|"Dirty Hands" Podcast|
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|Length of Podcast:||43:26|
|Ronald D. Moore|
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Hello, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Ronald D. Moore, executive producer and developer of the new Battlestar Galactica, and we're here to talk about what we call episode fifteen in our, skewed way of numbering these things, "Dirty Hands". This is another of the standalone pieces that I talked about on the last podcast. As I've talked about in the previous podcasts, each season, or the last two seasons, certainly, we've done a string of standalones in the second half of the season, that were of varying degrees of quality. And I think they weren't our strongest episodes.
This episode I like, and I'm actually quite fond of, but I am virtually certain that not every member of the audience is going to agree. I think that this particular episode is more overtly political than most of our episodes are, and on some level this is the polemic that I say this show would really- never is. So it violates one of the fundamental ideas of the show on that level. That said, I'm pretty much in support of what the ideas behind this episode and felt that I could get behind them, and wanted to strongly say some things that were in this episode, so we did it. So there.
This began life in a very different way than what we ultimately ended up doing. This episode actually was a Dualla episode in the initial story break. This was a show that, again, was going to deal with the Sagittarons. In fact, I believe that this episode and the "day in the life" episode were- used to be in- we used to have them out of order to the way they are now. I think it used- the original structure was going to be He- the "Helo" episode, episode thirteen, then this episode, then the "day in the life" episode. But this episode, the scri- we had such trouble with the story and we totally reinvented the story at one point, that we swapped the air order and moved this down one because "A Day in the Life" was closer to being ready than this one was. And initially the thought was that the Sagittarion problem that was setup in the "Helo" episode, in "The Woman King", about the Sagittarons and how they were an outsider faction within the Fleet and that of the Twelve Colonies the Sagittarons were the ones that were on the outs everybody. We were gonna continue that storyline into this episode, which was going to be about- which was going to open with two civilian ships in the Fleet having an argument over the wireless and ultimately one of them fi- actually firing on the other and having civilian casualties and that prompting a crisis with the Quorum and Laura and Galactica and everyone else. And essentially it was gonna continue this thought that the Sagittarons- that old divisions within the Colonies were starting to reemerge after the New Caprica experience and that the old divisions were starting to make themselves felt again. And that if there was one thing that the- that eleven of the Colonies could agree on, it was that none of them liked the Sagittarons. And that they were gonna split them up. That they, essentially, were gonna be dispersed throughout the Fleet, that they were becoming extremists, that they were withholding food from some of the other ships, and they had their own culture and their own ways of doing things, and that they were essentially a world unto themselves, and the rest of the Colonies disliked them intensely and were gonna split them up, and you got into this whole thing about Dualla as the Sagittaron member of the ship, of our crew that we're most familiar with, and her defense of them and she was gonna be tasked to go down and deal with them as a liaison officer and at first she was essentially the mouthpiece of the government and the ma- the- seen as a traitor by her own people, and then eventually real- have more of a tug back towards her racial identity and her- or her tribal identity, depending on how you look at it. And she was going to side with them openly in almost a mutiny against Adama by the end of it, and that by the end of the episode Adama would have given them- have realized the error of their ways and have given the Sagittarons their own ship and brought the Children of Israel back to one safe vessel that they could call their own. There were interesting things about the story in concept, but we just never were able to make it work. It was a very difficult script. Anne Cofell, who's the writer, struggled with it a lot. We struggled with the break. It was just a big chunk to chew off. There were a lot of different competing ideas within that concept and within that storyline. Not the least of which was our continuing struggle to make the Sagittaron plotline work. And if there was one big misstep that I think we made in the third season was committing a lot of time and resources in the writers' room and in script into this idea of developing the whole Sagittarons into a viable storyline because we were convinced, I was convinced, that it was going to play a huge part in the finale in the trial of Gaius Baltar. And so as a consequence we had this idea of this- subgroup and we were gonna follow them and delineate them and talk about them as a culture. I'll come back after the teaser. 5:29
Act one. As I was saying before, we had plans to do this whole thing with the Sagittarons, but it fell apart. It just is- wasn't working. And the first step on that road was this episode. 'Cause we couldn't make this story work, and I eventually just punted and said, "You know what? Screw this. You gotta throw it-" At some point you realize you're banging your head against a wall and there's fundamental reasons why a story won't work. It's not just about execution. It's not about structure. You have a very fundamental problem. This story won't work. So we regrouped. I switched the order of the episodes and said, "Ok. We're gonna take a different approach to this show." (Coughs.)
