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Max Udargo
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 1:09am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me

@D. Albert

Excellent analysis of the fundamental problem that undermined the series at it moved along. The key word here is "lazy," I think.
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Max Udargo
Sat, Nov 12, 2011, 11:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Demons

For someone so sensitive to the comic book camp of the alternate universe episodes, you seem to have a lot of tolerance for all the campiness on display here. Come on, Peter Weller is basically a Bond villian with a Super Weapon that allows him to destroy any target on Earth (et al) with the touch of a button. I was waiting for him to touch his pinky to the corner of his mouth and say, "unless you pay me... ONE MILLION DOLLARS!"

And somebody besides Dr. Evil should have known that the asteroid diversion device could also serve as the Ultimate Weapon of Total Universal Destruction. Yes, they probably should have posted a guard or two. Little bit of a security hole there.

And, I'm sorry, but this episode proves there is no way to make the Travis character interesting. I don't know why, and I guess we'll never know why, but Travis sucks the life out of every scene he's in. One of the few things that rang true in this episode was that the reporter was only using him. There's no way she could possibly have found him interesting.
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Max Udargo
Thu, Nov 10, 2011, 12:06am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: United

Romulans sure is pudgy.
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Max Udargo
Wed, Nov 9, 2011, 10:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Babel One

Three details I must applaud.

The Tellarite makeup was ingenious. They found a way to make it effective and believable by 21st century standards, while still being true to the awful, ill-fitting masks used in TOS. The laughable gap between the mask and the actor's eyes became a creepy "feature" of the modern makeup, and Lee Arenberg knew how to use it to make his character more expressive in a most unsettling way. I thought it was a beautiful and creative "splice" of modern techniques with the wanting techniques of low-budget 1960s television.

A nice twist on the "red shirt" trope: The two red shirts ("MACOs") are beamed to safety first, leaving the stars in jeopardy on the alien ship.

A nice double-twist on the sexy-lady-seduces-clueless-guard trope: The guard doesn't fall for it, but when he reacts quickly to thwart the predictable ambush attempt by the lunging male, the sexy lady turns out to be the one he should be defending himself against, and she kicks his ass herself.

This isn't the best episode of season 4, but if they had kept up this level of quality as a minimum from the first season on, Enterprise would probably still be on the air.
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Max Udargo
Tue, Sep 6, 2011, 1:56am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Expanse

Watching Phlox freak out on the Vulcan psychologist was worth the price of admission. What is it about that guy that makes him so damn watchable and engaging?

But I think the obvious question here is: if you can travel back in time, why not test your new planet-slicing weapon on a certain day, say August 4, 2150, and then when you're ready to hit them with the real thing, hit them on August 3, 2150?
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Max Udargo
Tue, Sep 6, 2011, 1:44am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Expanse

Christina from the past:

I have lived in America all my life and have never, ever seen a map of the world with the United States in the center and Asia cut in half on the edges. The standard map you always see has the US on the left and Europe and Asia on the right, and the cut-off point is somewhere between Alaska and Russia.

I think you are the unfortunate victim of some sort of anti-American propaganda.

On the other hand, yeah, when Earth is viewed from space in American movies, almost always North America is clearly visible. One exception that stands out because it was such an exception was the view of Earth from space in the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. Africa was front and center.
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Max Udargo
Fri, Aug 19, 2011, 7:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

It’s appalling how this show never tires of humiliating the T’Pol character and the actress playing her. And to make it even worse, the writers seem to think they can hide (or excuse?) their relentless objectification of T’Pol by randomly humiliating other characters at periodic intervals (See? It’s okay, because we objectify EVERYONE). So we not only have to feel bad for the lost dignity of the first officer, but occasionally Hoshi and Trip and anybody else who looks trim in underwear.
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Max Udargo
Wed, Aug 17, 2011, 12:18am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

I'm surprised by the amount of love this episode is getting in the comments here. I also read somewhere that the episode was nominated for an award.

Really? This episode?

"Half-baked" sums it up well. In fact, it's like an episode of Mork & Mindy heavily diluted by an episode of The Waltons. It takes a stab at every joke you'd find on the former, but quickly snuffs out any maniacal joy that might result by wrapping the jokes in quilted layers of folksy nostalgia from the latter.

