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30 May 2008 @ 11:06 pm
BSG: "Sine Qua Non" Episode Review  
Battlestar Galactica 4.08 "Sine Qua Non"

Just when I thought that BSG couldn't do things that made me kind of question where everything's going, they continue to baffle and surprise me at every unexpected turn.

Nearly every character on this show has gone to another place from where they once were before, switching roles and coming to terms with themselves and even their own positions. Lee getting sworn into the presidential office was indeed a predictable move, but how he managed to get there was the true journey; the fight between Tigh and Adama was real to their friendship and Adama making Tigh take command of the entire fleet while he went off on a lone mission to find Laura and the baseship again, another unexpected move. We have Athena returning to where she had been when she first came to the fleet way back in the second season, and surprising reveals on what has been happening between Tigh and Caprica-Six.

Needless to say, nothing quite action-packed as the last episode but it definitely set up for what's to come for future episodes, judging from where everyone is now and how that's going to affect the bigger picture.


The Rising Son: Lee Adama, President of the Twelve Colonies

I'm not sure about everyone else, have yet to read the other reactions since I'm writing this directly after the episode had aired, but I am fully stoked to see Lee rise into the office. This has been a long time coming for him and, while a predictable move as I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, I'm quite pleased since I do believe Lee can hold his position in office. He does have a certain levelheadedness and understanding of everyone's needs and concerns and does want to do the right thing, and as Romo Lampkin said to him he does have the right kind of substance at bringing hope to the fleet and he does have an influential way of speaking on the same common ground as the people. Given from his speech back in "Crossroads, Part 2" we know that even with someone that everyone hates and despises he is willing to set aside that hatred and become that person looking from outside of the box. Lee Adama has been able to look at the realistic sources at bringing the amount of hope and control and duty to his positions, whether it be a pilot or commander or acting from within the courtroom, he knows where he stands and takes full responsibility. And he certainly has come a long way, and this season is definitely he season to rise to this title. Whether people agree with it or not, I'm confident in saying that being signed into office is something I'm looking forward to.

Him going to Romo Lampkin was interesting at best, because we know how manipulative Romo can be, but it's on his best of terms due to his nature at keeping his reputation (and as currently reading Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy, it kind of makes sense that Lee would go to the only one who had faith in him taking on the role of lawyer during Baltar's trial and how Romo would be so willing to help but for his own reasons). First of all, I really like the character of Romo because Mark Sheppard does a fantastic job in the role. Secondly, there's more revealed about his character in this episode and both his and Lee's pathways for doing what they do. Plus, we learn something about Romo and his cat -- or dead!cat, as we shall now call it. It's actually kind of sad, thinking about it.

There are some people in fandom that don't like the politicalness involving Lee and his position, but I'm liking it. In fact, I'm enthralled and I'm wondering where it'll all go from here, since Lee does have his obligations and determination to do things for the people of the fleet and take charge without the obsession with finding Earth. So I think having him in office will be a nice change, but we'll see how that goes.


Family Ties: The Breaking Apart and Holding Onto Faith and Hope

Besides the political aspect, something occurred to me that this episode really was about the trust between close friends or family, and even the breaking up of families. From the first scene we see Adama really tearing into Athena for making a bad judgment call and murdering Natalie in cold blood based on a vision that a Six would take her daughter. He then threw her in the brig without her having to see Hera, which was cold but necessary. Though by the end of the episode, after Adama and Tigh duking it out over their affairs with certain women therefore breaking their friendship bond but repatching it back together, he allows Athena to have Hera within the brig.

He said that family is all they have, and without family there is nothing left to hold onto. Okay, that's not precisely what he said but I'm merely paraphrasing what he was suggesting. This has been the main thing about BSG from the very beginning; the entire human civilization has nearly been wiped out, but they must stay together as a family in order to survive. Adama now feels like a part of him has been taken away because not only is Laura gone but half of the fleet is gone, as well. Which means half of the family has been broken up, so he must stay behind to bring the family back together again. Besides, wasn't it Adama that said way back in season two when he was going to Kobol that he and Roslin would be together in everything, and even in body bags they'd return together? This is how I see his sole mission by staying behind in that raptor. It may seem like a suicide mission, and it may seem kind of reckless for him, the Admiral of the fleet, to be doing this himself, but he finds that this is something he must do. And you don't argue with William Adama when he has his mind made up.

