?

Log in

No account? Create an account
The Circle of Death - The Book of the Celestial Cow

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile
> My Website

February 4th, 2006


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
01:10 am - The Circle of Death
I'm not feeling very inspired, but yet, I have a few things to say.

The previews made this episode look even worse than last week's, but I definitely liked it more. I mean, did you see the flippy ships?! They were flippy!! Plus, no random space hookers. And at least we've seen the Romantic Interest from the Paaaaaaast before.

I did have a kneejerk to yet another "X hours ago," but at least it wasn't 48! And I ended up really liking the framing device. That's the kind of nonlinear storytelling I can get behind. This is the way you do it: throw us into the action, and keep us there as you enrich what's really going on by showing us how they got there.

Is anyone else really disconcerted by the huge jumps in time these days? I mean, the first season-and-a-half crawled along, and now we're skipping weeks in between episodes. I guess it kind of works in this instance because you at least get a sense of what you've been missing, which is a lot of bitching between Kat and Starbuck, and a lot of pilots dying, and a lot of Baltar masturbating. Come on, that's just a given.

Why did it take twenty goddamn episodes for them to follow up on the fact that the Raiders have more of a consciousness than they expected? And the fact that they reincarnate? Right, because they probably just decided this last Monday. I mean, Raiders with personality is a cool concept, and they should have been playing it with way more. And Scar shouldn't be some random nemesis introduced in one episode that's been terrorizing them for four weeks we didn't see.

Speaking of weeks, I was thinking about the fact that they use the same units of time we do and call them by the same names. What's the etymology of "minute" and "hour" and "day"? Is this evidence that they're the future, not the past?

Great scene between Boomer and Starbuck. Except I have no idea why Boomer knows anything about Scar and what he feels. Perhaps they were BFF back in the day.

I wonder if Aaron Douglas sometimes looks at his scenes and thinks, "So...I'm in the hangar...because I'm the Chief...but I don't actually do anything pertinent to my character...um, do I really have to show up for this?" I mean, they didn't bother to get Nicki Clyne, and Cally would have conceivably been there too.

Why the fuck is Anders popping up in Starbuck's head now? She hasn't mentioned him in ages. How can he be her something to live for now? I actually don't even mind the fact that she's obsessed with him because, hey, sometimes these things happen. But this randomly triggered angst is bizarre, and it's really enough to have her sparring with Kat. Who's really moving up in the world, tertiary-characterwise. It's kind of sad that she was actually not so much in the wrong with her criticisms of Starbuck. Buck up, Starbuck! Okay, that was bad and I know it.

Riley's girlfriend is pretty. She looks like a cross between Anna Paquin and Amber Tamblyn.

I know I bitched about the hyperedited flashbacks last week, but they were far more effective this week. I liked them. Again, because we actually knew what the fuck they were. Really nice crosscutting of visual associations (throwing the bottle -> throwing the pyramid ball, doing body shots off her stomach -> Anders kissing her stomach, etc.).

The drinking scene (well, the last one) was weird at the end. Starbuck lists all the pilots who've died (and dude, when your callsign's Fireball, you're just asking for trouble...although Crashdown didn't end up actually crashing down), and then she stops, like she's trying to get one last name out, and I think she's trying to say, "Zak," but he was pre-apocalypse and doesn't count, I suppose.

Apollo thinks, "Well, I should help her out." So he helpfully adds, "To all of them." Um...what? That's your glorious addition? How many brain cells did it take to come up with that?

And then there's a silence, and Adama thinks, "Holy shit, this is a perfect time for my catchphrase!" So he awkwardly adds in a, "So say we all!" And everyone so says them all. It was weird, guys.

That final Helo/Starbuck scene is adorable. I didn't get why they were being all chummy because it feels like we've hardly seen them interact...ever, but then I realized that he's pretty much the only person who gets her deal with Anders. Also, apparently they used to be friends and all.

All in all, it felt much more like BSG, even if it wasn't a stellar episode. Still decent, though.

Also, in that one scene, Starbuck and Kat were totally going to make out.
Current Mood: crankycranky
Current Music: Rilo Kiley - A Man/Me/Then Jim

(27 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:smrou
Date:February 4th, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
(Link)
And Scar shouldn't be some random nemesis introduced in one episode that's been terrorizing them for four weeks we didn't see.
I assumed that Scar was the Raider that Starbuck gutted, and that it was out for revenge. But that certainly wasn't made explicit, so maybe I was reading a lot more into it than was really there.

