One of the most interesting parts of this third season of Battlestar Galactica is that there hasn’t been that much action on the spaceship that is the namesake of the show. In fact, there hasn’t been that much this season that has taken place in space at all. Personally, I thought that having so much of the show take place on the ground with the attempt at a new, more beneficial human/cylon relationship was a very interesting way to take the series. Just as I was getting used to things on the ground, it looks like the series is going back to the cosmos. Once again, I blame myself for not following the resistance webisodes, but oh well.
The season premiere was one of the best couple of hours of television and left us with quite a few cliffhangers, among them being the impending massacre of two hundred civilians and an ambush of the first landing party from the Galactica. Will the plans to escape new Caprica be thwarted before they can even get off the ground?I should probably start this recap by resolving what happened last week. The New Caprica police had just finished rounding up a bunch of citizens for an old-fashioned massacre. We were all worried that Cally, Chief “Trotsky” Tyrel’s wife and mother of his baby, would be gunned down with the rest, but one of the New Caprica Police, Jammer, who had worked under the chief released her, and told her to run away. We see her running away just as a bunch of shots are fired. Somewhere nearby, Sharon met up with Anders and his reception team, but they were ambushed. I went into the first five minutes of this episode hoping that we would find out what happened, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?
Yes, it was the return of the flashback episode. WTF? I hope this isn’t the start of another trend. Last week, I lamented the number of episodes that would show us something happening and then pull the “24 hours earlier” or “72 hours earlier” bullshit, and then mix in current and past events back and forth throughout the episode. Once or twice a season, it can be really effective, but use it too often, especially when the episode will be just as good without it, and it just becomes a pain in the ass. Luckily, this was only a “one hour ago” flashback, so I wasn’t gouging my eyes out or anything, and hopefully, I won’t have to in the future.
I thought that the Massacre would easily be the most horrific thing in this episode, but I would have been wrong. Not five minutes into it, and we saw one of the more disturbing pictures of the year as Colonel Tigh revealed what was under his eye patch, or I guess more accurately, what was not under his eye patch. He said that his eye was removed, so it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise that he had an empty socket where his eye used to be, but it was gross nonetheless. Tigh was having trouble putting his eye patch back on, but his wife came in to help him. Their relationship has always been a little strange, and I can’t figure out any reason why she is with him other than lingering feelings of guilt, but who am I to judge others’ happiness?
Saul and Ellen’s intimate moment is interrupted when Tyrel comes in and starts shouting about some list. What list is that? Well, it’s the list of people who are scheduled to be executed. Gaeta made the info drop, and no Tyrel is freaking out because his wife’s name is on the list. Saul gets him to calm down and reminds him that they should be able to extrapolate the location of the massacre from the Cylon coordinates. If Chief can get a group of people there ahead of time, they may be able to save Cally and some of the others before it’s too late.
The idea that Tyrel got to the execution site in time to save people from being shot makes a lot of sense, or at least more sense than any of the theories I had going about in my head, but I thought the execution was a little off. When we saw Jammer release Cally, she rolled down a hill and started running. When Tyrel and his group made it to their position, which looked to be above the Pergamus flats where the execution was to occur, they look in their scopes and suddenly Cally is in the line of fire, preventing them from getting a clear shot of the enemy. Now, I know why they did this and that’s because they wanted to have a dramatic shot of the chief telling his snipers to fire on the count of five, then watching him run and knock down Cally just before they start to take out the enemy.
Maybe didn’t get a good look at everything and my logistics were wrong, but in any case, the whole thing played out a little bit over-dramatic. I think we could have done without the added element of Cally getting in the way of the shooters, but the thing I don’t get is that there were a bunch of Centurions, which are the big, all-metal Cylons, about to reign a bunch of hurt down on the humans, but we aren’t told how they are stopped. Yes, I know I can probably get the answers in a podcast or something, I think that’s just a huge oversight.
The more believable rescue was with Sharon landing party and Anders’ welcome party. She didn’t just land by herself, but was accompanied by a bunch of space marines. Like any proper landing party, the marines did a tactical brief on the location of the meeting place just in case there was an ambush. When the ambush came, the space marines had their RPGs ready to go and destroyed the centurions that were firing on the meeting place. There were losses on the human side, but at least now the rest of their plan could go forward without too much trouble.
If Baltar had known about any of this stuff, it might have made his life a little easier. He capitulated to the enemy, but he really thought most of the things he was doing was necessary for survival of the race. It would have been nice if he had let the Cylons shoot him instead of signing the death order for two hundred civilians, but he thought it would be much better to live to fight another day than die a martyr. Part of his reasoning, of course, was knowing that staying alive meant that he could have hot sex with Number Six, but even that isn’t perking him up these days.
During a bit of post-coital, Baltar could only talk about sanitation being the key to human trust and confidence. I’m not sure that the humans would just give up because they are able to wipe their asses, but I do think that there would be a lot less support for the resistance if the Cylons spent more time building homes than they have building prisons. It’s not like there aren’t a lot of raw materials on New Caprica, and if people were given jobs building homes, they would have less time to sit around growing beards, blowing up buildings, and contacting Galactica for a rescue mission.
Baltar is so sullen that he barely acknowledges that Six is there, and considering she is hot and naked, that is quite an accomplishment. And even if she had all her clothes on and looked like Lyle Lovett, Six is still the only thing that he has in the world. She might be literally the only thing on the planet, human or Cylon, that doesn’t want to see him dead, and has already sacrificed so much of her own life to get them even to the awful place they are now, that you would think that maybe Baltar could at least appreciate that. If this whole evacuation plan goes through, it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens to Baltar when he is the only human left on the planet.
