GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Valley Of Darkness

Welcome to season two! It’s weekfifteen of our planned off-season re-watch of the entire “re-imagined” BSG canon, and it’s time to move on to the season two episode “Valley of Darkness.” So why not join us here for the GWC online frak party? There’s room for everyone, though you’ll have to bring your own snacks…

Feel free to jump in at any point with your comments on this week’s episode as the re-watch is by definition spoiler free. We’ll be in and out, but we’ll definitely take a look at your comments before we start next week’s podcast.

See you here all week!

46 Responses to "GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Valley Of Darkness"
  1. Gray says:

    Another great episode.

    I love the stuff between Helo and Kara down on Caprica. Unbelievably, the first interaction we see between the two since the mini, and KLG of course.

    I love the scenes in Kara’s apartment. Little did we know how important her home decor would be.

    I think this was another episode where the music really elevated an already tight scene. Katee does a fantastic job of showing us just how bone-weary Kara is. When she sits on the arrow I always get a little kick out of it.

    Also, the use of the “Metamorphosis Five” track in the score is really poignant. Knowing what we know now about Kara and her mother, I have to continue wondering about her father. I think this scene raises some interesting questions.

    I hald always assumed that Kara had spent at least some of her childhood with her father physically around but now I have to wonder if she ever even knew him.

    If he was even in fact her father. Maybe her mother told Kara that he was her father and he left them before she was born Perhaps Kara seized on him herself.

    There’s just a lot of unanswered questions regarding her father and obviously, it’s something I think the writers have left vague for a good reason. Can’t wait to find out why.

  2. AKRon says:

    Gray,

    I also thought the sitting ont he arrow thing was funny! Also, for a believer in the gods, she doesn’t treat the arrow with much reverance. Starbuck tries to use it as a weapon against Caprica Six and then after getting back to her apartment, she just cavalierly tosses it on her couch and then proceeds to sit on it!

    Oh boy, I’m going to write something that I hope doesn’t make everyone think I’m loony…but I think Saul Tigh is Kara Thrace’s father. Hear me out…
    1st–He’s old enough
    2nd–He and Kara’s mom both fought in the first cylon war
    3rd–He’s drunk enough most of the time to think a woman like Kara’s mom is worthy enough to, uhm, frak.
    4th–Tigh and Starbuck have similar personalities–both with a penchant for bar fights as we’ve seen on Cloud 9 and in Tigh’s flashbacks and in the pilot’s hangout room (sry, forgot the name)
    5th–Kara reveals in this episode that her father played the piano and I think we saw Tigh playing (albeit drunk) with Ellen at dinner in Adama’s quarters (please someone who still has the DVD check me on this)
    6th–the ending seen in this episode (Valley of Darkness) where they played the piano music as Col. Tigh was talking to Apollo. Tigh’s last line was “Sure glad I didn’t have kids.” That line just had to be planned to have future meaning.
    7th–they are both “special” (cylonic if you will)

    I think it would be a very dramatic to reveal such information in season four. I also wonder if Adama had any contact with Kara’s mom in the past. Could he even know about Starbuck’s father, or just might he be Adama’s best friend?!

    Alright, let me have it. Tell me I’ve been watching too much of that show Lost on ABC or something.

  3. Michael says:

    Hi, Guys! I’ll be back to post something real in a bit, but first….
    Imagine! A Centurion faces Ironhide with his arm gun.
    Ironhide: You call that a cannon? That ain’t no cannon….THIS is a cannon!

    Imagine! Optimus Prime addressing a cylon delegation, as in the back of the room, Six slaps a Centurion upside his head.
    Six: I don’t CARE what you think…he is NOT the cylon God.

    sorry for the foolishness….just had to geek out a minute.

  4. AndersFan says:

    AKRon has a great point with Tigh and Starbuck. I mean is there a pair on the show that has more hostility between them yet share the same traits…except maybe Lee and Adama and Hello…they are father and son. Though I did go back and watch Tigh me up, Tigh me down and I didnt see him play the piano unless the reference from from another episode or it was in some extra footage I didnt watch. If he, Tigh that is, was her mothers superior officer, maybe that is why he looked the other way for so long with Boomer and Tyrol, however, he stated he had no kids and if she got pregnant, wouldnt he have known it? Even if she left his command, like Lee says to someone at some point, it’s the military, there are rumors and gossip about everything. What would cause more rumors than a commanding officer knocking up one of the enlisted?

    Kara and Helo are great together. It is nice to see a male/female relationship that isnt laced with sexual tension. Even though they are both hot, they dont seem to notice each other at all. They are truely friends. The scene in the apartment when they are just lounging around, catching their breath really shows how comfortable they are with each other. How much they trust one another. Kara has been a faithful friend to Helo through everything in the series. She may not have liked or trusted Athena but she trusted her friend. Seeing her apartment this time around was almost shocking really…knowing how important the paintings would be in season three.

    Watching Tigh struggle with the pressures of command really show why Adama and not Tigh leads the fleet if nothing else does. Does anyone else wonder what he means when he tells Kelly that he has ‘seen this before’ when analysing he Cylons movements through Galactica? Is he just bringing up something from the first Cylon war or is it something more?

