Podcast:Resurrection Ship, Part II
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Hello and welcome to the podcast for episode twelve “Resurrection Ship, Part II” I’m Ronald D. Moore the developer and executive producer of the new Battlestar Galactica and this’ll be a fun one. “Resurrection Ship, Part II” as I mentioned to those of you who listened to the podcast last week- Resurrection Ship was originally a one-hour episode that we then split into two parts only when we were in post-production and realised that we had far too much story and footage to really comfortably fit into a one hour box. This episode lent itself into splitting into two parts rather easily in that the original Act Two break was Adama and Cain each plotting to assassinate the other and the Act Two out was y’know take out a gun and shoot Admiral Cain in the head which is a great act out as you can imagine and an even better episode out. Not all episodes really lend themselves to that kind of neat cleavage, oft-times if you simply cut an episode at Act Two and try to carve two episodes out of it at that point you’d find that the story was not designed that way, that too many things were left dangling and incomplete and there would be no real sense of it being an episode on its own. In this particular case we were trying to do so much and there was so much material to work with that structurally we simply had an opportunity to cut them in two and really present two different episodes.
The show was always sort of about the struggle between Cain and Adama and then there was going to be this big battle that essentially we’ve been promising since “Pegasus” that Admiral Cain shows up on Pegasus and says she’s been tracking the Cylon fleet and she’s got a hard-on for going after it and the audience knows, ‘okay we’re gonna get to go after that fleet eventually’ and so this is the one where we do finally go after that fleet. I’d say the main- what shifted overall in the development of the story in this part was how much emphasis we put on the Lee storyline versus the other storylines and ultimately how does the Cain situation resolve itself? There were some fundamental things that never changed from story; I knew that from the word go I did not want to destroy the Pegasus, that was very important to me. It seemed like- it just seemed to me that when the audience approaches this show, when they see that there’s another battlestar showing up and “Oh it’s another battlestar with an Admiral onboard, it’s a much more powerful ship than Galactica…” the one thing that the audience probably takes to the bank is, ‘Well, of course they’re going to destroy the Pegasus by the end of the episode, they’re not going to keep it around, I mean that’s just not gonna happen’ and so I just was determined that we were going to subvert and undercut that assumption on behalf of the audience, we were not gonna do that, we were gonna keep the Pegasus around and add it to the fleet and do the thing that you just don’t do.
This image that’s onscreen now of Lee floating on his back in the water and the subsequent cut to space and realising that Lee’s actually drifting through space in his ejection pod and losing air and having his own experience was something we talked about very early. Michael Rymer might have even come up with this image of him floating on his back I believe and I was really taken with it and really fought for it and wanted to keep to it. It went through a lot of iterations and changes as we went through the specifics of it and in fact when we were looking at this as a one hour episode this entire storyline was something that was going to have to be lifted and chopped just to make the run-time which was another reason why I didn’t want to keep it to one hour.
I was very intrigued by this sort of elliptical way of fading in on an episode that you would not come back to the present reality on a storyline the audience were following very closely but to really go into this other-worldly storytelling where something else was going on and originally we had talked about that being the opening to the one hour episode of "Resurrection Ship" because essentially my reasoning was well the audience is going to go out on this cliff-hanger moment at the end of "Pegasus" where the two squadrons of Vipers are facing off and they’re about to fire upon each other and the audience comes back anticipating they’re going to be right back at the very same moment and I kinda wanted to undercut that expectation as well and to come into this stranger thing that Lee is floating. “Why is he floating? Wait a minute, what happened to the Viper battle?” and then you would sort of realise that he’s in this other battle with the Cylons and then you would flash all the way back and play all the events forward. It was an interesting idea and I think it was effective in the script but it was just too much material, like I said, to hold for an hour episode and then as we decided to split it into two pieces there came the question of… well do you still want to maintain that structure, do you still want to open “Resurrection Ship, Part I” with Lee floating in space and carry that over the course of the two episodes? And I felt that that was going to be awkward and that it wouldn’t hold and that if you- it’s sort of- it’s a hard thing to describe, some of this is just sort of instinctual and experience with how tv and its forms work but I just felt that you could not carry that kind of flashback structure where you’ve got Lee floating in the "present" and then flashing back to all the events leading up to it over the course of a two-parter. It felt awkward, it seemed like the second hour was going to run into trouble of how you would establish that convention and so it just felt more comfortable to keep it to the second hour.
