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We'll discuss:

- Epiphanies. Yay!
- Black Market. Huh?

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marymary
Aug. 6th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Epiphanies
RECAP: This one is very hard to summarize quickly, so I apologize.

As Laura lays dying, she flashes back to Caprica, where she apparently rocked pretty hard. She can get terminal cancer, have an affair with President Adar, settle a major teachers’ strike, get fired, identify her first Cylon. And never, ever let you forget you’re a man. She remembers successfully negotiating with the teachers’ union, which went something like this: She offered them nothing and they went back to work. She remembers that she saw Baltar with Caprica Six. She wakes up from all this to discuss the Cylon pregnancy (Is that what we’re calling it now?) with Cottle, Baltar and Bill. Cottle says he’s studied the bloodwork and it’s “damned odd”, so Laura orders the fetus aborted. Well ok then! Helo respectfully objects to the murder of his child. Once in quarters and once in the hallway as Bill’s on his way with the soldiers who will make it so.

Kara and Kat are out on patrol when one of Kat’s weapons misfires. The debris cracks Kara’s canopy and they both head back home. The shells have been sabotaged. Kara and Lee (the most awesome jacks of all trades this side of the Chief) lead the investigation. They quickly find the saboteur (or is it saboteuse?), who gives herself up so loudly that Lee has to roll his eyes like he does. They find plans to a tylium refinery ship, go to investigate and nearly get blown up by a suicide bomber. Meanwhile, the representative of Demand Peace is in Galactica’s brig.

ChipSix comes back to register her concern that Baltar is letting Bill kill “their child.” Baltar goes to visit Gina, makes a pass, and gets a bloody nose. She asks him, once he’s president, to undermine Bill so that the Cylons can “save” everybody. Baltar stares at the blood and decides that he chooses the human side. He returns to Galactica and tests a theory about Cylon blood. He convinces Cottle to inject Laura with Sharon’s baby’s blood and it cures her cancer. Laura visits the Demand Peace guy and uses exactly the same tactic she used on Caprica when she got the union to stand down.

Baltar tells ChipSix that he’s saved their baby, but she’s unhappy that he’s also saved the president and he doesn’t get to take her office. Baltar reads the letter that Laura gave him to read in the event of her death. It’s patronizing and insulting and also the truth, and Baltar is furious.

The Demand Peace guy arrives back on Cloud Nine to bring Gina news that the president has totally caved and has agreed to...talk to them some more. Gina’s very disappointed, but not yet in a Six way, and he cuts her off with a gift from Baltar. It’s a nuclear bomb. When I’m president no one who can’t pronounce “nuclear bomb” is allowed to have one.
misreall
Aug. 6th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
She remembers successfully negotiating with the teachers’ union, which went something like this: She offered them nothing and they went back to work.

I am sure Deen is going to love that when she gets to the episode.

I love the idea of Lee Adama, PI, but, seriously, can't someone else on the ship do something some times? Part of the problem with having a cast this large is that you have to have something for them all to do all of the time, and you probably can't afford to pay lots of bit players, so the same people do just about everything.

This really was one of the best episodes in the series, it was richly packed with detail and performance, but nothing ever seemed hurried or forced. And, I must admit, for a minute there I really thought Laura was going to die.

marymary
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
I am sure Deen is going to love that when she gets to the episode.

Hee. I can just imagine it. I'm sure she'll find it exactly like her life for the last three years.
amycurl
Aug. 6th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
you probably can't afford to pay lots of bit players, so the same people do just about everything.

Here's the other problem: new characters that are introduced tend to be revealed as Cylons, and if they're not--well, maybe they just haven't been revealed yet. That can complicate things if you just want to pull someone in for a bit of plot-forwarding...

More later, brain fried from driving...
watson1
Aug. 6th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
This really was one of the best episodes in the series, it was richly packed with detail and performance, but nothing ever seemed hurried or forced. And, I must admit, for a minute there I really thought Laura was going to die.

