But at the same time, I feel distinctly uncomfortable watching this show these days, because I feel like the show just doesn't do moral ambiguity as well as it used to, and it's beginning to show signs of how White and Male the writing staff is.
I also realize that I seem to be watching a completely different show than everyone else (and that's fine, but at the same time, kind of weird).
Okay, so I really dislike how the show has increasingly become about how Benevolent Dictatorships are A.O.K. Adama handing a mandate down from up high without at least trying to talk to the people is supposed to be totally cool with everyone? He's In The Right because he's the Hero? And the Hero can do no wrong? He was basically talking about using military force on a depressed, tired, angry civilian population.
And we're supposed to agree with him 100%? What?
I get that Gaeta's supposed to be the alternative voice in this, but at the same time, I really miss the days when Adama and Roslin went head to head, because they both got to be Right, when nowadays, there's a singular Adama&Roslin Right, which is incredibly fucking authoritatian Right indeed.
Gaeta's fall is so tragic, because he's so Wrong in this whole thing. The audience is supposed to feel sympathy for his fall, but we're rarely ever asked to consider whether or not Adama and Roslin might be Wrong as well. (And Zarek's just a psychopath, but we all knew that already.)
I feel like the writers have fallen too much in love with Adama, and as such, try to make him complicated and interesting, but at the same time, refuse to acknowledge his flaws and make him suffer for them the way they make the other characters do. (And do not tell me his manpain over Tigh being a Cylon is actual suffering compared killing Dee off.) They forgive him, no matter what he does, and I'm getting kind of sick of it, because I'd like his flaws actually addressed and acknowledged, not pushed to the side.
Part of my problem, I think, is that as the show goes on, the narrative justifications for everything here seems to be, 'It's okay if your governments hide things from you and tell you to do things that make no sense. But only if you're this one dude. Because he knows better than you silly masses. But not this other dude. This democracy thing you like a lot? It's all well and good in theory, but in the real world, it's total crap.' I don't really subscribe to that theory, but I think it's only the sort of thing that could really come out of a white dude. That total belief in one person's Rightness. That idea that yes, if they had power, they could do it better. I love the smell of fresh privilege in the morning.
At the same time, I think the writers get that this is a problem, because that's how Zarek makes his power grab. Somehow, I don't think anyone will learn from this mistake, and that pisses me off. And at the same time, this has been happening since the beginning, what with Roslin trying to STEAL THE ELECTION. Yeah, no one seems to have learned from that one, either.
Like, I don't think Zarek should be in power, because duh, Zarek, but at the same time, I would like a little less Us vs. Them here. We're supposed to feel sympathetic for the rapist dude and his story? Seriously? Who the fuck are you even kidding, here? (Though I would also like to point out that neither Zarek or Gaeta have ever tried to commit genocide. And no, no one gets bonus points for trying and failing and feeling bad about it later.)
Also, I'm kind of upset at how white white white the main cast is getting, because guess what? The white characters are all more important than the non-white ones and are therefore not as expendable. Oh, good. Just what I needed to be reminded of. Also, that big, black marine who menaces Adama and gets his throat ripped open by the Irish guy. Fun. Nice to be reminded that black dudes are menacing and scary.
(Yes, I realize James Edward Olmos is Hispanic. I also realize that this is no excuse for say, killing off your black characters.)
Also, my loathing for Adama/Roslin has increased this episode, since apparently the Roslin who has been airlocking Cylons since forever has also decided that she'll only pull out her big guns when her boyfriend is in danger. Roslin seems to have also built herself entirely around Adama, and NO WRONG LEARN TO WRITE A ROMANCE, BSG WRITERS. YOUR LEE/KARA IS STILL CRAP. Also, now we're supposed to be glad the head of civilian government and head of military are shacking up? THAT BALANCE OF POWER STUFF IS TOTAL KID BULLSHIT, AMIRITE?
I'm really glad that we're seeing things from the Cylon perspective next time. I used to love the politics on the show, but now I keep dreading what horribly subtle right wing ideology hidden will crop up next.