So, I hope that I succeeded in turning at least a few people on to the new season Battlestar Galactica. When you find your way into a new series that has such a cult following, it is sometimes a little easy to get lost trying to pull together the significance of every character. My suggestion is that anybody who is trying to get started is to let the show come to you. All of the important stuff will follow soon enough. Besides, it will just give you something to look forward to when you the first season DVD comes out or the inevitable SciFi marathon of the entire series airs.When Commander Adama was shot during the last episode of the first season, we knew that they were going to find a way for him to survive. Edward James Olmos is just too big of an actor and too big of an anchor for the show to go so quickly. They are taking their sweet time bringing Adama back into any major role, but you can understand, as he is still breathing with a ventilator. In his place, Colonel Tigh has done a decent job, bringing some sort of order and at least keeping the fleet together.
Keeping the fleet together came at a price, however. After the fleet was scattered in the previous episode, the Galactica was forced to network their computers to accelerate the calculation of the the proper coordinates of the other ships. The Cylons sent a virus to attempt to gain control of the ship, but Gaeta built a firewall to prevent that from happening. The firewall held up and didn’t let the virus gain control of the ship, but the virus still remained in the other computer systems, meaning it was still a danger to people on board.
The other problem with bringing the fleet back together was that the Cylons managed to crash a troop carrier into one of the hangar bays. Combined with the Cylon virus, you can see how things could get really screwed up in a really short amount of time, and that is exactly what happens. The virus causes several systems to shut down, allowing the Cylon Centurions to run amok. Apollo and some of the other Vipers (they are the little fighter spaceships that protect the fleet) crew are celebrating how awesome they are when they hear some shots.
Inevitably, they get into it with a Centurion, and the results aren’t pretty. While a lot of the Cylons spend their time looking like humans, Centurions are just bad ass machines with lots of armor and lots of ammo, with a mission to kill. Apollo had just finished putting a full clip into one of the Centurions to no effect, and was preparing to die. Luckily, one of the ship’s Marines blew the Cylon’s head off with an explosive charge. Great news! Explosive charges can kill Cylons. Bad news! The marines are out of explosive charges.
As if the people on Galactica aren’t having enough trouble, there are still people spread out across the Galaxy. On Caprica, it’s Helo and Starbuck, combing through what is left of the planet of Caprica. For Helo, this is a huge event. What he thought was his only human contact since he originally crashed on Caprica was actually a Cylon who may or may not have actual feelings for him and also appears to be pregnant. He is excited to see Starbuck, but ashamed that he has fallen in love with a Cylon.
There has been some debate out there as to whether the Cylons actually want to destroy us. You know, some believe that if the humans only took time to understand their enemy, maybe there could be peace. That idea will probably go out the window after the survivors of the colonies discover the people who made it through the nuclear attack on earth were rounded up and taken to mass incinerators. Explains why there is almost nobody in the street. They are definitely not planning on sticking around, but are in search of something better than their two feet to get around. Luckily, it looks like Kara knows the area quite well.
I thought this was the weakest part of the episode. We go to Starbuck’s apartment, which just happens to be within walking distance of wherever they were stranded. Oh look, she is an artist! She wants to listen to some music that is performed by her dead father. Luckily, she didn’t pay the electric bill so there are plenty of batteries around. She waxes on about what her life has become since the attacks. You know, she knows nothing else except fighting, but maybe now she just wants to live for living’s sake. Top notch filler that was added, at least in my mind, because they needed some clips to send to the Emmys. How else can you explain the orchestra in the background?
OK, I get it, Caprica is destroyed, your life has changed. Is this different much different from what the hell has been going on lately? This scene does have an end, when Starbuck reveals that she has keys to a car. And don’t you think that since they have a handle on the whole “space flight” thing and can travel faster than light, they might be able to imagine a flying car? No, either they don’t have them, Kara’s too cheap, or the production messed up, because Helo and Starnbuck pile into a Humvee (not an H2) and roll along their way. Unless they find something else on Caprica, it’s outlived its usefulness and they should just get these people back home.
We also must not forget the people on Kobol. Remember when I discussed how there was a debate about the true intentions of the Cylons? Well, I hope you remember, because I just made that point in the last paragraph. Anyway, one of the reasons for that is the relationship between Six and Dr. Baltar. They had a relationship on Caprica before he knew she was a Cylon, and she continues to appear to him in dreams. While she may not exactly be a completely benevolent character, she does have quite the effect on him. He has inspired him to do some good things, and some bad, but one of the more curious parts of their relationship came about after the crash on Kobol.
Six has a prophetic way of speaking, and is always mentioning God. The humans in the series believe in many Gods, while the Cylons, at least the humanoid ones, speak of one God. Six is especially spiritual, and she is always talking about the things to come, and one of those things is her baby, which is also Baltar’s baby. For two races that are sworn enemies, there seems to be plenty of people in the mood for lovin. Baltar, by the way, is definitely the kind of moron that has sex to Journey.
