Wow, I guess Battlestar Galactica got over it’s little malaise last week, and decided to come back strong with it’s latest episode. A lot of people told me that I should listen to the podcasts, which would give me a better idea of what was going on in the mind of the producers. I understand that the podcasts add to the episode, but the reason why producers make money is that they fit all of that explanation in an hour of television. But like I said, we are back on track. After Cain’s murder, Adama became an admiral, but the killer is still on the loose. And if the transition of military power wasn’t enough, civilian authority looked like it was going to change hands because of the President’s illness. We are all sure Adama can handle the fleet, but are we ready to have Gaius Baltar in the presidency? I guess we are going to find out.Overall, BSG kind of sits apart from a bunch of TVgasm and it’s normal Fantastic Super Terrific Funtime Happy Hour attitude we take with a lot of the programming here. Therefore, I am going to try and lighten things up a bit. And since there’s nothing funnier than cancer, I am in luck. The President has cancer, and it looks it is really starting to take its toll. She is so delirious with pain that she begins to hallucinate a little bit. Roslin begins to remember the time on Caprica just before the Cylon attack. She just heard that her cancer was malignant, the teachers union was striking, and there was Gaius Baltar sucking face with a hot blonde.
Now, we all know that hot blonde as model Six (I believe the Caprica model was called Natasi), and although the President continues to see the two lovebirds in her dreams, nothing really comes up. Besides, what are these hallucinations supposed to tell her? She doesn’t have much time on earth, and she is going to use it to make one last, very difficult decision. She gathers Adama, Billy, Dr. Baltar and Dr. Cottle, next to her hospital bed on the Galactica, and gives them a little bit of a heads up. They have been doing blood tests on Sharon’s fetus, and the results had some anomalies. There was enough concern that she has decided that the Cylon pregnancy was going to have to be terminated.
I am not sure if it is the medication, but the President has changed a lot during the final days of her administration. Maybe she realizes that she wouldn’t have to worry about the aftermath, but ordering the death of a Colonial officer and unborn baby, as dangerous as it might be, seems very out of character. If there was anything that Roslin learned from her time on Caprica as Education Secretary, it was that “the best thing about being president is that you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone”, so despite Baltar’s protests that the Cylon baby was of strategic value, the order was going to be executed. OK, bad choice of words, but you get the idea.
Again, this sounds kind of crazy, but since the colonies apparently don’t have a 25th Amendment, it looks like Roslin is going to get her way without the Quorum of Twelve deciding whether she is fit to make decisions or not. Gaius is second in command, and he obviously doesn’t want this baby to die. He pleads with Adama, which is odd, because Baltar had a dream that Adama was drowning his baby (or at least a baby important to him) in the beginning of Season 2. Adama’s reaction to the President’s decision is not quite an endorsement, but he will follow his orders from the Commander in Chief, and tells Baltar to pull himself together After all, he will soon be President Dr. Gaius Baltar, and he is going to have to make tough decisions himself.
As hard as it is for Gaius to take this news, it is even more difficult for Six. First of all, she is not happy because she hasn’t seen Dr. Baltar in a long time. Considering that Six is projected from Baltar’s mind, this seems like a petty complaint to make, but I guess she is here to help Gaius in his time of need. When Gaius tells her about the plan to kill the baby, she reminds him that he already has the resources to get his point across. Six is talking about Baltar’s nuclear warhead. Baltar had been given one in order to build his Cylon detector. And since we all know that there isn’t a problem out there that you can’t fix with some nuclear proliferation, it sounds like a winning strategy to me.
While Baltar was trying to figure out if violence was the answer, there is a growing faction among the colonies that believes that violence is NOT the answer, under any circumstances. While Starbuck and Lieutenant “Kat” Katraine (the second greatest Kat on TV after Iron Chef Cora, although neither hold a candle to our very own Kat) are preparing to land, Kat asks permission to “clean out her guns”. No, that doesn’t mean she has a little Jamie Lee Curtis in her, she actually trying to make sure her Viper’s weapons work. After a few shots, her gun comes flying off, and actually hits Starbuck’s Viper. The two are able to make it back to Galactica, and upon further examination, it looks like their ammunition was tampered with. I’m tellin’ all of y’all, it’s a sabotage! Sorry, my inner Beastie takes over every now and then.
