaaaake this shit again, and he wants a VERDICT. The question of what that verdict could be is left hanging in the air.

In the hangar, Racetrack is briefing the nuggets on Raptor 101. Anders is hanging by a ship, and Chief is a few yards away. The music...oh, it needs a name, let's go with Music of...of...damn, recapping is hard. The Music of Damn Recapping Is Hard plays lightly, and we get Chief close-up on the right of the frame as he starts to hum the tune. Anders notices and comes on over, all "Hum here often?" Chief tries to explain what the song is, something he can't get out of his head, and this is only something you're likely to catch on a subsequent viewing: he absent-mindedly says "some way out of here." When Anders tells him he hears the song too, they walk a couple yards out of earshot.

Here's the thing with the music: it's totally bizarre. Like, never in a million years would you think "freaky music that only a few people can hear" would be a plot element on Battlestar Galactica. If you think it's silly, you can do that. But if you give in to the concept, it's pretty damn awesome, and it's executed in a cool way, especially because the Music of Damn Recapping Is Hard is just as odd and out-of-place to the audience as it is to the characters at first. Of course, then it gets odder.

Because when Anders and Chief commiserate over their special secret song, they discover that, for both of them, it's a song that sounds like it's from their childhood. As the music gets wild and crazy, we wonder what that could possibly mean. They were in the same boarding school? They're long-lost brothers? They're Cylons? No, no, that can't be it. That would be RIDICULOUS.

You know what else is ridiculous? That it's taken me nearly ninety minutes to get to the fucking credits.

Except there are no credits. Just Christopher Lloyd getting an easy paycheck.

Ah, the SciFi Channel wants you to text in who you think is responsible for the strange music! Is it A. The Cylons, B. Human saboteurs, C. A third party yet to be revealed, or D. Yanni. The results of this important viewer poll, which costs a WHOLE DOLLAR to vote in, will be sent back to your phone, uselessly.

Please tell me none of you texted in.

We return in the medical wing after Roslin's received her first dose of chemo from Doc Cottle. Someone must have spiked it with crazy because as soon as Cottle leaves, Roslin has this weird fever dream. She's in the Kobol Opera House, chasing after Hera, as is Sharon. But Six gets to her first, and Baltar joins them, and they're such a big happy imaginary family that Roslin screams awake.

And so does Sharon. Music, dreams...there's a lot of weird connections between people in this episode. Roslin goes over to Sharon...

...and next thing you know, we're in Six's cell. Roslin and Sharon are brought in by armed guards and then left alone. Roslin asks, with a subtle sense that she can't believe she's asking this, whether Six shared the dream too. The answer is in Six's reaction. She's as baffled as the rest of them, but she says all she knew was that she had to protect Hera with her life. There's a nice little shot of Six, Sharon, and Roslin, all in frame, a reminder that whatever BSG does wrong, it's still got the most strong female characters of any show on television. Next to Avatar.

We transition from the women, who handle their madness calmly, to a man, who handles his madness...like a madman. Tigh is raving to Adama about how THEY PUT THE MUSIC IN THE SHIP, as if that makes any sense. Adama humors him, telling him he'll look into it, but Tigh calls him on it and goes on about Cylon saboteurs. Adama's all, "So they're sabotaging us...with music? They're going to force us into a dance party that will distract everyone from the killer robot carnage?" Tigh's all, "There's too much confusion." (Ding! This episode becomes either more cracked-out or more brilliant when you look at it closely.)

Adama says he has to go to court, and Tigh's like, "Oh, FINE. Go to COURT. With your JUSTICE. And your LAWYERING. I'll stay here and be CRAZY." Of course, Michael Hogan says all that with "Okay. Go to court." After Adama leaves, Tigh looks up at the ceiling and muses, "There must be some kind of way out of here." The hell? This is the first time you really notice, the first time it sticks out.

