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"Sacrifice" Podcast
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Ronald D. Moore
Ronald D. Moore
Terry Dresbach
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Hello, and welcome to the podcast of episode sixteen, I believe, this is now ep- "Sacrifice". Season two. I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica series. This is also an episode I had certain issues with. It's not my favorite episode of the season. I don't openly dislike it, though, you may be relieved to know, like I did openly dislike "Black Market" a couple of weeks ago. My problem with "Black Market" was that I felt that it- ultimately fell short of what the show is about in terms of what type of story we were trying to tell and that ultimately it was just too conventional- for what we we're- what I think the show does best. This- this- this show, I think, works in parts. I think it has a lot of interesting ideas in it. I think there's specific places where I think we stumble and don't quite deliver on all- on all that the show can be, and I'll try to identify those as we go through. But o- overall I think this show works, and there's things about it that I think are quite nice. Maybe a word is- is worth mentioning here about just the nature of these podcasts. I was unaware about how widely these podcasts are listened to within the- the show itself. A lot of people that work on the show do listen to these podcasts, as well as executives, and so on, and it's worth reiterating that flaws and things that I try to point out in these episodes, things that I'm not satisfied with or are not happy with, ultimately re- redown to me. I'm the- I'm the showrunner. (Chuckles.) I'm the executive producer. A lot of these things are decisions I either made myself or decisions I was aware of and signed off on, so none of this is really meant as criticism to my- to my team, who I value immensely.

Okay. Here in the open. In the scripted version and in the original cut we opened this sequence with an open scene. That is, a scene that takes you someplace other than what the main characters and you're just starting in mid-story, and that was the sequence, this sequence, right here that you're watching with Sesha's husband. It opened with him working in that corridor, finishing up some repair duty, getting on the phone, telling his wife that he was going to be home very soon, and then suddenly the Cylon attack breaks out and he's- the ship, the freighter is damage and he's pulled out into space. It di- it wasn't that satisfying an opening, and I think it's always been a problematic aspect of this particular episode for, for again, what are script reasons. Here's a guy who we kill in the opening moments who we have no- no connection to and the only thing that really matters about him is that he's her husband, in that it drives her obsession and radicalization through the course of the episode. But, the- the pro- it doesn't quite work because it happens so quickly, you don't know who he is, you don't really care, then he's gone, and then we're- we're building a lot on your identi- identification with her emotional trauma, trying to make that the basis for what drives her into taking these extreme actions. And it doesn't quite work. We- we salvage it a little bit by concentrating more on Dana in those opening shots where you're really more with her and you realize that she has a backstory, that somebody mattered to her, that died, but you're really a little bit more with that character than you are with him. And that helps a little bit. It's still not a perfect- a perfect solution. We probably should have tried to work in a different- either a different motivation for her or really gotten a little bit more in depth to what that relationship was about, made us care a little bit more for- to what she lost.

'Course the biggest thing about this episode is the death of Billy, and the exit of Paul Campbell from our main cast. And, Paul's been there since the very beginning. Established in the miniseries. And he's been one of my favorite characters and he's certainly one of my favorite actors and one of the favorite cast members. Paul's very popular, very well liked. Was really an important part of the family. And the decision to "off" him was not made lightly. It really came more from a sense on our part that we- that Paul really is a good actor. Paul is getting a lot of opportunities. Paul was being offered lead roles on other shows and in features and we were trying to accomodate that and trying to make that work out as best we can to give him those opportunities, but yet, we were holding him on the show in a- in what is a supporting role, and doesn't work all the time, sometimes he doesn't work at all, sometimes the days are limited. And ultimately we- we got to a place where we felt that it was mutually benefecial to everybody to- to let Paul go. To let him go do- to let him pursue a career that he- he richly deserves, and it wasn't really fair to just keep him tethered to us. It came into a s- I dealt with a similar situation on "Roswell", a show that I worked on a few years ago. And one of the- one of the characters there was being offered, Colin Hanks, who was one of our characters on "Roswell", was getting of- he was being allowed to go do things like "Band of Brothers", and he had a movie that feature that he wanted to go do and we let him out. It was causing scheduling problems. We kept coming up with excuses for why the character would be gone for big stretches of time and it became so cumbersome that ultimately we- we made the same decision. We'll let him go and kill off the character. And he recurred, in flashbacks and as a ghost and that sort of thing in "Roswell." And something similar happened here. With Billy, because of the nature of the series, there was really no logical way for him to just stop being Laura's assistant. It didn't make sense for the character to suddenly leave her and say, take up residence on some other ship and pursue some other life that would have required a whole, pretty global shift in who the character was and what he was all about, and it just didn't feel right that he would just pack his bags and say, "I'm done, Ms- Madame President. I'm gonna go be a farmer on the farm ship." Or something like that. It just- it just wasn't plausible. It didn't ring true and it just felt better to go this route.

