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23 April 2012 @ 05:12 pm
For posterity:  
First of all, rose_griffes wrote a lovely POI fic for me, for wegetcarter, Three Sides, over here . You should go read it. And also I need to write mine.

I didn't write it today because I was too busy writing a rebuttal. Look, I usually control my urges to write rebuttals of everything in sight, but sometimes it gets away from me.

So over at bsg_epics there was a characterization activity today wherein someone slotted Sam into insecure and I decided I needed to challenge it. Because it touched on that doormat fanon that I can't stand. (probably didn't help that Trucco went and was adorably perfect on Twitter again)

I wrote:

I think he does start out with a bit of famous-and-good-looking-people general insecurity - he's used to his worth being judged by tickets and points and salary and magazine covers and such. He's a sports star so that's what it's about. But I don't think that lasts very long. Because you also don't get very far in sports unless you have confidence in yourself and can project that on your team, which I think he does as well. He leads his team - and strangers- in an unwinnable war for a year. No matter how much he privately fears he's doing it wrong, he still does it.

And when the hits keep coming it seems to me that a fundamentally insecure person would try to push that responsibility away or crumble or demand validation, but he doesn't. After the Cylon revelation, after the first freak out, his reaction is try to understand -- he doesn't shove it into a denial box like Saul does, nor does he let it become his identity like Tory does. He tries to figure out what it means. Sure he's afraid what others (esp Kara) are gonna think - but I don't think that's a personality thing, so much as common sense.

I also think there's a difference between being uncertain with Kara and insecure in himself -- he's not ever insecure in HIS feelings or IMO, his own worth, he just gives her time to figure out her feelings. He doesn't dump her like I guess some people think he should have (well, he does in Collab and in UB, but not after TaB), but I don't think it follows that it's because he doesn't believe anyone else could love him at all. He wants it back to how it was and he hopes by sticking around it will - but even then, he tells her to go if that's what she wants and she doesn't. Of everyone, he's the one who understands what New Cap was like for her -- he saw the dollhouse, he's talked to her about it, so having some patience to get over her shit is really the more assured thing to do. He doesn't believe everything she says, or get all butthurt about it, because he knows she's coming from a traumatized place. He looks beyond what she says to what she actually does, which includes things like confessing to him about her mother's abuse and later, that she doesn't feel real. So anyway, it's not as if she never gives him a reason to believe he's right.

So um, tl;dr; obviously YMMV. In some ways it's all very speculative, because we don't know things like how Kara gave Sam the dogtag back (DAMN YOU RDM FOR NOT GIVING ME THAT SCENE) or even what he was doing when he wasn't around Kara through most of the series, so it's natural to view all his actions through her lens. But I think what we see is more compatible with someone who started out a fairly shallow person, overwhelmed by the enormity of what happened, but became someone who learned patience and maybe a bit of fatalism, while he got more resilient to the crap life kept throwing his way: Bending, not breaking, and I personally think that's pretty self-assured to be able to do that.

So that is what I wrote. I don't expect it'll change anyone's minds, but whatever, at least I put it out there.

And in other topics, as I mentioned on Twitter, I have this really overpowering urge to reach into my t.v. and rescue Arya. I just can't. It's hard. Sansa's situation is awful, but Arya's really makes me want to bring her here to live so I can take care of her and keep her safe. :(
kag523 on April 24th, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
I love your reasoning, and I wish you'd had the opportunity to write for the show. When Anders showed up, my HOPE was that part of BSG would spin off into stories of the survivors... because if there were some, there were more. And the concept of how you'd live like that (very Walking Dead, actually) could have been an amazing show on its own.

Hope you are doing well, hon. I'm so glad to hear you're still standing up and speaking your mind. *high fives* Awesome!
lizardbeth: Planetside Caprica 2lizardbeth_j on April 24th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
ah, alas, it's Battlestar Galactica, not Planetside Caprica. : And we did get the Plan at least, so they realized their error, even if it was a bit late. :) .

