Lucy Lawless - Battlestar Galactica - Season 2 Episode 8 Final Cut

Lucy Lawless Battlestar Galactica

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Lucy Lawless - Battlestar Galactica
Role: D'anna Biers, Colonial Reporter

Season 2 - Episode 8
Final Cut Review

By KT
fsktl@aurora.uaf.edu

General Review | Lucy’s Role | Favorite Scenes

Lucy Lawless Promo Pic #1Lucy Lawless Promo Pic #2Lucy Lawless Promo Pic #3Lucy Lawless Promo Pic #4


What an excellent show.

This was so deliciously visual a show. Now that may sound weird talking about a visual medium. But so many TV shows neglect or ignore the opportunity to integrate visual information as part of the telling of their story.

For example, Lucy is golden. (Have to admit, I ALWAYS think she’s golden, but in this part, she literally is.) On dull grey, muted blue or sterile white, mostly monochromatic, often gloomy sets, she’s bathed in full light. For the last half of the ep, she wears a yellow blouse, boosting her illumination quota even more. In the physical and emotional murk surrounding her, she alone of all the characters glows.

Even in black and white as she is on the first tape when reporting on the massacre, she’s highlighted in an unusual way, very strongly back lit as she speaks earnestly into the camera. Which is all “wrong”. If you were working lights on a news set and set them up this way, you’d most likely get told to fix it, to balance the illumination so that the face is lit strongly from the front, while the shoulders/hair have just a little highlight to make the person stand out from the background. Strong backlighting is a basic no-no. Halos are not usually something you try to create on talking heads. Unless you’re making a point by breaking the rule.

And she’s not just physically golden. Her character/attitude likewise glows compared to the rest of the cast. She’s bright, clean and “up”, excited about her mission even though surrounded by gloom. The literal gloom and the mental gloom of the troops around her. She’s chipper “There ya go! We’ll make this as painless as possible” (as she pins the mike on Tigh), she’s playful and witty (“Or is this a coup?” immediately followed by a “Score one for me” smile).  Unlike every one else around her, she’s not jaded in her work, she’s still filled with curiosity, still thinks there’s things to learn from others (“Does it ever get easier?”)

We see a lot of this show from D’Anna’s view. (Both literally and figuratively.) The show even opens with “the truth on tape”, with the filmed attack on the civilians.

I liked how whenever D’Anna was in the scene, they kept switching between showing us the unfolding story in “real life” and showing us the world that D’Anna was capturing in her viewfinder. We the viewer essentially took the place of the recording camera at times.

When it was real life, the saw the action full screen and in color. When we watched it through D’Anna’s camera, we got a blue wash and characteristic obviously digitalized blocks to look at in letter-boxed format.

They also did a great job at inserting the formal interview pieces that D’Anna had done into the middle of moments when she’s interacting with the same people “now”. Hearing what they said juxtaposed with what they’re doing at this moment enhanced the message and effect of the scenes.

This mix of a regular fictional style and the documentary style of the actor looking into the camera and talking directly to the viewer is unusual. This creates an opportunity for the actors to talk directly to the audience as if they are holding a conversation with you. This is very powerful.

(You know, in the first DVD for the fan club kit 8, there is a really interesting sequence of Lucy shooting Locked Up Tied Down. It’s the outtakes from the sequence where she’s lying on the ground in the dungeon and the rats are challenging her to fight. It’s hilarious because the rats are not real cooperative and Lucy is trying to kind of keep them moving-one is sitting on her head to her disgusted consternation. And at one point they’re shooting and she’s trying to pick up the stuffed rat in her teeth and toss it into the air (and shudders out that she’s VERY worried she’s going to bite into a real rat by mistake.) Anyway, she’s acting away and suddenly stops and apologizes, saying, “I looked at the camera”. Which is enough to kill the shot.)

The most surprising thing to me was how this series (at least in this ep) isn’t a shoot-‘em-up at all. Even in the raider scene-we stay in the command center, we don’t go to war with Starbuck and Adama. We see the “bystanders”, not the battle. And the scene focuses on the human reactions of the people being protected and of the officers who will have to deal with the results of the battle, and of the support people who know that any victory or defeat might be the result of their own work. Marvelously complex-not just rooting for the death of the enemy, the destruction of their agenda, but also focusing on how the war effort is the business of everyone in that last outpost they are operating in. It shows a stake in a war that is way personal, way beyond just the stake one has in sending other people’s kids off to fight. It shows that people who are invaded have more at stake than the invaders do. The invaders can always drop the battle and go home. The invaded have no such choice. Great probing into the psyche of those who are involved in a war.