Hey, now this scene with Helo and Tyrol- in “Resurrection Ship, Part I” you saw the first half of this scene. This was originally just one scene, where it began with Helo standing and Tyrol lying on the bed and they’re talking about all the ways that they’ve sc-, their problems with all the various Sharons and Tyrol saying he’s done and Helo saying ‘Well I can’t let go’. And then that moment was interrupted by the entrance of the 'Yee-Haw Boys' (1 and 2) as we kinda call them. So this was all part of the same sequence, then when we got into post on the two episodes we realised that actually part one was a little short, part two was a little long so there was some horse-trading that had to be done to bring the episodes to the exact correct time and this episode or this scene, was another thing that cleaved in half very nicely. You were able to chop this up into two distinct pieces without really having a problem either way.
We played around with the exact incident that happens here quite a lot, some of this is inspired by “Full Metal Jacket”, the scene in “Full Metal Jacket” where they’re beating on one of the recruits with a bar of soap and a towel was a very sort of haunting- disturbing is a better word to use- that I always remembered. The scene in “The Grifters” where Anjelica Huston is briefly threatened that maybe she is going to be beaten in the stomach with oranges wrapped up in a towel and both of those notions were always sort of chilling and frightening and so I thought that they'd be really effective to use in this scene- that there is something classic about the notion that you hit someone in the stomach when you don’t want to leave a mark and yet it’s incredibly painful.
Okay, now we’re back in this scene- now, there’s the infamous bar of soap- as shot there was a lot more fighting and kicking back and forth and there was actually a point where Tyrol got a shot back at one of these guys and there was more beatings going on and I felt very strongly that the way to maintain dramatic cohesion in the scene was to have less beating, it’s more effective- the suspense, the- when is he gonna- you can see it’s cutting away quickly because in that previous shot he was about to hit him and it’s more about the suspense of when are they gonna do this? What are they gonna do? And you’re dragging out the tension as far as possible, that I thought was more intriguing.
This was an opportunity when we went back and re-shot scenes- it felt like, well, these guys are now- Helo and Tyrol that is- are now on Pegasus and aren’t they really hated and detested over there? What’s gonna happen to those guys that are in the clutches of Pegasus? And it just quickly came up that, “Hey, the Yee-Haw Boys, the Sunshine Boys as they’re called in the script, may have something to say too and it may not be very pleasant.”
I also like this little beat a lot of Fisk coming in and getting these guys- y’know busting these guys, throwing them out, threatening them and yet making clear that he does not have a lot of sympathy for Tyrol and Helo. Fisk’s character was an interesting one, he’s in a very difficult position, you get the feeling like he’s done what he had to do to stay alive and keep the machine going but he has his own private qualms but he’s not really somebody that would have been Adama’s guy. This little interaction with the officer and the two enlisted guys is based on things that I recall actually from personal experience of being aboard a frigate in the Navy briefly as part of my Navy ROTC experience. I was on the frigate USS W.S. Sims off the coast of Florida and I recall an incident- not like this- but I recall a disciplinary moment like this where an officer called two enlisted men that were doing something- I can’t really remember what they were doing because I wasn’t really on the s- I wasn’t really privy to the whole incident- but I saw him suddenly, “You two over here, standing tall!” and boom, those guys came over. The officer was a senior- he was I believe the XO of the ship, as I recall, had them come over, stand tall, and talked to them very quietly and made it clear that they were about to get in incredibly serious trouble and then sent them on their way. And it was really like a shocking kind of moment because the two enlisted guys in question were kind of well-liked and they were guys that tended to get away with a lot from the Chief and so-on that I observed over the course of the weeks and then this- the classic hard-ass but quiet XO had busted them on the spot for some violation of ship's regulations. I can’t really recall- I remember where it happened, it was near the fan tail but I can’t really remember what the incident was and it was really the demeanor of how that happened that informed the writing of this particular scene. And I love the sentiment at the end the notion that Fisk again puts back into play the notion of, “You can’t rape a machine” which really goes to question the audience’s- or force the audience to question its own view of what’s happening. Well is she a machine or isn’t she? She looks, walks, talks, smells, seems to be a person but she is a machine and if she is a machine can you rape a machine? It’s another way of always providing a sense of imbalance, of the audience never being quite comfortable in their assumptions of what’s going on and who to root for and how they should deal with a very complicated situation, which is one of the things that I enjoy about the show.
