Battlestar Galactica
The Captain's Hand

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!
Citizen Rya

Garner and Apollo have a drink in the Commander's office, no indication given as to how really not getting the Starbuck issue Garner actually is. He still thinks this is a "let the adults discuss" issue -- when it's clear he's in over his head. This is my most hated character in literature; it's driven me crazy since Dr. Gilchrist and Lady Imeyne in Doomsday Book. It's why I was so irrational about Tigh until "Scar" -- the obstructionist insecure cock-blocker who will defend his ego and incompetence while people are dying. Garner: "I have a problem. That problem's name is Kara Thrace." Apollo jumps to claim that he can "handle" her, and points out that she's "one hell of a Viper pilot," which is, of course, lost on Garner: "I should cut her some slack because she's good in the cockpit. Is that what you're saying?" It's hilarious because, of course, that's SOP, but also, Lee's behavior in this scene is really interesting: when Cain elevated Kara and laid Lee low, Kara acted like somebody shot her dog, and now that it's reversed, Apollo is, of course, trying to pacify both sides. (Kara, if you'll remember, almost shot the woman in the face. I would not mind if Lee did the same here.) Garner: "Nobody ever cut us any slack in the engine room, I can tell you that right now." He stands up. "But then, uh, I don't know...maybe being a snipe is different than being a viper jockey. No flashy stunts for us. No flying by the seat of our pants down there!" So that's how he's playing it in his head: it's incompetence or inexperience -- it's the fact that everyone in command, and the pilots, are blinded by their own top-doggery. They don't really understand the trenches. They're divas who all think they're better than Garner is -- and now he gets to show them. No wonder he hates Kara -- she does that same thing to the viewers, and she's not even real! -- but it's interesting to consider how much of this kind of sentiment Chief might share, frankly. He only gets angry when this line gets pushed, when pilots (including Boomer in the mini, even though that was for show) lord it over and question him. I know, he's all perfect and stuff, but like, boyfriend's in need of a storyline!

Apollo watches Garner convince himself of his own superiority in the face of his fear, which tiny taint amps itself up ever so slightly all across this monologue: "The engine room is like a finely tuned watch, and everything in it needs to be monitored and maintained in a very precise fashion." My emphasis, of course: paint-by-numbers symbolism coming up, on my mark. "Nobody freelances. Everything is done in the proper way at the proper time, in the proper order! Or there'd be no power. No lights. No hot showers for your flyboys." Apollo is bored by this (or drifting into a whole other kind of reverie), but the guy's got a point: the engineers and deck hands have to be all about the details and the 24/7, hands dirty, while the pilots get to run through the hangar bay, shoot their wads, and come back home to applause. "You know, Major, I think some of the people around here could learn a thing or two from the snipes," Garner says. Dude, shut up! All our Chief ever did was be adorable, fuck a toaster, and lie about it, man. He doesn't even own a stupid symbolic watch.

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Battlestar Galactica




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