It’s weektwenty-one 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 “Flight of the Phoenix.” 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!
Okay… after watching “Superbad”, I’m going to have an alias….
LOVED this episode…..really good character development and overall action was great. Starbuck once again showing how much she rules. A few things tho..
1) Did anyone else noticed that the Chief’s feelin’ up on the Viper was eerily similar to Boomer feelin’ up on the Cylon Raider? So…do Cylons just molest their ships or something?
2) Nothing hit me harder than the scenes with Roslyn. Her reaction to the cancer news in the beginning (almost throwing the files at Cottle as if it was burning her fingers), to the talk with Adma in the middle (the look on his face shows he knows how bad things really are for her) and the end when seeing the naming of the Blackbird…..powerful stuff. Even moreso in that we all know her cancer returns.
3) Close second was the end when Tyrol went to talk to SHannon (Athena). Ending it right where it was and not knowing what was said however, did almost remind me of the Sopranos ending. I wanted to hear what they said (or left unsaid). Even though she isnt the same Shraon, she is still kinda the “ex” in my opinion
4) Anyone else keep expecting to see Head Six pop up when Baltar is helping them out? And Sharons eyes going silver–yeah not a happy look. Nothing turns me off faster than when a girls eyes go all silver, or black…or any other color that just aint cool fior the eyes.
Audra: This is me not being shy.
There are some interesting underlying themes in this episode.
First, we see the arc of Laura as the dying leader begin to come to its end (so we are led to believe). We are also seeing the beginning of the strange and, sometimes, frustrating romance between Bill and Laura.
Second, the chief, by building the stealth ship, is beginning to exercise his demons. We see the change begin after his exchange with Helo in the hanger.
Also, because the fight between Helo and the chief can absolutely be seen as the climactic release of the tension between them because of Sharon, we are seeing the beginning of their comradeship.
Continuing the arc of Athena, we see what looks like the breaking point between Sharon and Bill. I think that after the cylon attack in which Sharon saves the ship by transmitting the virus back to the cylons, the trust between her and Bill begins to take form.
We also see the beginning of the romance between Dee and Lee (I love that their names rhyme).
I also love the exchange between the chief and Tigh in which Tigh helps him out. I love any moment where Tigh does something nice!
Great podcast y’all!!
Browncoat: In that case, go ahead and call me McAwesome. The brilliant Judd Apatow strikes again.
I love this episode too. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have Starbuck back in the cockpit being a badass, even if it is for just a moment.
I love when Roslin feigns the Blackbird Bitchslap and everyone spazzes out.
And seriously, I’ve noticed Chief’s ministrations to the Raider before and what I think is even weirder are the intercuts they do between Chief feeling up the Raider and his flashbacks of being with Sharon. The man does love his machinery.
I guess it takes a Cylon to build any new fighters.
Dave, Cylons only molest a ship when they want something from it, maybe it’s phone number or for it to tell them why/how it’s broken. You saw what the reaction was when Laura motioned that she was going to smash the champagne/sparkling wine bottle on the Phoenix’s hull, EVERYONE gasped in fear, you need to treat your ships right. That means talking softly with it, feeling it up, you know, classy like.
BTW, Laura’s reaction to the naming of the new fighter and her fake smashing of the bottle on the hull was my favorite part of that ep!
Above the Love, even though this is the first overt showing of some sort of relationship growing between Dee and Lee, I think it really started way back before Lee and Laura escaped Galactica as fugitives. When Lee was splitting his time between being CAG while on duty and when his shifts were over, heading right back to the brig. As he would walk with an armed escort back to the brig, Dee would meet up with him and they would have a casual walk and talk. If you remember, some of those conversations were very flirtatious and giggly (some were about fleet news updates though as well). I think that’s where the blurring of their relationship really started.
How funny was the scene in the target practice range, 3 pilots, the air is thinning, Apollo and Starbuck are getting slap happy and what happens next? Hot Dog passes the FRAK out! That THUD cracked me up. With that scene, which ended with Apollo and Starbuck laying close together (Kara’s head almost laying on Lee’s shoulder) combined with Apollo’s reaction when he thinks he’s lost Starbuck at the very end in the flight test of the blackbird, just show the amazing relationship the two have, especially since Kara always seems to get the last laugh in those funny/sentimental moments.
master1228 – “Classy like” ROFL
Re-watched Maelstrom, since SciFi is replying them. Noticed the Starbuck said the same thing in that espisode as she did in the commercial.