This scene also was an additional scene that was written and shot after the fact, one of the- when we were viewing the episode, the original episode, we realised that Cain and Starbuck were really sparking off each other really well. It was an interesting relationship. Michael Rymer particularly liked the way the two actresses played together and it seemed like there was an opportunity to do at least another scene between the two of them to take Cain a little further down the road of bonding with Starbuck, seeing a little bit more of the humanity of her but at the same time getting a little firmer handle on her philosophy and that the great irony of the scene of course is that her philosophy, that she’s espousing, is essentially telling Starbuck to ‘kill her’, that there are hard things that have to be done, that you can’t flinch from certain ugly matters that have to be done in order to ensure the survival of the ship and its crew or in the larger sense of the human race which is always one of the stakes in Galactica. “Yet inevitably…”- and I think that’s true what Cain just said, “that inevitably there is a moment where we all face a great sin and we have to decide whether we will act on that sin or not and that the struggle comes in moments small and large.” We may not all be faced with the particular dilemma that Starbuck is faced with, whether to kill a superior officer on the orders of another man, but all of us face sin and all of us face compromises and things that we may or may not do for larger goals and it’s a question of how you respond to that and Cain’s philosophy is one that you don’t flinch from that moment, you don’t turn back, you move forward, particularly in a war-time context which is what they’re grappling with of course all the time in Battlestar Galactica.
Well let’s see- see where we’re going here- this was also an additional scene that was shot after the fact, we just sort of felt that there was an opportunity to see one more taste of Lee. Where is he? Since his overall storyline involving the ejection sequence and then floating in space by himself, witnessing the battle by himself, and then coming to a place where he had given up or really embraced the notion of death. We wanted to see that there was another moment where after he had learned from Starbuck what she was going to do, that he would have a moment where he could question his father or at least make clear that it’s- this is so antithetical to everything that he himself stands for and that he thought his father stood for, that it just felt like he had to put words to that.
There was yet one more scene with Lee that we did shoot but then cut, where Lee was in the Ready Room, after this scene actually, where he went by himself, was having a drink by himself and Dualla came in but it was kind of repetitive, when we really saw it- you felt like he had said the same thing in three scenes and so we cut the third one with him and Dualla even though it set up another little piece of the burgeoning relationship between him and Dualla that we’ve been subtly playing over the course of many episodes. But ultimately we didn’t need it, this scene said it all, set his emotional stake in context and we didn’t need a further one.
I also like this- it’s just an interesting little touch that there are still couriers, there are still documents that need to be signed, it’s just another nod towards the retro nature of the Galactica and its technology and our Colonial world. It makes it identifiable, it makes it slightly more human, Galactica’s not really gone to the paperless society and it’s not all just pressing buttons, there are still physically things that have to be signed, that commanders have to put their names to with a pen and say that they have signed off on and I just like that. I like those kinds of little touches.
