GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Final Cut

It’s weektwenty 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 “Final Cut.” 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!

31 Responses to "GWC Re-Watch Frak Party: Final Cut"
  1. The Fair Melissa says:

    So, is the title also a reference to the fact that they cut the corners on the video that D’Anna is showing in the Cylon theater. Boy, when they commit, they commit.

  2. The Alpaca Herder says:

    TFM: The podcast track by RDM mentions that that was pretty much his idea. If anything, I like that touch. The only problem with the cut corners on the video there is why oh why are the monitors by Gaeta’s seat not similarly designed? The displays Gaeta plays with look just like normal ones we might see in North America.

  3. Dave says:

    Even though I have seen this episode a few times…that reveal at teh end still slams me. I mean Deanna PLAYED them…and not a little bit.

    I am wondeirng in season 3 (grr better release DVD soon grrr) if Roslin found out Deanna was a Cylon on New Caprica (most likely) or if she and Adama both found out when the Cylons were on Galactica for that ..one..episode…when they got..suffocated.

    See what happens when they don’t realse DVD’s for a long time. I start mixing up eps…GEEZ!!:-)

    Anyway, to be honest, it’sa good episode, not my favorite by far, but good.

    Awesome, Two Bit and Coolest…keep up the great work

    Dave

  4. Dave says:

    and speaking of DVDs

    http://tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=7848

    Razor with be out 12/4 evidently and so willa Hi Def for Season 1. Click link above

  5. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Dave: I would imagine the identities of the Significant Seven were revealed by the time of life on New Caprica. Except for creepy ol’ Leoben spending “quality time” with Starbuck the other models ran the occupation authority. Leoben’s identity as a Cylon was established for the Rag-Tag Fleet in the mini-series and early on in season one Doral was outed.

  6. Number 13 says:

    This is my “first episode”. I somehow knew from the start that if she wasn’t a Cylon, she was up to no good.

    Since Dave brought it up, Razor airs Saturday, November 24 at 9:00 PM ET. I’m sure SciFi was upset that they couldn’t air their lousy CGI monster movie of the week. And we have to suffer through that horrible new Flash Gordon series to see the minisodes, starting in October. The execs who greenlight craap like the new FG and not Caprica need their heads checked.
    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=2&id=43313

  7. Radio Picon says:

    I luvz me some Lucy Lawless, and I have never even seen an episode of Xena. I have to wonder how she got the video back to the Cylons. I know she said they sacrificed 2 raiders to get it back. I guess she somehow transmitted it and the raiders relayed it? But what happened to her? Was the D’Anna in the theater the same one on Caprica?

    Sidebar: the deleted scenes showed the Gina/D’Anna story, which would have been pretty cool if they had played that out.

  8. Mike P says:

    Sorry, I will *not* be watching Flash Gordon, not even for BSG minisodes. Egads, the pilot frakking stank!!! (In my obviously not-so-humble opinion.)

    I had never seen Xena either (and still haven’t), but I thought this episode was fantastic and that Lucy Lawless did a superb job. I tend to agree with Number 13, it is telegraphed a bit too broadly that she is up to trouble… (don’t you think Adama is too smart to fall for the old “I switched the tape” trick?) — but I also agree with Dave, the ending stil works. Especially since the show has just gotten us to this massive “feel good” moment — which also still works with repeated viewings. Gotta love the janitor whistling the “Colonial Anthem,” and then it swells up in the orchestra. (That’s my favorite track on the season 2 soundtrack, btw).

  9. Phoenix says:

    I agree, Flash sucks. I really don’t want to watch it just to see the minisodes. I hope they’ll be online as well.

    This is a cool episode. Lots of good character stuff, like Gaeta’s tattoo. And the Towel scene (love Starbuck and D’Anna’s reactions!).

    What other movies do you think the Cylons watch in the theater? I vote Serenity.

  10. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Phoenix on the other movies in the theater: The episodes of Firefly and Drive that could have been written but weren’t? That would definitely make RDM’s universe not tied to our own.