I wholeheartedly agree Lynda. I also thought, or feared, that they were going to let Laura die. Apparently, Jacob from TWoP did too, based on the quote Mary or Tommy linked to in the last thread. :)

And never, ever let you forget you’re a man.

BWAHAHAHAHA!! I just got a flashback to that really bad commercial from the 70's (or 80's) for the perfume, when the woman was swinging around a frying pan. ;)

Okay, onto a more serious topic. I know that we have a running discussion of where the characters on their view of Cylons, but I just have to reiterate how much I detest Laura's decision here. Her decision to force Sharon to undergo an abortion is perfectly consistent with her character, but still so incredibly abhorrent. The whole sequence of scenes, starting with Laura, followed by Sharon hitting her head against the glass, and the scenes where Sharon is subdued. The entire issue is so heart wrenching. I wonder what Laura would have done if she was in a position to refuse Baltar when he wanted to inject her with the fetal blood. I have to think, given her mistrust of Cylons, that even with the remote chance that it could save her life, she would have refused the blood. What do you guys think?
marymary
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC)
I agree, wats, that Laura's decision is horrible. (I'm thinking of its repercussions in Season 3 also...)

First off, why does Laura conclude that the baby has to die? This is a weak spot for me. In a later episode she explains that if the Cylons wanted the baby so badly, it should be killed. Good for them = bad for us. First of all, I really can’t see how Laura reaches that conclusion at this point in time. At best, she has only a sketchy understanding of the Cylons’ experiment that resulted in the pregnancy. And if that’s the reason, then she doesn’t need Cottle weighing in on “odd” blood. That would be immaterial. If the baby is so valuable to Cylons, you could just as easily conclude that it would be valuable to the humans. As a resource, as a bargaining chip. As long as we’re being cold-blooded about it, why not use the child to their advantage? Does she think it’s going to come out all ninja and take out everyone in sick bay? I like the effects of this decision on the story --- it’s an awesome story and I love this episode. I just think this part of it is weak.

And yeah, wats, another fantastic Grace Park scene. When Helo tells her about the planned abortion, she starts pacing and wonders aloud why what she’s done hasn’t been enough to convince the humans of her sincerity. He says they’re still afraid of her. She loses it so awesomely. “They want something to be afraid of? Tell them to try and take my baby!” Fuck yes. She runs her head into the glass. Twice. Wow, I’m totally feeling her here. Let them try to take my baby. And the scene when they finally come is so awful. I think it was a good choice to do it with no sound. When she tries to keep them back with the chair...so great.

I think it’s also an interesting parallel with the rape. How is this different? From a procedural stanpoint, it’s creepily similar. How is it less horrible? I would argue that it’s more horrible. If you give me the choice between rape and forced abortion, I choose rape every time, no question. And yet we still love Laura and Bill. That’s why this show is so great.
olsonm_raymond
Aug. 6th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC)
I don't know. Given the level of paranoia that the Cylons are capable of inducing I think the fact that she didn't know what their plan was scared Laura even more. If she knew why they wanted the baby she could deal with that. It was the not knowing that got to her. This was a time when they were starting to give the Cylons too much credit.
marymary
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
Obviously, the most awesome thing about this episode is that Laura is cured. You're right, misreall, you really do think she's going to die. She certainly looks like she's gonna die. I think aided by the fact that this show is just dark enough to do it. So it's really great when she lives.

And I have to say that the cherry on top was that, in that recap excerpt I quoted in the last thread, Jacob had the answer in his list of wishes. The part about “harvesting the baby’s stem cells” was very close to the blood thing that actually cured her. It was pretty cool, real time --- we read that recap on about Wednesday and this episode aired on Sunday, and there it was. Sharon’s baby’s cells cured Laura. I still smile when I think about it.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 6th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
Mood: depressed
I'm sorry to read that, Mary. I offer you a virtual hug, and my best wishes for mood elevation.

