It is now week 4 of the Colonel Tigh experiment on Battlestar Galactica. To say that he wasn’t quite prepared to take command of the ship was sort of an understatement. Even if his best and perhaps only friend on the ship hadn’t been shot, he was unprepared. Even if that friend wasn’t the commander of the fleet, he would have wanted no part of it. Even if that commander had just taken the President into custody, he would have taken a pass. Unfortunately, all of those things happened, and Tigh was the one who had to step up because, well, who else was there?Tigh took the death of Commander Adama very hard. Lt. Valeri, the hot Asian Cylon who shot him, had passed Dr. Baltar’s Cylon detector with flying colors, but she went through some problems and shot herself in the face. She was a bad shot, and it didn’t kill her, and when Adama needed her to blow up a Cylon Basestar, she did her job well. After cooperating, we thought that her threat was pretty much over. Then she shot the the Commander, and the shit just went downhill from there.
The Colonel was quite pissed at the shooting, as I hinted before, and he slapped Valeri around quite a bit trying to get information about other Cylons in the fleet. She has always denied being a Cylon, and she denies knowing anything about any other Cylons that might be among them. Whether this is true or just part of her programming, we can only guess. Despite his best efforts, Tigh was unable to get any information out of her, but he knows that she must have had some help, and he’s determined to figure out who her allies were and he knows were to start.
Chief Tyrel and Valeri had a relationship dating to a long time before the Cylons were destroying civilization. People didn’t really care because the Galactica was more of museum than anything else, and really, what’s so bad about a little sex? Tyrel is the first person Tigh targets for his interrogations, and he slaps him around pretty good as well. Seriously, how in the hell could Tyrel not realize he was sleeping with the enemy? He is a traitor and Tigh wants information NOW! The Chief is not completely innocent because when Valeri was acting strange, and strange things seemed to happen on Galactica whenever she was near, he helped cover for her. In his defense, a lot of people were deceived by the Cylons, including the smartest man in the world – or I guess you would say universe, technically – who was also fooled by hot Cylon snatch.
In reality, Chief was forced to end his relationship with Valeri, but still held feelings for her. However, when he returned to Galactica and learned that Valeri had shot the captain, he wanted nothing to do with her. Therefore, when Tigh put the two of them together in the same cell, it’s not exactly like old times’ sake. Luckily for Tyrel, he still has a lot of friends on the outside, and his number one fan is Cally. She knows that Chief can’t be a Cylon, and wonders why Baltar isn’t helping him.
Last season, Baltar created a Cylon detector, which they were supposed to use throughout the fleet to see who was a Cylon and who wasn’t. It worked, but Baltar fudged the results and let Valeri pass. Why? Well, I believe at the time Six was straddling him and about to, uh, help him along during one of their imaginary sex sessions. The point is that even if Baltar passed Tyrel, there was no indication that anybody else should believe him. Gaius doesn’t say as much to Cally, but generally just blows her off. How much trouble can a junior engineer make for the Vice President anyway? Well, when that junior engineer was witness to what was, in essence, the murder of an officer, she does hold a little bit of leverage.
Now, although Gaius knows that when he killed Crashdown he likely saved the lives of everybody on the ground as well as the rescue party, he decides he needs to do something. He visits Colonel Tigh and tells him that he has worked out the kinks in the Cylon detector. Parameters this and anomalies that, and he won’t let another one slip through. Tigh laughs at him, and then laughs at him even harder when Baltar suggests that since he is Vice President he should be in command. Clearly, he is going to have to come up with another plan.
Since Tigh declared martial law, it turns out that not everybody out there wants to simply be subjugated. The people want their democracy, goddamit, and they aren’t going to settle for anything less. Galactica is a warship, but it requires supplies including food and fuel. When the supply ships start refusing to supply Galactica unless the president comes back, Tigh can’t let this type of shit go on without some sort of action. If you let one person get out of line, other people will start getting original thoughts and may start believing that military control isn’t in their best interest. In order to stop this insubordination, Tigh sends the marines to bring the supplies back. Wave a few guns around! That will show them!
Now, Tigh isn’t doing all of this within a vacuum. His wife has been egging him on, and they have some strange slap me around and get drunk and then have sex celebration after he tells the marines to go get those damned supplies. He has been hitting the bottle even more than usual lately, and people are noticing. They aren’t sure what is going to happen to Adama, and they believe in democracy. They need to get the president out of custody so she can once again lead. Soon, there is a little underground movement among Galactica to get her safely to another ship, but it is going to take a lot of work.
Before I get to far ahead of myself, it is time for our Caprica update. Last week we didn’t hear anything from Helo or Starbuck, which was fine, because there was plenty of action on Kobol to keep us busy. Now that nobody needs to return to Kobol anytime soon, we can get back to figuring out how in the hell Helo and Starbuck are going to make it back.
Caprica is almost deserted, but Starbuck and Helo have been making it by raiding old military supply places for ammo and anti-radiation meds. But it turns out that they weren’t the only people on Caprica to have survived. You know, whenever you have a story about some population being decimated or fighting against great odds, there is always some resistance out there that continues the good fight, and makes us feel great about the integrity of the human spirit and all of that shit. From Red Dawn to Terminator 2, there are many examples of our innate sense of perseverance against any foe. I had thought that there was nobody like that on Caprica, but it seems like a group of people did survive having the bomb dropped on them, and they have not only been surviving, but have been taking part in a little bit of a resistance. They raid ammo dumps of their own and ambush Cylons on patrol, just to make them think about who they are invading. They even have small parts of Caprica that are under their de facto control.
