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There's a reason why her initials are S and M ...
An actual BSG post! 
20th-Apr-2008 04:03 am
BSG Dysfunctional Family Circus
Though a tiny one. Try not to pass out from shock. ;) I've thoroughly enjoyed S4 so far, especially the gut-wrenches. I do have one question though, that contains spoilers for up to 4.02, "Six of One".

Can anyone explain to me why, when Laura Roslin sticks the knife in, she's just telling Bill what he needs to hear whether he wants to hear it or not, but when Bill Adama does the same thing, he's being an insensitive ass?

Suffice to say I got a wee bit irritated with some of the reactions to that particular episode.

But then I never have liked double standards ...
20th-Apr-2008 11:43 am (UTC)
Even though that scene left me feeling out of sorts you make a good point. I'd read some comments about how much of an ass he was being and all I could think was "Hello did you people not see/hear what Laura had said also?"
20th-Apr-2008 11:53 am (UTC)
Oh, I hear you. It was not a comfortable scene in any way shape or form, nor was it meant to be. Rather like watching your parents fight, you feel that sense of instability in something you desperately want to always be stable.

But folks, they were both being jerks, and they were both pointing out hurtful truths. If you're gonna stick an asshat on him, you've gotta stick one on her too. Just sayin'.
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20th-Apr-2008 04:01 pm (UTC)
Laura is the only one of them who is actually alone.
Oh, come on. She's had FOUR FREAKIN' YEARS to make friends. (When you're at war, you make good friends. I should know, I've been there.)

Laura is alone because she wants to be alone. She wants to be "The Dying Leader" and "The Prophet." She doesn't want to be a regular person and have friends and/or family. She wants to be a symbol.

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20th-Apr-2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
They were both honest. They were both as devastatingly accurate as only two people who've come to know each other very well can be. And they each said things they knew would cut the other.

Now I'm not saying Bill wasn't being a jerk in that scene. He so very was. I will even award him the larger of the two asshats on the same grounds that retaliating to a thrown punch in a rugby match automatically gets the penalty reversed. BUT. Laura was sitting there verbally dissecting him, even though she knew he was hurting and under the influence ... and she continued to do so even after he explicitly told her to back the frak up.

So YMM of course V, but no, she doesn't get a pass from me. If he doesn't get one because he was drinking, she doesn't get one because she's dying.
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20th-Apr-2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
You bring up interesting points. I had no idea people were feeling that way about that scene, mostly because I haven't been online and I haven't read reviews.
To me, the whole scene was painful, and they both said very hurtful things.
I must admit I was distracted by something when I watched, and I'm not sure it's not going to distract me again when I rewatch, so the whole thing didn't sink in the way it should.

But with the way Bill was the last to speak and the scene focussed on Laura's reaction rather than his, I can see why people would give him the asshat card and not her.
Still doesn't make it right. I get that most viewers feel sorry for her cos she's dying, and think that Bill shouldn't be so hard on her, but I don't believe Bill will ever feel pity for her, and he's certainly proven here that he won't pull his punches with her either.
Which I really like.

Anyways, my perception was that they were even on the hurtfulness in that scene, and that it was quite heartbreaking to see her crack like that, but that was a bit separate from the whole hurtful truths exchange. If that makes sense.

Must watch again..
20th-Apr-2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
It was a very adult exchange. People who care about each other say things to hurt each other, and the greater the caring, the greater the hurt. I just don't happen to agree with the Laura was entirely justified and Bill was entirely an ass POV.
20th-Apr-2008 02:32 pm (UTC)
After some time to think about it, this is my final (hopefully) comment on the matter.

Laura started it. She was angling for something and she got it. Because he has lost all perspective, she has to do it for both of them. He talks a good game about rolling the hard six, but it's easier to talk about it when the dice has been in someone else's hand for good long while by now.

I think it's what they both said, honestly. Bill wanted so badly to believe that it was the real Starbuck who somehow either miraculously survived her Viper being blown up with her IN it or has returned from the dead. That's a dangerous viewpoint to have when you're responsible for thirty nine thousand or so people who Kara might be leading into an ambush. Laura knows that. And on some level, she knows Bill knows that, but she's shoved into the position of pointing it right the hell out to him.

True, she could have waited, she could have been a little easier on him, she could have been nicer, and she probably should have done all of those things.

But what possible good could it have done her for Bill to spitefully tell her that she was afraid of dying alone?

