The Unswung Bat

Saturday, October 21, 2006
Adama's Mustache
March–October, 2006
Rest in Peace

Is anything ever harder than seeing someone close to us move on? It's sure to feel unfair. We think it didn't need to happen, not to them.

I've never used the word fan-service before. It's an idea that under the best circumstances wouldn't have a name, or be a phenomenon people would recognize. A story gains a following, fans start to feel personally connected to it, and in short order they believe they're entitled to a voting stake.

But give it to them, put the snowflake that is that story in their hands, and they will melt it, smother it in their sweaty palms. No, true service to the fans is denying them that contact, proving to them that you run the show, and until you say otherwise, anything can happen, so they'd better hold their breath and cross their fingers.

Adama's mustache caused a lot of talk. Some said it was the mark of a true leader. Others called it his "porn mustache" and suggested that synth pop music play in the background whenever it was on screen. Still others predicted that Adama's mustache was actually an evil cylon that only he could see. Like all great mustaches, though, Adama's paid no mind to any of that talk, but stuck to what it did best: sending a big up-yours to any and all who thought they knew better.

It was just a detail, a thick-stroke dash, but it was central. Animating. Transmutational. It was the plutonium slug at the heart of the thermonuclear reactor. It was a flag defying the barbarians at the gates. It was civilization and nihilism, creation and obliteration. Hoban Washburne wore a mustache like that, just to say that no one alive could take it away from him. Show me Mark Twain with a naked lip and I will show you a man playing by their rules.

Tonight saw the costly liberation of New Caprica, and humanity's narrow escape from the jaws of its persecutors. It also tied off all the loose ends that'd been gnawing at fans. Starbuck's baby isn't actually her baby. She didn't eventually fall in love with her cylon captor after all. Baltar and #6 finally met their baby-of-sorts. Apollo will presumably lose all that weight. That nasty Pegasus cleared itself out of the way in spectacular fashion — after all, if the show were about the Pegasus, it'd be called BSP. They even finally killed Ellen Tigh, although not by pushing her out of an airlock as I'd always been hoping.

All was set right. But at what cost?

They say you died an honorable death. But we have not heard the last of you. You live on in us. Godspeed, old friend. So say we all.

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