This story never follows through with anything. It dabbles in everything while committing to nothing.

I felt like I was watching a summarized version of a story I was expected to know already, a kind of recap. "Then the Vulcan falls for the human and yadda yadda... then the bookish lad discovers the Vulcans have surprising knowledge of math and astronomy and yadda yadda... then the Vulcan engineer with advanced skills in space-flight technology gets a job as a plumber and yadda yadda... then the intellectual Vulcan becomes obsessed with TV pablum and yadda yadda..."

It was like I was supposed to fill in most of the story myself. Which I'm thinking suggests it wasn't all that original a story.
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Max Udargo
Tue, Jun 29, 2010, 10:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: The Hub

I've enjoyed all of these well-written and well-thought-out reviews as much as everybody else, even though I arrived very late to the party, but one thing I've noted more than once, Jammer, is that you don't seem to get BSG's twisted, absurdist sense of humor. Whether it's Baltar spinning in a chair in the middle of his office with that insane grin on his face while petty domestic squabbles play out around him, or his string-puppet defiance in the face of an implacable door guard, or his competition with Roslin to prove who is better at communicating with the oracles, or, finally, his attempt to discuss religion with an appliance that ultimately results in the appliance's bemusement. I think all of these scenes are essential to defining the dark, surreal, melancholy tone of BSG. Because God is laughing his ass off, and we humans can't see just how absurd our sense of importance is. Kierkegaard would have loved BSG.
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Max Udargo
Mon, Jun 28, 2010, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Pegasus

Luke:

There's a scene in this episode that was designed to address your question, I think. When Cain and Adama appear together before Roslin on Colonial One, two things are made very clear: First, that Cain is not the least bit impressed by Roslin's claim to presidential authority. Second, Cain's command of the Pegasus represents a palpable menace and a disruption of the balance of power achieved between Roslin and Adama. Cain's battlestar is now the most powerful force in the fleet, more powerful than the out-dated, poorly equipped Galactica. Their is no way they can force Cain to conform to their culture. Cain must be appeased or she will simply impose her will by force.

I thought the actor did a great job of communicating that menace in the scene. She never said anything about imposing her will by force, but her tone, body language, and everything about her communicated the threat of potential violence. She's holding the biggest stick and she knows it, and there's no point in provoking her.
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Max Udargo
Sun, Jun 27, 2010, 11:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me

My take on the Baltar cult was that it was analogous to the kind of following that serial killers sometimes inspire when they are put on trial. Murderers like Richard Ramirez sometimes attract groupies of a sort, young women who fall in love with them for some twisted reason and try to attend their trials, slip them notes, and then write them in prison and try to arrange prison visits. Baltar's cult had that vibe.
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Max Udargo
Sun, Jun 27, 2010, 10:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: Crossroads, Part 2

Although my mind was indeed blown more than once by this hippie episode, I'm having a hard time seeing the inclusion of a Bob Dylan song as anything but a desperate attempt to inject weirdness into the episode by any means possible. When I heard Tigh mumbling "said the joker to the thief..." I can't tell you how weird the slow dawning realization felt, but are they going to make any effort to explain the inclusion of 60s lyrics in Cylon sleeper activation signals?

In other words -- yes, I'll ask the question everyone else was afraid to ask -- is Bob Dylan the final Cylon?

I think it's an obvious conclusion to draw, but I suck at the future.
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Max Udargo
Sat, Jun 26, 2010, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: Taking a Break from All Your Worries

Am I really so old I'm only one of two people here who understood that the title is a dumb joke referencing the "Cheers" television show? The opening lyrics of the Cheers theme song were "Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot..."

The dumb joke does kind of make sense, because at this point I'm convinced the BSG writers' room was a place with a fully stocked bar and they began every day with tequila shots. Instead of "Battlestar Galactica" they should have called this show "Drunks in Space."
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Max Udargo
Fri, Jun 25, 2010, 9:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: Unfinished Business

For the first time since I started watching this series (on DVD and now via amazon.com episode downloads) I came very close to shutting it off and moving on to the next episode.

