Battlestar Galactica

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 5 USERS: B
Because It Is Bitter
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!


We do have to do this. We have to have an episode without Laura, in order to feel anything at all. It's the same reason we don't know what's going on with Boomer: because when we find out, time must have passed. It's a lacuna, a frozen moment in time over here, so that time can pass over there. I know I said I would put this crap at the end from now on, but this time I kind of need a mission statement, because I don't want to get tripped up in explaining why I'm talking crazy in the middle of a scene. So I'm just going to talk crazy right now and then, like, coast. You know I love you, right?

I hated -- well, hated is a strong word -- I had challenges with this episode the first and second and third times I saw it, which is weird considering it's A) a Michael Taylor episode and B) a Season Four episode, but I've never been one to wait for the mountain to come to me. The way I look at it, when faced with untenable alternatives you consider your imperative. Entertainment is provided for us, and we are being told a story. If that story is told poorly, or inexpertly, that's not a reason to celebrate. But I don't think this is a poorly told story, I think it's an unexpected and weird story, told from a weird and unexpected angle.

Much like Razor, it's sufficiently ambitious and strange that the imperative becomes considering it from other angles than the ones we are most used to. If you don't hit your audience, yes you've failed at one thing, but it's possible you've succeeded at something else. Optimally you do both, but I'm not bothered personally. And I don't think it's because the show is making undue demands on us, or in order to ease some kind of cognitive dissonance, but because the show is trying to tell us something, like the Hybrid, and we'd be remiss to just let the signal get lost in the noise. That's lazy and it's not something that speaks highly of us as viewers, tossing it overboard like that because it came from the factory in a different shape from the last one we bought. It's wasteful.

But by the same token I don't want to fill in blanks or stretch analytically to make the necessary apologies. This isn't a cleanup job. I am not arguing for the Starbuck pass for this show, or for Taylor, and I'm not cheerleading. I am telling you that I hated it, had challenges with it rather, and that given enough time I've changed my mind. In the last week I've been assured, with a straight face, that consideration and investigation of our entertainment is cheating; that one's first response is always correct; that art which rewards reflection and interrogation is not art. Or is failed art. That something is not good if you have to think about it. And while I think less old people/more nudity, less unanswerable and questionable morality/more shit blowing up would increase the ratings of the show exponentially, I'll be damned if that would make the show better, which is where you're heading with critiques like that.

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Battlestar Galactica




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