There were issues of class that were in the original concept. That were certain Colonies were considered above other Colonies. That were certain Colonies that were more equal than others, to put it that way. I liked that idea a lot. I wanted to play that. And so we went further into the idea of class as a defining characteristic of this episode, and decided it was about labor, and it was ab- 'Cause some of the issues that were involved in the original story with the Sagittarons and the work they did, and the work they didn't do, had to do with labor, and had to do with the way that the Fleet operated. And one of the things I always liked about the show, about the series, is when we get into this idea of how the system of government works, how the society functions, reminding the audience of the uniqueness of the Galactica and the Rag Tag Fleet's experience. So I was- eager to get back into that and do it in a little more overt way. So we decided that this episode is about labor. This episode is about class. This episode is about the need for workers to have unions. This episode is about class struggle and I got behind that. I was like, "OK. Let's do that episode." And once we had shifted into doing a different episode, that was about the point where we brought Jane Espenson in, who had done "The Passage" for us earlier, and who is a big fan of the show, and we really like her work, and asked Jane to take a pass at the script.
This episode, I think, opens up the world of the Fleet in a way that none of the episodes really have. How does the Fleet operate? Well, there's a tylium ship out there. There's a refinery ship out there. And they have their own world, their own reality, their own- they have their own narrative of what's happened in the Fleet that is separate from what has happened aboard Galactica. The Gala- the point of view of the audience is primarily with the people on Galactica and showing how- showing their struggles as the pilots and the military, but there's also this other group that's out there in- all these other ships and what's going on with them, and the idea that over on the tylium ship they're having a very different experience than on Galactica, I thought, was a really interesting and charged idea.
And then this idea of the book that was just mentioned here, with Baltar. We were simultaneously also talking about, "What is Baltar doing in jail?" In "Day in the Life" we didn't see him at all, and we're talking about Baltar's trial, but what's Baltar himself doing? And there was something interesting about the notion that one of the things that Baltar would be doing is writing Mein Kampf, for lack of a better analogy. That Baltar sits in his cell and is starting to have- a political manifesto is starting to be born in the mind of Gaius Baltar. And that we could dovetail that manifesto into the storyline of this particular episode. That it dealt with class. That it dealt with labor. That it dealt with a more overtly political idea. And I liked the marrying of those two ideas. That's when the show really started to work for me. That there's these fund- there are these fundamental inequities in the Fleet. There are these fundamental class structures in the Fleet. And Gaius Baltar intuitively, or consciously, taps into those things, taps into those resentments, and starts to have an impact, and starts to actually touch on those things.
And I thought there was something really interesting about centering it on Tyrol, who was a union leader back on New Caprica. What did that mean to him? What did it mean to be the leader of that movement? What did he stand for? Why did they have a union on New Caprica? Do they need a union in the Rag Tag Fleet? What's the purpose of a union? I think that in today's political environment, and I will just step outside the show here for a moment. I think that in today's political environment, unions and collective bargaining has acquired such a negative connotation in the popular media that essentially the conservative movement in the country has been so successful as demonizing unions, and demonizing collective bargaining, and demonizing the labor movement, in general, that I think it's actually a good thing to remind people of why the labor movement exists and to remind them of why there are unions. To remind them of why- how workers under the- even- are sometimes exploited and hurt and not taken- not cared for, even by caring people. I think that Laura and Adama are two of the most caring leaders that you could have, and yet they too are gonna buy into a certain class structure of how this society operates, and the people sitting over there on the tylium ship, that you the audience haven't even given a thought to for three seasons, are slaving away under conditions that probably appalling. And if you think about what's probably happening out there in the rest of the Fleet. There's probably a lot of things that people have to do every day that- they're having their children work, they're working in unsafe conditions, they're doing it with little time off, they are struggling in ways that are, frankly, unacceptable to civilized people. But, because they're out of sight, out of mind, you don't invest in them the empathy that you do with the main character. And so this is an opportunity to strip some of that away and put you into the story, and if that makes the show a bit of a polemic, so be it. That's- I'll take that criticism and I think it's a fair criticism but I accept it, because that's what we did.
