Guy Kilmore, on Feb 3 2009, 10.10, said:
In regards to the legality or the rationale of the mutiny, in my mind it has very little to do with allying with the Cylons. Hummanity has broken. The people are hurt and angry, they feel betrayed because hope has been killed. I would almost say that there is mass "depression" going on. This isn't about Adama's rough treatment of civilian authority, but about the rage of not finding the home they hoped for. This is about a loss of purpose and self. The beliefs that alot of the populace held is ripped away, any sense of order and identity is gone. This is about lashing out from pain. It is what drives the mutineers, it is what drove Starbuck. The actions or inactions of Adama, Rosyln, Zarek, Gaeta et al. are merely symptons of this phenonenom (sp?). It didn't matter what any of them did, something like this was going to happen.
That is a cause, but not the trigger. Nor was it a cause that necessarily had to have this effect. Defeat and disappointment on this scale can have adverse effects (NAZI's, Bolsheviks), but it is not a guarantee of them. Pushing an alliance that presented a legitimate threat to the survival of humanity over the objections of much of the fleet without an ounce of diplomacy on the matter and against the wishes of the legitimate civilian government caused this. The disappointment of the long held dream of earth merely laid the foundation for an such an excessive reaction to power abuse, but without the power abuse, this does not happen.
Right. It's all consistent and within the bounds of the characters, and I don't have any continuity problems in how they've acted and reacted. But just because these characters "could" act in this way doesn't mean that they absolutely had to. The writers had many opportunities to characterize the revolutionaries as "righteous" in their cause, but instead chose to send them down a dark path. Which is fine with me - it was a great episode - i just thought they lost an opportunity to blur the lines between "good" and "bad" to a greater extent.
Honestly I think they're blurred well enough. Adama's disinterested dismissal of the civilian government, his enforcing of his will despite their protests, Roslin's abandonment of her duties, its impossible not to point a finger at them for allowing this to happen. Further, Starbuck isn't rape happy, but she is kill happy of defenseless prisoners. Gaeta believes he's doing the right thing and is clearly disturbed by the bloodshed. He's a sympathetic enough character in this mess. Many side characters who we've come to know and even like have joined him in this. There is enough sympathy and condemnation to go around for both sides. The presentation of this coup works as both realistic given the context and reasonably ambiguous for either side. Hell, these several pages of discussion (when was the last time a single episode spawned this much debate?) should be evidence enough that the show left enough room to reasonably pick sides. The lines are blurred enough.
The only reason I bring this up is because it looks like Adama's resistance to Zarek being president is being presented as irrational or as "poor decision-making/leadership" and some of the arguements being presented. Where I can see some rational reasons as to Adama's resistance.
I don't think its being presented as bad decision-making, but an example (one of many) where Adama clearly flouted and disregarded the law. The military running roughshod over the civilian to get the leader he likes. He almost always has good intentions with these things, but it makes it hard for him to cry foul when others disregard oaths and law to remove him. Which is what people were pointing out. The hypocrisy.
I agree, I had the same feeling especially when they murdered Laird. The way this scene was scripted and played, it was definitely meant to evoke sympathy for Adama's side and paint the rebels in a very negative light (allthough they wavered a bit with Gaeta, who was at least seen trying to not have Laird killed, though he didn't condemn the murder clearly enough).
I don't really know if evoking sympathy was the purpose, or at least not the primary purpose. I think it was as straight forward as Zarek suggested. Showing up front to Gaeta (and us, if we still needed confirmation) that this was not going to be a bloodless revolution. That innocents would die. And to test whether the new leadership had the stomach for it.
For this storyline to work, the episode almost had to happen this way. (or some variation of it) A coup without bloodshed would have been redundant and boring at this point. Revolutionaries without some questionable or unsavory motives would be unrealistic. I think they did a good job of presenting it all in a believable fashion that's reasonably in character with most of the players.
And if the next episode has Roslin attacking with Cylons from the Cylon baseship, she's essentially destroyed any legitimacy she may have had. If they do go that route, I hope that's acknowledged.