This band of survivors thinks that Helo and Starbuck are Cylons, and when they start shooting at the two of them, Helo and Starbuck believe that the human survivors are Cylons. A small battle ensues, but since the human survivors know the terrain and have been defending it really well, they easily surround Helo and Starbuck. After a tense standoff, Helo recognizes the leader of the group as a famous athlete. The squad that ambushed them were all Caprica Buccaneers.
OK, fine, they are a sports team, but how did this sports team survive when everybody else had died? Conveniently, they were all in the mountains doing some high altitude training. They and some other people who were hiking or camping in the mountains survived. Since the attack on Caprica, they have been doing pretty much what Helo and Starbuck have been doing, ie raiding supply posts for weapons and anti-radiation medicine. There are just over 50 people and they have enough medicine for about three months, which will hopefully be enough time to hit up the Cylons, steal a transport ship, and find their way back to Galactica. And wouldn’t you know it? You have a pilot and co-pilot that fell in your lap!
Back with the rest of the Human Fleet, things have not been going so well for that whole “use the Marines to get supplies” plan. The people on one of the supply ships weren’t exactly agreeable, and rather than talk it through, some rioting happened, some shots rang out, and four civilians were dead. Anybody who didn’t have trouble with martial law before is surely going to be rethinking their indifference after the slaughter of some innocents, no?
While Tigh is dealing with the ever-piling heap of shit he has dug himself into, Baltar is trying to figure out how in the hell he can help Tyrel. Helping the Chief is going to keep Cally quiet. She is rapidly becoming his biggest defender, and even fights another engineer when he suggest her loyalty is because she has been sleeping with him, too. The Vice President had a great idea for proving Tyrel is not a Cylon – he’s going to kill him! No really, it is actually a better idea than it sounds. He injects the Chief with a drug while Valeri watches. He tells her that it will kill him if she doesn’t speak. He wants to know how many Cylons are embedded in the fleet. She has always denied that she doesn’t know, but he believes it is somewhere in her programming. The Boomer that was on Galactica really did have feelings for Chief (as opposed to Caprica Boomer who is having Helo’s baby), and it kills her to see that he may die, especially when it was only his relationship with her that is getting him in trouble. She tells Gaius that there was eight Cylons in the fleet, and he revives Chief just before the drugs kill him.
Things are looking up for Tigh, eh? At least one thing he did was not a complete screw-up, right? Well, I guess you win some, you lose some. The President has a lot of supporters, including Billy (her assistant), and Lee Adama. With the two of them working behind the scenes, they are able to come up with a scheme to get Roslin to safety. Her guard has always been kind to her, and he is from a planet that takes the sacred writings literally. He has no problem faking that he got overpowered and she escaped.
When the Cylons had made it on the Galactica, Dualla and Billy had been on the outs, but he did risk his life to save her, even if the only person who was putting him in danger was himself. She also believes in the cause, or at least believes what Tigh is doing is wrong, and helps close off some access corridor by faking some maintenance requests. Just before they get to the hangar, a guard comes up, but Roslin is able to convince her about their cause. The soldier, who probably only enlisted after the attacks happened, cannot bring herself to shoot, and the group passes.
Well, they were able to get the head doctor to fake a request to get departure authorization and the Roslin and the high priest, along with a few others, get on a Raptor and Apollo flies them out of there. Now, Galactica finds out about the President’s escape and tries to intercept the escape ship before it make sit way to a large supply ship, from which they’ll be able to hide and get to any ship in the fleet. Tigh gives a stern warning, but can’t bring himself to shoot down Apollo, and the President escapes. Now, she still has a lot of work, because they have to be able to hide out in the fleet without getting detected, but Apollo was savvy enough to ask for Tom Zarek’s help. Even though he tried to bring down the government before, he actually believes in his populist shit, and agrees to help the President evade detection.
So, there really isn’t much more than can go wrong. The only thing that could be worse is if Adama died! But he didn’t. Just as Tigh is about to cry into another bottle of liquor, Adama walks in. He’s awake, and walking (barely). He wants to know what the hell is going on. Tigh tells Adama how much he messed up, and what Apollo did. All of this time, Tight thought he was the only person who felt so alone on Galactica, even if his wife is still alive. The truth is, Adama is just as alone. His relationship with Apollo is as strained as Tigh and Evelyn. Together, they decide they are going to figure out how to bring back order.
If there is anything that can be taken away from this episode is the that they were at least able to get Valeri to admit what she knew. She is going to have to subject herself to endless tests so they can have a better idea of how to detect Cylons, but at least they aren’t going to kill her! Well, the official word on Galactica is that they don’t want her dead, but you couldn’t tell as they walked her back from her cell, she had shit thrown on her, and then, out of nowhere, Cally shoots her in the chest, Jack Ruby-style. She tried to kill her Commander, and her Chief, and probably would have tried to kill the Commander-in-Chief if she had a Chance, but Cally didn’t let her get that far. As Tyrel saw Boomer drop, he realized that he did love her, and despite her actions, he couldn’t stand to watch her die.
You really had to watch the final scene to get a good taste of the feeling, but it was good stuff. If I had feelings, I might have even been moved to show some emotion. Boomer’s death was a surprise, but if Caprica Boomer ever comes back, it really takes care of a lot of questions, although it does seem to add a lot more.