It’s weektwenty-two 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 “Pegasus.” 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!
Have we found a truly genuine selfless moment of empatheic compassion from Baltar. What does this say about his ‘evilness’? I refer to the little beat where he has given Gina food, and is remarking on knowing ‘someone like her’ , in a very real moment of his own humaness, he finally sees the ‘abused woman in front of (him)’ and perhaps also mourns for what he has lost.
A nicely done touch to ad layers to Baltar. We forget about these little moments. Note he is not doing it for gain, or to impress someone else, rather it is just done, and the sadness of it all is expereinced simply because ‘it is’ and he actually is penetrated by it on it’s own terms.
Geekiness Special effect….. The Pegasus and Galactica in formation, esp showing the relative size difference
Remember when Adm Cain asks for marines to go on Galactica during the Res Ship 1 episode? She asks for hardcore loyal types, “razors”.
I wonder if that has anything to do w the upcoming episodes?
I would assume yes.
I think they need a special theme music score for all the scenes shot on or about Pegasus. Maybe they could hire Audra to do a cover version of Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue”, maybe call it “Peggy Sus”. I could just imagine Cain humming the lyrics, suitably modified, whilst going around the ship summarily executing people.
The 90 minute version of this remains one of my most favored episodes still. When I get home later tonight from town I can try to watch it, I hope. The launch scene at the end is probably my favorite part.
Interestinly enough on the 90 minutes Pegasus DVD commnetary RDM and Eyck are commneting on how they enjoyed Michelle Forbes’ portrayal Of Adm. Cain that they opined that they could do a look back episode exploring the Pegasus’ story, thus it would seem Razor was born from that banter.
I have a hard time re-watching this episode. Abused Gina and the almost-rape makes me nauseous. However, the launch at the end is awesome, and has one of my favorite pieces of music from the season 2 soundtrack.
Battlestar Galactica: Razor Press Release Announces Contest For …
By David Lambert – For Immediate Release Battlestar Galactica: Razor Unrated Extended Edition On DVD and HD DVD December 4, 2007 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment OVERVIEW: In a… (more)
TVShowsOnDVD.com News – http://www.TVShowsOnDVD.com
12/4! So buy we all!
In a groundbreaking first, fans of Battlestar Galactica will be able to vote for their favorite DVD packaging of the Battlestar Galactica: Razor Unrated Extended Edition, which will be released by Universal Studios Home Entertainment on December 4, 2007. The website http://www.scifi.com/battlestar will display a selection of three choices for fans to cast their votes starting tomorrow and continuing to 12 AM midnight Pacific Standard Time on September 7, 2007. The final selection will be posted on the site on September 14.
From the creators of the action-packed television phenomenon Battlestar Galactica comes the exclusive DVD event, Battlestar Galactica: Razor Unrated Extended Edition, on December 4, 2007, just 10 days after the SCI FI Channel’s world premiere of Battlestar Galactica: Razor on November 24, 2007.
When do the minisodes start getting peppered into Flash Gordon (whoever that is :\ ) ?
Phoenix, I’m with you. This is probably the hardest BSG episode for me to watch because of Gina and ESPECIALLY the rape scene. Tough stuff.
Thanks Timbuck for the info. I look forward to seeing the designs they will offer for the packaging. I have always thought the design used in the DVDs for BSG is cheap, tacky and totally lacking in the subtlety that you see in the show’s production, writing and especially its musical score.
Speaking of the musical score, that was one of the things that struck me about this episode. During my initial watch of the episode, the easy-listening guitar rock theme during Pegasus’s first appearance and the bluesy theme during Baltar’s conversations with Gina seemed so unlike what I was used to for BSG. It kind of pulled me outside of the episode at first, but now the seem so integral to the show. I guess the introduction of radially new themes (also the violin theme played during opera house scenes in Kobal’s Last Gleaming) correspond to the major changes in direction that periodically occur during course of the series.
Clearly, we’re in for more changes signaled by the introduction of Watchtower in the “episodes-that-are-not-to-be-named”. Off the top of my head I can’t remember if there was a similarly novel theme introduced with the New Caprica storyline, though.
I hated this episode because of the whole Gina/Sharon sexual abuse and I thought it was completely unnecessary for the writers to include it. I bet the Pegasus crew wouldn’t have sexually assaulted a Leoben, or a Brother Cavil. Not that I know jack about torture, but in a show that’s so well thought out and written, that was the best they came up with? I’m actually not looking forward to “Razor” if we get to see Gina’s abuse front and center.
TFM: Torture is a messy thing. The definition is pretty broad too. We’ve already seen waterboarding, though, with Starbuck drowning Leoben. War is messy. Unfortunately our culture today has transitory definitions of atrocities without sufficiently firm foundations. Such moral drift is evidenced in Pegasus, alas.
this eppy is:BRILLIANCE?BTW are we doing the extended version, cause thats the only one i saw
I want to point out the exceptionally awesome music for the episode. Thankfully the CD has my two favorite tracks- “Pegasus” and “Lords of Kobol”. Great stuff and proof that Bear McCreary is a genius.
