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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





The last season of BSG remake is underrated, Gaeta and Zarek's coup, Galactica physically reaching its limits just from all the pounding she's taken and there desperate attempts to save her, the total despair everyone is in after finding Nuked Earth and having to find some way to move on despite that, the Cylon Rebels joining the fleet, its a lot of cool stuff. It does have a ton of flaws and less good EPISODES than most of the show, but its still got plenty of great parts.

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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





nine-gear crow posted:

I've said it repeatedly now but for as shocking and brilliant in the moment as ONE YEAR LATER was, it fundamentally broke the show and they just never recovered from it narratively speaking.

Can you elaborate on this? Because I don't really agree, I think Season 3 is incredibly good, although not as good as the show's peak in S 2 since it takes a few shortcuts with its larger narrative to make certain episodes happen and does admittedly have a few weak episodes in the run. The thing that broke the show and that they never managed to recover from was the reveal of the Final Five and Starbuck's return from the dead. Those two things were such enormous bombshells that the fallout they caused would have been hard for anyone to manage, but BSG did so in a particularly unspectacular way that led to the show on the whole falling apart and proving mostly unable to deliver good complete episode stories despite the presence of quite a lot of good parts in its last run.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Arcsquad12 posted:

You find that shocking? Dirk Benedict IS God.

I don't think God would write an MRA screed about his character being recast as a filthy woman being a symbolic castration of all men.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





nine-gear crow posted:

I don't know what they were doing, really. Hero sucks, and it only manages to not be the worst episode of the show because The Woman King exists.

Black. Market.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Data Graham posted:

Yeah Baltar's fascinating — he's not even making a cold calculated "this is in my best interest" kind of decision at any point, he's genuinely horrified when he realizes what he's done through allowing himself to be flattered into giving up state defense secrets. He does try to hold out as best he can against Six who, frankly, makes a good case for why he should keep listening to her, even for humanity's sake, because it sounds like she might be telling him something useful, giving him actionable clues, even maybe sowing dissent against other Cylons. When he comes up with the "Cylon detector" idea he's just shooting from the hip and making poo poo up on the fly and it somehow works because that's just what everyone wants to hear. He hates himself for it but it works and what else can he do but go along? What good would it do anyone, even discounting himself, to tell anyone a different story? You even empathize with him from the audience because you think "could I, honestly, in his exact position, do literally anything else?"

Baltar was always a personal favorite of mine because there are times in those early seasons when he really seems to be trying to be helpful and is certainly filled with grief over what he's done. Helo sacrificing his place on the escape ship for him clearly stuck with him. But then his own cowardice and narcissism and fear of discovery of what he'd done always manages to put him right back into a lovely place, and then he COMPLAINS ABOUT IT. He feels bad about everything and attempts to do good but he never internalizes that he deserves punishment or that he ought to change who he is, and that makes for a very unique character.

I remember when Tighs Wife got revealed as one of the Final Cylons I thought back to the Cylon test and how Baltar says she comes up negative, but then reminds us that EVERYONE comes up negative and that he'll never tell anyone what the real result says, and thinking what a spectacular piece of poo poo this man was to know she was a Cylon for literal years and never fess up that he invented a working test and then just LIED about all the results for fear what a Cylon Agent might do to him if he exposed them. Then I remembered that things he said later made it not make sense for him to know Ellen Tigh (or for that matter Col. Tigh since he surely tested him as well) was a Cylon so he must have just broke his own test after he ID'd Boomer. But the point is I totally believed that he'd just kept it to himself for all that time.

And him breaking the working test to protect his own rear end is another special form of shittiness that only Baltar is truly capable of.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





So I found out BSG is on Peacock randomly and I've been watching it in the background for about a week. S1 was a lot better than I remembered and so is S2.0.