Great scene between Boomer and Starbuck.
Best scene of the episode. I really liked it a lot.

Why the fuck is Anders popping up in Starbuck's head now? She hasn't mentioned him in ages.
This was my major problem with the episode. The fact that some obsession with Anders was Starbuck's motivation might have worked for me if it had happened soon after she'd returned from Caprica, but it's been ages and there's been nary a mention of this deep affection she had for Anders. I already have trouble with the fact that she just didn't know him for very long and yet is so in love with him, but I'm willing to accept that they had some deep connection, or that he symbolizes all the people left behind, or something like that. But it just seemed to come out of nowhere.

Still better than the whole Apollo-Hooker thing from last week, though.

But I've got to give this episode a B-. I like Starbuck, but I overdose on her pretty easily, so this was too much. A really Starbuck-heavy episode might have worked well for me if a)her motivation had been more plausible, and b)obnoxious Kat hadn't been there to worsen it. Kat represents all the things that I didn't like about Starbuck originally (more set on being belligerent than actually helpful/too stereotypical a "tough guy" attitude), but with none of Starbuck's positive attributes.

I also just miss Adama, Roslin, Tigh (who, yes, were all present in the episode, but sure didn't have much to do), and Baltar/Six. But at least there was a kickin' dogfight.
[User Picture]
From:wisteria_
Date:February 4th, 2006 06:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
I liked it more than you and most everyone else on this planet did, but then 1) I'm pathetically easy to please and love just about everything, and 2) forty-two minutes of the one chick I would so totally switch teams for. Whee!

Speaking...

Also, in that one scene, Starbuck and Kat were totally going to make out.

GOD, yes. Even though I've never really been into slash (except for Kara/Alanna), I've mentioned before how perplexed I am that BSG is the *least* slashy show I've seen in ages. If this fandom has a slash subset, they're awfully quiet. I'm usually blind to slash -- never see the subtext that others do -- but I've actually been looking for it here, just for curiosity's sake. And I don't see a bit of it in any of the male characters, though maybe I'm not looking in the right places. Again, funny because my friends can find homoeroticism in the strangest places.

That said, this show is rich with (I assume unintentional) female slash subtext, but then some is quite obvious, like tonight. Most involves Starbuck, and though I don't think Katee plays it deliberately, I imagine it's in the back of her mind. Again, I'm not a slash fan so I don't know the genre history or parameters, but one thing I do really like about it in BSG is that it's not the eye-candy-for-geekboys thing stereotype. Six would be the most obvious example, and she did have those few quotes about her and Starbuck in S1, but again, she feels sidelined in that aspect of the show (though that might be because we seldom see her interact with anyone besides Baltar.) I'm not making my point very well here, so I'll just say that I love how all that femslash subtext does feel organic within the show's context, like in the scenes tonight, and doesn't seem like gratuitous "check out these hot chicks" silliness.

And yeah, I'll say once again how much I love that Kara is the most sexual character on the show (Six feels like a different thing altogether because of the character's design/motives), yet as beautiful as *I* think Katee is, she's so far removed from the television archetype of The Babe. Yup. I'm a shameless fangirl. I admit it!

(Sorry for the digression, but I find all this quite fascinating. Might have to talk more about it when I do my meta post. :)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
1) I'm pathetically easy to please and love just about everything

See, I think I am too, most of the time. I'm certainly not as critical as some people, and I let things slide more easily. I don't give up on shows because I fear I'll miss the good stuff.

Also, I did read your mini-essay on slash but have no comment. Heh.
[User Picture]
From:tiggz
Date:February 4th, 2006 06:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
word.