    Roslin really looks like a leader in this one. Calmly leading her people through the dark halls, defering to those more knowledgable about the layout of the ship to get them where they need to be, protecting the man she sees as a son, risking her own life in the process. She may be a prisoner but she is the most effective leader they have in action right now.

    Does anyone else just want to see Tigh just lay Lee out in the middle of sick bay? That boy could use a good pop in the mouth now and then and Adama doesnt seem like he is going to do it. I think it would make Tigh’s day.

  5. AndersFan says:

    Oh, and great visuals, Michael. hehe

  6. master1228 says:

    First off, seeing Tigh understand immediately what plan the cylons had for taking over the ship and destroying the entire fleet once they depressurized and spaced the Galactica crew reminded me of when Tigh sent out the raiders to destroy the cylon raider that kept toying with them, ftl jumping around like a drunken fool to get them off guard. THESE are the reasons Adama wants Tigh as his second in command, his instincts are SOLID (BEING a cylon and deep down knowing their plans may be a way to explain this, but I’m not convinced til I see a Tylon Basestar filled with naked Tighs or seeing him wake up in goo).

    This is also another episode with Lee laying down truth that no one wants to hear to Tigh at the end of the ep (not unlike the truth about the state of the fleet on the witness stand at the end of season 3).

    Think about it though, Tigh tells Lee he’s really just CRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAP and not fit to wear the uniform, but that’s AFTER Lee spent the entire episode covered in his friend’s blood (the red shirt who got tossed around like a rag doll after Kitty’s Got Claws Cylon scratches and swats him to death), leads the only people between the Cylons and the Aft damage control station which if reached by those Cylons would mean the end of the fleet. Once he gets his crew to the Aft station, Lee either destroys BOTH cylons with his only 2 rounds or he and Jammer each pop off a cylon (I’ve watched the scene a few times and it’s hard to tell if the killshot for the first cylon was from Lee or Jammer), but either way, Lee saved the day and is STILL getting CRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAP from Tigh!

    I love AKRon’s idea of Tigh being Kara’s dad, cylon or not. I don’t think any of the adults on the show are hybrids though, that throws off the whole idea that Hera is the first in the future of things to come, which was originally iterated by head Six, who I really want to be more than Baltar’s own mind.

    By the way, seeing scenes between Billy and (use her rank instead) “Petty Officer Dualla” during the second half of the episode really remind me how much better/more interesting the Dee character was when Billy was still around, I miss Billy.

  7. master1228 says:

    OK, I watched the battle scene at the end with Lee and Jammer firing at the two cylons in slow motion and it looks like it was Lee’s explosive round that destroyed the first cylon as well as the leaping cylon at the end (with Kat scared in the corner no less), so it was totally Lee that saved the day, the president’s life and what was left of the human race there in that Aft damage control station, but he obviously doesn’t deserve to be wearing that uniform.

  8. ShadowGem says:

    hey,
    just quickly coz I haven’t watched the episode yet,
    AKRon: those are some good points on why Starbuck could be Tigh’s daughter, plus another one: she hasn’t tried to sleep with him.
    master 1228: I miss Billy too. (big sigh)

  9. Altair IV says:

    AKRon’s Starbuck / Tigh theory makes a lot of sense.

    In fact it could be laying the foundation for a dramatic switcheroo in Series 4. For example we know that the Cylons have a special interest, maybe an obsession with finding human / cylon hybrids. That’s why they “set up” Sharon with Helo, that’s why they ran “the Farm” down on Cylon occupied Caprica, that’s why head Six is so interested in Hera etc etc.

    Suppose there are major Cylon religious prophecies based around a “Hylon” child, but as usual the Cylons are able to foretell the future but always miss out on key details. We have seen how the old Cylon predictive Crystal Ball gets the details cloudy before.

    So they are pursuing, rather than just destroying, the fleet so they can ultimately take control of the Hylon starchild. Maybe this is why they didn’t just nuke New Caprica, and that getaway from New Caprica had to have been a set up.

    Presumably the Cylon Empire thinks the “starchild” may be Hera or maybe even a future Sharon-Athena / Helo child. There is still something to learn about Athena. Her defection may be genuine, but it still may have been planned.

    Maybe the Cylons have robot-style missed the obvious. The hylon child has already been born and grown up. It’s Starbuck.

    Also the Sharon-Athena / Helo relationship may be a kind of teaser. If we assume Athena has really and truly defected to the human side due to her love for Helo, this shows that love has a powerful impact on Cylons. Maybe Saul Tigh fell for Starbuck’s mother back during the first Cylon War and thats when his obedience (whether he knew it or not) to the Cylon empire was broken. And just as love has a powerful impact on Cylons, so does loss of love. Maybe it was some sort of breakup with Starbuck’s mum that drove Sol Tigh to the bottle.

    The idea that love breaks down old family relationships and reinvigorates the cosmos with new life and unpredictable ‘creativity’ is one of those metaphorical themes that I can imagine the writers may be inserting in BSG. Also however much we try “Cylon” style to plan and order our lives love has a way of messing things up. A lesson the Cylon Empire partially understands, they want to try to control the process but don’t seem to be having much luck.