Order in the Court! The prosecutor is questioning Gaeta about Baltar's Death List 2000. It's all fair and balanced until Felix perjures his ass off by claiming he saw Baltar sign it. And poor Baltar yells that he's lying, but who's going to believe Baltar? Gaeta describes the fake scene accurately up to the point where Baltar is asked to sign the document. The prosecutor asks if Baltar protested, resisted, anything. As Baltar implores Gaeta wordlessly, we get a flashback to the scene that shows that yes, Baltar protested and resisted until they put a fucking gun to his head. And, really, what was he supposed to do, DIE? As if that would stop them from killing all those people? There's a reason we have the expression about having a gun held to your head: it's because in that situation, you do what the nice man with the gun says. Can anyone in the Fleet honestly say they would have acted differently? This show dwells in that moral gray area. People may despise Baltar on principle, but I get angry on his behalf when they blame him for signing as if he got some sick joy out of sentencing people to their deaths. He's one of my favorite characters; I get defensive.

As does Baltar, of himself, when Gaeta claims he signed with no resistance. Gaius makes a total scene, reminding the court that Gaeta tried to stab him, but then he takes it one step past AWESOME by noting that he missed! And then he calls him "Butterfingers"! Oh, Baltar. I love you so much. You mock people for FAILING TO KILL YOU PROPERLY. But not in a cool, triumphant way. In a third-grade way.

The prosecution hands Gaeta off to Badger, who takes three thousand years to hobble up to the floor. He stares at Gaeta for three thousand more years and then declares, "No questions." Baltar's all, "WHAT?!" (No, literally, that's what he says! See, I love him.) There's hubbub among the crowd, a quick shot of Keegan Connor Tracy.

Badger tells Baltar that there's nothing he can do since it's his word against Gaeta's, so they have to adjust their strategy. The poundry drums take us to commercial.

How is Saw appropriate for the SciFi Channel?

A Connecticut Badger in King Adama's Court. Badger asks for a mistrial, because apparently now they're not winning so hard they're losing, they're just plain losing. He accuses Adama of being biased against Baltar and then proceeds to call Lee to the stand. Lee, understandably, won't have any of it, but Badger says it's their only shot.

Prosecutor Lady Who Might Have a Name But I Don't Know It is all blah-di-blah about how counsel can't testify under any circumstances. Badger immediately says, "I can cite at least seven precedents off the top of my head." It doesn't even matter whether he's talking out of his ass since he's so confident, but, really, seven? Did he have that number memorized? Actually, come to think of it, he probably did, knowing he'd be called on this.

After some portentous silence, the Blonde Judge Whose Name I Also Don't Know lets Badger do his thing. With Lee. But not like that. Lee gets up and walks like his dad just sent him to sit in the corner for three hours, reading Stop Eating All Those Frakking Noodles. Sad music plays as he passes his dad, shooting him meaningful glances. Adama, stone-faced, just blinks. And blinks. And blinks. The Morse Code reads, "Et tu Lee stop." But this isn't evidence that Shakespeare has already written Julius Caesar, making this the distant future. No, it's just that some guy who was maybe exactly like Shakespeare in every way existed so many years ago and he just happened to write Julius Caesar with his band of monkeys and typewriters. Or Shakespeare was a Cylon. Just like Bob Dylan.

Badger sets Lee up to tell the court what he told him. Lee hesitates. Badger only wants the truth. THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE! Lee is still hesitant. Badger starts yelling and convulsing about the system of justice, and Lee has just HAD IT and is all, "WHAT FRAKKING SYSTEM?" (No, literally, that's what he says! I don't usually love Lee, but I love him right now, and for this upcoming monologue.) The Blonde Judge is all, "Mr. Adama!" Such language! There are children present! And now there's mumbling and muttering in the audience. If you listen closely you can hear a teeny voice asking, "Mommy, what's 'frakking' mean?"

Badger apologizes and switches tactics: he asks Lee if he thinks Baltar deserves a fair trial. Through all this, Baltar just kind of sits there in his mane of hair, almost bored. Lee says that, yeah, he thinks so, since he thinks he's not guilty. Prosecutor Lady calls foul, and Lee's all, "Good call!" Blonde Judge agrees, and Prosecutor Lady gives a curt "Thank you!" Like, "Damn straight!"

Then Adama starts talking, and you never know what's going to come out of that guy's mouth. "You can appeal to the President if you feel that this influences the verdict," he starts, making it sound like he's about to shut Lee down some more, but then he continues, "but I for one"—and he leans over and looks both ways, like he's checking to see if any other bitch in this courtroom is going to dare not let Adama get what Adama wants—"would like to hear this witness [ouch!] testify." An offscreen male judge smells the testosterone and seconds.

