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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Battlestar Galactica & Caprica

Battlestar Galactica & Caprica This forum was created by man. It rebelled. It evolved. And it has a plan.

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Old February 10 2009, 04:10 AM   #271
Harvey
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

stj wrote: View Post
By the way---The notion that a revolutionary would naturally start by massacring the executive body is ludicrous. Like the terror bombing peace movement earlier in the series, this kind of ignorant twaddle is the nonsense you'd expect from someone like Ann Coulter.
Zarek and Gaeta don't start by massacring anybody. The revolutionaries start by taking over the military, which is entirely logical given Adama's control of the fleet. Gaeta orders Hot Dog/Narcho to destroy the craft Roslin is on only after she escapes capture. They know that a free Roslin could undermine their message, and indeed she does when they fail to kill her.

Zarek only orders the quorum killed when they reject his authority as President, and announce their support for Roslin.
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Old February 10 2009, 04:56 AM   #272
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

A coup might be over in a few hours, but a revolution takes a little longer. I cannot recall a social revolution which was not forced to execute the old executives until much later, not Charles I, Louis XVI, not Nicholas II. For that matter, there are not too many simple coups, even by mad dog right wingers, which started with that kind of bloodshed! The closest I can remember is a coup in Korea. Even the Ceausescus got a kangaroo court!
(Even though a legitimate court would likely have done the same.)

Asking for the Quorum's approval was the starting point for building a new regime,. Slaughtering the people you supposedly thought could legitimate your regime is completely senseless, unless you assume leftists are evil/maniacal/demonic. To put it another way, the initial coup is not the whole first act, only the first scene. However, quarreling with the literal meaning of "start" does not do away with the fact that Zarek's massacre is only plausible given a childishly reactionary view of revolutionaries. Or Sixties radicals.

Also---Why not separate the members, torture a few (torture is complete BS as an interrogation tool but it works primo for intimidation,) or simply announce they've dissolved themselves, or call snap elections, etc. Of course the script wrote it otherwise, because 1.) leftists are evil/maniacal/demonic and 2.) it was more fun watching Zarek kill people.
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Old February 10 2009, 05:14 AM   #273
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

I watched the scene again. Richard Hatch makes some interesting and very precise choices as an actor that are worth watching for.

I thought Zarek looked happy, as though this was the death he'd always expected and wanted. Gaeta was just thinking, "wow, I frakked that up." I gotta watch that scene again (and many others!)
Zarek gives Gaeta a rather forced looking but sincere smile - "buck up your courage, be defiant, this is our moment of triumph" - then (by implication, since the camera stays on Zarek's face) sees nothing but fear and remorse in Gaeta's eyes - and his smile changes to a ruefull irony - "yeah I frakked up when I picked you, bub." But I think he also recognized his own culpability - that he had been unfair to Gaeta for encouraging him into a situation so far above his head.

I think that it was a little simpler than that. Gaeta was interested in the right means, without concern for the outcome, which is why he opposed the Cylons, not because he was really afraid of them but because he saw joining forces with them as some sort of moral failing, a result of his own experiences on New Caprica. But he also believed that you cannot correct immoral means by using immoral means oneself, that just replaced one problem with another.
Zarek was interested in right outcome, without concern for the means. He actually did fear the cylons, and was concerned that they might sabotage ships. But, more importantly, he was concerned with maintaining liberty and ships rights, even in the face of adversity. He saw these things as being important enough to murder for, to do anything for, which is why he had no problem executing the Qurorom.
Gaeta and Zarek were both driven by personal motives, which is good, because fictional characters should always behave in ways that are, at their base, an expression of who they are.

Gaeta's ire over Adama's leadership was spurred by his own intolerable losses. If Dee hadn't committed suicide, I doubt Gaeta would have snapped. That was one loss too far.

Zarek simply couldn't behave any way other than he did. He is a revolutionary and is impelled to fulfill his personal destiny.