  11. Phoenix says:

    Alpaca Herder:
    Maybe Nathan Fillion is the last Cylon? And as soon as it’s revealed, SciFi will yank the show, even though there are more episodes to air.

    Me? Keep grudges? Nah.

  12. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Phoenix:

    Considering how many folks we see on-screen are veterans of Dark Angel and the two Stargate series I would not be surprised if either Jessica Alba or Richard Dean Anderson showed up as the last Cylon. I keep thinking it is either Dee or Gaeta, though, who is the final Cylon to be revealed.

  13. Dave says:

    Phoenix on the other movies in the theater: Star Wars (the original, notthat Phantom Menace craaaaaa-aaaaaap)

    Alpaca Herder: Jessica Alba as the last Cylon???? GIGGEDY….(passes out)

  14. Mike P says:

    Speaking of Serenity (well, sort of) — I am (finally) watching the old BSG webisodes (so that I can go back and listen intelligently to the first few episodes of GWC!), and noticed in episode 7, the crate behind Chief Tyrol’s head *clearly* has either Chinese or Japanese characters on it (sorry, I don’t read either language). But it is definitely a recognizable Terran langauge other than English. Bad prop placement, poor production oversight — or yet another clue (say it with me ) that Galactica is set in our far distant future?

    Sorry, that is a tangent, but if we can’t share tangents with the GWC crowd, I ask you, then whom can we? 🙂

  15. Amber says:

    I have to ask…am I the only one who waits until Sunday to watch?

  16. Timbuck says:

    Phoenix Says:

    August 17th, 2007 at 11:29 am
    Alpaca Herder:
    Maybe Nathan Fillion is the last Cylon? And as soon as it’s revealed, SciFi will yank the show, even though there are more episodes to air.

    Me? Keep grudges? Nah.

    LOVE IT! Props to Phoenix for the They’ll pull it comment!

    But seriously: I love Capt Mal but keep him the frak away from Vancouver until they wrap 422!!!!

    Who love D’Anna’s hot Aussie accent????

  17. Timbuck says:

    Still waiting for Audra’s and The Fair Melissa’s drool-ridden comments on The Towel Scene…

  18. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Timbuck: Lucy Lawless is definitely Kiwi. As to the towel scene…no comment.

  19. DocP says:

    Yay, I just bought season 2 off itunes, and the best news is I get to have a BSG blowout in order to catch up to the rewatch.

    I know thats not interesting to anyone else but Im hugely excited and can’t wait for them to download. ( To quote south park, “it’s like christmas…times a thousand!”)

  20. Stroogie says:

    Amber,
    I like to watch the epi on Sunday, too, and then listen to the podcast directly afterwards. But sometimes, I just gotta have my BSG in the middle of the week. Plus, I can join in on the frak party more if I’ve seen the epi.
    This week, I’ve been working like a dog, plus I managed to catch myself a head cold in the middle of an August heat wave, so it’ll be nice to settle down tomorrow night with “Final Cut” and a podcast. Ah, the small pleasures.

  21. Starbuccaneer says:

    I think I was struck most by Lee, and not just because of how much of him we got to see…

    Over the 45m course of “Final Cut” we see Lee as the consummate soldier, as the flawlessly confident commanding officer, as a source of strength and support to his friends; we see him compassionate, angry, protective, laughing, and scared. There are hints of his intelligence, critical thinking, and tactical skills. It was a good reminder of why Captain Apollo is such a charming character, when he’s not too busy whining, being fat, or frakking Dualla.

  22. Kappa says:

    My impression of “Final Cut” when I first saw it was unfairly harsh; I read the episode description and thought, well, it must be a take on one of my favorite episodes of M*A*S*H, the one that was filmed as if it was a real documentary of the characters’ lives and how they dealt with war. “Final Cut” has elements of that with the interviews of Racetrack, Apollo, Helo, and the especially good segments with Gaeta and Kat, but I guess I was originally expecting something a lot more heavily stylized and introspective in this episode, like the M*A*S*H episode that I still think it drew from for inspiration. Anyway, I enjoyed it more for what it is this time around.

