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October 13, 2015

Battlestar Galactica: The Son Also Rises

by Keith McDuffee, posted Mar 11th 2007 11:42PM
the son also rises
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.)

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Tim McCleese

cress-d: I have been wondering why we have not heard from you. I miss your energetic contributions to the site. We sincerely hope you recover soon.

March 18 2007 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris w

I've been in poor health lately. But I just wanted to proclaim BATTLSTAR GALACTICA rules! So say we all! Peace to everyone.

March 18 2007 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow... 3rd to last episode, and the best we could manage was 22 comments? What are we weaklings :)?

March 17 2007 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

Oh...I forgot... Roslin need doesn't have to tell Adama anything. Adama is already there listening in with Roslin.

March 13 2007 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

Hmmmm....Now that I think of it, it will be interesting to hear the official charges against Baltar (good point there Dorv). Now, after Roslins blanket pardon to everyone on New Caprica during the occupation time, the defence might have a case to cover Baltar from there back. Also Baltar can claim he co-operated under duress and force. True, stronger persons may have handled things better, but one cannot add or detract the breaking point they are born with. I would use that. But since Baltar left with the cylons he can be fair game for all kinds of accusations. One thing that comes to mind is Baltars helping the cylons with that map to earth...but then ....couldn't a good lawyer claim duress there too? Of course Baltar and Lampkin would have to establish that Baltar was forced to go with the cylons...ah...maybe that is where six will come in. I missed the fact that the other side was being watched by Roslin as well. Interesting. I do not wish to push the envelope on this point and seeming nit-picky, but although Roslin is not the prosecuting attorney, judging by her past conduct in furthering her agenda (awareness of a rigged election, stealing babies, etc.) I would have to suspect that if she felt the "need" she would not hesitate to funnel any information she learned from her evesdropping to Adama. But.. Akbar made a valid point...it will be hard for anyone not to be biased in this whole mess.

March 13 2007 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

I do not think we have been fully told exactly what Baltar is on trial for. Hopefully next week when we get to the trial we will see that.

A for Six and Lampkin, Lampkin KNEW he was being monitored. He even mentioned it to Six when talking to her.

Also, I do not feel that Roslin monitoring the interview has any implication on Baltar's justice. Roslin is not the prosecuting attorney. I doubt she is relaying any information back about that interview. My main beef is with Adama being there but if he did witness the other attorney interviewing Six then I guess in all fairness it is good. As I mentioned before, it is impossible for anyone to be unbiased about this case.

March 13 2007 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Also, having listen to the first bit of the Podcast, Moore WAS actually referring to the first lawyer when making the John Cusack reference.

March 13 2007 at 1:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

Akbar: You are correct that in the case of Six the client/Confidentiality rule would not have to be recognized. But in this case I was thinking since Lampkin is apparently using her for some part of Baltars defence that tenet should still be honored (for the sake of his client). At least I would think Lampkin should be informed he is being surveyed. His client as a non-combatent human should earn him that right. Maybe Lamkin knew he was being watched or maybe he didn't, but the fact Roslin is utilizing that practice seems unethical. But even if I am wrong about it, I would not like to be in Baltars shoes with this hanging pary.

March 13 2007 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Akbar: What is justice though? Is Baltar on trial for his crimes as President or his supposed crimes on Caprica (I don't think him guilt in that case of anything other than being duped)?

Isn't there an arguement somewhere that he was forced to comply, and that nothing he did would have changed anything on New Caprica?

March 12 2007 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lampkin has gotta be a Cylon.
His words and actions to C6 appeared to be coded stuff IMHO. They both knew they were being observed.

A build ep.

March 12 2007 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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