Tigh: What a great character. What a great performance.

I’ve seen some discussion of how it’s a bit unrealistic that Tigh wouldn’t tell Adama about what happened to Ellen. I have something to say regarding that, but let me first ask that everyone be a bit kind as I’m going to relate something a bit personal. (Not that our community here isn’t generally kind — you are — but it’s important to me, so I thought I’d mention it.)

My Father died a few years ago, and it wasn’t in a pretty way. After fighting cancer for a number of years, he was simply caught out — a common cold turned into something untreatable due to the cancer drugs and the chemotherapy, but it didn’t kill him. I did. He’d left word for me to make such a decision if the situation arose. So when it did, the doctors turned to me, and I made what I sincerely hope was the right decision.

Without getting into further gory details, let me just say that it took me a long time to understand what happened that night and how it fits into who I am and what my life is. Consequently, I didn’t talk to others about it for quite some time.

Obviously what happened to me isn’t what happened to Tigh. I didn’t poison my Father, I simply allowed him to die — in a situation where he couldn’t have possibly recovered to any state that’d be acceptable to him. Tigh’s situation must be thousands of times worse. So I could certainly understand his reaction.

For what it’s worth, it’s this kind of personal connection that often draws me into the show; when Adama and Lee (or Adama and Starbuck) sit together, when Tigh fights his demons, and even when Baltar tries to grasp the enormity of what he’s done — I see a little bit of myself and my situations and it touches me that much more.

Podcast shortly…

9 Responses to "Tigh: What a great character. What a great performance."
  1. perry ostrin says:

    i can see how your story also fit in adama’s and bulldogs a little..sorry for your loss..keep up the great casts!

  2. Dan, the Lord of Kobol says:

    For the record, I’d like to say that I for one -do not- think of Tigh as being unrealistic.

    I’m not sure as to why other viewers would think Tigh’s actions to be unrealistic – if you’ve ever lost someone close, you should know there’s always that denial and pain that comes with it. Like Chuck said, imagine Tigh’s denial and pain a million times worse because -Tigh- caused it. Then on top of that, sprinkle some post-traumatic stress caused by torture and war. I think that’s enough to make anyone behave as Tigh did.

    Tigh’s not unrealistic, he’s -very- realistic, and that’s where the problem lies. I suppose before Ellen died (and perhaps before New Caprica in general), fans were accustomed to Tigh being a loyal, principled, hardworking man. Now he’s reacting to his environment and his experiences like any real person would, and because that’s not what someone –wants- to see from Tigh, he’s being unrealistic?

    I don’t think so.

  3. Dan, the Lord of Kobol says:

    By the way, Chuck.

    Thank you for sharing that with us/me.

  4. The 13th Cylon says:

    I didn’t realize that some people felt Tigh not telling Adama was unrealistic. I guess they would have preferred Tigh getting onto Galactica and saying “Oh by the way, I had to kill my wife since she was fraking/ swirling around with Brother Cavil and jeopardized the entire rescue mission. Let’s get a drink!” I would imagine, if anything, I’m surprised at how fast he told Bill, assuming he actually did tell him after the credits rolled.

  5. Pike says:

    OK, I was in a situation a few years ago where a close family member was in a similar situation. In that case, it was the pain meds that actually killed them. It wasn’t deliberate, as Tigh’s situation was, but was more that the situation backed everybody into a corner. I don’t regret the ‘decision’ (which I put in quotes, b/c I don’t think it was any kind of decision at all) but, like Chuck, I can almost empathize with someone like Tigh.

    Which is why his reaction to Bulldog rang false. If you’re willing to actively euthanize your fraking wife, you should be able to understand the concept of fragging a potential war-starter. Greater good and all that.

    I think the problem I’m having w/ BSG lately is that there’s too much of that. If this was the one odd Tigh moment so far, OK, he’s regretting his decision, and retroactively blaming Adama for making the same one. But lately it’s been nothing but everybody acting counter to what we expected. Apollo, Laura, Adama, Tigh, yadda yadda yadda.

    One or two, that’s interesting. All of them–sorry, lazy writing.

    BTW, Enable some kind of preview.

    BBTW, Chuck, thanks. I know it feels like you’re telling too much, but the wonder of the internet is that it collects like-minded folks, and (not suprising if you really think about it) people who have similar experiences. It feels like you’re unloading a burden, but for folks like me, it’s refreshing to see that others have been down a similar road.

  6. The 13th Cylon says:

    Pike, I got the impression that at the beginning of the episode and when Tigh tells Bulldog about what Adama did that he’s still clearly bitter about all that’s happened and wants to let Bill get what’s coming to him and later comes to his senses and rescues the Old Man just in time. Probably the thought of Helo as commander of the fleet has something to do with it!

  7. john patrick says:

    On tv, we’re used to a bunch of dialog between two best friends who process and explore every single feeling. But I think that even when drinks were poured, and Bill and Saul finally sat down at the table, that the conversation which continued off camera was nothing near a Dawson’s Creek style emotional processing session.

    Dudes, even best friends, are known to go years without sharing, even when there’s something huge to talk about, especially when they’re slammed with work. And stereotypically, dudes need the “permission” of a stiff drink to talk about the emotional stuff.

    And Chuck, it was hard for you to do, but very loving that you carried out your father’s wishes. It’s hard enough to lose a parent; you don’t deserve the blame you put on yourself when you say “it didn’t kill him, I did.”

    Treat yourself to a stiff drink, my friend.

  8. NY Spinny says:

    In “Collaborators” Tigh told the jury about why she had to die; it was clear to me they were hearing about it for the first time, and that it was sad and shocking to them. He shared only a part of the whole truth, and only when he felt there was a purpose to sharing it. I find it totally believable that he’d not have confided in anybody about it, short of the barest minimum need-to-know (such as Anders). “It’s nobody’s damned business,” I can imagine him growling out to himself in the bleak recesses of his state of mind. A more internally self-sufficient and closed off man I simply cannot imagine.

    I’m glad he’s healed enough to start telling the story to Adama.

    Chuck, your story touched me deeply. My father’s health is such that I could easily see myself in the same place; you hit a powerful chord. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. Armando says:

    Pike: lazy writing? “Black Market” (in season 2.5) had lazy writing. “Sacrifice,” although less so, still had lazy writing. What’s been happening in this season is not lazy writing (far from it! I find that these are, in my opinion, the best, most detailed written episodes of the entire series so far). What’s going on is that we’re seeing our familiar cast reacting to the aftermath of a hugely traumatic turn in their lives, the year and a third settlement on New Caprica, with that last third of a year under a pretty brutal Cylon occupation. Keeping that in mind and that we still have not fully dealt with the events of the “missing year” between minute 42 and minute 43 of “Lay Down Your Burdens II” and I can understand why you’re disconcerted about the changes in these people’s lives. If the writers do little to fill in the gaps of the missing year (which it looks like they’re going to start doing in more detail with the next episode, at least when it comes to Starbuck and Apollo–and it’s about time!) or if they were simply “hitting the reset button” at the end of each episode, then I’d say you have a point about lazy writing.

    Not, of course, that you don’t have a point since it’s a matter of opinion and you’re entitled to yours and I’m entitled to mine.

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