    1) Apollo towel scene! ‘Nuff said.

    2) The little “day-in-the-life” details, like Adama telling Racetrack to keep the old Colonial magazines, were nice touches.

    3) I don’t know why, but I really love that Kara can kick butt *and* quote Caprican poetry.

    4) D’Anna’s has got to be my favorite Cylon reveal of the series. I even knew that she was a Cylon at the beginning of the episode (I started watching BSG at the beginning of Season 3 and then caught up on the previous seasons during the mid-season break), yet I was still shocked to see her sitting in the Cylon movie theatre. It’s weird, there have been eleven Cylon reveals so far, yet none of them have been the dramatic one everybody has been waiting for: somebody we know and love bites the big one and wakes up in a tub of goo. Baltar’s fake reveals are the only ones that have followed that pattern. Are they saving that up for the reveal of the very last Cylon?

  23. Timbuck says:

    Sci-Fi just put out their Fall Season Schedule with some good news for Battlestar Galactica fans like us: The Pegasus Telemovie, “Razor” will be airing on Saturday, November 24, just in time for Thanksgiving. Thanks will be given by us, for sure.

    From one of the zillion Google alerts I’ve gotten.

    11/24/07–so say we all!

  24. Stroogie says:

    Okay, I’ll say it. I HATED the reveal of D’Anna as a Cylon at the end of “Final Cut”. As surprise plot twists go, I thought it was just wrongheaded.

    My reasons (since this is, after all, a literate, articulate crowd and not the kind who whines “This episode SUXXOR!”)? Mostly, because I thought that the episode was building up a great theme, namely about the nature of the press–not just the usual freedom-of-expression polemics, but about how this “Fourth Branch” really lives and breathes and works in a world that doesn’t always explain itself in easily digestible sound bytes.

    We saw leaders with whom we were familiar (thanks to previous episodes) making decisions that we understood, but were easily misinterpreted by ordinary people just trying to survive outside of the knowledge of the big picture; these leaders found themselves acquiescing to the people’s demands for information, not as a show of weakness, but as a show of faith.

    We saw icons in uniform transfigured into ordinary people, making choices and mistakes for the same reasons the rest of us do; and one of them was indiscreet and unfortunate enough to derail with the cameras rolling, so that all the fleet could lustily watch and see in another human being what each person would never admit they were hiding in themselves (no, I’m not talking about the towel scene).

    And of course we have the reporter herself, who desires to know the whole truth, even if it’s bad. She unknowingly takes as big a leap of faith as those in power who gave her permission to enter their quarters, because she ends up uncovering more humanity and fewer pat answers than she expected. But she fights for the right to do this. In a scene with Adama in the Sickbay, D’Anna says “I’m sick of people like you questioning my patriotism.” And then…and then the scene swerves off in another direction instead of facing this very timely argument.

    And then, by the end of it, when the probing camera has made everyone, including the camera-wielder herself, face truth and find hope they didn’t know they were missing…
    …D’ANNA’S ACTUALLY A CYLON, EVERYBODY!

    I didn’t see it coming (though that’s not why I hated it). I didn’t think D’Anna was up to anything more than what your average intrepid reporter would be up to. I was thrilled with Lucy Lawless’ performance. I love her still as Number Three, and think she makes a great Cylon. Wouldn’t box her for the world. But the reveal was too tricky, and I think it turned the tables just a little too far, stomping on a very human character dealing with very human issues.

    I know some people felt cheated in a similar fashion by Starbuck’s “death” and the reveal of the Fab Four. But I knew Starbuck wasn’t dead (and I never even saw, read, or heard any spoilers about her impending fate), and I argue with Audra that the Final Five are something different from the Significant Seven, and probably in some way on the side of good, so that their reveal creates more mystery and only deepens, not short-circuits, their characters.

    For this episode, I wish we were discussing issues of freedom and responsibility of the press, the responsibility of the government to be honest with its citizens, the difficulty of ever knowing the whole picture in a complicated world, and so on, instead of saying, “Wow, that ending was cool!”