She loses it so awesomely. “They want something to be afraid of? Tell them to try and take my baby!” Fuck yes. She runs her head into the glass. Twice. Wow, I’m totally feeling her here. Let them try to take my baby.
Grace Park is just too damned good at this, especially here. She makes it clear that Sharon is saying to anyone who tries "Over my dead body. Yours, too." It's a good thing for the Marines' sake that four of them went in to the cell. Two would probably not have been enough.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 6th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
This is such a fantastic Baltar episode, which by definition means it's a fantastic James Callis episode. We get the full spectrum of GB in this episode, but we also get a neat encapsulation of him when he goes to visit Gina on Cloud Nine.

Being Gaius Baltar, he of course assumes it's for a staff meeting, a synthesis of human and Cylon cultures.

On the way over, in the Raptor, he seems to just be doodling, drawing hexagonal shapes. Gina bloodies him in the course of rejecting his pass. But he looks at the blood, looks at his hexagons, and comes up with an idea to save Laura AND Sharon's baby. Just brilliant. I guess enough blood headed back north.

Working backward a bit ... JC is hilariously great in his depiction of GB’s reunion conversation with Chip Six. I love the way they weave shots with Chip and without, and show Galactica crew members watching, bewildered, as the vice president talks quite animatedly. To himself.

The climax of all this is, of course, GB holding his own tie up at eye level, as if Chip were about to choke him with it.
marymary
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
I agree, Tom. After Laura surviving, my second favorite thing about this episode is all the Baltar stuff. He’s a genius again. He SAVES LAURA’S LIFE. That’s the first thing. He’s a genius and he does the most important and impossible thing, the thing everyone in the fleet wants and no one can do. The thing that might just, ultimately, save all of humanity down the road. (“For once, perhaps I am a beacon of hope around here.”)

I have to emphasize how enormous that is because here’s the other thing: he does it because his girlfriend hit him. He goes to Gina and hears her out about working for her to undermine the government and surrender all of humanity to the Cylons. He actually listens to her and considers it. Then he tries to kiss her, she punches him and he bleeds. He listens a bit more. Then he looks at the blood on his hand and says, “No. I will not be responsible for the destruction of mankind.” Certainly this was when he got the idea that the blood could save Laura, but he has to also want to save her, and he does because Gina has rejected him.

If you think that I’m minimizing his epiphany, wait for the next turn. (Because, honestly, when I first watched it, even I thought he’d had some fundamental change of heart, pop-in-the-nose notwithstanding.) Later, he’s in his lab, telling Chip that all’s well that ends well, with the baby saved and Laura alive. Then he reads Laura’s letter. (I love this sentence: “Your intelligence is unleavened by compassion.” So beautiful.) He’s insulted and angry. He sends Gina the nuke.

So I guess what I’m saying is that the second change of heart proves that the first one was just as trivial. He clearly sold out humanity because Laura insulted him, which lends strength to my belief that, earlier, he turned from Gina back to the humans’ side just because she rejected him. That’s the beauty of his character. Such gifts and yet such utter weakness.

As for the blood thing saving the baby, I'm not sure he could necessarily conclude that it would. The question is, now that we know the baby's blood is "special" rather than "odd" :-) is that enough reason to keep it alive? Apparently it is, but I'm not sure that was a foregone conclusion. Baltar knew only that his plan might save Laura. Of course he takes credit for saving the baby when talking with Six. :-)
marymary
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
Another thing I noticed this time through. Bill is the military. He has the guns, he uses them, he doesn’t ask for forgiveness. And Laura has always been on the side of democracy, thoughtful consideration, compassion. Yet in the last two episodes, it’s been Laura who is behind the two most heinous (and certainly illegal) acts of violence that Bill attempts. The assassination of Cain and the killing of Sharon’s baby. She orders it, he carries it out. (Or, he intends to, which is all that matters.) I find this very interesting. I think when we look back over the series, we find that we have made a lot of assumptions about both of them that might not turn out to be true, on the whole.

