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Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: A Day in the Life

When the episode aired I was deeply disappointed, mostly for two reasons:

1) Structural: In "Unfinished Business" the writers started the worst story arc they ever did, the Love Quadrangle of Doom, a horrible soap opera with adults behaving like teenagers, even when their lives were at stake. Having put this farce of two marriages in crisis to bed, they came up with an episode about two marriages in crisis! That seemed just too much, and was about to give up on the show.

2) Personal: Jammer may call this a collection of clich├ęs, but to me, Carolanne Adama was exactly like my mother. It seemed as if I had sent the writers a description of my parents' marriage and my own childhood. The only positive aspect of this episode -- to me -- was that Bill Adama divorced her. My father didn't have the strength, developed an ulcer, which evolved into cancer that ultimately killed him. Understandably, I was more than uncomfortable with this episode.

However, after having watched the whole show from the beginning to the end several times, I can see how it nicely fits into the whole edifice that is BSG. First of all, it serves as a bridge between "Lay Down Your Burdens" and "The Ties That Bind". Second, the major plotline of the rest of series 3 (Baltar's trial) starts here. Third, the Roslin-Adama scenes are already signalling what will develop in series 4. Finally, the scene with Bill and Lee Adama is getting to the core of their relationship from the miniseries to the finale.

That doesn't make it a particularly strong episode, mind, but one that makes sense as a part of the whole story.
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Mon, Oct 17, 2016, 12:33am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

"If there's a truly unifying element in all the flashbacks, it's alcohol, which flows freely through all of Caprica."

In a sense, it's a unifying element of the whole show. One of the first scenes in the miniseries is the one in the rec room, when Kara hits Tigh, both of them obviously less than sober, and we've already seen Tigh consuming alcohol while on duty before in the tracking shot. From then on, alcohol is consumed en masse by many in countless episodes. They may have run out of water, out of fuel, out of antibiotics, out of food, out of toothpaste, but there was never a shortage of booze. The only competitor in this department is probably "The Wire" (and maybe the first series of "True Detective").

There was also a lot of smoking involved -- mostly cigars, but also cigarettes. Making Doc Cottle a chain-smoker was one of those small but beautiful ideas that made BSG so great. Cottle's use of a kidney basin as an ashtray will forever stay with me as one the most hilarious moments of BSG. Also worth mentioning: Tigh's hand-rolled cigarettes in S3.

And let's not forget other drugs: Kat's abuse of "stims" ("Final Cut") and her past as a drug runner ("The Passage"); Kendra Shaw and Felix Gaeta had become addicts of "morpha" ("Razor", "The Face of the Enemy"); and another beautiful detail: Roslin and Adama smoking pot ("Unfinished Business", "Islanded in a Stream of Stars").

I guess there aren't many shows that would let the writers get away with this. BSG was one of them, and while I'm not supporting drug abuse, I think it just demonstrates the courage of the writers and producers of this show.
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Sun, Oct 16, 2016, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Flight of the Phoenix

Regarding Lucien D's question: BSG's science advisor mentioned in an interview that his idea was that of an incremental backup which would happen on a regular basis, but was never mentioned in the show.

What was mentioned, though, is the existence of a memory database for each copy that can be accessed by at least all copies of the same model. The update would also happen when a copy's memories were transferred into a new body ("The Hub").

In the episodes following FOTP we also learn about the resurrection ships.

My explanation: The Cylon fleet, including a resurrection ship, needed to follow the Galactica long enough to update Boomer's data, so Sharon on Caprica could access and use them for their mission. That doesn't explain why the Cylons had no clues about Sharon's whereabouts in "Final Cut". I guess the "skinjobs" had the ability to block updates, which would also explain why the Six and Doral models on Caprica quickly figured out that Sharon had switched alliances.

It's one of those technical things that the writers never bothered to explain and left to the audience's imagination, for which I'm grateful, because it's not really a sci-fi show but a drama.
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Thu, Oct 13, 2016, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S2: Final Cut

This episode is actually one of my favourites. It made life aboard Galactica so much more real, as if it wasn't already. And then they had the guts to include a space battle you don't see. Instead you only hear the pilots over the wire and see the faces of the crew showing their fears. That was really awesome.

Also remarkable: The director was someone with a background in documentaries, and D'Anna's camera operator wasn't an actor but a professional cameraman!
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Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 2:06am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

Actually, I don't understand the derision that's usually hurled at this episode. It's not one of the show's greatest, of course, but in my book it's a very solid episode, miles above most everything we got to see on TV back then and even now.

Actually, when I try to "sell" BSG to non-sci-fans (people like me, in other words), I tell them to watch "The Woman King" if they don't want to invest any time in the three-hours mini series.

"The Woman King" is well-written, acted, expertly directed and edited. It is also an episode that doesn't use space at all (except for establishing shots).

The story itself is closer to average TV, yet a lot more subtle. It convincingly exposes that murderous extremists and racists can't thrive without others looking the other way or simply not caring enough. A show like "Law & Order" would have been probably more "on the nose" here, but by using Ms. King and Helo as the protagonists I think all of this works very well as a stand-alone episode.
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