The long, boring, pointless back half of another disconnected, once-promising season limps painfully forward, exhausting and embarrassing by turns, holding out the trial of Baltar like it's the fucking second coming when really it seems likely to be just as boring as this episode right here, and yet never arriving there. Just discussing it, unendingly, in the most basic and annoying ways possible. Don't freak out that the show has jumped the shark -- the same thing happened last year, and it doesn't mean we turn our backs on the show. Unless it does, in which case, I bid you a fond au revoir, and wish they'd tried a little harder again this week. It's been 49 days since the Cylons were last seen, and you know what that means: shitty episodes of this show, where everybody either turns on each other for no reason or starts freaking out about backstory that, to put it kindly, seems basically cobbled together from the less interesting thoughts of writers best left in the past. Another week, another bullshit fake-moving manhood clichÃ©: Adama hallucinates his ex-wife Caroline for the entire episode, and she goads him to hook back up with Roslin, then in the last ten minutes Lee reveals that Caroline was an abusive drunk, and that somehow everything is Bill's fault, and that he should have been a better father-slash-husband, and played more catch with Lee when he was a kid, and the little boy blue and/or the man in the moon, and Lee responds that while Bill may have loved Caroline, probably she never loved him. Which is a shitty thing to say, and comes out of nowhere, and has nothing to do with anything. Luckily, Roslin/the writers have finally come up with a point to Lee, and he's going to be the Chairman for the Exploratory Committee on how to have a Trial for Baltar, which at this point isn't going to take place until even yours truly has given up on this show ever having a point again. There's some jiggery-pokery about how much Sense this Makes, despite Lee's complete lack of familiarity with the law and the apparently incompatible legal systems of the Twelve Colonies, it's all totally stupid and desperate. Then meanwhile, Cally bitches and moans until finally the airlock gives out, and the only way to save her and Chief -- and at this point, who really cares about either of them? -- is to blow them into space and grab them with Athena's Raptor. They do it, and sadly nobody dies, and then next week, Chief goes back into Norma Raye mode, making what, the fifth episode in a row where his actions, motivations, thoughts and feelings show no connection at all to the episodes on either side? I'm so tired right now. Where did the show go?
Previously, Joseph and Evelyn Adama had a son, William. His first wife's name was Caroline, with whom he had two sons, Zak and Lee. The war killed their marriage, and he got furloughed after the war ended, and then he was all alone. Later, his second wife Anne got him back into the Colonial Fleet; he followed up by getting Tigh reinstated later. I don't know what happened to Anne, but Caroline was engaged to be remarried at the time of Galactica's decommissioning, also known as the end of the world. Then Olmos started calling her "Carolanne," creating something of a Crisis On Infinite Ex-Wives which was resolved when they suddenly became one person, even though the timelines don't make sense, because wives get a shitty shake here in S3.5. As long as they're shrieking harridans that abuse their children and/or lovers and husbands, that's good enough. Or...or I guess I can buy Carolanne, no matter the name, because this show is all about recreating your family drama, almost as much as Grey's Anatomy is: Lee's mother was a violent drunk who forgot to apologize and never lived up to her own measure; Kara's mother was a drill sergeant with weird ideas about duty and discipline; Adama leaves infinite wives and lovers behind in pursuit of legal and military ideals. Humanity's a Fleet made up of orphans: all they have are memories of the dead, twisted by time. It's not that you marry a woman just like your mom, it's that you marry a woman who makes you feel the way mom did, for good or ill. Very different proposition, and way more on your side of the line than hers, either of them. Human psychology is based on projection.
Down on New Caprica, during a party to celebrate the breaking of ground, President Gaius's memorable imprint on yet another world, Laura Roslin stood in the alluvial deposits of a virgin planet and tried to illustrate for her closest friend what a new world would be like: a world without war and fear and pain, a future that wasn't always rushing toward you, but waiting somewhere on the horizon for you just to walk toward it. I don't know if Bill heard what she was saying, but this was what she was saying: "In the mountains north of here there's this little stream. The water is so clear, it's like looking through glass. I am thinking of building a cabin." She never did. He never got to wash the alluvial deposits off his feet; he never even saw the stream.
Later, on the run again, Chief Galen Tyrol admitted to Lee that he was having trouble with his wife -- their family, for which Bill Adama still feels responsible, started on New Caprica. In some ways it ended there, I guess. They had to start over, and they still hadn't. "Marriages: Why we build bars," Chief said. And Laura lay back on William's bed with her shoes off, and touched his arm tenderly, and discussed matters of political and national importance, and of the most personal importance: how we go on. How we knock the alluvial deposits off our shoes and forget the disappointments and the triumphs of that cursed world, and remember again how we used to do things. How to go back to simply running, after the awful chance to rest.
Now: Bill's younger, in the backyard of a beautiful house on proud Old Caprica; none of that yellow irradiated glow, just wind chimes and birds and a billion birds. He looks out the window, peaceful and strong.