It happened right at the beginning, as soon as I realized they were going to use the hoary cliche of processing interpersonal conflicts through a boxing ring. I disdain boxing and despise the cliche. To me, it's a prefabricated cheat, using the "sport" as a substitute for meaningful and believable explorations of character conflicts. I groaned as soon as I saw boxing gloves on the screen, and started trying to convince myself that I could skip this episode and rely on Jammer's review to clue me in on any serious development that would be relevant to future episodes.

Fortunately, I'm a lazy man slow to action, so I continued to stare slack-jawed at the screen long enough to realize there was something of value here. And the more I watched it the more I was sucked into it. Yes, the boxing device was hackneyed, but, as others noted, it was a framing device and the real point was the insights we gain, gradually, from the flashbacks. And those insights are very welcome after several episodes in which the visceral highlight is my frustration that Baltar's knee is in the way of my view of Six's naked ass.

I disagree with the bitter condemnation of Kara's actions. As Angela points out, Kara's motivation is very, very confused at this point. Even setting aside the monstrous Cylon mind-frak she suffered on New Caprica, her whole history with the Adama's is an emotional quagmire. She's young, but she's seen enough to know that she can't move her relationship with Lee in a new direction without risking everything she already has with him and his father. And her status as an adopted daughter to Admiral Adama is a core part of her identity, we've seen that more than once.

And she knows she's a mess. She knows she is probably going to frak up any sexual relationship she has with a man. And losing Anders is one thing, losing the Adamas is another. She'll experiment with Anders, but not with Lee.

And Lee is being awfully blase about his marriage to Dualla. Anybody quick to judge Kara should probably stop and think about that. Disregard everything else, and a smart woman is still going to have to wonder at a guy who is ready to throw his wife in the gutter without any indication of remorse so that he can be with another woman.

I was surprised Admiral Adama didn't win his fight. The speech he gives when his fight is over would have worked just as well, it seems to me, if he had won, maybe even better. But they deliberately deprived us of that cathartic conclusion. I'm not sure I understand why. One explanation would be that it is unrealistic to expect a man in his 60s (or more?) to out box Tyrol, a man in his early 30s at the most, even if Tyrol is looking a little pudgy these days. I think I understood the dialog between Adama and Roslin to indicate that Adama was going to throw the fight, but I'm still not sure why.

But, in the end, it was an exceptional episode, I thought. It was focused on the characters, and it filled in some empty spaces. Everything made sense for the characters. The scenes between Adama and Roslin on New Caprica were charming, revealing, and totally believable. It was good to see two characters who love each other expressing their feelings in a non-sexual way (although Roslin was dropping some heavy hints, it sometimes seemed), in an alcohol-addled universe where sex too often seems the wild card in relationships.

And the contrast between Adama's fatherly love for Tyrol and Calli and his boxing match with Tyrol was powerful and effective. Tryol's casual dismissal of Adama's authority earlier in the episode demanded a response from Adama. But still, I'm not sure why it didn't demand he kick Tyrol's ass.
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Max Udargo
Fri, Jun 25, 2010, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S3: Hero

The Tigh character seems to be carrying a lot of the episodes lately, but he's not central enough to save them.

I agree with all the criticisms and would add more. Unlike Jammer, I am not at all intrigued or impressed by the scenes depicting Baltar's life on the base ship. It all seems like filler to me, and worse, an excuse for some really pathetic "Austin Powers" style games with nudity. The painfully obvious effort that goes into posing actors and props so that Hefler, Park and Lawless can display maximum nudity without actually exposing any "naughty parts" would be comical if it wasn't so embarrassing.

And it seems to me that a fundamental part of Adama's philosophy of life, voiced repeatedly, is that you don't second guess your decisions. You do your best to make good decisions, and then you accept the consequences of those decisions and move on. His actions in this episode didn't seem consistent with that view at all.
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Max Udargo
Wed, Jun 23, 2010, 12:15am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Lay Down Your Burdens, Part 1

Dean Stockwell!

