Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thoughts on Season 2.5 Deleted Scenes

My DVDs - which are very random on the extras anyway - don't have any of the season 2 deleted scenes past Flight of the Phoenix. Tonight I saw the missing ones. I'm deeply touched by the Gaius/Gina scenes. I'm just crying over here.

It's amazing that James and Tricia really get to play four different couples on the show: Gaius-Caprica, Gaius-HeadSix, Gaius-Gina and Caprica-HeadBaltar. Each relationship is different and brings new nuances out of the characters and actors. They were good from the start, but as the seasons go on, their cooperation becomes impeccable. They react off each other in such a seamless way. I'm constantly in awe as I rewatch their scenes.

They absolutely should have kept the plot where Gaius and D'Anna conspire together to smuggle Hera out of Galactica. In the aired version of Downloaded, Gaius really does almost nothing - he feebly tells them to not airlock the baby, but is that really all? He should do more.

I love that they show D'Anna more, too. Any scene with Lucy Lawless is a good scene, and it makes sense for D'Anna to want to save Hera. The scene where she's told Hera died: awesome. Also: Gina interacting with another cylon and protesting to Hera's name - "Just call her thirteen" - also awesome. Gina looks much more comfortable with D'Anna than she ever does with Gaius, and D'Anna seems sisterly and completely natural towards her.

After seeing Razor, I almost wonder if there's something more than sisterly feelings going on here, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

The scene where Gaius and Gina discuss Hera is important, because it gives space for their reactions to each other and the difference between Gina and HeadSix. Gaius obviously thinks they're one and the same, even asking Gina if she didn't say that Hera has a destiny and they should protect her. Gina looks at him like he's nuts. (Which he might or might not be.)

Suddenly, HeadSix appears to tell him Gina's damaged beyond repair - obvious jealousy from her, once again. It's sort of confusing even for the viewer to see Gina and HeadSix in the same scene. It confuses me more than seeing HeadSix vs. some soulless Six copy, which is weird because I know these two are not the same at all. Maybe it's just that I see them through the eyes of Gaius?

Why did they cut all of this? I think they should have made Downloaded a two-parter, with just cylons and Gaius, Gaius and cylons. That would have been perfect.

I've always read the scene where Gaius cries over the Cloud Nine explosion as the ultimate moment of guilt. Maybe I misread it, because the deleted scenes have Gaius and Adama intercut with Gina putting clothes on a crying Gaius - their goodbye. Is his heart broken? Is he capable of feeling love? It makes him way more relatable and likeable, and it really makes me feel for him. In a way, it's just his selfishness that's hurt him, because he doesn't realize that Gina is way too broken to have a relationship at this point, and he doesn't even seem to consider that Gina might - gasp! - not love him. But he's Gaius and that's his way of thinking, and I'm always inclined to feel empathy for him, because he doesn't know of another way to be.

Like Head Six often does, Gina seems to act maternal with Baltar. He just sits there like a child, helplessly, as Gina buttons up his shirt. Later, she puts his tie on as he looks away in tears.

The way the scene is edited, cutting back to Gaius and Gina in little moments, his eyes full of tears both in the flashback and in the present, is beautiful. The music is beautiful. James' subtle acting is beautiful. I can't believe they cut it.

...Not to mention Tricia's subtle acting. I was so surprised to learn that she hadn't had many roles and was brought in as a newcomer, because she really delivers. When I watch the Miniseries now, I can see she's gotten a lot better though. You can see her development in the subtlety of her facial expressions. She can express more now with just a look. I love her.

Non-James-related note: WHY did they cut the scene where Laura tells Hera, "Thank you for saving my life"? I would have liked Laura a lot more in that episode if they'd aired that. She came off as heartless, taking the baby away from her parents and not even appreciating that her life had been saved by Hera's blood. It should be a crime to cut scenes like this, and it wasn't even long. It's like they've gone out of their way to make Laura less relatable and more tyrant-like, and I'm mad. She's a great character. Mary McDonnell is a great actor, and she should be given more emotion. Look at her in The Hub, that was really something.

Non-James-related-note2: I think Katee Sackhoff is brilliant and I hope to see some of her other stuff in the future. I don't always like Starbuck, and at first I thought Katee wasn't that good. But after seeing the heavier stuff as well as the drunken slurring and giggling - it's always spot on, spot on, spot on, whatever the scene requires. I'm eager to see where they're taking Starbuck's character, too.

Other scenes they should have kept:
-Cally and Chief talking after he's attacked her. Cally plays a prank on him to break the ice. It's a great, natural moment. It makes their marriage seem a little less out of the blue.

-Lee and Dee scenes - several of them. See above; their marriage really came as a surprise to me, and if they'd aired at least a couple of short scenes with them, I might have seen it as less of a sudden plot twist and more of a story they built up over time.

The screenshots are by me, with editing help from my girlfriend.

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