Saturday, April 05, 2008

BSG Season 4 Premiere - Too much, Too Fast

I'm opening a thread here for anybody who wants to talk about Battlestar Galactica's first episode of Season 4. Spoilers follow, so don't read if you are someone who is prone to post in the comments that I shouldn't be posting spoilers.

I thought the episode was just okay, which seemed to me inexcusable in that they kept us waiting a year for it. (And for me it has really only been four months as I just found this show at Christmas, but you know what I mean.) The first ten minutes were good, even very good - couldn't believe they would just kill off like 3000 of our dwindling human race like swatting a fly.

But it felt like they were just trying to do way too much too fast. Kara's resurrection/restoration needed to be played much more in terms of its effects on the people who love her - Lee, Helo, Adama, Sam. This was a major moment for the series, and it felt like they just sped through it. I wanted to see our amazing actors play the moment, but it sped by like we had something else more important to do. You know, than welcome back our beloved main character from the dead.(???!!!!???)

I thought the Baltar stuff was okay, although I really don't think they have done enough set-up to make the development of a Baltar cult believable. But I liked that Baltar, in all his selfish sensualism could still have a moment of grace and then do a miracle. (Even if the miracle was broadcast from 100 miles away and took the form of healing a cute sick child. Which is generally the definition of sentimental cliche in writing.)

The scenes seemed to me to be mostly too short. Like the writers were madly driving towards some big plot points and forgetting that the real joy of the show is all the stuff along the way. There was actually very little for the actors to do in this episode. Everybody was just running through scenes. In a show that usually gives us a great line in every scene, there was only really one great line in this episode - namely when Kara says to Sam, "You're a better man than I am. If I thought you were a Cylon, I'd put a bullet right between your eyes." The episode should have been called, "Wow, so this is all really dramatic!" Just so we all got it.

I also found several of the character choices to be kind of common for television, and hence not up to BSG standards. Kara beating up the guards and pulling a gun on Roslin was dumb. Or at least felt over the top because we just weren't spending enough time with Kara to see her growing more desperate. A few grabs of her head at the jumps was just not enough. Seems like they needed a scene in which she really tries to plead with Laura before going all psychotic on her.

And excuse me, but no real Lee and Kara scene? Bad call. It's one thing to frustrate the audience in a good way. It's a whole other thing to disappoint the audience. What was the point of having him meet her in the vipers if there wasn't going to be any real reunion?

The thing with Anders having red-eye was cool.

So, I guess Kara is some kind of clone of the original? They maybe grew her from the parts they took out on Caprica? The hybrid in Razor said Kara would lead humanity to the apocalypse, so if Kara is a cylon plant then, you know.... I don't see how she can be the real thing. Although I wish the writers can once again be smarter the me and give us a way. It would be weird forever to look back on the show and know that Kara really stopped in Season 3 and Season 4 was actually somebody else dressed up like her.

I'm thinking the Cylon skin-jobs are actually human. Like there is enough organic material there that they are a kind of person. Which makes them like every other persecuted minority group that humanity has ever called names and thought of as sub-human. I could live with that much easier than the suggestion that the humans are actually pure-material.

Okay. Jump in anybody.

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