Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 3 USERS: B-
The Girl Hanging By One Foot

Adama is saying, "After today -- after using nuclear weapons against defenseless civilians, after murdering people by the millions -- I don't give a damn who the Cylons are now or what the 'truth' is about their souls. All I know is that they're murderers and killers and they're trying to destroy us. So today's gonna be the first day of a new war."

Adama's saying, "Are they the lucky ones? That's the question you're all asking yourselves, isn't it? We're a long way from home. We've jumped far beyond the Red Line and now we're in uncharted space. Limited supplies. Limited fuel. No allies. No hope. Maybe it would've been better if we'd all died quickly back there on Kobol with the rest of our families than to die slowly out here in the emptiness of deep space. Where will we go? What will we do?"

At precisely this moment, the Priestess Elosha is telling of the Thirteenth Tribe, now living on Earth, "which circled a distant and unknown star." And Adama is taking a breath, and telling a lie: "It's not unknown. I know where it is... The location -- or at least the general location -- of this star system was known to only the most senior commanders in the Fleet. We dared not reveal its location to the public while the Cylon threat was still out there. And thank the Lords for that, because now we have a refuge to go to, a refuge the Cylons know nothing about. It won't be easy. It will be a long and probably arduous journey to get there. But I promise you one thing -- we will make it and Earth will be our new home."

Two lies. Between Nietzsche's Will To Power and Freud's Will To Pleasure there is a third way: Frankl's Will To Meaning. It kept him alive, a whole new system of thought, in the Nazi camps, giving voice to his will to survive: the will to meaning, that any story can be borne if you turn it into story. Into the Lie of Earth, or the Lie of War. There is no Earth and there is no victory, in these speeches that are taking place at the exact same time, on two Battlestars as far from each other as the temple and the altar. Existentialism is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, but the shortest definition is this: the will to meaning is more powerful than the content of the meaning it describes. Earth and War are equal endpoints, because what keeps you alive, what gives you survival and meaning, is the journey toward them. Adama flirts with the lie of war, but -- because of Laura and Tigh, because of Kara, most of all because of Lee -- chooses the lie of Earth. Heaven for everybody. This is born of what and who he is, which is a dove masquerading as a hawk; a man who can't forget beauty, who will never be a razor. But at the same angle of approach, with that same will to meaning, the lie of war is born of the woman Helena Cain is: an orphan of the war who waits for the next bomb to hit. A hawk that must reject the very idea of doves, or die of jealousy. The temple and the altar, salvation and sacrifice, Earth or war. These are gifts.

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Battlestar Galactica




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