Without much hesitation I popped in the extended edition of Unfinished Business to watch for the first time in one full sitting!
I was bouncing around in excitement like a child. After seeing it I think as a whole I prefer the original aired version better due to the fabulous editing that was done. But the greedy info-nerd in me LOVED the additional insight into the characters on this one.
To me Sam seems a little bit more of a jerk in the beginning rather than a rag doll. The "I've been patient" line really pissed me off, but I can see why they edited that out. Also here before the fight Lee is every bit as taunting and angry as Kara - pushing her buttons just as hard, which to me fantastic to watch. It also brought me to a place of newfound respect for Dee. I seriously busted a gut at her "What, they were having a two for one special?" comment and love that she called him out on being in love with Kara. It just confirms to me that she always knew what exactly she was getting into when she dated and then married Lee. I won't go too far into a tangent, but I never believed that Dee really loved Lee as a whole and complicated person. I think she loved what Lee represented in her eyes, his hope, his stability, his ability to take command. To me it felt like she loved the part of Lee that mirrored Adama in a twisted kind of way, but I can't really blame her for that. I just don't like later (in Eye of Jupiter) that she's so obviously annoyed that Lee is doing exactly what she knew would eventually happen. She knew that risk going in...
As for the conversation between Kara and Saul, I really wish we would have seen more after she "tells him all about it" because I still don't get how "letting survival instincts take over" translates into her marrying Anders. She makes it seem so vital that she make her decision in that very moment, which ok she's always been an all or nothing kind of person, but seriously marrying Anders?! I could even absolutely see her running away from both of them, but the marriage thing still kills me. I've always felt like I understood Kara best and relate to her on so many levels, but I have never been able to fully wrap my head around what happened there. In this episode it's Lee that I feel more connected to and relate to. Each time I see the scene where he wakes up alone my heart just breaks for him because you know nothing good is going come of it and I can hardly watch as Adama breaks the news to Lee. Jamie Bamber just played that moment so perfectly it felt like you could just see his poor little heart shattering and all the air being sucked out of his lungs.
Additionally, I did enjoy the extended scenes between Adama and Roslin especially the one where she's lamenting about how she used to be sick of staring at the stars from her window but now can't help but marvel at them again from solid ground. I also had to just chuckle when high as a kite Adama is trying to tell Chief and Cally that they can stay on New Caprica and poor hungover Chief just isn't getting it because Adama's articulate words are lacking so Roslin has to remind him what to say. It was a subtle but hilarious moment which finally makes me understand a little better why Adama is so obnoxiously oblivious to Lee's suffering later in the episode.
As for the extended fight scenes, I loved the extended Apollo/Helo fight. It seems to be on a much more even ground in this version and the only reason he got pummeled so badly was because he was distracted by Kara.
I also love the Kara & Sharon moment. I really LOVE that Sharon is in on the whole mess with Lee and sees right through Kara's BS. I think in a round about way it shows how good a friend Helo is to Kara, how observant he is and that he and Sharon have probably had more than one discussion about both Lee and Kara being stubborn idiots. hah!
The extended Tyrol/Adama fight seems to go on a bit too long for me. Adama to me seems to be laying too much blame on the crew "breaking up" as the reason for all their troubles after New Caprica. It's like he can't see past the truth that it was plain human nature to want to be settled and it would have happened no matter what. The fight was especially brutal at the end though, where Chief is just laying it into Adama. I just wanted to shout, "ok, that's enough!"
And then there's the extended Starbuck/Apollo fight. I mostly prefer the orginal version, because the talking wasn't really necessary and the lisping with their mouth pieces in takes me out of the moment wanting to giggle. However, I do have to say after watching the commentary I thought it was interesting that in the original script everyone was supposed to be out of the hanger deck with only Kara and Lee left. I would have loved to see this version as it was written because I think it would have brought a completely different dynamic to the end. And speaking of the end I think the scene after the original ending is wonderful where he grabs her head and looks like he's about to make out with her and then they fall on the ground, but with that said I still prefer the more subtle original ending of the I miss you and Kara's smile.
After all that I couldn't help but go back and watch it with Director/Editor commentary. haha I don't have much to say except that I LOVE that the editor seemed to be every bit as much of a Lee & Kara fan as us in the fandom. He mentioned that he tried to sneak in the, "I love you" scene dozens of times to the final edit. Shame it didn't work.
Edit: I just realized I didn't even mention my thoughts on the "I love you" scene. Probably because I've seen it about a billion times before now... but I just want to add that I love that scene very much and for the most part wish it would have stayed in. You can tell by the look on Kara's face that she's terrified, but I think it's a sort of break through for her to admit out loud that she loves Lee even with all that fear. However, on that same note with Lee confessing to Kara that he was afraid to admit how much he needed her I'm just not sure if that would have aired that I would have been able to forgive her getting married. She knows exactly how terrifying that can be, and it would have seemed even more cruel than it already did. So in the end they may have made the right move in not airing it originally. As a side note thought I love how the hug at the end mirrors the hug at the end of the episode.