Before 'Bastille Day', I liked Battlestar Galactica and Lee Adama. Then, over the course of an hour, along with a confluence of events, the like evolved into full blown love. Love of the show, the character and a certain actor. Not to mention, an OTP was born. Yes, while everyone else was talking about Lee and Kara, I was in my little corner of fandom obsessing over Lee and Laura (and still do).
Perhaps most significantly, after the episode ended, I went to IMDB to see what else this Jamie Bamber fella had starred in. And spent months (years in the case of Peak Practice) tracking down his work. I think we all know how that obsession turned out. ;)
So, on this very special day, I'm choosing to be more than a little self-indulgent and share my love of 'Bastille Day'. Originally, I planned to highlight the four moments which led me to become the fan I am today. However, once I started capping and was reminded just how gorgeous Jamie looked in this episode, I ended up covering pretty much all of his scenes. Still, I gave special attention to the special four moments that altered my fandom life.
When last we left the fleet, the water supply was nearly depleted. Rationing was in effect. Fights were breaking out. And death by dehydration was a real possibility. But, good news, the fleet's resident secret sleeper Cylon (AKA Boomer) found a moon full of ice. The only Problem was said ice needed to be broken up, melted and hauled up to the Galactica. The job would require roughly a thousand men. Where to find these men? Hey, the Astral Queen is full of convicts!
Adama, Roslin, Billy and Lee meet in Adama's quarters to discuss using the men as labor. Adama is all for using the convicts since the work is too hard for the average member of the fleet. Roslin is adamant she will not utilize slave labor. Lee suggests they offer the men incentives, points towards earning their freedom. Adama is quick to cut him off - "Excuse me? You wanna start releasing hardened criminals into the fleet?" Lee points out some of the men were on their way to Caprica for parole hearings at the time of the attacks, so why not give them a chance to prove themselves? Roslin sides with her
Adama grudgingly goes along with the plan, but wants a representative from Galactica to tag along. Someone who will report directly to him regarding security issues. Oh, snap! Lee is NOT happy that his father just dissed him like that
Lee and Adama do the walk and talk as Adama heads to the CIC. Lee asks his dear, old, embittered dad if he has something he wants to say to him. Adama spits out he has nothing to say to the personal representative of the President. Lee points out he also happens to be the Galactica's lead pilot. Adama has nothing to say to him either.
Adama: Every man has to decide for themselves which side they're on.
Lee: I didn't know we were picking sides.
Adama: That's why you haven't picked one yet.
Yes, we will learn it's all about sides with Adama. You're either on his or out in the cold. Worst. Father. EVER.
Lee heads to the Astral Queen with Billy, Dee and Cally. Lee presents his offer to the men, assuming they'll jump at the chance to get out of their cells and maybe, eventually, be free to.....live on another cramped ship. No one budges. Finally, a lone figure steps out of his cell. It's Apollo 1.0!
Apollo 1.0 and Apollo 2.0 sit down for a chat. Lee tries to schmooze
While Lee's busy reliving his (to him) crazy college years, the guards are being knocked out and his team is being taken hostage. This leads to Moment No. 1 as to why I fell, hard, for Captain Lee Adama.
To this day, I remember watching Lee stand up in the cell and thinking, "Oh, no way is he going to take on twenty guys by himself. OK, he's actually going to take on twenty guys by himself. Huh!" There was no way he was going to win the fight. Even with the Arms of Apollo. I'm pretty sure he knew it too. But he still went charging in to do.....something. Even if it was a battle he knew he would lose. It was crazy, ridiculous and foolhardy. Yet, also brave and really hot. ;)
When next we see Lee, he's out cold, but not dead! That's good. Slowly he comes to and loses the jacket. Either because he was hot or he thought the arms might serve as a distraction. It works on me. Often. What was I saying?
With puppy dog eyes, Lee explains to Zarek they (Adama and Roslin) won't negotiate as long as he's holding hostages. Zarek goes on some spiel about not wanting to negotiate. His desire is for he and his fellow prisoners to be treated like men and not animals. He also wants to talk about Adama Sr. And thus begins four seasons of Zarek playing Lee. Lee Adama: not always good at reading people.
The fishing expedition by Zarek includes asking Lee how he became the personal representative of the President (not THAT way - unfortunately) and how Roslin and his father get along. Lee, like any good captive soldier, continues to point out there will be no negotiating with terrorists.
Zarek's tangent includes how no one voted for Laura Roslin as president, yet she's making decisions for everyone. How dare she! That's not how a democracy operates! And who cares that the Cylons just attacked twelve days ago. And nearly wiped out the human race. And that they are still running for their lives. Dammit, they need to have an election right NOW!
As Zarek's goading of Lee continues, he decides to prod him about his call sign, Apollo. Zarek points out Apollo is one of the gods (Duh) and that he must be a very special man to be called a god (Again, DUH). Lee states it's just a stupid nickname. Finally, Zarek manages to strike a nerve.
Zarek: Son of Zeus. Good with a bow, god of the hunt...and also a god of healing. Now, a god can reconcile those two opposing forces. But a mortal has to pick one side or the other. Have you picked a side, Apollo?
Wow. He shoots! He scores! He makes me wonder if he has the Galactica bugged! Or Cylon Frenemies!
Eventually, as Zarek rambles on about truth, justice and the Colonial way, Lee realizes Zarek wants the troops they all know Adama is sending to storm the ship. He doesn't want elections or freedom. He wants a bloodbath. He wants to go out in a blaze of glory because a lot of people forgot about Tom Zarek during his twenty years in prison and there are even fewer people left to forget about him now.