    Of course here is an even crazier thought in all this. Maybe it’s Ellen Tigh who was Starbuck’s actual biological mother, a young and even more irresponsible Ellen may have abandoned “baby-buck” with or without father Sol Tigh’s knowledge when he was off fighting the First Cylon War. Young Ellen presumably was having too much of a good time to want to be stuck with a baby. So Young Ellen arranges to offload baby-buck to a former Marine. An adoptive step-mom with some kind of untutored prophetic gift. “Sargeant StepMom” (or maybe “Mom-buck”) somehow just knows ‘baby-buck” has some special future ahead, she’s just not sure what.

    It’s not an unreasonable idea. After all prophets (human and Cylon) and prophecy play a major role in BSG. And the prophets don’t ever seem to quite get it right. After all both Starbuck and Ellen are/were both wild fun-loving blondes. Both of them don’t seem to have many inhibitions when it comes finding partners for a bit of horizontal folk dancing. So is this a case of “Like mother, like daughter?”

  10. Nick B says:

    AKRon – I love your theory about Tigh being Starbuck’s father. Now you’ve outlined it I’ll be kind of disappointed if it’s not true! I was also wondering about Kara’s dad in the same way Grey was, wondering if she might have been “planted” with her “mother” by the Cylons, or part Cylon on her father’s side. I don’t think there’s a problem with Hera being the “first” hybrid – she’s the first hybrid from the humans and the Significant Seven-type Cylons. The Sig. 7 might not be aware of what the Final 5 “Tighlons” have been up to, given that it’s pretty well established that the Final 5 are different from the Sig. 7, and the Sig 7 don’t know the identities of the Final 5. And Cylon Tigh fathering a child might not have been part of some grand plan, but just one of those things. I’m not sure about the idea of a room full of naked Tighs though – I’ll take 3’s, 6’s or 8s anyday, but then I’m just a male chauvinist 😉

    And yes, the Caprica scenes and the stuff in Kara’s apartment were brilliantly atmospheric, and the Helo-Kara friendship really worked. I miss poor old, nuked-out, orange-sky Caprica almost as much as everybody (myself included) misses Billy.

  11. Nick B says:

    Grey – back to the use of Metamorphosis Five, well, hmmmm. Obviously this piece of music works brilliantly in this scene, but the title certainly does suggest something else is going on here. They could have used Metamorphosis One (or 2, 3 or 4), so the use of 5 might suggest a connection between Kara and the final 5. And could this be an indication that Kara is part of the metamorphosis of the Tighlons via the process of hybridisation?

    Of course, maybe they just liked the tune and thought it worked here, but….

  12. The Alpaca Herder says:

    As to the Tigh being Starbuck’s father theory I can only say I am unsure.

    I will agree that the comic relief to this episode has to be seen as Starbuck sitting on the Arrow of Apollo. When I first watched the episode it looked like Jammer was supposed to have been the comic relief. To me Jammer just does not serve that role. Jammer might have been the “audience point of view” character in this but not the comic relief.

    I am surprised nobody has brought up Dee yet. How did Dee survive when so many others died as the Centurions came through? Something still seems way out of kilter with that and I just cannot rationalize away her surviving by dint of her being short and slightly built.

  13. Jason says:

    After Kara puts on the music in her apartment, Helo says, “That is definitely not you,” and she answers, “It’s my dad.”

    I assume they’re talking about the music, but isn’t that an odd thing for Helo to say? I mean, if I play a CD for a friend, no one ever says, “That’s definitely not you on the CD,” this fact being generally obvious.

    It seems like, “What music is this?” would be a more natural thing to say. Unless he means the music is not her in the sense of not representing her usual taste in music. But Kara responds as if he meant, “That’s definitely not you playing.”

    Anyway, when she says it’s her father, well, that’s a really interesting revelation and BEGS further discussion or at least some king of reaction beyond Helo’s “Well, we got one package of noodles.”

    This just struck me as a really strange and awkward piece of dialogue, so much so that it made me question whether they might be talking about something else entirely. But assuming they are talking about “Metamorphosis 5,” isn’t this a piece by Philip Glass? In which case, does this mean Philip Glass is Starbuck’s father? 🙂 He could also be a Cylon—I’ve always had my suspicions. 😉

    Seriously, though, this means there was precedent for incorporating contemporary Earth music into the BSG score before “Watchtower,” and like that song, “Metamorphosis 5” is something experienced by the characters, not just the audience. That seems pretty significant. Are there other examples of this happening?

    Good observation, AKRon, that “Metamorphosis 5” recurs at the end coincident with Tigh’s line about not having kids. It would seem to suggest some link between him and Starbuck, wouldn’t it? I’m not convinced that Tigh (or a copy of him) is Starbuck’s father, but the idea is definitely not loony.

  14. Dave says:

    First – Transformers was freakin sweet. Only way it could have been better is if Optimus Prime said “I’m Optimus Prime b*tches”.