I love it that in the BSG universe all the traditional "comfort-providers" -- doctors, priests -- are cranky old men who basically tell you to go jump in a lake.
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Max Udargo
Tue, Jun 22, 2010, 9:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Downloaded

I have to say, it was so much fun seeing Baltar tormenting Six the way she has long tormented him. Baltar is definitely somebody you don't want inside your head.

The only problem I had was that reborn Six seemed jarringly different from killed-in-Baltar's-lake-house Six. The Six that shields Baltar from the shock wave is icy calm and composed, indifferent to Baltar's emotions, the destruction of Caprica, and her own impending death. Remember, this is the individual who snapped a baby's neck just days (hours?) before Caprica was destroyed, and she apparently did it for the same reason Johnny Cash shot that guy in Reno. But as soon as she's reborn, she's suddenly a tormented soul pining for her lost love. I'm intrigued by where this is going, but it was a big cheat.
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Max Udargo
Tue, Jun 22, 2010, 9:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: The Captain's Hand

I'm glad Derek posted that comment, because I was starting to think my memory must be suffering.

With this episode I felt like the writers were back from vacation and we were back on track. I hope I'm right.

And it's always good to see John Heard. I've always found him to be an interesting actor. Beneath what first appears to be a bland, Joe Six-pack face, you sense something more complex going on, something a little twitchy.
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Max Udargo
Mon, Jun 21, 2010, 6:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Scar

This is the third disappointing episode in a row, and at least the second episode that feels like it was taken from a box in the corner of the writer's room containing discarded scripts. It might be the third such episode, but, for the life of me, I can't even remember what Epiphanies was about, and I watched it less than 48 hours ago.

Helo tells Starbuck that Kat is a hot-shot up-and-comer "like you were before you met Anders." What? Starbuck has been the Viper-pilot wunderkind since the first episode. She's been training pilots and planning, organizing, and leading crucial missions since long before Anders showed up.

I don't like writing that makes everybody excessively cranky and tactless as a way of generating cheap drama. One Catholic nun with a ruler would have resolved most of the conflict here within five minutes. Everybody just needed to behave themselves and act like adults.

As far as I'm concerned the generic plot and "character arcs" and conflicts could have been plugged into just about any wartime drama produced on television since the 1950s. This could have been an episode of Baa Baa Black Sheep as easily as an episode of BSG.
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Max Udargo
Mon, Jun 21, 2010, 1:21am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Black Market

Epiphanies and Black Market are both huge letdowns after the previous three episodes. And, indeed, Black Market makes me imagine the writers, exhausted from their heroic efforts on the Pegasus story, turning to a box full of old scripts that were rejected but saved because they might have enough potential to serve in a pinch.

Surely the early comment by Adama in response to Fisk's murder, "we start killing our own, all the Cylons have to do is sit back and watch," is a clanging anachronism. How did this silly line of dialogue get through? Why would Adama make such a trite observation after the conflict betwen the Pegasus and the Galactica, the "Gideon Massacre," his attempted coup against Roslin, shooting down the Olympic Carrier, the prison ship mutiny, etc., etc., etc. It's like Adama has forgotten all of that and is suddenly worried about the implications of "killing our own."

And it doesn't get much better. The confrontation between Lee and Baltar in Fisk's quarters is just a rote exchange of cliches that leads to nothing and means nothing. In fact, most of the dialogue in this episode is just characters barking dramatic cliches at each other.

But the worst and probably most lasting development from these two episodes starts during Epiphanies, when we realize the writers have decided to push the RESET button on Six. Frankly, like Jammer, I'm weary of Six as a sexy imaginary troublmaker in Baltar's head. I had hoped Baltar would come out of the Resurrection Ship episodes changed, and with a new relationship with Six built around the actual woman he had rescued, who I hoped would be more complicated, like Sharon, at least when it came to Baltar.

