January 19, 2009 · 4:00 pm
“Sometimes a Great Notion”
January 16th, 2009
I had to wait over forty-eight hours to watch this, the beginning of the end for Battlestar Galactica as it enters its final ten-episode stretch. I logged onto Twitter in my hotel on Friday evening, as I am in Montreal for the continent’s longest running debating invitational; it was a force of habit really, but I found something I wasn’t prepared for. I saw a tweet that said the words “Final Cylon.” I paused, threw my hands in front of my screen, and immediately went on a self-imposed twitter ban (which failed miserably once I devised security methods to avoid spotting more spoiler material).
I was, regardless of my adverse reaction to spoilers in general, shocked by this news: here is this piece of news that we were so desperate to discover, so apparently integral to this final season that they changed the opening title cards, and all of a sudden we have the answer in this episode’s final moments. It all felt so counter-intuitive, so different from how we expected this episode to go down.
In that sense, it is almost exactly the opposite of the fourth season premiere last year, which felt like the very basic repercussions we had spent a lengthy time imagining. Here, the common trait was that everything was bigger than we imagined: while not outside of the realm of possibility and the breadth of internet predictions, the events which transpired had an extremist slant that never felt sensationalist and more importantly never felt as if they were ending or simply stalling for time. The “who” question for the Final Cylon is not really the show’s preoccupation: instead, their identity is a sharpening of focus, a lynchpin of identity for what we now know is a far more complicated Cylon mythology.
The world of Battlestar Galactica was broken open when we learned the identity of eighty percent of the final five, but what resulted was an isolation of their turmoil to an investigation into their psychological well-being. The irony is that here, as their identity becomes public and the entire fleet becomes part of their journey, their inner trauma only becomes more profound: these characters now have even more complicated questions about their identity, just as humanity does facing the scorched earth they believed and prayed was home, and they have new factors such as history or destiny to consider more carefully.
“Sometimes a Great Notion” feels like another stage of escalation in the season’s general purpose: it is not about who the Final Cylons are so much as who they were, who they are, what they are understood to be, and who they wish to be in the future. Answering those questions is not so much about naming them than letting them loose in a world now even more defined by their unique journey. The result here is an episode that, more than anything in the first half of the season, feels like we’re sifting through the denseness of this serious to the intersection of philosophical and personal interests that will define the series finale.
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Filed under Battlestar Galactica
Tagged as Adama, Cylons, D'anna, Drama, Dualla, Earth, Ellen Tigh, Entertainment, Episode Eleven, Final Cylon, Gaius Baltar, Galactica, Laura Roslin, Lucy Lawless, Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, Season 4.5, Season Four, Season Premiere, sometimes a great notion, Starbuck, Suicide, Television, the 13th colony, Tigh, who is the final cylon
December 7, 2008 · 10:03 pm
“You Look Like Peter Pan”
December 7th, 2008
After last week’s heartbreaking exit of Toni and Dallas, this finale is bittersweet. You have one team that’s been dominant, one team that’s been a bit tough to watch, and one team that for all rights shouldn’t even still be there. The season never really picked up much steam after a certain point, the explosive rivalries ending up being both early and driven by stupidity more than emotions (no offense, Kelly and Christy, but REALLY.)
Going into this leg, I believe that this can only be satisfyingly be won by Nick and Starr – yes, I think there is some type of story to be found in Dan & Andrew’s potential triumph, and Ken & Tina’s marital position would make for (at least) not an entirely boring victory, but I want to see good racers win for running a good race.
Or, perhaps to satisfy my demands, Nick and Starr can get the race-equivalent of pixie dust and fly to the finish line.
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Filed under The Amazing Race
Tagged as Amazing Race, CBS, Dan & Andrew, Detour, Entertainment, Episode Eleven, Final Leg, Finale, Ken & Tina, Nick & Starr, Race, Reality TV, Season 13, Season Finale, TAR, Television
October 13, 2008 · 12:11 am
“The Jet Set”
October 12th, 2008
When most people arrive at their travel destination without their suitcase, they’re angry; when Don Draper arrives without his luggage, it provides a freedom that allows him to break free into (long) uncharted territory.
“The Jet Set” follows Don on a journey of sorts, as he flees the rigidity and direness of Cold War aerospace technology and the schmoozing of pie in the sky engineers searching to create the superhuman astronaut, instead jumping in a car with a young woman named Joy who, more than his meetings, offers hope for her her eponymous emotion. As he encounters those filthy rich and adventurous individuals known as the Jet Set, he also encounters a life that is so unlike his own it nearly scares him back to safety, but then surprisingly scares him back to something difference altogether.
There’s a lot of people who are reverting back to older perspectives here, some in desperate search of former glory or others who are simply collateral damage in the wake of the office’s bigotry. For the most part, it’s a stark reminder that the lives of our characters are the polar opposite of the show’s airborne guests: while they fly from exotic location to exotic location, our characters are stuck in place, struggling to expand their horizons at anything close to jet speed.
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Filed under Mad Men
Tagged as AMC, California, Dick Whitman, Don Draper, Entertainment, Episode Eleven, Homosexuality, Jet Setters, Matthew Weiner, Peggy Olsen, Season Two, Sterling Cooper, Television, The Jet Set