    Second – The “I know I put that fleet somwhere” moment with Tigh – I can kinda understand it. His whole life he’s basically been Adamas sidekick – which is really intersting knowing what we know now. When teh chjips aer down, Tigh can really handle himself – for a final five that is 🙂

    Third – as always – great podcast – keep it up!

  15. Pike says:

    “I’m Optimus Prime b*tches”

    Dave, I’m guessing you’d enjoy Optimus Rhyme: Especially their early stuff.
    http://www.optimusrhyme.com/

  16. Nick B says:

    Jason – Indeed, I can’t see Tigh as a concert pianist. But I wonder whether Kara had a real, biological (or not entirely biological, as the case may be) father, and a stepfather (the pianist) or even an invented father she never saw (again, responsible for the piano music).

    Somehow Metamorphosis 5 doesn’t seem as out of place in a fictional universe as Watchtower does, I guess purely as a result of my own much greater exposure to the latter than to the former (I hadn’t heard Metamorphosis 5 until I saw this eposide of BSG, and assumed Bear McCreary wrote it for the show). And the use of it certainly wasn’t as pivotal in a plot sense as having the Tighlons repeat lines of Dylan lyrics. So I’m not sure that we should read the same significance into this particular piece (in terms of it indicating a link with Earth through a piece of music that exists in our contemporary world). But then if all of this is happening in our future (my preferred interpretation) then I guess any piece of contemporary music is up for grabs. A lot of terrestrial baggage in the BSG universe is probably just there because it’s convenient and gives the show a good look, and the fact that there is meant to be some sort of link to “us” makes it less implausible if you want to analyse it. But Watchtower is different because its pivotal role is so explicit. I still think it’s a mechanism for activating the Tylons, whose purpose is to protect the Earth of our future from invasion by the likes of the colonials and/or the “new” cylons. Dispersed among the colonies, which represent a potential threat to Earth, the Tighlons are set up to be activated once they are within a certain proximity of Earth. Then perhaps their job is to warn Earth, or prevent the potential invaders from reaching it. Or perhaps to brief the people about to arrive there on what to expect and try and manage the process once it becomes inevitable.

  17. Doc says:

    Valley of Darkness remains one of my favorite episodes of the reimagined series. This is also the epsiode that convinced me that Jammer was a Cylon. Why did the centurions leave him alive in the small arms locker, anyway? We also get to see more of Lee being a kick-ass leader.

    Just had a thought, wouldn’t it be funny if that bullet hole in Roslin’s jacket wasn’t caused by the Cylons but rather by Billy’s accidental discharge?

  18. Dh71 says:

    I agree with master 1228 in that Tigh’s experience is why Adama has him as second in command. As soon as the cylons started implementing their plan he just went into automatic pilot as training and experience took over. Without Tigh, the marines would have been waiting by the weopons magazines while the cylons were venting everyone into space. This episode more than any other made me love Tigh as the character.
    I also agree that there is a more meaningful relationship between Tigh and Starbuck. Whether he is her father or not, well, I just don’t know. But When I first started watching the show, I thought he WAS her father just because of the intense emotional connection and dialogue (albeit almost all negative) between the two. I was actually surprised to find out that he wasn’t her father.
    Oh, and one more thing, I think crashdown isn’t a bad leader, just one with NO experience thrown in WAY over his head. The man needs guidance because every decision he makes just seems to get him in deeper trouble. I still like the character though…

  19. Kappa says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes of Season 2. As many have said, I love Kara and Helo in Kara’s apartment, just taking a break from everything for a few minutes. I’m also impressed at how well the show pulls off the spooky, slasher/monster movie vibe with the Centurions chasing and being chased by the humans through the corridors; usually that kind of tension is maintained best when you don’t cut away from it, but this episode keeps those scenes exciting and threatening even while interspersing scenes of Caprica and Kobol in between. Anyway, here are my thoughts (my apologies in advance for such a long post):

    1) How awesome is the Chief? He proves that he’s a good leader without stepping too heavily on Crashdown’s toes, and his scene with Socinus is heartbreaking.

    2) I think Kat screams “Jesus!” when the Cylon slices and dices Flyboy at the beginning of the episode. With all the yelling, it’s hard to tell for sure, but it sounds like it and the subtitles interpret it that way. I highly doubt that’s a clue, but I thought it was a humorous slip. Or maybe Flyboy’s first name is Jesus, you never know.

    3) Baltar’s verbal slip in his vision could be important, though. When he meets Adama, Baltar says, “How in God’s name did you find us?” Baltar has bought into Cylon monotheism enough that he’s talking about God, singular, even in his hallucinations.

    4) Speaking of Baltar’s vision: CREEPY. Has it been fulfilled with Adama going along with Roslin’s order to terminate Athena’s pregnancy, or is it yet to come? Also, odd note, but when Adama takes the baby from Baltar and walks to the water to drown it, none of the others from Raptor One or the rescue team take any notice–-except Cally, who is featured staring at them in a kind of out-of-place shot, and Tyrol, who looks at them as they pass the raptor. It probably wasn’t conscious foreshadowing of Cally and the Chief’s baby being in the same biological boat as Hera (and perhaps sharing in being “the shape of things to come”), but in retrospect, it’s a nice touch.

