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Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Kamakzie, Feb 25, 2007.
Last weeks ep wasn't horrible so heres hoping to an even better episode..
I liked it...Baltar is one smart cookie...
and I like the new nugget...she's cute...
Two weeks ago I mentioned that BSG is getting back on track, and here it is! To me, this sort of reminds me of a chapter out of early American industrial revolution.
The new nugget has been on BSG before I think. I gotta believe Adama was bluffing about blowing Cally away but I guess in a war situation people take desperate measures.
I didn't think from the previews that I was going to like this one, but I have to say...I actually did. Pretty well done for a non-cylon episode.
"Hey! The conveyor's jammed! Tyrol, go under! Wait, Tyrol can't do it, who could we find that will cause controversy to get the plot train rolling? How about a kid?!?! Hey, could you bring in a... hey! How about the kid who's not a farmer! Kid, go fix it, but make sure you're maimed in the process. Good show, good show!"
Other than that, it was great.
I really could see this happening. In fact, I see this happening one way or another at least a couple of times a year at work. Not to the extent of kid getting maimed. But to the point of a kid, in training, who has limited mechanical experience who think they can fix anything underneath the stars and just jacking it up worse!
WARNING: I hope that this post does not cross the boundary into political discussion. It might, and if it does, my apologies. That being said, the episode was about a particular form of political philosophy. So it's going to be hard to discuss this episode without risking crossing that line.
I really found this episode to be offensive. I don't know how work is compensated in the BSG fleet, but it would appear that it's unpaid labor. It's definately conscript labor. Those people are slaves. Slaves do not have the option of leaving a job that's too much work for them. Free people do. Free people have the option of saying, "I don't want this job". And free people do that all the time. They prefer poverty with some amount of leisure to non-stop work.
The problem in the BSG society isn't "bifurcation" it's lack of freedom. Freedom is the basis of making a decision about how much time you're willing to work and about willingness to leave that job if it's costing you not just the time that you put into the job, but also your health, your hobbies, your dreams. Free people decide not to do those jobs.
And then other free people who need that work have a decision. Do they increase the price that they're willing to pay for the labor that they want? If not, then the job dies and both sides are relatively happy. The workers don't have to do a job that cost them too much and the employers don't have to pay extra for something that's not worth it. But maybe it is worth it, and they have to increase the wages. The increased wages will attract more people to the job. And both sides will be happy: the workers for having more freetime since there's more laborers, and the employers for getting the product of the labor.
My problem with this episode is that it painted a picture of a society in which it's right to allocate workers. It's right to have someone at the top making allocation decisions that impact the people below. Society should be hierarchical. You just need to make sure that the people in the upper hierarchies make good decisions. I find this entirely and utterly wrong. There is no one who can do that. They will always be corrupted. The solution isn't top down resource allocation. It's market based allocation. Putting everyone's ability to make decisions into play instead of only one or a few people's abilities. Using pricing and wages as a signaling mechanism to add/remove resources. And the interpreters of that signaling mechanism is everyone who buys/sells anything. That's capitalism, which depends on freedom. But in this episode there was no freedom. Instead there was hierarchical allocation of conscripted laborers. What we saw there was communism and the results of it were misery and suffering and lack of freedom.
What was the solution? More hierarchical top-down resource allocation. Not a discussion of how to ensure more freedom for people. Rather how to better engineer the society. BSG is full of human beings, that are supposed to be like us. Engineered societies have not worked for us. They won't work for BSG, either.
In some ways you are correct. The "Big Picture" here is that the 12 Colonies are still at war with the Cylons. Their main purpose is to survive. The Colonies just got the beat down from the Cylons and they are behind with repairs, scheduled maintenance and what not. They have been working long hours to survive to flee the Cylons. Yes, people need some down time and that is what Chief is trying to get the President to realize and also to expand the opportunities for the children to other types of careers. Before capitalism can be established, they need to do what ever it takes to survive and conquer the cyclons.
Bleh, yet another filler episode for the most part. I guess it was better than The Woman King. If they have too many more of these, the show will be gone after season 4.0/4a.
Next week's ep looks more promising.
The only think that really bugged me was the fact that it was Baltar inciting the lower class.
I would put the opinion of Baltar among people in the fleet (especially Tyroll) somewhere lower than hitler/stalin/saddam et al.
