I thought he flew Vipers, not Pigeons...
March 27, 2009 5:49 PM   Subscribe

BSG final episode question. (SPOILERS INSIDE!)

Near the end, right after Kara vanishes, it cuts to a scene of Lee Adama waking up on a couch, to find a pigeon on his table. He sits up, and the bird flies away. I feel like I'm missing something, somewhere - what's the meaning or significance of this?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
He messes with the bird several times when he gets back from drinking with Kara and his brother. The Battlestar wiki is down, but when it's back up there's a discussion about it on the Daybreak pages.
posted by Science! at 5:51 PM on March 27, 2009

Kara/bird is/are gone/free. Maybe.
posted by dinx2582 at 5:51 PM on March 27, 2009

Lee wakes up on the couch after a night where he and Kara have a fantastic time and almost indulge in sex (until Lee's brother stirs and makes them realize they can't be together). You could say, taking the flashbacks of Lee's night with Kara as representative of their entire relationship, where Lee and Kara never quite got together. Sure, they slept with each other a few times, and there were times where it seemed they would begin a relationship, but it just never happened; just like the night in the flashbacks. The flashback then ends with a bird flying away and out of Lee's life, again, similar to Kara "flying/vanishing" from Lee's life at the end of the show. (Note: Kara had a wing tattoo on her arm).
posted by Atreides at 6:00 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

It means Kara is a dirty annoying pigeon, living off people and she happened to wander into his life when he was messed up and in order to get her out of his life he had to break a few things and wonder around a bit, but once the stupid pigeon quits fluttering around him and actually notices the window and leaves, he can finally get some peace and go back to his life, without this annoying pigeon fluttering around, making a mess.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:09 PM on March 27, 2009 [22 favorites]

Heh, Brandon, bitter much? Pretty funny, though. I gotta go with Atreides on this one, however. And I didn't actually remember Kara's wing tattoo (though I sometimes need more than one viewing to put these things together, and I didn't watch many episodes more than once).
posted by JenMarie at 6:25 PM on March 27, 2009

Remember when Lee and Kara were about to have sex in the apartment, before the fall and Zack woke up, knocking over a glass? He said "Something's broken" then went back to sleep. They were never going to be happy together, there was no fairy-tale ending for them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:31 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

this is on the SciFi forums where Ron D. Moore said "The image of the bird was just than -- an image. I had no idea what it meant or symbolized, but just saw this picture of a man (didn't even know it was Lee) trying to chase a bird out of his house with a broom. We put it up on the board and then folded it into the story of Lee without trying to define exactly what it meant. I still don't know exactly what it meant. I don't want to."

So, take it to mean what every you want it to mean....
posted by nimsey lou at 6:41 PM on March 27, 2009 [4 favorites]

You need to see the previous episode (which was originally supposed to be seamless with the final episode) to understand. In one of those flashbacks, he wakes up and drunkenly swats at the pigeon for a while. It's all a big metaphor, as others have stated
posted by chrisamiller at 6:42 PM on March 27, 2009

What if Lee was the drunk driver who hit Roslin's family?
And, I also thought about birds in the house were an omen of death within three days.
posted by sambiamb at 6:47 PM on March 27, 2009

Sambiamb....Lee wasn't the drunk driver because the cops said he was in jail.
posted by nimsey lou at 6:49 PM on March 27, 2009

oops... sorry he wasn't in jail he was in "stable condition at the hospital."
posted by nimsey lou at 6:52 PM on March 27, 2009

Yeah, according the final podcast, Moore has no idea what the image means, he just liked it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:38 PM on March 27, 2009

I had concluded something along the lines of Atreides' explanation: Kara was trapped in a place (world) where she didn't belong; loving her, ultimately, meant letting her go/letting her fly away. She was never meant to be with Lee at all.