It also makes me think of this line, which I didn’t realize was so funny until this time around. When Baltar goes to visit Gina, she says, “Despite what you may think, I’ve always abhorred violence.” Ha! In the first two days he knew her, she effected the deaths of tens of thousands of her own kind and then murdered the admiral. Yeah, she’s a sweet, fluffy bunny, that one.
marymary
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:23 pm (UTC)
Hee! I mean to use this icon. Not that Lee's magic towel isn't always welcome at any party of mine. :-D
tomfoolery815
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:24 pm (UTC)
I'm sure that was assumed by all. :-)
(no subject) - kaprin02 - Aug. 6th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
kaprin02
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Does she think it’s going to come out all ninja and take out everyone in sick bay?
BWAH! Half of me thinks this is the real reason ;)

The climax of all this is, of course, GB holding his own tie up at eye level, as if Chip were about to choke him with it.
This was fantastic.

I agree that Laura's decision was horrible.

And I also agree that GP is AWESOME in this ep.
kaprin02
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
Yet in the last two episodes, it’s been Laura who is behind the two most heinous (and certainly illegal) acts of violence that Bill attempts
That's a really interesting observation, Mary. I never realized that, but it's true.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
He’s a genius and he does the most important and impossible thing, the thing everyone in the fleet wants and no one can do.
Yes, the importance of this cannot be overstated. ONLY Baltar's actions prevented the deaths of Laura and Sharon and Helo's baby. Mary, you're right that he didn't know it would work. But the baby was going to be aborted, and Laura had already heard the doctor's equivalent of the Grim Reaper's arrival -- "Let's make her as comfortable as we can."

That’s the beauty of his character. Such gifts and yet such utter weakness.
Yes. Why does he hand a nuclear device over to a Cylon? Because he got his feelings hurt.

And, in the words of a smart friend of mine, he chose to be offended.
“And after all I’ve done for the fleet. After all I’ve done for her.” He’s feeling wronged, but it was expected that GB wouldn’t see the letter until Laura was dead and he was actually president. And of course, she could not know that his genius moment would save her life. So he’s choosing to get his nose bent out of joint.

he turned from Gina back to the humans’ side just because she rejected him.
I hadn't thought of it that way! That's certainly a strong possibility. He has a history (Kara, Chip, Shelley Godfrey) of acting out when the woman of the moment doesn't rub him the right way, doesn't he?

Of course he takes credit for saving the baby when talking with Six. :-)
Of course. :-)

Yeah, she’s a sweet, fluffy bunny, that one.
Hee! Excellent imagery.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 6th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
Yet in the last two episodes, it’s been Laura who is behind the two most heinous (and certainly illegal) acts of violence that Bill attempts. The assassination of Cain and the killing of Sharon’s baby. She orders it, he carries it out. (Or, he intends to, which is all that matters.)
What's amazing about this episode -- these last four episodes, really -- is that so many of the major characters have their own thought-provoking thing going on.

BILL: “Don’t mistake the will to live for genuine compassion, Lieutenant. She’s still the enemy.”
Is this just something he’s telling Helo to justify the action, as in seeming to embrace Cain’s orders when delivering them to Lee and Kara? Does he take the orders he’s been given, and find a way to convince his subordinates of their justness, for the sake of chain of command? (I had to do this just last week at work. On a much less serious scale of course. ;-)

Bill is the military guy, and the commander-in-chief gave him an order. That's it for Bill. But I sense, in the absence of an overt endorsement, that Bill might not necessarily agree with the order. Not that that matters for Bill from a military standpoint.

HELO: But I guess it’s easier to kill when you call it a Cylon.
BILL: Dismissed.
Now, that's obviously Bill maintaining control of the situation. But a little later, they make a point of showing us Bill watching Sharon fight for her baby's life.

BILL: You’re a soldier.
HELO: I’m a father, just like you.
Makes me wonder would have happened had Baltar not come running up. Bill says "Doctor, get out of here!" What do you guys think? Why would Bill want GB out of the immediate vicinity?
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