I like this relationship between Laura and Baltar. That here's Baltar in the cell, and Laura comes to visit him, and she's tossing the cell, looking for the pages, and letting him know in no uncertain terms who's in charge. And I looove the fact that she lies to him. I don't know why. I always love it when Laura lies, because there's something about Mary, I think, that I just never think she's gonna lie to me. You just look at Mary McDonnell onscreen, you just- you invest such, like, truth to her, and when she's lying it's always really delicious. And I love the fact that she comple- she- just yanking his chain her by saying that no one has seen the pages, even though she's know- she knows that the book is quite widely read, and yet she's gonna fuck with him and tell him that she's the only one that's seen it.
Now, actually when we- in the draft, I was quite adamant that they actually did strip Baltar. That they stripped him completely, and he was totally naked and the pages fell out. And that there was a pissing contest between him and her that we was gonna defy her, and she was gonna take it to the limit, and that there was gonna- there was a humiliation factor involved with the fact that she was gonna strip him completely naked. And that he was gonna make her do it. The actors did not share my view on this scene, and felt quite strongly that actually he would preserve his dignity at a certain point, and that Laura would not push it beyond a certain point. And I eventually was persuaded by their argument. They felt very strongly about it and I let it go. There is still a part of me that wishes that she had humiliated him to that level, that the end of the scene was her realization that she had humiliated him to that level and regret, and that Baltar was defiant and felt victory, and yet felt shame. I like the conflicting agendas of those two things. But I don't have to do it on the set. They know the characters, on some level, better than I do, and I acquiesced to their take on the scene. And I think the scene works. I think the scene works very nicely. I think he plays it very well and so does Mary and I think it works good. Wor- (Exaggerated hillbilly accent.) It work real good. (Resumes normal voice.)
OK. So here we are going over to the tylium ship. The tyl- this episode is also directed by our, not also, but this episode is directed by Wayne Rose, who is our- one of our 1st ADs and has been with the show from the beginning, from the beginning of the series. And I like Wayne a lot and was happy to give him this ex- this opportunity to direct for the first time, and I think he did a great job, and I think that these scenes on the tylium ship are indicative of that.
This is, of course, not a ship. This is not even a set. This is a location that we're selling as a ship. This is a- I believe this is the su- a sugar processing facility, or some kind of sugar facility, that all this stuff is being done in. This is a combination shot of the practical set and Gary Hutzel's world giving us more of the Galactica feel, in terms of the superstructure and the feeling of the ship. But all of this is an actual factory. I think the factory had been shut down for a time, but it was still functional, so the conveyor belts and the equipment were all actually existing, and we could get 'em working, which was a big boon, and because of the size of the facility we could convey the size of the ship, and I like all this stuff of the way Wayne set all this up to convey the scope of the enterprise that they're all invested in. One of the things that may not be coming through exactly, that I think you have to think about it a little bit, and God forbid you, the audience, have to think about anything, but we're talking about fuel, but all you see are rocks. OK, well, where does fuel come from? It's ore. It's ore that they presumably got from either "the Hand of God" episode in the first season, or tylium fuel that they could have possibly found down on New Caprica, but in any case, it starts as rocks and has to be processed and then refined into fuel. And so the whole feeling of the place feels very much like a hard core factory. I li- again, it's like I said earlier, I like the feeling that we've never been over in this world, but that this world exists out there in the Fleet and in a real since this ship is a stand in for many other ships in the Fleet and the conditions that they have to operate in every day. I think part of the problem that we've always faced on the production side of the show is- our- the constraint of really delivering other vessels in the Fleet on our budget. In this episode, we're able to con- to deliver another ship of the Fleet because the nature of that ship is a factory. And we can go out and find a factory and make a factory appear to be a ship, but when you're going out to find, say, a passenger vessel, or you're going out to find a recreational vessel, or a yachting vessel, those ships have more specific architecture, more specific forms, that are not as easily found as you would think. It's not so easy to go out and really f- to really sell the idea of the cruise ship that is probably cruising along with Galactica. Or the giant Olympic Carrier type passenger vessel with all the different levels and accommodations, etc., etc. You end up having to build everything, and they cost you a ton of money. This location, we could use pretty much as it was, with a minimal amount of dressing, and that made the- show possible.