(Frankly, the fact that Moore himself doesn't know what it means -- well, that goes far to explaining why I felt so disappointed by this show in the last season and a half.)
posted by artemisia at 8:13 PM on March 27, 2009

I've heard from the old-timers that a bird in the house means someone has just died . . . or is about to.
posted by General Tonic at 9:05 PM on March 27, 2009

FWIW, the pigeon reminded me of the final season of Six Feet Under, which featured a weird scene involving a bird getting into Nate's house during his 40th birthday party. Nate totally freaks out trying to get it out. I remember reading some critic's interpretation that (SPOILER) the bird was a symbol of Nate's later death.

I believe birds are often used to symbolize death. Even if that wasn't Moore's intention, I bet that's where the image in his head that inspired the scene came from.
posted by wholebroad at 9:13 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like to think that it's Ron Moore subconsciously channelling Ridley Scott, who also inserted an inexplicable scene featuring a bird flying away from a lead male character at the end of Blade Runner.
posted by googly at 11:03 PM on March 27, 2009

When I saw the first part of Daybreak, where Lee first has a moment with the pigeon, I actually took this to be Lee in Zak and Kara's apartment right after Zak died. He seemed distraught and drunkenly sad enough to suggest that this wasn't just, "I made out with my brother's girlfriend last night" stuff. Also, it seemed that he was in their apartment, it was during the day, and he was by himself, which suggests a situation more unique than dinner the night before.

Although considering the level of randomness that Ron Moore seems to subscribe to in crafting a television show, perhaps reading into it is entirely fucking pointless. Gee, thanks, Ron! Woulda liked to have known you were an undisciplined extemporaneous writer before I went on a four-season vision quest through second-tier cable with you!
posted by incessant at 11:04 PM on March 27, 2009

I like to think that it's Ron Moore subconsciously channelling Ridley Scott, who also inserted an inexplicable scene featuring a bird flying away from a lead male character at the end of Blade Runner.

Well in Blade Runner the dove represents, among other things, Batty's soul leaving his body, and the existence of hope in a dark world.

In BSG it represents the fact that the last episode was poorly written with Moore essentially pulling ideas out of his ass and not integrating them properly... though I like the suggestion I saw on some forum somewhere that it's a 'head pigeon'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:41 AM on March 28, 2009

it's a 'head pigeon'

IT'S A PIGEON OF GOD... but it doesn't like to be called that.
posted by crossoverman at 5:30 AM on March 28, 2009

Obviously, if Moore doesn't have an idea and can't speak for himself, I'll have to speak for him. I AM THE MOUTH OF MOORE.

posted by Atreides at 6:10 AM on March 28, 2009

It's a pigeon. In an apartment.
posted by tdreyer at 6:25 AM on March 28, 2009

It's a Cylon pigeon, sent to spy on the Adamas.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 AM on March 28, 2009

You know, in some ways I wish Moore would stop giving interviews and answering questions like this (and for example, about Kara's father definitively not being Daniel). Part of the joy in experiencing at a piece of art (for me), be it literature, film, painting, what have you, is to draw connections and theorize about motivations and find meaning beneath the surface. The art itself stands alone when it's done, away from the creator. So when you take, say Atreides interpretation of the pigeon, it adds a level of meaning and interest to the piece. The art becomes something more than the sum of its parts. For the creator to then go, "No, that's completely wrong, there's nothing beneath the surface and it means nothing," well, to me, that cheapens the art, takes away dimension and nuance. In my opinion, that is. Let me emphasize I know many don't hold the same view on this kind of thing.
posted by JenMarie at 11:51 AM on March 28, 2009

head pigeon... omg that's funny...

Seconding JenMarie: Moore just said that it was a scene that he had in his head and he wanted to include in there. Wait - so Moore has a head pigeon?
posted by stratastar at 1:57 PM on March 28, 2009

GAH. It's like The Game. I think I'm over it, and I stop thinking about it, and now I could kill somebody again. MOOOORE!

(Sorry if you were playing The Game.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:56 PM on March 28, 2009

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