Melissa brings up a good point. Eager for any new episode of BSG I am of course looking forward to Razor. However, from what we’ve already seen of the Pegasus crew do we really want to see their back story? Caine is a dictatorial ruler who will summarily execute her 1st Officer for insubordination, Thorne appears to be a sadist taking pleasure in torture, Fisk is corrupt and intimately involved in the black market, and their CAG (Stinger?) is extremely arrogant and won’t take good advice from an inferior officer. I trust the writers to give us a good story that delves into the motivations behind these characters, but in some regards (and I know I’m overstating it here, BSG is fiction after all) this seems somewhat like reading ‘Mein Kampf’ or ‘If I Did It’.
Given where we know these characters end up, can they serve as heroes to ground a good story? I guess that’s what necessitates the creation of the new character to be the focus of the episode.
Phil: To quote a discussion between Tigh and CDR Adama: “Context matters.” Our view of Pegasus from the canon is somewhat decontextualized and/or biased. Did ADM Cain necessarily start off dictatorial? What happened from the Pegasus point of view? That we do not know.
I would not regard Razor as being akin to Mein Kampf. Razor is the Pegasus point of view episode just like how Downloaded was the Cylon point of view episode. That’s how I regard the episode, at the least.
I love the Pegasus arc, and now that Iâ€™m watching it again, Iâ€™m even more excited for â€œRazor.â€ Random musings (about the extended version):
1) I understand why they cut the opening scene with Karaâ€™s plan to go back to Caprica from the TV version, but man, the rest of the season, especially â€œScarâ€ and â€œLDYB,â€makes a lot more dramatic sense with it in.
2) I love Gaetaâ€™s reaction to having all the major works of Colonial history and literature restored to humanity with the discovery of the Pegasus library: â€œGot any porn in there?â€
3) The set designers and dressers did an excellent job using Cainâ€™s quarters to contrast her personality with Adama and his quarters. Everything is well-organized and spotless, unlike Adamaâ€™s room, but itâ€™s also all in cold blues and greens, unlike Adamaâ€™s earth-tone quarters. For seating, Adama has his desk with chairs for visitors, his octagonal couch, and his bunk (which seems to only be used during meetings with the President, but…); Admiral Cain doesnâ€™t bother with chairs because that makes her meetings go faster. Adama has a prized book collection; Cain collects antique guns (do I smell a renewal of the sailing ship argument? 🙂 ). And the only thing Cain reads, it seems, are piles and piles of official military manuals and codes. Red flags, anyone?
4) I know weâ€™re not to the story of the Scylla yet, but Cainâ€™s approach with its own civilian fleet was callous to the point of not making sense. We know from her recounting of the Pegasusâ€™s escape that she lost a lot of her crew during the attack. Cain also tells Adama that Pegasus is â€œtwice as big, and requires half the crewâ€ that Galactica does. Now, Galactica is a big ship; Pegasus, therefore, is a behemoth. I can understand that Cain might not want to babysit defenseless civvie ships, but why on earth wouldnâ€™t she just strip the ships of everything and take *everyone* on board along? There had to have been enough room on board; Galactica even managed to shove hundreds of extra people in after the Exodus. There may be a chance that Pegasus will run across natural resources to replenish its stores, but they shouldâ€™ve known theyâ€™re never going to run across *human* resources again. When a Pegasus crewmember dies, thereâ€™s no pool to draw from to train anybody new. Yeah, maybe only a few of the civilians had technological background that made them useful in highly-skilled jobs, like Laird, but why not draft everyone and then delegate unskilled jobs to the other civilians? On the other hand, without a civilian fleet, the mentality on the Pegasus must have been a lot different than that on Galactica. With only a couple thousand people on board, there really was no hope for them ever rebuilding a civilization, let alone finding a new home. Life had to have been a lot different if dying taking out toasters was the *best* fate anybody could imagine.
5) I want to change my vote from the â€œsmall questionsâ€ on who Iâ€™d box: box the Sunshine Boys. Please. (Related note: Cally and the other women from the hangar deck walk out in disgust, as they should. How did such chauvinist pigs make it into this universe? Why has Cain, a female officer, not beaten such idiocy out of these guys yet? Better yet, is it just me, or are Cain and Gina apparently the only women on Pegasus before the crews integrate?)
6) Iâ€™m amazed how when Baltar consciously, decidedly sides with a Cylon (or Cylons), he manages to do it in a way and in a situation where I can totally empathize with where heâ€™s coming from (itâ€™s only when heâ€™s out to save his own hide or ego that heâ€™s a weenie). Baltar is at his most human, his most likeable, his best, in a scene in this episode in which he essentially says heâ€™s here to help the Cylon, implying that heâ€™s only helping Cain and the humans in this situation if itâ€™s advantageous to Gina. And somehow, I really respect him for that act of betraying the humans.