I like that the point of view of the story is starting to shift to Tyrol. You're starting- your sympathies are starting to go with him, as a opposed to Laura and Adama, as exemplified by the wine glasses sitting around and there's a sense of the class structure starting to develop between the two, and I thought that this was true. I though that if you really thought about how things would happen in this Fleet, a lot of the class structure would mean- would simply carry forward and be moved into the Rag Tag Fleet of the way things were back in the Twelve Colonies before the attack. And then other things were hardened and solidified in ways that no one could have imagined. These people have been in space for years now. The people that were on the tylium ship have to keep the tylium ship working. They don't have an opportunity to go do something else. They don't have an opportunity for promotion, or for study, or to go college, or to change their life. They don't just- the people on the tylium ship don't just wake up one day and say, "You know? I'd really rather be a doctor. I'm gonna go to medical school." They don't have opportunities to change their circumstance. And they're trapped. And then what happens to their children? 'Cause these people are facing a mult- a potentially multi-generational problem. They could be out in these ships for tens of year, if not hundreds of years, for all they know. Who knows how long this journey's gonna pa- last? So what do they do? Are they really- like Tyrol- well, I'll come back after the act out.
Next act. What do they do in their circumstances, I think, is a legitimate question. It feels like what people tend to do is they continue to do the thing that they're doing at the moment. You're stuck on these ships. You were trapped on these ships. You had a job and a function. That's your job and your function. And the circumstances are such that there's not a lot of flexibility for everyone to willy-nilly change jobs, do something different. The people on Galactica, on some level, are lucky because they have a well-defined role that is needed every day. They are the military. They are the protectors. And that was the job they did before the attack, and they continue to that job. Well, the guys in the tylium ship, yeah, they refined tylium, but it was probably for a very short time and they just did it for certain reasons and getting from a to b, and then they had leave, and then they- other guys came in, and you could always leave your- quit your job and do something else. And now, that circumstance is gone. And you're stuck there and you have to continue to d- to refine tylium every day. And if there's kids there, or your family was there, or there's a kid on board, guess what? He's doing this job too. And the fundamental reality of that, at some point, butts up against the fairness of it. Does that mean that everyone is locked into these roles that can never change? And how does the society deal with that? And that- those were the- some of the driving things underneath the show.
I like this little sequence of Tyrol and his buddy because it's- illustrating Tyrol's caught in these worlds. Tyrol is still a non-commissioned officer aboard Galactica. He has a responsibility. He has to find the seals. He has to get the fuel. And yet he was connected to these people. He was the union leader down on New Caprica. His sympathies are maybe more with them than they are with the military but he is a mili- I like it because of that. And also because it's so- there's something so dramatic about the guy literally tearing his hair out and scratching himself to such a state and getting so fucked up.
There's the seal going in. I don't know what the seal does. It's a MacGuffin, it's a tech thing. It's whatever you want it to be. It does something very special for the tylium ship, let's just leave it at that.
I like this little beat with Milo. This was, like, a really interesting creation, I think, of Jane's, of this kid who lives on the tylium ship and done everything, but he hasn't turned the whole thing on, and that that's the one thing he wanted to do. I don't know. That's like an interesting bit of insight into character that is the hallmark of a really good writer. And Jane is a really good writer.
So the tylium ship is up and going. Again, this is all a lot of specific photography. This is about having multiple cameras. This is about catching things on the fly. Wayne, being a 1st AD, I'm sure he's, if anything, he knows how to logistically setup a show. And he knows- he was very well prepared. He thought about everything. He went into these locations and into these scenes with a plan of what he wanted to do and when he wanted accomplish.
I like this idea of the child labor aspect of it. That Laura knows there's child labor going out there, and that chil- and that Laura knows that children are being- are working. That this is a reality of their situation. And that she has to- accept that as part of their reality. And that the Laura Roslin that was the Secretary of Education is long gone. 'Cause that world is long gone.
