[The Galactica Blog Carnival is here.]
[FIRST A LITTLE MUSIC, click here to get this week's tune]
The show does not feel like it is coming to an end. We're down to the Final Five episodes and things are still getting complicated in ways that make me feel the show is turning into an old fashioned Soap Opera. With the show closing they continue to weave intricate and convoluted stories, now involving Soap Operaish elements like sex, pregnancy, falling in love and adultery. Ellen Tigh very much seemed to belong in a Soap Opera. You could literally plop the actress into a soap and she'd do great there playing the same character.
This episode featured one clearly standard old fashioned Soap Opera element; Saul Tigh's extramarital affair with Caprica-6 and that bit of cheesy sexual drama that followed. On learning about Tigh’s relationship with the 6, Ellen confronted Caprica about it, even telling Caprica how she and Tigh fracked the minute she got back to Galactica. Ellen then changes her tune and tells Caprica that Tigh loves her, Caprica, more than almost anything else, but then goes on to play a head game on Tigh and Caprica that proves this isn't quite true.
[CAN YOU NAME THIS TUNE? OR TELL ME WHY I CHOSE IT?]
Ellen pretends to vote to for leaving Galactica and Saul insists on staying, even if both Ellen and Caprica-6 go. Thus it is, according to Ellen, revealed that it’s Bill Adama and Galactica that Saul loves more than either Ellen or Caprica-6 or his own baby. Over at cinemablend.com they celebrated Tigh's bromance with his boss using this fan video from youtube:
I say old fashioned soaps because I haven't watched a soap in decades and I understand they've evolved. I'll have to check. But some other old fashioned soapy cliches I can find in Galactica: Amnesia (the Final Five had their memories blocked) previously-unknown children (Ellen only recently learned that the Cylons are in a way her children), siblings and twins (of the evil variety) are there in more abundance on Galactica than you'd ever see on a soap. Established characters come back from the dead to upset and reinvigorate the relationships (a character's death is not necessarily permanent even when you see an on-camera corpse in both soaps and on Galactica). Unexpected calamities disrupt weddings, childbirths, and other major life events with unusual frequency in both soaps and on Galactica.
On the flip side, my sister has told me that science fiction elements started creeping into the soaps back in the 90s. Someone who knows both mediums will have to confirm my speculation about the soap influence on Galactica. And unless there is a soap about an ex-scientist turned cult leader I don't think you'll find anyone like Baltar on the soaps.
Baltar's arc is starting to get scary again. He returned to his harem/cult to find some angry balcubines who were feeling that Baltar and God abandoned them. They are now armed and hoarding food. Gaius is lucky they let him back into his own cult. While on a lower deck to do some trading, Gaius sees how badly some of the people are suffering and decides to become charitable and give away some of the balcubine's food. Those thugs, the Sons of Aries, show up and take what’s left of the food they brought.
Now in danger of losing control of his cult, Head-6 reappears to give Baltar the right words to influence the women and regain control of his cult. Paula seemed to be in charge and Head-6 whispered in Baltar’s ear that, "the sheep have a new shepherd." The plan that Head-6 gives Baltar involves getting more guns and so Gaius talks the Adamas into giving him such guns... Wait! How did he do that again? Crates of guns were delivered to cult quarters and this makes the women happy, especially Paula.
I've been wondering for awhile if Baltar's religion is some form of Cylon Creedocide:
A hungry religious cult with some big guns... What was Adama thinking? When the food runs out they can start killing each other and solve their food shortage problems by decreasing the demand? Has Adama finally decided that the human race doesn't deserve to survive?
Ms. SP, Also known as Marie, has a comment below with a link to Maureen Ryan's interview with Jane Espenson. In addition to the comments on Adama giving guns to Baltar's group, Ms Espenson also remarked on the soapy quality of Ellen's scenes:
I never thought of it as soapy, but as emotional. Fights over love probably feel soapy because these are the sorts of stories that were traditionally told about women, while men got workplace stories. Now these two types are just some of the stories we tell, but they're still worth telling. And they don't have to be soapy. I hope the Six/Ellen scene isn't too close to Dolly Parton's song "Jolene," because I suppose that is the danger. I just tried to write an exchange I believed, about emotions as complex as I could muster.
The term "soapy" is subjective. What makes a scene soapy to me isn't quite the same as what makes a scene soapy to someone else. As for Ellen's character, I can now name who she reminded me of: Erica Kane from "All My Children." Erica used to play exactly the same kind of tempestuous head games on people as Ellen did on Saul Tigh and Caprica-6. I only watched a few episodes of that old soap and perhaps what I saw was atypical. Does the comparison ring a bell for anyone else?