There were many things in this ep that are relevant to today’s political landscape in America.

This show is very well written. Great natural dialogue but also such a good understanding of humans under pressure. The people having a Wall of Remembrance that they visit and grieve over is just perfect. What a great way to show the cost of invasion and war on a society.

The acting is also excellent. Lots of good actors to watch. But of course as always, my heart belongs to the woman who gave us Xena.

Lucy is just so natural as an actress. She has an amazingly expressive face.

She “says” so much without using words.

She has the talent and ability to recreate very real human reactions. The looks that cross her face don’t strike me as being staged, even hardly as if it they were planned. She’s soooooo truly in the moment of being the character she’s playing. that I seldom perceive her as acting-she just exists as someone else.  Thinking about her skill, at first I was thinking “She forgets she’s Lucy when she acts”, but I’m not sure that’s right. I think maybe more it’s that she simply creates her character in her mind and then inhabits her. And selects very common and recognizable facial reactions to fit who her character is and how she reacts to the world.

This very close up and personal look into the actor’s face is an aspect of watching a performance in filmed media. This is pure TV/Movie acting. It’s not just hearing a script of words from a distance, not a play where the audience is so removed from the personal space in which normal conversations occur. The camera peers into the actor’s face, just like we do when we’re talking to someone. Movies let us see the most realistic presentation of the full spectrum of human interaction. It alone can show us the whole mix of subtle body language, facial expressions and looks in the eyes that complement and fill in the blanks between words when two people communicate with each other. And cinematic media is Lucy’s metier.

Damn, she was good in this. I enjoyed so much watching her work with other good actors.

What a lovely young woman Dualla is. Hot. And she just exudes honor and maturity and a world weariness that any thoughtful person in her situation would develop in these circumstances.

Loved how Lucy reacted to her story about why she joined the army, even over her father’s strong objections. “Guess I just wanted to believe in something.” D’Anna is stopped short in her tracks for a couple of seconds. We can see her mind processing, her taking in the implications of what Dualla has said. Then she finally reacts with a sudden, sad, poignant smile. And perhaps a hint of moisture in her eyes.

Another excellent scene they have together is in the command center during the battle with the cylon raiders. D’Anna is filming her and asks, “Okay, so I’m new at this. Should I be scared?” Dualla calmly answers, “I am.” Lucy gives her a “look”. But D’Anna has courage-she continues to do her job regardless of the danger. (Unlike the Vice President who urged her to stay down below with him, where it’s “safe as houses”. And just where the heck does that phrase come from?) I also wondered if this guy was really British or if like Lucy, he just sometimes puts on an accent.

And then the final moment in that scene, after the raiders are destroyed, she asks, “Does it get any easier?” Dualla replies—“No ma’am. It gets harder”.  This statement affects D’Anna profoundly. She’s speechless, searching for an appropriate response, her mouth moving soundlessly in reaction to what Dualla has said. And after all her searching, all she can come up with is a nod and a whispered, “Thank you.” A thank you for the answer or a thank you for all the soldiers do for the civilization on the ship?

Starbuck is the wildest card in the crew. She presents the greatest challenge to D’Anna. She totally ignores her on their first meeting in the locker room.  Though she interacts with “her” pilots professionally, the only person she really seems to relate to on a personal level is young Adama.

When D’Anna tapes Kat’s fight with the mechanic, Starbuck screams into her face, through her lens, “Ya happy now?” Adama pulls her away, saying “Just walk away” and off they go.

Lucy twists her mouth into a gesture of determined persistence and gives Starbuck a harsh stony look as she continues to hold the mike towards the two retreating pilots. Refusing to give up working in the face of upset, unhappy subjects. She’s going to get this explosive, angry scene on tape, she won’t let the judgment of others regarding what she does when doing her job stop her. A little ironic, since in a way, she’s here as a judge in a judging position for her society.

When Starbuck is trying to talk the drugged Kat to a safe landing, D’Anna is asking questions in the control room to find out just what’s going on.  Starbuck turns and screams at her, “Shut the frak up!” D’Anna just cuts her losses-takes the insult without getting all wiggy about it-just runs to get her camera to record the scene.