BSG seems to be suffering from asspullology and i'm not enjoying it. also, that final music in the scene with Helo and Starbuck was so incredibly out of place.
[User Picture]
From:prime_meridian
Date:February 4th, 2006 07:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
Initial knee-jerk reaction? Bleh. Any hope of enjoying the episode was buried under the absurdity of the idea that Kara is suddenly pining for Anders to the point of self-destruction. Just no. That's more crap writing just like last week. I didn't buy Anders/Starbuck back on Caprica which is also a problem. Show, don't tell, for frilly hell's sake. Speaking of, what was with that hideous exposition scene with Starbuck explaining everything we'd already observed during the first ten minutes of the show? You're guarding the mining operation? And there are rocks and debris? Pilots are dying? No kidding, really? I haven't been paying attention to whose writing what episodes, but these last two felt like spec scripts. Maybe we should just stay the hell away from the love lives of these characters if this is what we're going to have to endure. /is grumpy
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Speaking of, what was with that hideous exposition scene with Starbuck explaining everything we'd already observed during the first ten minutes of the show? You're guarding the mining operation? And there are rocks and debris? Pilots are dying? No kidding, really?

Actually, I didn't mind that scene because, being a briefing scene, it felt perfectly natural in the context of the show. And I did want to know a little more about what the hell was going on, specifically. Clearly, they were guarding the mining operation that we'd never heard of, and Roslin took care of that, but I didn't know about the rocks and debris frakking up the dradis. As for the pilots dying, that was kind of a running theme, if you didn't catch it.

Don't be grumpy! *hugs*
[User Picture]
From:alliterator
Date:February 4th, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
(Link)
I was a little skeptical with a starting with the whole "94 hours earlier" thing since we've now done that three times in a row, but it was all good. It was more of a "Act of Contrition" than "Black Market." (Which I still LIKE, GODSDAMMIT! But this episode kicked it's ass.)

Kat annoyed me at first, but I grew on her after that Starbuck/Kat scene and when she pinned whathisface's girlfriend's picture on the Wall of the Dead. See, BSG! This is how you make motivation! Not some random pregnant girlfriend you spontaneously introduce!

And Scar was definitely cool and it is about time they figured out that Raiders reincarnate. And I totally thought Scar was the ship that Starbuck gutted in AoC (why else was there a previously to that episode?), but they never made it explicit.

And I loved the last scene.
[User Picture]
From:smrou
Date:February 4th, 2006 07:15 am (UTC)
(Link)
And I totally thought Scar was the ship that Starbuck gutted in AoC (why else was there a previously to that episode?), but they never made it explicit.

Right! I knew there was an actual reason why I was totally convinced Scar was that ship, and you're right, it's because it was in the previouslies. That's what got that in my head.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 02:15 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, people have thought that, but it wasn't made very explicit, and it was in the previouslies to remind us that they discovered that Raiders aren't just brainless toasters TWENTY FRAKKING EPISODES AGO.

I mean, it's a nice idea, but the fact that they didn't even bother to mention it in the show makes me think they'll never confirm it.
From:metabeta
Date:February 4th, 2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ha, yes, I totally called a Starbuck/Kat lesbian tryst but it didn't come to fruition. Sad.

About the Chief being in the background: on the first few seasons of "The West Wing," a lot of the major characters would appear in the background, carrying files and having meetings, even if they didn't appear in the episode that much. Just for realism and continuity and stuff. Which I really liked. So I totally dig when non-central characters to the episodes pop up on this show, too.
[User Picture]
From:staygold70
Date:February 4th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
A little off topic, but since I know music is your favorite subject, gotta tell you that I LOVE Rilo Kiley.

Once upon a time, I was as into music as you are today (or close). But, 2 kids have sapped that. Now most of my music is sung by muppets. Not that I don't like muppets, but maybe you can help me out...

Just looking for some recs. Given Rilo Kiley as a starting point. Can you help? Feel free to ask my opinion of other artists if you like, as long as you're prepared for lots of "who the hell is that?" Just wait until you have 2 kids, you'll see.

Feel free to use the picture of Natalie listening to the Shins (who I also love) as inspiration.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Hm. I, too, love Rilo Kiley, but I can't think of anyone else I listen to who really sounds like them. And I've only listened to a couple Shins songs, and they're okay. What you should do is scan my Audioscrobbler list and see if any artists strike your fancy.
[User Picture]
From:staygold70
Date:February 4th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks, will do. By the way, when I went there and searched for similar artists to Rilo Kiley, it gave me Bright Eyes (who I also like a lot, although they're hit and miss) first, and the Shins were third. At least I'm not crazy.
From:vandalisimo
Date:February 4th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I don't know, I didn't think the Anders thing was that out of left field, since the whole "we'll go rescue your friend" thing with Caine happened pretty recently and seemed to be what was really behind Starbuck's turnaround with her. I must be the only person who wasn't at all surprised or put off by the Anders stuff. It's not like she has anyone to talk to about it. Helo's usually a little busy. Speaking of which, I love Helo and Starbuck's chemistry. I loved it back on Caprica too. And I thought the Sharon/Starbuck scene was one of the best in a while. So good. I thought Sharon was just speaking in general terms about Scar. He's bitter because he keeps dying and dying is painful. Well, she should know.