Fear gets you dead, anger keeps you alive. (something like that).
From Flight of the Phoenix we see a set-up for Chief. The sleepless thoughts on his part leading to doing something is echoed later on in the Episode Series That Must Not Be Named as he searches for the music.
When it comes to pacing a story…while this might be seen as filler like Final Cut…you cannot keep a frenetic tempo up forever. Sometimes you need a break. Of course, standalone episodes also give new viewers of the show a break in long arcs to be able to join the story in-progress.
I watched this again a few weeks ago. Athena has her big scene in this one with transmitting a virus back to the Cylon right? That was some good sci-fi I thought. Unlike most people here, I have never really cared much about Chief so I had forgotten most of that whole stealth-ship story line.
Did anyone else think it was strange everyone was afraid Roslyn was going to damage the viper at the end?…I mean, if it can’t withstand a champagne bottle how can it withstand a Cylon barrage??
About The Love, welcome! Master brings up a good reminder, that Dee and Lee started having coy little conversations back in the good ol’ days of the Tigh coup. I remember at the end of the one of those scenes, when Apollo walked away, Dee seemed to be…watching him leave.
The dedication of the Blackbird got me all warm and fuzzy and teary-eyed, too. It was a much nicer tribute to Roslin than the corny slow clapping at the end of Home, Part 2. I think the almost-smashing-the-champagne-bottle moment was perhaps a cute little reminder to us viewers on Earth that the world of Galactica is like our world, but not quite. When we christen a ship, we smash a bottle of champagne on it, but in the Colonies, they pop the cork and actually drink the stuff. What a good idea!
I wonder if the bottle-smashing ritual actually does exist in Colonial culture, but it’s passed out of favor or is taboo or something. Laura had to have gotten the idea from somewhere, or maybe she was just feeling giddy. What a prankster, that President.
Above the Love — Agreed, nice Tigh moment. Although, true to form, he does claim his bottle of booze. 😉 (By the way, happy first post to you!)
Going along with what cdbluejr brought up about dialogue repeats: Not only that, but does anyone else think that Starbuck’s “return” in the blackbird is a pretty frakking close foreshadowing of her disappearance in “Malestrom” and her return (?) in “Crossroads II”? No idea if it was intended to be so, or what it might mean, but there it is… Maybe it ties into Alpaca’s notice of how Tyrol’s insomnia also gets repeated in “Crossroads II”?
I can’t help but think that Roslin’s near-smashing of the champagne bottle must mean that there was or is that custom in the Colonies. Perhaps, as we saw with the Tyrol and Tigh scene, booze is now such a scarce commodity that no one really thought a bottle of “good stuff” would be wasted on the Blackbird? At any rate, it is, as everyone has said, a nice moment.
Although it makes me think about what Laura said re: Cylons being great manipulators. She’s not such a bad one herself, when you consider how she is using/interpreting Pythia to her advantage… Granted, she sees her good as the RTF’s good, and, perhaps it is so… But it does make me wonder.
Mike P…that’s a good idea, that they weren’t worried that Roslin would damage the ship with the bottle, they were worried about losing the alcohol in it!! Hahaha, yes, I can accept that. :))
“…I canâ€™t help but think that Roslinâ€™s near-smashing of the champagne bottle must mean that there was or is that custom in the Colonies. Perhaps, as we saw with the Tyrol and Tigh scene, booze is now such a scarce commodity that no one really thought a bottle of â€œgood stuffâ€ would be wasted on the Blackbird?”…
–my thoughts as well, Mike P!
fantastic ep, every minute crammed with gems. which was what was lacking in season three, in my opinion.
You smash bottles on old sailing ships when you name them…..that must mean…just kidding.