    5) I miss Billy, too! I love that there’s somebody on BSG that isn’t an uber-warrior. Plus, the joke with the safety was great. It’s funny, I like Billy and Dee together better than Lee and Dee because there seems to be more chemistry, but Dee is a much more likeable person with Lee than she is with Billy. She can be pretty cruel to him, and it seems like she doesn’t realise how hurtful her sarcasm is until after she’s said it. It’s almost as if she’s a nice, quiet person in her professional life, and now she’s found somebody who is more smitten with her than she is with him, which gives her the confidence to play the dominant role in the relationship and to say all the things that she’s too polite to say to anybody else. With Lee, the roles are reversed; she knows she’s his second choice, so she plays the subordinate role in the relationship until Starbuck really comes back into Lee’s life. Then she regains the confidence to tell Lee off, but the biggest difference is Lee deserves it, and Billy doesn’t.

    6) Boy, Jammer didn’t have any redeeming qualities, did he? Even here, he’s a cowardly weenie who takes credit for beating the Cylons even though his shot missed. (I don’t think Jammer fired his shot at the beginning and got the first Cylon because, if he had, since he only had one round, he would have dove for cover right after that, since he would have known he couldn’t fire again.) Gaagh.

    7) Funny that Baltar comes to the conclusion that the scriptures are all a lie because they don’t mention the ugly side of humanity’s acts on Kobol, yet as the podcasters have commented several times, scripture in the Galactica ‘verse tends to come true a lot.

    Also, at first I was skeptical of the Tigh as Starbuck’s father theories, but all the explanations here really make a lot of sense. It would definitely be an interesting area for the writers to play around with in Season 4, not to mention a good way of fulfilling prophecy without just letting it play out in the way everybody expects it should go.

  20. AKron says:

    ShadowGem–you made me laugh, loudly.
    AndersFan–you are correct, I went back to Tigh me Up, Tigh me Down and I was incorrect, the Tigh’s are not sitting at a piano in that epi. I must have imagined it. Still… Maybe Dh71 has the right attitude–there is indeed some type of more meaningful relationship between Tigh and Starbuck.

    You know how in various Star Trek episodes, the writers use the science fiction genre to make some type of pertinent social commentary on equal rights, etc., well I wonder how much that goes on with BSG writers. When Tyrol euthenizes his the kid with his lungs burned, the dialogue leads me to think the writers were indeed making some commentary on end of life rights.
    Also, I can’t help but see parallels with Crashdown’s youth and inexpereince versus Chief’s age and wisdom on Kobol and the youth of America being sent to far away wars. I might worry about this more than others…I teach high school physics here in Akron and I shudder when I think about my kids (or kids like them at age 18) going off to fight in a foreign land–what truly difficult places for someone with little life experience to be in. Even on Galactica when kids like Jammer are paralyzed by fear, trauma, indecision, and inexperience, you get a real sense of this. Are the writers giving us this to simply entertain or to change us/open us to see things in our current lives in a new way? I, like Sean, enjoy those fighting Viper scenes, but the close and personal combat we got in this episode will stick with me a lot longer.

    As Helo would say: “Call me an idoit and it’s over!”

  21. AirborneAce says:

    BSG needs to take a stand on bullet effectiveness, as in some episodes their standard weapons seem to work against Centurions and other times the Centurions seem to be made of titanium, especially in later episodes

    This is a point that has made me wonder, why even waste time shooting at Cylons if it has no effect at all? Its like shooting at a tank with a M16, you’d be better off running away.

  22. AKron says:

    AirborneAce, you are unquestionably right.

  23. Dave says:

    Hey again

    My earlier comment was for the earlier episode – my bad.

    Also, thanks for the link Pike. ALthough I was kinda referring to the Dave Chapelle Rick James skit – that was a great pull.

    This episode was scary as hell. No lights ad cylons everywhere – craaaaaa-aaappp!

    Also, reminded me of how intense the writing could get – even in something as simple as sitting in Kara’s apartment listenng to her fathers music.

    great…now the song is in my head :-/

    Keep up the amazing work guys…

    Dave

  24. Timbuck says:

    AirbornAce, you rule. One of my best friends is a Major in B-52s (Minot, ND). Props to all you military guys!

    re: bullets. Like alluvasudden they need “explosive rounds”? WTF? Helo did ok on OC w regular ones.

    They had 40 years to realize the bullets vs armored bad guy equation. C’mon! Maybe they need Jayne’s favorite gun from “Firefly”?

  25. AKron-I totally agree with the Tigh/Kara theory. I’ve been playing that one in my mind since the end of 3. My theory on it was that Kara only know’s what her mom told her about her father. He may have never played piano. It might be a type of picture that came with the frame thing. You know, like a kid has a picture of their “parent” but it’s really some random model and their parent just told them that was their father.
    Hope that makes sense, that Kara’s mom just “pulled something out” so that Kara knew something about her father.
    ~Melissa

  26. The Alpaca Herder says:

    I don’t think Vera could have saved the day in this one. Vera might have been a BDG but it was still just a gun. It still was not worth it for that failed trade between Jayne and Mal.

