I’m going to admit something I really don’t like admitting because … well, it makes me feel all squishy inside: I really love seeing new romance bloom. Like, I hate those Hallmark movies that get released around Christmas because they are so stupidly unrealistic, but a well-told romance story with instant attraction and longing glances and awkward comments? Oh, god, that’s my Kryptonite. Maybe it’s because I’m really missing being in a relationship? Who knows, really.
But it’s definitely why I adore the beginning of the relationship between Dee and Billy. From the second Billy looked at Dee in the miniseries, I squeed. His infatuation with her is obvious and totally believable. Being a somewhat more confident person than Billy, Dee doesn’t necessarily reject him; she seems intrigued and amused, simultaneously, even if she does put a lot of space between them for a bit. I actually cheered when they went on their first date in the observatory overlooking the vastness of space, even if Billy was doing recon for Roslin at the time.
They made so much more sense than Dee and Lee. Maybe that was because Kandyse* McClure and Paul Campbell had more chemistry than McClure and Jamie Bamber did, but the Dee/Lee relationship seemed so contrived and out of the blue. Suddenly, they’re training together, and she’s all turned on by his muscles? Lee was probably looking for some way to get over Kara Thrace (and apparently his dead pregnant (?) girlfriend we saw in “Black Market,” which I’m still baffled by to this day), and even Dee recognized she and Lee were on a time clock. But she deserved so much better; she deserved Billy, for god’s sake. What hurts even more is that Dee doesn’t really seem to mourn his loss, resuming her romance with Lee fairly quickly. I’m not saying that she wouldn’t be able to move on and start something new eventually, but it was so abrupt that it painted Dualla as heartless, which she definitely wasn’t.
If Billy hadn’t actually died, she would have been happier in the long run if she’d made the decision to stick with Keikeya. Perhaps she wouldn’t have committed suicide. Perhaps she wouldn’t have been promoted to what appeared to be the XO of the Pegasus, and therefore wouldn’t have been able to convince Lee to follow Adama to rescue the refugees on New Caprica. Perhaps she wouldn’t have felt the sting of jealousy when Starbuck and Apollo reunited in “Unfinished Business.” It just seems like her character development stops when she gets with Lee. She becomes his conscience and his tool to get back at Kara, neither of which suits the strong, caring woman Dee was.
But who knows, right? I’ll just have to hold onto the above image, where they were both alive and happy. Maybe they reunited in the afterlife.
* I remember reading somewhere that the spelling of her name was actually the more traditional “Candice,” but that she started spelling it “Kandyse” as a joke that just happened to stick. Does anybody remember hearing anything like that, too?