Yeah, and what happens to- Tyrol's son? I think that's a really interesting question. If you don't- if you say to yourself, "Well, I-" It's not a TV show. This could last an indefinite period of time. What happens to Tyrol's son? What does he train him to do? Is he permitted to become a pilot? Don't they have to have people- Don't they have to- a need to have people do Tyrol's job? Don't- isn't it a legitimate concern of the government to say that, "OK. There are certain jobs we must have. We must have people to maintain the aircraft on Galactica. We must have certain people to do the dirtywork out on the tylium ship. And we have to have a pool of people willing to do that at all times. And if not, OK, what are we gonna do? OK, we're gonna draft people, which is what this is about. Or we're going to push people into those circumstances." And this young guy shows up and says, "Hey. I'm not really a farmer and I'm not really a guy that knows anything about heavy machinery. Why do I have to go?" Well, the government has said you gotta go, 'cause we need- you were tagged this way, so that means you gotta go over there. And, "Well, but I don't anything about this shit. Well wait a minute..." The show is just trying to look at the situation and say, "How does this happen, realistically?" Realistically, bureaucracies make mistakes. Rules that sound perfectly reasonable in once circumstance, in practical application, become flawed and screw people in reality and in the specific, and there's inequities and injustices, and that is the way things happen. And this is a show about dealing with the way things happen, and certain realities of their situation. And this kid getting dragged off is injust. It's wrong. Why is this kid getting dragged off to go do this? He isn't a- he doesn't know anything about what he's supposed to be doing. And he's dragooned into doing that. Is that right? It's not really right. And what happens to him is tragic, but it's- that's the way it would work.
This is actually a little invented beat here that I invented of him finding the book, 'cause what used to happen was that Tyrol came and there were these two guys sitting and reading the book, and he kinda busted their balls and said, "Ah, gimme that. What in the hell are you doing? Get back to work." And then he glances down at the book and starts reading it. Well, as shot, unfortunately, the two extra- the problem- there's these arcane rules of extras, and the extras couldn't talk for union rules- For union rules? Ironically enough, the couldn't speak, and you couldn't direct them, and as a consequence they were terrible, and so we invented that as him just finding the book.
This scene has its roots in the earlier draft that was about Dualla. When Dualla was a Sagittaron and Baltar was a Sagittaron, she, at some point in original story was gonna go to Baltar to figure out who he was and why he was as screwed up as he was, and try- there was a meeting of the minds. And this whole concept of him reverting into his earlier accent was going to be in that scene. As the show changed I was still in love with that scene, and we transferred the scene over to Tyrol. Now Tyrol comes to Baltar. Baltar isn't from Sagittaron, 'cause we don't need that anymore. So he's from Aerelon, which we've also established as a planet of conflict. And I love this idea that Baltar's accent is an artifice. That it is something that he made up to pass as Caprican. That Baltar- I mean, it's in the show bible that Baltar grew up in a rural community and that he was ashamed of his roots and he was embarrassed by the fact that he was a farmer's son, from a dairy, and that he wanted to badly to be Caprican that he actually changed his accent to pass as someone from Caprica. Now, yeah, you can get into a whole argument about accents, and, "Well, his accent's British, and what does that have to do with Adama, etc." You know, I think that's all bullshit. The fundamental is that Baltar is accepted within the construct of the show as someone from Caprica. They don't question that. And that if he had a different accent they might peg him as someone from this Col- the Colony of Aerelon. And I really like that. There's something- it's something unexpected about the character. I think that it's interesting to say that the great genius, the man that seems so aristocratic and so much smarter than everyone else, legitimately so, that his roots are actually from this poor little farm in this poor little town on one of the forgotten Colonies. And I think Baltar is touching on something true, in this circumstance. That there were certain Colonies that were looked at in certain ways. If you say you're from Alabama or Mississippi in this society, it carries a certain connotation that it does if you say you're from New York, or if you're from California. And that's not pretty, but that's true. And you can overcome that. And you can get beyond that. But, let's not kid ourselves. I mean, saying Mississippi is a punchline of a joke in many stand-up comedians routines, and the class structure of this society that we live in is apparent, I think, to all of us who live in it. And so it's not a stretch to say that in Galactica's world the- there is a class structure to the Colonies. That there were certain Colonies that other Colonies mocked and made fun of. And that there were some Colonies that it was considered more prestigious to be from.
OK. And back at the top of the act. We are in the- tylium ship once more. A lot of great post-production work going on here with- in Gary Hutzel's world in just rounding out the reality of what the tylium ship would be like. These are a lot of pick up shots that Wayne did on the location, these were not reshoots. We didn't go back and find these pieces later. These were additional material, by and large, that Wayne had shot on the day and he just had multiple cameras running and he really played the process of refining the ore and- that was one of the marching orders that we gave him going into the show was, "Uou gotta sell this world. You gotta sell this ship." And he did.