The best part of the show has definitely been the parallel stories of Boomer slowly losing her grip on reality and desperately trying to hold onto her life and loved ones despite her sleeper agent programming and Athena awakening to her love for Helo and betraying the other Cylons for his sake. Its incredibly compelling television. Seeing all of Boomers little victories turn to ash in her mouth when she shoots Adama and then her death in Tyrol's arms is just soul-crushing stuff, and makes you root for Athena and Helo to overcome the obstacles in their way that much more which makes her moments in Home Part 2 and Flight of the Phoenix that much more emotionally satisfying. The only part of it that struck me as weird was when Athena takes off and strands Helo and Starbuck, it never gets any kind of explanation of justification, not even a token statement from Athena that she felt like Starbuck would have killed her if she'd stayed or something. It just kind of hangs there forgotten even as Starbuck kind of warms up to her despite herself. Frankly Starbuck unintentionally warming up to Athena even as much as she does kind of strains credulity after what happened to her during The Farm even if Athena helped rescue her, but Starbuck is a weirdo with a hosed up worldview so it doesn't shatter disbelief or anything. The entire Farm subplot should have probably been cut frankly, its not the worst idea on paper that the Cylons need humans to reproduce but they're so bigoted and afraid that they need to go to these extremes of control that betray their society's hosed up nature, but in practice it just doesn't seem worth it, especially since they felt the need to have Athena offer a weird attempt at justifying the practice (although admittedly she delivers the line in such a way that you could buy her not really believing the propaganda and its more a sad, desperate attempt at compartmentalization so she can cope with what monters her people are being).

The show really reaches a high-point with Pegasus and Resurrection Ship, its maybe the three best hours of Scifi Action-Thriller TV I've seen in years. The emotional roller-coaster and the themes of what war does to people and the question of why human beings are worth saving (because we are capable of redemption and forgiveness for even the most horrific sins) are fantastically realized. Baltar, Head Six, Captive Six, Stabuck, Apollo, Adama, Roslin, Cain, Tyrol, Helo and Athena all play their parts amazingly, bouncing back and forth against each other both literally and thematically, creating this incredibly symphony of meaning to the larger story that ALMOST never misses a note.

Ironically I think the moment that Admiral Cain was shot was the moment the series took a stark downhill turn. It was an uncharacteristically conservative, arguably even cowardly move to preserve the status quo of the show which undermined the entire message of the story, that even someone like Admiral Cain who had done all of these unspeakable atrocities was not so far gone that she was irredeemable. In the larger scheme of the entire show's themes, Cain backing down from crossing that line is arguably the moment that primes the audience to consider the possibility that the Cylons should not be beyond redemption for the nuclear holocaust they visited on humanity, which is crucial not just for the particular story of Athena as a person but for the revelations in Downloaded a couple episodes away. So having Cain die before she can even begin walking the path of atonement for her actions strikes me as a move really lacking in vision, especially since having Captive Six just kill her as revenge for being victimized only to then do... basically nothing until her death a few episodes later. She foments this dissident Cylon Peace Terrorist movement, she has this weird "relationship," with Gaius that really does a lot of harm to his character and makes it seem like he only helped her with her trauma because he wanted to gently caress her, and then she blows herself up to... intentionally attract the other Cylons when they'd said earlier the same episode they were done chasing the humans? Or just to kill herself? Who knows?

Like, from the moment Cain died the show seems to have lost all narrative coherence at the macro scale, and its freaking weird. Downloaded seems to be the only exception to that, it carries forward the themes of the Pegasus Arc by introducing Cylon's society's ruthlessness is internal as well as external, and using Head Baltar, a soft reboot of Caprica Six's character and the return of Boomer, who is full of piss and vinegar at how everything went down and eager to tell the people who ruined everything she loved to gently caress off, as the vehicles to get us to believe that the Cylons could go through a radical change which might allow them to address their own sins just as the humans did as Cain's crimes were revealed. But considering that the "new," Cylons under Boomer and Six's leadership go on to do this brutal apartheid occupation on New Caprica which only makes both Cylon and Human more monstrous both to themselves and each other, that never really goes anywhere (at grievous cost to Boomer's character by the way, boy does she get thrown in the blender based on what I remember of S3 and 4...).

The rest of 2.5 outside of Downloaded does even less with where Resurrection Ship left us in terms of thematic development, its just weird grimdark poo poo with barely anything holding it together, not even consistent serial narrative building like S1 had. Plus what feels like a character assassination for Laura Roslin in the process. Scar and Captain's Hand and Lay Down Your Burdens are great self-contained stories, and there's good individual parts and character stuff in Ephiphanies, Sacrifice and even Black Market, but its such a steep dive it was almost shocking.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





nine-gear crow posted:

I've also tried to picture a few times what the back half of the show would have looked like if Cain survived the rest of the show. That said, I think Razor kind of retroactively slams the door on her redeemability as a character by taking away the last shred of plausible deniability from Cain over the Gina rape and torture situation and makes it explicitly clear that she herself ordered it to happen for no other reason than as an act of petty revenge. So Cain ultimately deserved the bullet she wound up eating, yes.