In the punching bag scene, it’s obvious D’Anna can’t quite figure out how to approach Starbuck, how to present herself to her. How to “get” to her.  D’Anna uses some of her cocky bravado, but it doesn’t work with this subject. She’s tries to appear cool and unengaged-she sucks in her cheeks in a rueful kind of “I’m easily as cool as you are” look. But Starbuck is not drawn in. Starbuck is too grounded, too no nonsense, too cynical, maybe even just too angry and isolated to easily fall for manipulation.  D’Anna never pierces her shell. So she stops trying. She slides into sullen silence as she stares balefully at Starbuck. This time, she doesn’t shape the interview. She merely observes. She emotionally removes herself from the interaction. By the end of the scene, she’s just watching Starbuck beat the bag. This is one formal interview she never gets control of.

This scene also has a fun visual. D’Anna says that Adama has said she can talk to Starbuck. And Starbuck answers, “Captain Adama likes to push my buttons” This sentence is followed by a short shot of D’Anna smirking, then quickly back to a shot of Starbuck’s belly button showcased right in the middle of the screen and the camera gliding up her body from there.

Tigh was marvelous. Especially in the ending scene of them watching D’Anna’s tape-just showing the whole conflicted mess he’s created. His humanity is impinged by his trade.

The woman who played Kat was really good. She absolutely caught the rage and horror of the lives of all of the pilots. And of all of the people in the fleet. Excellent acting.

At the end when Tigh is comforting his duct taped wife and D’Annais squatting down alongside him taping them, he asks, “Will you PLEASE get out of my face” in a not really angry voice, but rather in a true request, reasonable person to reasonable person voice. Perhaps because he’s grateful to D’Anna for saving his wife with her intelligence? Is D’Anna now a real person for him, not just an annoying camera stand? And for the first time, D’Anna responds to a request for her to stop shooting by acquiescing and pulling her camera away.

Of course I loved that there were lots of women in the show. It’s great to see powerful, strong women, so many female pilots and officers. It amused me that though the president and D’Anna are called Ma’am by the soldiers (well, by Dualla at least), the female pilots are called “Sir”.

There was also ethnic diversity. Some of the important characters are not Caucasian-more than the “token” numbers. The cast looks more like America than most shows.

And best of all, there were just so MANY scenes with Lucy. YES!

Lucy’s Role

By the gods, I’d forgotten what an excellent actress Lucy is. Seeing her in this new, complex, broad-ranging role-damn, that grrl is just sooooo good! What a joy it was to watch her in action again.

And what an excellent show! Good writing, beautiful character definition, excellent themes of human conflict and really good actors working the scripts.  Also outstanding camera work and editing. A+ all around.

I’ve never watched any eps of this show. I intended to while I had access to cable this summer but I never got around to it. So the first time watching this ep, I wasn’t sure what was going on at all. But even if I had had some idea of the story so far of the series, about all I did on the first run through was watch Luce at work. Just like in the old Xena glory days.

Then I went and read the stuff in my spoiler folder, gaining lots of info on just what was going on. (And what fun that was, to be back to stuffing a new ep file folder with posts, back to getting aggravated with folks who hadn’t used spoiler space and back to having a whole pile of people’s opinions on the show to read after the first viewing. AHHHHHHH.)

Then I watched it again. On the second run through, with actually paying some attention to the plot along with watching Lucy work and also with having read the helpful posts in my spoiler folder, I began to appreciate much more just how complex this story is. And then I watched it again. And then I began to  take notes on it. And then I watched it again. And took more notes on it. And then I watched it again. And then I watched it again. And then by mistake I taped last night’s Cold Case over it. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!! <Furious panting.>

Oh well, at least I got to see it a FEW times before the “Horrible Accident”. Sniffle. Whimper.

There were some things I did want to check in the ep, but now that’s just not possible. SIIIIIIIGH
 

Okay, let’s start from the beginning. . .


The opening scene, the tape of the massacre ends in a very Xenaic style-a low angle tilt-up skewed sideways shot of a child caught in the carnage, running around looking for his parents. It immediately reminded me of the beginning of “Callisto”.

We first see Lucy onscreen onscreen. She’s part of the news tape, commenting on the massacre. And she’s using her “big kids’ Kiwi voice”, the voice/accent she uses when she does documentaries in real life.