This was an interesting little sequence that we played around a lot with in editing, this is Starbuck getting ready for her mission counter-pointed with Fisk and his marines getting ready for their mission, everybody getting together. The question that arose as we’re watching episode in post a couple of times is that one thing that does get lost here is you forget that there’s a battle coming up, that there’s this big operation because again all the setup to the big battle operation was all in the first two acts of the original script and subsequently they are now in the first hour episode so there is a bit of a sense here- I would say a problem we never quite licked- there is a little bit of a sense of losing the connection with that plot thread, that oh, there’s this major operation about to happen and that’s really what they’re all getting ready to do and then beneath that they’re getting ready to do their two specific tasks.
I just love this little moment here, this was one of my favorite little beats that I wrote when I was dong the re-writes on er- “Good hunting” “You too Colonal”- there’s just something, I dunno, there’s something poetic about that. I just love that, that little pass-by. I’ll come back for the next act.
And we’re back with Act Two. Again this was all the material that was shot for the original one hour. It’s sort of interesting how the Marines have developed into a real force within Galactica, I think there were just some throwaway lines on Marines in early episodes of last season but as time has gone on we’ve found the Marines more and more useful.
This little beat here of Adama looking at his surgery scar from when he was shot and then him going to see Sharon, originally that was the penultimate or maybe the ultimate shot of the montage that was originally between Cain and Adama that is now in part one that used to lead up to this moment.
Now it feels like it was important for us to go back and reshoot or shoot that shot- that scene with Sharon in sickbay because in the original one hour this was her first entrance into the show and it has no reference to the rape attempt, it has no reference to Helo and Tyrol and you feel like all those things had got swept under the carpet so it is very fortunate that we were able to set up the fact that there was an aftermath to the rape before this meeting of the minds because it tells you why she’s a little bit more receptive to him. And I’m very fond of this call-back to the miniseries, to the sentiment that Adama expressed, it’s one of the fundamental underpinnings of the show; was that Adama looked around and wondered why they were worth saving. This is just an excellent, excellent piece of acting on both of these actor’s parts and Michael Rymer, the director, just did a great job with this, this is a very intimate scene, the tone, the mood is perfect. It’s a great look on Eddie’s face here and I’m really fond of this upcoming shot where we rack focus from one to the other. And then this cut- from that straight into the gunshot, I think that’s a really interesting, poetic way to get into the battle, to jump through all the chuffa, all the battle prep, all the “here they come, they’re on the DRADIS, prepare to launch”, to just get into the fight because it’s not really about any of that. We know there’s a fight, get into the fight and move on, it’s all about these people and the ethical and moral dilemmas that they’re struggling with and some of the character issues they’re struggling with. It’s not about watching them launch the Vipers for the fiftieth time.
Lee getting in close on the Resurrection Ship. Now this little sequence coming up where he gets blindsided by the Raptor, there’s a damaged- it happens very quick so you might wanna run back- run it back on your dvrs or your tape- boom! There’s a damaged Raptor out there that he simply collides with, it’s just an accident and knocks him out and then he is forced to eject out of the Blackbird. There was going to be more to that- that little riff- where later on towards the end as Lee is floating around helplessly, some of the dead crew from that Raptor and the wreckage from the Raptor was going to be all around him and he was going to be surrounded by these floating dead bodies of the Raptor crew and it was sort of that- that being caught in the- it’s the analogy of the sailor at sea who is surrounded by all the corpses and the images of death all around him. It was partly that experience which informed his- ‘I wanna kill myself or at least I wanna die’ decision by the end. Ultimately we had too many great difficulties- too many difficulties trying to film it, we’re not really geared for a lot of weightless action, even with CGI and it just became complex and the footage that we shot wasn’t that satisfying, we just opted to lose it, it felt like we didn’t really need it, it was probably one too many- it was a little too far towards the macabre to really play it in the show. So we opted to just drop it.
Now we’re back into the thick of the action here and the battle sequence- all these visual effects are just tremendous I must say from Zoic and all the other houses that Gary Hutzel our visual effects supervisor plays- just an amazing, amazing battle sequence.