Well, it’s not too difficult for them to figure out who was tampering with the weapons. Lee and Kara decide to go to the armory where the ammunition is loaded, but before they can ask a question, the suspect, Asha Janik, says she has a message for Admiral Adama. Asha then goes off saying that the Cylons are not the real enemy, and it’s the military that refuses to negotiate. They may take her, but there are more where she came from, and they want peace. Demand peace!
It looks like the new admiral has a problem. Before, he only had to worry about Cylons trying to defeat the military. Yes, some of those Cylons look like humans, and yes, there have been humans that have been at odds with Colonial rule, especially when Tigh declared martial law, but for the most part the civilian fleet is happy that Galactica and Pegasus (which was nowhere to be seen this week) are around, preventing the Cylons from adding another 50,000 to their “Over 10 Billion Humans Happily Killed” sign they put on the basestars. Now there is a movement of humans who sympathize with the Cylons, and want no part of Adama’s war machine, as effective as it has been at keeping them alive.
The subversives, who I guess are a step below insurgents, want a meeting, and Adama gives it to them. The man who is there to represent the peace movement, Royan Jahee, pretends that he is a third party, but Adama doesn’t believe it and throws the man in jail for being a danger to the fleet. Jahee’s point in defending the Cylons is that we were the ones who enslaved them, so who are we to complain that they want to kill us? Humans didn’t just build Cylons to do their dirty work, they also built them to fight wars, so they do have a grudge, and maybe they do deserve a spot in the government besides being banished to rot on their own planet, but it’s not like the Cylon attack was because they wanted representation among the twelve colonies. They weren’t asking us for a spot at the table. Shit, they didn’t even take the time to enslave us. They just wanted us dead. So while I sympathize with the peace movement, let me just say that placed in the same position, I wouldn’t be lining up to be sent off the Cylon gas showers.
With that being said, there are a lot of members of the movement. Lee and Kara go through Asha’s things, and they soon find that there is a plan to destroy the Tylium refinery ship that is flying with them. Tylium is basically their energy source, and if it was damaged, it would severely impact the fleet’s ability not only to defend itself, but also to survive at all. They ready a raptor team to board the Tylium refinery before anything happens, but they get their too late, and an explosion occurs on the ship. It didn’t destroy the ship, but they were able to hit the engines, and if the ship can’t move, it’s almost as bad. As you can imagine, this second round of sabotage doesn’t do anything for Adama’s temper, and he tells the rebel leader that if there is any more violence, he’ll interrogate everybody in the fleet to get answers.
President Roslin is steadily getting worse, and in preparation for her death, Billy gives Baltar a tour of the president’s office, which is a desk in the middle of the spaceship Colonial One. Billy mentions the dossier of known Cylon suspects, and the body count that lists how many humans are still alive. He also gives Gaius a letter from President Roslin. In the tradition of the colonies, the outgoing President writes a letter to her successor, to be opened after they take the oath of office. Before he can take a look at the executive washroom, Baltar gets a call, and he makes his way to Could Nine, the resort ship and one of the biggest ships in the fleet.
On Cloud Nine, he meets Gina. I was sort of wondering what the hell had become of her. She did, after all, kill the head of the colonial fleet, so it’s natural to wonder what has become of her. From the looks of it, she hasn’t been doing too badly for herself. Six is attractive in the sexpot sort of way because you know she’ll have sex with you anywhere, anytime. Gina, however, has a completely different kind of sexiness. She’s a stone cold killer, but she has a vulnerability and girl-next-door sort of charm to her. Less bleach, more brains, and, well, it works. At first, Baltar is sort of disgusted that she has decided to work for this peace movement, who have done a lot of killing for as much as they want the Colonial fleet to stop doing the same. But seriously, Gaius is such a hornball. On Caprica, Natasi helped him sell-out his humans, on Galactica, Six came in his dreams, and he didn’t hesitate to hold back information that could have helped the fleet. Is there any doubt that his love for Gina isn’t going to come through?