  25. Browncoat_Bryan says:

    Wow, Stroogie!!!

    Well thought out comment. I think that was what was bothering me about this episode as well (even though I’m still squarely in the “wow, that ending was cool” corner ;)). I felt that both sides (the government/military and the press) were done well in this episode, although I had a certain dread and respect for the press. You’ve got a real good point.

    However, considering how much craaa-aaap RDM caught for the beginning of Season 3 (which, regardless of what he says on his podcast, I know he thought he was taking a HUGE risk with the occupation setting), I wonder if he felt he would be gambling with the show too early and thus decided to go the Cylon reveal route to throw out some chaff and flares to keep the punditistas from crying “TOO POLITICAL!!!”

  26. master1228 says:

    First off, I gotta say, those CD-like discs the fleet use for storage certainly look inefficient with all those cut corners, but they certainly look cool.

    I remember when I first saw that Xena was joining the cast, how awesome it would be if it turned out she was a Cylon. Watching the episode though, she not only fooled the fleet, but fooled me too! Even with the reveal that she kept a copy of the Sharon footage, I thought she was keeping it just in case she wanted to create a scandalous whistle-blower piece for the flight to see. It wasn’t til I heard her voice in the Cylon screening room that I realized just how deeply I had been fooled.

    By the way, how is it that these Cylons are able to slither away from the fleet?! I can understand that they have been a part of the human population for YEARS (obviously if you count the Tighlons) but how did Shelly (6 model) and D’Anna (3 model) get AWAY from the fleet? Did they leave? It was described that Shelly just disappeared after turning a corner in one of the corridors leaving behind her glasses in the CIC. Did they just slink away into one of the dark corners of the fleet and stick to a Clark Kentesque costume a la Gina?

    If so, did D’Anna just upload her experience as well as the digital footage back to the Cylon fleet? Did she download those clips to her memories and then airlock herself so she could download back into a Cylon goo tank? The problem here lies in the Cylon anti-suicide belief (even though D’Anna finds loopholes for this later in the series while Baltar is with the Cylon fleet.

    OK, this episode marks the 1st of the 8 cylon operatives that are revealed in the fleet after Baltar gets Boomer to reveal this information. Let’s get a count going.

    The whole idea of Adama being fooled by D’Anna keeping an extra copy of the tape seems to be the biggest Adama mistake since coming back from being shot.

    After seeing the admiration and awe in the faces of the Cylons in their theater, I realized that the main reason D’Anna made the piece as positive as she did was because of the interactions she had with Dee. It was Dee that she constantly went to when she didn’t understand a CIC tactical command abbreviation and it was Dee she turned to when asking if she was scared and if these Cylon sitings/dogfights ever get easier and the responses from Dee were just the opposite from what she expected to hear.

    Also, knowing what we know after the episode, that D’Anna is a Cylon, isn’t it interesting that when she’s reviewing the footage with her cameraman, sees the book of Caprican poetry and figures out who has been threatening Tigh, that it seems like she tells either Adama or some other officer about it, so they could send the marines in. She could have just as easily just ran to Tigh’s quarters with her camera to get exclusive footage of the potential death of Tigh or just keep quiet and LET Tigh and Ellen die. While watching it the first time through, the scenes make total sense storywise, but now it seems to make D’Anna a much deeper character.

  27. Stroogie says:

    Master said: “While watching it the first time through, the scenes make total sense storywise, but now it seems to make D’Anna a much deeper character.”

    This was exactly my problem with the big reveal at the end. D’Anna seemed sincere in her mission as a journalist, not just putting on an act when humans were watching, but in things like her relationship with Dee, her argument with Adama about patriotism, and her uncovering the mystery of Tigh’s stalker. Even her relationship with her cameraman felt authentic, like they’d been doing this job for long enough to develop a casual, working shorthand.

    I know the Cylons are masters of deception, but D’Anna didn’t come off as someone pretending, even pretending really well, to be a journalist. She just *was* a journalist.