Oh, I should talk a little about the inspiration for this ejection, this is something that came up very early in the development of the entire "Pegasus"/"Resurrection Ship" storyline. Again in our effort to find a different way to tell battle sequences- one of the dangers of the show that I’ve talked about before is this notion that it’s dangerous to keep just playing the same dogfights over and over again, the audience gets bored, I get bored with it and I wanna keep doing something different. Part of this notion came out of a true story from the Second World War in the Pacific, there was a Navy flyer, whose name I believe was Ensign Gay and he was a pilot for a TBF Devastator torpedo plane which- or TBD it might be TBD Devastator anyway- he was on a torpedo plane in the Battle of Midway and he was launched from the USS Hornet and during the American attack on the Japanese aircraft carriers all- the entire squadron- his entire torpedo squadron was wiped out, they were literally- every single plane was lost and Ensign Gay was the only survivor and he survived because he went d- when he went down he got out of his sinking aircraft I believe and stayed in the water with his little life jacket on but he was in the very heart of the Japanese fleet and he had a ringside seat to watch the Battle of Midway play out all around him. He saw American dive-bombers sink three Japanese aircraft carriers, he saw the entire attack and it was such a unique perspective that I’d always been taken with it and thought well that’s an amazing place to tell a battle sequence from. From a pilot who’s like ejected and is floating in space and watching the battle happen all around him and that’s the inspiration for where the Lee sequence came from.
This whole beat with Baltar and Gina and Six is of course a call-back to the first episode where she talks about sports as being something that she missed and that she used to go to these games and drink in the emotion and she always saved a ticket for him. And it was this piece of Six that had revealed itself to Baltar in terms of her love for him and there was something delicious about the notion that he would then steal that, he would literally steal that story and the heartfelt nature of that story and the vulnerability of that story and use it to get to the woman that he now wants in defiance of Six hanging on right- literally on his shoulder. There was something great about the juxtaposition of it, it’s great that they’re both versions of the same woman and yet he’s robbing from one to get to the other and he’s doing it for complicated reasons of genuine feeling that he has for Gina because she’s a real woman and yet it’s all based on a lie which is at the heart of a lot of things that Baltar’s about. I like that a lot, again though because we’ve now split this into two episodes, it’s a call-back all the way into the first hour which might lose some of the audience but y’know them’s the choices that you make.
Actually I should mention that Trish- Tricia Helfer gave a very good note on an early draft of the script where initially when Baltar had a connection with Gina there was a moment we had written where she’s in his arms and they’re kissing and it was going to be a bigger breakthrough than that moment that you just saw and she had a very astute observation that Gina is a victim of gang-rape and torture and that she just would not as a character be open to a lot of physical contact, that she would be very stand-offish, that she wouldn’t want to be kissing Baltar in any way, shape or form. And as soon as she said it I knew she was right, it really spun a different direction in terms of how we would play the relationship between those two, that actually it would be something that would make a small gesture, just like reaching out and holding his hand would make it far more important and more powerful.
Here we’re back into the metaphor of Lee floating in space and floating on his back in the water. This is some cold water that our valiant Jamie Bamber is floating in but he’s a trooper and I don’t think there was any complaints about it. There was more to this whole sequence in early drafts, there were more- things would happen, you would see he starts swimming toward shore in one version, he saw a woman on the shore- there was a woman on the shore who represented a girlfriend we’d never heard about, that we would really only reveal who that person was, who that girlfriend was, in a later episode- there was a lot of complicated stuff...
Look at that shot. Look at these battle sequences- it’s amazing, it’s just feature level work we’re doing here.
Back to Jamie, there was a lot of then metaphors of him struggling and getting to shore, then giving up on getting to shore and who was the woman, him seeing other faces and other people in his life. I mean, there was like a whole long complicated thing. Ultimately it was too much, it was too heady, it was too esoteric and it became impossible to really get out on the location and shoot all these things in the water so we just carved it, carved it, carved it down to just the few little pieces that we have here of him in the water. I loved the editing and the musical choice here to go with anti-battle music through this sequence because you’re really with Lee, you’re really with him as he loses air and oxygen and is slipping away and watching this horrific battle still taking place all around him and he just gives up and it’s like there is a part of him that is ready to give up and just sink down into the blackness. I love that particular shot of him going down, down, down. And then what’s this, you’re not even quite sure what you’re looking at but it’s a searchlight.