Then we pull back and see that D’Anna is watching D’Anna. She’s editing the tape. And she says, (in the less formal modified Kiwi voice/accent she uses when being interviewed on American TV shows and which she uses for most of the rest of the ep), “Get me some stock footage of raging marines.” So the script sets her up as a manipulator. Of film here, but this also foreshadows her as a manipulator of people.

All through the show, Lucy does some real nice little facial expressions, gestures and mannerisms to define her character. Here in the very beginning, when the soldiers first come to take her to Adama, we find out that she’s a little bit of a playful punk. They ask her to come with them. And her answer is, “What if I refuse to go?” said in a challenging, “What are you gonna do then, huh?” smart a$$ way. Grinning provocatively at them and bobbing her head, jokingly arrogant, testing to see how far she can go, just what she can get away with. Of course she does go with them. (Or else we would have had the shortest guest shot ever. And wouldn’t that have been maddening?)

We see this attitude immediately again when she is first brought before the president and Commander Adama. After making nice with Madam President and stonewalling Adama’s request to out her source, she tries to change the subject with a little joke, “So is this a social call or are we on the verge of another coup?” And gives an affected, “I’m so bratty, but ain’t I cute” smirky smile.  Again challenging and uppity.

But when Adama quietly, with just a touch of reproof in his voice, replies, “Funny”, she responds to that little verbal slap with somewhat of an apology.  She demurs just a bit to him. “Just something to break the ice.” But then she follows that up with the gesture of literally tucking her tongue into her cheek. Later after we see how good a manipulator she is, it makes me wonder if she didn’t immediately decide that this is what he would respond to best. That he appreciates someone who accepts a little chastisement with an acknowledgement of it but without letting it get them down.

Then she quickly “straightens up” which opens the way for her to get on with her agenda. So in the next instant, she’s trying to draw them out, find out why she’s been summoned. She works the old “The best defense is a good offense” strategy and is the first to state the obvious. “I gather you’re not. . .happy with my story on the Gideon massacre?”

Interesting movement as she says this. She gives a little dip, a kind of almost respectful acknowledgement of the conflict between them. Lucy spaces her words and uses an odd rhythm in her phrasing, kind of groping for the right words to say to state the reason she suspects they’ve brought here there. And she couples this with that quirky movement-she’s not quite relaxed enough (or maybe she’s just too hyper) to just quietly stand there as she brings the subject up.  But neither is she willing to be defensive nor apologetic about her job. It’s obvious she’s a little wary but she also still retains that core of cockiness that shines through in her voice and her action.

She is somewhat stunned to find out that they don’t want to muzzle her, but rather they sent for her to film them at work. She immediately tells Madam President that she won’t do a propaganda piece (her earlier request to her helper for a clip of “Stock footage of raging marines”, notwithstanding.) She is obviously insulted at the thought of being used, adamant about not being a pawn in their plans. (Although she has no problem being a user herself.)

When the president says that D’Anna’s tape has made people angry and distrustful of the military, D’Anna replies with just a spark of anger and some frustration of her own, “Yeah, with good reason ma’am.”

The president tells her that all she wants her to do is to put a human face on the soldiers. Lucy shows D’Anna’s disbelief, exchanging arrogant, challenging stares with Adama.

So the administration/military decides to use the journalist for their own agenda to show the human being inside the warrior. But by saying they will give D’Anna total access and let her shoot her story on the massacre, they open themselves up to the possibility of at the very least angry criticism; at the worst, a total collapse of trust, respect and support from the civilian sector.  Possibly even court martials in the future? However they also get a crack at turning her into a working comrade of theirs, telling their story in the way they want it to be known. Essentially, D’Anna and Adama enter into a wary, prickly relationship. Theoretically both are seeking to discover and disperse the truth; but in practice both believe they already know what the truth of the matter is.

And of course, the authorities say they are granting her total access, but they keep shrouded in secrecy the biggest moral issue of all—the pregnant cylon and her human/cylon fetus that they are harboring and protecting on board.

And so, D’Anna’s off!

She and the very quiet Bill, her camera operator, (he has like three short lines in the whole ep, laugh!) immediately get to work, shooting in the commuter ship that is taking them to Galactica. In a great piece of foreshadowing, Adama reaffirms that she has total access but threatens “If you start shooting anything that compromises the safety of the ship-it’ll be cut.” Later we see him attempt to take the compromising tape away from her. His failure to keep the ship’s secrets safe from D’Anna is echoed again in the very last scene, when the cylons say, “Show the footage that was cut.”