Gaius may be ready for his relationship with Gina, but she is not quite ready for human contact. He tries to kiss her, but even though she appreciates everything that he did for her, she is not in the mood for love. Instead, she wants to talk about taking down the fleet, mentioning that it’s starting to crumble, and when Gaius becomes President, he can work with her. In the end, the Cylons can save everybody. That kind of talk is something that Baltar wants no part of, and he leaves, saying that he won’t be responsible for the destruction of mankind, or at least the rest of it. We already know that he was partly responsible for the first attack, even though he wasn’t aware of it, so how is he going to make up for it?
Adama told Helo out of courtesy the plan for his child, and he wasn’t very happy, but not half as upset as Sharon when she heard the news. You can see where she is coming from. She has been helpful, and while the Admiral would like to say that it’s all about the will to survive, I do think it is much more than that. Boomer wanted to save herself and her baby, but I think you can tell the difference between the Caprica Sharon that is having Helo’s baby, and the Galactica Sharon that tried to kill Adama. Sharon is helpless to stop what is about to happen, and after sedating her, they wheel her to the infirmary. Along the way, they bump into Helo. He loves Sharon, and if you can’t fight for the mother of your child, what else is worth fighting for? It appears that there is going to be a showdown, which would of course result in Helo pulling his pistol out just as the Marines fired a couple hundred times at his chest.
Before Helo can prove his bravery, here comes Dr. Baltar. He has a solution that will make a lot of people happy. His calculations about the Cylon baby were way off, and he has an explanation. The strange thing about the baby’s blood that they kept on hinting about but never telling us was that it contained no antigens. That meant it had no blood type whatsoever, and even stranger, when he mixed the blood sample with a biopsy from the President’s cancer, the cancer went away in a matter of minutes. So while Dr. Cottle things that it is a crazy idea, Baltar decides to take some fetal blood and inject it directly into the President. It’s not like it’s going to kill her any worse than the cancer, right?
I would try to inject a little bit of suspense into the next scene, but to tell you the truth, I sort of thought this resolution to the President’s injury was kind of bullshit. This is something that has been building since the beginning of the series, and now we are supposed to believe that a simple transfusion is going to fix it all? I think it is a little bit of a copout, and while I usually don’t care about the science involved in all of this, this was a little too farfetched for me. The blood is injected, she has a seizure, and in 48 hours, she is well enough to make her own little demand of the peace movement’s leader. He had still denied his ties to the group, but now that the president comes at him with a wheelchair, he caves into pressure and say she will negotiate.
But just imagine for a minute that we do buy into the idea that the hybrid cylo-human blood can cure cancer and maybe other diseases, it does bring up a lot of questions. Would adult cylo-human blood exhibit the same properties? If there are other sick people wanting to be cured, how often do you tap the baby? Knowing this could help a lot of people; do you have Helo and Sharon start making more babies, perhaps harvesting an organ or two? What if there are side effects? I think things could get interesting.
Admittedly, what I have described so far is not that stellar of an episode, but we haven’t come to the best part. Baltar was congratulating himself on being able to save the Cylon baby and the President. While both Gina and Six were wondering what he would do with the power, having Roslin alive means he doesn’t have to make the big decisions. Just for kicks, he decides to read the President’s letter for him, and when he sees that she was less than flattering about his qualifications, he feels let down, and decides that maybe the Colonial government is not for him. Now that he is not making the decisions, there is only one way that he can cause enough problems to get back at Roslin and her treachery.
Nuclear warhead? Fondue maker? You decide.
When Royan Jahee goes back to Cloud Nine and reports to Gina about his progress, he notes that Baltar now wants to work with the peace movement, and has given them a gift to show he is serious. That gift? The nuclear warhead. In the hands of the peace movement, who have proven willing to kill to bring attention to their demands, is going to be a serious problem, no matter how you put it. It looks like Gina really believes what she says about the Cylons saving them, but she hinted that her own followers didn’t know that she was a Cylon, even though the people on the Tylium refinery blowing themselves up mentioned “the Cylon that brings peace”. And what if she is just resuming the job that she was sent to do in the first place? With the second in command working for them, and the star reporter of the fleet also a confirmed Cylon, and six more models that the humans don’t know about, it adds up to a lot of troubles for the humans.
What did you think of the episode? Can Gina bring the peace?