Baltar is very interested in the things to come, and is constantly daydreaming. During his latest daydream, he imagines that everybody is being rescued, that nobody has died, and that he is holding his baby. Adama comes to take a look at the baby, asks to hold it, then drowns it in the river. I thought he was going to pull a Moses and let the baby float along with the reeds, but Adama did what the Pharaoh never could do and got rid of the little bastard before the plagues hit the Galactica. Or something. When Baltar wakes up, he is visibly shaken. Six is by his side, and he is somewhere far away from the landing party. He tells her of the dream, and she says that Adama won’t hurt their baby, as long as Gaius does something to stop it. What he’ll have to do, we can only guess. It may be difficult since A) he is stranded on a remote planet and B) Adama is dying anyway.
Let my people go…
Gaius stumbles his way back to the rest of his group, but not before Six tells him some of the more gruesome things about Kobol and the humans’ past, namely human sacrifice. This appears to horrify the good doctor, much to the delight of Six and her sense of monotheist superiority. Cally and Chief Tyrol finally make it back to the rest of the group. Lieutenant “Crashdown” had sent the thee of them back to get a med kit for one of the injured crew (more accurately, he forced a lower ranking officer to get it, but Tyrol offered himself and Cally as assistance). On their way back, the other officer was killed, and since they had spent their time evading capture, when they returned with the med kit, it was too late for the injured crew member. Instead, they used some other leftover medicine to end the guy’s life so he didn’t have to suffer.
There is still the problem with all of those Cylons on Galactica though, remember? Apollo has taken the marines and crew that he has towards a nearby ammunition depot in order to get some more explosive rounds. On the way there, they stop by at the cell where the President is being held. Apollo tells the officer guarding the President about the Cylons and that they really should head for safety, ie away from all of the gunfire. At first, that sounds like a good plan, but the Cylons are shooting up anything and everything in their path, so the results aren’t quite what they expected.
While heading towards sick bay, which is considered safe because it was designed for disasters, they happen upon some of the crew’s quarters, and the Cylons have already been there, and killed almost all of them. The only one who is alive is Dee Dualla, which is great news to President Roslin’s aide Billy. Billy is like the Karl Rove of the Roslin administration, and since he is only in his 20s and kind of a pussy, he is more like a makin’ copies, takin’ dictation type of aide. He and Dualla have sort of a relationship which is strained, as you might imagine, because his boss is constantly at odds with her boss. But again, with most of the known human population already dead, you get what you can find, so Dualla finds something in Billy to love, even though we don’t know why.
My point (and I do have a point), is that earlier Billy and Dee had a little bit of a falling out. He really isn’t working at the relationship, other than looking to grab a little smooch every now and then. But there’s nothing that brings people together like sharing a moment of duress, and trying to outrun the Cylons is a good amount of duress. She is vulnerable (from a concussion), and he is there to show some TLC. How very perfect. Apollo had even given him a gun earlier, so he shows how much of a man he is by holstering it in his pants. Thankfully, Dualla isn’t so out of it that she is able to let Billy know that the safety is off, which means he might blow his balls off. Thinking she might have use for them later, she turns the safety on and they all get on their way, although they will have to take an alternate route to sick bay because of the gunfire.
Old joke: Is that a gun in your pants or…well, you know the rest.
When the other group gets to the ammunition storage, they find the Cylons have already been there, since, you know, everybody is dead. They do find some explosives around, but there are only six, which is enough for one for each and two for Apollo. While there, they manage to hotwire one of the communication phones to the flight deck and check in with Colonel Tigh. It turns out a lot of Marines had engaged the Cylons, but there were two Cylons that he asked Apollo to apprehend. Tigh feared that the Centurions would get to the secondary damage control and decompress all of the decks, which in space is not good. It means that everybody would be fired out into space, and with nobody to defend them, the Cylons could use the Galactica guns against the very fleet the guns were protecting.
So, we’re heading towards secondary damage (it might have been “auxiliary damage control,” but that is not important), but guess who else is heading there? That’s right, the President and her party. There were a couple of doors that were shut off, preventing them from passing, which meant they were actually heading directly into the Cylon shit storm and not away from it. Apollo and the marines make it to the place in question first, and then barricade themselves in waiting for the Cylons. As the last two Centurions are coming down the corridor, Billy, not realizing the marines were close, tries to fire on them. He nearly gets everybody shot, but it also distracts the Cylons enough for Apollo’s team to take one of them out. The last one heads for the ammo depot, having shot most of the other people and incapacitated them, but Apollo is able to reload and blow its head off just as it is about to get to him.
Whoa! Apollo saved the day. Never saw that coming, did you? All kidding aside, the ship was safe and everybody is in sick bay. Billy visits Dee, and decides to give her a sponge bath…with his tongue! OK, so that was obviously coming. The rest are standing around Adama. The doctor is on his way, so with things calming down, Tigh sends the President back to her cell, and tells Apollo he is not fit to wear the uniform (for siding with the president against his father). Apollo basically tells Tight the same, and that when his dad gets better, he will decide what to do with them.
I enjoyed this episode, and was excited throughout, but this had a very soap opera feel. We sort of moved the plot, but much more time is spent on the root causes of the characters. I’m not saying it was bad, but it didn’t have the nice tight feel to the writing we have been used to since the series started. But who am I kidding, I am in this thing for the long haul.
What did you think of the episode? Will the people on Kobol or Caprica ever find their way back?