I loved the bunk room scene. Gender equal near nudity. And such nice buff, tight bodies. Something for everyone!

Adama the younger is HOT. Nice to see him mostly naked. The chemistry between him and Starbuck is way high.

I really enjoyed the banter between Starbuck and Apollo (is the character’s name REALLY Apollo?) Starbuck makes fun of the attempt on Tigh’s life. “Can I be a suspect again?” He laughs. She teases out a short, quick, “Please.”

Very nice dialogue that shows an intense, close relationship between people who know each other extremely well. What’s their respective ranks, I wonder. Adama may be higher than her, I think, (boy’s got a title), but she appears to be the classic uncontrollable “rebel” warrior-the cool hand Luke, the Top Gun, the All American John Crichton.

The scene shifts to D’Anna chafing at the bit over being given the canned tour by a droning though pleasant tour guide who is pointing out refrigeration equipment and fascinating stuff like that. Suddenly a young woman wrapped in a towel runs by, chasing a guy, whipping his butt with another towel. D’Anna grabs Bill’s arm and they break away from the tour to follow the action.

It took me a few viewings, but I think (can’t check it, since I furken taped OVER the ep, GROWL!) that this is Kat, the brash young officer who later moons the camera, later fights with the mechanic and later takes drugs when she goes out on missions.

It intrigued me that D’Anna pushed the lens up so that Bill couldn’t continue to shoot Kat’s bare butt. I imagine she did that to protect her mission-to show she knows what’s acceptable to record and what’s not. At least for unimportant moments.

I loved Lucy showing D’Anna’s perky interest in Adama’s dangling towel. I bet this was a Lucy suggestion since it’s the second time she’s had a character she’s playing do that-she also checked out Brutus’ equipment when she had the chance. I love the highly amused look she gives him when the towel slips, the little waggle of her eyebrows-grrl be enjoying herself! Grin.

And she MAY just be starting to lick her lips too as she watches the wardrobe malfunction occur. Making an involuntary response to something delightful appearing before her. (There is a cut away here so I’m not totally sure of that.) I grinned when she peeked down at his towel again after he ordered her to leave.

And I got a big kick out of her rolling her eyes when the precariously toweled Adama finally tosses her out of the pilot’s room. It was a very natural moment, if a little teenage girly. And I also thoroughly enjoyed her under her breath comment, “Think we’ve seen all we need to see here” to Bill.

So we see resistance from the ranks to the “total access” concept. And we see D’Anna’s resistance to the resistance.

The rest of the episode spools out watching D’Anna insinuating herself and her

camera into the daily fabric of life on the ship

The program D’Anna is making is a mix of recording the unplanned and unscripted everyday life on the ship combined with filmed formal interviews from the crew.

People cooperate on the formal interviews, especially Dualla, young Adama and Kat. They really bare their souls to not necessarily just D’Anna, but to the people who might see the tape. Even Kat’s rant, while she is filled with frustration and anger towards her situation and herself, what she says about the work of the warriors and the conditions they have to function under is something very important for the rest of her society to hear and hopefully somewhat understand. Dualla seems to be so world weary that she’s almost in a numb state. She talks about the choices she’s made and the reasons she made them. And then in her follow up comments, (like, “Three weeks later the cylons attacked”), we find out that fate came along and really bit her in the butt. She is extraordinarily open and honest, yet very matter of fact. She’s looking neither for pity nor comfort, she’s just answering the questions D’Anna throws at her.

Adama talks about the people he commands. Sticks up for them-not in relation to the massacre, but in terms of them bearing as much pain as the rest of the invaded society, yet also having to continue to do a job for the sake of the rest of their society. The lives of everyone else depends upon them doing their job well while under huge stress.

The people actually involved in the massacre are much more angry and defensive when talking to the camera, like the young soldier who snaps at her, “I have a 10 inch scar that says we were under attack.”

D’Anna and Bill also cover the day to day interactions among the crew. And in doing so, D’Anna gets in people’s faces. She not only intrudes with her camera, she also sometimes tries to get under their skin. She flays them as much as she can to try to see inside them to the truth. (To paraphrase, “The truth is in there”.)

