Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
This Is Not A Love Story

"Alright then, why don't we give this a go?" Gaius -- and as much as this is a flipbook tour through the horrors and the wonders of Gaius Baltar, it's also the funniest fucking thing in the world (imagine Gaius was taking smooth-pimp lessons from Alexander Lavelle Harris and you're half there) -- decides the most apposite activity would be to... fall on his knees, making a supplicant gesture Garth and Wayne might have invented, fanning the Hybrid with palm fronds of hope and the absurd; somehow comforting, condescending, hilarious and sad all at once, on his knees, desperate to win. "Shh! Hey. Hey, stop jumping the ship, all right? Calm your mind..." He looks ridiculous. We all look ridiculous on our knees; that's the point of being on your knees. I'm not very funny so I don't know how to say this funny, but it's super funny. If he brrrrppppppt his lips a little bit, or zoomed an airplane of baby food toward her oracular mouth, it would not be out of place.

On this show of all shows, with this writer of all writers, you watch out for the funny. The funny will fuck you up so bad, like Farscape bad, like where you don't even know when you stopped laughing and started crying. At this point we're still laughing. That'll just make it worse. So he fans her and fake-prays and shushes, on his knees. And she speaks. Because he's not open, he hasn't opened the doors, but he's unlocked them. He is ajar. And that's more than Laura could say, and Laura would be proud of that. She isn't ajar yet. She is proud of that.

"Cease countdown, cease countdown. Circulation, ventilation, control... filters... filters... the sublime elevation..." Gaius is, of course, disgustingly proud; Twinset's like, I Don't Even Know. "Did you see that? I just opened myself up to it on a spiritual level..."

(Jump. Of course.

Doc Cottle tends to the Dying Leader, as the Twins and Bill stare down, afraid and sad. Elosha only speaks to the body. In this episode we are concerned with the body: yours, mine, theirs. Laura's, and Gaius's, but also theirs-theirs. Half of all academic writing in the soft sciences, in the last centuries, is about the female body. What is it, what constitutes it? What does it want? How do we get more? What will it do? Are we buying or selling? Are we harming or loving? We're talking about a factory that makes bodies. Bodies that are Other, specifically/mostly female bodies that are Other. That's the Hub. (There are a lot of Hubs in this story, just as the Fleet has many hearts; we're talking about a body factory.) There are still people who think of Six as a whore; there are still people that think of Eight as a little girl. Three's (everybody's) bisexuality presents as a problem. Cylons are scary because women are scary; and occasionally sometimes (Simon and Leoben) because rapists are scary, but only if the female body is the territory. Always already other: to be defended, to be duplicated, to be feared, to be reclaimed. And while Leoben is sexualized by the show in some yucky ways, actual commodification of the body is, as usual, the province of the female: Who's Tory going to fuck next? How useful is her body now? Where is Three, Six, Eight's new body coming from? But on the other hand, they are the only Cylon with continually differentiating personae: Who will she be? They're the best characters; it's a give and take. But -- like Buffy, frankly -- the endgame is to remove the commodification of the female body altogether. To connect the body -- Laura, Gaius, Eight, Six -- back to the Hub directly, no vulgate or male gaze involved.

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Battlestar Galactica

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