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Old 02-07-2009, 06:36 AM
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Zeke Zeke is offline
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Default BSG Season 4 Discussion [Spoilers]

Okay, I've put this off long enough. I was planning to start a new BSG thread when I made the big 5MBSG update I've been working on, but dammit, the show is too good right now -- we should get some talk going while we can.

So hey, how 'bout that BSG? Has it been great this season or what? I only caught up recently (just in time for the return from hiatus), so I benefited from watching Season 4.0 in close succession, but man, the show is really firing on all cylinders -- I haven't enjoyed it this much since S1. And that should mean something coming from me, 'cause you guys know what a BSG skeptic I am.

Last time we had a thread going, S3 had just ended, and the identities of four Cylons had been revealed. We were all pretty blindsided by that; IJD said he felt "a bit betrayed", and that sums up quite a few reactions I read. IJD was particularly upset about Tyrol, who until then had been the show's everyman character -- the O'Brien, if you will. I was equally frustrated, but not so much about Tyrol (who had been wearing on me somewhat through overuse) as about Tigh, who's my favourite character by far. More than once in the first three seasons, I considered him the only sane man on the ship. Now, all of a sudden, these two profoundly human characters were Cylons. (So were Anders and Tory, but that came off not as a big twist but just as giving them something to do.) Surely this would change everything we loved about them.

And it did. But damn, has it ever been great television. S4 has made it clear that these four characters were perfectly chosen. None of the major characters are free of some attachment to one or more of them. Three of them were deeply invested in not being Cylons and now had the rug pulled out from under them -- and Tory was the real masterstroke, because we had no investment in her, letting the writers take a dark turn with her character. Tell four random people they're not really humans but something more powerful, and at least one is bound to like the idea.

The main weakness of this season so far has been the time crunch at the end of the first half. That last episode could easily have been two, if not three. We should have seen so much more of the characters' reactions to finding out their friends were Cylons. We needed to see the Cylon characters make it much, much more clear that they had never known what they were. (Some people in the later episodes still seem unaware of that.) We needed the full range of reactions from Adama and others who were close to these people -- anger, frustration, finally sympathy when they realized what their friends had been through. And we just didn't have time. I understand that the writer's strike had a lot to do with this, but I can still lament it.

Anyway, then we get the Cylon alliance and the discovery of Earth in ruins. I don't know why anyone thought Moore wouldn't do this -- he's in love with being "darker and grittier" than Star Trek, so he wasn't about to go for the Voyager ending. (And Earth was intact in Galactica 1980, a mistake nobody wants to repeat.) I'm much more intrigued by the further revelation this season that Earth was a planet of Cylons. And Ellen Tigh was one too? There's no way they're not going somewhere with that; they wouldn't blow the final Cylon on someone who's already dead unless she's coming back in some way. (My money's on her having something to do with Starbuck's "resurrection".) I still don't believe the Cylons ever had a plan, but I'll now buy that the writers have had one for a while -- pending the last few episodes, of course.

As for the last couple of weeks... wow, that was meaty stuff. The Gaeta thing has been a long time coming; Baltar shattered his idealism, and since then it's just been one hit after another. If you haven't watched the "Face of the Enemy" webisodes yet, be sure to do so. Self-congratulatory "look at us we've got gay people" aside, it's important setup that makes Gaeta's actions more understandable, and it finally reveals what Baltar whispered to him in S3.

A few short takes:
  • Really coulda done without Tigh/Six. Eww.
  • One thing I really missed in S3 was Baltar "in control". We've seen him pathetic too much. He's most fun to watch when he's got his act together -- confident, in charge, the smartest guy in the room and arrogant enough to tell you so. We finally got that back in parts of S4 with his cult. I really look forward to seeing how his story ends -- he's the only character where I don't have a clue what they'll do.
  • I can actually stand Lee this year. I'm not sure why -- he's definitely not being any less obnoxious. Hope we'll see his reaction to what Zarek has done, 'cause he bears a lot of the responsibility for that guy's rise to power.
  • Everybody catch that door marked 1701D in the third episode?

So, who else has been watching?
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction
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