She becomes a real irritant to some of the crew. Certainly to Tigh, (who I imagine is very guilty) and to Starbuck (don’t get enough clues in this one ep to guess where her lack of cooperation comes from), who are both very angry over D’Anna’s intrusion into their work, at the recording of their lives.

Tigh’s formal interview ends in disaster. And even when D’Anna tracks Starbuck down with a “pass” from Captain Adama to speak with her, Starbuck talks to her yes, but she’s not exactly cooperative. It’s one of the few times in the ep that the tables are turned on D’Anna-where D’Anna is not controlling the environment, the interview nor the interviewee. Not at all.

Alone of all the crew, poppa Adama totally ignores the camera. He is deadly calm, never reacts to being filmed, never disconcerted by the lens being pushed in his face. The reporter therefore loses an advantage in the war of wills, loses the chance to trick a flustered someone into saying something they shouldn’t. In fact, the only time Adama loses his cool at all is when the cylon raiders are destroyed. And he indulges in a shouted, “YES!” Heh.

Although Madam President and Adama have granted D’Anna total access, they seem to be keeping track of her-we never see her alone or just with Bill. Someone from the ship is always there. I imagine this is probably to keep her away from their biggest secret.

But as many government secret holders will tell you, fate intervenes. The cylon begins to miscarry. They take her to sick bay to try to save the baby. (Never having seen any of this series, I don’t know why they’re protecting this cylon, her baby and her secret. But they are, at great danger to themselves and their integrity as protectors of the fleet.)

At the same time that the cylon is in sick bay, Kat’s drug problem comes to a head-she crash lands and also has to be taken to sick bay. D’Anna, who is following Kat on the gurney, hears the screaming from the cylon’s room and immediately switches to recording that emergency. Once again, in a recurring motif of the show, a hand is shoved over her lens, barring our view of their world.

Once they knew she had footage of the pregnant cylon, they held her there in sick bay. Did they get this order specifically from Adama at that moment? Or had Adama been prepared for this, issuing standing orders to stop her if she found and recorded the cylon?

Once again D’Anna and Adama have a conflict. D’Anna says, “After the Gideon, this could turn the entire fleet against you.” Adama essentially puts the burden of the secret on her shoulders and says, “Then the real question is whether or not it matters to you.”

In a spurt of anger, D’Anna answers, “You know, I’m sick to death of people like you questioning my patriotism. We all want this fleet to survive.” (And do En Zedders actually usually say PAT riotism, not PAY triotism as Lucy says here?)

He doesn’t answer. He merely removes the tape from the camera. And then to D’Anna’s surprise, he gives the camera back to her. Then he leaves.

But D’Anna was prepared. Obviously she had figured they’d likely be confiscating the tape. She has already switched tapes by the time Adama reaches her. Which we find out when she pulls a tape out of her shirt.

Of course, this is another “How like Xena!” reference-D’Anna, like Xena carries “stuff” in her cleavage. (Which brought back fond memories of how on the Xenaverse list, we used to refer to Xena’s favorite cache area as her “pleasure chest”.)

And you’d think the Commander woulda checked the tape. But NOOOOO.

Later we see D’Anna and Bill watching their footage. D’Anna says, “I’m not sure I got the story.” They’re watching the bunk room scene (D’Anna’s favorite scene, no doubt) and suddenly, Lucy does this literal and very natural “Sit up and take notice” movement. And says in pure uninflected, unaffected and very musical Kiwi, “Back up a bit?”

I realized only on the third viewing that this was a clue-that it’s D’Anna who figures out who’s been threatening Tigh and presumably “sends in the marines”.  She solves the problem. How Xenaic also!

Then we watch her watching the officers watching her program. She’s absolutely validated-Adama and Madam President are totally satisfied, even happy with her tape. It cracked me up though-at the end there’s a very Spielbergian overblown, manipulative moment-where the troops are kind of marching down the corridor and then down the short flight of stairs as grand music plays. I’m fairly certain (since this show is so good) that this was done with a just a slight touch of their tongue in cheek. I read in the spoilers though that the grand music was the theme song from the original Battlestar Galactica series. And once again we hear Lucy’s “documentary” style accent on the voice over.

But wait-that’s not all! We got a surprise ending! Now believe it or not, the person who made me the tape said as he handed it to me, “You won’t believe it—she’s a cylon!” If he wasn’t the only person I know in Fairbanks who gets the Sci-Fi channel, I would have hit him over the head with the cassette.