This is- this bar is not a location. This was actually constructed by our- our art department. It was- it's a nice big bar. It was a pretty expensive big set for us. Initially, we had talked about playing out this entire drama in a shuttle. A shuttle was going to be moving from Galactica to some- to Cloud 9 and along the way, in mid-journey, Sesha and her cohorts took over the shuttle and held everyone on there hostage. And we were going to play the whole show in that. It was much more claustrophobic environment. It was going to be a- more intense, that you were inside the shuttle for the whole time. And that just became awkward. It became awkward in terms of production because we don't have a shuttle sitting around, so you had to construct a shuttle from scratch. Believe it or not it's easier to make a big bar than it is a whole functional shuttle with all the control surfaces or c- control panels, etc. and technology and make it big enough that we would be able to put all the players in it and had had a couple of different rooms. You had to have a cockpit. You had to have a passenger area. You had to have places where people could believably be trying to assault and get in. And it was just far more compli- complex, and so we opted to put it in a bar on Cloud 9.

Act 1

Apologize for the noise of the "beep" that happens. I've- I've been seeing some stuff online that people are- don't like the beep at the end acts. I can't tell you what- can't tell you anything about that except that's what happens whenever I trigger the little recording device and tell it where the end- where the beginning of an act is. So, I don't know what to do about that.

I like this little- this little bit here with Ellen and- and Lee revisiting their established relationship that we set up back in "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down" in- in season one where she was coming on to him. I like the- the notion that Ellen goes off to Cloud 9 periodically. And she- she probably gets laid and she cats around. She does all these things. And Tigh knows about it. Tigh is aware that she goes off and does all these things and I-. There's a line that was in the show, at one point, and it might even still be in the show. Frankly, to be hon- completely honest I've kind of forgotten whether this particular line is still in the show or not, but there was a line from Tigh where he- it was clear that he was aware that she went over to Cloud 9. I think we did lose it ultimately, now I think about it. But it was essentially, he was in a conversation with Adama and he made some- some allusion to the fact that she's over there and it gives him a break. (Chuckles.) And he was aware- he knows who he married. He knows what she's about. They've achieved a certain equilibrium in their relationship that she gets to be who she is, he is who he is, and they've just learned to work it out. That that's part of the nature of the marriage.

This whole section, of course, deals with the triangle that we've been setting up bit by bit of Lee, Dualla, and Billy, and that eventually it was going to come to a head. There was a l- there were various drafts and outlines that had Lee and Dualla actually sleeping together before they went over to Cloud 9. That seemed to push it too far. It seemed like then they'd advanced the relationship to a point that we really didn't want them to. We shot some pieces that implied that there was a more intimate relationship before they got over to Cloud 9. Those were cut, as well, to make- in terms of just protecting Lee and Dualla and making them feel like, okay, this was a burgeoning relationship. Something's that beginning to happen but has not quite been consummated and gone to that point yet.

This is all created in the editing room. It's a- pieces of material that's telling you silent bits. This- this is the kind of stuff that is not quite playing as well as it should in- in big sections of the e- episode, which has to do with just how it was shot and where the eyelines are, and all that. We- we struggled quite a bit trying to make particular looks and moments play. Like, for instance, right there. There used to be a look back from Lee to Dualla where he kind of signaled her to look at the ba- look at the bad guys and as he went into the- as he went into the bathroom and then she looked around and was trying to figure out what was going on. The- the- the looks never quite matched and it wasn't clear that he was sending her a signal. So th- so that element didn't quite play for us.