Iâ€™m with everybody on the rape/torture being really hard to watch. Iâ€™m not so sure I agree it was unnecessary, though. With a TV show, very, very few things are really â€œnecessary,â€ because the writers have a good deal of latitude in where they choose to take characters. But I think Ginaâ€™s torture and, to a lesser extent, Sharonâ€™s rape serve legitimate story and thematic purposes; you could argue that those same purposes could have been served in different ways, but BSG seems proud that it doesnâ€™t flinch from going into really dark territory. Anyway, for one, Baltar finding a way to relate to Gina shows him in the most human, sincere, and compassionate light weâ€™ve ever seen him in and really deepens his character. The other important point Gina’s torture makes is that it shows how dangerous people can become, what horrible, horrible things they can justify doing, when they dehumanize their victims. The Fair Melissaâ€™s comment that the Pegasus crew would not have raped a Leoben or a Cavil is interesting, and youâ€™re probably right that the writers wouldnâ€™t have thought to go there. But I also think Cain wouldnâ€™t have sanctioned the sexual abuse of Gina if she had been a human prisoner; Fiske says, â€œYou canâ€™t rape a machine,â€ and thatâ€™s the whole mentality on Pegasus. I think the sense in including Sharonâ€™s rape is valid criticism; yes, there needed to be some sort of impetus to get Adama and Cain launching Vipers at each other to get the story to work, but why would Cain *start* torturing the Cylon that *is* revealing intelligence information willingly by Dr. Baltarâ€™s methods, when torturing Gina got them nowhere? Beyond the plot purpose, it mostly adds fuel to the fire of the Pegasus folks being bad enough to make us feel like killing Cain (and Thorne) might be best for everybody. As for â€œRazor,â€ Iâ€™m interested in the pre-Commander Apollo parts of the plot more to see what circumstances led Cain, who must have had some pretty decent leadership qualities, if she was such a good officer that she was promoted to Admiral over so many others, to become what she is in â€œPegasus.â€ Iâ€™m not expecting (or even wanting, for that matter), to see her redeemed; Iâ€™m looking for more of a â€œHeart of Darknessâ€ journey to discover what made her so unhinged.
On a related note, anyone else get the feeling that the anger between Cain and Gina is, well, personal? I mean, of course Cain hates Gina for letting the Cylons board, and Gina hates Cain for the torture, but something in their exchanges just gives me the feeling that there was more to their relationship before the attack, maybe even that Gina was Cainâ€™s earlier Starbuck-like protege.
Since this pertains to the Pegasus, we get to vote on the Razor DVD cover starting tomorrow. I’m expecting the obligatory sea of Centurions in the background.
Okay, I’m guilty of double posting, but it’s now up and they all look great:
When you vote, you get to see an “exclusive” clip (which I’m sure has been on Youtube since July).
I had a hard time hearing the dialogue on the clip, but I really liked the new BSG logo-swirl sequence with the basestars and Earth.
God I love this episode. This entire arc. Everything about it from the music to the effeects to the acting. The only part I loathe is when Lee is literally drowning in his manpain lake.
I love the little bit in the hall when Roslin tells Tigh to cool it and let the kids have their fun. Such a nice touch.
Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while. School’s starting again and, Chuck and Audra, you’ll be happy to note that I’m starting a new job so the “nothing” will have to stop.
And PS- I continued my BSG conversion spiel this weekend at another wedding. It was awesome. I think I got some takers!
“4) We know from her recounting of the Pegasusâ€™s escape that she lost a lot of her crew during the attack. Cain also tells Adama that Pegasus is â€œtwice as big, and requires half the crewâ€ that Galactica does. Now, Galactica is a big ship; Pegasus, therefore, is a behemoth…. why on earth wouldnâ€™t she just strip the ships of everything and take *everyone* on board along? There had to have been enough room on board”
You’re forgetting that size doesn’t matter. The ship was designed to handle a smaller crew (air, water, food, accomodations, etc.) Thus, once they got up to their standard complement, they had less room for error (extras) than Galactica did.
“Why has Cain, a female officer, not beaten such idiocy out of these guys yet? Better yet, is it just me, or are Cain and Gina apparently the only women on Pegasus before the crews integrate?)”
You just answered your own question. Cain is the one responsible for the ‘corporate culture’ on The Beast. She doesn’t want a bunch of nancy women about.
“The Fair Melissaâ€™s comment that the Pegasus crew would not have raped a Leoben or a Cavil is interesting, and youâ€™re probably right that the writers wouldnâ€™t have thought to go there.”
I missed The Pretty Darn Great Melissa’s comment, but I would suggest that, yes, Cain would have gone there. And if the writers thought they could get away with it, so would they.
Oh, we SO need a GWC poll up to see how we fare vs. the unwashed masses.
Er, I mean, how we vote on the DVD covers vs. the final results.
OK, late. Time for beddy-bye.