When I saw the ending, my first thought as they watched the “cut footage” was, “She went to get a picture of the baby. That was her whole agenda.” And I thought the D’Anna on the ship was the only D’Anna-I didn’t know that some cylons were replicated humans.

Then when I read the posts in my spoiler folder, (and FAT lot of good it did to try not to be spoiled, eh?) I found out that most people didn’t think that D’Anna in the theater was the same D’Anna that got the footage.  And they talked about multi-possibilities. Like, is the D’Anna we saw on Galactica the human original? If so, does she know she’s been replicated?  Or was that D’Anna also a cylon? Was the D’Anna in the cylon theater the same cylon or yet another one? There were discussions about exactly how many cylon replicants exist and if D’Anna is a totally new one or is one of the ones that were already enumerated sometime in the past.

It also intrigued me how much emotion the cylons show when they see that both the pregnant cylon AND her baby are alive. Who would have expected such feeling robots?

Kewl stuff!

I am absolutely DELIGHTED that Lucy will be back for at least two more shows in this series. It will be fascinating to see where they go with her next. Which creature will we see-human D’Anna or one or more replicants?  And will Lucy get to pursue her idea of a romantic attraction between Commander Adama and D’Anna? If so, will it be one way or will it be reciprocal? And if so, will the reciprocal involve some replicants? (I just enjoy the alliteration of that line-grin.) I’ve always liked watching Lucy portray her characters in interest/lust/heat. She’s just so good at showing that. I loved to watch her flirting with all those folks on XWP who caught Xena’s eye.

The last shot was a big ol’ close-up of Lucy’s face. And again, how Xenaic-she gets the big ending image. Yes!

Favorite Scenes

There were two truly outstanding scenes in the show that I thought were very well done.

One was the scene where the vice president tries to get D'Anna's attention. It was so well shot and edited. There's very nice camera work in this scene, nice "floor choreography" of the VP walking past D'Anna, coming back around, D'Anna becoming aware of him passing by, peering over her shoulder, checking him out and then calling him by name.

Lucy does a excellent non-verbal piece of acting as she's half turned around, staring questioningly at him. She lifts her eyebrows, slightly opens her mouth and puts on an expectant look-a testing, quizzical, recognizing the guy and obviously wondering "What the heck is he doing?" face. Nice work.

This sweep of movement in the scene "tells" us a lot about this new character that D'Anna is meeting for the first time. His hubris, coupled with insecurity, his holding on to the empty shell of his rank, it's all there in his scuttling up and down the corridor, tracing back and forth by D'Anna, expecting her to jump at the chance to interview him. And then telling her it's not a good time when she does. Laugh!

This scene also made really good use of cuts. We go from a wide shot of Gaius strolling unnoticed past D'Anna to a very tight close up of Six's mouth saying to him, "You may HAVE to beg". (To get D'Anna to interview him.)

Note: I had no idea the blond woman wasn't really there. (Though it did cross my mind that her outfit was kind of odd.) It was only after I read the posts in my spoiler folder that I found out that this manifestation of her apparently lives only in Gaius' head.

The point of view of the camera swings around a lot during this scene, duplicating the way our eyes actually work-shifting here and there, focusing on one item, then sweeping around the area.

This was combined with jerky, hand-held camera work (though not totally in-your-face in that aggravating NYPD style). This mix was more subliminally taken in. Until I watched this scene closely, with my finger on the rewind button, I didn't fully realize they were doing these short, quick staccato zooms, lots of in and out. And not smoothly done as is usual, but in a much more fast and noticeable style. One instant we had a close-up, followed by a quick pull back showing us the whole sliding motion without using the more usual cut to get from one view to another. There was also a lot of panning up and down along with the in and out zooms. This is unusual camera work, it's not the norm, it breaks the rules we've all grown used to.

But the endlessly searching scans and quick changes of focus and points of view, this knitting together of isolated images creates an edginess and unease in the mind of the viewer. Which reflects for us Gaius' psyche, his anxious, scattered and tremendously wounded and unstable mental landscape.

Six says to him. "Trust me. This one can help us." Excellent multi-level meanings, great subtextual writing. It was only on the second viewing that I realized that this woman is also in the theater at the end. And that yes, indeed, D'Anna was a great help to them.