As Lee has his epiphany, one of Zarek's men runs in to say there is a BIG problem. Mason, a guy who had been menacing Cally, has taken her away from the others to, well, you can guess what he wanted to do to her. But she fought back (by biting off his ear - go Cally!) and, in return, he shot her. Zarek and Lee dash off to try to stop the situation from getting even more out of control.
At the cell where Mason is holding a badly injured Cally, accusations fly between Lee and Zarek with Zarek claiming they were made into monsters by being put into cages. (Me: "Or you were put into cages because you were monsters? You did kill people in a terrorist attack.")
With Cally on the verge of being killed, Lee springs into action and in one awesome move (that was sadly impossible to cap) attacks a guard, takes his gun and shoots Mason.
Then Lee turns the gun on Zarek, leading to Moment No. 2 for me.
Lee: How 'bout it, Tom? You still have a death wish? You ready to leave this world, right here, right now?
Lee: Too bad. 'Cause this is what you're gonna do: you're gonna tell your men to help us get that water off the moon. They're gonna work for their points, and they're gonna earn their freedom, and then...then you're gonna get your elections.
Lee: 'Cause you're right, Tom. You were right about democracy and consent of the people. I believe in those things and we're gonna have 'em. And you can have 'em too. Or you can have this bullet. Your call.
OMG, I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! The hero giving the bad guy what he wants? When does that happen on TV?! So, we have Lee being awesome and hot and noble and contradicting the rules of TV drama. How could I not adore this scene and fall just a little harder for Lee and the show?
After saving the day - or at least some lives - Lee journeys to Colonial One to inform his father and the President about the deal he's made with Zarek and the rest of the prisoners. And we have Moment No. 3 as to why I find Lee Adama so frakkin' awesome.
Roslin: You've committed me to holding elections within the year.
Lee: Madam President, with respect, you're serving out the remainder of President Adar's term. When that term is up in seven months, the law says there's an election. I only committed you to obeying the law. Roslin: You are not authorized to make any deal...
Adama: You sound like some kind of a lawyer... (Me: HEE! Who Knew?!)
Lee: I swore an oath. To defend the articles. The articles say there's an election in seven months. Now, if you're telling me we're throwing out the law, then I'm not a Captain, you're not a Commander and you are not the President. And I don't owe either of you a damned explanation for anything. (Me: LOVE!)
Roslin: He's your son.
Adama: He's your adviser.
Roslin: An election.
Adama: (to Apollo) I guess you finally picked your side. (to Roslin) Madam President. (leaves)
There is just SO MUCH AWESOME in Lee's speech. And, yes, I know I'm totally abusing the use of awesome, but I do not care. He's schooling the President and the Commander of the fleet - who is also his father. This is where Lee establishes himself as a man of principle. Frak the consequences. And sometimes it bites him in the ass, personally and professionally, but there's just something so damn admirable about what he's trying to do. In a society that is just barely holding on by an unraveling thread, he wants to maintain the rule of law and preserve democracy. He wants everyone to remember who and what they were before the Cylons tried to wipe humanity from existence.
Now, for Moment No. 4, the moment that not only sealed my love for Lee, but pushed me from thinking Lee and Laura were interesting together to being a full-fledged shipper. They still remain my OTP.
For some reason, Lee stays on board Colonial One much longer than he needed to and decides he has to drop by Laura's quarters to say goodbye.
Lee: I just wanted to say goodbye before I head back to Galactica. And to tell you, I hope you understand I wasn't being disloyal, madam President.
Laura: I understand, you're upholding the law. I admire it.
Lee: I believe in you...and what you're doing. And, for what it's worth, seven months from now, you'll have my vote.
Laura: Could you sit? There's something I need to tell you. (Me: "Or, ya know, you could show him!)
Laura: The truth is, I might not be here in seven months.
Lee: Are you planning a vacation?
Laura: I wish. I told your father that I... had allergies, but I have cancer. I found out the morning of the attack.
Lee: I'm so sorry, madam President. I...I don't know what to say.
Laura: I understand. I'm going to fight this, but there is a great need for secrecy.
Lee: Of course.
Laura: Whether or not I survive this illness, it is of great importance to me that there's a future for the people. And I fear that knowledge of my illness will erode hope, so this has to stay between you and me.
Lee: You can count on me.
Laura: I know I can... you're Captain Apollo.
There's just so many reasons to love this scene between the two. First, the smiles! They both have such fabulous, joyful smiles and we really had so few opportunities to see them over the course of the series. And after the events of '33' and 'Water', they really needed a little levity. But it's SO short lived. Laura knows her health will deteriorate and it's very likely she won't survive long enough to see the election. However, Laura being Laura, she will fight and do everything in her power to be there for her people. She needs allies. People she can trust. Lee, in the moments after they met ("The lady's in charge.") established himself as such a person. Unfortunately, it's just one more burden he'll have to bare. And one more person he cares about he may lose. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Jamie is incredible at conveying Lee's emotions without words. Lee allows himself a moment to joke, to breath, and he's rewarded with devastation. It's clear it's hard for him to hold it together. I don't think the tears he holds back are just for her. He's yet to have an opportunity to grieve and now he's being hit with losing someone else close to him. ::wibble::
While all but two screencaps were made my moi (See! French in honor of the day! ;), I have to give credit to Sadgeezer.com for the transcribed bits. Since this was a last minute idea of mine, I had to cut corners where I could. I appreciate the assist. :)