One of the more interesting things we learned about the Cylons in this episode was that Cylons, at least the ones that look like humans, dream. During the resurrection episode, we saw that Six hallucinated like Gaius did, and now D’Anna Beers, or Xena the Bitchy Cylon as I like to call her, was having dreams. Part of the whole reason for the Cylons new attitudes towards humans is that Cylons discovered that they could not procreate on their own. I speculated that it might be because most of the Cylon chicks are hotties and most of the Cylon guys are all goofy looking. It must have been some sort of innate cockblock that reminded these women that they were much too good for the schmucks they were sleeping with. Think about it, even if you decided these guys were so bad that you wanted to kill yourself, you would just come back and those memories of having sex with Dean Stockwell would still haunt you.
Anyway, D’Anna (Number Three) has a dream about Helo and Sharon’s baby. It was born premature, and the powers that be decided that they would pretend that it died for fear that word would get out that the baby was alive. The Cylons are so concerned with procreation that they will stop at nothing to get that baby, because it will be the shape of what is to come. Part of the reason why I wonder if Kara and her Cylon test tube lover’s baby is real is because the Cylons don’t seem nearly as concerned about Casey as they do about what was Helo and Sharon’s baby.
Three’s dream about the baby involved her visiting some sort of human shaman, and as luck would have it, she sees this same shaman the next day. For once I would like to see a shaman who doesn’t do strange things like lick her hands all the time. Why can’t we have more three nipple topless fortunetellers like Mallrats? The woman knows Three’s name and why she is there, knows that she has pain, knows that she has a destiny, and knows that all of the Gods weep for her, which is interesting since the Cylons only believe in one God. Why would the human Gods weep for Three? I guess we’ll find out. The most important part of the shaman’s vision was about the baby. Not only was the baby alive, but she would hold the baby and know true love. That was the good news. The bad news is that Three would lose everything that they did on New Caprica.
As she left the crazy Shaman, Three happened upon the smoking doctor dude, who was busy patching up some casualties from one of the human ambushes. I am not sure why he spends so much time trying to fix people who are just reincarnated anyway, but I guess you can’t pick your patients. Number three asks him why he was so quick to cremate the baby on Galactica, and you could tell from his delayed reaction, he was trying to think of an excuse. He finally said that he was just following orders, but Three started to believe that the crazy Shaman knew what she was talking about. From then on, she looks at any baby that could be about that age and wonders if it could be Hera.
Now that number Five was back, there was going to be a little bit of a reckoning. Although one of the Dean Stockwells survived thanks to the smoking doctor, another one had to literally cut his own throat to die. Sounds like an awful way to go, but he was caught in the ambush at the almost-massacre and was left there to bleed to death. After downloading himself back into existence, he decided that they were going to have to come down on the population even harder, and if that didn’t work, it would be nuke and run.
The resistance realized that the latest events would probably mean a crackdown, and Roslin identified a number of high value targets that should be protected, chief among them Hera and her adopted mother. Anders and his handpicked squad were to move them around so nobody would be able to find them. Meanwhile, the rest of the evacuation was a little bit sketchier. Each block had a captain that was responsible for getting his people onto the ships.
Sharon is on her way to get the launch keys, but how do we know that Ellen Tigh won’t fuck things up again? After Anders and his landing party were saved, they surveyed the Cylon casualties and picked up a very interesting map on one of the Dean Stockwells. It was a map of the rendezvous point, and it was in Anders’ handwriting. This really surprised Anders because Ellen Tigh was supposed to burn it, and now it was quite obvious that she did not. As soon as they got back, they put Ellen into custody, and Anders’ odd-looking Viggo Mortensen-esque friend lets her know what happened.
Now Saul was so appreciative of everything that he was doing, but he is clearly slipping from Colonel Tigh to Colonel Kurtz every minute he is on New Caprica, and I wondered what he was going to do to Ellen when he heard of this betrayal. She tried to explain that she only did it for him, but that was not going to save her. If he didn’t have so much to worry about with this evacuation, I think he probably would have shot her on site, or just thrown her into the airlock.
As prepared as everybody was for this whole operation, it all revolved around Sharon being able to infiltrate the Cylon base and get the launch keys. She can blend in like any other skinjob, but even that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just walking back to the Cylon controlled area is dangerous, as a lot of people would like to see her dead, even if she is helping them out.
Sharon does make it into the Cylon base without much of a problem, and I was actually surprised how little security there was around the launch keys. She literally walked into a room, told the computer to open up a drawer, and there were the keys. It was easier than finding a tattoo on Tommy Lee. Getting out was an entirely different matter. Just as she was getting the keys out of the drawer, Number Three popped in and asked her how she could betray her own people. Sharon really does think that she is doing the right thing, so she doesn’t care what Number Three has to say, even when the woman says that her baby is alive. When Sharon calls bullshit on her, number three then tells her about her dream and the shaman, and the prophecy. If Three was going to hold the baby, then Sharon could follower he and hold the baby too.
Although Sharon thinks about it for a minute, she decides that Three is lying, and shoots her in the kneecaps so she can’t run and tell the others. She gets out of the Cylon base and hands the keys to chief. As hard as it has been up to this point, it is only going to get harder. For one, the Pegasus is not going to be joining them; it will only be the Galactica. Second, if they don’t get it all done in eighteen hours, the Pegasus and the rest of the fleet are instructed to go and find Earth without them. I said earlier I wondered what would happen to Baltar if everybody left, but just imagine how hard it would be for Starbuck.
I thought this was an OK episode, although it was slower than the first one. It really seemed like it was building up to something, and it was very tense wondering what would happen to Sharon, and you really want everything to succeed, and then it’s all taken away. I am sure when we get to the evacuation, there will be plenty of surprises left, although once again, way too much was shown in the previews and I am really going to stop watching them.
What did you think of this episode?