See what's interesting to me in this episode is the implication that Sesha and people like her are out there in the fleet. That there are multiple points of view about the reality that they're all living in. That not everyone in the rag-tag fleet knows everything that you, the audience, do. They don't see the people on Galactica react week in, week out. They don't really understand the reasons why Adama and Laura make the decisions they do. They just hear whatever their version of the press tells them and there's also a fair amount of rumor and conspiracy theory that floats around the fleet and it was always an interesting idea that there were s- going to be people out there in the fleet who had come to their own conclusions about what was really going on. That they would talk amongst themselves. The civilians would talk amongst themselves, and come up with different theories of- of what really happened and- that- why Sharon would still be alive and what that meant. Clearly there are people now- the episode says that clearly there are- there are some people who believe that military's been completely hoodwinked by this, that they're being fooled, that they're being taken over. I think it's interesting that it comes up later that Sesha- Sesha tells Adama, "It's obvious that the Defense Ministry was infiltrated," and that there- there was a Cylon- that there was a Cylon- what's the word I'm looking for- there was a Cylon spy or colla- oh Cylon in- collaborator, sorry, bluh. There's a Cylon collaborator somewhere in the military's midst that allowed the original attack on the Colonies to take place. And, of course, she's right. That man's name is Gaius Baltar. Something that Adama is not aware of, and even Laura only has an impression that he was with a Cylon that she can't prove and she doesn't- even she can't quite connect all the dots to say that really, that was the chain of events that led to the destruction of their entire civilization. So it's interesting that that piece of insight was going to come from without Galactica. That it was going to come from people that were out there coming to their own conclusions, and that those people could be radicalized by certain events, and that one of those kinds of events is- would be the loss of yet another loved one during a Cylon attack would stoke the fire, would propel Sesha into a place where she desperately needed revenge or she desperately needed to strike back and- and the knowledge that there was probably another Cylon alive and well and aboard Galactica would be enough to send her and her cohorts over the edge, to put themselves out on the line, to take a dramatic step and bring this to a close. It's an interesting formulation. You're saying these people, these terrorists or hostage-takers, or whatever you want to term them, take this radical step, take this violent, dangerous step of taking people hostage, threatening to kill them unless they get the Cylon prisoner and execute the prisoner, so it's an- what is their motivation? And do we approve of their motivation? Do we the audience at least understand where they're coming from and can we sympathize with their point of view. I- I- I hope the answer's yes. I think you get a sense in the show that, while her method is clearly over the line, that she's operating from a place that's not- yeah, she says it right there, "We're not criminals." She's not coming from a place of "Give me my own ship," or "Give me power," or "Give me money," or anything like that or even, "Free a political prisoner," or something. She's essentially saying that, "You're all being fooled. You don't know that you're being fooled. It's dangerous. We're all going to die and I have to take this step because you're too stupid to take it." I- I was always intrigued by that as a motivation. I think it- it's in the show. I don't know that it quite punches through as strongly as it should and I think it's probably a factor of not quite getting inside Sesha's head enough, and maybe we never- we didn't quite spend enough time with her inside the- inside the- the bar and doing more ch- detailed character work with her. I think that we are saved in large measure by the fact that it's Dana Delany playing this role. Dana blur- brings an innate intelligence and a presence to the show that lifts the character and you start to believe ever- listen to everything she says much more closely, and she's not just- I don't want to say a bad actor- it's a- a lesser actor would just speak these words and you wouldn't feel any connection or really care. I think the fact that we have Dana delivering this kind of material helps the episode immeasurably and it was a real boon to us all to have her on the show. Beware the beep. It's coming.

Act 2

David Eick is actually responsible for getting Dana on the show. He knew Dana personally and had approached her- approached her actually, I think, last season and started talking to her about doing an appearance on the show and then this season sh- we managed to to- to actually work out her schedule and ours and get her interested in material, and she agreed to do it, which was a delight. I'm just so happy that we had her on the show. It was a thrill to meet her. I'd been a fan of hers- her work for many years. "China Beach", obviously. She was also fantastic in a- in a- in a movie called "Tombstone" which is one of my personal favorites where i just think she is ravishing and just charming and amazing and all this. And when this show was beeing shot- when this particular episode was being shot my children had just discovered a film called, oh shoot, now I'm going to blank on the name of the stupid film. It's the film where Dan- it's a film about the little girl that- her and her father, who is played by Jeff Daniels, construct a lighter than air- lighter than air- a small aircraft, and they guide these Canadian Geese south from Canada on to do a migration. What is the name of that movie? Well, you'll all figure it out. Go look it up online. But she- Dana Delany is in that movie as the mother, and while this episode was being film my kids were becoming obsessed with that movie, watching it over and over again. So I was watching Dana dailies and watching- and then she was also, like, on this other movie at home.