This is such a good ep that they ended the mid-season with… too bad I just found out my dvd for this episode craps out right after Adama looks pissed that he’s losing control of his officers when Cain orders the fleet integration and doesn’t pick back up again until Kara and Lee start arguing with Adama, complaining that Cain can’t do that!
Trisha Helfer’s Head-Six performance this episode is so amazing, it’s hard to believe she came to the show as just a pretty face, she has really shown some major acting chops throughout the course of this show. At first she teases and taunts Baltar about who he’d find in the Pegasus brig, a new cylon model or a familiar face, but then her reaction when she and Baltar see who is locked behind the locked door is amazing. Those tears and that anger is almost difficult to watch.
It’s scenes like that, which make me HOPE that Head-Six is in some way an deranged angel sent to guide Baltar through God’s plan.
When I watched this ep the first time around, I thought it was left pretty unclear whether Athena had actually been raped in the scene or if Helo and the Cheif got there JUST in time to prevent the actual rape from happening, but from this viewing it seemed much clearer that the two HAD in fact come JUST in time to stop it.
Kappa, regarding Cain and her decisions to use torture/rape on Athena. I think this was just another part of her idea of integrating crews, swapping interrogators. RDM also used it to show the juxtaposition between the Baltar carrot (well, bread, fruit and talk) method on Gina and the Pegasus interrogator’s abuse and rape. Just another example that it isn’t only Tigh who makes critical mistakes when thrust in the position of having WAY more responsibilities dumped in his lap after a sudden fleet altering event. I mean just look at how she treats her new President. Roslin is being completely ignored (as is the entire civilian fleet).
It is pretty clear that NONE of the civvis on Pegasus were granted a governmental role, like we saw with Roslin entering her line of succession code in the miniseries. Once the Pegasus jumped after the initial attack, it was martial law/military rule all the way.
BTW, the version of the ep I watched tonight was only ~45 min long, what 90 min version are some of you talking about? Are you just talking about this ep + the 2nd half of the TO BE CONTINUED or am I missing something?
The 2.5 DVD set starts with an ‘extended’ version of Pegasus, that is the 90 mons version that is being referred to….
master1228: I think we’re talking about the extended version of Pegasus which is on the first disc of Season 2.5, the one that starts out with Starbuck presenting a plan to go back to Caprica and save the resistance fighters to Adama and Roslin.
Pike: I see what you mean about a smaller margin for expansion in Pegasus’s design, but how many people did Cain say she lost in the initial attack? It was well into the hundreds. It didn’t sound like the Pegasus civilian fleet was that big, nor that they took many people off each ship, if the Scylla is representative (don’t they say there were fifteen people that wouldn’t leave their families?). I don’t know, maybe it’s from watching things unfold from Galactica and the Fleet’s perspective, seeing how big a blow it is to them every time that number goes down, but it just seems odd to me that Cain wouldn’t think ahead and realize that she can raid the Cylons for fuel and find other resources on other planets (which we know is not easy, but Galactica proved it can be done), but once she’s out of crewmembers, that’s it, game over.
Also Pike: “Cain is the one responsible for the â€˜corporate cultureâ€™ on The Beast. She doesnâ€™t want a bunch of nancy women about.”
So is there sexism in the BSG ‘verse? I’m torn. Everything we see on Galactica says “no,” but even though a woman is in the supreme authority role on Pegasus, it doesn’t seem like the same is true there. Or are we seeing certain attributes of the Pegasus crew through the lens of our culture’s sexism? I guess I mean that when you say Cain “doesn’t want a bunch of nancy women about,” that implies that Cain is looking at it from a sexist perspective. But perhaps Cain doesn’t want a bunch of what she deems weak, overly thoughtful crew members, and we’re the ones who are seeing those qualities as a sexist interpretation of womanhood, not her. So I suppose you could reason from that, that Cain would have had a Leoben or a Cavil prisoner raped, because the rape and attempted rape of Gina and Sharon in that case are not so much sexist as just racist and a total, despicable disregard for fellow living beings.
Or maybe the culture on Pegasus has just degenerated to an earlier state in which sexism is still a part of the culture, and Cain has allowed it because it seems to make most of her crew “tougher,” I don’t know. Any thoughts?
Audra says Bre’r Cavail is creepy (insert descriptor of choice) She also seemed to think that Cavail’s actions were worse than what happens to Sharon…so
Cavail or Thorne : Most reprehensible/Evil ..discuss.
Frankly Thorne creeps me out more. Cavails actions with Ellen is the type manipulation that men in power have often used on women as a way to get something they want. In this example sex. Interestingly enough, Ellen is doing the same thing to Cavail. She is using him to get what she wants.
Thorne’s actions however, I think reek of sadism and domination. It is not even about sex. Rather raw naked humiliation and torture.
Cavail at least saw Ellen as human, and from his viewpoint he was giving something that he thought she might actually get some benefit from, sort of a meeting of mutual intersts, albeit for different goals. Ellen, remains ultimately whole. She volunatrily submitted She actually had a choice. DO it and Tigh gets out, if not then he stays. Unpalatable, but a choice nonetheless.