    The DVD commentaries up to this point have made fun of this possible continuity issue over the bullets…

  27. Dh71 says:

    AirborneAce, I had the same thoughts exactly. In the episode preceeding this one, the only thing that is deemed effective against cylons are the explosive rounds of which Crashdown and his assault “team” have none. As the chief alluded to, taking a civillian and two mechanics up against an armed and defended position against programmed killings machines with ineffective weapons is akin to suicidal martyrdom.

  28. Edphoto says:

    I just spent over an hour at work reading posts on this site. I’m going to get fraked!
    I’ll be back at lunchtime.

  29. Radio Picon says:

    This idea of Tigh being Starbuck’s father is very interesting. I know that her father’s absence in the story gives an open opportunity for the writers to make her a Cylon that way. And this might be how it will all work out. But I still think a theory I had about reincarnation might still work. Has this already been talked about here? I know I sent in my theory a while back when still writing as my other nick.

    Anyway, what if the Final 5 don’t “resurrect” but instead actually “reincarnate” from time to time. They actually get born as human even though, spiritually or whatever, they are a Final 5 Cylon…neither exactly human nor exactly Cylon. This could explain how Tigh could have grown up on Caprica and gone through the first war without ever being “planted” by the Cylons we know.

  30. Mike P says:

    master: “This is also another episode with Lee laying down truth that no one wants to hear to Tigh at the end of the ep (not unlike the truth about the state of the fleet on the witness stand at the end of season 3).”

    But Lee’s speech is *not* the truth about the fleet! At least not the whole truth and nothing but. 🙂 So they are showing forgiveness. And Lee thinks this somehow makes them less than a civilization? Mercy somehow makes the survivors a gang? I do not buy this. I refuse to buy this. In this very episode (VOD), Head Six tells Baltar that “humanity’s true [i.e., basest and worst] nature always reveals itself.” But what have we seen revealed, time after time, in BSG, despite and in the midst of all the grim and dire happenings? Heroism. Mercy. Love — the latter, so much so that the Cylons would do *anything* to get it for themselves.

    Sorry for the rant, and nothing personal on master, but *why* do so many seem (at least to my eye) so ready to accept Lee’s speech as the gospel truth on the nature of the fleet? For me, the series undercuts Lee’s conclusion time after time after time.

  31. Mike P says:

    Jason asks: “I assume they’re talking about the music, but isn’t that an odd thing for Helo to say? I mean, if I play a CD for a friend, no one ever says, “That’s definitely not you on the CD,” this fact being generally obvious.”

    Huh, I took it to mean, “That’s not your taste in music.” “No, it’s my dad’s.” But I see how it could be taken the other way.

    I think the theory of Starbuck being Tigh’s kid is frakking AWESOME! I hope it turns out to be true. Nice!

  32. Mike P says:

    Nick B: “But then if all of this is happening in our future (my preferred interpretation) then I guess any piece of contemporary music is up for grabs.”

    Yes, I agree, and I think the comment that “Watchtower” was like something “you heard in childhood” — in this case, humanity’s childhood — further suggests BSG is in our future. (This thought not original to me, just reiterating because it relates here.)

    I feel ignorant — I did not know until tonight that the piano music was something in our real world. Color me clueless! (But then, I didn’t know “Watchtower” was a real song until the day after Crossroads II aired, that’s how unhip I am — so a lot of the impact was lost on me, LOL!)

  33. Mike P says:

    Kappa: “I think Kat screams “Jesus!” when the Cylon slices and dices Flyboy at the beginning of the episode. With all the yelling, it’s hard to tell for sure, but it sounds like it and the subtitles interpret it that way.”

    Huh, I missed that, but I do know that Adama clearly swears “Jesus” in the miniseries, in the first scene with Tigh in his quarters. I presume the writers tried to pay more attention to such things once the ongoing series began — but, if not, yet another piece of evidence that BSG is our future. 🙂

  34. Mike P says:

    AKRon: “When Tyrol euthenizes his the kid with his lungs burned, the dialogue leads me to think the writers were indeed making some commentary on end of life rights.”

    I don’t know — it didn’t seem overtly political, but perhaps. What I did think, though, is that this moment marks a real shift in tone for the series. I mean, sure, it’s been dark and gritty, and the characters have had to make some tough choices (“33” for starters…) — but here we have a very personal, one-on-one choice to make a mercy killing, a tacit admission that, at least in this case, it would be better for Tarn to be dead than alive — which, of course, ties back to Adama’s accusation of the crew in the mini: “Are they the lucky ones?” Again, to invoke Ecclesiastes: “And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun” (Eccl. 4:2-3).

    So, here Tyrol makes this dreadful choice, and even goes so far as to lie about a rescue party to make the death that much more painless (I flash on Kirk “giving the word” to Peter Preston in Star Trek II!) — it seems that, for maybe the first time, we are getting a hint of what it is really going to cost these folks to stay alive in the post-Caprica world, and the struggles they will face in terms of deciding, at each turn, whether it is worth it.