Look at the way they responded to their mutiny collapsing. Gaeta's thirst for vengeance had been quenched, and then some, by Zarek's atrocities. But Zarek had no limit; for him, the goal was perpetual revolution, because it's who he is. If he'd gotten everything he wanted, he'd stop stirring up shit...for maybe a couple weeks, tops.

The fact that both these guys had all sorts of rationalizations about their actions that existed outside their personas is just normal character writing. People always exaggerate how logical their motives are and underestimate the degree to which their personalities impel them to certain actions. And, even if real life humans are logical, rational beings, fictional characters are not necessarily the same. Fictional characters are supposed to be expressions of human nature, not walking, talking ideological tracts, because well written fiction is all about human nature, and only about other things, such as politics, to the degree those things help elucidate human nature.

Zarek only orders the quorum killed when they reject his authority as President, and announce their support for Roslin.
And he kills them "reluctantly." His self-image is not that he's a bloodthirsty murderer, after all. But he's definitely ruthless and he thinks this about himself: there's nothing he would stop at to achieve his ends...which is actually the opposite of the truth about him. The ends are simply there to justify the means. The means are what his life was all about. Thje ends are the rationalization. He liked living the kind of life that would make it necessary to carry out actions like massacring the Quorum, and then fooling himself into thinking those actions were necessary, which absolves him of any inkling of pesky guilt. But that's one of those deep dark secrets that people don't admit to themselves.

Gaeta couldn't keep himself psyched up for mutiny because his motive was shallow - he was acting out against circumstances, not expressing who he truly was. His ire wore off. But Zarek's actions were dictated by the core of his being, and he was in it till the end. He had no choice. Discussions of tactics are irrelevant. Neither of these guys were really motivated by their stated goals. The tactics, and all their actions, followed the dictates of their psychologies.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; February 10 2009 at 05:33 AM.
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Old February 10 2009, 06:10 AM   #274
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

stj wrote: View Post
Of course the script wrote it otherwise, because 1.) leftists are evil/maniacal/demonic and 2.) it was more fun watching Zarek kill people.
There was nothing fun watching Zarek order the death of the quorum. He doesn't give the order with glee, or certainty, but out of regret and necessity. It's possible that he could intimidate a few to his side with interrogation, but he doesn't even have the manpower to keep key prisoners locked up, or to fight Adama's relatively small force from reaching the bridge, etc. In his eyes, it's a coup, and if the leadership isn't willing to cooperate, it's easier to kill them then to gamble on being able to keep dangerous voices locked up and away from the populace.

Zarek isn't much of a leftist at this point in the series, either, assuming his cries for democracy in Bastille Day were ever genuine.

And, just an observation. By placing the violence off screen, and then seeing the results later, the effect of the violence is magnified.

In the end, Zarek is neither maniacal, nor a leftist, nor is watching him kill the quorum any fun. Not in my reading, anyway.
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Old February 10 2009, 08:25 AM   #275
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
Of course the script wrote it otherwise, because 1.) leftists are evil/maniacal/demonic and 2.) it was more fun watching Zarek kill people.
There was nothing fun watching Zarek order the death of the quorum. He doesn't give the order with glee, or certainty, but out of regret and necessity. It's possible that he could intimidate a few to his side with interrogation, but he doesn't even have the manpower to keep key prisoners locked up, or to fight Adama's relatively small force from reaching the bridge, etc. In his eyes, it's a coup, and if the leadership isn't willing to cooperate, it's easier to kill them then to gamble on being able to keep dangerous voices locked up and away from the populace.
I disagree - I don't think Zarak had any regrets or that iit was necessary. He could of had them detained and held out of the way until he''s secured power.

Instead he orders their execution in such a blunt manner "shoot them".

Firing squad was too good for Zarak - should of been flown out the airlock.
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Old February 10 2009, 12:35 PM   #276
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

^
I disagree with you disagreeing . I think Zarek was definitely reluctant to kill them. He hesitates for quite a while before giving the order. And I didn't feel he seemed happy about it or took it lightly at all. Plus whether you consider it necessary or not depends perspective. From Zarek's perspective, it is necessary for the revolution to succeed.