Hmm… This looks to me like another case of the “master plan” unfolding. For some unknown reason the chief feels compelled to build this ship. The blackbird is short lived, but plays a significant role in the direction of mankind. If not for this new ship humanity might have ended in the next episode with the Galactica and Pegasus destroying each other in a blaze of glory. Makes you wonder about when Tigh meets up with the Chief ready to shut him down but instead gives him some engines. Does Tigh connect with the Chief on a human level? Or did something in Tigh’s subconscious cylon programming kick in and say “this ship needs to be built”
This episode and the next are my two favorite for the whole series. Fantastic moments everywhere, especially Laura’s reaction to the ship’s naming.
The reason everyone gasped when Laura went to smash the bottle against the Blackbird has to do with the construction of the stealth ship. The exterior of the Blackbird is made of a substance similar to the ceramic tiles covering NASA’s space shuttles. If she would have hit the ship with the bottle it would have done damage to the tiles at the very least ruining the stealthiness of it.
Doc…RDM doesn’t think everything out, so maybe you are right…but something so delicate would have little use in space. It sure couldn’t be anywhere near a fight with the Cylons, because even if it evaded a barrage of bullets, it would still have to avoid flying debris like the plague. Maybe it would be used solely for reconnaissance since it is so tea-cup fragile. I tend to agree with Mike P though, I think they gasped at the thought of losing a perfectly good bottle of bubbly 🙂
Master: I absolutely agree that the flirtation began back when Lee was in the brig. However, in this episode we see the actual manifestation of the romantic thoughts and urges come to the forefront. Perhaps the flirtation back then was just innocent flirtation, now it starts to become serious.
Psychologically, I’m thinking that Dee’s feelings for Lee (I just love that their names rhyme) may also come from Dee’s sort of fatherly infatuation with Bill. I don’t mean in a sexual way, of course, but it seems that Bill has become the father figure to the crew of Galactica and perhaps much of the fleet (Laura being the mother). Perhaps what Dee sees in Lee is Bill. This would explain them splitting up at the end of the third season when Lee comes into his own and really starts becoming his own man (i.e. showing that he has much of his grandfather in him as well) and defying his father (albeit less dramatic than holding a gun to Tigh’s head, but I think it would sting even worse for Bill for his son to resign and turn away from his father’s footsteps.
All that being said: I’d like to offer my theory on the fifth and final (maybe) Cylon.
Since the seven models which attacked the colonies consist of 4 males and 3 females, I would assume that the final Cylon would most likely be female. I have a strong feeling it could be Dee since her family was wiped out in the attack. It would be hard to make Bill a Cylon since he had two kids.
If Dee is the final Cylon and she becomes pregnant, that will be three cylon/human children. Three is always a magic number. Perhaps Hara, Nick, and the third hybrid child will represent three different factions.
I dunno, just mentally stretching here.
Here’s a toast to the best show on television.
PS. Check out astronomy cast on itunes. In episode 43, the host makes a reference to BSG. Specifically to the episode “A day in the Life” in which Cally and the chief have to be ejected out the airlock into the raptor. The host, an astro-physicist, explains that this is the first show to get it right as far as what happens to an unprotected human being in the vacuum of space.
Regarding smashing the champagne bottle against the blackbird:
Most modern aircraft are made with a thin aluminum skin. The exceptions are stealth aircraft, which are made with a composite material, like the blackbird, and the A-10 warthog, which is made of steel (it can’t fly very high because it’s so damned heavy).
The aluminum skin most aircraft are made of is very prone to denting. When it gets dented it ruins some of the aircraft’s aerodynamics. I had a friend who worked as a ramp agent for a major airline and he told me that if an employee damaged the skin of an airplane, they were fired on the spot because the plane would have to be grounded and it’s very, very expensive to fix.
The funny thing about the champagne bottle is, the blackbird’s composite skin is probably less prone to denting than a viper’s. I’m saying this because a viper could not fly in atmosphere if it was made with anything heavier than titanium (I think).
