Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: B
YOU GRADE IT
Because It Is Bitter

The easiest trap is our own shame and our own obsessions: and what's more easily obsessed upon than the image we hold of ourselves? Lee is the Good Boy, Captain Apollo -- but it's his lot to engineer coincidences that benefit him alone. Ask Zarek, ask Dee. Bill is the unassailable fa├žade, as Carolanne said: the Admiral without a wife, the single father mourning an extinct civilization. Except he's in love, and we all know it. Admitting that love, and more importantly, the fact that it's fucking him up beyond bad, is more painful than going on without her. Saul is the Royal Screwup, the bad little brother, the guy with no responsibility at all because Bill's his soft place to land. And now that he's terrified of even himself, responsibility is the last thing he wants; the broken man, the cancer, is his self-image right now. And he's wrong, because what Saul Tigh is, is the heart of the Fleet, just like Galen is. That's scary. Admission of our ugliest shit, the stuff that attacks our Helo Suits most directly, is exactly how we burn off what doesn't work. It was Kara's path, too.

We have to do this, and we basically have to do it this way, to get anywhere. We have to walk Romo's path to Leland's Presidency and Bill's resignation, because this is a story about shocking Lee and Bill out of their own denial. What's painfully obvious from Go to us is also painfully obvious to Lee, and to Romo, and to Bill, and the pain of this story -- and the sometimes awkward steps it takes over those jagged rocks -- is in knowing how much those painfully obvious facts hurt the ones that are forced to admit them. Romo is theatre, and he doesn't want the best from us: he wants us to admit the worst, because he's the very devil. He doesn't speak one word of truth; believing his theatre is exactly the mistake that leads us to believe Tory believes the shit coming out of her mouth with her whole heart. Yeah, they're both nuts, but neither of them are telling the truth. Tory wishes she were, but she's really no different than she ever was. Romo ... Is a nutsack, but he's usually right. In his effects, if not his causes or his methods.

In the military we used to talk about facts on the ground. At moments of extreme change, or extreme weirdness, or disappointing developments, or straight-up confusing plot points, it's helpful sometimes to consider the imperatives of the show itself. As a critic I tend to jump back and forth between explication and amplication, which is to say, sometimes I want to talk about what's going on within the show and the intratextual meanings of a thing, and other times I feel like talking about what it reminds me of, or what it could mean, or what it implies extratextually. (Usually, what I wish it would mean.)

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Battlestar Galactica

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