There are lovely reaction shots of D'Anna, Bill and Dualla. Dualla who (at least in this ep) hasn't acted or reacted to anyone personally except D'Anna, does show emotion towards the VP. She stares at his affected antics with a sullen, "It figures" look of skepticism and implacable cold contempt as he bombastically tells D'Anna that he's too busy for an interview at the moment.

This scene is just so well done. It's a beautiful example of well-planned actor movements, active camera work and excellent editing. Damn, this is a well-crafted show.

And again, D'Anna glows. They've got a spotlight shining right on D'Anna's blond head. Once again she's the golden interloper in their midst, the one to focus on, the "other". Interestingly enough, the blond cylon is also highlighted with light. And she's certainly another "other" also.

The other scene I really liked was the scene where D'Anna confronts Tigh. It's such a pivotal scene in the story, in showing the way D'Anna works, how she gets what she needs out of people.

And in showing that, like any good reporter, she's a good observer of people. And she's sneaky in using her observed knowledge to get what she wants.

She's very good at her job of collecting information. In the prior scene where Adama is telling Tigh he will be going to that conference, D'Anna and Bill are right there shooting in their faces.

Tigh is very uncomfortable and distracted. He keeps looking between Adama and the camera. Finally he glares at D'Anna, puts his hand up to block her lens and says in a reproving tone, "Do you mind?" We hear her in a smart aleck tone of voice answering, "Nah, nah, go ahead" Then we see her looking to Bill and giving him a self-satisfied, triumphant smile. Followed up by a whispered, "We're in."

Adama and Tigh continue their conversation, speaking in very low tones. There is a cut to D'Anna pushing the mike at them, working to "hear" what they say despite their attempts to shut her out.

Adama obviously wants to keep his word about allowing her "total access." But he reacts to this intrusion by maneuvering himself so he's hiding behind Tigh, so Tigh's head is blocking his (Adama's) face from direct camera view. And he moves even closer to Tigh's face and lowers his voice to a whisper when he tells him to stay away from the bar.

D'Anna realizes what he's doing and grabs the camera from Bill, holding it up over her head trying to get not just the shot but the information that Adama is sharing with Tigh. And she does get it. And later, in the interview scene with

Tigh, we see that she uses it.

The scene opens with D'Anna miking Tigh. And saying, "There ya go. We'll make this as painless as possible." (Lucy uses her friendly, informal Kiwi voice to say this.) And that's such a loaded comment. Because she's about to give him his drug of choice in order to lower his defenses and make him feel comfortable with her. Lead him into having a nice open chat with the pretty young lady.

This is a marvelously revealing scene about D'Anna and the way she's so good at her job, using what she's found out to shape her interviews. Though Tigh's a high officer of the ship and she's just an invited guest, she's in total

control of the room from the first instant he steps inside. She presents herself as the host, offering him a seat at "her table", saying "Please" meaning she's giving him permission to sit down. Then she says, "Cheers", giving him a drinker's salute. He picks up his glass. She puts hers down. And never touches it again.

There are shots of him eyeing the liquor, sniffing it, enjoying it and depending on it. Shots of the glasses are very prevalent throughout the scene. The camera points out to us that he finishes his drink while she never even

sips hers.

This is really the only time she's "girly charming". She talks in a friendly, open, flirty voice, she giggles at what he says, she gives him wide smiles. Charming girl. And she totally outmaneuvers him.

At one point, she murmurs with apparent sympathy in response to something he says, "Is that right?" Always drawing him in to try to get him to confide in her.

But then D'Anna's attitude changes. She adopts a much harder tone. She becomes challenging, frostily demanding answers to suddenly pointed questions. He begins to get a little wary.

And then she shoves in the shiv. She asks, "You have no regrets whatever?" Which finally wakes him up to his "danger". He gets enraged, rips off his mike and he pushes her aside, shoving her into the wall, yelling, "You're trying to set me up!" D'Anna stares after him through the doorway for a couple of beats, then turns to Bill and asks sprightly, "Did you get that?" Playing, going for that moment, twisting the interview and the interviewee to show what she wants, right to the end. SOOOOOO manipulative.

"Got it" answers the quiet Bill. Great scene, with so much non-verbal information being transmitted to us.

There were lots of good scenes in this ep. But I really enjoyed the excellent use of the medium in these two. It's great to see the high professionalism involved in making this show. It's sheer pleasure to get to watch such well crafted work.

And the icing on the cake-Lucy's part of it now.

 

 

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