Sharon is not given a choice. Her will is physically overborne and trashed. Nothing she can do can prevent it, thus her plight is more horrific.
Thorne obviously takes pleasure in this, and has done it before to Gina. There also is the implcation that Gina was gang raped, (comments from the yew-haw boys) and the same might have happened to Sharon. (besides the actor ~ does a great job selling the character)
For Cavail I really felt that it was almost another version of ‘sampling’ human experience of love. This time from a purely physical side. Not to dismiss Ellen’s plight, but Thorne is BIG E…vil in my book.
So is there another BSG character that surpasses him? Baltar betraying the human race is a mere piker to Thorne!
Quick, make a Tar Ellen!
Ya cain’t swivel in tar I reckin!
Dainin — I don’t know if we are seeing genuine empathy from Baltar or not. Certainly he is kind to Gina, but would he have been so kind had she not looked just like Caprica Six? Hard to say. Doesn’t change the fact that he is being kind, but it is completely selfless?
Radio Picon — I’m generally of the opinion that they can skimp as much as they want on packaging as long as the content is top-notch. The BSG DVDs (try saying that three time fast) have been much more affordable than those from my other major geek obsession, “Star Trek.” Save money on plastic and cardboard, just sell us DVDs in jewel cases, as far as I’m concerned.
Mike P, I’m with you there, but I also understand the strategy behind the Trek-style packaging. SInce anything that’s at all popular will end up on the net eventually, they’re trying to make the packaging a collectable item.
Something else to notice in this episode, ALL of [i]Pegasus[/i]’s officers (and maybe most of the crew as well) are always armed. Compare that to [i]Galactica[/i] where only the marines seem to be armed when they aren’t on a mission. This makes me wonder if Cain had to deal with one or more mutinies amongst the crew.
Doc Good call . I noticed that when I saw Adm Cain in her CIC and had a side arm strapped. I guess there is a wee bit o’ tension undergirding life on Pegasus
ok, this is off a tangent quite a bit but I was just watching ‘sacrifice’ (for the first time, so I’m not ahead in the rewatch) and was wondering if anyone could answer me this question-
Who has been shot the most times and survived (cylon rebirth counts as dying). Obvisoly Adama was shot twice by boomer and lee once by starbuck. But my knowledge isn’t good at remembering stuff like who got shot so I thought I’d turn to all you wonderfully knowledgable people.
I go with Deanna, shot and shot again, got to get some of that final 5 luvin’
Yes but she got downloaded each time, so that only counts as one shot. What I mean is the highest number of times of being shot, without actually dying.
We were Centurions
What would happen if a ‘Chrome Toaster’ got tired
of being treated like a second class Cylon?
It’s an uprising, Centurion-style.
I just got done watching the extended Pegasus cut, thanks to all that steered me to where it was, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have seen it until I was about to do the next rewatch around Labor Day.
After watching the Athena rape scene again with this viewing, I noticed just how (HULK) MAD the chief was when he and Helo busted in for the rescue. The look on his face while ripping Thorn off Athena and after he was kneeling on the ground seething before he started to process the order to place his hands behind his head.
Mike P, I think the scene where Baltar bears his heart to Gina before she starts eating is one of the truest moments in the series for him. We get to see that it wasn’t just a hot and sultry sexual relationship he had with Caprica-Six before the attacks, he really cared for her. When he shed that single tear, that side of his face wasn’t facing Gina, she couldn’t see it, it was not part of some act he was pulling. Especially since he had sent away Head-Six, so it wasn’t even a moment for her to see either.
What struck me most about Baltar in this episode is that he’s about the only one (until the end, at least) who actually stands up to Admiral Cain and calls her on the madness of her methods. (That said, I do think Cain acted within her power, and appropriately, when she integrated the crews.) That rape scene is still tough to watch, though.
I personally think that Pegasus and Resurrection Ship Parts 1 and 2 are very important episodes because it shows us a “what if” scenario.
What if Adama had abandoned the fleet at Ragnor Anchorage as he intended to, Galactica and its crew could have turned into the murderous pirate like rabble just like the Pegasus crew.
Roslin’s civilian government and the mini rebellion around the Arrow of Apollo kept Galactica in check even during the Tigh’s period of command.
There were some controversial decisions taken by our RTF, such as airlocking without trial or representation, torture of Leoben and Boomer, torturing Chief to indirectly effect Boomer, the list goes on. Without Roslin, it was only a short trip to rape as a legitamate torture technique.
This is why Adama is uncomfortable with Cain because when he looks at her he sees a reflection of himself.
While this episode is almost entirely deathly serious, at least once the true nature of the Pegasus’ crew is revealed, there is one great, lighthearted moment in the extended cut that I got a good laugh from while watching it last night. In the montage of Pegasus resupplying Galactica, the last scene involves the delivery of software upgrades and the entire Pegasus digital library to Gaeta. His last line at the end of that scene is priceless: “So….you got any porn in there?”