We worked and reworked this section quite a bit of the injury and the guy getting his hand stuck in the machinery, and how it illuminates the larger problem, and that these guys are out there on this other ship, just completely in a different world than anything that's going on Galactica. And they have all these problems, and this is an old ship, and the ship should've been in drydock a long time ago, and by all rights, and they're struggling with things. And people get fuckin' hurt. And the idea of people getting injured on the job, and the protections of people on the job, and their working conditions, I mean, those are some of the fundamentals of why there was a labor movement. Of why people had to band together, collectively, and say, "We, the workers, have rights. We have certain dignity- dignities that must be preserved. We have- We are human beings. And we have to be protected on- in some way, somehow, by someone." And that that someone would be a collective unit, known as a union. And essentially this is a show about that and I don't know that I feel bad about that. I mean, I go back and forth about the fact that by doing something in the series that is so overtly political and has such a specific point of view, have we betrayed the roots of the show, which was to ask questions, not to deliver messages and not to give the- I've always- I've said in many interviews that I don't like the show to tell you what the answers are to certain problems. And by doing this episode, have we betrayed that goal? I think that's a valid question. In my heart of hearts I guess I justif- I either justify it or I feel OK with it because I think that this is such a fundamental truth and that it needs to be said, particularly in today's environment that it overrides the larger manifesto of the show, which is not to give answers. In this show we give an answer. In this show we give the answer. A union is a good thing. Workers are people that need to be protected. There- is a point where the system actually does need to bend to a more collective idea of labor and I guess I can't quite bring myself to make apologies for that. That could- you could say that that's a flaw of me as a showrunner, or you could say that that's a hypocrisy of my stated objectives to the show versus what I d- I actually did in the show. And... OK. I'll take that. I'll accept that criticism, 'cause I still think- I still think this is a show worth doing. I still think that this is a valuable thing, and I like this show. I think this- that this is an important show to do. I think this says something important and everyone once in a while you gotta say somethin'. It can't all be about asking questions. Every once in a while you do have to give an answer. Maybe that's what I'm saying. That sounds a little glib, and it is a little glib, but I guess that's what I'm saying now. Sometimes you gotta give an answer. And this is an answer.
This whole little sequence of the strike is interesting because now it moves the show into a different arena. It's one thing to be over there on the tylium ship and to do Norma Rae, and it's another when it comes over to Galactica. And when suddenly the guys on the deck are starting to question orders and refuse to do certain things. And I think that is an important distinction to dis- to draw. There is a difference. And I think it was important the show say that there- say that there's a difference. That these are not fundamentally equivalent situations.
I took a pass through this show, and on my pass, as I was playing around with some of the dialogue and sections, I came up with this- thing with Adama and Tyrol, and I wanted to move the show into another category. Because, the situation has been fairly clear up until now. Oh, works. Oh, their conditions, and we have to- protect them, and aren't- the people evil who look down on them and who force them into the circumstance. K, now it's moved to Galactica. And once it moves to Galactica, I felt like it had to be a different thing, and that that would be- also be a changeup pitch to the audience.
Act four. I got into this section where once the strike moved to the Galactica, once it was aboard the warship, it fell like a very different thing, in that the notion of disobeying an order on a warship, particularly in a time of war, was not something that was gonna be tolerated. That Adama was not gonna tolerate this for even a second. And I was writing the scene. I was rewriting the scene, and I moved it into this territory deliberately, and I just said, "You know what? Adama, he's faced with this, he's faced with a sitdown strike, he's faced with a labor problem on his deck. Fuck no, Adama's gonna put somebody against a wall and he's gonna shoot 'em." And I thought, "Well, it's a shocking threat. Especially if it's Cally." And I believe that he would've done it. I think he woulda done it. I really do. I think that this was not an idle threat. I think that Adama is smart enough to realize that on a very real level you can't have a union in the military. The military operates in a fundamentally different way than the civilian world does. Orders have to be obeyed. There is not- you don't get an option. You don't negotiate. There's not a collective bargaining agreement. The way the military works, and the only way it can work, is that the people on top give the orders and the people on the bottom obey them, and that's it. That's the way it works. And that's wh- that's just the- those are the rules that you agree to when you sign up to it. And if you step outside of that, if you say, "No. I'm not gonna take these orders, because I believe in our rights and so and so," that's death. And that'll kill all of you. And that Adama, rather than let that happen, and rather than allow his ship and then the Fleet to be destroyed, he would put Cally against the wall and shoot her. He would do it. He would regret it. He'd cry over it. He would feel like a bit of his soul was taken in the process. But he would do it. And that Tyrol would realize he's not fuckin' around.