I do know that there's some people who seem kind of confused as to why Adama would leave Tigh in command while he's on this mission, after their physical fight and finding out that Tigh had been impregnanted Caprica-Six. Well, for starters while their argument, probably the best onscreen confrontation between them I have seen yet, was due to their irrationalities concerning the women in their lives. Also, they are best friends. Despite their faults, they'll always come back together. That kind of bond doesn't break easily, and yeah Tigh has made mistakes and he's made some bad calls here and there, but he's always been reliable when taking command with Adama. That is why he's entrusting the job with him. Surely if Helo were on Galactica I'd think he'd make a better leader to be in command, especially after his role aboard the Demetrius, but having Tigh there will be even more interesting.

Which probably makes everything Tigh has to hold back from him that he's one of the Final Five extremely difficult, because of this strong friendship and trust.


The Episode Notes and Squees:

++ OMGNO NOT NATALIE! I'm very, very, very sad that Natalie is gone. I mean, realistically that wound didn't look good and judging from those two shots Athena put into her it was kind of predictable she wouldn't make it, but honestly I really wished that she could've held on longer. Figures. Just when I was getting really damned attached to her, and by attached I mean I was rooting for her and her extreme hardcore awesomeness and limited time in leadership, she ends up getting killed off. She was my favorite Six. I shall honor her with my default icon. Natalie, sweetheart, you will be wholeheartedly missed.

++ All this time too, I was kind of praying that Racetrack didn't get killed off. Loved that she had screentime but, venturing off by herself had me worried for a second there.

++ Athena. Athena Athena Athena. Seeing her with those shackles back on her wrists was like throwing her back in time to when she first joined the fleet. I do understand her worries and protectiveness of her daughter, because seriously do not fuck with a mother on a rampage, but her irrationality got the best of her and, as I mentioned before, she went HRG on us. She did something wrong, she's paying the price for it. Which I'm kind of glad she's paying those consequences because if they let her off with a clean slate I would've been so pissed. She shot Natalie! My Natalie! But seeing that scene also broke my heart, her tears and and sincerity and Adama all mad. See, while hell hath no fury like a mother scorned you know NOTHING when it comes to Adama's death!glare. Srsly. Fantastic acting from both Grace Park and Edward James Olmos.

++ Also, did anyone else notice that Athena was humming the exact same song that Boomer had hummed when she was looking at the Cylon Raider way back in season one? Or was that just my imagination? Could this have some significant meaning? Thinky-thoughts!

++ Eddie's been getting loaded with intense scenes in this episode. Just, wow.

++ Tigh impregnanting Caprica-Six. I knew something along those lines had happened, I just didn't think my speculation would be correct! Though I mean, can you blame him? After all, he is a Cylon himself, he's confused and trying to keep a levelhead about everything, and the only thing to do is by visiting the only one that can help him understand how the Cylons work. But also remember that when he's visiting her he's not seeing her as the Six, but as Ellen, so perhaps that's one of the reasons he keeps returning back to her, even though he knows it's irrational. Oh my, I wonder how this'll turn out between them, or how Caprica-Six will react. Moreso, how her head!Baltar will react. Hmm, I'm sensing jealousy.

++ Which comes to the question of how the Final Five are different from the other Cylons. Perhaps they've become more human enough that pregnancy is now possible? That reproducing can now happen and they can breed a whole new generation?

++ Kara looks pretty and professional-like. I also love that shot with her and Lee standing next to each other, because they're both SO not how they used to be from the beginning of the series. They're both in different places and it suits them. Aww, they've grown up and given into their "special destinies". And seeing Adama in that flight suit is kind of strange, but I'm liking this change in all of our characters.

++ Looks like the commented on that model ship and how it had to be repaired. Hee.

++ They brought back Jake the dog! OMGYAY! I had wondered where that cutie went to. Also, Romo's dead cat and him seeing that cat in real time? Can we consider this his head!Cat therefore him being a possible candidate of being the final Cylon? I mean, I'm still banking on Gaeta, but I wouldn't mind Romo being the the final one. Or Cottle. Or Tom Zarek. Or Mohinder, or Sylar, or Niki...

++ I'm giggling madly at Lee's full name: Leland Joseph Adama. It tickles me.

++ The preview for next week: I do know that we won't find out who the final Cylon is until the last remaining episodes of the season, so who of the Four of the Five are with Roslin? D'Anna is talking with someone and I'm wondering on who it could be. Anders? Tyrol? Tory and Tigh are with the fleet. So, IDK. But, yay, Lucy Lawless returns!