    Plus there are all those other problems about how she and Shelly got off the fleet undetected, not to mention that the two Raiders that supposedly transmitted the video back to Caprica made their appearance before the finished story was edited together–the “Final Cut” included footage of Adama pumping his fist in triumph AFTER the two Raiders were blown up. When I first watched the episode, I thought perhaps D’Anna was a sleeper agent programmed to get access to the Galactica any way possible, especially in regards to information about Athena. Once she’d done her job and woke up, she escaped and took the information back to Caprica. But if it’s that easy for the Cylons to infiltrate the fleet and the Galactica, why didn’t they just plant bombs–in places besides the water tanks–or tracking devices and send everything they have at the fleet to finish the job?

    I know, I know, I’m becoming a nitpicker. I really do like this episode, but that ending just burns me up.

  28. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Stroogie: We must not forget the line of Caprica-D’anna in which she stated that one of the two raiders that was blown up was used in getting the footage of Sharon out. That certainly did not make it into the final cut and likely could have been transmitted pretty quickly. I would not count D’anna as a Boomer-style sleeper but rather more akin to Doral or Cavil. As for catching the whole broadcast…well…a baseship escorting Resurrection could have caught the broadcast at a distance and forwarded it to Caprica too. Remember that at this point the Rag Tag Fleet does not know about Resurrection following it.

  29. Kappa says:

    When we get to “Downloaded,” I’ll have to pay more attention, but I wonder if at some point D’Anna didn’t get sucked a little bit into believing the role she was playing. The best liars are those who can lie to themselves and believe their own lies. It would be easy for a Cylon to get caught up in what D’Anna was originally doing, which was documenting and disseminating examples of humanity’s inhumanity to its own (muckraking? maybe). But then when she gets to Galactica, she really *does* see the other side of the story; she sees that these folks are a lot more complex than she gave them credit for. At the end, the ruse is over and D’Anna reverts back to her old beliefs and role, but maybe, like Baltar usually does, she learned something important but then forgot it when the evidence was no longer staring her in the face.

    Question: Is the Three in the theatre D’Anna Biers, reporter? Is the Three in “Downloaded” D’Anna Biers? If one goes by just the episodes as-aired, I think the answer is yes, most likely, although not necessarily. But there are deleted scenes from the episode near the end of Season 2.5 where D’Anna Biers asks the President for exclusive access to film Hera–and shows Gina how she plans to smuggle the baby out in her camera bag. So are these Threes all the same “person,” D’Anna Biers, or in the theatre, are we watching the reactions of *another* Three whom D’Anna has transmitted information to? This brings up the question of what is cannon; additional material that contradicts the show is usually deemed non-canonical, but these scenes about Hera don’t really contradict anything, they just really change how one interprets a whole lot of other issues if it *is* cannon. ???

    But Stroogie, I think I know what you mean. Though I had a problem with a different aspect of the episode the first time I watched it, I had the same feeling that the premise of the show, a journalist and the military both trying to do their jobs and trying to find the reality that’s hiding somewhere between each party’s depiction of that reality, was really interesting, but the other elements that were added in either didn’t totally gel or got in the way at times. My initial instinct was to be irritated at the Colonel Tigh assassination plot, or at least how we found out about it. The story of the officer involved with the Gideon massacre wanting revenge had potential, but I thought that it was handled more conventionally than BSG usually does. All in all, a pretty good episode, but something about it just doesn’t…click the way some of the really great episodes do.

  30. Stroogie says:

    Kappa,
    I like you’re point about D’Anna beginning to see things from the Humans’ point of view despite herself. It certainly didn’t last for long, I imagine, since she was one of the more sinister Cylons until she started getting mystical. But good point about forgetting what you learn when the evidence is longer staring you in the face. Baltar does indeed do that all the time.

    Speaking of who’s who in the theatre, in light of the events in “Downloaded”, I’ll bet that the Number Eight with them was actually Boomer. She’s resurrected by now, right? And she specifically says: “See, I’m still alive.” Like she’s still getting used to the idea that she is one of many copies.

  31. Gina D'Anna says:

    I googled my name…..what Gina D’Anna are you talking about?

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