Lee points out how he tried to skirt the rules by having Athena fly, and Bill responds: "You could've died. Plain and simple, you're a soldier. Live like one, start acting like one." And even though this makes no sense, Lee assumes that he's talking about getting back on track after Kara died, so... now we're going to talk about that. Because that's what was on the outline, that's why! "She's been gone two weeks. I didn't realize the clock was running." Bill tells him to stop, but he won't: "... because maybe we're just built differently." Like love is something you can quantify, right? To say one person's love, or pain, are greater or lesser than another person's love, or pain, is to evince a complete lack of understanding of love. Or pain. "You stop," Bill growls again. "Don't you dare quantify my loss!"
People, living and breathing human people, do not talk like this. What's offensive to me is that, having killed her off, or whatever, you put the next episode -- the one that's supposedly all about the aftermath of something that happened moments before the end of last episode -- into the hands of the most tone-deaf, gender-confused member of the writing staff... and what, we're not going to notice? You've got your Kara fans, which is a lot of viewers, and your Kara/Leoben shippers, as shuddery as that concept is, and you've got the Kara/Lee people, who act like jerks when they're provoked... and that's what the episode is about. Resolving that stuff. So you just hand that right over to the one person on staff who seriously cannot do it? Literally does not have the ingredients in his chemical makeup to tell a story of this emotional and structural complexity properly? Or without getting his oily self all over it? Who cannot tell a story of this nature in such a way that it makes sense? Or expresses anything in particular beyond plot and the mystifying actions of characters without any clear narrative purpose or motivation?
It's not that the episode is that bad: the acting is amazing -- Trucco and Bamber manage to make grief palpable -- the story is great, the ideas are wonderful... but there's no translation of idea to living, breathing moment. Just a bunch of "what if" runthroughs of a bunch of ideas about what this episode could be about, without bothering to make the resulting episode a reality. As a Kara fan, though not -- I think -- a frothing or overinvested idiot, and one who clearly enjoyed her exit and what it implies, this nonetheless ticks me off. This show should be better than this anyway, but when you pull this shit right after something you knew was going to freak the viewership out, something that was intended to freak the viewership out... that's disrespectful to the audience in a way that has nothing to do with love of particular characters or storylines, but to do with quality in television and -- frankly -- the ability to produce 20 consistently compelling episodes of television in a season. An ability which two seasons in a row have shown is not necessarily within the grasp of this series, as perfect -- as inspiring, as touching, as challenging -- as it is overall. (Remember the low point of Season One? Well, I don't, I loved it all -- Yes, even "Six Degrees" -- but conventional wisdom says it was "Litmus." Which is not only an episode I adore, but turns out to be central to the story, as it now stands, on like every level. Now picture me saying that about "Black Market" in three years. Impossible, or at least highly improbable, and I'm not so sure I'd stick around for that show, unless it were as good as this.)