I’m very pleased of how we handled the battle sequence here. We tried not to milk it, we tried to deliver all the bang for the buck, we tried to give the audience a visceral release of experiencing the- I love this of Jamie being brought back to life here- we gave the audience the whole visceral release of going through the combat but we’re not trying to milk every little tactical moment of it because you get it, we get what these battles are about. And I just feel like a lot of times you can zip through that kind of material and get back to the important stuff and the important stuff is what’s happening inside the ships. The important things are what’s going to happen in this sort of sequence, is Fisk going to kill Adama, is Starbuck going to kill Cain? That’s really why you’re here now, now that that has been resolved it’s on to the major drama of the show.
And now we're in act four. And there was a part of me that worried that act four was becoming all about epilogue and wrapup, but as we went back and forth in editing we kept- we tried various versions where we kept some of the battle sequence in act four to maintain some action in the fourth act. It just was never comfortable. The version that we ended up with is the most comfortable structural version. If you're watching this on the DVD it doesn't really matter to you 'cause you're watching it as a piece, but when you're watching it on air you're constantly struggling with where the balance is of the acts, where the act breaks fall, 'cause you're always trying to have a certain rhythm that keeps the audience moving through the show. You don't really want an act four that's nothing but epilogue, that's nothing but wrapup, but we have this whole sequence here about will she, won't she, kill Cain and will he, won't he kill Adama. And that's really where you've been leading for a full hour, 'cause that's where you left the first hour. So even though the battle sequence is traditionally the high point of the drama, the biggest flashiest thing, where you would traditionally end an act four, in this particular case it just was better that, "You know what? Who cares about that?" That's interesting, fun stuff but this is really what the show is about. What are these people gonna do? Are they really gonna do this? Or not? On both sides. And I like the fact that as you get into this sequence you're not sure how it's gonna resolve. We haven't given you a lot of foreshadowing of "Who's having second thoughts? Which way is it gonna go? What's he gonna do? What's Cain gonna do?" It seemed important that Adama gets the first call. Adama gets the first one at bat. If he says, "No, don't kill her," now you're like, "Oh my God. But the bad guy still is gonna kill him." If you went the other way, if the bad guy, if Cain, had said, "Don't kill Adama," first, all the drama leeches out the scene 'cause the audience kind of assumes that Adama's not gonna actually kill her, and you don't really want him to. But by playing his part of the conversation first, by seeing him go through the steps and see him change his mind, there's still a great- the tension actually goes up.
"It's not enough to survive." And that, is one of the key tenents of the show. It is not enough to survive. You have to be worthy of surviving. And if Galactica has a certain point of view, and as much as I think that it doesn't, that Galactica in the large se- in a very real sense tends to posit questions and make you, the audience, think about it and question and come to your own conclusions. This one of those moments where it does have a point of view. And that point of view is you have to be worthy of surviving.
See, now we get into the- the audience has gone, "Oh my god. Adama's done such a noble thing but, oh Jesus, he doesn't realize-" and "What's gonna happen here?" And this, too, I love. I love the fact that Cain simply backs down. That she is also human and she is not a black-hatted villain. That there's a part of her that realizes that she doesn't want to go as far as she was ready to. She's won her victory against the Cylons. She had the "long night of the soul" that we saw before, and she's decided she's not gonna do it. She doesn't wanna assasinate Adama, and he doesn't wanna assasinate her. And it's like- it validates her as a character. She is capable of stepping back. She's not insane. She's taken steps that we question. She's done things that some of us, and many of us, will feel are just horrific. But she is not a complete blackhat. There's a part of her that is in touch with morality and humanity and she steps back.