I think it's a interesting moment. 'Cause I think it really- it sets up the politics of the show in an interesting way. It says that it's not- like I said earlier, it's becoming a polemic and we're saying, "These are the politics of the show, and we believe in this, and 'Rah, rah' to the union, and to the left, and to labor." OK, but there's a limit. The military is a different thing. Now by extension, you can take that argument, say, "OK, does that apply to cops? Does that apply to the air traffic controllers that Reagan fired?" Where are those lines and what are the dividing lines, and people, and their rights, and how they're treated, and what are the legitimate forms of protest, and so on? Within the confines of the show, we cannot deal with all the subtleties of those various arguments. But at least it raises them. At least it makes a stark slap in the face to say, "Guess what? You're politics notwithstanding, this shit doesn't fly over here in Adama's world. It's not going to." But, I like the fact that at the end of the scene, Adama's sympathies are clearly not- well, I think they are clearly somewhat with Tyrol. I think that Adama does sympathize with the people on the tylium ship more than he would've indicated earlier, and I that's- it's an interesting thing to push him over there.
I also like the fact- I like the way that Laura deals with the situation. I think that she's dealt with unions and she's dealt with labor issues before as her- as Secretary of Education. It does tap into what I think are her fundamental political leanings anyway. I think that it got- when the crisis achieved- went to a certain point, Laura had to reevaluate where they were, that she had to recognize who Tyrol was in the structure of the Fleet, and recognize what he was back on New Caprica, and realize that it was more effective, and it was better government to deal with Tyrol. To not squash him. To no be so hard core. But to deal with him. To actually have a collective agreement. To deal with this across the negotiating table and to acknowledge the value of those people and to find a way to balance, 'cause it is about balance. To balance their needs and requirements, versus the needs and requirements of the Fleet, and the government, and the people.
The Colonial Workers Alliance. The CWA. (chanting) CWA! CWA!
I- am proud of this episode. I think that in some ways it's a- it's another standalone that doesn't have a lot to do with the overarching mythos of the show, and you can criticize it on that front and say, "Oh, there's no Cylons, and there's no scifi." But I think it addresses important issues. I think it delves into the life of the Fleet in a way that few other episodes have. I think that it gives you an insight into the uniqueness of their situations. And I like what it says. I believe in what it says, and I'm proud of this episode. I think that this when the season got up- back on track. I think thirteen, fourteen, were somewhat more of a misstep, and I think that this episode got us firmly back on track.
I like this scene a lot. I think this is an interesting scene. It- it's also acknowledging change, it's acknowledging that we've lost a lot of pilots, and we've lost a lot of characters, and where you gonna draw those people from, and here's Seelix, and she's now gonna get promoted, and move up into the other ranks. And I think it's- lovely. I think it's sweet. It's sweet and sentimental. It's certainly a sentimental scene. And you could say it's nosta- it's a bit of groaner if you wanna look at it that way. I like it. I mean, I'm touched by this scene every time that I see it. And I think it's effective. I think it speaks volumes about Tyrol, be- the way he handles it. I like the way that the deck gang looks at. Moving one of their own into the upper ranks. It acknowledges the class system, and breaks the class system at the same time. Because one of theirs is moving to the other and they're still where they are, and they have to respect her, but it means that their- movement is possible and it's an interesting splitting of the difference in a way. It illustrates, I think, what is the grand bargain that Tyrol and Laura struck, which is to acknowledge that there is a class system. There are certain things that are gonna be in- unfair and inequitable. And yet, the possibility of change is not foreclosed.
And that's episode fifteen, as we call it. "Dirty Hands". Next week, "Maelstrom" is a very different episode. I think from "Maelstrom" on it's really gonna be something. I think it's gonna be a rocket- to the end. So thank you for listening, and I will talk to you next week, about "Maelstrom". Good night, and good luck.