    Perhaps it is only worth it if the human race is worth saving… The stakes are frakking high in this show, ain’t they? 😉

    At any rate, it does seem to be the first if not the only mercy killing we see in the show. (Not counting the icky baby broken neck moment in the miniseries. Shudder!!!)

  35. Mike P says:

    Clearly, I’ve been playing catch-up tonight — one more thing and then I will shut up, no doubt much to everyone’s relief. But, along the lines of what Kappa said above about Baltar and the Scriptures, did it strike anyone else as odd that Head Six is discrediting Pythia, when just a few episodes ago she was telling Baltar to pay attention to it — for, as Kappa says, Scripture comes true in literalistic ways in BSG?

    Also: anyone else see it as significant that all the fighting takes place on Deck 12? That number just keeps cropping up!

  36. Nick B says:

    Mike P – I don’t think Lee is saying that the Fleet is really just a gang on the run *because* they’re showing mercy and forgiveness. Sure they’re playing fast and loose with what were once fairly formal and rigid legal and other social structures that existed prior to the attack. This might make them less of a “civilisation” if we define a civilisation in the way that anthropologists and archaeologists define it – as a society with cities, formal institutions of state, a formal government exerting control over a sizeable geographical area, a highly developed bureaucracy, and a high degree of social organisation and stratification (basically a lot of social inequality). The Fleet is trying to hang on to these “qualities”, with some limited degree of success. But given the exceptional circumstances the survivors find themselves in, the more formal and rigid approach to managing society that existed in the colonial civilisations isn’t completely appropriate.

    As Adama says in response to suggestions that TIgh should be tried for his role in the Gideon incident, he needs every one of the experienced personnel he has, and he won’t sacrifice his flawed but ultimately valubale ExO on the altar of public opinion (as a conventional civilisation might). So the Fleet is adapting its behaviour and its social institutions to its new situation, by being more flexible and informal in dealing with problems. This is more in line with how (perfectly well functioning) societies that aren’t civilisations by the criteria listed above behave. But perhaps this is no bad thing – civilisations have grown as people adapted to their situations, and in some parts of the world civilisation as defined above didn’t develop because it wasn’t necessary or appropriate. It’s certainly not appropriate to try and hold on to every aspect of colonial civilisation in the Fleet’s current situation – the Fleet needs to be flexible and adaptable, not governed by rigid formal structures of governance. These would have had all the people most capable of saving humanity sitting in the Brig by now.

    Anyway, back to Lee’s comment. His point was not that they are less of a civilisation because they are exercising mercy and forgiveness (this is arguably a symptom of a breakdown in the unforgiving institutions of civilisation, but I for one don’t see this as a bad thing). His point is that people are exercising mercy and forgiveness to everyone *except* Baltar, and this is what he’s calling them on. They’re being hypocrites because they’re bending or ignoring the old rules all the time (very sensible given the circumstances), but when it comes to Baltar they’re trying to invoke the very rules they’re ignoring in order to punish him. So they want to have their cake and eat it just so they can exercise revenge on someone they don’t like.

  37. Mike P says:

    Nick — Ah, well, when you phrase Lee’s point that way, I have a much easier time with the speech. In fact, I do remember hearing him say as much. What I have been frankly surprised by is, not so much around these forums, but the apparent glee with which many fans seized on Lee’s speech as a kind of true “state of the fleet” address. I think it has been so long since I actually watched the speech that it had changed in my mind.

    Thanks for clearing this up again. 🙂

  38. Chuck says:

    MikeP: I think others have already sort of made this point, but just to reiterate: I don’t think Lee’s objection was to the fleet’s forgiveness, but rather their selective forgiveness.

    For example, if our government leadership was to say, “Hey, I think our current situation is tough enough that we should allow two additional months for everyone to file their taxes,” that’d be a pretty cool, compassionate decision. But if they said, “Times are tough, so we’re giving ourselves and our close friends two additional months to file our taxes, but the rest of you better do it on time or go to jail.” That might not go over as well.

    I think that’s what’s been happening in the fleet, and it’s what inspired Lee’s speech — misdirected though it may be been in terms of defending Baltar.

    There’s lots of evidence to support his point. Members of “the family” get lenience even if they steal ships or mutiny. Socinus lies about a minor thing to protect a friend and *bam* — he’s in the brig.

  39. Mike P says:

    Thanks, Chuck. As I said, I think the speech had changed in my mind since I first saw it, and I was reacting more against that than the speech itself. Lee is right in that the fleet has been playing favorites, to be sure.

  40. master1228 says:

    Chuck: Members of “the family” get lenience even if they steal ships or mutiny. Socinus lies about a minor thing to protect a friend and *bam* — he’s in the brig.

    Just to point out, even though “the family” gets special treatment, Lee, Starbuck and Roslin (and there may be others that I’m forgetting) have each spent a fair share of time in the brig (sometimes multiple episodes) and the low man on the totem pole who spent time in the brig didn’t stay there for very long (we don’t really know how long though), he made it back to a prominent position (being part of the crew to investigate Kobol) in the military, it’s not like he was relegated to scrubbing the deck or anything, he just got the unlucky break of having his lungs fried from the raptor crash.

