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18 January 2009 @ 04:10 pm
New Battlestar Galactica, but mostly? On Dead Women.  
So I was going to post thoughts on BSG, but really, I think I need the awesomeness of Nikki Grant and the awesomeness of women of "Big Love" in general tonight before I'm ready to talk about "Sometimes a Great Notion." But some things could not be kept in, so my rage at the death of a certain woman, and, well, women in fiction in general and on BSG, has to be expressed. Spoilers under the cut, of course.



Edgar Allen Poe once said that there's no more poignant fictional device than the death of a beautiful woman. And I was reminded of this when someone called Dee's death a beautiful one during a BSG discussion. And this is actually the general thing I'm seeing around fandom? That her death is tragic but beautiful because she chose to go out on a high note, on her own terms (Just like Iphigenia did, I suppose, after all her choices had been taken away.) than to live out her remaining life in misery.

Yeah, women's deaths are always beautiful, aren't they? So much so that when Polyxena dies, we get to hear about it from the mouth of an adoring man, so we can see the fucking beauty in her death. In all their deaths. The way they're put into the male gaze and then made pretty before they blow their brains out because the fucking patriarchy got to them or because some sexist writer couldn't think of a better way to write them than to give in to the oldest metanarratives of them all.

But would Dee, arguably the strongest person this show has, kill herself? Dee, who told Lee that she was going to marry him despite believing he loved Kara better because she was willing to take whatever she could get and it was going to be enough? No, Dee would've gone on. She would've tried with Lee, and maybe it would've worked and maybe it would not have, but either way, it would not have broken her. She would've survived. And been more beautiful in her strength than she could ever be in death.

The fandom reaction makes me think of Willa Cather's "A Lost Lady," in which we have a narrator who witnesses the decline of the woman he's in love with. And there is this beautiful scene where she tells him that even though she has nothing to live for, she feels "such a desire to live." And after she's fallen from grace, he thinks, "It was what he most held against Mrs. Forrester; that she was not willing to immolate herself...and die with the pioneer period to which she belonged; that she preferred life on any terms." And just...yeah.

And the critics, for the longest time, read this book and didn't see what a criticism of the culture it was, and really, this is what we learn to read: women who have nothing to live for should kill themselves. And just, fucking no. Marian Forrester is one of my favorite characters in all of literature because she doesn't kill herself. Not like Emma Bovary, not like Edna Pontellier, or Lily Bart or a million others who have to be redeemed from some fall or redeem someone/something else's fall (end of humanity's hope in Dee's case) and the only way they can do it is to die.

Because death - always beautiful for women - redeems them, restores them to their beauty, happiness, and honor or what the fuck ever. Because in death, they become a blank text that can be written upon - having nothing but the body that patriarchy finds so interesting, that the male gaze finds easy to objectify - just as Dee became a text to be written on (just as Cally was, before her, 'vacant,' as Tyrol said), so the writers could impart some message using her. She's not a person to them; women rarely are in fiction, right? She's a symbol. Of everything humanity has lost, and everything it continues to lose. But I'm sick of symbolism. Sick of women dying so they can be symbols of some man's revolution or some writer's narrative journey. Sick, in general, of this metanarrative that I hate with a burning passion and that just won't go away.

You know what's better than that proverbial beautiful death? SURVIVING. "Life on any terms," as Willa Cather said. As Dee understood, once upon a time, so much better than anyone else did. It's harder, and it's harsh and stark, but it's every bit as beautiful in its strength and hope as any sacrificial death is supposed to be. So, no, death of a woman is never pretty, and it's certainly never, ever, ever preferable to living.

So, fuck you, Edgar Allen Poe, and fuck you, Ron Moore. This shouldn't have been the end of Dee's journey, but you couldn't think of anyone better to symbolize the death of the human spirit, could you? She deserved better than this.