Lee's totally baffled. Badger has to call him twice to get his attention because he's just staring at his dad all WTF. He asks why he thinks Baltar deserves to be acquitted, and Lee gives some pansy-ass answer about evidence not supporting the charges. Badger gives him a "Come on." And with that final goading, something just flips inside Lee Adama, and it's Jamie Bamber's chance to shine.

All right, I've got to just transcribe Lee's monologue here, because it's made of fucking awesome:

Did the defendant make mistakes? Sure, he did. Serious mistakes, but did he actually commit any crimes, did he commit treason? No. I mean, it was an impossible situation. When the Cylons arrived, what could he possibly do? What could anyone have done? I mean, ask yourself, what would you have done? What would you have done? If he had refused to surrender, the Cylons probably would have nuked the planet right then and there. So did he appear to cooperate with the Cylons? Sure. So did hundreds of others. What's the difference between him and them?

The President issued a blanket pardon. They were all forgiven, no questions asked. Colonel Tigh. Colonel Tigh used suicide bombers, killed
dozens of people: forgiven. Lieutenant Agathon and Chief Tyrol, they murdered an officer on the Pegasus: forgiven. The Admiral! The Admiral instituted a military coup d'etat against the President: forgiven. And me? Well, where do I begin? I shot down a civilian passenger ship, the Olympic Carrier, over a thousand people onboard: forgiven. I raised my weapon to a superior officer, committed an act of mutiny: forgiven. And then on the very day when Baltar surrendered to those Cylons, I, as commander of Pegasus, jumped away; I left everybody on that planet alone, undefended for months. I even tried to persuade the Admiral never to return, to abandon you all there for good. If I'd had my way, nobody would have made it off that planet. I'm the coward. I'm the traitor. I'm forgiven.

I'd say we're very forgiving of mistakes. We make our own laws now, our own justice, and we've been pretty creative at finding ways to let people off the hook from everything from theft to murder. And we've had to be. Because...because we're not a civilization anymore. We are a
gang. And we're on the run. And we have to fight to survive. We have to break laws; we have to bend rules; we have to improvise! But not this time, no. Not this time. Not for Gaius Baltar. No, you, you have to die! You have to die because, well, we don't like you very much. Because you're arrogant. Because you're weak. Because you're a coward. And we the mob, we want to throw you out the airlock because you didn't stand up to the Cylons and get yourself killed in the process. That's justice now! You should have been killed back on New Caprica! But since you had the temerity to live, we're going to execute you now. That's justice!

Lee's interrupted as the angry mob begins churning. No, that's totally not how we are! Like, seriously, you guys! We are very calm and rational in our belief that the guy with all the hair committed a crime as per the evidence! Order! Order! Man, I forgot how fucking long this monologue is. It's not done yet!

This case...this case is built on emotion. On anger. Bitterness. Vengeance. But most of all, it is built on shame. It's about the shame of what we did to ourselves back on that planet. It's about the guilt of those of us who ran away. Who ran away. And we are trying to dump all that guilt and all that shame onto one man, and then flush him out the airlock and hope that that just gets rid of it all. So that we can live with ourselves. But that won't work. That won't work. That's not justice. Not to me. Not to me.

Lee's just run out of steam here at the end; he's resorted to repeating himself for dramatic effect. But before that? Jesus God. I also forgot how fucking sweet this monologue is. It's like it singlehandedly erases anything sucky about season three by distilling the true essence of this season into about 500 words. If he edited a bit, he could use this for a college application or something. If he were applying to the University of Moral Ambiguity. And it's not just the season he's condensing here, it's the entire show. Back in "Litmus," when the genocide was fresh, they didn't really get it. But now, Lee Adama gets it. They're not a civilization anymore, and the old rules no longer apply. It's nice to cling to them for comfort, but sooner or later, you have to realize that they were written for a different time. It's strict constructionism, is what it is.

This scene is great. It's awesome in that completely implausible television way where, like, no one says anything for hours and lets Lee go on and on and on, barely even registering a reaction, just listening intently. And Lee, Lee is totally into it, with hand gestures and all. It's pretty impeccably delivered; it really does sound like it's all coming from the heart, it's all pouring out of him the way these things do. It's not completely polished, which makes it sound more real. And the man is just laying it all out there for these people, even telling them that he basically signed their death warrants with far more intent and purpose than Baltar did. You realize in this scene why Lee defended Baltar, why he was so passionate about it. It's because he identifies with him. It's about guilt, like he says.