Just had to throw that in there.
What up my GWC peeps?
First, I agree with Grand Puba in many regards. Maybe Bill wouldn;t have gone as far as Cain, but there is an arguement if there was no Roslin or anything, he might have moved closer to that direction. Remenmber when Roslin went against Adma and took some ship with her – at eh time Adma really didn’t care (until Dee talked to him). I think it’s when Cain takes the Chief and Helo that he has that geniune moment of “there but for the grace….”
Second, as far as the torture of Gina and rape of Sharon…yeah it’s frakked up to say the least. But it does make me wonder about Razors. I can;t help but wonder if all those people on Pegasus were genuinely decenty hard working soldiers – who, after watching everything and everyoen they know and love get blown up just over time – snapped. Remember Cain did mentioned that wehn the attacks occured most of the crew was going on extended shore leave to be with their families. What if the families were at that base? Agin, I’m not in any way, shape or form condoning what they did to Gina or SHaron. However, I can’t help but wonder if Razor will show, in essence, a “deconstruction” of humanity. What would happen to a strong moral leader and her crew if they watched all of this happen and had no choice but to run and had no moral compass (Roslin etc) to keep them in check. Hmmm–now wondering if that “blind jump” Cain mentioned was half desperate gamble and half mental breakdown.
Fianlly – brilliant perfornaces all the way around. In fact, if you feel uncomfrtable abotu teh whole Gina and Sharon incidents – I think that’s just anotehr testament of how good teh writing and acting are on this show.
and my above post is a testamnet to my bad typing…sorry about the mispellings. 🙂
Dave, I am sure given the level of the writing on the show and the concerns and themes the writers usually deal with that we will, indeed, see something of a deconstruction, as you put it, this November. I can’t imagine Cain was always ruthless or, at least, amoral. No one who commits evil believes that what they do is evil. Cain may very well fit that mold, thinking that what she does is justified given the extraordinary circumstances, even if it is atrocious behavior.
I couldn’t help, though, but think of Lee’s speech in the season 3 finale describing the RTF as a “gang, no longer a civilization.” I imagine that speech would’ve come a lot sooner had Cain remained in charge.
…and then Lee would have been shot…
… and there was much rejoicing.
Whoa, tough crowd. I was going to post on this for next week’s Frak party, but its relevant now. I think you can see the actual moment in Resurrection Ship Pt 2 where Apollo starts his journey through his ‘Whiny Lee’ stage. It’s the point he hears that it’s the President that has ordered the execution of Cain. As we have seen he is not truly a military man (such as Helo or Starbuck) and has had a much greater interest in maintaining the ideals of civilian Colonial society than anyone else on the show. He was already disappointed in Rosalin for failing to back him up when he tried to protect her Presidency from Adama’s coup. However, once he finds out that the President is ordering assasinations herself, I think he realizes that there really isn’t much of the Colonial civilian society worth defending. Hopefully, after getting all those feeling off his chest during Baltar’s trial, his character will find a new direction.
On a different topic, Kappa made the point that the two supporters of Thorne who boast about raping Gina and then attack Helo and Chief in their jail cell would be good candidates for ‘Boxing’. It makes me wonder if we’ll see in Razor the reaction of the Pegasus crew falling under Adama’s and Apollo’s commands in the Post-Cain era. That would be interesting.
In a clip at Sci-Fi.com for Razor (after you vote for the proposed box art) Cain is talking to Thorne about interrogating Gina. She tells him to use all means necessary including humiliation, degradation etc. Thorne gives a knowing chuckle (see my post above on Thorny’s EVIL).
I was struck by this not only that it echoes much of the post 9/11, quaint Geneva Convention attitudes, as well as the abuses that occurred at Abu Gharib. Some one noted above about good people ‘snapping’ and indeed there are psychological studies on how basically decent people get sucked into performing (or choosing) to do evil acts.
But in the bigger BSG context we should remember that it is also a ‘morality play’ ultimately, human kind is presented with choices and must choose. Will we retain that which we see that is good in being human, or ultimately fall from grace, again by our choices.
Cain is introduced as an archetype of the surrender to the darker side of us. (I suppose the dark side of the force also re-plays this theme in Star Wars.) Her’s is an essentially Manichean view, where the forces of Good contend with Evil, and horrific acts maybe done in service of that supposed over arching good. The enemy is ‘not us (machine) and can be treated inhumanely. Much as someone who fights or kills dogs for sport is incapable of seeing the suffering of another being.
However, this stark ends justify means approach is contrasted with the duality of another set of archetypes, Adama and Roslin. Adama as the military man is vulnerable to the same pull as Cain surrenders to, yet he struggles to balance it against a more rationalist and compassionate counter pull. (Significant that his father, a lawyer, obviously a strong influence on him can represent that rational rather than primal emotion) He could have followed his initial instincts to abandon the fleet, yet accepts the responsibility for their protection.