Above the Love: I think you’re spot-on regarding Dee’s loving Lee being linked to her love for the Old Man. In some ways, Dee is in love with the idea of being with an Adama, not Lee Adama, but not in the “Dirty Hands”-climbing-the-social-ladder way. She’s in love with the strength, heroism, and stability that the Admiral embodies and that Lee shows, sometimes, but these traits don’t define him the way they do the Admiral. Lee has insecurities and moral quandaries in areas that the Admiral doesn’t, and Dee gets mad at Lee when he displays these aspects of his personality that are different from his father; Lee and Dee’s conversations in the New Caprica arc are cases-in-point. I think in one Dee even tells Lee that he’s gotten soft because he’s “just like [his] father,” a warrior who needs a war. I like your observation that it’s Lee coming into his own and differentiating himself from his father that pushes Dee over the edge. In a way, it’s amazing, but Dee can put up with “Fat Lee”, “Whiny Lee”, and “In Love with Starbuck Lee”, which, in varying degrees, are variations on the “Brooding, Angry Because I’m Not in Control of Other People’s Decisions Adama” of “Home, I,” and to a lesser extent “LDYB, II,” but she can’t put up with Lee growing into a role that she didn’t expect him to take on, even if it does have some positive aspects (which are admittedly harder to identify if you hate Baltar as much as I’m betting Dee does).
Just an FYI for BSG fans in Second Life…
The Insatiable Zoe Connolly: BSG47 – Battlestar Pacifica
Above the Love said: PS. Check out astronomy cast on itunes. In episode 43, the host makes a reference to BSG. Specifically to the episode â€œA day in the Lifeâ€ in which Cally and the chief have to be ejected out the airlock into the raptor. The host, an astro-physicist, explains that this is the first show to get it right as far as what happens to an unprotected human being in the vacuum of space.”
Hey ATL, I posted about that podcast when it came out. Dr. Pamela Gay (teaches at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville) is the astronomer and she obviously watches BSG. I think that they should get her input on the Kobol star map! Maybe get an interview with her for the podcast if not as a guest.
Gryper: Sorry to repeat you. I’m newer to the website than the podcast and, with my schedule right now, it would be impossible to read everyone’s posting. I’ll try after graduation this coming may (I’m in college).
BTW does anyone live near the Phoenix area?
Above the Love — That is an awesome theory about Dee. Wow. I would sort of hate it, just as I hate that Tigh and Tyrol are Cylons, but I can definitely see it.
Also interesting that you note that Roslin is a mother figure just as Adama is a father figure. I wonder how much of that comes naturally to them, and how much has been projected or “forced” on to them by the fleet. In my previous professional field, that of ordained clergy, there were studies showing that sexual abuse problems could arise in congregations where one pastor was male and the other female — the congregation comes to view them as “their parents” and there all sorts of weird and wacky power dynamics and unspoken pressure for them to get together. Icky. (I hasten to add this is not why I left the practice of professional ministry!) But your comment made me wonder if something similar has happened in the fleet, or if these two individuals are simply that compatible with and attracted to each other. Not that I can see them actually consummating any kind of romantic relationship — I think they are both comfortable with the relationship they have now.
Mike P – Not that I can see them actually consummating any kind of romantic relationship â€” I think they are both comfortable with the relationship they have now.
– Honestly, I don’t see RDM letting them do that. I think it would cheapen the cost everyone will have to pay to get to Earth. However, I don’t agree that they are entirely comfortable with the relationship they have now. I see some sexual tension between the two of them that keeps growing into the beginning of season 3. I think they are putting their feelings aside so that they don’t get in the way of the crisis at hand: the survival of humanity.
As for the patriarchal and matriarchal roles that Bill and Laura are playing, I think we see see some of those things today. Soldiers may look to their commanders as sort of father figures. I believe that we look to the president (especially if you agree with and approve of him) as sort of a father figure. The interesting thing about BSG is that the president is a woman. I’m not saying this is an overt thing, but rather thematic. To the new BSG’s credit, they are keeping it more implied and thematic. The OS BSG played it up way too much.
Above the Love, it’s good to be repeated! It’s nice to see when others have similar interests and make similar comments. 🙂 It’s really comforting to know “it’s not just me.”
Above the Love, you’re right — there is some sexual tension there — but, if they were *too* uncomfortable with that, surely they would’ve gone ahead and resolved it, unless they are both supremely disciplined individuals (and I suppose we know in other arenas they are…) — so perhaps they are content to let the tension lie, for the time being anyway. Dunno.
“The OS BSG played it up way too much.”
