Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
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The Stockdale Paradox

"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

That's the Stockdale Paradox: How do you hope just enough to stay alive, without wanting so much that your heart breaks when you hit the rough patches? When you realize rough patches are all we ever have? How can you keep yourself from taking your heart and putting it somewhere safe, in the gauzy soft tissue-ad future, wishing and hoping and praying that the pain will end, and life will go back to being mere survival and contentment? How to take the localized hope that you'll realize your goal, and pull it so wide across the rest of time that you can hope beyond the dashing of your hope? How do you do that without ripping it?

How can you possibly have enough strength to hold onto your faith in the face of evidence that your faith is meaningless and always was? How do you hate just enough to stay alive, but love just enough to be human in the end? How to walk the edge of the razor without becoming one; to burn off your loss without burning off your soul in the process? When they take away even the idea of completion, commencement, the lie of meaning, the black stone and the white; when you're looking at the negative space where the future used to be, how do you remember how to stay alive? What do you do when you can't get out?

Previously on Battlestar Galactica, Anastasia Dualla tells us, a girl and a boy fell in love. It was a complicated kind of love, as it always is: she was in love with his family, with the idea of home, with the idea of being part of something larger. She made a life of bending broken hopes back into shape, so they could fly. She told the Admiral to find his son, to bring the Fleet and family back together on Kobol. She told his son a hundred times to believe, in himself and in the Fleet and in the possibility of home. She needed so desperately to believe, to put her gorgeous revolutionary spirit into action, that she stole the election for the President, tried to trade New Caprica for Earth, tried to keep running. Most of all, she wanted to believe in him. And he was in love with that, and with crawling away from a particularly twisted piece of wreckage of his own; love is why we build bars.

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Battlestar Galactica

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