This whole subplot, or not even subplot, this whole little thing here with Lee and the O2 sensor is a classic bit of Trek-like technobabble that we tried to keep to a bare minimum. It's- it's a notion that is- is and again this is an imperfect piece in the show. The idea being that, okay, they've closed the pressure door to the- to the bar. If anyone's going to have a hope of getting inside that pressure door, without blowing it up and potentially killing everyone inside, what they need to do is get that pressure door opened. And so Lee comes up with a method of having them open the door himself, which is, he takes- he takes the drink, he puts the- has dry ice in in it. The CO2 triggers the sensor and they think that they're losing oxygen. That's- it's kind of okay. It doesn't make entirely a lot of sense but it kind of works as you go through it.

This sequence, I always miss the fact that there was a scene cut here that I really, really wish we had- we had kept because the idea was that before Kara walks up here she was on Cloud 9 but she had- she was with somebody. There was, like, some guy that he had picked up and that the two of them were giggling and going off to some- to- to- to- to some assignation in some room on Cloud 9 and she was trying to once again forget about Anders and she was reverting back to her old ways as Kara and there was a weird self-loathing aspect of it and you got the feeling that she wasn't really into this guy, that she was running from something again and ultimately we cut it for time and money and just went with her just being on Cloud 9 but she's still kind of wearing the sexy outfit, as you can see.

It probably would have been a little too contradictory, in retrospect, if we had shot it as written, now that I think about it. Coming off of "Scar" where she really resolved that she had something to live with with- live for with Anders, and that if sh- we'd seen her with somebody else it probably would have felt at odds with what we saw last week. Nevertheless, I wish we had kept the scene and reworked it and played around with it a little bit 'cause there was something at least interesting about what Kara was doing on Cloud 9 vis-a-vis Lee 'cause Lee is clearly there on his own mission to- to deal with his- his personal relationship with Dualla and there's something interesting, at least conceptually, about counterpointing that with Kara. 'Cause there's the fundamental attraction between Lee and Kara and so to see them both trying to pursue other people and other things simultaneously and then bringing them together in a- in a- in a dramatic confrontation is a- is worth pursuing. Nevertheless, we didn't go in any of those directions.

See here we're you're- you're in "Dog Day Afternoon" territory here, which is a movie that we all obviously love and talked about during the show, where you've got the hostages, and you've got the hostage takers, and that the hostage takers are not- at the- they're not supercriminals, they're not at the top of their game, they're not quite prepared for all the eventualities that they face, there divisions within the hostage takers and- and then they come to a bad end at the end. It's not- I'm not going to pretent this is "Dog Day Afternoon". It doesn't have nearly the psychological complexity of that movie or the brilliance of the script of filmmaking, but you can kind of see some of those elements within here. The structure of it is similiar. You've got the true believer at the top. You've got people supporting the ring- the- the ringleader and then other people not sure what they're doing in there. They're not quite prepared to deal with the- the- the- the authorities outside. Things tend to spiral out of control. People get hotheaded. They start to believe their own stuff at some point.

I wish we had a few more scenes like this, in the show, where Sesha is talking to Adama on the phone, because I think this is when the show does work the best. It's like- the conversations between Dana Delany and Edward James Olmos are interesting because they're two really good actors and they're selling you this material and you're starting to get engaged with what's going on with the stakes and with the thought with the politics what's going on. I just wish we had played this a little bit more in the show, like I said at the outset, given us a little more detail work on what was going on.

