SciFi Friday: Starbuck, Capt. America, and Lamb all Dead?

Even though there have been reports for weeks that it was coming, the abrupt apparent death of Starbuck on this week’s Battlestar Galactica followed simply by the credits remained a shock to fans. I previously quoted from an interview with Ron Moore which discussed this turn of events:

As you know, there’s a ton of speculation that a character dies in the second half of the season. [Moore also alluded to an upcoming character death in a December interview.] And right now a lot of the speculation centers on Kara Thrace. Can you address that?

Ron Moore: “Kara is one of the characters some fairly profound events happen to in the second half of the season. There are also other characters that are pretty fundamentally… have fairly earthshaking events happen toward the end [of the season]. But certainly [what happens to] Kara will be one of the most surprising things that’s happened in the history of the show so far. Kara’s one of the key players and I think it’ll really take people by surprise.”

People are speculating that her character dies. Do you not want to characterize it that way?

RM: “I don’t know that I want to say that directly. I think people will have to watch that episode and judge for themselves what happens. I can say that Galactica will suffer a shocking loss in that episode and Kara is a key member of the crew. Certainly if she were not there suddenly, that would shift the parameters of what the show is and what the show is about and who the key players are.”

More on Battlestar Galactica at Garfield Ridge with a blogger’s account of a visit to the BSG set.

With all the talk about her destiny leading up to her death, it is hard to believe that Kara’s destiny was simply to be blown out of space like this. Will Kara be shocked to awaken in a Cylon resurrection chamber? There’s also speculation that she’s one of the final five. It is expected that she will return in one form or another.

Captain America has been shot by a sniper, but in the comics world there have been many characters who come back from the dead. Calling superheroes “weapons of mass destruction” who must submit to a Superhero Registration Act is a modern twist:

The character’s death comes as he leaves a courthouse where, as a fugitive resistance leader, he has come to surrender under a Superhero Registration Act, which requires superheroes to register their services and outlaws vigilantism. The shield-carrying hero is shot three times by a sniper on the steps of the building.

The assassin is allegedly Sharon Carter – an intelligence agent romantically involved with Captain America – who is acting under the control of the super- villian Dr Faustus.

The Superhero Registration Act was brought in after supervillains and superheroes fought during a reality show, accidentally killing hundreds of civilians. The public likened the heroes to weapons of mass destruction that must be controlled.

There’s been a high death toll at Hearst College, which Veronica Mars attends. The last several episodes have Veronica solving the death of Dean O’Dell. Along the way we saw the death of the basketball coach, and more recently Sheriff Lamb was killed with a bat. The arc ended with two great lines: “I’m just trying to figure out which Gilmore Girl you are” was great in conversation. The best line came after she exposed the TA for framing his professor for O’Dell’s murder as revenge for a poor recommendation when Veronica said, “Bet he’ll change his mind about you being not that smart.” Or perhaps this verifies his assessment that Tim isn’t the best candidate out there after he gave away details of the crime which only the murderer would know while discussing the crime in class.

While Cyrus O’Dell’s murder was the basis of the last arc, the killing of Lamb might have the most long term impact on the show (should it survive for another season). In one sense Lamb is no longer necessary. The series began with Veronica losing her status in high school by not being wealthy, no longer dating the rich kid, and no longer being daughter of the sheriff. Now that she’s off at college where the old social order no longer exists, not to mention having dated two of the richest kids, her father’s position as sheriff no longer affects her social status in the community. I do fear that this is part of the simplification of the show we’ve been seeing this season, including the move to end the season with stand-alone shows rather than a prolonged mystery. There may be one complicating matter as Keith is forced to play it straighter as Sheriff rather than as a private investigator who can bend the rules.

Several characters have died during the course of Heroes. Peter Petrelli (played by Milo Vetimiglia, who dated one of the Gilmore Girls), is one of many characters in danger as the show goes on hiatus until April. We know from his visit from future-Hiro that Peter will get a scar, and most likely this comes from Sylar’s attempt to open his skull in this cliff hanger. I think its safe to predict that Peter survives the encounter, especially considering his ability to take on the powers of others, potentially making him even more powerful than Sylar.

While I expect Peter to survive the encounter with Sylar, it remains a question as to how any of the main characters survive. Kristin at ET has a spoiler that an upcoming scene shows all the characters getting killed. Don’t get too alarmed–the scene takes place five years in the future (and ratings are good for the show). I wonder if this is also a warning of something preventable, such as the scenes showing the destruction of New York which presumably will be prevented this season.

Lost had another excellent episode this week. In the spirit of characters with names such as Locke and Rousseau, a new character is met named after Russian anarchist Mikhali Bakunin. While generally a good episode, there was one element which ranks with the stupidity I recently commented on when Jack threw a tantrum rather than pumping Cindy for information. Is there anyone who doubted 1) that entering 77 on the computer key board would lead to a self-destruct sequence and 2) that Locke would enter 77? It’s bad enough he destroyed the hatch. Why destroy another source of supplies when they are trapped on this island? Not even Gilligan caused this much needless destruction which negatively impacts his fellow castaways.

And finally, there was a post of interest to science fiction fans earlier this week with yet another look at robot rights.

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10 Comments

  1. 1
    kj says:

    Ron,

    I shielded my eyes while reading about Battlestar because we’re so far behind, we’re obviously going to need to catch up with the entire series on re-runs or dvds, so I didn’t want to know if it was Kara or Starbuck who might have died.