I keep looking over Lee's monologue and realizing there's basically nothing left to say. He said everything I had been thinking during this whole trial. I like when characters do that.

Back to the show! Badger can't follow a stunt like that, so it's no further questions. Prosecutor Lady wants to note her "strong exception," and Blonde Judge is all, whatevs. She offers to let her question Lee, and Prosecutor's all, "Bitch, please." Basically.

Badger rests the defense, and Our Honors go to recess, where they play kickball for the verdict. Roslin comes over to tell Prosecutor Lady that she did a great job, which translates to "Thanks for losing the case, bitch." She's going to have a date with the airlock soon. The camera focuses in on Baltar, now standing, and he looks pleased, worried, intent, stoned, and/or aroused. I can't tell through all the hair.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Trial of the Century, already in progress. Our Honors walk in, and everyone rises as the camera pulls out to show us the entire courtroom. Behind the judges are a bunch of flags, presumably one from each colony. In the middle, above Blonde Judge, is the familiar seal of Galactica. Our Honors sit down, and everyone follows suit. Baltar is the last to sit.

Blonde Judge tries to match Lee's monologue with some pithy bullshit about justice and humans and machines, but she can't even practice proper subject-verb agreement ("our very imperfections that separates"?? When Lee was talking about bending rules, he meant the LAW, not ENGLISH! Or...Colonialese, or whatever the hell English is really called since there's no England. OR IS THERE.). After having several shots of the crowd around Keegan Connor Tracy, we finally get a reaction shot from her that's closer and more focused on her. She's pretty. Do that more, camera!

"The defendant will rise," says Blonde Judge, and apparently the music is on trial here, because it rises too. She reads out the verdict. It was 3 to 2. They're 60% sure about this, guys! And the Oscar goes to...not guilty!

The crowd goes wild just like in every courtroom verdict scene ever. Baltar stands, shocked. A single tear weasels its way out. The lawyers politely congratulate each other, and Roslin gets the hell out of there, but not before shooting daggers at Lee, who is never going to tap that ass now. More riots and screaming as Baltar quickly recovers and looks for the nearest microphone to talk about how awesome he is. Lee gets him out before someone tries to kill him. Er, again. And thus ends the trial of Gaius Baltar.

Wait. Wait. GODDAMMIT. Was it too much to ask for anyone at any point during the trial to yell the exchange, "[Anyone], you are out of order!"/"This whole TRIAL is out of order!!" I mean, for me? It would have been so perfect, too. Wasted opportunity, Ron D. Moore. Wasted opportunity.

Outside, Baltar wastes no time gloating about how he was sooooo sure all along they were going to win, and Badger's kind of like, "Very nice, very nice, here's a chew toy." He thanks Badger and Lee sincerely for getting him off (dirty!) but can't resist a dig at the Admiral, which sets Lee off. As Lee advances on Baltar, his demeanor changes, and it's hilarious. Whereas just a second before, he was the arrogant know-it-all prick we know and love, now there is fear in his eyes. Fear! Who's afraid of Lee? Well, Gaius Baltar, who's afraid of everybody, that's who. Lee puts him in his place, and Baltar moves onto Badger, hoping he'd accompany him on his book tour. No such luck, as both Lee and Badger are totally washing their hands of him. When Baltar gets all woe-is-me about how he'll survive, Badger pulls out a "cat metaphor," and I STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THEY HAVE CATS. Where did these cats come from? Is this the past? The future? Did the Cylons build cats out of wood and steam and moonbeams? And why are they called "cats"? How is it that the very word we use today for these feline creatures, however they evolved, is being used to describe them? Are they still trying to pretend this isn't the future? Or is it just all of this has meowed, and all of it will meow again?

Leaving poor Baltar all by his lonesome, Badger and Lee walk away. Lee asks Badger if he "knew what would happen" when he put him on the stand. All Badger says is that he knew Lee was an honest man. And then he puts down his cane and puts on his sunglasses, because wearing sunglasses indoors makes you way cool. He strolls away, down those A-shaped halls. Lee sees that he left his cane behind, and it sinks in. I wonder if Badger saw The Prestige. Christopher Nolan is a Cylon? And thus ends the curious tale of Romo Lampkin.

