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BSG: The Plan

Wow, I haven't been in here in a while! *blows dust off entries*

Hay, everybody!  I just watched The Plan and have the urge to talk about it.  marymarywisely decided that both "BSG" and "urges" fall in my playground, so here I am.


 

I liked it!
 

First, a special thanks to Amazon for making me feel like I was the last person on New Earth to get hold of this DVD, despite the fact that I pre-ordered it when Ron Moore was just a wee bearded boy.

 

Ok, rambles ahoy.  The first thing that struck me about The Plan was how pretty it is!  I was oohing and aahing over the sets, the models, the effects.  Never have I seen a prettier apocalypse.

 

The bar on Picon made me grimace just slightly.  Some of the female nudity in The Plan and Caprica really bugs me.  Not for the classic reasons, but because of the clear and compelling absence of sexism and traditional sex roles in BSG itself.  So the “T&A&C”  scene in the head on Galactica totally works for me – it might even go a bit too far in portraying that those taboos and stereotypes have been dropped. All I wanted in the Picon bar was some naked male bartenders, waiters and dancers to go with the females.  (Everyone else:  “Yeah, when do you not want that?”) 

While I’m being tedious, I also wouldn’t mind seeing a man as beautiful as Tricia or Grace sleeping with a woman as old and unattractive as Dean Stockwell.  I know we've talked about this and I know we can't draw a straight line from human society on the Colonies to Cylon behavior.  But it really flashes me out of that 'verse and back to sexual games that exist in our world (man trades power for sex; woman trades sex for power).  That's not just The Plan, that's in the original series, but it never seemed to fit for me. Be BSG, BSG.

 

The deleted scene from the Picon bar has a really interesting line from Caprica Cavil, when stuff starts exploding and Ellen asks what’s going on. “Whatever it is, I’m starting to think it was a bit premature.”  It’s interesting because it suggests that Ellen’s line about never letting anyone change you is some how influential – that his shift starts as far back as the attack.

 

I’ve always had trouble with the idea that the Final Five survived by chance, but oddly I’m more ok with it now. 

 

First reason:  I liked the scenes that presented the irony of the plan’s failure.  My favorite of these was the scene with the dark-haired Six giving Fleet Cavil the snarky progress report:  “Doral blew himself up, causing minor damage to a minor hallway.  Boomer jettisoned the water and then she personally found loads more water.  Then she shot Adama, but not very accurately, because she loooves him…”  Ha.  Those scenes present the WTF experience of the Cylons, culminating with the two Cavils being led to the airlock.  They look around and literally see the Final Five standing all around them.  Not how it was supposed to be, indeed.

 

Second, IMO it reinforces the dual meaning of “the plan.”  BSG always leaned toward its spiritual underpinnings, and in the finale we got blatant confirmation that the show does, in fact, believe in God.  Chip Six was always talking about God’s Plan.  Which was not “the plan.”  God’s Plan included the highly improbable survival of the final five and their eventual reunion. Among LOTS of other things.  The Cylons’ plan did not, as wryly observed by the Cavils.

 

(On a personal note, it’s disappointing that the only atheist in the piece is evil.  But whatever.)

 

While we’re on Cylon spirituality, let’s talk about CKR Leoben, shall we? 

1) Not enough.  Never enough.

2) He paints!  That was a lovely little gift. 

3) I loved that he was pulling the mandala out of the stream in parallel with Kara. 

4) I loved his evolution.  In particular, I loved him listening to Kara on the wireless while she was out on CAP.  His expressions, the way he replayed some of her transmissions to listen to them again. It perfectly, precisely supported the unique emotion that we saw Leoben feel for Kara during the series itself. 

 

And my second favorite exchange of the whole movie is when Leoben goes to Fleet Cavil and waxes adoringly about Kara touching the stream and learning to fly the raider.

Leoben:  “Kara Thrace plucked that knowledge from the stream.”

Cavil:  “I don’t care if she plucked puppies from God’s ass!  You’re worse than the frakking Sixes!”

 

Ha, exactly!!  He is exactly just a little bit “worse” than the Sixes.  The Sixes are in love with love, fascinated with humans and their emotions.  Leoben takes it a step further and finds the connection to life, the universe and everything.  Kara is not only a wonder, she is part of…the deity, the stream, the force, whatever.  And that makes her worthy of his peculiar brand of worship and guidance.  (Don’t hate; "peculiar" is meant to be a funny understatement.  J)

 

Another great Leoben-related thing goes back to the snarking about their failure.  Cavil laments the lameness of the Cylons that survived.  “My Two was the defense minister’s yoga instructor, if you can believe that!”  Yes, I do believe that, because it’s perfect and hilarious.

