How do we know if she is a Cylon? ... Build a bridge out of her?

I finally finished watching Battlestar Galactica Season 2 (which is evilly packaged as Season 2.0 and Season 2.5 just in order to stretch out the time it takes me to reserve and receive the DVDs at the library). I have to say, I was not thrilled. I think Season 1 was a lot better. It's sort of like Harry Potter, where book 1 was great because it set up this new imaginary world for us to explore, then in book 2 we didn't have that exciting sense of exploration and novelty anymore. I'm hoping that Season 3, whenever I get to see it, will be all Prisoner of Azkabany.

Things that I object to in Season 2 (heavily weighted towards the last couple of episodes, which I watched today, as opposed to the beginning of the season which I watched around March):

  • "One Year Later"? WTF? I want to see the struggles as they colonize New Caprica and set up a new society! "One Year Later" is a cop-out so they can jump over all the good stuff.
  • Does this planet have the raw materials to sustain them in the manner to which they are accustomed? Apparently they don't have pharmaceutical plants on New Caprica, or Starbuck wouldn't have to beg Apollo for antibiotics. Do they have hospitals? Are there doctors besides Doc Cottle? Are there mines where they can mine ore and smelt it and make metal with which to build new ships (or buildings or whatever)? The school is in a tent? Are there any plans in place to establish such things or were they just planning to keep living in tents?
  • The season ends with Admiral Adama in some sort of horrible moustache. I hope that disappears in Season 3.
  • Tigh got all extra-Canadian on New Caprica. I don't know if it was the influence of his lumberjack clothing or what, but he really turned up the accent.
  • Most of the relationships in Season 1 were already established before the show began: we knew that Boomer and Tyrol were already together, that Helo loved Boomer, that there was some kind of chemistry between Starbuck and Apollo and that Baltar and Six had a thiiiing going ooooon. In Season 2 they introduced new romantic relationships and I felt like they did so very poorly. We end the season with Helo-Sharon, Starbuck-Anders, Apollo-Dualla and Tyrol-Cally. All of these seem sort of arbitrary. I'm not convinced of real feelings, of emotional growth, of anything. It's like the writers just paired them up and when you say, "Starbuck is really emotionally distant and prickly has been abused so why did she fall in love with Anders after one night (?) on Caprica, get all schmoopy and moany when she was parted from him and end the season married to him? It seems totally out of character" or "What is it about this new Sharon that made Helo transfer his feelings so easily, even knowing that she's a Cylon?" they would respond, "Um... movie magic? Look over there!" and run away.

    I can see how they're trying to court multiple audiences and they don't want to just make it Soap Opera In Space, but I feel sort of like I'm being pandered to. "Oh, the original BSG hardly had any women, and it hardly had any female viewers. So in order to get women watching, we will add female characters and then there will be ROMANCE! ... except we don't know how to write it. So we'll just have some people get together, then break up and get together with other people. Sounds good?"

Now someone let me know when Season 3 comes out on DVD. I gotta watch that thing and see when they start building houses out of bricks so that the Big Bad Cylon can't come and blow them down.

srah - Monday, 4 June 2007 - 6:03 PM
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Comments (7)

gravatar Brian - June 4, 2007 - 8:03 PM -

That mustache is one of the best things about the show -- don't worry, it'll come off when the time is right :)

Baltar's administration doesn't seem to be big on the public works angle, but (in this case) we fight with the president we have, not the president we'd like to have...

gravatar srah - June 5, 2007 - 6:30 AM -

That sounds so dramatic. I hope a Cylon tears it right off his face.

gravatar chaddq - June 5, 2007 - 12:37 PM -

I agree 100% - one year later was a bad choice.

Oh, and just wait, I hear Adama's mustache has been offered a spin-off series for next year.

gravatar Amy - June 5, 2007 - 1:16 PM -

I liked the one year later... but, all the things you mentioned will be explored in Season 3 including the early experiences on New Caprica and the wacky relationship pairings. (Except Tyrol & Cally. I HATE Cally.

gravatar srah - June 5, 2007 - 1:31 PM -

I don't mind Cally, except that she was all "You beat me within an inch of my life! When can we make out?"

gravatar ecook - June 5, 2007 - 10:16 PM -

I thought the end of season two was brilliant, and one of my favorite tv cliffhangers ever! "One year later" didn't feel like a cop-out to me as much as it was just a way to get _to_ the good stuff. Would you really rather watch a year worth of tent building and Roslin developing grade-school lesson plans, or would you rather jump straight to cylon occupation? :)

Do the DVDs have the Ron Moore commentary tracks on them? If not, they're definitely worth the download and a rewatch: http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/downloads/podcast/season02/ They actually made me like the show more; he's very frank about the decisions that went into each show, and when things do and don't work (as opposed to most DVD commentary tracks, which are 4 poorly-recorded people mumbling things about "the really great bunch of people" they got to work with, blah blah blah.)

gravatar srah - June 5, 2007 - 10:19 PM -

Lesson plans!

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