Battlestar Galactica

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The Girl On The Cliffside

And there's Tory, who knows about that love, and knows that it is missing. Who understands that nothing means anything anymore, because all the rules are gone away. The Exodus was nothing compared to this. But Tory's interesting, because she's always lived by rules, absolute and unchanging. There is a list for Tory that has a few things on it: Laura Roslin, Hera, and now the Four. When Laura looked to lose the election, Tory stole the election. When she lost Hera during the Second Exodus, it nearly killed her. Tory always has a list. And what the song has taught her is that the list is all that matters, and there's nothing on the list. The world is ending. Nothing else matters.

"You know, I never really liked ambrosia before. But now. It's like I'm being flooded with new sensations and new feelings. Maybe you are too." There's a question in her eyes, a flirtation. Anders was married to a dead woman when they made love: matrimony is not on the list. On the list of things that feel good, sex and drugs are always on the top of the list. Chief stares at her, wondering what she's up to, as she caresses his elbow. "In some ways, I don't hate this. Feeling new. Feeling open to things. To change..." She's only playing. When the world falls apart, into constituent blocks and pieces, you can play around. Move this over here, try this new thing. The Gods didn't save her, so she let Gaius Baltar add God to the list. "I don't do well with change," the Chief says firmly, the last funny thing that's going to happen in this episode. He answers all her questions at once.

But the question still remains, because Tory just started making sense, to yours truly. There comes a moment, I think, for most people, in which we realize a very important fact: There is nobody watching. There are crimes you don't need to do, but there are no crimes that can ever happen inside your head: that's yours, to do with what you like. In high school, what was on the list? Sex and drugs feel good. In the backstory I've always imagined, Tory didn't have a hell of a lot of fun in high school. She's got the position and the pedigree to suggest that. But no matter when it happens, defining the limits of what is acceptable becomes an end in itself, for a time. You decide who you would be, and then create that in your actions, but there's no list. If nothing is true, then everything is permitted.

Eventually, if you're smart and if you're lucky, you put together a list that looks something like everybody else's list; Kant called it the Kingdom of Ends, in which everybody acted in accordance with, basically, the Golden Rule. In which all people are treated as Ends in themselves -- rather than Means to an end -- by everybody else. In which everyone is both Sovereign and Subject at once. But if you live for the list, and then find out that the list never existed, you can be whatever you like. You can be the woman you choose to be, and you can take your time deciding who that is. You have infinite time to play.

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Battlestar Galactica

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