He had a point with the dying leader comment. I think she needed to hear that, just like he needed to hear that his love for Kara was putting the fleet in danger. Laura's clinging to the idea of the Dying Leader (at this point, I sort of hope it's Kara so she can die again, but that's just me) just like Bill is clinging to the hope that it was a miracle and not a Cylon plot that Kara returned.

And, honestly? I think Laura was a little pissed that Bill all of a sudden believes in miracles, or believes in the possibility of miracles now, because of Kara.

I don't think Bill was an ass anymore, but I do continue to think that the last knock-out punch he delivered was more hurtful than anything she said to him, simply because it was completely unnecessary. Everything else he said to her, everything else she said to him, needed to be said.

But not practically mocking her about being afraid to die alone.

Sorry for the novel, Chris.
20th-Apr-2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
But what possible good could it have done her for Bill to spitefully tell her that she was afraid of dying alone?

No more and no less than her telling him he's scared of living alone.

Was it completely unnecessary, what Bill said to her? I won't argue that his timing sucked, as did hers, but is Bill really the only member of this partnership that needs to check his underlying motivations for the sake of the fleet? I don't think so.

We chatted in IM about some of my other points, so I won't get redundant by spewing them at you again. ;) But really, this is what I love about both the show and the A/R relationship, that they push people to think.

Edited at 2008-04-21 01:05 am (UTC)
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20th-Apr-2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
As I mentioned above, yes, this is the kind of ugliness to which grown-up relationships can descend. Maybe it's just me, but I'm smelling some cultural conditioning of the "when a woman speaks harshly to a man she's speaking her mind, but when a man speaks harshly to a woman he's being a bastard" variety.
20th-Apr-2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
I think they were both equally to blame for the harsh words during that scene. What I've noticed from some of the folks on my flist is that Bill is more to blame and there is more anger toward him because, zomg, Laura is dying of cancer and she shouldn't have to take such verbal abuse. Personally, I don't think it was very smart of Laura to pick a fight with him when she knew he'd been drinking.
20th-Apr-2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
It was neither smart nor kind to start digging into his wounds right then, when it was fairly obvious that he was already in pain. Pushing further after he'd told her to back off ... if she wasn't expecting a wounded-bear reaction, she should have been. I don't pardon Bill's nastiness, but neither do I pardon Laura's thoughtlessness.

But the fact that the last episode showed that they can still step beyond this shows the real triumph of their relationship.
20th-Apr-2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
Can anyone explain to me why, when Laura Roslin sticks the knife in, she's just telling Bill what he needs to hear whether he wants to hear it or not, but when Bill Adama does the same thing, he's being an insensitive ass?
I'm with you on that.

Bill is onto Laura's game and if she can't take it, then she shouldn't play it.

All I could think of after that scene was:
"Laura's being such a b***h. She's acting like Bill did in S1."
20th-Apr-2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
Heh. Well, we went over it pretty well in IM. Like I said, I don't deny Bill was a jerk. I just don't think Laura is so completely excuseable.
20th-Apr-2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
I can't explain it, becuase you're right. It IS a double standard, and it shouldn't be. Like others before have said, she was basically asking for it. He was drunk, she picked a fight and he went in for the kill. Maybe what he said was more hurtful than anything she said, but honestly. The man was drunk, his mental filters weren't on, and Laura knew that. Maybe people are more willing to get their dander up about it because she's sick and have some kind of desire to protect her. Maybe they have never been in a relationship of their own before and don't know how things work. It's not always fair, it's not always nice, and sometimes we say things that are horrible to the people we love the most. That doesn't diminish the love or respect, and it definitely doesn't change the fact that, in this case at least, everything that was said needed to be said.
21st-Apr-2008 12:50 am (UTC)
Very true. I don't buy the idea that Bill needed to have his face rubbed in his objectivity issues at that particular moment, any more than I buy that Laura never needs to have her face rubbed in her own, or worse, that she doesn't have any such issues to begin with.

Granted, that wasn't the right moment for it, but it wasn't for either of them.
20th-Apr-2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
I think they were both nasty. But I think that the audience generally identified and supported Roslin more because we saw her silently crying when her hair fell out while Adama had walked out beforehand. I certainly felt worse for her over him because of that, even though I thought they both acted like asses to each other.

