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'Cause on Cable You're Able to Show a Lot More Skin - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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November 11th, 2006


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12:11 am - 'Cause on Cable You're Able to Show a Lot More Skin
"Fire is the element of power. The people of the Fire Nation have desire and will, and the energy and drive to achieve what they want. Earth is the element of substance. The people of the Earth Kingdom are diverse and strong. They are persistent and enduring. Air is the element of freedom. The Air Nomads detached themselves from worldly concerns and found peace and freedom. Also, they apparently had pretty good senses of humor! Water is the element of change. The people of the Water Tribe are capable of adapting to many things. They have a deep sense of community and love that holds them together through anything."

"Why are you telling me these things?"

"It is important to draw wisdom from many different places. If we take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale. Understanding others, the other elements, and the other nations will help you become whole."


Strangely, I liked the episode in general even though most of it was nonsense and cop-outs.

Let's get my man Baltar's weirdass bullshit out of the way first. I loved that he tried to make a sincere apology, as if that would work. It won't. Not when the Centurions make such freakyass robotic noises. I love the sound design on this show.

And then, the torture! It's just not BSG without a good torture scene. And I found it very amusing that Six counsels Baltar to become the anti-Westley: take his body away. Which, frankly, makes no bloody sense, especially given that Six just said that pain is only neural impulses and thus only in the mind. Unless she is referring to the unconscious mind and not the physical brain, although the unconscious brain wouldn't allow Baltar control of the logic and rationality he's supposed to use against D'Anna. I think the basic point here is that SHE GETS HIM CLOSER TO GOD. That scene was entirely freaky, and I was really afraid Baltar was dead.

Now, to the A plot. Nice, freaky teaser. So strange to see all those dead Raiders floating about. And then Sharon went and got herself infected. I've grown to really like the character; she's gotten a lot more interesting. So I really didn't want her to die.

Sharon totally blew up the Baseship, right?

It was odd to watch all the humans freak out about being infected when we knew it was fine, although it did make sense for them to be worried. I approve of Racetrack's continuing existence.

I've also grown to like Helo, despite the fact that he mostly functions as Sharon's husband. "[B]ecause of who she isn't" was a nice turn of phrase.

So Cottle identifies the virus (and, what, they immediately call it a virus? it can't be any other sort of pathogen? bacteria and fungi are VERY DISAPPOINTED!), and WHAT? Lymphocyte encephalitis my ass. I mean, for starters, the term makes no fucking sense because encephalitis, by definition, is inflammation of the brain. It's like saying leg spleen. I mean, props for knowing what the fuck lymphocytes are, but you're mixing your metaphors here. You want to weaken the immune system, sure, since you're basically giving the Cylons AIDS. But you also want to throw in some bullshit that makes it possible for the virus to be transmitted during resurrection, so you want it to hit the brain too. OR SOMETHING.

Except Cymon, who finally gets to say more than he's ever said in the entire show, combined, explains that there's also some bioelectric component to the virus WHAT? This was supposedly a human virus. That humanity developed an immunity to many many years ago. Which, um, if the humans were immune at the time they built the Cylons, why would the Cylons not be immune? Given that their only source of human DNA would have contained the immunity? Did anyone think this through? Anyway, bioelectric component that magically allows the virus to be transported during resurrection. So it would hit the resurrection ship and take out everyone on that ship, but I still fail to understand why that would kill the entire race. There is more than one resurrection ship. How does infecting one infect the whole race? It's not like they're even going to make it off the ship to spread the virus. Someone please explain this to me or this episode falls completely apart.

Oh, and I hope you all do realize that it is THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING IN ALL OF RIDICULOUSNESS for Cottle to have developed a vaccine in, like, three hours. But that is the way of TV science, and I accept that.

Sharon also hilariously accepts TV science as she explicitly says, "Whatever!" to explain why she's immune. Of course hers is probably the only pseudoscience I can buy in the entire episode. It does make a certain kind of sense for there to be fetus-mother transmission of antibodies. Mothers can transmit HIV to their fetuses, so I'll buy that it can go the other way for a beneficial arrangement. Besides, Hera's blood has magical cancer-curing powers, for God's sake. I was expecting Sharon to have to take the vaccine every day forever, but this was the easy way out. Which this show takes on occasion.