And, you know, the interview Ron gave about the death? Made me think of the crap he had the nerve to say about Tess after "Departure." And I was so upset with it all last night that I actually, um, had nightmares about the interview. I dreamed about Max and Tess getting together in another plot arc than the one we saw (shut up, I do totally have the most detailed episodic dreams about TV shows ever), and then Tess getting shafted again and dying. Again. And I just...am so upset. About BSG. About women on BSG, and about Tess. Still. I'm pretty sure this is my brain's way of telling me to get out now before it gets to be as bad as "Roswell." Maybe I'll listen this time. Like, if someone were to tell me, definitely, that there would be no Sam/Kara for the rest of the season? I would seriously consider it.
 
 
Current Mood: enragedenraged
 
 
 
Victoria: mt: too good to be a dreamblighted_star on January 18th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
I feel terrible that I won't miss Dee....don't hate me, please.

I dreamed about Max and Tess getting together in another plot arc than the one we saw (shut up, I do totally have the most detailed episodic dreams about TV shows ever), and then Tess getting shafted again and dying.

oh please, no. I can't take Tess dying 2x. And then for her to be happy with Max and dying anyway....worse.dream.ever.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: Roswell - Max and Tess Dreamsprozacpark on January 18th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Honestly? I liked Dee a lot on an intellectual level because she's such a survivor, but I didn't feel the same sort of passion for her character that I do, say, for Kara. But it shouldn't have to matter whether Cally or Dee was likable or not. Thousands of years of literature and texts and we're still killing women for the sake of symbolism and beauty. Sigh.

worst.dream.ever.

It really, really was! I'm surprised that my brain remembered the trauma so clearly to have recreated it in so much detail. And I didn't even realize exactly how upset I was by Dee's death until I woke up from that dream. Now I feel like I need happy Max/Tess fic to make me feel better, but that fandom has been dead as long as, well, Tess.
(no subject) - blighted_star on January 19th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 19th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blighted_star on January 19th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
entertaining in a disturbing way: Dee Eddies in the dustlyssie on January 18th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
This. A thousand billion times, THIS.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: Dead Gwen Woeprozacpark on January 18th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
This? Is making me bitter on a level that only "Supernatural" ever did in the past by its constant killing of women as symbols. And which I stopped watching pretty early on. Which? Ironic considering that I started watching BSG specifically because I kept hearing things about the awesomeness of the girls on the show. Despite everything I knew about Ron Moore and his fucking issues, I was willing to watch it for that. And now, can women please stop *killing* themselves on this show? I think Jean is the only one who died without ever having attempted suicide? I'm also counting Kara's plunging of herself in the black hole as a pseudo suicide.

I want to make a list. With all the male and the female deaths and their modes of dying, but I think I need to possibly stop thinking about this for the sake of my sanity.
(no subject) - lyssie on January 18th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 18th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lyssie on January 18th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 19th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: BSG - Kara/Anders OTP!prozacpark on January 18th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, whoa, did he? (I must look this up, of course) Why is it that so many of the famous literary figures we consider part of our canon were so incestuous? As good a reason as any to reexamine some of these texts and, you know, stop praising the deaths of women in them.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 18th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meganbmoore on January 19th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - distractedone on January 19th, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
abrakadabrahabrakadabrah on January 18th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
I hear you sister. I was shocked in the moment, and then I got annoyed because I felt it was just a contrivance to pull viewers in and make Lee the center of things - there was no build up to it in previous episodes, and it was out of character. And the whole thing was contrived to make Lee's pain more central - eye roll.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.prozacpark on January 18th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
I was spoiled for it and knew I was going to be annoyed? But, oh, I had no idea just how annoyed given the way it plays out. And, really, there is absolutely no reason for her to have died other than to symbolize everyone else's pain. And when Lee says that he has no idea why she did it? They couldn't even bother to come up with actual motivation. And then, yes, her death becomes more about Lee's and Adama's pain than her, you know, being dead.
(no subject) - abrakadabrah on January 18th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 18th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Distracted One: magnus: Bwahaha. evil=awesomedistractedone on January 19th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
I have no fucking clue what this whole entry was about.

