Favorite Character Meme: Seven Scenes [2/7]
S03E20: Crossroads, Pt. 2
I was going to to go on about this in the tags, but it started getting too long
This is one of the most heart-breaking scenes, not only in Felix and Gaius’s relationship, but in BSG. Felix thinks he knows what he’s doing. He knows he’s trying to get Gaius put out the airlock. He knows that his testimony- and his testimony specifically- has the power to bring about a guilty verdict. He is trying to get Gaius killed, he knows it, and he accepts it. He’s aware it’s terrible, but he doesn’t care. He’s lying under oath, and he accepts that, and he knows how terrible that is.
But what he doesn’t get is that he’s stealing Gaius’s one moment of heroism and triumph on New Caprica. Gaius tried to stop that execution, he really did. And when the Cylons threatened to shoot him and Gaius refused to step down, it wasn’t because he was afraid of his own death. (Which often Gaius is, I’m not ascribing undue nobility to him.) But it’s the understanding that if he resists and the Cylons shoot him, nothing will change. The execution will still happen. His death would accomplish nothing, but there’s still a chance that his life might. He tried with everything he had in that moment, he knows it, he recognizes that that moment was his most noble since… who knows when? maybe ever, and Felix is stealing it. Felix is completely and utterly destroying it.
(I don’t believe that Gaius deliberately helped Felix find information and made it so Felix could get access. If he did, he would have said it in this very scene, I think. I don’t think he blocked it, either. Frankly, I think he largely forgot Felix existed during the Occupation, because he had other things on his mind, and Felix probably did his best to make everybody forget about him in certain ways.)
The end of this scene also breaks my heart, too, because Gaius realizes what Felix is doing. Not just to Gaius, but to himself. I don’t think Gaius would think much about lying under oath, but he knows that Felix would think the world of it. Felix deliberately lying here bothers Gaius not just because of how it harms him, but because he sees just how terribly broken Felix is. He’s probably the first one- maybe really the only one- to fully understand how much Felix has broken down inside. And despite the immense betrayal, for a moment, he definitely cares. Then the immense betrayal takes over and we have the best ex-line EVER, with some brilliant acting choices by both James Callis and Alessandro Juliani (even if the latter’s acting choice is “don’t crack up don’t crack up don’t crack up”- he did a great job of making not cracking up look like guilt and being destroyed.)
And finally, I don’t think Gaius truly realized how much Felix hated him until this moment. He always took Felix’s admiration and love (I do mean platonic in this sense) for granted, and even before this, he believes that Felix still cares about him. It’s why Felix gives him one more chance in Exodus II, and it’s why he tries to help Felix in that deleted scene in the algae planet arc. True, Felix stabs him, but Adama knocks Felix out and Gaius doesn’t have to face Felix again until this moment. This is the moment when Gaius realizes that all those feelings he assumed were always there and he took for granted are GONE, and I would bet it’s one of the first moments when he realizes that actually matters to him. It’s the beginning of the death of Felix Gaeta, and I think on some level, Gaius knows it.
It is the most glorious trainwreck ever.
Beautiful commentary I love what you put into words here about Felix taking Gaius’ one moment of bravery away from him. Because even I tend to talk about that moment in terms of victimhood and being scared of dying on a base level, which he was and that is fine. But it’s so important the last thing Six said to him: Sometimes you have to do things that you hate, so you can survive to fight another day. Which is all of New Caprica in a nutshell, and it’s so much of BSG in general that they used that line in a TRAILER for the show, divorced from its context in that scene.
I don’t think Gaius was exactly *proud* of his actions there, but he knew he was a survivor and that he’d done the best he could and it’s maybe the most pivotal moment to him of the whole occupation. He was quick to bring it UP to people with some amount of defensiveness - “I literally had a gun pointed to my head” - and it’s so incredibly destructive to hear Gaeta just deny his version of it entirely.