And, by the way, what the hell does "black market" even mean in the context of the fleet? Obviously trafficking in illegal goods and services, like controlled substances, illegal drugs, and child prostitutes is going to be a problem that needs to be addressed, but why the hell would anybody have a problem with Tigh trading a piece of jewelry for some other goods? Isn't most of the fleet operating on a bartering system now? What good is money? Is everybody still accepting money as a valid medium of exchange? It seems to me unlikely that whatever money made it aboard the fleet along with the survivors was distributed in any rational or fair way. Was there some discussion of a new monetary system that I missed?
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Max Udargo
Sun, Jun 20, 2010, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Pegasus

Along with the next couple of episodes, this episode is fantastic television. Gripping, tense, and almost perfect. I suspect this is the high point of the whole series. I can't imagine it getting much better than this.

At the beginning of the series, Adama wanted to go off and hunt Cylons, and it was Roslin who convinced him that his responsibility was to stay and protect the fleet. He didn't accept this easily, and I remember him insisting that "we are at war," and Roslin coming back with "the war is over. We lost."

Adama eventually realizes she is right. He makes a choice to recognize the fleet as the civilian population he is sworn to protect, and Roslin as the civilian government he must respect.

Cain chose the other path, the path Adama initially, instinctively wanted to go down. For Cain, a war had begun and her job was to charge off into the darkness to hunt Cylons. There was no civilian authority and she was at the top of the chain of command. She and her crew did what they were trained to do: kill Cylons.

So to a large extent we can see the Pegasus as the alternate Galactica, not really its evil twin, but what it would have been if Adama had followed his original impulse and not listened to Roslin.

The Pegasus hasn't had to adjust to any of the political realities the crew of the Galactica has had to deal with. The military culture on the Pegasus is undiluted and uncompromised. It is still rigid and mechanical.

So the way the conflict plays out makes perfect sense. The initial jubilation inevitably gives way to a conflict of cultures.

Like Mark, I wish they hadn't made so many of the Pegasus crew so completely irredeemable. The conflicts are more interesting when we see the logic of both sides, and realize the source of the conflict isn't a failure of character on one side, but the incompatibility of two perfectly legitimate perspectives.

And then ultimately the single defining moral issue would come into focus: how should they treat the Cylon prisoners? This is the most interesting question because it is hard to answer. Fisk's disdainful comment that "you can't rape a machine," is not unreasonable. And there's a fascinating question there, although it might have been too much of a tangent for the series to tackle. If an act of rape is "simulated" on a machine that simulates a human female, is the man who commits the act still a rapist? Even if there is no victim, isn't the man who performs the simulated act revealing himself as a man who enjoys rape?

Do we define a crime in terms of the victim or in terms of the intentions of the perpetrator? A sexy Cylon female can blur the line between crime and toughtcrime, it seems to me.
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Max Udargo
Sun, Jun 20, 2010, 3:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Resistance

Brendan,

It occurred to me after I submitted the above comment that Baltar was asking something more specific of Sharon. Not how many models there were overall, but how many had infiltrated the fleet.

And the explanation about Billy is actually the only thing that makes sense. If the actor was planning to leave the series, then I guess they had to write him off quickly.

And that raises a question in my mind: Did the actor's plan to leave result in the sudden budding relationship between Dualla and Lee? Did the writers say, "Hey, now that Billy's gone, we need to plug Dualla into another romantic interest." Then apparently the actor playing Billy decided to stay and the writers were all like, "Hey, what do you know, we've got another romantic triangle."

I don't buy your explanation of Baltar's motivation. It doesn't really answer the question for one thing, and it doesn't explain how it helped Tyrol.
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Max Udargo
Wed, Jun 16, 2010, 10:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Resistance

Ok, first, didn't Baltar already know how many human-like Cylon models there were? Didn't he slip an anonymous note to Adama early in the series telling him the number?

And why does Baltar suddenly need to know this number? For what purpose? Wasn't he trying to help Tyrol? How did this help Tyrol?

I didn't get that scene at all, and I basically dismissed it as one of the occasional scenes where people do things that make no sense for the character but serve only to a) advance the plot, b) manufacture artificial drama, or c) both. This particular scene seemed to serve the purpose of manufacturing drama without advancing the plot in any perceivable direction. Seriously, what was Baltar's motivation?

