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knitpicker
Wed, Apr 8, 2009, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

It's pathetic that I don't have anything better to do with my time.
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knitpicker
Sun, Apr 5, 2009, 5:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

My apologies for that incredibly incoherent paragraph.
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knitpicker
Sun, Apr 5, 2009, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Sorry - there's nothing better to do while waiting for Jammer's last review. (And no, that's not a criticism. Although, even if it were, I can't imagine that Jammer would be distressed. I would be surprised if he hasn't gotten his fair share of truly heinous posts.)

Eric

"Hera being Mitochondrial Eve does not mean the other colonists' lines died off. All it means is that everyone can trace our ancestry, from mother to mother, back to Hera. It doesn't mean we don't also share DNA with other colonists, just not that everyone does."


You are correct - all sorts of other DNA could have come in throuh the male line - either from other colonists, or from the extant humanoids. My scenario seemed most likely because of the scenario - no technology, subsistence level farming, hunting and gathering, and few people per colony would have severely limited the time and manpower for much contact between the colonies, especially considering the huge distances involved. The most likely contact between colonies wouldn't have occured until many, many generations later in the form of migrations. Under those circumstances, it seems statistically difficult for Hera's mitochondrial DNA to completely swamp out everyone else's, especially since any group migrating in would most likely be very small compared to the resident group.

All this nitpicking really is a natural consequence of the way the show was written. BSG is the antithesis of Babylon V. Since RDM et al. didn't have a detailed plan when they started, the prophesies, foreshadowings and weird plot twists came out of the moment without a specific final goal. At the end, the writers were faced with the herculean task of putting it into a coherent framework. In the final analysis, I prefer no explanations to lame explanations. For me, experiencing the creative process through the podcasts was worth all the lose ends.
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knitpicker
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

josh - I don't really consider human evolutionary theories to be much more than science fantasy - the math may be good, but garbage in garbage out. One can speculate endlessly, and sound very authoritative, but there isn't really any way to know at such a remove what the critical selective factor(s) might have been. Less likely to eat poisonous plants? Less likely to die in childbirth? Without air travel, viruses were probably less of a problem than accidents and opportunistic infections - tetanus, gangrene, etc.

Jason K - the irresistible force meets the immovable object?
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knitpicker
Sat, Apr 4, 2009, 12:22am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Mitochondrial Eve - mitochondria are passed exclusively from mother to child (to a first approximation) so mitochondrial DNA is used to trace maternal inheritance. (Contrary to what RDM said in the podcast, there is no mitochondrial Adam. The Y chromosome is used to trace paternal inheritance). DNA evolutionary theories use mathematical modeling (which is not my area of expertise) to draw conclusions about the relative relatedness of individuals, species, etc. I remember a paper that to examined the mitochondrial DNA of current lab mice and concluded that they all were the descendants of 4 founding females. (This makes sense, because wild mice are pretty aggressive and it is much easier to introduce a wild strain by mating a wild male with a tame female. Presumably, there was something about the fitness of the four founding females that gave a selective advantage to their offspring.)
The hypothesis of the mitochondrial Eve comes from mathematical modeling that predicts that all current humans could conceivably have derived their mitochondria from a single female. If Hera were that Eve, then something about her mitochondrial DNA would have given her offspring (at least in the female line) some sort of competitive advantage. At some point, there would have had to be an evolutionary bottleneck that allowed these descendants to reach a tipping point, presumably before the migrations occurred. (This would also require that all the other colonies died out at some point, which wouldn't be surprising, given how small the founding groups were.)
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knitpicker
Thu, Apr 2, 2009, 11:22am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Kara Thrace - harbinger of death. She brought death to the skin jobs and the hybrids (even Anders, poor soul). Without resurrection, they are mortal. Prior to the destruction of the hub, they were immortal.

My recording device fraked up, I have the beginning of the episode, and the last 15 minutes, but I'm missing some key scenes. Hopefully the DVD will come out relatively quickly.

Any chance that the pigeon (dove?) in Lee's apartment symbolized Kara? Unfortunately, I didn't see her final moments, just a guess.