I'm surprised people are so irritated with Kat. I mean, yeah, she's so obnoxious, but so is Starbuck. We just know Starbuck a lot better and she's our Starbuck so we give her leeway. She of the "you're plan sucks." And Kat wasn't wrong either. Just obnoxious. Sounds familiar.

Poor Lee. He just wanted to make love. He was all "what's going on here, baby?" Hehe.

I thought it was really weird that Adama and Tigh were at the party, but I didn't find that ending odd. It was sad, because she remembers all their names (Lee doesn't) and cares more than her tough ass attitude would lead anyone to believe and...shit...I just thought it was sad. I think at the end she wanted to say both names, but she can't for many reasons. Not least of all being that she needs to hold on to the idea that Anders might be alive. I don't know what else Lee could have said other than being really general. She knows what he means and that's all that matters, I think.

I kind of loved this episode. But, I enjoy a healthy dose of Starbuck. She just makes so much sense to me.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It was sad, because she remembers all their names (Lee doesn't) and cares more than her tough ass attitude would lead anyone to believe and...shit...I just thought it was sad.

Oh, yeah. I loved the hell out of that part. It was just the aftermath that struck me as awkward.

I enjoy a healthy dose of Starbuck in a sports bra.
[User Picture]
From:quaint_shopgirl
Date:February 4th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Why the fuck is Anders popping up in Starbuck's head now? She hasn't mentioned him in ages.

This was the only problem I had with the episode. It felt very contrived. Other than that, I really liked it.

I always enjoy reading your reviews because I normally agree with most of what you say. Not that I wouldn't enjoy them if I didn't agree but you know..
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Heh. Thanks. It's definitely nice to find someone with whom you're simpatico. You should read vonnie_k's reviews (of both BSG and VM). I agree with nearly everything she says.
[User Picture]
From:kiwikazoo
Date:February 4th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well, it's better than last week's, but I don't think the writers have quite gotten all that crack out of their systems yet due to all the WTF? moments. Random Cylon nemeses. Isn't Starbuck the Pegasus CAG anymore? And why is she always briefing the pilots if Apollo is the Galactica CAG? Flat Top and twelve other pilots died on his thousandth landing, so thanks for remembering them, JERKS. If the mining ship and Galactica are in that such danger that the entire Fleet is sent away, why is the President with them? Why is Starbuck all over Anders now?

I'll allow them the "XX hours earlier" as a framing device, but...guys? Remember "Act of Contrition"? Remember how they used pretty much the same framing device? Remember how they didn't need Subtitles for the Mentally Impaired? What happened to assuming your audience is smart? ARGH.

That final Helo/Starbuck scene is adorable. I didn't get why they were being all chummy because it feels like we've hardly seen them interact...ever, but then I realized that he's pretty much the only person who gets her deal with Anders. Also, apparently they used to be friends and all.

That's actually one of the things I really liked about this episode, and something I've always wanted them to touch on. It goes all the way back to the miniseries. Think about it: out of the pilots we know now, Helo and Starbuck are the only two who were posted to Galactica before the attack. They knew each other. The Galactica CAG and half their squadron got wiped out, they lost another thirteen pilots when Flat Top bought it...so the huge majority of Galactica's pilot population is post-apocalypse. It makes sense that Starbuck and Helo would have that kind of rapport even without counting their shared experience on Caprica.

I quite liked the episode in general, but the little things really bug me since they never used to be an issue back in the day.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Flat Top and twelve other pilots died on his thousandth landing, so thanks for remembering them, JERKS.

How's that? I forget how that went down. Is that when he crashed into the hangar and blew shit up? Those other pilots didn't die in Vipers, so they don't count.

I'll allow them the "XX hours earlier" as a framing device, but...guys? Remember "Act of Contrition"? Remember how they used pretty much the same framing device? Remember how they didn't need Subtitles for the Mentally Impaired? What happened to assuming your audience is smart? ARGH.

