BSG: Deadlock (or; Eastenders in Space)

No preamble and no real plot synopsis this time, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that anyone interested enough in reading this has, more thank likely, seen this episode already. If you haven’t, go and watch it because it’s pretty good!

So, without further ado…

.:SPOILER WARNING!:.

We are now 18 episodes into season four, this being the sixth episode since the mid-season hiatus.

The entire series has only FOUR episodes left!!!

With this in mind you’d think that the writers would be starting to wrap things up by now… but from the previous few episodes I’m guessing that they are blissfully unaware that the developers want to end the show this season, and are taking massive time-scale liberties with their episodes as a result.

Lets be honest, BSG has never been the model series for pacing in either its episodes or it’s seasons. To be honest, I only remembered today what happened in season three, and remembered being sincerely disappointed by the storyline. I can’t explain why, but that entire saga with the bloody Eye of Jupiter really grated on me and I felt as though I were forcing myself to watch just because I felt I owed it to myself to find out what was going on after two and a half seasons of unswerving, unquestioned loyalty to the show. But I’m rambling.

Pacing. The show seems to fluctuate with some regularity between episodes which pack far too much action and story into their hour-ish long slot and episodes that spend too much time doing not much of anything, the characters dancing (or, more often than not, rambling and clunking) around the issue at hand which might move the story along. I’m no expert, but I’m sure that a show of this type would have a group of writers who work together (for a given value of ‘together’) to deliver the stories, but it seems as though some writers are determined to tell one story, all on their own, which has far too many elements to span one, or, in some cases, even two episodes, and other writers are just there to bridge the gaps between those story-intensive episodes, but aren’t up to the challenge of making the decidedly slimmer story they have to tell interesting to watch. Unfortunately, this episode was one of the latter.

I’ve called the blog ‘…(or; Eastenders in Space)’ because this ep really was much less a space opera, and more a soap opera. Worse, actually, just a soap.

(For the Americans who may read this, Eastenders is a very popular British soap which has been around for as long as people have wanted to live vicariously through the depressing day-to-day dramas of east-end London lowlifes. Actually, I’m told that Eastenders has quite a big following ni the States, so apparently the British aren’t the only saddos out there… Wait a minute, I’m writing a blog about a TV show… I don’t think I can comment on people who watch Eastenders anymore…)

There was adultery (well, it’s debateable, but as Tigh is the father of Caprica’s baby (SEE? How much soapier can this get?!) he is comitting adultery by sleeping with Ellen (that’s how much!)), there was a misscarriage (Caprica’s baby), there was bitching (Tigh Vs Ellen Vs Caprica), there was depression (Bill’s constant moody watching of the Six’s and Eights as they painted bucketfuls of Cylon goop all over the walls of his ship) and there was massive amounts of FAIL (Baltar FTL (that’s For The Loss, not Faster Than Light… and I’m a confirmed geek now!)!

Story-wise we didn’t get much in the way of advancement, apart from writing off little Liam (“…that’s short for William…” – Bill Adama) as the Cylon sign of hope for their future existance sans-ressurection.

We did get some things to think about though, one of which I was talking to Ross (who works with me and also watches BSG, Fringe, Lost and now Dollhouse religiously) about today; how did Caprica get preggers? How does the entire ‘we need love to make ze babies’ work? and what implications does Liam’s death have on the Cylons and humans alike?

We’ve been told for several series’ now that Cylons can’t coneieve children. Apparently, they lack the ability to ‘love’ (it’s in quotations because they may define love in a different way from us), and it is this that holds them back. However, I’m fairly certain that when Tigh took Caprica forcefully in the brig (euphemism for anal anyone?), there was no love between them. So how did she get up the duff?

While we look into this, we also have to bear in mind that Athena has had a child, Hera. She was conceived by Athena and Helo on Caprica (the planet, not the Cylon), and born successfully in the fleet. She’s still alive and well. Her father was a human and her mother a cylon.

In the last episode, Ellen Tigh tells us that she made the skinjobs the way they are so that they will be as ‘human’ as possible, with a built in capacity for growth. I stipulate here that ‘growth’ could actually be a form of hyper-efficient evolution. This ability was built into the final fives’ children because they understood perfectly how much the nature of growth was a vital part of being human. If this is the case, then ‘love’ (which HAS to be a quantifiable concept as the robots, however advanced, are still based on a numerical system as there is no way of programming a computer to understand a concept as variable and indefinable as what we consider to be love) could be a trigger which activates the ‘growth’ cycle and enables the cylons to fall pregnant. However, this leads us back to the issue that Caprica was, most likely, not in love with Tigh when they oncieved Liam.

Ross brought up the point that perhaps the females are already programmed with the ability to bear children – they seem more able to love, they are more empathic, kinder, more sympathetic to others, where most of the male models are hard, cold, calculating and incapable of feeling much beyond basic emotions, or reproducing what they percieve to be the necessary emotions they should be feeling at any given moment. The males, then, are required to grow and to unlock that part of their programming that will give them the ability to be a father to a child. There is another layer in this, Ellen tells us in this episode that she was unable to bear children. This statement gives us some grounding in why the female Cylons would be ‘born’ with the ability to conceive – parents generally try to give their children things in life which they did not have. Ellen didn’t have a chance to have a child, so she programmed the ability into her own ‘children’. This also goes some way to explain her uncoditional love of her children and the depth to which she is hurt by Saul and Caprica’s relationship (he has had something with their (for want of a better word) daughter that she could never have with him).

Thus, both Caprica and Athena were able to concieve, not because of ‘love’ but because their other half was fertile and able to father a child.

Another theory takes the evolving part of the previous theory more seriously in keeping with what we think of as evolving. Basically, animals evolve through necessity, not because they want to or because they can. Therefore, the ‘growth’ gene in the Cylons is triggered by the acceptance that ressurrection is not possible and that they must find another way to live. The male cylons all seem to depend far too heavily on ressurection, and refuse to let the dream of their immortality die with the destruction of the ressurection ship, whereas the females seem to have accepted the truth that they will not get another chance at life and, therefore, must ‘live on’ in a different way – concieveing children.

I presonally like the second theory at the moment as it has the fewest holes and could prove a very interesting future plot point if I’m right (not to mention a lot of cyber-gloating).

As for the implications of Liam’s death, my personal feeling is that this may provoke the Cylons’ exodus from the fleet. They may feel that being with the humans can only put them at risk and that for their future survival, they must depart and leave the humans to it. They may try to find Cavil and unite all of the cylon models. Ross, I think, is more confident that the loss of his son will make Tigh more adamant to stay with the fleet and will force the hand of the rest of the cylons to staying too, as they can’t unite the models without all of th final five. Either way, the ramifications of Liam’s death could well be huge and prove the catalyst for the next, and final, four episodes of BSG.

Whatever happens though, I’m predicting masses of exposition and storytelling in the next episode. Something big is heading our way, and I can’t wait to see how this all turns out.

Cheers!

NBM

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~ by ninjabreadmen on February 25, 2009.

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