Some sort of alcove above the command room. Roslin can't get the bad taste of "not guilty" out of her mouth, but Adama assures her that "not guilty does not equal innocent." That may be true, but the square root of "not guilty" does equal the square root of "innocent." Math is CRAZY. Then it gets really awkward as Roslin realizes Adama voted "not guilty." Man, she's being betrayed by Adamas left and right today. There's a nice shot of Roslin reflected in a mirror for no symbolic reason that I can tell, but mirror shots are cool. Cinematographers learn that in film school, I swear. Adama sets a course for the Ionian Nebula, home of Ione Skye. And, um, Earth.

Baltar forlornly walks through a corridor with his earthly possessions, head down, trying not to make eye contact with all the people who wanted him dead. Some guy "accidentally" bumps into him and insincerely says, "Excuse me." Oh my GOD, are we back in middle school?

Gaeta initiates the jump. I will never get tired of seeing that effect. Or those spaceships. They look so fucking real! I want one.

All right, guys. This is where things get freaky.

Everyone's getting settled in the command room. Adama requests a dradis scan. And suddenly, for no apparent reason, the camera zooms in on Roslin, and I mean it zoooooooms in, like it starts from way back where she is directly in the middle of the frame so that if you pause the shot as I have done, it looks like Adama and Helo are GIANTS towering over her, and then the camera flies at Roslin's face, but before it hits her, she looks down as if she's been hit with a mild headache. She gives a low groan and puts her head in her hands.

And then the lights go out. I told you things were going to get freaky!

Tigh is listening to the walls. The Music of Damn Recapping Is Hard starts up again as the score goes crazy with the strings and takes us into commercial.

There's chaos everywhere as people try to get the power back on. Baltar doesn't bother freaking out since, hey, at least he's not in deep space right now. He has another problem on his hands, however: shadowy figures in the corridor! They're going to kill him! Oh no! Or oh yes, depending on how you feel about Baltar. But, in fact, this is just Keegan Connor Tracy and her Freedom Fighters or whatever, coming to take Baltar away to a safe place.

In her cell, Six is dreaming of the Opera House again, and she's there with Baltar and Hera, which means we get some snatches of "The Shape of Things to Come." I heartily approve, as "Passacaglia"/"The Shape of Things to Come" are some of my favorite pieces of music ever. There are six, not five tubes of white light running down the side like organ pipes as they approach. They turn, and from the balcony look down the Final Five, all shining white like the Illuminati. The music rises to a fever pitch before the shot flashes in negative and Six wakes up.

Okay, here it comes. We're in the hangar, with everyone hustling and bustling about. Focus on Chief, for whom everything goes slow-motion. All the voices are dampened. He's listening for the Music. That's all he wants to hear. He finally catches the melody, and sound returns to normal. He non sequiturs, "There must be some kind of way out of here."

Close up on Tigh with his ear to the wall: "Said the joker to the thief." (This is the only line that makes no sense at all in context, but what are you going to do?)

Then whooooooa, it's time for Fincher-Cam again, as we're in Alien3 flying all wobbly-schmobbly through the barracks until we find Anders's ear. He gets up and starts to walk like he's half-drunk, saying, "There's too much confusion here."

Tory's in a bathroom, and the spinning camera gives her vertigo, so she throws up in the toilet. She washes her face and then looks in the mirror. "I can't get no relief."

HEY THAT RHYMES. If you're more familiar with "All Along the Watchtower" than I am, you likely caught onto this much earlier, but it was this line that finally clued me into the WTF. Mostly because of the double-negative. I realized she was quoting something. And it didn't sound like anything in their world; it sounded like our modern-day talk, and that was FUCKED-UP. I don't think I recognized the song, but I had an inkling. Not that it made any sense.

Tyrol, Anders, Tigh, and Tory all begin stumbling toward an unknown destination, as if drawn to it. Hm. He is Samuel T. Anders, isn't he? I'ma call him Tanders. The Music of Damn Recapping Is Hard begins to resemble an actual song now with the addition of, yes, electric guitars. It's awesome. I would not have thought it would fit, and it took a little getting used to, but not a whole lot since I really loved the music. This isn't awful like the last time Bear tried being all experimental, with "Pegasus" and that bizarro whatever-it-was he used for the first twenty minutes. This is a kickass meld of hard rock and Middle Eastern lilt.