Early drafts of the episode featured much, much, much more conflict between Tigh and Adama. I talked about last season that we were intrigued by the idea of getting to a place where Tigh and Adama were at loggerheads. That these two very close friends and trusted comrades got to a point where they were shoo- pointing guns at each other was something we were going to try in Season One and ultimately, ironically, that became "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down", the comedy. This season we tried to go down that road again. We tried to play a little bit more of that here, and again, just ran into the same believability factor that was a part of me and I think that it was shared by everyone that just didn't believe the point that, well in this ep- I should explain- what we were trying, what we were going to go for in this episode was the idea that Adama's refusal to turn over Sharon was putting Ellen's life in danger and that there came a point where Tigh simply was not going to allow his wife to die for the sake of a machine, and it came to a violent confrontation where Tigh was going to hand her over, and Adama didn't want him to and you had the two men going toe to toe. It just- it rang false. It didn't work and you never believed that Tigh could actually buy into the notion that giving the- the- the hostage takers what they wanted- to give the terrorists what they want, even if it was just a machine, was actually a good idea. It just seemed like, he's smart enough, and he's experienced enough to know that that's a bad- a bad move, no matter what his personal feelings were and that he couldn't quite get to a place where Ellen was really so important to his life, even in concept, that he would throw away everything in order to retrieve her. And it just- we just weren't able to pull it off but th- you can kind of see the- again, there's still shadows of that leftover in that their attitudes are still colored by this idea that Tigh is like, "You're doing all this stuff with Sharon and she's a machine and you're losing sight of that." That bit by bit, Adama, even though Adama was shot by a version of Sharon sh- Adama has- keeps calling her "the thing" and keeps her in the brig and is very, very wary of her, that there is definitely a part of Adama that is simultaneously drawn to Sharon. That he does look to her for information and he- there is an emotional connection between the two as we saw in "Resurrection Ship" and that Tigh is much more skeptical of that connection and doesn't believe it's leading any of them to- to a good place.

Captain Thrace. So, this is again. Now we're playing out the- the- the bit of the plot where they realize that Lee's giving them an opportunity to get the door open, to get somebody on the inside. A- the- the- a perfectly valid, logical, question is why don't they use that nifty little side-passage that Lee was using to get in through the back- back door of the bathroom, and go in that way, and I guess my answer to that is it's just too small in there it'd be hard for them to carry all those rifles and they might bump their heads and get bruises or something, so they'd rather not go that way (chuckles). The- the logi- the internal justification in the show is that passage didn't lead anywhere. That that was a dead end that only went around the back and that it was very difficult and we had all kinds of, like, "Yada yada yada," ex- expo lines as they looked at various schematics and diagrams and debated different points of entry and why that this one wasn't going to work, why that one wasn't going to work and they all get cut for time but they leave it feeling like it's a bit of a hole. Er- it is- it is a bit of a hole.

This notion coming up here ironically was a very late-breaking idea. I can't even honestly say whose idea this was. I know it wasn't mine. But somebody in a conference call came up with the idea of "When Kara goes in there, what if during the shoot- during the shootout when this goes awry, what if Kara shoots Lee?" 'Cause I think it was always a- I think it was always part of the script that Lee was going to catch a bullet in this sequence and that his life was going to be hanging in the balance as we went forward into the later acts, but the idea that it was actually friendly fire, that Kara is the one that shot him was posited late in the game and I sparked to it immediately. I was, like, in love with that idea. There was so- to me, now this is, like, my favorite part of the whole episode is that- that Kara, who we've established as the best shot in the Fleet and she's superhuman in a lot of ways, 'cause that's conceptually part of the Starbuck character, but that we've been showing more and more flaws of why that's not entirely the case. And this moment where in a moment where the he- where you never do this thing. Where you never have the heroes in a moment like this, actually shoot one another, in these- in these situations. Usually, it's almost always invariably one of the bad guys shoots your good guy. And you never really play that the two police guy- that one of the police officers shoots his partner by accident, or if you do it's very rare and it's usually, like, a whole giant buildup to something else. And this time I thought it was great that it really does just happen. And that's a little bit more realistic. That just happens in- in the moment.

This is- the rest of the sequence- the- some of the staging here, some of where the camera is, and what the cuts are exactly, are- are kind of flawed. It's not- the action aspect of the show when these shootouts happen is- isn't as satisfying as you want it to be. I think that part of the difficulty, actually a lot of the difficulty is just the- the pressure of time in a tv show. When you're doing a television show that doesn't have this as its stock in trade. We don't do gunfights every week. We don't do these kinds of action sequences every week. We- we do them on occasion and in different contexts, but we don't do them all the time. And these things take a- an incredible amount of preparation, they take a lot of setups a lot of cuts, a lot of pieces have to be put together. You have to have someone with a- with an eye for this kind of material to- to really play out gun- gunfights in an effective way. I mean, if you look at someone like Sam Peckinpah, look at the "Wild Bunch", look at any of his great films. Look at the- at the- at the shootouts or any of the action sequences. They're brilliant. They're piece- they're ballets. They're like really amazing pieces of cinema. But that's because those things take a lot of time and they take a lot of setups and a lot of choreography and in television you don't have a lot of time. Time is always your enemy. You don't get extra days just because the episode you're shooting requires a lot more action. You're forced to compress everything into your prouction schedule and try to make it all happen and as a result sometime- oftentimes you get in the editing room on any tv show and you realize, "Oh, I don't have this cut.", "I don't have this piece of Kara's look.", or "I don't have this matching shot of when he goes to there." or "I wish I had- I wish I had a pure cutaway of the villain walking from camera left to camera right.", or "Where's that '2 shot'." You're always feeling these missing limbs of what you're trying to do when you're putting together these sequences. Unless you've got a director who's incredibly literate in that style of- of filmmaking.

