Battlestar Galactica: The Son Also Rises
(S03E18) Since Ron Moore's podcast came out a few days ago, I'll do a little bit of recap of what he said along with the review.
Something that Battlestar does well that has bothered me with some other shows is how, when we have a primary cast of characters amongst a much larger involved population, I'm not left wondering why more background cast doesn't come forward more often. There's a decent balance here. It makes sense why someone like Kara is so highly mourned and regarded, while some other pilots aren't so much. And when a background character comes forward, it's done at the right time and place where it fits.
Moore mentions in the podcast that he needed to come up with a plausible reason for Adama to be selected to be on the tribunal, and the fishbowl scene worked for that. I agree -- I may have raised an eyebrow had they not gone the lottery route. It's definitely interesting to listen to this podcast, even without accompanying video, and hear what decisions were made along the way to help tell the story. I'm fascinated at how easily and naturally Moore can put these podcasts together, many times without even the hint of a pause in his speech, without uttering a key spoiler to the entire series.
In the scene with Lee adding Kara's picture to the wall, Anders drunk on a Raptor, originally that was going to open with Anders and Lee at the wall and a fight would break out. But with the time that had passed on the show since Kara's death, he felt it made sense that they were past that, that the reason for their rivalry was now gone.
Something else Moore points out that I think others have brought up before is how seemingly easy it was for Sharon to be given "human status" while Caprica Six is not, even though she clearly helped the humans. I think that's a point that could be argued to death, but the simple fact right now is that Six's actions have yet to earn her the humans' trust. A couple more human lives saved down the road and maybe we'd see things differently.
The quick mention by Lampkin regarding Adama's tarnished button seems to speak much more than I think was let on. If you put together what the Admiral's been through (including being shot multiple times in the chest), his quasi-relationship with Roslin and then this small revelation of him not caring to keep his uniform in shape, one might conclude that he's considering some sort of retirement. But is that even possible given the situation everyone's in?
Moore made mention of the talk lately of Lee's grandfather, his involvement with Caprican law and his relationship with Bill and Lee. While the spin-off series Caprica hasn't been greenlit yet, this is somewhat a bit of foreshadowing into who Joeseph Adama was and what he was like. Moore mentions that that wasn't his intent, but that it's more to explain Lee's attraction to the law. Actually, can your foreshadow something for a story of what happened in the past? Weird.
Romo's letter to Baltar seems to help put a finer point on what we have to look forward to in the coming episodes. Ever since the fat Apollo days, we've seen Lee and his father at odds with one another. The result of their rift brings up an interesting side effect. Lee's desire to step out of the shadow of his father will outweigh his want of Baltar to lose his case. And as the letter said, there is no greater enemy to the enemy.
I think once again we're going to have people very much on both sides of the fence with this episode. It's guaranteed that a lot of you will be disappointed with it, that it was uneventful and lacked what we've come to love about this show. On the other side of the fence will be the purists, those who loved it and really felt the dynamic between many of the characters. But then there will be those few, like me, who can feel both ways about it.
If I were to judge this episode on its own, I'd say it wasn't great. But if I take what's happened thus far with what I believe will happen in the final two episodes, I think we'll come back to this episode and find it to have been great. A "great" episode to me is one that not only I can explain to non-BSG watching friends and get them to consider watching the show, but one I want to tell them about in the first place. This is not one of those episodes.
Other random things from the podcast:
- Roma Lampkin was originally going to die at the end of this episode, giving Lee sole responsibility for the trial.
- A cat makes its entrance for the first time in this episode. Moore made note of the fascination of online folks with the dog from earlier in the season (yes I was guilty of that, too). The cat was supposed to "run" out of the Raptor, but they sped up the film in order for it to appear that it ran, since it just sauntered out hen they actually shot it. "It's a little bit of Land of the Lost," says Moore. Later the cat runs because he thinks people on the set threw things at it off-camera.
- Some were worried about the sunglasses thing on Romo Lampkin, though Ron liked the idea and wanted to try it. I agree with Moore -- Romo Lampkin does resemble John Cusack in a few scenes.
- In the plot of who the bomber is, in the first few drafts, they were going to have the identity not revealed in this episode but keep him alive as a threat throughout the trial.
- No more kleptomania from Romo in future episodes.
- Moore always had qualms about both Lee and his father being in on the same case and went over it over and over in the writing room. He felt the dynamic between these two characters was important to show here.
Current fleet population: 41,399 (I'm figuring the death prior to the first act was counted in that number already and that nobody died in the explosion Lampkin was involved in.)