As for detention as an alternative, I agree with Hirogen that he probably just didn't have the manpower to do it. It fits with everything else we saw, I think.
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Old February 10 2009, 12:38 PM   #277
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

It was no revolution, it was a coup (attempt). Revolutions start from the bottom and/or from the outside and not from the office of the vice president. However, the leaders of this coup portrayed it as a revolution, because it works better public relations-wise. The word "coup" bears some negative connotation, "revolution" on the other hand sounds better. Would you be more willing to particpate in a revolution or in a coup?

Maybe Zarek also defined himself as a "revolutionary"... I don't know what exactly was going on in his head. At least he liked too see and portray himself that way. Or maybe this was only an indication for how big his ego was and how much he flattered himself.

As for Zarek's relations to the Quorum... in the beginning they supported him and therefore helped legitimize his actions. When the Quorum started to withdraw this support, it became an obstacle to Zarek's plans. Zarek was ok with the Quorum as long it was useful to him. Needless to say, the moment he felt himself forced to kill the Quorum he started to lose control of the events.

Last edited by Ensign_Redshirt; February 10 2009 at 01:33 PM.
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Old February 10 2009, 01:51 PM   #278
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

average
I'm happy Gaeta and Zarek are dead. Gaeta was always a boring character who was forced into a storyline (which was abysmal, and I'm happy it's over), while Zarek was totally out of character from how he has progressed during the course of the show. As usual, Roslin and Adama's performances were also crap.... or it could be that they are written so poorly you can't do much with the material.

At least next week looks interesting.
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Old February 10 2009, 03:01 PM   #279
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

Totally kick-ass episode. A fitting end to Zarek and Gaeta.
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Old February 10 2009, 03:48 PM   #280
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

Above average. Having been out of the country, I finally got around to seeing this one and 2 before it. So, this is more of an overall grade for those 3 episodes. In a nutshell, great character conflict. Topnotch. But, lacking a bit in the larger picture stuff. The coup was a logical result of the plot points but I was aching to learn more bigger picture things. There's still time for that but I fear those will be wrapped up too quickly right at then end. But, most importantly, I'm enjoying the ride along the way.

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Old February 10 2009, 03:51 PM   #281
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

stj wrote: View Post
because 1.) leftists are evil/maniacal/demonic and 2.)
Well, for starters leftist coups tend to be pretty bloody - as do right-wing coups. Pretending otherwise is just blinkered political orthodoxy. Fact is, whether doctrinaire leftists are "maniacal" or not they are, like doctrinaire right-wingers, allergic to facts and boring pains in the ass.
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Old February 10 2009, 04:07 PM   #282
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

Samson88B wrote: View Post
Really looking forward to next week. The return of Tigh's wife seems a little to easy. I hope there is a good expanation of how she was able to return. Really looking forward to next week.


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Old February 10 2009, 04:15 PM   #283
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

MeanJoePhaser wrote: View Post
Also, Laura's refusal to handle her duties is what gave fuel to this munity. Now she's the righteous avenger? It only took how many lives to snap her out of quittersville?
This was a great, logical character development. Actually, for sometime I had guessed that Roslin was not going to be the dying leader who died before Earth simply because there was more drama if she didn't die. Now what? Her whole believe structure is shaken. And that's exactly what we saw come to fruition and she even talked about how she bought into the whole mythology thing in a mocking tone.

Her reaction wasn't optimal for the situation but it was very believable.

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Old February 10 2009, 04:20 PM   #284
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

Mr Awe wrote: View Post
Her reaction wasn't optimal for the situation but it was very believable.
That, in a nutshell, is the kind of thing that I enjoy about this show - I don't think much of Roslin, but she's believable and Mary McDonnell does a flawless job with her.
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Old February 10 2009, 05:13 PM   #285
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Re: Battlestar Galactica 4x14: "Blood on the Scales"

I wonder if Gaeta would have gone down this path if hhe hadn't lost his leg?
Do you think that incident made him more bitter/changed him, or would he have had the same opinions anyway?
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