Cute joke, Jammer. I hate to see the end of the reviews, they were as important as the show itself.
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knitpicker
Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 10:56am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Islanded in a Stream of Stars

An old loose end - how on earth did Baltar survive the blast that killed Caprica 6?
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knitpicker
Fri, Mar 6, 2009, 9:51am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Someone to Watch Over Me

Matthew - glad to see someone else picked up on the broken fingers. It really gave me the heebie jeebies to watch Kara's hands on the piano.

Jammer - I missed the Opera House reference. Excellent. (It took me long enough to figure out that the title of the recording was "Three Songs" Thrace.)

Anders - any chance he is "fusing" or "downlaoding" into the organic material that makes up the ship?

I don't think Laura can be dead because she hasn't yet figured out the meaning of the Opera House. (How come Caprica Six wasn't affected to the same extent by Hera's disappearance?)

Helo - Sharon may not have been "herself", but with everything that has been going on in the fleet, I suspect that everyone has been moody and a little "off." Since Helo had no reason to think otherwise, he probably assumed she was having a bad day.

Regarding "All Along the Watch Tower"
The current Kara isn't the original Kara, so it's possible the the song was introduced as part of her new programming.
On the other hand, if Daniel was her Dad "someone" probably knew about him life on Caprica and his half Cylon daughter. Kara may have been programmed to introduce the tune into Galactica (the raiders, as opposed to the toasters or most of the skin jobs, seem to be "in the know" about the final 5 - maybe something happened when she captured that Raider.)
"whoever" got Daniel to Caprica (?) probably knew about his human/cylon hybrid daughter. The ovary that was removed may have been used to create other copies of Kara. (Which side would this/these individuals be on?)
For some reason, the process of working out the tune in this episode kept reminding me of recurring melodic theme in "Close Encounters."
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knitpicker
Mon, Mar 2, 2009, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Deadlock

Matt L - regarding character transformation. All of the final 5 have had to come to terms with the fact that they are not who who they thought they were. I've seen this happen with "real" adults: someone who found out they were adopted, someone who had been raised Christian and then found out that they had been born Jewish in Eastern Europe during WW II. It can cause a serious identity crisis, resulting in a complete re-evaluation of who they are and what they believe. The revelation as played out in the script seems to have the greatest impact on Tyrol. (Anders adapted well, Tigh was determined that he would remain unchanged and Tory, as you said, had no personality to begin with.) Ellen had the advantage that she recovered her previous memories, so she was blending two sets of experiences. She also had 18 months (primarily off camera) to do this. Although she is the same person (nature), she had two different sets of life experiences (nurture) - so she's like identical twins separated at birth. There will be a lot of personality overlap, but she will be drawing from two different emotional and intellectual skill sets. The "new" Ellen has all the memories of the "original" Ellen, who was an accomplished scientist plus those of the "old" Ellen (who never seemed to be more than a drunken slut). I guess I expect the more "mature" aspects of the blended Ellen to dominate.
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knitpicker
Sun, Mar 1, 2009, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Deadlock

Jason - too funny.

Can't wait for the review on the next episode
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knitpicker
Fri, Feb 27, 2009, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Deadlock

Thank you, Jammer! I was very happy to have your thoughts, especially on these past two episodes.

On the podcast, Ron Moore said that there had been very little change from the the original story draft for this episode. Presumably this episode, like the previous one, was designed to get all the pieces in place for the conclusion of the story. This is a natural outcome of the way the series was put together. Lack of a guiding structure left lots of room for creativity and spontaneity, but also generated lots of loose ends, false leads and contradictions. Overall, I've enjoyed watching the creative process through the podcasts so much that I'm willing to put up with a couple of awkward episodes to set things up for a grand finale. Hopefully, at this point, the pieces are all in place and we can settle in for a while ride to the end.

Saul - Ellen - 6
I never saw a relationship between Saul and Caprica 6, I saw Saul having a relationship with a projection of Ellen onto Caprica. How this became Saul's falling in love with Caprica was never shown, and the whole pregnancy, relationship thread never made sense to me. Ellen's reaction in this episode also came out of the blue. I can't see the Old Ellen giving a frak about Tigh's having sex with someone else and the New Ellen would have dealt with the situation better.

