Skip to main content

In Brief: Ryan Mottesheard Acknowledges "No Exit," Sartre Link

While I was fairly effusive with my thoughts about last week's episode of Battlestar Galactica ("No Exit") and my theories about the history and future of the Cylon race, Daniel, and Kara Thrace, there was one thing that I wanted to know more about: the episode's title.

As I mentioned in my previous write-up about the episode, the title seems to be a deliberate allusion to Jean-Paul Sartre's 1944 existentialist play "Huis Clos" (translated in English as "No Exit"), given the episode's use of Ellen Tigh, John Cavil, and Boomer in a similar fashion as the three characters (Garcin, Ines, and Estelle) in Sartre's work, which provided the basis for his most quoted aphorism, "Hell is other people." (And the Cylon centurion who helps Ellen out of her goo bath? Clearly a nod to the Valet in Sartre's play.)

I emailed Battlestar Galactica's script coordinator, Ryan Mottesheard, who wrote "No Exit" to ask him if he intentionally selected the title in order to directly evoke Sartre's work.

"Yes, the title is a nod to Sartre's 'No Exit,'" wrote Mottesheard in an email to me. "(And, yes, I am just that pretentious.)"

"Aside from the obvious thematic overlap, there are myriad superficial similarities," he continued. "I'm just glad to have garnered an entry under the 'No Exit' Wikipedia page."

While the Cylon troika in BSG's "No Exit" also clearly wants to torment each other for eternity, there is one major difference between Mottesheard's script and Sartre's play.

At the end of Sartre's "No Exit," the door opens up but none of the prisoners have the strength to leave and end their punishment; however, in Mottesheard's "No Exit," it's the brooding Boomer who actually proves her free will by rescuing Ellen and taking her off of the base ship, toward the light.

Whether Boomer's decision points to a humanist belief that people--including Cylons--will choose the rational over the divine and do the right thing or whether the series is subtly rejecting the existential notion of the universe's underlying meaninglessness remains to be seen. In rejecting the Pythian prophecies, can the humans and Cylons find their own shared path based on reason and morality rather than pre-destiny?

We'll find out as the road to the series finale of Battlestar Galatica continues...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: "The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now"

The CBS legal drama, now in its sixth season, continually shakes up its narrative foundations and proves itself fearless in the process. Spoilers ahead, if you’re not up to date on the show. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now," in which I praise CBS' The Good Wife and, well, hail it as the best show currently on television. (Yes, you read that right.) There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television. I won’t qualify that statement in the least — I’m not talking about the best show currently airing on broadcast television or outside of cable or on premium or however you want to sandbox this remarkable show. No, the legal drama is the best thing currently airing on any channel on television. That The Good Wife is this perfect in its sixth season is reason to truly celebrate. Few shows embrace complexity and risk-taking in t

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it