This is going to suck now because the BSG fandom has been talking about this episode nearly all week and they'll be getting more episodes before us, so I'll have to steer clear from all discussions and spoilers. Which can be confusing to me because I'll think I've missed it when I haven't.
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Nightwish - Amaranth
 
 
 
glassnowdrop on May 31st, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
ok, so what's going on with tigh and caprica-six, that was the part that baffled me the most, because cylon+cylon=no babies...so is the prenancy not real, not right, or is tigh not a cylon...i hope its the last one, because then anders isn't a cylon either!! But you're probably right - it's probably that the final five aren't the same. or the final five are secretly human!! mwhahaha

lol head!Cat

I laughed so hard with Lee's full name.

sucks that natalie is gone, i thought she was going to be a major player this season.



Renéerogueslayer452 on May 31st, 2008 10:27 am (UTC)
My firm belief, which I think RDM confirmed this too, is that because the Final Five are fundamentally different from the other seven known Cylons that they have other functions or qualities others don't have. Or perhaps, because now the Cylons have become more human with their needs and desires and wants (and we know that Tigh is more human than machine, and Caprica-Six has had plenty of experience with human love and love with sacrifice with Baltar) that they now have the biological capabilities of reproducing.

Also, keep in mind that it was a belief amongst the Cylons that they couldn't reproduce with other Cylons. But have they experienced love before? Tigh and Caprica-Six have, and we know that Sharon and Helo did, and that Tyrol did as well. So those who have those basic human emotions and feel that love perhaps something can change within the species. And since this season has all been about the Cylons becoming more human, at least some of the models, and those lines of human and machine being blurred, that the mixture of these two forces may be the only way of surviving. IDK, but that's my main theory.

I thought that about Natalie, too. I mean, she's on the Last Supper promo picture, you'd think she'd have a larger role in this season. But she was kickass and awesome for the amount of screentime she had. I really believed her to be an competent leader of the rebels. I just wish she could've survived long enough to see the faces of the Final Five. She was so determined to meet them, I just hope that her projecting before her death made it all worth dying for.
sunshine: ub: know who my family isaliasagent on June 1st, 2008 10:20 am (UTC)
You always make me wanna watch BSG but... Instead I just read your recaps :P *is sneaky* Have there been any Gaius/Six scenes lately (or head!Baltar or head!Six) or something like that?

I can't help asking, I love them so ♥
Renéerogueslayer452 on June 1st, 2008 10:28 am (UTC)
Interestingly enough, there hasn't been much of any Gaius/Six or head!Six scenes at all this season. I have no idea what's going on in that department, though I do have my suspicions on why that is. And actually, I've gotten so attached to Natalie that I'd forgotten about the other Six models that I loved. I'm just kind of praying that Natalie is saved and gets resurrected because she's been my favorite Six so far.

But I do want more head!Six and even head!Baltar scenes. Maybe those two virtual beings are having their own frak party elsewhere, that's my personal fanwank with all the hoopla happening on the show. Heh.
sunshine: dw: in your fandom bartyaliasagent on June 1st, 2008 10:54 am (UTC)
Suspicions? Ooooh, theories - do share :D

I hope so too. I mean, I miss Gaius/Six so frakking much. They seemed in a way to be almost central to the show - one of them being human, the other a cylon and how they functioned together. Also, the love they have for each other goes very well with the theme of the show. Please tell me they have not abandoned them *prays*
Renée: Mohinder Suresh.rogueslayer452 on June 1st, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
Well, my theories regarding Gaius and head!Six is that this season Gaius has become less of a threat and toning down with the crazy and has become, more or less, a calming religious figure of sorts. Going back through the seasons Six has been trying to convince and persuade him to give into the concept of the One True God, manipulating and guiding him through all these paths and trials he must surpass in order to reach that ounce of redemption. This season he's finally reached that. The last we saw of head!Six appearing to him was when he witnessed before his own eyes his own prayer coming true regarding the dying little boy who he asked God to spare, and head!Six is sort of off to the side, smiling at him kind of knowingly.

So my thing is that head!Six was his "angel of God" guiding him to his rightful destiny, and I'm sure there will be more of her and him communing again. Because after all, there's so much to be learned here and I do want to know how in the world head!Six came to be, much less head!Baltar. And there's also the prophecy with the opera house, which Six and Baltar both appear in. That has MAJOR significance for what's to come this season, for sure.

But this being the last season and so many things to cover with storylines and arcs and such I can forgive the lack of them for right now, but I agree we need more Gaius/Six, in any shape or form. Though there seems to be an intriguing thing with Tigh/Caprica-Six this season rather than her and Gaius, something I didn't and wouldn't have expected but still enthralled with nonetheless (which I sort of see them as lost souls looking for love; Caprica-Six lacking with Gaius and having already experienced human love and wanting more, and Tigh obviously trying to understand his Cylon nature but seeing Ellen's face on Six, it's interesting where all this is heading with the concept of love).