BUT YOU JUST SAID, "FUCK YOU, EDGAR ALLEN POE."

MOTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Oh, I'm so immature.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: X-men:  Judgement by tjfoxprozacpark on January 19th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
I actually don't mind Poe and have enjoyed most of what I've read by him, but yes, screw him for ingraining into us more the idea of a dead woman as something to be romanticized. ;)

Um, have you read the "Ghost Box(es?)" miniseries?
(no subject) - distractedone on January 19th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Distressing Damsel: Sage Sharpariadnequinn on January 19th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
Ok, I admit, I don't watch BSG, so I haven't the faintest clue about the specifics of your post...but I wanted to make a few points...

First, Edgar Allen Poe did, in fact, marry his 13 year old cousin when he was approximately twice her age (I'm too tired to do the actual math right now).

He lost many women in his life - first his mother, then his foster mother, followed by his wife. He wrote about dead/dying women because of the profound loss he experienced in his own life...this is just the way he dealt with it. Many of those pieces were about men lost in their grief...they did not include women killing themselves for no reason...we don't even find out how most of them died.

The pointless death of any character is a shame, whether they're male or female is beside the point. Women may be made to seem "beautiful" in their suicides, but men are often made to be "brave" and/or "self-sacrificing" in theirs. It's a different bias, but it's biased just the same.

And let's not forget - Romeo killed himself. Edward Cullen tried to kill himself (not that I'm comparing Stephenie Meyer to Shakespeare...but my students are obsessed with "Twilight," so it's fresh in my mind). One of the John Crichton clones sacrificed himself in "Farscape" (or...at the very least, he died).

Although...I have to admit, I hated Anna Karenina. Both the novel AND the character...I couldn't wait for her to off herself.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: Big Love - plural wives.prozacpark on January 19th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
The pointless death of any character is a shame, whether they're male or female is beside the point. Women may be made to seem "beautiful" in their suicides, but men are often made to be "brave" and/or "self-sacrificing" in theirs. It's a different bias, but it's biased just the same.

I'm well-aware of that bias as well, and I'm sure I've talked, at some point in the past, about John Proctor and the Crucible and how his death was romanticized and equally problematic. But I've also talked about why, IMO, it's a bigger problem for women to be portrayed this way. Because for the longest time, they did not have a narrative body of their own, so all they see of themselves in fiction is reflected by how some man sees them. And that's almost always through the male gaze, and then women reproduce this pattern. :)

And I enjoy Poe and appreciate his meta on poetry and things, and can understand where he's coming from. But that's still a problematic viewpoint, IMO.

I need to read Anna Karenina, possibly. And, you know, I totally disliked Lily Bart in "House of Mirth," but her death was still all kinds of wrong because after she's dead, the guy gets to sit there by her dead body and assign all sorts of motivations to her so he could appreciate her more in death than he ever did in life. And that's, sort of, the perfect example of what I find problematic with this whole pattern.
(no subject) - tafkarfanfic on January 20th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
scifiaddict86scifiaddict86 on January 19th, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
I don't think it was necessarily about Dee being a women I think it was just as easliy could have been Geata or even someone random like hot dog RDM just wanted to include a suicide and Dee was the one character they could lose and still have an impact. I also think that like Billy, Dee was Galactica's innocence in a way and this is just another example Galactica going on step closer to the abyss. I think in a lot of ways RDM subscribes to the truest form of equality he doesn't care if the character he kills is male female or blue if he thinks its dramatically necessary to kill a character he will.