Tyrol enters a room to find Tanders already in it. Then Tory arrives, all "This isn't happening." She tries to go to Tanders for comfort, but he stops her, not wanting to touch her. Now he maybe gets why he was inexplicably drawn to her. What's awesome about this scene is that the implication that they're Cylons (spoiler warning!) clearly hangs over them, and they, like us, are just waiting for someone to say it out loud and make it true.

Tigh walks in and gives a great "Whoooooooa" at the sight of the other three. Tanders is as baffled as the audience, because Tigh makes the least sense ever as a Cylon, given how frakking old he is and the fact that he has a history with Adama. Tory's busy trying to figure out what the hell that song is in that's stuck in all their heads. This leads to the most dramatically ridiculous hum-along in television history. (No, it's cool, and it's appropriately freaky, but, really, they're all just standing here HUMMING! This is BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, people, and they're just standing around and HUMMING.)

Finally, Tigh has had enough, and he yells at Tanders to lock the frakking door. And then he chronicles the travails of his life, the wars, the combat, the dungeon, Ellen. The music builds. Tanders picks up the Stick of Disbelief, bringing up the Resistance and the deaths on New Caprica. The sound of drums is added. And then the music almost entirely cuts out as Tyrol delivers the earthshattering revelation: "We're Cylons. And we have been from the start." What now? WHAT? NOW THAT YOU'RE ALL FLIPPY-SWITCHED, YOU KNOW ALL THIS? IN YOUR HEART? WOE UPON YOUR CYLON HEART!

Back in the command room, the lights come back on. See? The truth did set them free! Dualla reports that the power outage was fleetwide, and so was the power innage. All right! Time to relax! Wait, no, OMG CYLONS EVERYWHERE. Alert! Alert! Jump away! You can't for another twenty minutes! WE DON'T HAVE TWENTY MINUTES!! I love finales. They get all perilous and shit.

Who Wants to Be a Cylon? Headquarters. The Four Ts hear the alert and wonder what to do. Tigh declares that the ship is under attack, so they should report to their stations. The other three don't get it. Tigh says, "My name is Saul Tigh; I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be." Dude, I used to hate Tigh, but I've grown to LOVE this grizzled bastard. That's just awesome right there: he chooses who he is. Man, machine, whatever: you get to create your own identity. You hold sole claim on that point. This show, man, it's not always perfect, but it's ambitious, and it goes for deep shit, and when it hits, it hits it out of the park.

As Tigh leaves, a cover of "All Along the Watchtower" by Bear McCreary's brother Bt4 starts up. Now, if you're interested in music at all, I suggest you read Bear's blog post about the creation of this song because it's pretty interesting. If you're interested in music at all, you'll probably hate that I love this version...especially because it's probably the first time I ever heard the song. Don't shoot! I've now heard the Dylan and Hendrix versions, and I still prefer this one, mostly because I love the music to pieces. The vocals aren't the best, but the music is damn awesome. But I'm getting ahead of myself, since the vocals haven't kicked in.

Tigh and Tanders enter the hangar, full of pilots sprinting to ships. Cally sees Tyrol and asks, "Where the hell have you been?" Tyrol says, "Well, I've been hearing this weird music for the past few days, and it turns out that Anders, Tory, and Tigh have all been hearing it too. And we went into this room and realized that we were Cylons! And have been from the start! They didn't want to believe it, but I told them so. Then we heard the alarms go off, and Tigh said something about being a man and stuff, so we came here to help out. How's Nicky?" Well, presumably, he says that later, since his actual response is "I'll tell you later." Tigh and Tanders share a meaningful look as the deep, dark, hard guitar riff continues.

People run past Lee Adama, Hotshot Lawyer, in the hall, and he realizes that's not the man he wants to be. He grabs his pilot gear.

Tigh and Tory enter the command room and take their posts, and how fucking awesome is this? Tigh is right hand to the Admiral, and Tory is right hand to the President. Do the Cylons know how to pick 'em or what? Tigh and Tory share a meaningful look. That is, Tory gives Tigh a meaningful look, and Tigh gives Tory half a meaningful look.

