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12 February 2009 @ 04:40 pm
Sam thoughts for the day  
Copied from my post at TWOP in a discussion about how the Dylons have reacted to their Cylonitude differently.

I think it's useful to keep in mind that Tyrol and Tigh's main experience about sleepers comes from the horror of knowing Boomer, but Sam only saw Boomer from the opposite side. So the danger of being a sleeper was just theoretical to him, whereas it was a very real fear to the others that they might be programmed to do something horrible (Tigh's brave words aside, he's the one who had the nightmare about shooting Adama, and Tyrol's been afraid of being a Cylon since before he knew he was one). But Sam has experience that tells him even former sleepers can still choose. After all, he was one of the first people to get a copy of the memo about how Cylons can be individuals and make their own choices, because he was there when DEMAND LOVE was born on Caprica (and how much do I hope Caprica mentioned that while they were stuck together in the cell, because otherwise I don't know if he would know she's the same Six). That's not to say he's all reconciled to his new status, because obviously he's not, but his concerns haven't been the same.

He's also the one who had to live with the specter of the Cylons (not the humans) figuring him out - he's the one who was dinged by the Raider, he's the one who was in close quarters with Athena for a month, and then went on the baseship and learned about how everyone was going to go on a quest to unbox D'Anna and out him. That was a very stressful time, I believe, and we see a bit of that in the "Faith" deleted scene when he slumps against the wall and looks overwhelmed. And yet, he picks himself up and keeps going, and minutes later, has the wherewithal to comfort the Eight as she died, because she had been afraid of dying earlier.

But it's because he knows the Cylons so much better than Tory, that he can't throw himself into Cylonitude either. He knows the Cylons are no "better" than humans, so there's no appeal there. Plus, he's never shown the least interest in power for its own sake, so he doesn't want to go pretend to be prince of the Cylons, especially when he knows/believes the Five aren't 'special', just ignorant.

Another difference is that, unlike Tigh and Tyrol, who have been all about clinging to keeping the ship running and keeping things as they are since the Colonies fell, Sam has continually reinvented himself: pro ball player to resistance leader, resistance leader to Kara's husband and maintenance worker (or whatever he was doing off-screen in S3), and then to a pilot. So it's really no wonder he's a bit more phlegmatic about it, when it's just one more shift in his identity he's had to figure out. This one hit harder - more fundamental - but he's been asking questions, he nearly put his hand in the datafont, etc. It just seems like he's trying to figure out who and what he IS, rather than trying to pretend he's the same as he was. But he keeps running into the fact that he just plain doesn't KNOW (and the flashback of the ancient past showed him that he knew even LESS than he thought he did before) and he doesn't know how to find out, since the Cylons don't know anything either, so he goes off to do moody things like play pyramid in the dark by himself and wait for it all to go to hell. Which it did.

(the original post had a bit more relating to No Exit, but I've trimmed it out for the spoiler phobes)

What I was thinking about today. Discuss?
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Merry Fivanolix on February 13th, 2009 02:54 am (UTC)
This rings very true from what we've seen on screen. I've always taken Sam to be a very flexible guy; he doesn't have large ambitions in life, so he can mold his life to whatever it needs to be for the littler ambitions (and these have been so far: survive, win Kara, survive, keep Kara, live without Kara, maybe get Kara back or at least find himself). It's as simple as that, and he's open to changes that might make his life better. So far, they haven't really happened, but he'll keep trying.

I don't think he's directionless or without his own identity, just that he's so comfortable with himself that he can adapt what he does for any goal. Even the Cylon thing has only put him on pause, I think; he still knows himself, but just not all of himself. I think "No Exit" will clear a lot of that up for him.
lizardbeth: Anders- b&wlizardbeth_j on February 13th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
oh yes, I agree - I wonder in some way whether he's always been that relaxed/flexible, or whether he's become that in sheer self-defense after the fall of the Colonies. Because in the second way, it's more a case of you take a guy who was pretty much at the top of his profession, a celebrity, and all that and then all that was whittled away to survival. So if he used to have big ambitions, he learned very quickly to readjust them, and take living one more day, killing one more Cylon as a victory.

Right, I think this is more ... filling in blanks in himself he didn't even know he had. He has a strong core that was shaken (though not destroyed) by finding out, but I agree that once he knows more, he'll be able to accept it and move on. He just wants to understand it.
emmiere: Capricaemmiere on February 13th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
After all, he was one of the first people to get a copy of the memo about how Cylons can be individuals and make their own choices, because he was there when DEMAND LOVE was born on Caprica (and how much do I hope Caprica mentioned that while they were stuck together in the cell, because otherwise I don't know if he would know she's the same Six).

Oh yes, this! I've been wanting that conversation for ages and I'm disappointed that it looks like it won't ever happen :(
I think one of the reasons I've always liked Sam so much is because Downloaded was the first episode I saw with serious intent of actually watching this crazy space show. His reactions to Caprica and Boomer's growing individualization was pretty much mine exactly, so he kind of became my entry into the show because I identified so strongly with his perspective.

And I think you're right about Sam's reactions. He asks a lot of questions and even before DEMAND love there was Athena, when she was still Sharon.
lizardbeth: Anders - greylizardbeth_j on February 13th, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
I know! One of those great little scenes that fans want desperately and Ron thinks aren't important. bummer.

I didn't mention Athena because of course, Tigh and Tyrol know her too. But for them, she doesn't really help much, I think, since they knew Boomer first. Athena's also the only example they have, and it's all too easy to think that maybe she's special or defective or even secretly still evil (hell, there are some fans who believe that, so I can hardly blame Tigh and Tyrol), whereas Sam was one of the few who saw more than one, early on especially. Of course, if he ever figured it out what he saw on Caprica led to the occupation, that conversation in the garage becomes a lot less promising, but still at least he heard it.

And good for Sam drawing you in! mmm, Downloaded. Who knew it would turn into such a fundamental episode?
Nicole Anell: kara/samnicole_anell on February 13th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
I have nothing to add to this, just thanks for sharing because it's very cool food for thought! Great connections with Sam's earlier experiences.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders  Resistancelizardbeth_j on February 13th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC)
cool! If you think of something, feel free to come back. :)
patron saint of neglected female characters: anders-musicrose_griffes on February 13th, 2009 04:09 am (UTC)
I'll have to go back and watch 'Downloaded' again sometime; it's not an episode I've revisited since the big Dylan Four reveal.

Interesting stuff. Ditto what Nicole said. :)
lizardbeth: Anders - cross outlizardbeth_j on February 13th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
mmm... Downloaded. One of my favorites.

If you think of anything, feel free later. :)
entertaining in a disturbing way: Anders the Saint of Awesomelyssie on February 13th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC)
YES THIS. it's just sad he doesn't get more sex.
lizardbeth: Leoben - Demetriuslizardbeth_j on February 13th, 2009 05:47 am (UTC)
Bullets in the head are, alas, a bit of a turnoff to Kara, yes. Though perhaps some sickbay groping won't be too much for him. and Leoben will visit to make sure Sam's okay and grope him some more. And then Cottle will throw him out for disturbing his patient, muttering something about how the Cylons need to learn to keep it zipped instead of frakking all over the damn place, making the humans jealous.
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on February 13th, 2009 05:53 am (UTC)
HAHAHAH. (I am sorry I have no thoughts to add, but I think I wrecked my brains babbling at Palmetto too much)
weissmanweissman on February 13th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC)
Sam does what he has to do and dosn't whine about it, or if he does he keeps it to himself.

Edited at 2009-02-13 12:30 pm (UTC)