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There's a reason why her initials are S and M ...
A note on BSG 2.09, "Pegasus" 
25th-Sep-2005 01:01 pm
Adama--The Farm
I originally posted this in a comment on kimbari's journal, but she suggested I also post it elsewhere because "My blog is hardly the crossroads of the Internet." 8^D



(Kim) Some people said it was derivative and/or phony and/or formulaic... hey, whatever, I guess my standards aren't very high.

Actually, it wasn't any of those ... but it was somewhat rushed/compressed, so there wasn't much room to show many of the subtleties in what RDM was trying to do. Or at least what I think he was trying to do. He wasn't just "painting the baddies in really bad, broad strokes to set them upfor a fall next ep", as I read in one post. Though a fall there may be ... but I digress.

As we mentioned in chat, Cain is doing what Adama wanted to do before Roslin set him straight in the mini, that is, carrying on the fight. Pegasus started their post-apocalypse in much the same place and situation as Galactica, with one critical difference: They had no fleet to look after, no civilian government to look toward, in fact the few civilians they picked up were incorporated into the crew.

Even in "Flight of the Phoenix", we see Galactica's crew feeling beaten down and showing signs of despair at what their lives have become. Now try to picture what even our beloved crew would be thinking and doing if they didn't have civilians to protect and a truly altruistic mission to carry out. What would happen to them if their entire lives had been reduced to "The universe is destroyed, and all we can do is take as many Cylon bastards with us as we can before we die"?

You can see the answer in the Pegasus. I don't doubt that most of the crew started as good people, but many of their minds and hearts have been damaged by a psychosis that has only frayed the edges of most of the folks on Galactica. The strongest still cling to their humanity, but others have become harder, colder, less civilized ... in short, bastards. And I'm betting that Cain herself has a death wish. I spoke to an ex-military friend of mine who'd seen the ep, and she said (in reference to Cain shooting her XO), "You don't pull a stunt like that unless you're looking to get fragged."

So Ron and Co. were not just setting the people of Pegasus up for a fall.

He was showing what happens to the military when the true concepts of service and duty go by the wayside.


ETA since original comment: I REALLY want to see the deleted scenes from this ep! According to the podcast, there's tons of stuff they had to cut, and I'm betting it's choice! I guess that's one guaranteed purchaser for the S2 DVDs! ^_^


If anyone else has ideas about other good places to post this, feel free to either suggest them or quote me yourself. After all, my blog is hardly the crossroads of the Internet either. ;^D
Comments 
25th-Sep-2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
I have to say, without seeing the episode yet, WORD. So true.
25th-Sep-2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
Chris, xpost a link to 13th_colony.

*smooch*
25th-Sep-2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
Followed the link from the 13th colony and I'm glad I did. I had forgotten that Adama wanted to do that in the mini. What a great analysis.

The strongest still cling to their humanity, but others have become harder, colder, less civilized ... in short, bastards.

I didn't put that together on my own, what an interesting comparison the two crews are now.
25th-Sep-2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
Yes. Just yes. I love the comment of your military friend.
25th-Sep-2005 08:09 pm (UTC)
Read this over again and this jumped out at me:

What would happen to [Galactica] if their entire lives had been reduced to "The universe is destroyed, and all we can do is take as many Cylon bastards with us as we can before we die"?

That breaks my heart, and makes me feel a bit more sympathetic towards the Pegasus crew.

Thinking very sad thoughts...

25th-Sep-2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
Spot on, Chris. I really enjoyed the ep, and very much looking forward to the full 75 minute version on the dvds.

You can see the answer in the Pegasus. I don't doubt that most of the crew started as good people, but many of their minds and hearts have been damaged by a psychosis that has only frayed the edges of most of the folks on Galactica.
Yes -- they've sacrified their moral code for a military one. Revenge is the primed motivation.

As we mentioned in chat, Cain is doing what Adama wanted to do before Roslin set him straight in the mini, that is, carrying on the fight
Very true. It's an image of Galactica without Roslin - and go back to Adama's "every day is a gift from YOU" line in Home II, which demonstrates this.

I do wish they'd have delved deeper in the Pegasus mentality, because I REALLY loved Cain (what can I say, the psycho fuckup *always* ends up appealing to me. Shoot someone for not doing the job? I'm yours. *g*) and would've liked it to be less rushed. But what can you do in one hour?

It's too bad she's not staying long, because the human vs. human dynamic on top of the human vs. cylon one (which, btw, is getting less tangible by the episode) has SO much potential.

Anyways. I hope the next 10 eps go straight back to the Roslin Wing, because the show NEEDS an active Laura b-plot.
26th-Sep-2005 12:28 am (UTC)
I love your linking of the concept of the Fleet's humanizing influence to that quote - that's wonderful!
25th-Sep-2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
This was excellently stated. I agree with everything. It struck me right away that wow, this is what could have happened to the Galactica crew if Roslin hadn't talked Adama down in the mini, as I watched the entire episode.