 

While we’re on great lines, here was my absolute favorite.  Cavil gives Doral the vest. 
“They call this a suicide vest. But I think that undersells all the homicide that goes along with it, don’t you?”

 

I thought they did a great job interweaving original BSG scenes with new scenes.  Honestly, the only thing (other than my memory) that undercut the seamlessness was the fact that Aaron Douglas looks like such a baby in the mini-series. J  *pets him*

 

Not enough Leoben and not enough Baltar either.  But it was so great to see Callis’ brilliance in little moments like his arrest in the lab (as the MPs approach, he sort of shimmies and shifts as if his brain thinks he can some how out-maneuver them) and his scene with Gaeta in the brig (Baltar’s trying to hide his relief as he plays into Gaeta’s feelings of sheepishness for not catching the faked photograph sooner).  Ah, James Callis, how I’ve missed you.

But hey, Rick Worthy got a lot to do!  I've always liked him so much and was sad we didn't get more Simon in the series.  This sorta makes up for it. He has that understated, internal acting that I love, and he's such a naturally sympathetic person (idk, his face or something, what?) that he lends complexity to a morally dubious role like a Cylon.  Bravo.

 

Ooh, here was something cool:  Fleet Simon’s wife gives Chief that idea of climbing way up over the deck and killing himself – the thing he sees in his nightmares in the series.  That was a nice touch.

 

Somebody help a girl out: as Boomer shot Bill...where was the elephant?  You could argue that it was Boomer all along and that, as Chief and Simon’s wife concluded, she was trying to fail at the murder and commit suicide by cop.  But that’s not how Grace Park plays it.  After the shooting, she clearly snaps out of it and is horrified by what she’s done.  So it was Agent Eight who shot Bill, and Boomer who “woke up” afterward.  And just before that, it was clearly Boomer who was freaked out by all her sister Eights on the basestar before she completed her mission and nuked it.  So…where was the elephant?  Maybe I’m just being stupid, but The Plan seemed to establish that she needed it every time she shifted personas.

 

I read a review of The Plan, which said something about it being a little disjointed and challenging and I actually agree.  I think it is definitely not a stand-alone movie.  It requires that the viewer knows BSG.  As a BSG fan, even I had to put on my thinking cap once in awhile to connect the dots or make sense of character.  For example, the scene near the end when Boomer and Caprica unintentionally led most of Sam’s team to their deaths.  That would have made absolutely no sense to the uninitiated. 

 

Having said that, I loved it.  I was startled and unhappy when it ended.  I could have watched another two hours that took us all the way to the end of the series.  I had none of the issues I had with Razor.  I thought it was well done and highly entertaining.

 

And now…off to read Jacob’s recap and find out why everything I just said is wrong.  Or just not nearly right enough. J.


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Comments

( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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olsonm_raymond
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Hi Mary! I'm glad you liked it!

You forgot to mention that there was no Laura. :`-(

I was under the impression that Boomer only needed the elephant to be conscious of her identity as agent eight. She was clearly capable of carrying out missions without being aware of it. Her mission was to shoot Adama and she carried it out at an appropriate time, unconsciously (though she did a bad job of it).
mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
You might be right; I hadn't thought of it that way.

I think she was fully aware as a Cylon when she planted the charges in the water holds and fully aware as a Cylon when she shot Bill. After the water mission, Cavil brought her back to being Boomer with the elephant. I didn't see anything like that after shooting Bill.

Though in the series, when she was on that raptor, she did nearly set off that explosive while she was Boomer. And IIRC she was having trouble saying what she saw on her screen when they discovered the water. So that incident supports what you were saying.

It's just that there seeemed to be such a clear shift after the shooting. She had a very calm face as she shot him, but then she sort of blinked to life and was horrified at what she saw. It did seem like she was shifting between her personas in that scene. So here's a thought. Maybe she did use the elephant before shooting Bill and we just didn't see it. I would buy that the shock of shooting Bill would be traumatic enough to snap her back to being Boomer.
(no subject) - olsonm_raymond - Nov. 9th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
watson1
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
Mary!!

I finally watched today, too. And I am very happy that I did. :)

I loved it. I was startled and unhappy when it ended. I could have watched another two hours that took us all the way to the end of the series.