In a lot of ways Dee is a character who is more likely to commit suicide, Dee is a romantic idealist she believes completely and she has a tendency to romanticize these belief. Its a personality type that is recognized as being at a higher risk of suicide by psychologists, its no coincidence that Lee who is the same type also attempted suicide. The reasons for this are two fold one is that they tend to believe in things with extreme conviction and when these beliefs are destroyed (like Dee's belief in Earth) the affect is often devestating. The second reason romantic idealists are more likely to commit suicide is because they often have a very rosy picture of the afterlife and believe they are going to a better place. One of the main reason this persaonality type has been isolated is because its not unusual for them instead of undergoing a prolonged depression and going through a process people like Dee will simply appear to snap and simply act.

I don't think Battlestar is perfect when it comes to depicting women but I really do think its does better than almost anything else on tv. I think your almost reaching the level of a conspiracy theory here I just don't see why RDM would perpetuate the level of mysogony your implying
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: X-men:  Judgement by tjfoxprozacpark on January 19th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Do I think Ron Moore sat down and thought about which woman he could kill to make the biggest impact, specifically? No. Do I think that Ron Moore thought about which character he was going to kill and the character he thought best happened to be a woman because of all the cultural metanarratives that dictate that the symbol be a woman? Oh, yeah.

And we'll have to agree to strongly disagree on our perceptions of Dee as a character. I always saw Dee as a bit of a pragmatist. She did have elements of idealism to her personality, yes, but she would also steal the election if she thought that was the best way for humanity to survive and marry a man in love with another woman because she didn't care for a happily ever after as much as she cared about being as happy as she could, given whatever life gave her. I think she held people up to high standards, but she also worked to make sure they lived up to them. And...she wasn't going to give up, not the person I saw her as.

And I'm sorry, but I don't recall at all ever seeing anything much about Earth from Dee. This is true to an extent that RON MOORE has to guess at her motivation in his interview where he said, "Her whole family, her whole world, everything had been shattered. After Billy died and after she splits with Lee, probably all Dualla has is [the goal of Earth]." He killed her on a 'probably.' That's just not excusable.

And yes, BSG is better than a lot of other stuff when it comes to portraying women. But that doesn't mean it's perfect. Even comparing the roles of women from the first two seasons to now? There's been a noticeable decline.
(no subject) - scifiaddict86 on January 20th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 22nd, 2009 02:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scifiaddict86 on January 24th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 26th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Havochavocthecat on January 19th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
I got linked here by Lyssie, and now am commenting on Roswell, not BSG. Go fig.
They totally ruined someone who could've been an awesome character by retconning her into a psycho.

I used to love Roswell. God knows why.
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 19th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Whomeveroberongeiger on January 19th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
As much as I appreciate your passion, I don't think that misguided romanticization fo death is necessarily gender-specific. Although I do think it's men who tend to stupidly romanticize death, I think they romanticize it for both men and women alike. Blah blah "honorable death," "a good death," "a triumphant death," etc. No such thing.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.prozacpark on January 19th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
I didn't say it was gender-specific? But I do think that suicide is romanticized *differently* for men and women. And in this instance, it seemed to resonate more with the issues fiction has with women, so that's what I talked about. I can just as easily make a similar entry about Achilles and John Proctor (and, duh, ANGEL), and how it was romanticized for them. But the encoding is different, IMO. Dead woman = pretty and something to be mourned. Dead man = heroic and someone to be emulated. Which, really, is a very simplified way of looking at it and the issues are more complex. (Just the fact that Angel can at all think it's in any way GOOD that he's going to go out with a bang and make an impact while possibly putting all of L.A. in hell? A world of wrong with that.) And, of course, I didn't actually watch that episode as much as just heard about it, so feel free to correct me about the Angel bit.

Edited at 2009-01-19 10:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - oberongeiger on January 21st, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - prozacpark on January 22nd, 2009 02:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
Allison: Deefrolicndetour on January 19th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched yet but I'm SO excited about more Nikki Grant.

Edgar Allen Poe once said that there's no better fictional device than the death of a beautiful woman.