21st-Apr-2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Yes, certainly. What is shown will always color perceptions the most strongly, and it did indeed suck mightily to see her cry like that.
20th-Apr-2008 06:46 pm (UTC) - Due to my lack of interest in getting hate mail/spam I'm going anon.
I think with a lot of viewers being more into powerful women (I don't want to say feminists as I'll be slit at the throat -even though I too am a woman) its a given that support would be placed onto Roslin. Its not the first time I've run into that mindset of 'when a woman guts a man she's speaking her mind, when a man speaks his mind he's being insensitive'.

That's one thing that I've found to be a wee bit disappointing in the show is just how much the women overpower the men. Don't get me wrong I love strong female characters but I was hoping for more neutral grounds where there were strong and week male and female characters instead of one sex overpowering the other.

Now that said I personally Bill had every right to defend himself. Laura was gutting him pretty good there. Perhaps too its because she's dying that she has more support? Still doesn't excuse her harsh words but maybe thats just me.
21st-Apr-2008 01:15 am (UTC) - Re: Due to my lack of interest in getting hate mail/spam I'm going anon.
The fact that she's dying certainly plays into it. The fact that she's a woman in power and many people feel uncomfortable about seeing such a woman portrayed with certain kinds of human frailties also plays into it. I'm mainly thinking about the various opinions I've read online that run to the tune of "I don't want to see Laura go power-hungry this season because it will ruin her character for me."

The idea that I've seen espoused that Laura needs no checks on her power simply because her overall intentions are good, that Zarek and Lee were wrong in what they did last ep, scares the piss out of me quite frankly. If Laura gets abusive of her power this season, falls on her ass, gets called on it and grows as a result, for me that will not mean the character's destruction. It will mean her triumph.
20th-Apr-2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
I haven't read any reviews or discussions, so this "angle" is a surprise to me too. I saw two people who have grown very close lashing out at each other with some home truths. It wasn't fun to watch, but it was normal, and I'm sure left both of them with things to think about.

Perhaps what disturbs me the most is that Bill (and to some extent Laura as well) seems to think it's about who he loves more, Laura or Starbuck. I was so relieved when he finally came up with a sensible plan: check out Starbuck's story, but don't risk the entire fleet to do it.
21st-Apr-2008 02:11 am (UTC)
That's what I love about this show. The moment was so painful but so very real. And I do think Laura had a wee snit on the order of "you'll trust her on faith now but wouldn't trust me back then?" Not much of one, because she knows Bill barely knew her back then, but just enough to make it difficult for her to see that he's trying to keep options open for the good of the fleet, not just for the good of Kara.
21st-Apr-2008 01:18 am (UTC)
Thank GOD I am not the only one that saw that Laura is just as much at fault for the ugliness that happened between as Bill was. She knows not to push him when he is like that but she did anyway. I think in a way she wanted to see where he was on his road to believing Kara. Laura's greatest fear is that Bill will turn away from her beliefs on their path toward Earth. It would take her back to before KLG. She is terrified that just as he showed up on Kobol and gave legimized her position and beliefs, he could take it all away again.

As I think you or docladyblade said on SI, "All of this has happened before, it will happen again."
21st-Apr-2008 02:20 am (UTC)
Yeah. Bill's shot was cheap, but Laura's wasn't any too pricey either. And no, Laura does not like to be reminded that, in the most coldbloodedly practical terms, she still needs Bill a helluva lot more than he needs her.

Edited at 2008-04-21 02:20 am (UTC)
21st-Apr-2008 03:53 am (UTC)
That was a big issue that I had with the post-ep reactions from last week. They were both hurt and angry and said things that perhaps they shouldn't have but which NEEDED TO BE SAID. The overwhelming humanity of this show and its characters is one of its defining features. I had to give credit to the writers for not pulling back the punches when it came to a conversation like that.

When you have such an emotionally charged situation (with anger, confusion, and denial) and then add in alcohol with one of the players and inevitable death with the other, it is not going to end in an ideal conversation. Both sides were wrong in how they went about it, but both were very much correct in finally saying it out loud.

Or maybe that's just me *shrugs*
2nd-Nov-2008 12:44 am (UTC)
I know this is a very late response, but... I squee'd all over that scene, and had to watch it twice, because it says SO MUCH about their relationship. Both of them were sticking the knife in, but there was no question that they'd recover from it because of who they are and what they mean to each other - you have to know someone VERY well to be able to find all the right places to stick that metaphorical knife, and it just shows off their intimacy so damned well. I love it.
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