Roslin on the other hand, brings that civil compassion as a school teacher, yet flirts with the succubus of power. She is susceptible to the sirens song of tyranny, and must be reminded from time to time (echoes of Lees speech at Baltar’s trial) that if we succumb to the lure we lose what makes us different from our adversaries.
It is this ‘messiness’ of the human condition, this back and forth, indeed yin and yang (each possessing seeds of the opposite in itself) that illuminates the essential human condition.
We are being offered the choice of life of death (of our human-ness) and are being asked to choose wisely.
“Whoa, tough crowd. I was going to post on this for next weekâ€™s Frak party, but its relevant now. I think you can see the actual moment in Resurrection Ship Pt 2 where Apollo starts his journey through his â€˜Whiny Leeâ€™ stage. ”
I was going to comment on this myself, Pike. Great minds and all…
Phil: “As we have seen he is not truly a military man (such as Helo or Starbuck) and has had a much greater interest in maintaining the ideals of civilian Colonial society than anyone else on the show.”
If memory serves Apollo was a reservist. In contrast Starbuck and Racetrack happen to be out and out career military. Other known reservists include Dee in addition to a few of the marines. Off the top of my head I cannot recall if Helo was tagged as a reservist or not.
How do you tell? One way is to look in the lower left hand corner of the interview clips in “Final Cut”. The “CF” stands for Colonial Forces. A “CFR” indicates Colonial Forces Reserve. Swap in “MC” for Marine Corps in lieu of the “F” for forces and the same applies. For Starbuck there are other clues as to status seen in The Son Also Rises if my memory is correct.
Was Apollo shown so far to be “truly a military man”? No. That’s also not the character. Apollo is first thinking about a civilian life and wanting to get back to it except for getting kicked up the chain of command as time goes by. Such is part of the premise of Black Market in which he tries to substitute a prostitute for his fiancee that died on Caprica in creating the strange relationship he did there.
As far as “Whiny Lee” and considering parallels with life today…this shows pretty well perhaps some of the stress that reservists and National Guard members are going through on overseas deployments. No, it’s not easy. When exactly has RDM shown any “ideal” example of anything in BSG, though?
Dainin, if I indicated that I thought Cavil’s actions were worse than Sharon’s near-rape, I mis-spoke. I think the Sharon scene is one of the most horrifying and difficult scenes in all of the series.
Kappa, thank you for the thought-provoking and insightful commentary. You really swept me into your ideas.
Gray – wb! I share your appreciation for the art of the entire Pegasus arc. As dark as it is, it’s one of my favorites.
master — yes, after watching the episode again, I have to agree with you and change my thinking about the Gaius scene at the end of the episode. Especially since I think the line “she wasn’t in my bed” wasn’t in the edited version (or at least I didn’t hear it the first time). So, it just adds to Baltar’s complexity. (Also, the cut scene in which Cain and Baltar are together with Sharon also adds to the characterization of Baltar – “We treat her like the human she pretends to be.”)
Dainin said: “We are being offered the choice of life of death (of our human-ness) and are being asked to choose wisely. ” Well said. Amen. I agree completely. Great post. Thank you.
I am one of those (see this week’s podcast) who would agree with Audra: the near rape (near? it looked like things had gotten further along in the extended version or am I just forgetting the edited version?) of Sharon is much more “meaningful” than Brother Cavil’s general nastiness, mainly for the reasons Dainin alluded to. How short or long a step is it from viewing Cylons as “them” and “machines” to Thorne-like behavior? I felt the first time through the series that a lot of this kind of “so what” was missing from much of the New Caprica arc, so I didn’t enjoy it. We’ll see if my mind changes this time around.
No worries, I did not see your comment that way. Frankly I do not think anyone would. It’s just for me that Thorne struck me as truly sadistic and evil, Cavil is more, shall we say, nuanced. His actions are coming from a different place. Thorne simply makes me shudder. And what makes me shudder more is that when you read of the abuses that occcur, esp in war, you realizes how much of Thorne exists in us as a species
Also, regarding Baltar and Gina, we see him manipulate her and endear himself to her by using the story Head Six actually tells him about buying the extra ticket for the sports game. Basically Baltar is dumping the woman that has been supporting him all these months for a new women only because she has the advantage of actually being corporeal.
Just another quick thought on above. What sets apart Ellen/Cavil and what happens to Sharon is not so much in the facts, but rather Thorne’s actions are a result of ‘official’ policy. Not that Cain would have speciifically authorized gang rape as an ‘interogation method’ but it’s the nod and wink and freedom of ‘interpretation’ by underlings that really should give us pause.
This is the same type of official sanction that the current admin. in the US engaed in with the Gonzales “torture” memo and the Bybee memo that allowed people to the things that have happened at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and other places.
This connection/reflection to actual events adds to the horror. Caval is a bit f a characture, drawn in braod strokes, Thorne is a part of us as a group that is real.