And the rest of the episode is the genocide discussion. And, well, I'm sort of a Cylon sympathizer, so I was on Helo's side, even though I knew the poor guy could not have his word stand as his own word because of his incredible bias. It was odd, though, that they never really brought up the prospect of killing Sharon. I wasn't sure whether the unspoken assumption was that she would die as part of the genocide because, well, that's genocide, yo, or whether she'd be The Last Cylon. I was also on Adama's side, in that I think eliminating an entire race is kinda...icky.

Roslin's side, of course, was that when said race is trying to eliminate your entire race, all bets are off. And she was so, so very right to put Helo in his place regarding New Caprica. I cannot believe he even tried to say that. But I am enjoying the tensions between those who were In the Shit and those who weren't.

I really love the sounds Raiders make, even though there's no sound in space.

Oh, oh! I loved when everyone found out Baltar was A) alive and B) helping the Cylons find Earth. Man, that bitch is never going to be welcome on that ship again. I wonder where they'll end up going with his character. I hope they don't kill him. Also, was it just me, or was there just a tinge of hope/joy in Gaeta's voice?

And Helo fraks up the genocide for everyone, saving humanity's soul for another day. And Adama's all, "Whatevs, I didn't want to do it anyway."

There was some suspense there, for me, because this show usually goes for the throat. So while I didn't think they'd wipe out all the Cylons because the show would be over, I thought something would happen. I thought they would get their hands dirty a little bit. Otherwise, why all the talkity talk talk?

And then they pulled a War of the Worlds on the virus plotline, which almost redeemed the whole thing except, OMG SHUT UP WHO DESCRIBED A VIRUS THREE THOUSAND YEARS AGO?? NO SERIOUSLY DOES COTTLE HAVE LIKE THREE-THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD BIOCHEMISTRY BOOKS?? Seriously, I liked the original idea as it seemed to be presented better: the humans deliberately left a Cylon virus so that any Cylons trying to find Earth would be killed. This way, I suppose you can deal in God and fate and God's plan and whatnot, but Baltar's bleeding out of his ear on the table, man, DO YOU BELIEVE IN HIM??

Yeah, I liked the episode okay.
Current Mood: crankycranky
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails - Mr. Self Destruct (Self Destruction, Final)

(42 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


From:hobviously
Date:November 11th, 2006 05:34 am (UTC)
(Link)
POODLES WEIGH IN

(19:35:26) SheWhoHathAPen: THE MAGIC CYLON BABY BLOOD HAS JUST SAVED SHARON FROM THE VIRUS
(19:37:03) the cruxfiction: man
(19:37:10) the cruxfiction: is there nothing that blood can't do?
(19:37:20) SheWhoHathAPen: apparently not!
(19:37:38) the cruxfiction: perhaps MAKE SENSE?
(19:37:38) SheWhoHathAPen: supposedly the virus that the cylons have is something humans developed an immunity to 100 years before
(19:37:50) SheWhoHathAPen: so the fetal cells or something gave sharon the antibodies
(19:37:51) SheWhoHathAPen: OR SOMETHING
(19:37:52) SheWhoHathAPen: so yeah
(19:37:58) SheWhoHathAPen: MAKING SENSE IS THE ONE THING IT CAN'T DO

Of course I have not seen this episode, but I do remember Epiphanies. Mmm, magic baby blood! Sweet elixir of life!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 11th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)
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Well, honestly, this time, the magic baby blood made more sense than it did when it cured cancer. Because it wasn't really magic baby blood; it was just partially human blood. Before, it was the partially Cylon part that was magic! Human blood has antibodies: antibodies are SCIENCE, not MAGIC.
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From:smrou
Date:November 11th, 2006 10:03 am (UTC)
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And I found it very amusing that Six counsels Baltar to become the anti-Westley: take his body away. Which, frankly, makes no bloody sense, especially given that Six just said that pain is only neural impulses and thus only in the mind.
Dude, yeah, that didn't make any sense. She kept saying to give his body to her which...well, he can't really transport his body now can he? He can only transport his mind. I think she should have been saying to give his mind to her--that way his body is being tortured but he doesn't feel it. Made no sense.