Word. I'm with you. I'd happily sit down for a few more hours. Because I loved it. :)

First thoughts -- before I start commenting on yours. I loved how much division we saw among the Cylons. We always knew that Boomer was conflicted, and the Six had feelings for/was in love with Baltar - but I loved the happily married/willing to commit suicide so he doesn't have to kill his wife and kid Simon. Given everything we've ever seen with Simon - experimenting on Kara & Hera, etc. - it's a pleasant surprise to see one of that model also fall in love, and care about humans. As it was to see Caprica Cavil come to the conclusion that they had done the wrong thing.

mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. I like that you bring up Simon, because they not only distinguished between the Simon we knew (at The Farm and later) but they distinguished Caprica Simon from Fleet Simon (the married one) beautifully. The one on Caprica was literally smiling every time the destruction was mentioned. The one in the fleet had been altered by love of a human, much like Caprica Six and Boomer.

That's just one reason this bugged me so much: in the extras, the piece about the different Cylon models, Rick Worthy talks about Fleet Simon and how interesting it was to play a Cylon married to a human. But they kept showing shot after shot of Caprica Simon, who --- which is the whole frakking point --- is NOT THE SAME PERSON. I’m a stickler for this shit, sorry, but they might as well have showed Tigh over and over. Stupid.

SORRY FOR THE EDIT DEAR, MY LJ IS WONKY FOR SOME REASON.
watson1
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
Hi Ray.

You forgot to mention that there was no Laura. :`-(

I found that omission to be extremely odd. I realize that they didn't shoot new scenes with Lee/Gaius/Kara, etc., but they were clearly relevant to the story in some way. Even if it was just Lee in the background of some scenes. I can't believe that there wasn't a scene in which Laura was in the background that would have been relevant. It seemed like the omission was intentional, for some reason.
watson1
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
And I have a question -- who in the hell left the note for Bill that there were only 12 models? I don't remember it being answered in the series, and they didn't answer it The Plan, either. I could be forgetting something that happened in the series, though.

I've always assumed it was Boomer, but I could be wrong about that.
olsonm_raymond
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
It was Baltar. They cut from Adama finding the note to a slow-mo shot of Gauis. The commentary confirms it was Baltar.
(no subject) - watson1 - Nov. 9th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC) - Expand
olsonm_raymond
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Hi Watz! I'll never forgive them. ;-)

I did like that Simon's wife was a 'character' in the mini-series. (and Ed Olmos's wife) It somehow made the character fit in more.
watson1
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
Some of the female nudity in The Plan and Caprica really bugs me. Not for the classic reasons, but because of the clear and compelling absence of sexism and traditional sex roles in BSG itself. So the “T&A&C” scene in the head on Galactica totally works for me

Good point, Mary. When it comes to nude bars, they do fall back onto traditional sex roles. Which is not in evidence in the rest of the series. I'm not sure why they would do that, but it is evident.
watson1
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
“I don’t care if she plucked puppies from God’s ass!

Hah. I laughed so hard when I heard that. That is going to be my new saying. :)

BTW, Cavil killing that little boy freaked me out. I wasn't expecting it - because I actually thought he was becoming humanized. So, it was a big shocker.

mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
I agree. I was worried about the boy the whole time, but it was still shocking. As much as I hated that scene, it was a really good way to show the way the two Cavils had diverged. As Cavil talked about friends being a liability and recalled Sam's comments about love transcending death (I think...), they flashed between Fleet Cavil killing the boy and Caprica Cavil unable to bring himself to shoot Sam.
olsonm_raymond
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
There is a way in which they could disagree with you two re the nudity. It is a tad silly that breasts are equated with genitals in are culture. There are cultures in which this is not the case. So it could be that in the BSGverse, bare breasts aren't that big a deal. You'll note that the women were not totally nude, only bare chested.

But it didn't seem like that's what they were going for. I don't know if it can be done in american culture at this time.
mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
But it didn't seem like that's what they were going for.

I agree with your conclusion, ray. I guess the way I'd examine it is this: If bare breasts are no biggie (which has not been established in BSG until now) then why have them? Why would the bar ask its bartenders not to wear anything on top unless it was a draw?