Phil says: “Baltar is dumping the woman that has been supporting him all these months for a new women only because she has the advantage of actually being corporeal.”
Which brings up the question: does Six’s reaction to imprisoned Gina’s treatment argue for or against her being “real” or just “head”? My first thought is that she could “just” be mirroring Baltar’s own shock, just as her earlier comment, “Wonder who’ll turn out to be the Cylon?” is easily something Baltar could have wondered on his own (and no doubt did). Maybe the fact that she disappears (as she did, I think, when Shelley Godfrey was around?) speaks to the fact that, now she is here in the flesh, Baltar no longer needs the pyschological construct of Head Six? I dunno, I am sure others will point out evidence to the contrary.
I don’t recall anyone on Galactica connecting Gina with Shelley Godfrey — do they?
By the way, Dainin, another great and incisive comment on the analogies between life on the Pegasus and life in today’s U.S.A.
I’ve always favored the idea that in some way Head Six is ‘real’ and not purely a figment of Baltar’s imagination. However, in this instance her reaction is more in line with her being a projection of Baltar’s subconscious. Instead, if she represents a Cylon entity then it would seem she should have some how been able to detect who Gina was before she saw her. Then again Gina may have cut her self off from the Cylon ‘collective’ (as Sharon has said she can). On the other hand if Head Six represents a third party (a la Heads Baltar and Leoben, or the final five Cylons) then I’m a little confused by her extreme sympathy for Gina. Maybe there isn’t just one Head Faction but two: one more sympathetic to humans and the other to cylons. They may have been the last remnants of a previous conflict that “happened before” in the whole circle of time. Then again, she could be a mix of both scenarios, in that she is a projection from a third party to aid Balter along to some preordained goal, and that the details of her personality are fleshed out by Baltar’s subconscious.
Okay, I realize I just presented about four non-mutually exclusive possibilities with no real answers. C’est la BSG…
Man, I feel so foolish for staying away so long.
What a fantastic discussion. The Fair Melissa is correct about the torture/rape storyline being so difficult to watch. When I made my list of things I loved from the Pegasus arc, I completely disregarded that painful story.
The Sunshine Boys are so disgusting and every time I hear their dialogue I have to wonder if they would have had cowboys in the BSG verse. The specialist who says “yeehaw” always makes me wonder.
I don’t think we’re going to see Cain redeemed in Razor and that’s cool with me, because I kinda think she’s just not a nice lady. I’m just desperate for any glimpse of Galactica-related entertainment. And I’m intrigued by the story and even the bombastically hyper-epic, ubiquitous “tower movement” scoring behind the Razor trailer isn’t making me less excited. If anything, I’m falling into the trap and getting more excited. Epic music does that to me.
And as to the Gina/ Cain relationship being personal, I think you’re right. I read that the relationship may have been “deeply” personal, if you catch my drift.
Good comments, Dainin, and all.
Phil said: “Câ€™est la BSGâ€¦ ”
Gray said: “I read that the relationship may have been â€œdeeplyâ€ personal, if you catch my drift.”
Oh you did NOT just go there, lol.
Gray said: â€œI read that the relationship may have been â€œdeeplyâ€ personal, if you catch my drift.â€
gigeddy gigeddy goo!!! Awww riiiiight!
Gray: I don’t think what you read on fanfiction sites counts! 😮
Mike P says “I donâ€™t recall anyone on Galactica connecting Gina with Shelley Godfrey â€” do they?”
That’s an interesting point. Thinking back on it, I don’t remember many people even seeing Gina. She was pretty much in her cell until Baltar let her run amok and she escaped to Cloud 9 (r.i.p.) But I am sure Galactica would have requested footage or images of her at some point.
Cain was a totally mad biyotch, very driven and very disciplined. She just seemed to lack a moral compass. I am glad a woman was put in this role as this kind of thing usually goes to men. And Michelle Forbes was frakkin’ great as the character…I was buying it the whole time.
Like the chairs, they cut the corners! So frakin’ cool if you’re brave enough to invest in a format that could be dead in 2 years. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait until Universal HD starts to re-air the series and DVR it, but they’re airing Firefly in HD, which is very shiny.
Audra- I went there.
Gryper- You know me, always skulking around the fanfiction sites. Much as I try to stay away….seriously, though. I read it somewhere halfway reputable I just need to go back and see if I can find it.
Gray – all joking aside, I saw teh article too. Think it was in Death Ray or some sci-fi mag. So it wasn’t fan-fic. It may still be just a rumor though
…take what I can get…heh, awwww riiiight!!
Thorne = Evil
Cavil = Amoral
Baltar = Self-centered, Narcissistic, Weak, Frail, but not really evil
Starbuck (old) = Nuts
Cain = At some point she lost her humanity…
Read “A Rumor of War” by Philip Caputo. It’s a marine’s diary of Vietnam, very powerful.
Gray/Dave: If you guys figure out where you read that about Cain please post it. I’d like to read the article. 🙂