Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
The Stockdale Paradox

"So don't. Tell them the truth. That's what people need to hear, and you're the one they need to hear it from." Their song begins to play, Anastasia remembers how it felt to be an Adama, once upon a time: she fixes his tie, his lapels. She brushes him off and calls him home. She picks up the pieces, shining so brightly; she knows she can hold them all before the ball drops again: "If anybody can give them a reason to go on it's you. Apollo." He is amazed by her again, he sees her for the first time in a very long time. Maybe ever. She nods at his shy smile, and he walks away, strong enough to go back home. When he's not looking at her, her smile fades a bit. At the door he asks her to join him for a drink, and she steps closer to accept: "It's a date."

Kara searches blindly through the wasteland, as usual; he pulls at her and she rips herself out of his grip, as usual, trying to get a glimpse at the wreckage. Trying to find herself. She gets closer, breaks into a run; she finds a torn and ruined cockpit lying on its side in a clearing, and pulls and shoves at it. Leoben stands, far back, eyes closed, trying desperately to realign the universe, to bring all the pieces back together and make sense of this, before the ball drops again.

"Help me, Godsdamn it!" Leoben opens his eyes, and approaches slowly, quaking with fear. They move in concert, still, flipping it over in tandem without even a glance at each other; inside the Viper's broken cockpit is a pilot, head lolling, faceplate broken, uniform and helmet burnt black. Destiny sings as she reaches out to touch the thing, forcing her hand toward it, turning the body's head just enough to catch a glimpse of the flaxen hair inside. She vomits, and he stands very still, eyes closed again, terrified by futility, nonsense, the derangement of the universe as it whirls and crashes all around him.

Kara jerks the dogtags off the body's neck, quickly and firmly; they share the chain with Zak's ring. Leoben looks over her shoulder at the bloodstained tags, and her name etched on them, and jerks back. His confusion and pain become abject fear. "If you've got an explanation for this, now's the time," she says, her heart breaking. This isn't just her prophecy she's disproving, but his, too. Of all the mucky, disparate parts of their relationship, the one she accepted first was his knowledge: this isn't just her destiny, but theirs together. Who painted the sky? Who hands you a broken watch and promises to help you fix it, then throws up his hands like this? Who can you complain to, when even the guides have lost their maps?

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Battlestar Galactica

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