Oh, I liked the subtitles. Because I both like the little sound effect they use, and I liked watching the numbers go down as they got smaller and smaller. I was definitely reminded of "Act of Contrition," though. Why does Starbuck always make time go wonky?!
[User Picture]
From:kiwikazoo
Date:February 4th, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)
(Link)
How's that? I forget how that went down. Is that when he crashed into the hangar and blew shit up? Those other pilots didn't die in Vipers, so they don't count.

In "Act of Contrition," Flat Top made his 1000th Raptor landing and all the pilots carried him around singing songs about Cylons burning. The strap on a comm drone gave out, it took off, and blew them all to smithereens. So since Flat Top (a) wasn't a Viper pilot either, (b) didn't die in combat, and (c) died exactly the same way as the other twelve, the only reason they're leaving them out is that the writers are being lazy and the only one whose name we knew was Flat Top. The other twelve were just a plot catalyst for the training of new nuggest. It's minor, but it bugs me.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Well, Starbuck did list off a bunch of names I didn't recognize. Maybe they were in there. Of course, I don't remember Jolly or Chuckles either.
[User Picture]
From:kiwikazoo
Date:February 4th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yeah, but I found it odd that she mentioned Flat Top dying "on his thousandth landing" when it was an accident killing thirteen pilots coinciding with his thousandth landing.

Chuckles was one of the original three nuggets (with speaking parts) back in AoC. He bought it by a bullet through the windshield during the assault on the Cylon base in "Hand of God." Jolly...rings a bell, but I can't remember where that came from.

We should make the BSG equivalent of MI.net. Then...die from exhaustion, but still.
[User Picture]
From:janedoe4
Date:February 4th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
What's the etymology of "minute" and "hour" and "day"? Is this evidence that they're the future, not the past?

Hour and minute both come to English from Old French (French c. 900-1400). Hour seems to go back to the Greek hora, meaning any limited span of time. Minute came from the Classical Latin minuta, the feminine form of minutus, meaning small. Day came to Old English from Proto-Germanic (hypothetical ancestor of all Germanic languages) and is not believed to be related to the Latin dies (day).

Ptolemy used "pars minuta prima" for 1/60 of a circle, then for 1/60 of an hour. The Greeks got the notion of dividing the day from the Babylonians, who divided the whole day into only 12 hours, and the Greeks and Romans only divided the period of daylight (nighttime wasn't divided, and the length of an hour varied with the seasons). (All of this from the Online Etymology Dictionary

I'm not sure whether the etymology itself speaks to this point, but considering how the division of the day into hours has changed, the fact that they use "hours" the same way we do is evidence of the show taking place in the future rather than the past. I think.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 4th, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for the etymology lesson! I didn't know all that.
[User Picture]
From:janedoe4
Date:February 4th, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Me neither, but I have a strange compulsion to look up answers to random questions that come my way. In another life, I must have been a reference librarian.
[User Picture]
From:dcjensen
Date:February 4th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The original BSG used lingo that would not jibe with them being off-planet, too.

When they got to Earth, it was 1980.

I think BSG harks back to old Saturday matinee serials of the 30's and 40's where things like that are not even discussed. They just are. Ming the Merciless used english timekeeping, too...
[User Picture]
From:eldritch_flame
Date:February 5th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
(Link)
Speaking of weeks, I was thinking about the fact that they use the same units of time we do and call them by the same names. What's the etymology of "minute" and "hour" and "day"? Is this evidence that they're the future, not the past?

I realize that this question has already been answered, but I wanted to add that we get the seven-day week from the Egyptians, who named each day after a different planet/god. This structure was then adopted by the Romans, and the French names for the days of the week still reflect this system, whereas the English days come from the Norse equivalent of the Roman names. So, instead of mercredi (from Mars), we have Wednesday (from Wodan, aka Odin). Oddly enough, the only Roman day-name we kept is Saturday, which is one of the two names that the French dropped (samedi and dimanche are both Christian in origin). Sorry to ramble on about this, but I'm a mythology geek who is also into linguistics, and I find this sort of thing really interesting.

However, I doubt that any of this is proof that BSG actually takes place in the future and not the past. At least, it's no more proof than is their worship of the Greek pantheon.

> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com