Well, to be fair, I think that was the intent. Why else would you cast Lorne Green as your captain? 😉
Above the Love and Mike P.: Itâ€™s a tricky question, eh? And thatâ€™s why I find Adama and Roslinâ€™s friendship/relationship so interesting. Theyâ€™re adults, they are in a position to have a romantic relationship if they really, really wanted to, and it seems like, at least on New Caprica, they both looked at each other and thought, â€œHuh. I could be happy with this person. Never would have guessed it before, but…â€. New Caprica was all the more painful because it gave them a taste of what not carrying the fate of the entire human race on your shoulders feels like.
And yet, nothing has happened since. I think both of them have been burned before in relationships, and both have gotten used to being independent, solitary people. I agree with Above the Love that Adama and Roslin have set aside their own feelingsâ€“and really, their own livesâ€“so they can concentrate fully on getting everybody to Earth. I think during the last half of Season 3, the strain is beginning to wear on them, though; theyâ€™re tired, theyâ€™re starting to make mistakes (â€œDirty Handsâ€), and those closely controlled feelings, both positive and negative, are slipping out more and more. Adama is also a lot more Earth-focused; heâ€™s the one who brings it up in nearly every episode. I think they both have come to see Earth as the goal line, the point at which they will have done their jobs and, if theyâ€™re still around, they can actually have lives outside their job responsibilities, whether or not itâ€™s with each other.
With all that said, I agree, I donâ€™t think RDM will let them go that far, either. The only way I could see it happening is if by some miracle they both make it to Earth, maybe in the very last episode, it might be alluded to that theyâ€™re going to be together. The likelihood of both surviving the end of the series is slim, though; my money is on neither of them making it to the end. But if Roslin and Adama do get together before the last episode, look out; this is BSG, so one of them will die or be unveiled as a Cylon within the next three episodes. 🙂
Suppose I should comment on “Flight of the Pheonix” in the FotP Frak Party thread, huh? 🙂 I love this episode so much. Iâ€™m always a little squeamish when it comes to the part where Sharon shoves the fiber optic cable into her arm, but otherwise, I canâ€™t get enough of this one.
1) Tyrol telling Helo about his and Sharonâ€™s plans for mustering out and having a real life together, not just an affair, is so poignant. Their plan to have children makes me think of how angry and terrible Boomer was on the Basestar with Hera in Season 3. I think Boomer was angry because the baby rejected her as a mother, even though Boomer is identical to Athena in pretty much every way that a Cylon would think matters. If Boomer wanted to have children, wanted to have the life Athena has, that would have to hurt a lot. If Boomer and the Chief wanted kids, and Boomer never became pregnant, she has to be thinking that the Chief must not have loved her, since love was the missing ingredient in Cylon reproduction. Ironically, little did she know that it wasnâ€™t because the Chief didnâ€™t love her but because the Chief was a Cylon and therefore couldnâ€™t reproduce with another Cylon.
2) I love that when Gaeta loses his cool in CIC, everybody stops dead in their tracks. Tigh can rant and rave all day long, but everybody knows that if even Gaeta is at witâ€™s end, things must be bad. Not to mention Gaeta must be harboring a lot of guilt, since his plan to network the computers brought about the failure, even if it saved the fleet, too.
3) The scenes with Roslin are just heartbreaking and beautiful. The scene with Doc Cottle and the ending with the Blackbird were great, but Iâ€™d forgotten about the scene with Adama where she gives back the book. You can tell Adama knows that that means she feels sheâ€™s on her way out, taking care of a last few things before she dies. I honestly expected him to say something else that moment, something personal, instead of telling her about the Cylon logic bomb.
4) BSG is a dark series with very few happy endings; even on its good days, the Galactica usually only wins Pyrrhic victories or â€œwell, at least weâ€™re still aliveâ€ followed by something spooky from Head Six or the like that makes us wonder if they havenâ€™t just fallen into an elaborate trap. This episode and Season 1’s â€œHand of Godâ€ are the only episodes in the series that have big, unambiguous victories and truly happy endings. (You could say â€œExodus, IIâ€ is pretty close, but Tigh losing Ellen, Kara â€œlosingâ€ Kasey as a daughter, and the humans losing Hera to the Cylons makes the victory, though a big one, a little more tainted, like most BSG endings). The hope in this episode shines out all the brighter because of the darkness of the episodes that surround it, which in a way is a mirror to the Chiefâ€™s heroism; his hope, his determination, his desire to not just survive, but to live, is all the more powerful because it is in the face of such hard conditions, when everybody else is giving up hope.