No way he'd become a hero of the working class. It would have had a bit more believability if they dusted off Zarek to be the one writing these manifestos.
and +1 to GChance's comment.
I didn't like this episode. In fact I'd rank it as among the worst in the series. It was ambitious and it tried to be challenging, but it felt really off. It seems like the writers will make adama and roslin do whatever it takes to make a plot interesting. Roslin did not seem in character throughout the show, until the very end when she was talking with the chief. The rest of the episode she was mysteriously tyrannical. Adama has been rude before but this was way over the top and preposterous as far as I am concerned.
The episode still might have worked if it had presented a better argument on both sides. The way it presented this "issue" was extremely cliched. I thought for sure they were going to start calling each other communists at some point and bring in chris cooper to lay the smack down.
One thing I realized, though, is that baltar is such a charismatic guy that he needs to be at the forefront of BSG at all times. I could watch 40 minutes of baltar talking to himself in his cell each week. Sort of like monologues from god emperor of dune.
EXACTLY my thoughts...I was very pleasantly surprised...very fast hour.
I am in complete agreement with you on this.
The Baltar subplot saved this episode from getting the same level of annoyance/frustration I had for The Woman King. The biggest problem I had with this episode is that for 38 of the 44 minutes, Roslin goes psycho. She's totally out of character and her refusal to listen to Chief Tyrol or whathisname from the Tylium Refinery goes against the person she is. We saw in a flashback, during season 2, that Roslin was willing to negotiate on behalf of a teacher's union who just wanted fairer treatment. She even went against President Adar's orders to do so, because she felt it was right.
That's kind of what bothers me most. Roslin has always been a "Do something, because it's the right thing to do" kind of woman. And to see her for the majority of the episode do exactly opposite of that was a huge annoyance. What's more, at the end of the episode, she just magically has a change of heart for no substantial reason.
Ugh. I kinda miss the days when the series only had 13 episodes per season. No filler episodes. Are there still Cylons out there?
I found it highly implausible that Tyrol had access to Baltar, especially with the leaked pages causing a mini-uprising in the fleet.
Not to mention that, just a few weeks ago, we (the audience) were specifically told that Baltar was forbidden all visitors, and even Gaeta (a former colleague of Baltar's) was barred from seeing him until he was given authorization by the President.
Then Tyrol, who doesn't even know Baltar that well, just waltzed right in.
Right, they simply don't have the luxury of a true economy. Rather than calling them slaves, another way to look at it is that they've all been drafted. Same loss of freedom, same "whims of fate" selection system (and consider that the other 99% of the eligible workforce died instead). And ultimately the same justification: their being pulled from their own individual lives to defend the nation, or in this case the entire race(!), that they are a part of.
But the whole point is that it's an extreme situation that makes the choices harder.
This society is comprised of only ~50,000 people running from annihilation, which could conceivably happen at any moment, in the isolation of space with a shortage of resources and personnel.
You have a point that as a long term solution for society their present setup is really bad. But they have to survive the short term. And they have a really small group, so small that market forces can be screwed up easily by just a few people.
Keep in mind that the total human race available for all the work that must be done if the fleet is going to function and continue to run from the Cylons is less than a big company in the present. (Ford motor co had ~300,000; the fleet has ~48,000).
That is such a small pool, and most people with skill are needed more than they are available, that anyone switching to a job they prefer before a replacement is ready is likely to impact the survival ability of the fleet. If it takes 6 months to take a bureaucrat and turn them into a refinery operator you flat out won't survive half your refinery operators deciding they'd rather be unemployed.
Also even the US, during war footing, it has been a crime to interfere with a war industry. You worked on your assigned war essential production, you got drafted (and possibly assigned back to work on war essential production), or you went to jail.
Now I do think the fleet had been on an unplanned emergency footing for too long with everyone too worried about the current crisis to worry about long term planning.
They should have started working up training programs earlier to try to ease the load on their critical workers and get more people cross trained so they could shift between different critical jobs. Not only for worker freedom and happiness, but also for damage control and survivability.
But with their small size and desperate situation I don't know if they can afford to try to transition to an economy where highly skilled people can decide they've burned out and would be happy mopping the decks of Colonial 1.
I think the themes of the script resonate more with the British audience more than the American, we're just not class-conscious the way they are in Britain. The book thing was kind of Orwellian.