I like that a lot. I like that whole little beat there with Kara a lot.

Act 3

Like I was saying, I like that beat at the end of the previous act a lot. I like the- the moment when Kara has to tell Adama that she shot his son. I think she's amazing in that- in the- in that little piece there. Th- this is a really good episode, I think too, for these actors that you're seeing here. I mean, Jamie- Jamie does a great job. I didn't comment on it early on, but Jamie's performance in the early- in the early scenes with Dualla where- especially at the moment when he's caught when he walks up and there's Billy, and Billy just knows. And it's a great piece of work between those three actors that it's virtually done all in looks there's very minimal dialogue in that earlier sequence where he's- he's found out. So, again, there's little moments all through this episode that I think work quite nicely.

This is a very interesting scene. What is he here for? Is he taking Sesha seriously? Is he considering that maybe she's right? Would he hand her over if he thought she was right? She's got a legitimate point. She con- continues to save the ship time after time and he has a legitimate point. She knows who the other Cylons are in the Fleet and she's not telling him. And that's clearly a problem. And the show works the best when they both got legitimate points of view. When you're actually playing it fair. When you're not tilting it one way or the other and you're forcing the audience to- to choose and force the audience to consider the questions of who's right and who's wrong. I've always felt that. That the show is- is a- is at its most effective when it presents complicated motivations and complex ideas and just lets the audience draw their own conclusions. Rather than force feed them... in a very television way by saying "Well, clearly the right thing to do is what the Captain's done."

This is also a- an interesting notion that I think we underplay a bit. It's just that the- the- the scale of loss of these people. These people lost a world, a civilization, and yet that's such a big, heady idea that at this point in the- in the show when they've- when the attack is so far away, the things that are mattering to them now are now becoming the specific losses that they're taking. Her husband matters to her and has radicalized her in a way that the massive traumatic shock of losing their entire society did not. And what does that mean? What does it mean when you're- when you say that a char- when essentially the loss of the "one" in your life outweighs the loss of the "many" to everyone's life. And I think that's an interesting idea. It just didn't- we didn't really get a chance to play it as much as I wish we had.

This was always going to part of the center of the show. That the three- the three people at the top all had people that matter to them on the inside. And that that was going to be at the- at the heart of the debate over- over what to do. I think that part of the problem, unfortunately, is that it still s- is kind of a foregone conclusion that these p- these three people can't get so involved personally and emotionally that it would outweigh their better judgement. That they can't really- they can't really consider giving Sharon in a- in a- in a profound way because they know better. So you're hamstrung by the fact that it's a- a delicious, interesting, emotional conundrum that you put them in but the- the end is a foregone conclusion and the way to probably have done that more correctly would have been to have really explored what those three people meant to these three people at the top and playing their personal conflicting emotions rather than putting it in the context of, "What do we do about this situation?" 'cause you know what you have to do about the situation. The interesting thing is, how did- how to- not so much how they get to that decision but really what that decision means to them, what it says about each one of them, how each one of them processes that decision. And we really didn't get a chance to play that... in this episode.

I like this notion that we- we put in here, too, that it looks like Adama's going to hand over Sharon and you start to wonder, "Well, how's he going to pull that off?" and we didn't really hint in the episode about what- what his plan is. You'd have to be a dedicated viewer of the show to reach back and realize, "Oh. Well, there is that other dead Sharon sittin' around in the- in the drawer."

Act 4

It's worth mentioning that at the previous "act out" on Eddie where he- he hangs up the phone and he says, "Cut the wire," and we go to black. I don't know what the hell that means. (Laughs.) I really don't. It's not even scripted. It was something Eddie said. He was in one of his takes- it's just a line that he threw out there as he put it down. It's like the equivalent of cut the phone line to the- to the hostage takers. It doesn't really mean anything in context, except, "Hang up the phone," which he just did. But he said it with such authority and it's really weird. It's, like, dramatically it works and when we saw it I was, like, "Well, let's use that." I mean, it's a great "act out" even if you're not quite sure what what the hell that means. It's just a really, really intriguing moment.