I've never gotten the feeling that the writers (in aggregate) have any conception of Tory as a character. I can well imagine that, having picked the other 4, they decided they had to have "another female Cylon," and the options were pretty limited. They use her as a plot device. I can't say I've seen any character development.
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knitpicker
Mon, Feb 2, 2009, 7:59am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Gaita - on the podcast, Mrs. Ron complemented makeup for creating a slightly crazed look for Gaita (pale skin, shadowed eyes, slight greying), so that his behavioral transformation is believable. He really does look like he's been through hell. The tragedy of Gaita for me is that he's desperately trying to do the moral thing, he is repelled by amorality, but it only drives him to something worse (Laura stuffing the ballot box sends him to Baltar, which sends him to the 8, etc.)
I'm happy to see that so many of the chickens are coming home to roost (it's so rare that bad personal interactions have ramifications outside of an immediate story arch).
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knitpicker
Sun, Feb 1, 2009, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Gaita & Zarek - it was Zarek's executive order that created the secret tribunal that almost put Gaita out the airlock after New Caprica. On New Caprica, he supported Baltar of all people - here again his misguided attempts to play by the rules / play fair, led him to allay himself with a seriously sleezy political operator.
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knitpicker
Sat, Jan 31, 2009, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Oh, my word - "The Oath" - serious nail biter. Can't wait for Jammer's take on that.

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knitpicker
Sat, Jan 31, 2009, 8:46am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Tyrol - since the final 4 have been outed, I saw Tyrol's fumbling more as him trying to get used to the new status quo. Other's no longer regard them as human, but they are used to referring to themselves that way.

Gaeta - he was "responsible" for the murder of many people in the resistance. He seemed to be overcompensating a bit in his attack on Kara.

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knitpicker
Tue, Jan 27, 2009, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sometimes a Great Notion

Got the last DVD of 4.0 (Netflix to the rescue) - in the interviews, Michael Hogan had a similar accent, which I agree sounded Canadian (thanks Taylor). I assume he's letting more of his normal accent through (yes, Ian, I, know that not all Canadians sound like that.) I am clearly a closet chauvanist because I stupidly didn't think to check IMDb for his country of origin.
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knitpicker
Mon, Jan 26, 2009, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sometimes a Great Notion

nitpicking:
1)What is with Tigh's accent? By the end of last season he was sounding like a bad attempt at Irish or Scottish, this episode the same.
2) I'm beginning to think that women characters are the "redshirts" in this series. Except for Billy, the major "deaths" that I remember are Ellen, Kara, Cally, Dee & the priest - then there is also Kat and the character killed by one of the sixes last season. (So far, three have come back, so maybe, like Dancing with the Stars, they'll all show up in the last episode - when Laura takes the boat?)

Harbinger of death - anyone else think this refers to bringing death (end of resurrection to the Cylons)?

Jammer, thank you for catching up on the reviews, I can't watch the episodes without them. Finally watched this episode last night.

I loved that Kara found her body (it would have been too pat for her to be one of the final five. I'm so glad it wasn't Baltar.) She was going to tell Lee before she heard about Dee, so I see the cremation as her acknowledgment that Kara Thrace was dead. Moore continues to set himself up for bigger and bigger expectations in the final payoff.

I would have been delighted to have Dee back in the series - she provided such a sweet contrast to everyone else. Not back in a relationship with Lee though - that never had any chemistry. Seeing that relationship start up again felt wrong, so I'm glad it was a red herring. At least she got to go out with a "bang."


Having the fleet's morale plummet was perfectly logical, but, somehow the way it was staged didn't feel right. Maybe some scenes were cut (haven't listened to the podcast yet).

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knitpicker
Mon, Sep 22, 2008, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Six of One

Ron Moore posts podcasts for most of the episodes. They are free on iTunes. I find him very engaging and he gives interesting insights on why story choices were made, what the intentions were, what should have been done differently, what got cut, etc. I find them to be a good complement Jammer's reviews . (The podcasts will be the episode commentary when the DVD is issued)
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