    I read where Heroes plans to have season long arcs ala 24, so we’ll start watching next season and maybe later down the road watch the first season when it goes into re-runs. I do hope Milo stays alive, I liked him on Gilmore Girls.

    Watching Locke enter the number 77 and blow up the station/farmhouse surely was another one of those slap the forehead moments. Not only did he blow up the place and all the supplies, but the horses disappeared as well. Arg. Although overall, after many complaints by the fans, the series has tightened up and gone back to basic storytelling, showing us bigger pieces of the puzzle, instead of seemingly endless random snippets and replay sequences. I still have a tiny beef, as far as I can remember, they never explained how Sun and Jin got themselves out of the water and back to the group after Sun shot one of the Others on the boat. ??? Maybe I just missed the explaination.

    We’ve started watching Jericho, not a powerhouse, but it has potential. Gerald McRaney, from the old Simon & Simon series, plays the ex-mayor and Skeet Ulrich one of his sons. We got in late, so I’m not sure of the sequence of all the chaos, but it looks like a group of people nuked several major North American cities resulting in fallout and loss of connection to the grid all across the country. At least two of the group also ended up in Jericho.

    Also, I don’t know if you plan to add Nip/Tuck to the SciFri Friday blog series, but I read where Nicole Kidman might be playing a guest part next season. After least season’s bravo appearances by Larry Hagman and Rosie O’Donnell, I’ll be fascinated to see if Kidman decides to play her role with comedy.

    As for Gilmore Girls, sigh. It seems we’re in for a long slide to a finale where Loralie and Luke finally get together for a cup of coffee, or marriage, which ever comes first. The only character imo worth watching anymore is Zach, who is taking his moment to shine well, I think.

    Need more coffee. 🙂 Thanks for the roundup!

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    Don’t worry much about the BSG portions. I’m not sure if you realize from your comment, but Kara is Starbuck. Rather than sticking with the campy names from the original show, the characters have “real” names and also have combat designations. Kara Thrace is known as Starbuck, and other characters have similar designations taken from the original show.

    As for spoilers, if you already know that Kara appears to die the rest won’t give away anything more–mainly as we don’t know more.

    I have a previous post on plans for Heroes. As you said, the plan is for season-long arcs which will involve different stories and characters. It isn’t clear how many of the current characters will also be involved next season. It sounds like you could pick up the series from there, but you also have the summer to catch season one.

    I started watching Jericho after Sandy recommended it, but I watched the beginning of the season on line before starting the new seasons. The character development at the beginning of the season makes the current episodes more rewarding. By the way, besides Jericho I bet that the back episodes of Heroes are also available on line.

    I haven’t watched Nip and Tuck so I obviously can’t discuss it here. If I start adding too many non-science fiction shows I might have to go to a separate tv post besides the SciFi Friday one! I didn’t even have time to get in everything I planned on SciFi this week, plus it was long enough. You might be interested in one item I left for next week. You’ve heard of “death by chocolate.” This takes it further with “Extermination by Chocolate.”

    It is up in the air whether Gilmore Girls will be back next season. While not as good as under Amy Sherman-Paladino there are good moments. Fortunately Chris is gone as they really handled him poorly. I think they should 1) get Amy S-P back, and 2) have a scene where Lorelei goes into the bath room and Luke is in the shower (ignoring this season as in Dallas). Ok, that might be jumping the shark, but if they could just get Amy S-P back the show could recover. I’m also hopeful that it will improve (if it stays around) under the new guy. West Wing was never as good without Sorkin, but did improve over time under the new writers.

    As for coffee, I received two new mugs this week: from Luke’s and the Dragon Fly Inn. CW sells them on its web site. Actually, considering the European-style coffee I have with the Tassimo, the mugs are way too big. They made great bowls for chili the day we got them.

  3. 3
    kj says:

    The coffee mugs at Luke’s (in the show at least) remind me of the large (holds 14 oz) Fiestaware (that I have at home). If the kind you bought is the same size, you’re right, they’re also great to use for chili and/or soup! I’ll go take a look at the CW site.

    I’d take the shark jump if it brought Amy S-P and Co back to the show. The banter just isn’t anywhere near the same. Plus, I really miss the side stories with the townies. Stars Hollow was a character(s) all by itself!

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    It might even be bigger than 14 oz. My wife just made a double latte in one and it tasted a bit weak to me. Last night I made a double in a decent sized but smaller mug. I’d need three espressos in this mug–but then for people accustomed to Starbucks this might not seem big at all.

  5. 5
    kj says:

    I just checked, and the mugs are supposed to hold 18 oz. !!! And here I thought I’d cut my coffee intake to “two cups a day.” Ha! Two Luke-sized cups a day!

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    I know this is radical, but it might be possible to use the mugs and not fill them up all the way.

  7. 7
    kj says:

    Not fill the mugs up all the way???? Ron, surely you jest!

    *kj sets her empty mug down, aghast at the thought of not having another full mug of coffee*

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    I believe I saw a study once where they observed someone doing just that. Starbucks spent fortunes to suppress that report, perpetuating the belief that mugs will not function unless filled to the top.

  9. 9
    kj says:

    Sigh, my suspicians are confirmed. 🙁

    I *am* nothing but a robotic pawn in Corporate America’s plan to turn ‘citizens’ into ‘consumers’ and program their behavior to service Corporate America’s nefarious goals. And here, all along, I thought I just loved a good cuppa joe.

    Thanks, Ron. I can always count on you to get to the heart of any issue. ANY issue!!!

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    You’d be much safer if you got your coffee at Luke’s instead of Starbucks.

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