This is- this whole end finale- you just wish you had- I... again, I wish we had more time. I wish we had been able to construct a more elaborate and more choreographed entry of the Marines into the bar. And h- essentially at this point in the show what you want are all the little disparate threads that you've been playing through the show to now be tied together and really come to the fore as- when the Marines are coming in, and the body's there and Dana's doing- Sesha's doing her thing, Adama's plan is moving forward, then Billy sees the gun and everyone in the bar's in a specific discrete place and as he's reaching for his gun, he's reaching for that, and then she's bl-. It's like you want all these layers of complexity to- to play themselves out and- and again it just becomes one of those things that you know what you need to do in concept, but executing it becomes very complicated and we even had to go back and do pick ups and reshoots and- and try to construct more pieces of this final takedown to make it work. And it's not- it's still not quite there. It's still kind of, like- it's still- it's disappointing and I- I- I wish that it was a little bit more satisfying.

But, you d- you do have moments like this. I love this little beat where Dana just raises that gun and shoots her right in the head. I mean, that's like, "Whoah! What's- what's up with that?" I think that's a great, powerful, emotional moment and it's shocking and it's- it says volumes about who she is and what she came here to do, and that that's really all it's about. But then you're past that moment so now you're starting- start put people into their places and doing what they gotta do. Those shots of the Marines are actually stolen shots they are n-(chuckles) they're shots that we actually stole from "Bastille Day." If you look carefully you can see some of the cages of "Bastille Day" in the background. 'Cause we were desperate to find shots of Marines doing something. There's another shot from "Bastille Day" implying that there's this movement and- now that's- that's in this show. And they come in through the door and all this happens quickly.

It's ok. I mean, it's not terrible. It's- it's- again it feels a little tv. It doesn't quite feel like it packs the emotional punch and the- the tension that- that it really should. But, it's not like you can really point at it and go, "Oh my god. What a complete disaster."

And then we have Paul's- Paul's goodbye. I was- it's- yeah- I miss him already. I miss the character already. It's a- it's a shame. It's a- it's a sad moment to- to- to watch him leave the cast. It's not something I- I thought we would be doing when the season began.

This scene is good. This scene I like a lot. I the- the tone of this scene. I like Laura's emotional response to this scene. I like the fact that Adama's feelings on the sh- on the- in the scene are apparent. She comes in. It's- it's about their relationship. It's about Billy. It's a really powerful, interesting, emotional moment. And again, this is like one of, I think, Mary's standout pieces. "And that it wasn't worth it," I think is an interesting thing for her to say. And he has trouble arguing with it. And there's something very powerful about this when Laura, she looks at her face and his face, and that's the hardest part is looking at his face. That reminds me of a scene in the bathroom back in the miniseries when she was grappling with her breast cancer she had to physically hold on to the wall. And here in a very maternal way she just moves aside little pieces of hair. And this moment coming up... sorry. It's garbage day here at the house. He was so young. That's just a great great moment. I like that beat a lot.

And then we end here in sickbay and I- there's a lot going on in this little moment. Here's Lee with- doesn't know that Billy's dead. Dualla connected to Lee, but still feeling Billy's death, doesn't know how to tell him, isn't going to tell him right now what happened. Dualla trying to hang on to Lee, 'cause she's now just lost somebody else, again. And then Starbuck in the background coming up, and her guilt over shooting the man that she loves on some level, and- and also having to watch him sit here with this other woman. So there's a lot of complicated emotional threads coming together here all at once.

And then back to Sharon. And, yet, what is Sharon's motivation? What is she doing? What does she want? Can we trust her? Can we not? I think it's a- I'm glad that we end the episode on her 'cause it goes back to the- the- those fundamental questions the whole episode's predicated on. The episode is all about Sharon in some- in some measure because even though she's off camera for most of it all the events are driven by- by her presence and what's she's about. So that is "Sacrifice". Like I said, a decent episode. Not- not my favorite but I don't think a disaster. Next week's episode is "The Captain's Hand" which I- is very cool and very interesting and I - I think there's a lot of- going to be a lot of controversial things in "Captain's Hand" that I think are intriguing for the series and I will talk to you next, next week. Thank you very much, and goodnight.