Earth is horrible. Everybody deals with this in different ways, but the major one is Dualla blowing her brains out after a last lovely date with Apollo. It's probably the worst thing that's ever happened on this show, which is saying a hell of a lot. Additional props to Weddle & Thompson, who master an elliptical, time-hopping script Michael Taylor could be proud of, and manage not to explain every single second to us while it's happening. Awesome. So, you're asking: besides Dee, who else is suicidal? Everybody. Just everybody. You know how this show works.
After Adama decides to go looking for a hospitable planet that doesn't totally suck, Three's all, "Leave me here in the radiation and horrible shit like Ajax so I can just feel sorry for myself and then die." Laura Roslin literally burns the prophecies of Pythia a page at a time, whilst crying. Admiral Adama takes Dee's death especially hard, of course, and tries to get Colonel Tigh to kill him for about twenty minutes before finally just pointing a gun at his own head. I don't know why more people don't watch this show. It's so fun.
Meanwhile, Kara finds her blown-up Viper and her total dead body, which she incinerates in a very Bergman way, because what else are you going to do but bury her? The funniest part about that is how it's so weird even Leoben is like, "Girl, I am out of here." Also while down on nuked Earth -- which happened about 2000 years ago -- the Final Four come to some conclusions: namely, that they were there during the nuclear blast. This is because -- we learn after some amateur archaeology -- everybody on Earth was Cylon, not human. Chief was at the Farmer's Market when it hit; Sam played the guitar. And Saul was searching desperately for his wife: Ellen Tigh, the final Cylon.
Which is fine, because Saul Tigh is like the one person on this show who deserves a break, and their love is for real et cetera, but also because: no matter who it was, I was hoping they'd just tell us right away so people would find something new to talk about. I guess I should have been more specific about that wish, because "OMG Anastasia Dualla just blew her fucking brains out" is not really the topic I would have chosen. Stay tuned for next week when Hera gets started mainlining heroin and FOX News; Boomer spends six hours at the DMV; and Lee, Kara, the rest of the Cylons, and the cast of the entire Stargate franchise commit cascading ritual suicide in a Broadway salute to Busby Berkeley.
Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale died in 2005. He served on the Ticonderoga in the Gulf of Tonkin, and was shot down over Viet Nam in 1965. He was the highest-ranking naval officer to be held as a POW, and was Ross Perot's VP candidate in 1992. Interesting guy. Afraid they'd videotape him and show the world a well-treated and valued prisoner, he beat himself with a stool. He cut himself with a razor; he did what had to be done. He limped for the rest of his life.
In the camp, he invented new ways for his men to resist torture, sent coded messages to his wife, invented new ways to break through isolation and communicate with each other. New ways to stay alive. The men cleaning the courtyard, during a period of enforced silence, swept the ground in the syncopated rhythm he'd taught them, silently and defiantly spelling out to him inside the walls: "We love you. We love you. We love you."
James C. Collins is a business management writer who's written several management books, including Built To Last and Good To Great. (I'm indebted to forum poster GaryV for bringing him up, because it's so perfectly appropriate, and better stated than anything any of us could say, because Stockdale accomplished something impossible, and lived to tell us how.) Prepping to interview him, Collins read the Vice Admiral's own record of his time at the Hanoi Hilton:
As I moved through the book, I found myself getting depressed. It just seemed so bleak -- the uncertainty of his fate, the brutality of his captors, and so forth. And then, it dawned on me: "Here I am sitting in my warm and comfortable office, looking out over the beautiful Stanford campus on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I'm getting depressed reading this, and I know the end of the story! I know that he gets out, reunites with his family, becomes a national hero, and gets to spend the later years of his life studying philosophy on this same beautiful campus. If it feels depressing for me, how on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and did not know the end of the story?"
"I never lost faith in the end of the story," was Stockdale's answer. "I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."
Collins asked him, "Who didn't make it out?" and Stockdale replied immediately: "Oh, that's easy. The optimists... They were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."