We actually see Saul smile a happy smile in this episode. I like that.
ATL: Don’t Saul’s smiles frequently look creepy? I really get chills when I see such.
Not to be a spoilsport (okay, I guess this is inherently a bit of a spoilsport post ), but the “happy ending” of FotP is somewhat tempered for me by the fact that:
1) We have been reminded pretty forcefully throughout that (so far as we know) Roslin is going to die. She has not much time left, which makes the christening of the stealth viper incredibly bittersweet. The fact that we now know she survives doesn’t mitigate the sadness in the context of the episode.
2) The christening scene is really the penultimate scene of the episode. (Sorry — I’m a frakking smartass, eh?) The last scene is the beginning of the conversation between Tyrol and the imprisoned Sharon. Awk-ward. Maybe it will be a good conversation, maybe it won’t — we are left guessing. I am almost tempted to think RDM et al. added this scene so as to have a more “proper” BSG ending.
If you ask me, one of the few episodes that really and truly has a “happy” ending, right at the end, is “33.” The look on Roslin’s face when Billy tells her a baby has been born, and as she adds one to the headcount, is just wonderful.
My two quatloos, fwiw.
And, yes, Hand of God. I agree with Kappa on that score.
“My two quatloos, fwiw.”
No? Just me and Mike P? OK then…
Mike P.: Go ahead and “spoilsport” away. :). I agree that Roslin’s cancer makes the ending bittersweet, but I always saw the last scene with the Chief and Athena as hopeful; yeah, it would have to be an incredibly awkward conversation, but he needed to face the “new” Sharon to start to move on from his Sharon’s death.
But if you want to get really nitpicky (which I enjoy 🙂 ), even “Hand of God” doesn’t have a totally happy ending. Again, the big scene with everybody celebrating in the hangar after Apollo’s return is the penultimate scene (I wonder how many posts we can all manage to work the word “penultimate” into now). The last scene is Head Six leading Baltar to figure out that the “serpents numbering two and ten” from scripture were the Vipers, and then Baltar strikes his “Jesus of Aerelon” pose and comes to the conclusion that he’s “an instrument of God.” That our heroes may be interpreting scripture completely incorrectly is unsettling, but that they could be living in a universe where God picks *Gaius Baltar* as his instrument is downright scary.
Oh, Kappa, you are right about “Hand of God.” Good call! 🙂
Above the love: astronomy podcast? I’m there.
I attend the U of Phoenix: sub-campus 100000 in Levittown, PA.
Would live to visit and see if it really is a “dry heat”.
Where is your school? Major? I was psychology and philosophy and then sobered up and am in an MBA program. Idealism don’t pay the bills.
See some of y’all at the meet-up later today!
Above: Which podcast? There are many copies–so to speak.
Timbuck: It’s called Astronomy Cast and you can get it on iTunes or from their website:
Another one I listen to occasionally is Slacker Astronomy:
Timbuck: It’s called Astronomy Cast. It’s hosted by Dr. Pamela Gay, who is a professor of astronomy at U of Illinois Everetsville. The Other host is Frasier Cain (he doesn’t sound like Kelsy Grammer, but it would be funny if he did) a journalist. The cool thing about the show is that Dr. Gay comes across like she’s teaching a class and talks about astronomical methodology without getting too deep into the math.
My girlfriend works for the U of Phoenix, she’s a finance counselor.
I go to ASU. I’m getting my BS in psychology in May.
It’s not so dry right now here. It’s topping out round 110 with about 30% humidity right now. The heat is not so bad from May to July. This problem is that it stays above 100 into October sometimes and that gets tiresome. It hardly ever rains here, either. Some might say that’s great but I can’t stand it.
Chuck/ Sean/ Audra- This is nothing major, but I was just wondering what the plan with the rewatch schedule is. We only have 11 (9 when you combine the two parters) episodes left and no Season 3 DVDs coming in the near future. One week in there will be for Razor, also. I have a feeling that Universal will release the Season 3 DVDs a few days before 4 airs, which is what they normally do. Again, nothing big, just wondering what things are looking like.
my penultimate post for this episode.