Oh, now there's the singing. This is unnecessary. This, unlike the discordant musical choice, doesn't fit. BSG has been able to avoid the Musical Montage Cliché precisely because it's out of time and so regular songs cannot be used to score it. This is cheating! No singing! Stop the singing! The music is awesome, don't ruin it! This is just like Josh Groban ruining the only good musical theme in Troy!

Anyway, Lee's in a Viper, flying out into space, and he picks up something on dradis. Can you guess who it is? No, really, can you guess? WHO COULD IT POSSIBLY BE, WITH LIKE TWO MINUTES LEFT IN THE FINALE??? The bogey disappears, it's behind him, it's flying all over the place, and Lee heads deeper into the colorful ion cluster.

And then the ship pulls up right beside him. And Lee sees who's in the cockpit. It's Starbuck. Kara Thrace. Back from the dead. She turns to him. "Hi, Lee."

"Kara??" says Lee.

Kara laughs. "Don't freak out; it really is me," she says. Oh yeah? Why should we trust YOU?! You could be a Cylon! Everyone could be a Cylon if TIGH is a frickin' Cylon! Who's the Final Fifth? MAYBE IT'S YOU. She laughs some more and says, "It's gonna be okay." Okay? What the frak? And she expects Lee to believe it really is her? Kara Thrace brings only paaaaaaain. "I've been to Earth," she says. "I know where it is. And I'm gonna take us there." Is this really Starbuck? Or a hallucination? If the latter, it's kind of cheap. It has to be the former, given all the Kara Thrace and Her Special Destiny stuff we've gotten. Because remember: it's no one's destiny to get blown up for no good reason. That's not a destiny. I have no idea what's going on here, but it sure sounds awesome.

Bt4 yells, "All along the watchtower!" And we get this amazingly cool shot that begins above the Vipers and pulls back, back past the ships, back past the Fleet, back past the planets, back past the galaxies...and then it rushes forward into another point, skipping everything in between, and that yellow spot there is the sun, and there's Earth. That is motherfucking Earth. That is the endgame. We're almost home.

Well played, Moore and Eick. Well played.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails - La Mer

(15 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:vaspider
Date:July 2nd, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
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I have got to watch this episode again now.

Incidentally, you literally made me spit-take a couple of times. Thankfully, I missed my computer when doing so. :P
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 2nd, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad I induced spit-takes! And I'm glad I didn't ruin your computer in the process.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 2nd, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!
[User Picture]
From:smrou
Date:July 2nd, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
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Great recap! You did a really good job.

We open on Adama shaving. The lights flicker. The Morse code reads, "Never grow that mustache back!"
Aww, but I love the moustache! The moustache is cool! The moustache is sexy! I miss the moustache.

Tigh looks up at the ceiling and muses, "There must be some kind of way out of here." The hell? This is the first time you really notice, the first time it sticks out.
The first time I groaned audibly. Ugh.

I don't think I recognized the song, but I had an inkling. Not that it made any sense.
I think I would have despised the whole song nonsense so much less if I didn't actually know the song so very well.

The Music of Damn Recapping Is Hard begins to resemble an actual song now with the addition of, yes, electric guitars. It's awesome.
Yeah...gonna have to disagree COMPLETELY there. Not awesome. Not at all. Sucky.

This leads to the most dramatically ridiculous hum-along in television history. (No, it's cool,
No, it's not.

Tigh says, "My name is Saul Tigh; I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be." Dude, I used to hate Tigh, but I've grown to LOVE this grizzled bastard.
Me too. Completely. And that little bit right there was the PERFECT reaction for him, and I loved it.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 2nd, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Great recap! You did a really good job.
Thanks!

I think I would have despised the whole song nonsense so much less if I didn't actually know the song so very well.
Hee. Ignorance is bliss for me, then? I thought the song nonsense was really weird, but I loved the song at the end.