And I have to say the same thing about Billy's decision to sever himself from Roslin. What the hell? This is the kid who stood by her even when she suggested he excuse himself to avoid being shot by a boarding party. I can't see any logic in him remaining onboard the Galactica, where he will be mistrusted and we would expect him to at least be escorted off the ship since he has no business on the Galactica, having no military function. But this is obviously done for the purposes of some future plot development, probably involving his girlfriend. But it makes no sense for the character who has largely been defined by his straight-forward loyalty to his President.

I'm noticing these cheats more and more. Cylons appear in the woods for no reason other than to kill a character that the plot requires be killed, and then disappear without harming or seriously pursuing the remaining characters. Cylon ships show up, blow up, and the Cylons never seem to wonder why they don't call anymore. Baltar's Cylon succubus gives hints and instructions that sometimes appear to aid the humans, sometimes hurt them.

Some of this can be explained, provisionally, by the assumption that it is all part of "the plan," and that the Cylons are leading the humans exactly where they want. But not all of it, and the "God moves in mysterious ways" plot-hole Bondo is being applied a little too liberally.
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Max Udargo
Wed, Jun 16, 2010, 9:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Fragged

Ok, some much for my oracular powers. Tigh is obviously just an easily manipulated, over-compensating weakling. My vague suspicion that they were going to forget all about Tyrol's and Boomer's relationship was totally off base. And, of course, even though he's just finished battling giant robots using explosive bullets, suddenly Apollo's face is blemish free.

I suck at the future.
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Max Udargo
Wed, Jun 16, 2010, 7:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Fragged

I recently got the first disk of Season Two, and I just finished watching this episode. I agree completely with the objection to Tigh's glib attitude toward the political situation and was thinking much the same thing. Even with the assumption that his drinking is making him behave erratically, it seemed too far out of character and too silly. The only reason Tigh makes the comment about "viewing time at the zoo" is because it is designed to set up the "twist" that we all saw coming. We already know Roslin has got her medication and that Ellen's plan is going to backfire. But whatever narrative purpose it might serve, the comment makes no sense for Tigh to make, even if he is drunk.

Tigh in this episode contrasts sharply with Tigh in the previous two or three episodes. Whereas in the earlier episodes of the season we see his complexity and ambiguity, now he becomes almost a one-dimensional bad guy. He's actually snickering in one scene while contemplating his nefarious plans.

But I thought the choice Tigh made at the end was very interesting, and I'm going to go watch the next episode now to see if I'm right about something.

Tigh knows he has screwed things up as far as the political situation, which was already bad and quickly deteriorating when Adama was shot. Right before the press conference in which he announces martial law, we see him apologizing to "Bill" for how badly he's "frakked things up." We also know that Tigh believes that Adama was opposed to the idea of martial law. Earlier in the episode he talks about how "the Old Man" believed in democracy and "all that good stuff."

Tigh is deeply flawed, but he is loyal to Adama and he is willing to do the dirty work himself even if it means nobody likes him. In fact he has made past statements that indicate that he defines his job as being the bad guy so Adama can always be the hero. So I'm thinking -- and maybe I'm giving the writers too much credit here -- that what Tigh is doing by declaring martial law (now that he knows Adama is going to survive) is setting himself up as the bad guy so that Adama can come back and be the hero. Since the political situation is so frakked, and it is partly his fault, he has decided to push it all the way, far past where Adama would have pushed it or wanted it to be, so that when Adama is back on his feet and in charge he can rein it back in, mending the situation and looking like the hero who saved the day from the out-of-control Tigh.

It's just a theory. I'm curious to see if it plays out this way. Probably not, since our last image of Tigh has him swishing furtively from a flask, which was clearly meant as a metaphor for him being drunk on power.

I wonder how long before Adama returns. I wonder if we will get to see how Tyrol reacts to the news that Sharon was a Cylon after all.

And I wonder why nobody ever washes their face. Seriously, makeup people, cuts and bruises are fine, but I'm thinking these people would have wiped away the dripping blood sometime in the first couple of days after the crash.

And what's up with Lee's ever-busted-up face? I'm almost wondering if it was meant as some sort of inside joke that the guy would never appear in a scene without cuts and bruises on his face. Maybe somebody decided that the actor's features were too delicate and pretty and he always needed some roughening up to look the part.
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