Now I'm sure there will be many questions on, "How did Gina get off the ship?" And frankly I don't know how Gina got off the ship. Baltar helped her get off the ship. You can make up your own fifty different ways come Sunday of technobabble of how Baltar overrode security protocols and hid her in a storage box and got her off- who knows? Who the fuck cares? She got off the ship by the end of the episode and that's all that really matters.
This is a great beat. Where he won't shoot her. "Suicide is a sin," is another interesting idea of the Cylons. That they have notions of sin and that, again, I've mentioned before the Cylon view of life is that life to them is precious. There is something very special about life. They do not cavalierly give up their lives, as it were. They do not cavalierly destroy life. It's that inherent contradiction that makes the Cylons interesting. As it makes human beings interesting. Our own conflicted feelings about when to take life and yet the preciousness of life, is in constant battle in our own heads and in our own society, and I like the fact that it's a contradictory element of the Cylon civilization as well.
Originally I believe there was more to this. It was, oh yes, instead of Cain being killed in her quarters it was actually gonna be in CIC and a Bal- you didn't see it happen. It was- he let Gina get out, gave her the gun, and we cut away, and then we came back to Bal- we went to Galactica for something and Galactica- you're in CIC and a phone call came in that it's Doctor Baltar. "Dr. Baltar's on the line? Why?" and Adama picks up the line and you- he says, "Hello, doctor." And you cut over to the other side and Baltar is standing in CIC surrounded by dead bodies. That Gina had killed like everyone in CIC. And it had- it played like a last beat with her there and then that's when she wanted him to kill her, was in CIC and- I'm mixing up the chronology. I think it was like, you cut over there, you saw what she had done, Baltar wanted her to kill him, and then he called Galactica, after she had left, from the sea of dead bodies. And that just- it seemed to much. It was over the top and it begged too many questions of, "She could really kill everyone in CIC and get away with it? Nobody even heard?" It was just- it didn't play right. This plays more believably. I think you could- this- it's a bit of a push that she could get into the quarters, shoot a- fire a weapon and get out of the quarters and get off the ship with being caught, but, you know what? I buy it. And I think it works. And I think it's effective. I love this look on Michelle's face. She just- oh, that little gasp there. That little intake of breath before she's killed. That was always the way that that storyline was going to end. It is unfortunate at some level that we killed Cain, but it was always destined to happen.
As we get into act four now, I realize that my entire discussion and elaboration on (chuckle) the act structure earlier in the episode was incorrect, of course. I should have been talking about act two, and then act three and act four. Instead I was mistaken and spoke in there, because I still- my head is very much in old structures of the cuts. I apologize for that and hope you're not too confused. As you can see now, clearly, act four is all epilogue and denouement and act three (laughs) is really where the- just the assassination and act two is the battle. So- what do you want from me? Sometimes even I make mistakes, as shocking as that is.
This funeral sequence was something that was shot after the fact. The funeral of Cain seemed like a great opportunity to take one more step in- the complexity of who she was and what she meant to all of them. Starbuck, who was alm- who almost killed her, speaking at the funeral and coming to the conclusion that she didn't flinch, and that we flinch a lot around here, and that the hard thing to hear is that we probably were safer with her than without her. That that's true. And it really- it's another way of leaving the audience with a sense of imbalance and a sense of being off. I'm not articulating this very well, but the audience is essentially left to ponder what they really think about Cain at the end of the day. Cain did pull back. Cain didn't shoot Adama. She is human. She is a- there is something of value in there. She did keep that ship together. She did make them all survive. She got them to this point. She took out that resurrection ship, which was her thing. In fact, as you look at it, Cain succeeded in every single thing that she set out to do. Admiral Cain was successful in all the ways she wanted to be successful, with the exception of not surviving herself. But she go everything else she wanted, and you have to acknowledge and think about that in the context of the show.
