Battlestar Galactica
Crossroads, Part I

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
That Old Song They Used To Play

"It's a personal matter. I doubt she'd ever say anything in front of me," he says, teasing them, teasing himself, backing out with his eyes open, waiting to be asked. Gaius goes shit-nuts, howling and begging, and Lampkin's mouth orders him to shut the hell up. This is about Lee. "Enjoying yourself so far? Having a good time sticking it to the old man, defending the most hated person in the universe?" Lee lies and says that's not why he's doing this. "No, you just decided to stand up for truth and justice and all those other lovely things we inscribe upon courtroom doors." Lee's unassailable and self-assured: that's Lee at his most destructive. Fighting for truth contains an element of yearning, not this arrogance. This is what led him to follow Roslin the first time, yes, but it's also what led him to start a firefight on Colonial One, the White House of humanity -- which is to me more "guns in the Temple" than putting actual guns in the literal Temple -- and to generally act in such a way that not even Laura could fully commend his actions, even when they were on her behalf. "Yeah. That's exactly what I'm doing. Because I believe in the system. I really believe. I even believe that our lowlife pond scum of a client actually deserves a fair trial." Maybe if Dee hadn't left him earlier, those words wouldn't trip across his tongue quite so glibly; maybe if the rules weren't all he had left he'd be able to step up and be the man Romo Lampkin's begging him to be: the kind that signs with the Devil, but does so with eyes open. Because right now, Lee's writing himself a Baltar pass, signing it with a flourish; he's strapping on the Helo Suit, and that's not how Lampkin plays. Your betrayal means nothing, if it doesn't hurt you as much as it does your father. It's not the pretty picture he wants but the cracks in the canvas.

"The 'system,'" he says to the petulant child Lee is being, "requires that you tell what you know, which leaves you with one of two uncomfortable options. First, share the information, and in so doing, uphold the very principles that you claim to hold so dear. Or second, keep 'em to yourself, and prove once and for all your only purpose here is to jab your father in the eye and make a mockery of the entire justice system." Apollo responds to even this total, abject, horrifying honesty with a cocksure grin and astounding smugness: "That's very nice. Very, very nice, but I know why I'm here. I don't need to prove it to you, or to anyone else." This is what they all do, but it's especially what Kara used to do: get knocked down, lose another pillar, and you reduce yourself to as few dimensions as possible. The simplest possible identity. He's got nobody to tell him who to be now, and the person's he relying on is withholding, trying to get him to imagine it himself. The one thing he can't do yet, and he never could: Lee Adama never learned to breathe. You go looking around, for the source of the smell, the sound, the terror, the problem -- can't be you, you're just doing what's right -- you could go crazy; you don't know from crazy until you realize the smell's coming from you. You're the one that's singing, or screaming. And everybody knows it. That's horror. That's what he's asking for. That's what he's putting on display. Nobody cares where you came from, what arcane random rules you've decided to follow: they care who you are, and what you do, and why. He's so close to his existential crisis but it's him, he won't get there yet, because he's still got somewhere to stand, but it'll go like this because it always does. Nothing you do matters, so all that matters is what you do. Until then, it's lies all the way down to the part that stinks: the part that needs to punish Bill for Kara's death, no matter how little sense it makes.

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Battlestar Galactica

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