No, it's not.
It's cool in a WTH freaky kind of way. I like the way they feel this invisible connection with each other.
[User Picture]
From:smrou
Date:July 2nd, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
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Hee. Ignorance is bliss for me, then?
I think so, yeah. It's like, back in...um, whichever episode had Helo and Kara hanging out in Kara's apartment in Delphi ("Resistance"?) and the Philip Glass song played, that was probably weird for the people who knew that piece of music really well. Probably took them out of the moment. Well that's what this was like with "All Along the Watchtower", except that it's WAY more popular and ubiquitous than the Glass piece, so it was obviously meant to be familiar. And I hate everything about that.

It's cool in a WTH freaky kind of way. I like the way they feel this invisible connection with each other.
Them feeling a connection is fine, but I really hated the way they did it. I hated everything to do with the song, basically. The quoting of the lyrics and the humming just seemed so ham-handed and corny and generally yuck to me. And instead of thinking, "This is weird. I wonder what's going on?" while it was happening, I was thinking "STOP WITH THE GODDAMN SONG!"
[User Picture]
From:mutinousmuse
Date:July 3rd, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
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I loved reading this! I've had my ups and downs with this season, but I really do think the finale was outstanding. This recap reminded me why, and got me excited for the show again!

Or is it just all of this has meowed, and all of it will meow again?

I think you've hit the nail on the head here. Also, I think this show's mythology would allow for evolution as guided by deity (I can't put my finger on whether I think the show is monotheistic or polytheistic, but there's definitely some theism going on!). Bearing that and the connection between the Earth and the colonies, cats have been connected with deity in several Earth cultures, so... ? I dunno. I give this show a lot of wiggle because they have cool spaceships and lots of pretty.

Now we just have to wait till, um, February? o_o
[User Picture]
From:rowanceleste
Date:July 3rd, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
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Thanks, Sunil! I loved the recap!

Tigh says, "My name is Saul Tigh; I am an officer in the Colonial Fleet. Whatever else I am, whatever else it means, that's the man I want to be. And if I die today, that's the man I'll be." Dude, I used to hate Tigh, but I've grown to LOVE this grizzled bastard.

I definitely love Tigh now, although in S1 I was glad when Starbuck clocked him.

I still don't get how some freaky ass song means they're all Cylons or how Colonol Tigh can be a Cylon when it could have changed the entire tide of the war. I have a feeling that between Tigh, Tyrol and Anders, they're going to cause a Cylon uprising, especially since they were so active as rebels on New Caprica.

As for Kara, I'm glad she's not dead as she's one of my favorite characters, but the only reason I don't think she's a Cylon is that because it would be predictable. Otherwise, we saw her frakking ship explode, you know?
[User Picture]
From:miniglik
Date:July 3rd, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
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Rolo Tomassi ! HEE!

I still hate the four cylons reveal. It just bugs me. But otherwise it's a really good episode. And you reminded me how much I love Lee's (completely unrealistic) courtroom speech.
[User Picture]
From:debetesse
Date:July 3rd, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC)
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I think my favorite thing is that Baltar is totally guilty of treason. Totally. Just not for the actions he was being tried for.
[User Picture]
From:areacode212
Date:July 8th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I love the music when the electric guitars start to kick in, because it's so different from McCreary's usual stuff and also because you know it's heralding the fact that something awesome is going to happen.

Supposedly, Callis threw in the "Butterfingers" thing as an improv. I loved it, especially since I was really hating on Gaeta at that moment.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:July 8th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
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Ahaha! Okay, James Callis rocks. More than before. Especially because I can't imagine throwing that in as an improv and then not immediately bursting out laughing.
[User Picture]
From:notemily
Date:October 26th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)

here from mark watches

(Link)
Chief faces a problem we've all had: he's got a song stuck in his head, and he doesn't know what it is. It doesn't even have lyrics, so he can't Google it. Also, there's no Google.

This made me laugh out loud for reals. :D I wish I had been following your livejournal when I first watched the episode!

If he edited a bit, he could use this for a college application or something. If he were applying to the University of Moral Ambiguity.

Another burst-out-laughing line. Did TWOP ever hire you? If not, what were they thinking?

I wonder if Badger saw The Prestige.

I was trying to think what that scene reminded me of, and there it is. I kinda love that movie. Also, it's totally Christian Bale that's a cylon. I mean, there are two of him!

My icon randomizer chose the perfect icon for this comment.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:October 27th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)

Re: here from mark watches

(Link)
Thanks for reading! I'm glad you liked it. And, yes, ha, perfect icon.

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