Again, this whole beat with Lee, getting back to Lee and where is he. He had gone through this experience, lost in space (laughs), as it were, and seeing this battle and getting to a place where he, through the hypoxia, through his own, like, observation and his moral struggles, had gotten to a place where he didn't want to come back. And then what happens to that character is the interesting thing that we wanted to play. And you'll see in subsequent episodes, particularly in what is now episode fourteen, I believe, "Black Market", the places that that is sending him. And it informs who he is for the rest of the season. That he had gone through this strange epiphany out in space and didn't want to come back into the here and now, and yet was pulled back, and how does that screw up the character? How does he deal with the aftermath to these events?
And act four is all epilogue. Like I was saying, "Oh, we successfully avoided all that with the assassination." No we didn't. It's just all epilogue and I see so many cuts of these shows, sometimes I forget which cut is the final cut even when I'm watching it. (Laughs) So there you have it. I'm still tickled by the fact that I couldn't remember that.
This scene was part of the original- this is Helo and Tyrol coming into see Sharon. This was part of the original one-hour, and the problem was you saw the Lee scene where he came in and saw Helo and Tyrol and they say, "You're not being executed now," and then you didn't see them again until this scene. And it just felt like, boy, they just like dropped off of the face of the Earth for a storyline that had propelled every- propelled the major confrontation at the end of "Pegasus". So thank God we were able to make two episodes and really play all the storylines for all the juice that they had. 'Cause it's now- it's quite effective. You've seen they've gone through quite an experience and now they've come all the way back to where their experience started, which was down in Sharon's cell. And Tyrol is trying to let it go and Helo can't.
This is a lovely scene. I was very in love with this scene from the beginning. I really liked it. I like notion of it. I like the fact that she promotes him, gives him the admiral stars[00:04:44], and that again, we're keeping the Pegasus and then now it's going to be part of our "Rag Tag Fleet". I just think it's a very unexpected end to the show. And the other thing that's nice in this scene, it was written in the script, and I wrote it, was the affection between the two characters. That she's giving him something, but she's on her way out and it's- there's a valedictory chord being struck here as she's giving him his last gift, as it were, before she dies, and his refusal to accept that. When it was shot on the stage, though, the moment at the end where Eddie kisses Mary is something I believe that Eddie just improvved in the moment. I think he just did it because he felt it. And you can kinda see her surprise, a genuine surprise, and it works so well. It just works so well. And again it goes to the improvisational nature of the show, both in how we write it, and how we're trying to- where sometimes we think we're going one direction and then we change our minds and we realize a better direction on the fly, and it really informs the whole show. And then the actors and the directors being able to feel that on the set and finding things and moments that really lift the material to a different plane. And this is one of those moments. This is now become one of my very favorite moments in the entire series. And I like that little beat there that Adama had given up hope of that.
Next week's episode will feature Laura and her story very prominently. We'll have a big Laura- big things gonna happen with her next week. Here's the moment I was talking about. See, Mary's not quite sure where's going for this when touches her cheek and he just kisses her. That's just such a lovely moment, and it's such a good actor's instinct. And her response to it is perfect. It's just a great, great beat in the life of the show. And they've just come such a long way. And then Eddie, or, I'm sorry, Billy helping her out, physically. The look on Adama's face as he watches her go. It's just a very heartfelt scene between these characters. And then he looks back down at the admiral stars in his hand. It's great episode. It's a great three-parter. I'm very proud of it. I'm very proud of everyone involved in these three. They really are the show when the show is really hitting on all cylinders and it's been a pleasure to talk about it again with you and I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun going back and pointing out the errors that I made in my podcast. Next week, as I allude to a little while ago, we're gonna deal with "Epiphanies", which is, was, originally episode twelve, is now episode thirteen, and it will deal in large part with Laura Roslin, her cancer, her imminent demise, and some things that happened in backstory to her, back on Caprica. And also a lot of other things that are happening in the Fleet. I'm very happy with that episode as well. And I will talk to you then. Take care, and thank you.