Given the direction the show ultimately goes in in terms of forgiving the Cylons, both as a species and as individuals, it's worth asking if in the show's moral terms thats really true. In Res Ship Part 2 Head Six rants as Baltar that humans will not be forgiven for the sin of murdering the helpless Cylons on the ship, and when Baltar asks Gina she says that God can forgive anything. It makes her murdering Cain in cathartic revenge for her rape, complete with retroactively ironic one-liner about her ex-lover not being "her type," all the more thematically nonsensical.

If the message of the Pegasus trilogy, and indeed all of Season 2.0 leading up to it is about Love, in both the romantic and religious senses, and it's power to redeem, again in both the moral AND religious senses, should we not entertain the possibility that Cain could have found atonement for even her most mortal sin, ordering the infliction of the most horrific degradation on her lover just to make her suffer for a betrayal and deny her basic 'humanity'?

I mean, not for nothing but the entire thesis of Razor was that the war itself is what was turning Pegasus into the Ship Of The Damned and it's crew into the titular Razors, that they werent bad people being revealed by hard times, they were good people that circumstance was poisoning.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one for saying rape is a forgivable crime, but then I also am not big on saying nuclear genocide or forced impregnation or psychological torture through forced captivity or any of the other things Cylons did are forgivable crimes. The show stakes out some very bold ground by going all in on religiously-rooted notions of forgiveness and redemption when it comes to the human/cylon conflict so I don't think it needed to balk at including Helena Cain in that sphere.

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Tighclops posted:

Lol bullshit he was going to space her if he couldnt get fuel for his fighter planes, that was literally the justification he gave

He let tyrol get away with something else I can't quite remember back in season 1 for the same reason, he needed his deck Chief to keep his planes flying

I like BSG but it's lib-brained as gently caress

No, what he did was not allow an enlisted military personelle to go on strike when their method of strike was taking upon themselves the right to dictate what is and is not an essential mission on a warship. I'm not an expert on military law or anything but I feel like they're normally not legally allowed to do that. Strikes do have legal limitations, they always have.

Granted, summary execution isn't exactly a method I approve of in handling that issue, but that's another discussion. Especially because the first thing Adama did after Tyrol lied to Calli and said the Admiral caved to their demands was... take Tyrol to the President so he could issue his demands to her directly. Like, he didn't make him get on the phone to the Tillium Ship and get them back to work to, he took him strait to the head of the government. Adama didn't bust the entire strike, just the part of it that was an immediate threat to military operations. In fact, from his demeanor through most of the episode I took him to be pretty shocked at how Roslin was handling the entire affair, and therefore tacitly on the worker's side. But maybe that was me reading too much into it.

Roslin is absolutely an uncaring monster in this episode, which is par for the course for her in the second half of the show sadly. What the heck happened with her writing?

Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Arcsquad12 posted:

Decided "gently caress it" and marathoned the end of Season 3. If that ending flash of Earth didn't clinch that they had no loving idea how to end the show than nothing would. Not even the Final Five reveal, ridiculous as it was. That last shot and then all of season 4 leading to them finding the Real Earth just shows how there was no planning at all and they were just throwing poo poo at a tac board and clumsily filling in blanks. Why show North America on Earth 2.0 if the whole crux of S4's first half leads them to the nuked planet instead.

I haven't gone back to finish S3 and 4 yet since I stopped at S2's finale, but from my memory I can sort of appreciate the thematic intent in a vacuum. The villainous Cylon's actions are largely predicated on a feeling of their own superiority to humans, and showing the fake-out Earth was inhabited entirely by Cylons and they destroyed themselves in a dumb war just like those flawed humans would, it helps set the stage for the awakening of the Centurions and the Cylon Rebellion. The biggest problem is that by doing that storyline AFTER New Caprica they basically entirely hosed the believability of any reconciliation between Cylon and Human regardless of circumstances and regardless of what the "good," Cylons say or do.

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Sanguinia
Jan 1, 2012

#RXT REVOLUTION~!
2000





Aglet56 posted:

i remember a reddit post i saw a long time ago which pointed out that baltar and dukat are one of the clearest examples of ron moore reusing stuff from ds9. they both become increasingly drawn into the religion of a culture which they initially despise, and as you point out, they both have a hippie cult leader phase

fake edit: i think it was this one https://www.reddit.com/r/startrek/comments/2clz7y/anyone_else_notice_parallels_between_ds9_and_bsg/cjgw8i6

I don't really think Baltar's religious journey from atheist to prophet and Dukat's attempts to weaponize a religion he clearly has no actual faith in against his enemies because the aliens that it considered to be gods are really powerful are all that comparable.

Sanguinia fucked around with this message at 09:35 on Jun 11, 2021

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