You're the sweetest! (feel better! <3 )
patron saint of neglected female characters: anders-musicrose_griffes on April 24th, 2012 01:14 am (UTC)
I think part of it comes down to the difference between insecure and unsettled. Even while he's struggling with who he is and everything around him keeps changing, there's a part of him that manages to depend only on who he is and what he can do. And while he wants Kara in his life, he doesn't need her to be his foundation. To me that's not an insecure person. Someone insecure would cling to her (or who/whatever else) rather than take the time to adjust and learn what all the changes mean for him.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders Rapturelizardbeth_j on April 24th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
totally. I think in his position if he didn't have some faith in himself he'd never have made it as long as he did.

though I suppose others can (and have) countered that he did cling to her, even when she was MEEEAN, so he did need her validation somehow. To which I would say, he seemed to be just fine on the algae planet. He was mad at her and made that known, but he didn't act like he was desperate for her attention).
entertaining in a disturbing way: Kara Sam WHAT IS THISlyssie on April 24th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC)
Well, maybe he clings insecurely for the hot sex. I wouldn't blame him. *ducks*

(I feel like shaking people. Do they really not get that just because a relationship/a life takes work that doesn't make the person insecure?)
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders  Resistancelizardbeth_j on April 24th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
If you're gonna cling, might as well cling for a really good reason! :P
Galactic Cupcake: I'm so much older than I can takelostinapapercup on April 24th, 2012 02:53 am (UTC)
I like your meta! While I do think most people who found themselves in Sam's position would suffer from some insecurity, I think what we see with him is mostly... circumstantial insecurity, if that makes sense, prompted by the crap canon throws at him. Though he may have moments of faltering along the way, to me he operates like a confident person, or at least someone used to having confidence in himself.
lizardbeth: Anders with ciglizardbeth_j on April 24th, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)
totally. He tells Kara that he could use military advice because he's fighting a war with tactics he got from movies! He doesn't know what he's doing half the time, he's making it up as he goes, but hell, isn't that the very essence of self-confidence? you have no clue what you're doing but you figure you'll find a way to do it anyway? I dunno, it just seems like there's no way he could do things like walk away from the Circle and from Kara if he needed other people's approval.

The OP pointed out that he says in the Plan that the only reason he came back was because he didn't want Jean/theothers to think he was a coward. but I don't think that's a deep-seated insecurity, so much as being deeply ashamed of the impulse to run away and abandon them all.
Galactic Cupcake: looking to the sky to save melostinapapercup on April 24th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
but I don't think that's a deep-seated insecurity, so much as being deeply ashamed of the impulse to run away and abandon them all.

Yeah, that's how I always see it, too.

SAM. Now I feel the need to watch him in action.
lizardbeth: Anders - bluelizardbeth_j on April 24th, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
I am totally going to start a full rewatch. I was thinking Epics was going to do one, but I don't know what happened to that, so I'm thinking of just doing one here -- it'll give me something to post, plus I haven't watched in a long time.

I felt bad when I was trying to work out my Sam/Lee story and I could barely remmeber the Kobol arc, it's been so long. lol
Une Frakkante Cylonne: Thranders- newlyweds- xmaidelxsunshine_queen on April 25th, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
I purposefully didn't play in this activity because I had a feeling it would give me irrational feelings (because I am not good at wording things in a non-flaily manner!) but this is perfect. A+ DEFENDING OUR BOY, LIZ, YOU WIN.

lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - Sam grinlizardbeth_j on April 25th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)

and yeah, I'm always a little uneasy about those types of 'games' too. I do think Epics puts more of a lid on it that most other places. Like I know Nicole said that ta previous edition of something similar was quite nice to Sam but I didn't read it cuz I was worried the doormat thing would come up and I am SO OVER THAT I CAN'T EVEN. Seven years on and I'm still hearing the fanon that boils down to because Sam never hit her he doesn't "challenge" her. F-that, people.

So this one sort of poked at that sore spot, and so I probably rebutted arguments the OP didn't even make, so I feel a bit bad about that, but still.