I still loved it, though, although it was so freaky that I actually had trouble watching it and even closed my eyes at one point. No wonder they had a parental advisory. That shit was fucked up.

I've grown to really like the character; she's gotten a lot more interesting. So I really didn't want her to die.
I felt the same way. I was actually surprised to find myself upset about her potential death because I've never been a big Boomer/Sharon/Eight fan, but I was actually scared for her. The show's doing a lot of things right this season because I'm suddenly caring about and interested in characters I never was before.

Sharon totally blew up the Baseship, right?
I think so.

I was also on Adama's side, in that I think eliminating an entire race is kinda...icky.
Kinda icky? Dude, it reaks. It's completely horrible and entirely unethical. And yet...I was with Roslin here, from a purely pragmatic standpoint of "if we don't do this, chances are this is the end of us". 40,000 humans with extremely limited military capabilities against an entire race of technologically-advanced cylons have essentially zero chance of surviving, realistically. The cylons don't deserve to be eliminated anymore than the humans do, but it truly does seem to be an us-or-them situation.

In other words, they were both right. Which I think means that really I was with Adama on this one. He was willing to do it, but he didn't like it and he didn't want to and he wasn't going to be the one to make the decision.

And she was so, so very right to put Helo in his place regarding New Caprica.
That was awesome. Roslin rocked that. As soon as the words were out of Helo's mouth, I was like, "Oh no. he. DIDN'T."
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 11th, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
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Dude, yeah, that didn't make any sense. She kept saying to give his body to her which...well, he can't really transport his body now can he? He can only transport his mind. I think she should have been saying to give his mind to her--that way his body is being tortured but he doesn't feel it. Made no sense.
It didn't make any sense, but I liked the reversal anyway.

That was awesome. Roslin rocked that. As soon as the words were out of Helo's mouth, I was like, "Oh no. he. DIDN'T."
Yeah, seriously. Er, Helo, you do realize they weren't exactly "cohabitating" with them down there, don't you?
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From:blixie
Date:November 11th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC)
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And she was so, so very right to put Helo in his place regarding New Caprica.

Of course she did lie to him and kidnap/murder his child so maybe she ought to give him some moral rope to hang himself.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 11th, 2006 02:04 pm (UTC)
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It wasn't about morals, there. It was about Helo completely misrepresenting the race he was trying to speak for.
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From:etherealclarity
Date:November 11th, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC)
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Your random Avatar quote makes me smile.

That is all

(I ♥ Iroh!)
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From:alliterator
Date:November 11th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
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I think the basic point here is that SHE GETS HIM CLOSER TO GOD.
Hee. I would love it if Baltar suddenly starting saying, "You can have my isolation, you can have the hate that it brings. You can have my crisis of faith, you can have my everything." And then Three would be all, "I want to frack you like an animal."
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From:kalbear
Date:November 11th, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and I hope you all do realize that it is THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING IN ALL OF RIDICULOUSNESS for Cottle to have developed a vaccine in, like, three hours. But that is the way of TV science, and I accept that.


The virus was old, not new. Cottle doesn't need to develop a vaccine; he could just grab one off the shelf.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 11th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
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Why would they have a vaccine for a virus they were all immune to?
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From:sistakaren
Date:November 11th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
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Lymphocyte encephalitis my ass. I mean, for starters, the term makes no fucking sense because encephalitis, by definition, is inflammation of the brain. It's like saying leg spleen. I mean, props for knowing what the fuck lymphocytes are, but you're mixing your metaphors here. You want to weaken the immune system, sure, since you're basically giving the Cylons AIDS. But you also want to throw in some bullshit that makes it possible for the virus to be transmitted during resurrection, so you want it to hit the brain too. OR SOMETHING.
I'm not sure I get the problem. First of all, he called it "lymphatic encephalitis", which I'm not sure makes more sense. But even if it was called lymphocytic encephalitis... what's the problem? It seems like it would be a pretty generic term for any viral encephalitis, no? I may be missing something, because immunology ain't my strongest subject...
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 11th, 2006 03:31 pm (UTC)
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First of all, he called it "lymphatic encephalitis"
D'oh! That actually would make some more sense, I suppose, if the idea was that the virus used the lymphatic system to enter the brain.