You just captured everything that's icky about this storyline in one sentence. I fangirl your meta so much. And re: some of the above comments, I really do think there's a not-insignificant difference between portraying women's senseless deaths as "beautiful" while men's are "stereotyped" as brave, heroic, self-sacrificing.

The way they're put into the male gaze and then made pretty before they blow their brains out because the fucking patriarchy got to them or because some sexist writer couldn't think of a better way to write them than to give in to the oldest metanarratives of them all.

Ouch. I love the way you put that. One thing I can't get over is how Dee's and Cally's deaths are both so very feminine, though in very different ways. And in a sense, they were two of the most stereotypically feminine characters, which earned them a lot of dislike. And I can even understand that - someone on my flist made note of Dee's "martyr" qualities, and I can see that - but at the same time, a character doesn't have to be a feminist icon for me to love her. And THANK YOU for saying that it really shouldn't matter whether we found the individual characters likable or not if they're getting stuffed in a refrigerator. That's something I've wanted to say a lot about Cally, and earlier about Starbuck when people were saying her Special Destiny was to sacrifice herself so Lee could break the family-curse - self-destructive blondes - and be happy with Dee. But since I love them both like crazy it doesn't really work coming from me. ;)

Dee, who told Lee that she was going to marry him despite believing he loved Kara better because she was willing to take whatever she could get and it was going to be enough?

Interesting. I'd actually used that moment to rationalize her actions to myself, because it seems to show a certain fatalism, I guess? But it also shows such pragmatism that I can totally see how it works the opposite way too.

And there is this beautiful scene where she tells him that even though she has nothing to live for, she feels "such a desire to live." And after she's fallen from grace, he thinks, "It was what he most held against Mrs. Forrester; that she was not willing to immolate herself...and die with the pioneer period to which she belonged; that she preferred life on any terms."

Wow. I hate death-as-redemption for the "fallen woman," and while I'm not sure if Dee's death was supposed to play that way as opposed to the other extreme of "she was too good for this world," we've definitely seen that trope dragged out on this show. (I'm still afraid they're going there with Kara.) Though to be fair, Ellen was perhaps the paradigm of this and it appears they made be taking her out of the fridge and thawing her out, so good on them?

You know what's better than that proverbial beautiful death? SURVIVING. "Life on any terms," as Willa Cather said. As Dee understood, once upon a time, so much better than anyone else did. It's harder, and it's harsh and stark, but it's every bit as beautiful in its strength and hope as any sacrificial death is supposed to be. So, no, death of a woman is never pretty, and it's certainly never, ever, ever preferable to living.

*Frames this*
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: X-men:  EF by foxglove_iconsprozacpark on January 22nd, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
I really do think there's a not-insignificant difference between portraying women's senseless deaths as "beautiful" while men's are "stereotyped" as brave, heroic, self-sacrificing.

Yeah, and that further plays into men as subjects and women as objects. Which is equally annoying.

I know I should be horrified by all the sexism and the misogyny dripping from it? But I must admit that this has been source of much amusement since I discovered it.

YES. I just...I mean, you know, people that I otherwise consider sane and smart would go off on people liking female characters they don't consider to be 'feminist' and at the end of the day, does it really matter if the character is likable or a feminist as long as she's *interesting* and gives you another way of looking at fictional womanhood (since fiction's view of women is so limited to being with)? At the same time, a character doesn't have to be feminist for the impulse behind her to have been feminist and vice versa. I'm also, generally, disturbed by the trend in fandom of liking the 'heroic' girls while hating on girls with qualities considered to be more traditionally 'feminine.' And I wonder if that plays into fandom's hatred for Dee and Cally.


I hate death-as-redemption for the "fallen woman," and while I'm not sure if Dee's death was supposed to play that way as opposed to the other extreme of "she was too good for this world," we've definitely seen that trope dragged out on this show.