I don't think that I ever thought of the Pegasus crew as completely evil. Maybe it's because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Was I sickened by their behavior, of course. But I hope that the next episode brings to light some reasons why. As Adama said in the episode, it's all about context. Not that it condones or justifies what they did, but maybe makes it easier to comprehend how their behavior and situation could have spiraled out of control so quickly.

I am really looked forward to seeing deleted scenes from this when the DVDs come out too. :)
25th-Sep-2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
I think there's much in what you say, Chris, but I can't see Adama *ever* condoning rape. Knock Cylon prisoners around, even kill them out of hand (after all, we've seen him order/condone that), but the systematic, long-term sexual and emotional degradation of a prisoner...he'd see how that dehumanizes the abusers perhaps even more than the abused, and forbid it.

Still, I don't see the Pegasus crew as evil either. Cain is out of control and leading from a very dark place. She's using military discipline and the war as a justification for her extreme behavior, but shooting disobedient officers and gang-raping prisoners is not normal military behavior under any circumstances (not by the standards we like to think we have, anyway). Crew members have either chosen to embrace her way of doing things, or else they're clinging to survival by keeping their mouths shut. After all, until they ran into the fleet, they had no place else to go, and no choice but her way or the deep dark vacuum of space. Now that they can see a possibility of finding sanctuary with Adama, how many of her crew may choose to abandon her?
26th-Sep-2005 12:31 am (UTC)
hear, hear. IMO, extreme situations strip you down to your pure nature - a warrior and martinet becomes a vicious warlord, an internally-guided moral man becomes Father of His Country. I *don't* have sympathy for the Pegasus crew; they're all complicit by their choices...
26th-Sep-2005 12:41 am (UTC)
I can't see Adama *ever* condoning rape.

Neither can I, Grace ... nor do we know for certain that Cain condones it, though she surely has not done all she could to stop it.

I certainly don't claim that Galactica would be in the exact same place as Pegasus if they had not had Roslin and the civilians ... but they'd be much closer than they are now.

One other mitigating factor in Galactica's situation is Adama's more relaxed attitude toward regs. This attitude is probably what earned him command of the "relic" in the first place, but it is invaluable now. He has far more flexibility within him to deal with the insane requirements of their new situation than Cain ever could have. Ironic given that she seems a fair bit younger than he is.

Brandon (my husband) pointed out to me yesterday that the situation in "Fragged" was a miniaturized version of what happened in "Pegasus". The conflict between Crashdown (desperately clinging to military procedure and chain-of-command to the point of nearly executing someone who refused an order) and the rest of his team on Kobol (unwilling to follow suicidally stupid orders) bears many similarities to Cain's current command situation.

And yes, kaseido, I agree completely that everyone is responsible for their choices, to act or not, to speak or remain silent. I make my points not to make the crew of the Pegasus the object of sympathy, but to show that they are more three-dimensional than they appear at first glance.

And I can feel sympathy for those suffering, not from moral cowardice, but the pure physical fear that they'll be next against the wall if they disobey. "Death before dishonor" is a much easier concept to follow in the abstract.
26th-Sep-2005 01:54 am (UTC)
Neither can I, Grace ... nor do we know for certain that Cain condones it, though she surely has not done all she could to stop it.

Hmm. While I certainly hope she didn't order it, somehow I doubt that *anything* goes on on that woman's ship that she doesn't know about, and couldn't stop if she wanted to.

I found it interesting and disturbing that what her security chief was doing when Helo and Tyrol attacked him never even came up. Adama must not have known, because I can't believe he wouldn't have challenged her on the charges if he had. Surely nothing in their regs/procedures would condone rape as an interrogation procedure. Even Cally--who hates Sharon, who shot the other Sharon and is still proud of it--was repelled by what those men were saying. I just can't see this as any kind of normal outgrowth of a tightly run military operation, even a desperate one bent solely on revenge.

I too believe that individuals are responsible for their own actions, but I also believe that leadership sets the overall tone of any group or society and establishes what is considered acceptable behavior. I've just seen it in operation too many times, in too many situations, to think a leader doesn't have a very strong influence over the beliefs and actions of those under their authority.

"Death before dishonor" is a much easier concept to follow in the abstract.

Absolutely. Especially when the victim is a member of a hive-minded, synthetic species which has systematically committed genocide against your species. That rape would still be wrong, but how much would one really want to go to bat for the victim under such circumstances--especially one who had killed 7 of one's crew mates?

26th-Sep-2005 12:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for this, and for x-posting! Wonderful analysis, and I agree - I think the only issues with this ep came from condensed pacing. It would hav been wonderful as a 2-parter...

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