  41. Jason says:

    Nick B:

    “Indeed, I can’t see Tigh as a concert pianist.”

    On the hypothetical Tigh basestar, I think we can add some sensitive, piano-playing Tighs to the Tighs doing Tigh-Chi and saying “We love you, Tigh.” 🙂

    “I wonder whether Kara had a real, biological (or not entirely biological, as the case may be) father, and a stepfather (the pianist) or even an invented father she never saw (again, responsible for the piano music).”

    The latter interpretation would add significance to Kara’s choice of words, “It’s my dad,” i.e. equating the music with her father, as if that were all she knew of him. Regardless, I find it interesting that Starbuck chooses to connect with her father, or the idea of her father, in this scene. That seems to carry a lot of unexplored significance.

    “Somehow Metamorphosis 5 doesn’t seem as out of place in a fictional universe as Watchtower does, I guess purely as a result of my own much greater exposure to the latter than to the former (I hadn’t heard Metamorphosis 5 until I saw this episode of BSG, and assumed Bear McCreary wrote it for the show).”

    If they had just used “Metamorphosis” as incidental music, it wouldn’t seem out of place at all. On the contrary, I think Philip Glass fits very well into the BSG ‘verse. I wasn’t entirely joking about his being a Cylon: if the Cylons were to compose music, I would imagine it sounding very much like Philip Glass. I’m not sure I can articulate why—maybe a music expert (Armando?) can help me out—but a lot of Philip Glass’s work sounds very…computational. It also fits with the minimalist aesthetic that the Cylons have going on inside their basestars. BUT, when Starbuck pops in a tape and you recognize what’s playing, it’s jarring. Especially when she nonchalantly adds, “It’s my dad.” It just seems like a really odd moment to use non-original music, especially when non-original music is used so rarely. (Twice in three years?)

    “And the use of it certainly wasn’t as pivotal in a plot sense as having the Tighlons repeat lines of Dylan lyrics. So I’m not sure that we should read the same significance into this particular piece (in terms of it indicating a link with Earth through a piece of music that exists in our contemporary world).”

    I’ll agree with that, though I think it would have been really cool if they had used “Metamorphosis 5” instead of “Watchtower” as the song that the Tighlons hear. For one, having the characters recite lines from the lyrics was too heavy handed for my taste, and an instrumental piece would have had a subtler touch. The “5” could have alluded to the Final Five, as you pointed out, and “Metamorphosis” is an excellent descriptor for what the Tighlons are experiencing. Especially when you consider that the music was largely inspired by the Kafka story of the same name, in which a character wakes up to discover he has transformed into a monstrous thing. I think the Tighlons, especially Tigh, must feel exactly like this at the end of Season 3. And if Kara does end up connected to the 5, especially if Tigh really turns out to be her father, then it would have been awesome for the Tighlons to hear the same music that Kara is listening to here. But of course that didn’t happen, so I don’t know why I’m even talking about this.

    I do like your idea that there is a literal watchtower at the nebula set up by Earth or some force protecting Earth. I will try to comment more on this later.

  42. Jean says:

    Sorry, I posted this on a different thread already, but I wanted to put it somewhere more current, even though it’s an old point…

    In “Scattered”…

    Why/How does Sharon (soon to be Athena) on Caprica know all about Starbuck and how they met? As far as I know, Boomer is still alive and hasn’t downloaded, so none of the other Sharons should have her memories, right? There’s no communication between cylons until they download, I thought.

    And Audra, you’re right about the “s” on cylons. The cylons are not an ethnicity like the French, they are individuals like Frenchmen (or FrenchmanZZ, if you prefer with the “s”).

    Love the podcast, guys. You’re getting us through a long dry season (or long and humid for those of us in the Northeast)!

  43. Pike says:

    Jason, you just reminded me: that jacket was also her father’s. Not sure what that means, though.

    Jean, they’ve been purposefully vague about the Cylon communication thing. I’m not sure if even they have decided how, or to what degree, it works. We do know that it’s not on all the time (Athena saying “It doesn’t work like that.”) but that’s about it.

  44. Mike P says:

    “I think we can add some sensitive, piano-playing Tighs to the Tighs doing Tigh-Chi and saying ‘We love you, Tigh.’ ”

    Followed of course by an awkward musical sting. 🙂

  45. Nick B says:

    Jason – I think you’re bang on with your musical analysis of how they could/should have used Metamorphosis 5, and about the heavy handedness of the Tighlons reciting the lyrics as they’re “activated”.

    Although I’ve been rambling on about the early warning system to protect Earth, hadn’t equated the nebula with a “watchtower” – I guess this was what I was saying but hadn’t thought about how this fits with the use of the music.

    I’ve been posting more about this under the comments on podcast 53 – I get a bit confused with all the various forums which are active at the moment.

    I’ll keep you posted about my plans for Potsdam. Are there any other BSG obsessives in your area?

  46. Audra says:

    Welcome to the ‘Cooler, Michael, Doc, Edphoto, and Jean!

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