You could argue that it's the same reason you'd ask male bartenders not to wear shirts. For us, shirtless men are sexy but not considered naked. But then I'm back to the lack of shirtless males in that bar. I only saw topless women, not topless men. /nitpicky and wordy is an irritating combination
(no subject) - olsonm_raymond - Nov. 9th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
olsonm_raymond
Nov. 9th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC)
Cavil and the Boy. They underplayed it but it is entirely possible that the boy wasn't real and was actually Cavil's 'humanity/conscience'. The evidence for this is that the boy was wearing a replica of Dean Stockwell's costume from The Boy With Green Hair. (see icon) Further, the boy was cast to look like a young Stockwell. The character is named John (Cavil's real name). The Boy With Green Hair was about ignoring the consequences of war via war orphans and their plight. (they even used some lines from the movie)

Again, they underpayed it so this isn't the neccessary interpretation but I like it.

mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
That is fascinating! That never would have occurred to me.
(no subject) - olsonm_raymond - Nov. 9th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
tomfoolery815
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
I think it is definitely not a stand-alone movie. It requires that the viewer knows BSG.
Couldn't agree more, mtf.

As a BSG fan, even I had to put on my thinking cap once in awhile to connect the dots or make sense of character.
Oh, me too! Lots of underlined questions in my notes, with lines connecting them to the answers down the line.

I was oohing and aahing over the sets, the models, the effects. Never have I seen a prettier apocalypse.
It was a visually dazzling genocide, yes.

By the way, my cousin Galley has a new LJ handle: katyh43 I took the liberty of presuming she could join us ...
mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Of course she may!
Drive by - katyh43 - Nov. 10th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Drive by - mary_the_fan - Nov. 10th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC) - Expand
tomfoolery815
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
Some of the female nudity in The Plan and Caprica really bugs me. Not for the classic reasons, but because of the clear and compelling absence of sexism and traditional sex roles in BSG itself.
That's a fair criticism, Mary. In the universe that Moore and Eick have created, everybody should be naked, not just the women.

So the “T&A&C” scene in the head on Galactica totally works for me – it might even go a bit too far in portraying that those taboos and stereotypes have been dropped.
Well, to hear Katee tell it, the option of nudity was rather like a glistening, floppy new toy for EJO. :-)
mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
Did you have to say "floppy"? :-)
(no subject) - tomfoolery815 - Nov. 9th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
tomfoolery815
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
You forgot to mention that there was no Laura. :`-(
I think it's possible she was unavailable: She had her 3-episode stint on "Grey's Anatomy" last season. And it may have even conflicted with her time on "The Closer," although I don't know when they filmed those.

Honestly, the only thing (other than my memory) that undercut the seamlessness was the fact that Aaron Douglas looks like such a baby in the mini-series.
He did, didn't he? I thought Tricia looked quite a bit younger in the miniseries, too.
olsonm_raymond
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Hi Tom!

I think it's possible she was unavailable

I'm sure she wasn't available for any new scenes but it was interesting that she wasn't in any of the reused footage. They went so far as to eliminate her order to airlock the two Cavils. I'd shake my fist at them but I liked the movie too much. :-D
tomfoolery815
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Hey Rayman! Yes, she's conspicuously absent. Strange.
(no subject) - mary_the_fan - Nov. 9th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
Aw, look at all you guys showing up for my party! Yay.

But I've let it get too late and I'll be back to reply to all your stuff tomorrow morning. :-)
olsonm_raymond
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
Night MTF! *hug* It was good to see you again. :-D
tomfoolery815
Nov. 9th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
One of my favorite moments came early on, when Caprica Cavil and Fleet Cavil are in the ... resurrection chamber, among the Final Five: One of the Cavils points as he says "Dad, Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad."

It's also interesting to see the human-like Cylons' attitudes toward the Centurions: In one of the basestar control rooms right before the attack, the attitude is paternalistic and a tad patronizing ("They don't know what we're doing for them," which is probably true, but it's the way they're discussing it).

Then, when the Dorals are down on Caprica, and Sam first learns "the frakkers look like us now," one Doral says to another "The Centurions should be gathering the human corpses." Equality starts on this side of the They Evolved line, buddy.

Ooh, speaking of the Dorals, a funny moment: When Fleet Cavil is goading the Doral soon to be a suicide bomber into action.

FC: You're recognizable.
Doral: Well, his jacket was burgundy. This is teal.
mary_the_fan
Nov. 9th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
Ha, yes. I love how they managed to make the Dorals both more lame and more gay in this movie.
(no subject) - tomfoolery815 - Nov. 9th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mary_the_fan - Nov. 9th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tomfoolery815 - Nov. 9th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
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