It seems like it would be a pretty generic term for any viral encephalitis, no? I may be missing something, because immunology ain't my strongest subject...
Oh, it's not mine either, really, but bitching about science is fun. I still think the term is really weird and that they just smashed together two ideas without really considering how the virus worked.
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From:maka2000
Date:November 11th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
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I loved BSG from lastnight! I thought Baltar's story took an even more twisted and dark turn with his brain Six. I think he's pretty much gone completely insane, and it was brilliant to watch I thought. Somehow I'm not surprised at all that he'd fantasize about sex while also being tortured into near submission. And by the end, he managed to earn Zena's (Cylon #3's?) love? Respect? Pity? Who knows. But it was creeepy. I loved it.

I also love Sharon/Athena - her loyalty to Adama and the fleet is amazing - what she said about the decision to exterminate the Cylon race was stunning but, considering how much she loves Helo and Adama, understandable too. So I KNOW I'm going to hate it when she finds out about her baby being stolen from her. Ack! *flails* That one is going to HURT.

I TOTALLY knew why Sharon was immune to the virus. How? Because I've seen the 1985 zombie movie (Woot! Zombies!)
Warning Sign, in which the reason our heroine is immune to the zombie-creating virus is because she's pregnant. Antibodies, pregnancy, yada yada. I felt happy my love of zombie movies paid off finally!

Also, was it just me, or was there just a tinge of hope/joy in Gaeta's voice?
I actually thought it was disbelief mixed with some distaste and regret. I imagined him thinking, "Shit, I should have shot him in the head when I had the chance!" Heh.

I really enjoyed the moral quandry Helo and Adama were having with the Cylon extermination, but I could also completely see Rosline and Apollo's reasoning too. I'm looking forward to seeing how that continues to escalate. Good epi I thought!

Oh, and I kept meaning to say that I didn't know Mako from Avatar had passed away! I watched "The Tale of Iroh" on YouTube and fully cried at the end. RIP!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 12th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)
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Yeah, we watched that today, and I got all teary too. That song is so sad.

I believe you can hear Mako's replacement in the "soccer" scene. I didn't notice it before, but I listened closely this time, and you can tell it's a different person. He's got the intonations and everything down, but you can't replicate the base.
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From:ste_noni
Date:November 11th, 2006 09:53 pm (UTC)
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This episode is to P-C as the Duncan-has-to-kidnap-the-baby episode of VM was to me. Not so much with the sense-making, but still fun.

There had better be some consequences to this whole thing or I will be bummed. Usually BSG is very good with that, but I'll be pissed if this whole thing doesn't create some serious wedges.
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From:mutinousmuse
Date:November 12th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
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Seriously, I liked the original idea as it seemed to be presented better: the humans deliberately left a Cylon virus so that any Cylons trying to find Earth would be killed.

See, I had a problem with that because I thought the 13th colony folks split off from the rest of the colonists looooooong before Cylons were even a dream in some crazy bastard's encephalitic brain (heh), so them leaving a virus behind designed just to kill Cylons struck me as some kind of ridiculous retconning. But I could be totally missing something, cause I do that sometimes. ;)
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From:spectralbovine
Date:November 12th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
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That's...a good point.

Except that ALL OF THIS HAPPENED, AND ALL OF IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.
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From:miniglik
Date:November 13th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
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I've also grown to like Helo, despite the fact that he mostly functions as Sharon's husband. "[B]ecause of who she isn't" was a nice turn of phrase.

I have no idea why, but I continue to like Helo less and less.

The first season I really liked him. The second season he was pretty cool. But this season? Meh. Average.
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From:miniglik
Date:November 13th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
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Oh, damn! I have BSG iconage now. I must use!

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