*hides* I think my issues with women in fiction in general came out there a bit, but yeah, I don't think they were doing that with Dee either. I think that I was thinking more along the lines of, well, you know how Dee is now the best one to have died because "she was too good for the world?" When last season, she wasn't even good enough for her cheating husband? So, more along the lines of death redeeming her for fandom than on the show.

And I think with Ellen, I'll wait and see. I mean, it's not unusual for fiction to take women out of the refrigerators, but usually, the pattern is that they come back less awesome. So, um, Zombie!Ellen? ;)
stoplookingup: gabba gabba heystoplookingup on January 20th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
Here via a link posted to my LJ:

Just want to add that Dee is the only character whose primary storyline is unrequited love, so no matter how much you try to make her beautiful death be all about humanity's loss of hope, it's very difficult not to see it as being at least in part about the failure to gain a man's love. The way she panders to Apollo during their date and strokes his ego about the great speech he gave only serves to emphasize the imbalance in that relationship. Impossible to imagine Kara going on about how brilliant and wonderful his speech was.
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: BSG - Sam/Kara - pilotloveprozacpark on January 22nd, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
Exactly. And, then, it wasn't really as much humanity's loss as Lee's and Adama's, even though neither of them had spoken to her much at all in the last season. And now they can both mourn her as if she actually were a part of their family and they weren't looking for an excuse to let their issues out. So, yeah, even her death ended up being about the pain felt by the men in her life.
krisiskrisispm on January 23rd, 2009 02:33 am (UTC)
For the record, I am a BSG fan and a (male) feminist, and I feel that Moore does an exemplary job penning female roles. A show can't completely avoid typically tragic women, in the same way it can't completely avoid typically heroic men. BSG has both, but it also breaks those molds repeatedly every season.

I'd argue that Moore establishes some of the most dynamic female characters in television, almost to the detriment of the men in the cast. His best fighter (pilot and physical) is a woman. His president is a woman. Some of his primary villains have been woman (sixes, threes, Cain, Tori). His final cylon is a woman. And, they are all rounded characters - none of the relatively flat Whedonesque feminist television where every woman has to be a warrior or a witch.

If anything, the glut of intriguing female characters makes them ample fodder - plenty of opportunities for Kats and Callys to die the death Poe described. Would we have cared about Hotdog or Anders dying in the same fashion? The well-written, well-rounded male cast basically amounts to Adama and Tigh. Tyrol and Helo are only good through the power of their own acting, and Moore himself would admit he let Apollo and Baltar get away from him in Seasons 2 and 3.

Supernatural - now there's a show that can't write a dynamic woman if its renewal depended on it. (And, this is coming from someone who loves that show, but, seriously? What a fucking misogynist sausage party.)
hell to ships, hell to men, and hell to cities.: BSG - Fight the Cylons!prozacpark on January 26th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
I agree with you on Supernatural and the limited view of female heroism in Joss Whedon's narratives. Although, I'm not sure I would say BSG is better than Buffy in dealing with women mainly because Joss was writing in a specific genre and warriors and witches seemed better suited inside that than, well, regular women.

BSG did do an excellent job of establishing some of the most interesting women on TV in the last five years or so, and it was this, in large part, that got me to watch despite having had issues with Moore in the past. But that has changed, IMO, in the last two seasons, which have seen a great decline in the roles of women. Athena is an excellent example of this. She was introduced as the first Cylon ally, and her arc was interesting, intriguing, and they did much with her. Until she got married to Helo. At which point, her character became all about the arcs it would put Helo through than her own story. I'm also disappointed by the turn in Roslin's arc, besides other things. And, really, BSG, even at its best, never managed to pass the Bechdel Test, which is a major flaw.

And it's because BSG did so well with its women characters early on that I'm disappointed now. I don't think that having done well at one point excuses them for the noticeable decline in the importance of so many of the female characters. If anything, I expect more because I know they're capable of it.